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.
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.
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.
The story about Greenwald vowing revenge seems to have been really effective propaganda. It isn't true:
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.
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.
There's often no need to look for more complicated explanations when simple incompetence will suffice. This felt like a bad, impulsive decision.
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.
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.
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.