Oliver Stone’s new film Snowden is a dramatization of actual events of the NSA leaker that offers more questions than answers, like all great conspiracy theories. Before It’s News readers are here for a good conspiracy, of course, and they won’t be disappointed with this movie. That it’s set inside the belly of the beast with the agencies who created the modern meaning of “conspiracy theory” is a bit of irony that won’t be lost.
Most things presented in the film are true. Snowden’s various positions, his background, the various spy programs and so on. Some things are embellished and dramatized, such as his friendship with the deputy director of the NSA — he claimed in an NPR interview that he had never met Snowden.
The true aspects that moviegoers who are not in the know may miss have to do mainly with the relationships and competition between the CIA and NSA and the real purpose of these leaks. Snowden was likely sent into the NSA by the CIA for a number of reasons and while he is probably a whistleblower, he’s also the patsy in this story, which is sad because he seems like a genuine hero in the modern sense.
Remember, when you look around the room — if you can’t spot the patsy, the patsy is you.
The layering of higher level operations on top of and alongside what Snowden was doing is the mark of today’s security agencies. This creates deniability (no one wants to get blamed if things go badly) and multiple points of leverage that can be used to advantage as well as multiple, parallel tracks. This was apparent from the levels of monitoring that take place on the spies, which is much more intrusive than that reserved for most members of the general public. This brings us to the uncomfortable questions that the film pointed to but didn’t attempt to answer.
How was Snowden able to access so much information on his own? He must have had help from others. The film hinted that he was being closely watched in the most memorable scene, when the CIA handler video conferences in a giant wall size projection of his face that dwarfs Snowden where he was confronted with information about a polygraph test where Snowden was caught lying. Not only was Snowden thoroughly monitored, but his girlfriend, family, everyone was under the watchful eyes – the spies get even worse treatment than ordinary citizens caught up in the spying dragnet. For this reason alone, it’s likely Snowden, in spite of any good intentions he had and the fact that I’ve been on record on RT saying I believed he was a whistleblower, he was also a pawn in this operation. Given residence in Moscow, Snowden would have had to turn over everything to the Russians. That makes him a CIA – NSA – Russian agent of sorts and he probably gave things to the Chinese to get out of Hong Kong.
Why did Snowden go to Hong Kong and how did he get out of there? He arrived on a commercial airliner, so the security agencies knew exactly where he was going. Putting the reporter’s cell phone in the microwave as they did in the film will only keep them from transmitting and possibly recording the conversations, but the geo-location of where they were was revealed as they entered his hotel room. So much for a “secret” meeting spot. The Chinese would never have let Snowden leave Hong Kong without handing over all the goodies. This is doubly embarrassing and exposes the actual intent of this mission, which was to expose many things to the public and other security agencies.
Wolf Blitzer was in a clip from CNN trumpeting Snowden’s exploits, and that was a clear tell that Snowden was a patsy. BIN readers know that the MSM only promotes big stories like this that are memes meant to be promoted. If this was really top secret you wouldn’t have heard a peep on the mainstream media, it would have gone right into the memory hole, along with the leaks from Binney and others who said the same things years before Snowden. There is a reason why the security agencies wanted this news on the front page of the papers now — they wanted people to know about this and likely increased their budgets, to “repair the damage”.
From the powers that be’s point of view, they WANT people to know they are being spied on. It makes society more compliant and careful, knowing they are being watched. It’s like living under the Stasi in East Germany, but the technology is now real time and 1000x more powerful.
The acting is good, but the film may best be remembered for its cinematography, which is outstanding, a tour de force presenting these difficult concepts and making them visibly menacing. Oliver Stone hints at the potential for abuse of this illegal data collection, using people like Snowden to create actionable information and finally leading to automated violence to erase people via drone strikes. A number of scenes are memorable, like the video conference with Snowden’s CIA handler and an interview Snowden gave in front of an audience where he was turned into a robot. The Nuremburg trials are mentioned and other than a few head nods, no one seems to care about the results of their actions, which is typical of this kind of machine and how it dehumanizes everyone involved. It’s apparent that the purpose of this entire exercise was to gain the consent of the public to erase their rights like a drone strike erases a human life 6,000 miles away.
In the end, it’s pitiful. I’m not referring to Snowden, who comes off as the one individual who makes a sacrifice, doesn’t really have anything to gain materially and seems to have a soul. What’s most pitiful is the fact that the general public just didn’t care about the violation of their rights, and audience members were definitely sobered up by the reality presented in Snowden.
If you are interested in personal privacy, security agencies or personal drama, you should go see Snowden, it’s a worthy film and most people will learn quite a bit about what’s really happening with the surveillance state.
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