Mr. Snowden, It’s Time to Come Out and Take a Stand Publicly as to Your Intentions

When It Comes to Whistleblowing, Integrity & Purity of Intentions Matter Most

A week ago I began writing a series of commentaries on significant consequences and conflicts of interest associated with Glenn Greenwald, his new PayPal billionaire boss, and the ownership and commoditization of the 50,000-page incriminating documents obtained and released by NSA’s Edward Snowden. In my series I solely focused on serious ethical questions and consequential conflicts of interest matters that have remained unasked and unanswered with regards to the recent joint venture between Greenwald and Omidyar, dubious and lucrative book and movie deals with mainstream corporations under the premise of exclusive document release, and our government’s sudden and unexplained change in its stand and modus operandi.

Up to this point I have left the topic of Mr. Edward Snowden pretty much untouched, and here is why.

To date, after six months of intense and nonstop mainstream media coverage of the Snowden-NSA topic, very little is known about Mr. Snowden himself, and this includes his real intentions and objectives, the nature and details of his deals and agreements with members of the press-including those made with Glenn Greenwald, and his position on the latest developments, which include the exclusive business deal struck between Greenwald and billionaire Omidyar, million dollar book and movie deals made based on exclusive publication of some of the leaked documents, and the highly mysterious change of position in the government’s stand and response in the midst of all the publicity and commoditization of the controversial leaked NSA cache.

During the past six months I have been asked more than a hundred times by the media and general public where I stand on this Snowden-NSA case. My response, up to this point, so far, has been rather vague and generalized:

I consider whistleblowers who risk everything to raise public awareness and publicize criminality heroes; true heroes. I have always admired and supported real whistleblowers-those who have sacrificed and put everything at risk for the public’s benefit, good, and people’s right to know. These courageous individuals need our support and backing.

As for Mr. Snowden, for me it is still too early to form a concrete opinion and or pass judgment. Because there’s so much we don’t know due to intentional efforts to withhold, obscure, spin, commoditize and misuse the involved facts. Only Mr. Snowden’s public stand and his clear statement in response to the recent convoluted developments can clarify these issues and questions, and bring out the truth. Only then I, as a whistleblower, can form and express a concrete opinion and position.  

The position stated above sums up my current opinion and answer on Mr. Snowden. However, now, after I have put forth serious questions and implications involved in how this so-called whistleblowing matter is being handled and misused, with all the public confusion and polarization these questions are causing, I must insist and invite Mr. Snowden to come out publicly and address these matters personally, and in a straight-forward and truthful fashion. That is, if Mr. Snowden considers himself a whistleblower and expects the public to view and respect him as such.

Asking and demanding this from Mr. Snowden is not due to some preposterous arrogance or hubris on my part. The main reason for my public demand has to do with the future of whistleblowing and whistleblowers. As I have said repeatedly and consistently for twelve years, all it takes is one case where a deed and a person driven by opportunism and dark ulterior motives becomes known and publicized as a whistleblower to bring down all good whistleblowing and whistleblowers. It boils down to the concept of ‘only one bad apple.’ Why?

Whistleblowers already suffer tremendous pressure and stigma due to the characterization and marginalization put forth and circulated by the establishment and mainstream media. Unfortunately, to date, many people have been molded to view whistleblowers as disgruntled traitors and unpatriotic. Just ask Ellsberg, Manning and Drake, and they will tell you. I could tell you as well. Now, in the midst of our struggle to change this paradigm manufactured and marketed by the establishment, if we get a highly publicized case under the whistleblower brand, and if that case proves to be not whistleblowing but gross opportunism and a deceptive deed, then we all suffer: current and past whistleblowers, future whistleblowers, and of course the public at large with their right to know.

That’s right. That gives me, as a whistleblower and someone who represents whistleblowers, the right to ask and invite Mr. Snowden to come forward and truthfully respond to the following questions:

  1. What was your foremost intention for making the decision to obtain thousands of documents that implicated the United States government?
  2. What was your foremost intention for actually taking the action following your decision, and obtaining those documents?
  3. At the time, when you were obtaining the documents, did you target particular categories of implicating documents, or did you just grab everything you could?
    1. If you vetted the documents, or the specific categories of documents, beforehand, and then went about obtaining them, then why would you ask journalists to vet and make personal judgments on which ones to release or which ones to withhold permanently?
    2. If you didn’t vet the documents prior to obtaining them, and if you asked particular journalists to vet them and decide what to release and what to withhold, did you make any demands to ensure that you were part of that vetting process and that they had to have your consent?
    3. If you didn’t vet the documents prior to obtaining them, and if you asked particular journalists to vet them and decide what to release and what to withhold, did you also asked them to have meetings with U.S. and U.K. government agencies, and have those who were actually implicated in your documents call the shots on what to withhold and what to release?
  4. Did you provide Glenn Greenwald with your explicit consent and authorization to make decisions on what to release and what to withhold? If so, was this in writing? If so, why and how did you make that decision?
    1. For example: Mr. Greenwald entered in a contractual agreement with a mainstream corporate publisher to withhold certain documents only to include them exclusively in his coming book in return for millions of dollars. Did you sanction this decision? Do you find this action justified and reasonable?
  5. Did you provide Mr. Greenwald with your explicit consent to strike a business venture with a corporation that is a known cooperative partner of the NSA in a $250 million deal? Did you authorize Mr. Greenwald to withhold 99% of the documents and transfer their ownership to the corporate news entity owned by PayPal’s Pierre Omidyar? If yes, when and how did you provide your consent and approval? What was your reasoning for sanctioning and or authorizing this transfer of document ownership, and to withhold the vast majority of these documents from the public and its right to know?
  6. Do you believe it is reasonable, justified and acceptable that the person you gave the ownership of these documents to is commoditizing and profiting from these documents that are considered classified and stolen by the United States government, yet were considered by you as evidence to which the people have the right to know about?
    1. If yes, then, do you believe that it is acceptable and correct for entities who obtain classified and incriminating government documents to market these documents as commodities, and offer them to the highest bidders, whether the bidder is the government, or a corporation, or a book publisher?
    2. If your answer to above question (a) is yes, then, do you believe you are also entitled to benefit and profit from the sale and censorship of these documents?
  7. Have you made any venture deals or entered into any contract with Mr. Greenwald where you will receive a cut from the millions of dollars that are being obtained by him in return for publication and withholding certain portions of the NSA documents?
    1. If yes, when, where and how?
    2. If yes, then, does your flexibility on the sale and commoditization of stolen and classified government documents also extend to foreign government entities?
  8. This appears to be the first case labeled and categorized as a whistleblowing case where a leak is being commoditized at a value of hundreds of millions of dollars by corporations such as PayPal, Book publishers and Hollywood studios. Could you provide us with your general stand, principles and values with regard to leaking and disclosing for political and profit motives?

