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Why hasn't anyone considered that David Miranda's detention could have been orchestrated in order to radicalize Glenn Greenwald, to bring him to "full froth", so to speak? Make him angry, make it personal by abusing his husband, so that his reporting becomes more emotional to the point where he starts risking his legitimacy and moral authority as a journalist. Something very similar happened with WikiLeaks.

I know Glenn and I'm certain he's smarter than this, but this is an explanation I've had in my head since day one and everyone seems to have missed. And, at least for the first couple of days, Glenn certainly did appear quite frustrated and did say he'll publish more aggressively. But isn't acting like this playing into their hands, by giving up his legitimacy as an impartial journalist? He must not allow them to make it a personal fight between him and the NSA.




Inherent in your guess at motivation is a belief that the intelligence services don't make mistakes. But they do, they screw up all the time.

If we're going to go up against the intelligence services using civil discourse we need to stop assuming they're infallible. They're not. They're a vast bureaucracy of fallible people isolated by their own walls and regularly tripped up by their own foolish office politics and bureaucratic machinations.

We should maybe start thinking of them more as the DMV and less like James Bond.


"But they do, they screw up all the time."

A man wants to cheat on his wife. So he purposely appears to be sloppy and gets caught at trivial things instead of appearing to be all together where he would be watched more closely.

Am I saying they don't screw up by this statement? No. I'm saying that don't assume that there aren't other reasons for what they do or what you know about. The smoking gun isn't always the smoking gun at this level of sophistication.


"And, at least for the first couple of days, Glenn certainly did appear quite frustrated and did say he'll publish more aggressively. But isn't acting like this playing into their hands, by giving up his legitimacy as an impartial journalist?"

The story about Greenwald vowing revenge seems to have been really effective propaganda. It isn't true:

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rm09tf

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/08/19...


And Greenwald doesn't present himself as impartial.

And impartiality is not required for a journalist to have legitimacy.

And "impartiality" as practiced really means oscillating between voices of Republicans and Democrats and no one else, making the conversation always inherently pro-government.


Greenwald has written a New York Times bestselling book on executive authority, broken lots of stories on my blog about wiretapping that led to front-page stories on most major newspapers in the country, and Russ Feingold read from his blog during the Censure hearings. I think his reputation is beyond being questioned.


I find it surreal the way Greenwald is portrayed sometimes.

If you actually read what he writes, its logical, sober commentary. Now it happens that following logic leads you to some pretty wild sounding conclusions because it turns out reality looks a bit like a conspiracy theory.


That doesn't really pass the sniff test. That's a conniving strategy, which isn't reflected in the extremely clumsy execution.

There's often no need to look for more complicated explanations when simple incompetence will suffice. This felt like a bad, impulsive decision.


Right, don't attribute to malice what is adequately explained by incompetence. The problem is that when it's the NSA et. al, the spies, incompetence is treated as less likely than manipulation. I really don't know whether this is correct; I just know the underlying assumption of incompetence might not be warranted in every case.


"Why hasn't anyone considered that David Miranda's detention could have been orchestrated in order to radicalize Glenn Greenwald"

Why? Because the same reason that people think they should be able to second guess why people in power do what they do (to protect us). Because they think they are privy to all the thinking and all the reasons why someone would do anything. Even Schneier does this coming up with all sorts of reasons for why he thinks what has happened has happened as if he has some truly unique inside information on what is going on and why. He doesn't. I mean his ideas are certainly better than the person who served me coffee this morning but he is still just speculating (like we all are).

As an aside I like what you have come up with and think it's very creative and could possibly be true. Where possibly means reasonable chance of a strategy. Sometimes strategies aren't obvious.

Look at what Putin is doing or has done with respect to Snowden. We could speculate a million ways including that Obama is fully aware of why Putin did what he did because he knows that Putin has other fish to fry as well and Obama understands that. We will never be privy to the inner workings of all of this and guess what much of this is not going to make sense because we don't have the full picture.


"Even Schneier does this coming up with all sorts of reasons for why he thinks what has happened has happened as if he has some truly unique inside information on what is going on and why"

Did we read the same article? Schneier doesn't come across as if he's implying that 'he has some truly unique inside information.'

Some quotes: "I have to admit this story has me puzzled." .. "My initial assumption was .. but .. I'm not sure anymore." .. "I have a hard time believing" .. "Another possibility" .. "This leaves one last possible explanation" .. "I didn't mean to say that intimidation wasn't the government's motive. I believe it was, and that it was poorly thought intimidation".

This comes across as a set of hypotheses about what's happened, and attempts to evaluate their likelihood and appropriateness based on available (public) information. Not based on inside information.


You raised a good point on how I phrased what I said which was incorrect. I guess I meant to say "has no unique inside information so this is of only entertainment and discussion value" as opposed to "as if he has some truly unique inside information". This is the type of stuff that gets repeated in news stories because to a reporter Schneier has something quotable to say.

My point is that he is speculating and would be taken seriously because of who he is which to me at least is somewhat dangerous.

Sometimes people speculate but they have more first hand knowledge of the workings of something (someone who used to be high level at the NSA or a member of congress that was on some intelligence committee or PG talking about other incubators etc.


I am not sure of the end balance of such action. Sure, maybe he would get emotional but on the other hand I'd expect the public to excuse that, given their knowledge of this particular abuse.




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