NSA Whistleblower Might Be A Genius, Might Be An Idiot

Ok, “genius” is probably a stretch, but the guy does appear to be smart:

  • He rose through the ranks of the government from enlisted soldier to security guard, to IT guy, to really well-paid IT contractor guy in Hawaii in less than 10 years
  • He’s definitely well-spoken and looks pretty smart in the video
  • He had the foresight to nobly out himself, get the protection of the public, get a pat on the back from the Pentagon Papers whistleblower, and go down in the history books, rather than wait until the CIA renditioned him to Poland
  • He gave up a super-well paying job in paradise to protect our democracy

Then again, he may not be the sharpest tool in the shed:

  • He gave up a super-well paying job in paradise to protect our democracy
  • He fled to Hong Kong, which is apparently the second worst place to flee to, if you’re running from the US government
  • He apparently used his real name when checking in to his hotel in Hong Kong, pretended the journalists got the wrong guy when they called, and then checked out
  • He doesn’t even have his high school degree, and even failed to get his GED
Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden


So at this point, Edward Snowden (whose name, it has to be said, kinda sounds like a Game of Thrones character or two) is to us much like Schrödinger’s cat, at both times smart and dumb. As for the NSA, if he’s smart, then he might’ve bested the them. If he’s dumb, how dumb is the NSA to have hired him?

One final note as we find out more about him: while all of the above is hard to dispute because much of it came from Snowden himself, one must also keep in mind, that when the Pentagon Papers whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, came out, the Nixon administration tried to discredit him in all kinds of ways, going as far as breaking in to his psychiatrist’s office, and hashing a plan to drug with him LSD. Of course, that action caused Ellsberg’s mistrial and is the reason he’s a free man today. The Obama administration will likely not make such an error, meaning that unless he escapes extradition, Snowden’s best chance is jury nullification.

In the meantime, we should all at least thank him for revealing the actual Facebook privacy settings:

Facebook privacy settings, with NSA


See also:

Via The Wall Street Journal, Slate, NPR and Gawker and FAIL Blog

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