I have several other questions for Mr. Snowden, but I believe answering the ones listed above will suffice to help us understand his true intentions, motives and the facts behind what has been taking place in the last six months. I don’t believe I am alone in wanting to ask Mr. Snowden these questions and strongly invite and encourage him to answer them frankly, honestly, and truthfully. I believe millions of Americans want these answers, and are entitled to these answers.

I hope we, the whistleblowers, and the public, will receive a complete and truthful public response to the questions posed in this invitation to Mr. Snowden. The facts, Mr. Snowden’s honest and straight forward answers, will go a long way to clear the current smoke and doubt-filled atmosphere. The truth will set us all free. At least in this highly convoluted case with serious and grave consequences for all whistleblowers and the people alike.

# # # #
Related articles in this series:

Green-Light for Greenwald: Government Duplicity or Government Duality?

Greenwald-Omidyar Venture: Blurring Lines Between Being A Source & Being A Journalist

Greenwald Goes on Record: “I Don’t Doubt PayPal Cooperates with NSA!”

BFP Report- Omidyar’s PayPal Corporation Said To Be Implicated in Withheld NSA Documents

Checkbook Journalism & Leaking to the Highest Bidder

Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman's Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

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  1. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Mr. Snowden made an effort to communicate with Mrs. Edmonds directly. Something tells me it won’t happen 😉

    • Excellent article Sibel!

      Now we are really getting to the heart of the matter.
      No beating around the bush.
      Great line of questions.

      I hope Snowden will reply in some way or other.

  2. I don’t think you’re going to get an answer from Snowden anytime soon… He’s laying low and probably should remain incommunicado until he’s more secure in his person, given reports of British/U.S. intel being in hot pursuit. He will likely remain an enigma for some time to come.

    I would remind that you were an enigma for many years Sibel due to the state secrets privilege ruling, and much of what you knew was not disclosed until many years later, some of it not until very recently (in the Gladio B series of interviews with James Corbett), and there are still things you haven’t entirely revealed yet -e.g. who exactly were those U.S. officials who met with Zawahiri and Bandar in Baku in the late ’90s? I’m not suggesting that you should tell all now, because I’m sure you have good reasons for incrementally revealing what you know. The same understanding should be granted to Snowden however. I would wager that he’s probably less than happy with some of the decisions Greenwald and Poitras have made, particularly with the Omidyar deal since, at the very least, it just looks bad… At the same time, he probably doesn’t want to burn his bridges to them just yet because, if it’s true that he did not retain copies of the docs, then they are holding all the cards right now…

  3. Sibel, I think you are asking the right questions. I also think we may be dealing, perhaps, a rabbit and the fox scenario. No matter what we think of Snowden, whether pro or con, we are engaged in a process for truth courtesy of Snowden. That truth is not static as most understand it. It evolves and has benefactors. It is ballistic and is subject to the conventional wisdom which defines the human specie. I believe that Snowden’s “apocalypse” (Greek for unveiling) is concomitant on more levels than we realize. I believe that Cyber Warfare is dealing with this issue in the strongest possible terms and NEED what you call the SILENT MAJORITY to engage in EAR (Emergency Action Response). The guidance which is needed by those who are are part of the National Security apparatus still believe in the constitution contrary to popular belief. Let us be very careful not to marginalize them wholesale. I do not think for one moment that you have fallen victim to the dialectic by the very manner in which you question Snowden’s motives and the surveillance state. Again, you are asking the right questions and this should be embraced.

  4. metrobusman says:

    Great work.

  5. OK, I think this will be my last comment on this issue until anything changes. I applaud Sibel’s efforts to shed more light on what’s going on with Snowden, Greenwald, and Omidyar. If I appear to be critical here sometimes, I can only hope it’s clear that it’s because I care about the issues and about Sibel, so they are “friendly fire” criticisms. If I didn’t feel the comfort of friendship here I would never presume to criticize.

    And I’m not trying to defend Greenwald or anybody else or be naive or optimistic. I note that I’ve confronted Greenwald directly myself by trying to ask pertinent questions in a respectful manner. As a result, we have his statement: “I have no doubt PayPal cooperates with NSA.”

    My concern is about blowing away all the smoke on any side of this issue, all the innuendo, all the supposition, all the conjecture and speculation, and try to get at what can simply be known to be true.

    One last time: I think Sibel is brilliant for pointing out the warning signs so clearly and for raising all the right questions.

    Here’s the “however” part: As Sibel wisely notes, credibility is everything to a whistleblower. I’m concerned that by going beyond the available facts, or misstating the facts, years and years worth of hard-won credibility can be severely damaged in a matter of days. Please correct me if I’m wrong about any of the following:

    — You imply that Greenwald met with US and UK government agencies, without acknowledging that he has denied this. The Guardian has met with government agencies. Greenwald says he’s never done that in his life. If you’re going to assert it anyway, i.e., accuse him of lying, that needs to be explicitly acknowledged and, I would think, backed by evidence.

    — Agreed to withhold documents in order to publish them in his book. This would appear to be stretching the truth, or spinning it a certain way. It’s more accurate to say his deal was to include unpublished material. There’s a difference. With only 1% of 50,000 documents published, it’s not like he has to try very hard to “withhold” the rest of it for the book. There’s clearly plenty to go around.

