Saturday, June 11, 2016

Scoop from German Operation GetSmart: first real victim of Snowden found in Germany

Since the very first release of Snowden documents three years ago, a grisly scenario has haunted the Western intelligence community.  You have read it, heard it, seen it so often that the blogster doesn't need to link to any news or TV report.

The warning came in various, more or less elaborate statements. The blogster, a simple mind, goes with the simplest form:

Snowden endangers the life of intelligence personnel. 

There was one minor issue with the claim: zero proof. Nada.

Some obnoxious folks pointed to the firing of the chief of Germany's foreign intelligence agency BND, announced in April 2016, as a victim of Mr. Snowden. But they completely missed the point.

Retiring two years early with full government pension does not make you a victim - it makes you one lucky bastard with two years of additional time for family, hobbies, travel and general frolicking.

Yet, proof of Mr. Snowden endangering the life of a member of the intelligence community has been out there, in the open, for a full two days by now.

On 9 June 2016, at 14:57 o'clock, German tabloid BILD Zeitung gave the world the scoop proving once and for all the danger posed by Mr. Snowden.

The Snowden affair put BND chief Schindler under so much stress, that he fell off the wagon and started smoking again, the BILD article said. We are not talking some harmless drug like pot but cigarettes - the stuff that kills hundreds of thousands each year.

That's a clear danger to the life of intelligence personnel.

Take second hand smoke into account, and Snowden single-handedly transformed the revered chief of Germany's best foreign intelligence agency into the tobacco equivalent of a suicide bomber who takes down not just himself but innocent lives around him.

The question is, why did BILD not highlight this long elusive proof of Snowden's danger?

There is no simple answer. BILD might simply have made it up, they do so often that truth and fiction are hollow concepts when they take to the keyboard. But the way they phrase it rings true.

Deeper analysis indicates that the BILD authors were preoccupied with the usual "Snowden helped terrorists" as well as the standard "traitor or hero" talk - and that they wanted to be nice to Mr. Schindler.

Getting Mr. Schindler to take to smoking again fits with the devious approach Mr. Snowden has allegedly shown all along, according to the "other Mr. Schindler", you know, the one who became so distressed by the affair that at least one photo of his "little Schindler" slipped out onto the internet while his owner was busy trying to prove Mr. Snowden had worked for the Russians all along.

As of early June 2016, there is still no proof that Mr. Snowden was a Rooskie agent or is actively working for the Russian services.

This is an important statement because you can bet your life, or that of someone you don't like, on the fact that no stone has been left unturned, no avenue left unexplored in the search for proof of Snowden as a Russian pawn.

If there is a single thing the Western services would love to show the world, it is proof of Snowden working for the Russians.

So, both Mr. Schindler of the BND and the chief of the domestic intelligence service BfV, Mr. Maassen, decided to play the collusion by association card. Schindler took the "well, he went to Russia, so he supports their hybrid warfare".

Mr. Maassen was more outspoken as a witness at the still ongoing German parliamentary investigative committee known as NSAUA. In the 9 June session, Maassen claimed outright that it is plausible that Mr. Snowden is an agent of a Russian intelligence service.

In that very same session, Mr. Maassen also balked at parliamentary oversight and at the committee's demands for files and information, claiming that his service was so inundated with requests that other more important work was neglected. Commentators saw this as an unsubtle hint, basically, if there is a terrorist attack, I'll know who to blame.

Deflecting any notion of his service's contribution to, as Mr. Maasen called it, "extra legal" killings, aka. US drone attacks, took up a good part of his testimony.

When Zeit online ran a headline "Is Maassen a Russian agent?", skewering the chief's Snowden attack, the Twitter sphere had a meme.

Just do a Twitter search for NSAUA and enjoy.

If you feel like revisiting the treason probe Mr. Maassen launched about one year ago into German website for publishing a couple of inconvenient documents, our posts Meet the German intel chief behind the Netzpolitik treason probe and German intel agency declares a "Confidential" doc a state secret might be both informative and - the blogster thinks - entertaining.

Since the blog audience is intimately familiar with the fine points of governing, we can revel in the knowledge that the world utterly misunderstood the retirement of Mr. Schindler as having been fired.

In reality, it is an elaborate double cross (XX) op designed to extract an intelligence hero from one of the life threatening situations typically found in the office service of democracy.

By the same token, Mr. Maassen's acknowledgement that he didn't have proof for the claim made just the day before must not be interpreted as walking back or weakness.

The red tie worn by Mr. Maassen at the hearing tells us what we need to know!

In the exercise and training scenarios of the shadow world inhabited by the blogster during one of its* previous lives, red signals the enemy, blue the friendlies.

Wearing the red tie in public was, to the initiated, a clear indicator of a multibrid warfare "live words exercise" (more complex than the hybrid famous since the Roman Empire) designed to flush out any previously hidden Snowdenistas so as to allow our intel services to update their list of Russian trolls and otherwise unsavory characters.
* Gender neutral!

[Update] Added the sections starting with "Since the blog audience...", simplified a couple of sentences.

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