Sunday, October 13, 2019


Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.
  (#1 July 9, 2013; #2 Nov. 1, 2013; #3 Feb. 15, 2014; #4 April 15, 2014; #5 May 25, 2014; #6 Dec. 4, 2014; #7 August 15, 2015; #8, Sept. 18, 2016)
Thanks to Marc Quigley for entering all of these newsletters in OMNI’s web site.


Edward Snowden.   Metropolitan Books, 2019.

Publisher’s Summary
D.D. Guttenplan’s Comments
Excerpt from Book
Glenn Greenwald’s Commentary
Dick, “Permanent Record”
Contents of #8

Metropolitan Books Henry Holt and Co.  352 Pages
Publisher’s Summary (book jacket)
Edward Snowden, the man who risked everything to expose the US government’s system of mass surveillance, reveals for the first time the story of his life, including how he helped to build that system and what motivated him to try to bring it down.

In 2013, twenty-nine-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email. The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth. Six years later, Snowden reveals for the very first time how he helped to build this system and why he was moved to expose it.
Spanning the bucolic Beltway suburbs of his childhood and the clandestine CIA and NSA postings of his adulthood, Permanent Record is the extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online—a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the Internet’s conscience. Written with wit, grace, passion, and an unflinching candor, Permanent Record is a crucial memoir of our digital age and destined to be a classic.THE AUTHOR
·         Edward Snowden
·         twitter
·         Facebook
·         Author Website

THE NATION MAGAZINE , Oct. 7, 2019, 2 Articles

D. D. Guttenplan, “Snowden Speaks.”
·         COVERT OPS
·         OCTOBER 7, 2019, ISSUE
Edward Snowden Speaks:  The NSA whistleblower’s new memoir iS
essential reading. 
By D.D. GuttenplanTwitter
SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
·         fb
·         tw
·         mail
·         Print

Edward Snowden appears on a live video feed broadcast from Moscow at an event sponsored by ACLU Hawaii in Honolulu in February 2015. (Marco Garcia / AP)
To earlier generations of Nation readers, the phrase “Speak for yourself, John,” was what we’d now call a meme. In Longfellow’s “The Courtship of Miles Standish,” it’s Mayflower passenger Priscilla Mullins’s retort to John Alden, who courts her on behalf of his friend Standish (while secretly in love with her himself). Though the story is likely apocryphal, Mullins and Alden did marry, producing a host of descendants, including Longfellow himself and, according to his new memoir—The Nation’s exclusive excerpt is in this issue—Edward Snowden.
Even for those of us who’ve followed the Snowden revelations closely, Permanent Record is full of surprises. Far from the low-level IT drone depicted in most early press accounts (and even further from the naive, possibly traitorous Putin pawn trashed by his critics), the narrator of this book is a thoughtful, painfully self-aware intelligence professional who found himself forced to confront and expose the reality of mass surveillance—and the immense powers of coercion it gave to authorities who, thanks to technology he helped to create, are now able to strip the personal privacy of anyone connected to the Internet.

Edward Snowden
A deeply reluctant whistleblower, Snowden also emerges as a peculiarly American patriot, with roots that go back to Plymouth Rock on his mother’s side and some of the earliest Quaker settlers on his father’s. The Snowdens, who arrived in Maryland in 1658, once owned all of Anne Arundel County—including the land on which Fort Meade, home of the National Security Agency, stands today.
The elaborate security surrounding the release of this book is a reminder that, despite his relaxed demeanor and normal-seeming life in Moscow, Snowden is still not safe. But then, neither are we: As his memoir makes clear, all the techniques he exposed in 2013 remain in place. For that renewed warning—and for finally speaking for himself—he deserves our thanks. [Dick’s bold.]
D.D. GuttenplanTWITTER   D.D. Guttenplan is editor of The Nation and the author, most recently, of The Next Republic: The Rise of a New Radical Majority (Seven Stories)

Edward Snowden.  “Love at First Byte.”
An excerpt from his new memoir, Permanent Record, published by The Nation.

In this excerpt from his memoir, the NSA whistleblower describes his realization that no one should have to “pretend to be perfect.”

The failed effort to silence Edward Snowden

Glenn Greenwald  Unsubscribe
11:08 AM (6 minutes ago)
to me

The U.S. government is once again trying to silence Edward Snowden — this time with a lawsuit arguing that he should have allowed the CIA and NSA to censor his new memoir before publication.

The book doesn’t contain any secrets that haven’t already been made public; the government simply doesn’t want more discussion and debate of the mass surveillance systems he revealed.

The good news is that the six-year attempt to silence Snowden has so far failed spectacularly, in no small part because of The Intercept’s coverage. Our team spent years combing through the Snowden archive, publishing over 100 stories and partnering with major news organizations, and we continue to fearlessly report on spying by governments and corporations across the globe.