    — Transfer ownership of documents to Omidyar? Given that he continues to publish things in The Guardian as recently as a couple of days ago, this is clearly not true. Agreeing to participate in a venture with somebody is not the same as giving them ownership of everything you have. I’ve seen no evidence to back your assertion here. Somebody correct me if I missed something, but this appears to be a particularly egregious misstatement.

    Those are the sorts of things that backfire on you. They don’t impugn Greenwald’s integrity, they just look like sloppy accusations that reflect most poorly on the accuser. You may be exactly right in every single case but as of the present moment they are best characterized as presumptive leaps, yes, based on your considerable prior experience, but assumptions nonetheless. Not facts. I’m sorry to say it and I won’t repeat it, but I urge a bit of treading more carefully if it’s not already too late. Not because I care for Greenwald. Because I care for BFP and everyone associated with it.

  6. Snowden’s most recent interview – w/ Time… – doesn’t answer your questions, but gives something of an idea of how he viewed the role of journalists in this affair…

  7. roadlink2u says:

    Thank you sibel for expressing my view on the matter. I trusted Glenn to do the right thing . I see why they say everybody has a price. Money can corrupt some who had good intentions. Please keep up the great work you are doing .

  8. BennyB-DoubleD says:

    I’m glad you wrote this. Getting Snowden’s response at this point is the most logical and necessary step (IMO). One of my only real concerns is that if he’s compromised in some manner where he’s unable to comment fully on any of these questions. I’m not sure what those circumstances would be, but if we put him under intense scrutiny and he’s a genuine whistleblower but he can’t confirm it for some reason I would feel pretty terrible. You probably have some sense of this already, but it’s something that’s on my mind right now.

    • Good points, Benny. Maybe something, some response, through Wikileaks? Because Harrison spent several months with him in Russia- they are the ones who are supposedly watching out for him.

      Speaking of Harrison: She seems to be carrying out her part with integrity. As a person who spent all that time with Snowden (Airport Transit, etc.), defending him, etc. I haven’t seen her selling herself to MSM or in any way milking this for cash. Any input/ideas on this? Anyone?

      • BennyB-DoubleD says:

        What about Radack, Rowley, McGovern, and Drake? They visited him in Russia when they delivered the Sam Adam’s award. I don’t recall who they coordinated that trip with, or whether that was disclosed.

        • The Time article I linked above (via Cryptome) goes into the precautions they took during the visit (didn’t bring their cell-phones/laptops, took the “white van” ride to the location), however there still would have been enough info gathered from their contacts to inferentially zero in on likely candidates of his location through “contact chaining” – even though they didn’t bring their cells with them, the communications made in setting up the meeting presumably would have been enough to ID contacts on the Russian side – how close they actually are to ID’ing his current location however is anybody’s guess .

          Here’s what Wayne Madsen reported on the subject…

          “Last month, Snowden met with four other American national whistleblowers — Ray McGovern, formerly of the CIA; Colleen Rowley, formerly with the FBI; former NSA official Tom Drake, and former Justice Department prosecutor Jesselyn Radack — met with Snowden at an undisclosed location in Moscow. The four Americans traveled to Moscow to present Snowden with the Sam Adams Award for Integrity and Intelligence.

          After the receipt by Snowden of the award, British MI-6 case officers assigned to the British embassy in Moscow began using NSA and GCHQ “contact chaining” intelligence gathered from surveillance of Facebook and other social networking systems to0 identify Snowden’s location. The contact chaining began with the Facebook, Twitter, as well as phone call metadata, information derived from the four American visitors to Moscow. In turn, their contacts in Moscow were identified, thus expanding the chain used to determine Snowden’s location and daily schedule…”

          • BennyB-DoubleD says:

            Thanks ROro, that’s interesting. It’s difficult to figure out what’s going on with Russia. Putin’s conditions for Snowden’s asylum, I believe it was that he (Snowden) had to agree not to leak any additional information was; let’s say “cordial” towards the Obama administration, but as was the case with China, not handing over Snowden wasn’t the ‘F-you’ statement that some of the MSM jackasses were trying to portray it as, but it was no less a statement. So I don’t think the CIA or the MI-6 have free reign to do whatever they want (not that it’s implied in what you posted), but they obviously are going to make their best attempts to keep tabs on Snowden’s contacts.

  9. I want to share a famous passage from a NYTimes article written by American journalist Ron Suskind.
    Suskind writes:
    “Bush’s senior adviser said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    I feel that this is what’s going on right now in regards to the Snowden affair. Actions are being made that are going to dictate our reality, whilst we are kept in the dark as to the specifics about this guy. We sit here “judiciously studying” the few confirmed facts that have been carefully spoon-fed to us thus far, and in doing so we’ve brushed aside the red-flags that have been going up ever since Snowden appeared on the scene. It has been pretty clear to me from the get-go that Snowden is not the real whistleblower that he purports to be, and I don’t feel like any further comment by him is necessary in order to draw this conclusion. Snowden appears to be a prime example of one who advocates “working within the system for change”, and I feel that I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt with this assessment. My true suspicions about this guy are a bit less optimistic. I’ll spare you those for now.


    • BennyB-DoubleD says:

      Oh yeah, that was Karl Rove right? I hear what you’re saying Amanda. I think your suspicions are well warranted. I didn’t have a problem verbally putting the smackdown on Greenwald. But I definitely want to give Snowden the benefit of the doubt until I have reason to believe otherwise.


      • Karl Rove, that’s it! I could not remember the name but it was on the tip of my tongue and driving me nuts. Thank you


      • That is how i feel as well. However It does seem that when things absolutely have to work just right -they do. In terms of the government keeping a lid on some things and keeping all the puns in line until the correct sequence of event takes place and a desirable result is achieved. Then, Every now and again there is this absolute mess and a complete screw-up on the government’s side and things just spiral out of control. Snowden is alive and well in Russia, he got there in one piece and the Russians seem to give him enough space to receive an award from his fellow whistle-blowers…I was skeptical from day one on the true long term play of this guy’s message. Maybe this “leak” was nothing more then a planed chain of events designed to prepare us for the slow but consistent “Re modelling” of our collective consciousness?
        [I was lucky enough to be born during the last years of the soviet union and raised by parents how knew nothing else till their mid twenties-the effects of remodeling the Collective consciousness is something I grew up with-It is a very powerful tool. Thus i do not discount THAT as the true reason behind these Leaks…. I really hope I am wrong about this….]

    • I look at it as a question about whether or not the leaked documents are “real”, not whether or not Snowden is. I can point to the positive effects of the leaked documents, namely the additional information divulged by Russian Tice, who specifically cited Snowden’s leak as inspiration for divulging it. Also, I think the value of having hard evidence of rampant spying on everybody has far outweighed any supposed psyop scare tactics, IMHO.

      • Sorry, I meant “Russ” Tice, not “Russian”. My damn phone got a system upgrade recently and it turned back on the auto-correct feature of my keyboard. I will fix that!

      • @Xicha
        I hear what you’re saying, but I think that those few good effects you note were unintentional and minute in comparison to the real damage that I foresee the Snowden affair resulting in. Think about it: Russ Tice’s information may be of significance to us, but will it have any effect on the public at large? or will it be just another drop in the bucket that ends up brushing right over the collective hive-mind of the public? I’m not trying to downplay his contribution here, but look at it from the “actors'” perspective. Furthermore, does it really matter how authentic the documents are if 99% of them will never see the light of day?


        • Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Let’s remember that we’re building a case for prosecution and hard evidence is necessary.

          Regarding the psyops suggestion, they’ve got Hollywood already and we are surrounded by as much propaganda as they wish anytime they wish. This was a totally unnecessary move for propaganda.

          Anyway, at least HARVEST what we can.

    • That quote by Rove was very revealing; maybe more revealing than he even realized. It goes along with William Casey’s famous quote:

      “We’ll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false”.

      • Indeed it was… I’d earlier thought about citing it in another respect, in order to characterize the “limited hangout” journalists like Greenwald who really are merely ‘judiciously studying’ what the “Masters of Reality” have created. They are however one step behind all of the time, because they refuse to examine honestly the “act of creation” itself. In other words, until you get down to the big enchilada – the deep politics behind 9/11 and the like – you’re really going nowhere.

        • letfreedomringrh says:

          9-11 is truly the litmus test. If Greenwald is willing to use “9-11Truther” as a pejorative to insult Sibel (she stated correctly that we wear the term as a badge of honor – along with “birther I might add) and if Greenwald won’t publicly proclaim his position on the events of 9-11, then he is not a “9-11 truther” which makes him a 9-11 liar. If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice (Rush) and you support the 9-11 liars by default and cannot escape culpability in the cover-up – it’s that simple – Greenwald can’t be trusted. That’s not to say Snowden can’t be trusted – not yet anyway. Great work Sibel!

          • donilo252525 says:

            Well said! While the use of “Conspiracy Theorist” as a perjorative goes way back, 9/11 marked a steep escalation of both its use and its effectiveness. Utilizing techniques revealed so clearly in Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine,” the perpetrators of 9/11 had their entire propaganda program ready to go after the shock and awe of the WTC murder spree. “Conspiracy Theorist” was one of their chief propaganda weapons at the start, and has continued to be effective 12 years after the event..

            And so I agree that 9/11 is indeed a true test for those who espouse to be revealers of the truth in many areas of our current totalitarian state of being. With that piece of lying idiocy (the administration’s own Conspiracy Theory) planted firmly in the path of any sensible discussions or arguments we will continue to find it impossible to make significant headway. I still feel that continued pressure to rip open the lies given to us by the government and media is vital to a successful formation of a revolution and reversal of the bloody coup that opened the floodgates for countless abuse, torture and murder.

            Viva Sibel!

      • Revealing indeed. In his hubris, Rove might have let on too much.


  10. BennyB-DoubleD says:

    It seems quite possible that this was a feeler; turning the heat up a couple notches to see how many frogs respond or jump out the pot. If that’s the case, the lack of reaction wasn’t a good sign. But I guess that’s what we’re here for, right? I have some thoughts about what might be more persuasive talking points might make some people more aware of the heat, but I need to stop letting myself get distracted right now. If I don’t start exercising some restraint, replies at BFP might become my productive demise…

  11. samadams73 says:

    Well, well, well… seems Mr. Snowden can get his ideas out to the “world” within moments (or hours at minimum).

    No mistake, the burden is now strongly upon Greenwald/Snowden to provide answers asap, and every hour they delay, the more they lack seriousness.

    • Not necessarily – did he mention the judge by name? Snowden may have set up a “Brian O’Blivion” type of arrangement with Greenwald, so that when certain events of a type occur, there may be pre-scripted statements ready for release…

      • If Snowden was strategic enough to plan his moves that far ahead of the game then surely he would have also thought to set-up certain protective measures when handing over the cache to ensure that 99% of the documents didn’t go to waste. Just a thought.


    • Snowden’s comments came through Greenwald. Can Snowden make a public statement without Greenwald, or does Greenwald own him?

  12. carolcrumlish says:

    Thank you, Sibel, for once again producing an outstanding piece–direct, precise, relevant.

  13. I believe millions of Americans want these answers, and are entitled to these answers.

    Please..Do not leave us in europe Alone…

    Best Regards,,,


    • For me, one of the most interesting parts of the recent Rolling Stone article was when they revealed Snowden’s initial plan for the documents. When he first met with Greenwald and Poitras in Hong Kong he told them his plan was to release the docs on a website he had created.
      Greenwald talked him out of it.
      I’d like to know what Greenwald’s reasoning was and Snowden’s reaction to it.

  14. 18 May 1993 EU Riots of Copenhagen

    Thank your Alll…


    18 of may 1993..

    Kind Regards,,,

  16. in 18 May Riots of Copenhagen
    1993 of may…


  17. donilo252525 says:

    There are so many excellent ideas brought forward here, both in the article and in the responses, that I feel as if I’m imbedded in a total-dream environment! A definition of dreams that I hold as central to their existence is that they are syncretic – at the same time they possess huge numbers of differing meanings and levels of those meanings. All of these meanings and levels can be “correct” or “incorrect,” leaving one with making a choice based upon whatever perceptions are held within the observer – including the dreamer him/her self.