This new lawsuit shows that the government remains determined to silence whistleblowers and journalists. As attacks on press freedom continue to mount, The Intercept increasingly depends on the financial support of our readers.
At The Intercept, we take pride in pursuing fierce, adversarial investigative journalism that holds the powerful accountable.

We know that a lot of people in power don’t like our journalism — and that’s a big part of what makes it so time-consuming and expensive. Because lives and livelihoods are at stake, we have to take legal, security, and technological precautions far beyond those of many other news organizations.

Over the last few months, the threats to our reporting have only grown. Our team here in Brazil has received death threats, and the president himself has publicly threatened to imprison me. Meanwhile, sources have recently told us that a team including ex-NSA operatives discussed hacking The Intercept’s computer systems on behalf of the government of the United Arab Emirates.

We don’t run ads at The Intercept. We’re a nonprofit. Our goal is to be supported by as many of our readers as possible, because we know that the best way to have truly independent journalism is to depend on those who read it.
Glenn Greenwald
Co-founding Editor of The Intercept

“Permanent Record” by Dick Bennett
     What does the title mean?   His publisher provides no Index.  Snowden has no chapter entitled the title.  So one must read carefully.  His first reference is on p. 56.  When he was age thirteen, and learning how to evade his school assignments, one teacher cautioned him to do his best because his grades will follow him for the rest of his life.  “You have to start thinking about your permanent record.”  Perhaps his main theme—the meaning of a permanent record in individual and national life-- is thus introduced so casually you might miss it.  Snowden writes this book like a novel.  
      The second time he refers to “permanent record” is p. 96 during his recollections of “growing up online” and his account of being interviewed for a government job that required a background check for a security clearance.  On the desk of the official interviewing him was “a giant folder labeled PERMANENT RECORD.”    Flashing through his mind were all his chat logs and casual posts, all his “supremely moronic commentary” he’d written when he was a kid, and he “wasn’t that kid anymore.”    What to do about being “so inextricably, technologically bound to a past that I fully regretted but barely remembered,” becomes inextricably bound to his “growing up online.”
      On p. 168, he makes his third direct reference to “permanent record,” in a paragraph on “deduplication and constant improvements in storage technology” by the National Security Agency.   “. . .the agency’s ultimate dream, which is permanency—to store all of the files it has ever collected or produced for perpetuity, and so create a perfect memory.  The permanent record.”  “…until it was useful” (my bold).
     That’s all the direct references I found, if I did watch for them as closely in the remaining 168 pp.   Instead, Snowden’s examination of the NSA broadened and deepened until entire chapters (22, 24) are devoted to understanding the NSA and his reactions to the increasingly troubling discoveries about his employer.  If you were to “find out about even a fraction of the malfeasance, you had to go searching.  And to go searching, you had to know that it existed,” you had to understand the system of mass surveillance. 
      This is the core drive of the second half of Snowden’s story, in which other elements are intertwined.   As he grows in knowledge of the surveillance system, he grows in understanding the US political system and himself.  And it’s a love story, for he enjoyed the good fortune of a loving, loyal, and forgiving partner, Lindsay Mills.   
         The structure of the book is that of the
Bildungsroman, a novel dealing with one person's formative years of intellectual and spiritual education.  It’s a distinguished tradition, developing from the seventeenth eighteenth centuries, flowering in the nineteenth, and countless in the twenty and twenty-first.

My first tech advice, thanks to Flint Woods.  Too many links will cause Word to block your message.  He advises including no more than 20.

Contents:  Snowden Newsletter #8, September 18, 2016
Oliver Stone’s Film, Snowden
Review of Film by Stephen Farber (Hollywood Reporter), NADG (Sept. 16,
     2016), and Dick’s Comments
Greenberg’s Critique of the Film, Dick’s Comments
Google Search

Greenwald and Poitras on Snowden
Greenwald, No Place to Hide
Poitras, Citizenfour

Obama Should Pardon Snowden?
Holder’s View of Snowden 5-31-16
Democracy Now Debate in Two Parts: Should Snowden Be Pardoned?  Could
     He Receive a Fair Trial under the Espionage Act?
ACLU’s Ben Wizner Interview, “A Pardon for Snowden” It Must Be

Whistleblowers and Leakers for the Sake of Honest, Just Government
Mark Hertsgaard’s New Book, Bravehearts: Whistle-Blowing in the Age of
Hertsgaard, The Nation, Pentagon’s Broken Whistleblower System
Moyers’ Morning Reads:  “A Second Snowden,” Leaked Documents Reveal
     Drone Secrets

END SNOWDEN NEWSLETTER #9, October 13, 2019

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