    I applaud all your efforts to sift through this vast conglamorate of images and meanings to help make it more comprehensible.

    As for our parasitic, hubris-filled Mr. Rove, he too will be flushed down the toilet, having lived his entire existence within the dark intestines to which he attached himself so many years ago. He may consider himself “ahead” of everyone else, but that is true only in the sense that, as a parasite, he beat us all to his “intestine-of-choce.”

    • He didn’t beat me, as I was never in the race to begin with. ;D


      • donilo252525 says:

        LOL! Yes, his sense of “winning the race” is based entirely upon his limited view of life’s “prizes.”

        • Mark Green says:

          Well well. That was quick!
          Snowden has come out today, but didn’t address any issues brought up by Sibel.

          • The full letter originally here…

            He says ‘six months ago’ -it was in early June when his ID was revealed, we are now in mid-Dec. He may have written that last week before the Paypal scoop. Or not – in any case he’s not going to want to burn his bridges to the only people who still retain the entire cache…

          • Let me engage in a little more analysis here…

            “My greatest fear was that no one would listen to my warning. Never have I been so glad to have been so wrong. The reaction in certain countries has been particularly inspiring to me, and Brazil is certainly one of those. ”

            Whatever he may think of Greenwald now over the Omidyar deal, he was pleasantly surprised at the world-wide outrage, particularly from Dilma Roussef who has been the most vocal of world leaders in opposition, and not just with words; Brazil is in the process of severing its communications from reliance on U.S. companies and their infrastructure.

            “I have expressed my willingness to assist wherever appropriate and lawful, but unfortunately the United States government has worked very hard to limit my ability to do so –going so far as to force down the Presidential Plane of Evo Morales to prevent me from traveling to Latin America!
            Until a country grants permanent political asylum, the US government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak. ”

            In spite of the communications he has been able to get out, he is acknowledging that his voice is somewhat muted.

            “Only three weeks ago, Brazil led the United Nations Human Rights Committee to recognize for the first time in history that privacy does not stop where the digital network starts, and that the mass surveillance of innocents is a violation of human rights. ”

            OK that was exactly three weeks (minus a day) ago… Nov. 28:

            It would appear then that he is able to communicate in real time. So much for my “Brian O’Blivian” theory (but if you’ve never seen David Cronenberg’s “Videodrome” check it out; there are also some lines in that film that are oddly anticipatory of Karl Rove’s infamous words quoted above).

            I do hope however that Sibel will give Snowden the benefit of the doubt, in spite of his silence to her questions. Again, remember that he is at Greenwald/Poitras’s mercy as far as access to the files is concerned. It may be that this appeal for permanent asylum in Brazil is made so that he can have the opportunity to confront Greenwald in person about the Omidyar deal…

          • “Death to Videodrome! Long live the new flesh!” 😉

  18. From the SANS Institute:

    –Federal Judge Rules NSA’s Phone Metadata Gathering May be Unconstitutional
    (December 16, 2013)
    A US federal judge in Washington DC has ruled that the NSA’s massive
    collection of phone metadata may be unconstitutional. Judge Richard Leon
    of the US District Court for the District of Columbia wrote that the
    plaintiffs have “a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of
    their Fourth Amendment claim,” in challenging the constitutionality of
    the NSA’s surveillance program, which slurps up data on calls, including
    those made to and from US citizens. Judge Leon has granted a motion for
    a preliminary injunction that would immediately end the NSA’s wholesale
    collection of phone call metadata, but noted that he would stay the
    motion pending a government appeal.
    Judge Leon’s Ruling:
    [Editor’s Note (Murray): Perhaps more significant than the ruling is
    that someone finally got a court to consider the question.
    (Honan): This ruling applies only to the constitutional rights of US
    citizens. It does not have any effect on the privacy rights of those of
    us who live outside of the United States.]

  19. BennyB-DoubleD says:

    I revisited this post thinking people were probably getting a few laughs or comments on 60 Minutes NSA muppet show. 60 minutes is really just going from strength to strength with this one. For those of you who haven’t watched it or don’t intend to (I thought it was pretty funny though…) I’ll leave you with a soundbite you ought to at least get a chuckle out of, courtesy of our dear friend Keith Alexander:

    “The fact is, we’re not collecting everybody’s email,” he told CBS News correspondent John Miller. “We’re not collecting everybody’s phone things, we’re not listening to that. Our job is foreign intelligence, and we’re very good at that.”

    Hopefully they’re better at it than they are at lying about it.

    I’m relieved they’re not checking my “phone things” though!!!

  20. BennyB-DoubleD says:

    News flash:
    I was about to post the previous and this is totally unrelated to this story, but I believe will be of some relevance to the BFP community…

    I haven’t bothered to discontinue random occasional emails from twitter, so I just noticed this link is something that’s “trending” :

    It’s called “The Fall of the House of Tsarnaev” and I’ve only breezed over a couple of pages – It’s this bizarre ‘artistic’ presentation with a painted portrait of the family that looks like the sort of “art” you see on the wall of a Papgino’s Pizza chain. It would be funny, but this doesn’t look funny at all. This story definitely hasn’t dropped off my radar and it hasn’t ceased to bother me… I’ll let some of you take a look maybe I’m overreacting, but something about this stinks. I’ll have to come back to this…

    • I’ve perused that very large article a little bit myself. And on first blush, it strikes me as more mythmaking to prop up the story that the two brothers were the bombers. I’ll have to come back to it as well.

      • BennyB-DoubleD says:

        I know this is still off topic, but if you’re not interested you can just ignore it.

        I couldn’t really stand to read through any of it but I’ll paste a quote from the last part:
        As the magistrate asked Jahar to plead to the first of the charges he faced, his high school friends expected to hear the Jahar they knew: the former wrestling team captain who knew how to speak respectfully, if sometimes disingenuously, to authorities.

        But Jahar answered in a voice no one had ever heard from him before, speaking with the distinct accent of a new Russian immigrant.

        “Not guilty,” he said firmly, over and over again.

        Why is this significant? I watched the actual news clip where the classmate was interviewed briefly and he said he didn’t think it was actually Jahar, but he wasn’t allowed to get close enough to actually see his face.

        I can’t say with any certainty whether it’s him or it’s not, but I think that’s the point: no one really can. His family certainly can’t, aside from good old uncle Ruslan, who James Corbett did an excellent job uncovering in his eye opener report: “Who’s Graham Fuller?” and Sibel has also discussed the significance of the players involved in great detail (I believe it was part of the Gladio B series). We have only heard a portrayal of family members as hysterical foreigners who can’t accept reality. What their mother expressed about this seeming to be a setup, with the FBI having been monitoring her older son for years (I won’t go into detail here) has barely been discussed. The embarrassing fact that Russian authorities had warned the FBI about their concerns on Tamerlan’s suspicious travels was only reluctantly addressed as one of these ‘oh, we failed to connect the dots’ scenarios. As Sibel has commented on numerous times, the failing to connect the dots cover story is usually about as cheap and credible as the cover stories on the tabloids you see at the supermarket checkout. Unfortunately we have a public who accepts these idiotic cover stories we get every time the agencies that are supposed to protect us “drop the ball”. These situations aren’t “dropping the ball”, they’re throwing the ball intending to break someone’s window, then sheepishly picking it up after missing their target and knocking over a flower pot that crashes down on a fruit stand, killing the owner, and injuring several customers.

        The Marathon Bombing and all the other absurd anomalies surrounding the incident has probably disturbed me more than any incident since 9-11. To see this travesty of justice roll out in real time, where the media have free reign, not just to trash the bomber, oh yeah, I meant the suspect, on the assumption that he’s guilty, when the video footage suggesting their guilt is flimsy at best, but to take cheap shots at the whole family disgusts me. I’m a strong believer in “innocent until proven guilty” and this is supposed to be part of the fabric of the United States’ criminal justice system, but like so many constitutional rights it’s been cheapened to the point where it’s just a motto, or credo, instead of the law of the land.

        It’s pretty obvious that the older brother was implicated in associations with some dubious characters, but at who’s behest? The whole scenario reeks of a Gladio dynamic and when I see people in the streets shouting “USA” after a lockdown of a city in Boston, basically because the police were on a rampage of blood lust in response to the killed MIT officer and were so incompetent at catching the suspect that the streets were virtually turned into a set for a Chuck Norris movie makes me feel sick. The part that disturbed me more than anything though, was seeing militarized police searching peoples homes, essentially without their consent. If you can’t even be secure in your own home from these kinds of abuses, that’s something that frightens me more than any act of terrorism, however bad they may be.

        • Thank you, Benny. I’m not a supporter of going off-topic on a thread, but I’m 101% in agreement with you on the Boston Bombing story. The only person doing any real investigation is Russ Baker at WhoWhatWhy, It’s off the radar everywhere else, including BFP. I live a few blocks away from the bombing site and was born one house away from where Dzhokhar dumped the SUV, so it’s also a very personal tragedy for me. Sibel and Pepe promised to revisit this story in two weeks after they talked….., that was seven months ago. So send Russ Baker some money cuz he’s still all over it — asking tough questions and digging for answers. And take heart, many among your average Joe here know there is something seriously wrong with the story. The local cops can’t and won’t talk, but they, too, know something’s fishy…

          • BennyB-DoubleD says:

            Thanks Mgrdichian. I’m not a fan of going off topic either, but I didn’t see another good option for sharing the information and I felt compelled to do so on the grounds that it was relevant to the BFP community. So I appreciate your feedback. Peter B had Russ Baker on Processing Distortion, so I was made aware of his work through that podcast. I live in Boston as well, so being in the midst of a public reaction that felt wrong at every turn of events, particularly in the aftermath had a pretty profound affect on me. It was also troubling to me to be among friends and family who didn’t seem to be appropriately alarmed about the ‘police state’ elements. I’ll leave it at that though, but once again, I appreciate the response.


    • But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
      Assailed the monarch’s high estate.

    • @BennyB-DoubleD
      Don’t take the bait, my friend. Because that’s all that story is. You’re never gonna see any real truth printed in the Boston Globe, unless it’s the type of frivolous truth that doesn’t matter one way or the other.


  21. Demosthenes says:

    It is(was) free in the Kindle store.

    Anyways, he gets the hell out of prison and flies to Brazil.

    He needs a gay black man to die for him, though.

    I think he chose the wrong country for that.

  22. Demosthenes says:

  23. Nice interview on IW Sibel. After the short splash a few days ago, I expected more noise, but it seems to be rather quiet.
    Were we expecting a roundtable on this soon?

  24. andrei_tudor says:

    In light of the lack of public reaction regarding the recently announced contract between Amazon and the CIA (, I can’t help but wonder if this is not due in part to the ample coverage that the Snowden affair has received from the mainstream media. We’ve heard so much about the collaboration between private industry and government recently, that we have become numb to it, and any such cooperation now seems business as usual. I have a feeling that such an announcement would have caused more of a stink in the pre-Snowden days, but of course, that’s just speculation. But to continue that speculation, is it possible that one of the reasons for Snowden-gate (assuming that this is what it is) is that the rich guys (a la Jeff Bezos) wanted to get in on the gravy train coming out of the government, without taking any flak for it?

    • I think you’re right about that, andrei. I would also add that the Snowden coverage probably left the public feeling as though countermeasures were already being taken (by Snowden, as it were) to try to bring down “big brother”, and therefore there was no need for them to get their feathers ruffled about it.


    • Although, I disagree that the motive behind Snowden-gate is about “rich guys wanting to get in on the gravy train”. That’s more of a convenient side-effect.

      • Mark Green says:

        Putin speaks out today on NSA, saying he envies Obama!

        Get away with it is right!
        The Russians would never tolerate such a thing, right Putin?

      • andrei_tudor says:

        The way these things intertwine and overlap, it’s hard to tell which is the cause and which is the effect.

        • I hear ya, but it gets easier and easier to sort through the disinfo the longer you dig through it. Soon you’ll be able to automatically catch contradictions and other inconsistencies, and it’ll be almost like second nature to you.


        • Think of it like this: Characters (such as Greenwald, The Guardian, other media / corporate entities, and possibly — or, in my opinion, definitely — even Snowden himself) are all secondary players (or pawns) whose involvement serves a dual purpose; that being to further their own personal self-interest while at the same time serving as a useful tool for the establishment. The primary player is always going to be an agency of the US gov’t, like the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc. playing from behind the scenes, and the motive will always be multifaceted accomplishing several complex goals at once. The pawns may be financially motivated, but the primary player wants world domination. Pawns are constantly changing but the primary player always remains the same even as the game changes. Make sense?

          • I’d keep the “World Domination” out of it. More like a select few agendas in play by a small portion of players for a short time.

  25. No, because to leave world domination out of it is to miss the forest for the trees. These separate events are not simply isolated instances without rhyme or reason. Each of them is but one of many gradual steps that the US empire is taking toward the end goal of world domination. Because this would be impossible to achieve in one fail swoop – people today wouldn’t stand for it. So instead, the key to success here is to gain total control by way of creeping gradualism; step-by-step so that the majority of people do not catch on until you’ve got them well under your thumb.

    • “You see, one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?—Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.
      But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.”

      This passage is in regards to Nazi Germany, but the same basic strategy is recycled over and over again throughout history — and now we’re seeing it again in the US. If you think that there’s no German/Nazi influence within our gov’t, then I would suggest that you do some research into a CIA operation called “Project Paperclip” as well as the origins of both NASA and The Order of Skull & Bones.

  26. Does anyone else have a nagging feeling that Snowden is actually a native Russian?


    Welp… This would appear to be his indirect response to Sibel.
    I mean, can there be any further doubt at this point that Snowden is tool? I think not.

    • EDIT: “…can there be any further doubt at this point that Snowden is *a* tool?” (is what I meant to say)

    • I don’t think it’s either a direct or indirect response to Sibel.
      He hasn’t addressed any of her questions.

      He has however stated what I mentioned earlier; that his damage has already been done.
      That any future leaks will not be any big surprises, but rather filling in more details.
      That the ball is now in the public’s park.

      • I feel like Snowden is getting undue credit for re-leaking what Barrett Brown had already leaked a couple years prior… after which Barrett (in true *authentic* whistleblower form) was hunted down and prosecuted to the extreme for what he exposed. BB is still in prison, btw. He received a record-breaking 100 year sentence for daring to blow that whistle, and yet here we are congratulating and defending Snowden for what appears to be a false information leak; possibly for the purpose of distracting attention away from what Barrett had exposed (it worked!), which was far more sinister in nature and incredibly thorough (unlike Snowden’s almost laughable power-point on PRISM *ahem* Romas/COIN – Odyssey).

        Just a thought.

        See here:

        • From your link:

          “the private contracting firm HB Gary (a government contracting firm that, incidentally, proposed a plan to spy on and ruin the reputation of the Guardian’s [Glenn] Greenwald)” — are they hiring?

          Nothing in the article denigrating Snowden.

        • Merry Xmas hohum,

          and yet here we are congratulating and defending Snowden for what appears to be a false information leak; possibly for the purpose of distracting attention away from what Barrett had exposed (it worked!), which was far more sinister in nature and incredibly thorough (unlike Snowden’s almost laughable power-point on PRISM *ahem* Romas/COIN – Odyssey).

          Are you saying you think the information Snowden leaked is false? Are documents fake because they are created with Power Point?

          • No, what makes them fake in my mind is that Snowden’s information and Barrett’s information cover the same subject, yet the facts are not consistent between the two leaks. What the information on BB’s Project PM site refers to as “Romas/COIN – Odyssey”, is now being referred to as “PRISM” in Snowden’s power-point. Well, which one is it? Snowden’s information, if it were true, should be able to corroborate the facts on Project PM… and yet instead it tells a completely different story. One that is far less sinister. Seeing the manner in which both Barrett and Hastings (RIP) were dealt with by the FBI and in the media tells me that they must have struck gold as far as truth goes. Snowden, not so much. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: From day one, nothing about this guy or his leak has seemed legit.

            PS Merry Christmas to you too Xicha!
            Speaking of xmas, I gave my two 13 year old nieces hardback copies of Howard Zinn’s book The History of American Empire (which is told in comic book illustration format). Sadly, they were too obsessed with their shiny new iPhones to care about books …much less books on the subject of history. Sigh… =/

          • “What the information on BB’s Project PM site refers to as “Romas/COIN – Odyssey”, is now being referred to as “PRISM” in Snowden’s power-point.

            and yet instead it tells a completely different story. One that is far less sinister.”

            Thank you for pointing this out, Amanda. And thanks to Xicha for asking the right question. This is a very specific point of contention, and I intend to educate myself on that difference, thanks to you.

            Prior to this comment, it was not clear to me what your issue was with it. i see now that until I become at least somewhat familiar with both the Romas/COIN and the PRISM, and the range of emails within HB Gary, I really can’t comment on the question at issue.

          • Yeah, definitely dig through the info on Project PM. This is the goldmine of info that the enemy doesn’t want attention drawn to. I have a feeling that Snowden’s not-so-revealing “revelations” were meant to serve as a neutered version of what BB exposed — and it is this version that will be remembered by the public as they forget about (or had never heard of in the first place) all that came out of Aaron Barr’s emails.

            Read here for more clues:

          • Actually, I’m interested in any of the Snowden material that you can point to that might be false, not what is omitted from it. Especially, since so little of it has been released.

            What validated the Snowden documents so far, to me, has been Russ Tice’s statements that they validated what he had been saying, since 2005. Then he added more information, which was also more sinister and not included in what we have seen from Snowden so far. Tice was guessing that maybe some of the specific targeting of important people and the recording of the actual audio content of phone calls would be part of the still unreleased documents. So, we can’t really argue that Snowden didn’t confirm such and such, if we haven’t seen what he has yet.

            But, you mentioned

            yet the facts are not consistent between the two leaks…

            If you have something, other than possible omission in documents we haven’t seen, that we can compare and contrast, it might open up a wider vein in the fake Snowden document mine 😉

          • Ha ha! I came back to post that exact link — you beat me to it.

          • Ah very good, ProudPrimate!
            I read that article on the Willy Loman blog a while back actually, but had totally forgot about it until you just posted the link. I think that there are many good points made there. Also on that same blog is a two-part (I think?) piece on his suspicion that Wikileaks may be a CIA conduit whose purpose is to intercept leaks from whistleblowers and get rid of any that are too damaging to the US. A notion which had never crossed my mind before reading that blog (and which quite frankly shocked me to hear) but, nonetheless, I think this Loman character may very well be onto something. Cryptome verified this theory at first, but then retracted his position at a later date. I’m still not sure what the reasoning was for this flip-flop, but I digress…

      • Is this a direct response…?

        from the WaPo interview: “I am not trying to bring down the NSA, I am working to improve the NSA,” he said. “I am still working for the NSA right now. They are the only ones who don’t realize it.”

        • Mark Green says:

          One could make an argument that he has tangentially answered Sibel’s first question, but even that would be a stretch.

          His foremost intention to obtain thousands of documents implicating the U.S. government was to “improve the NSA”?
          I don’t think so. Perhaps indirectly. I would guess his answer would be to ‘let the people of America and the world know how their rights were being illegally violated by the NSA.’

          I found this little gem from Gellman to be highly interesting:
          Barton Gellman on Snowden:
          “The fact is he’s turned down millions of dollars and TV and film and book offers and so on…”

          Really? And just how does Gellman know this?
          At what point since Snowden has come out in Hong Kong until today has any TV, film or book companies had the opportunity to offer Snowden any financial deals?

          • My reason for calling this “his indirect response to Sibel” is not because he actually bothered to answer any of her questions (he hardly did), but simply due to the fact that Sibel is the only public voice out there calling Snowden’s motives into question by addressing him directly in “An Open Letter” format. Then, suddenly – as if on queue – Snowden makes another cameo in the press just to (you guessed it!) defend his motives and clarify his intentions. Coincidence? Nah

  28. Snowden spoke to the WaPo today (12/23):

    “Snowden told The Washington Post in an interview published online Monday night that he was satisfied because journalists have been able to tell the story of the government’s collection of bulk Internet and phone records, an activity that has grown dramatically in the decade since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”
    ‘‘For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished,’’ he said. ‘‘I already won.’’

    ‘‘As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated,’’ Snowden told the Post. ‘‘Because, remember, I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself.’’

    Greenwald spoke for over an hour to the European Parliament sometime before the 18th


    saying he respected the criticism of those who thought more releases should be forthcoming. He also said that he was preparing them for release as quickly as possible given his journalistic responsibility not to release things that could do harm to any reasonable cause.

  29. Yep, and Gizmodo/Gawker and others are posting on the non story.
    Not a response to anything as we go dead for the Xmas sleep fest for the rest of the week.

    That said, to those gathering today and tomorrow for whatever reason, Best To You. Have a Warm Week.

  30. Never forget Barrett Brown, the true whistleblower …and the fact that it was HE who exposed the REAL truth behind the surveillance state in 2011, for which Snowden has now taken all the credit whilst poor Barrett serves his astounding 100 year sentence behind bars.


    dec 24. Washington Times has Edward telling us his ‘mission is accomplished’ and he is ‘still working for the NSA’, which may well be poetic christmas happy thoughts to ‘journalists doing their jobs’ telling the truth, but seem ill advised in light of the questions asked of him on this forum.

  32. Bradley Fuller says:

    While most of us have already given ES the passing grade as the “people’s patriot” by his whistleblowing I am relieved that Ms Edmonds has kept a critical eye on this storyline. The other question of “who exactly is Glen Greenwald” is also of extreme importance here. From the beginning I thought Greenwald was an odd choice by Snowden, but with Poitras on the scene I let it pass. This whole scenario brings to mind the major doubts on what exactly was going on by Naomi Wolfe (?) and the major flak she took. Next time I won’t be so eager to cast my ballot and will listen more acutely to my inner voice when it says there’s a dead fish in this pile somewhere. Now it’s a wait and see.Thank you Ms Edmonds for these articles and for keeping your guard up when so many had dropped theirs.

  33. donilo252525 says:

    Excellent comment Bradley! You’ve summarized very clearly how I’ve felt about this whole matter. As always, the myriad perceptions of the ongoing drama have shown us the dangers of clinging to ones that are too simplistic. At the same time, I feel that as new revelations come forth they will eventually adhere as a simple set of actions. The reality is likely simple – the perceptions are complex. Irony: my great love/hate relationship in life! 😉

    Thanks for your clarity.

    • Bradley Fuller says:

      donilo. It seems to be a learned thing in life as most people you meet can be trusted (at least where I live) that dominates our mindset. However, when dealing with events of this magnitude I often have to tell myself to be more critical in analysis. It’s a shame it has to be this way but that’s the reality….sometimes we’re spot on and can give ourselves a big “atta boy” and other times we have to have things pointed out to us in shocking relief. Good journalists are worth their weight in gold and I admire their instincts in digging for the truth where no one else would, as the rest of us mortals rely on them for much of that truth..

  34. Bradley Fuller says:

    This important article, justifiably asking Mr. Snowden some very pertinent questions was published on Dec/15/2013. As of today, Jan/23/2014, I have not read or heard of any reply to these questions put forth by Ms Edmonds. Mr Snowden did give a brief interview over the holiday season but did not address any remarks on the current situation. Now while this “situation” has not seen to be widely circulating (why?) it is out there. Has Mr. Snowden caught wind of all this? As a probable creature of the internet you might think so. As a person involved with Greenwald and Poitras I would place bets he has. If another month goes by, ample time in my opinion, with no acknowledgement by Mr. Snowden on these matters then I believe we can all begin to start drawing further conclusions by asking ourselves questions like who benefits and how do they benefit. Tic toc tic toc….

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