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The current time is: 12/15/2017 8:52:14 AM
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BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3533

Ellsberg and Snowden: The Leaker versus The Hacker
Posted on: 1/15/2017 5:44:54 AM
[Read More]


Quote:
Ellsberg says to Snowden, “You’ve seen ‘Dr. Strangelove’?” The leaker tries, as best he can, to find common cultural ground with the hacker.

Snowden: “No.”

Cusack: “Oh my God!”

Snowden: “Before my time, man.”


 There appears to be much that is before Snowden's time.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1457

Re: Ellsberg and Snowden: The Leaker versus The Hacker
Posted on: 1/30/2017 9:44:38 PM
Sorry Bill, but I don't get your point. I'm not convinced that there is any substantive difference between Ellsberg and Snowdon, except in technology. Hacker is simply a term which would not have existed in Ellsberg's time. A hacker "steals" data, but a leaker "copies" written text? Unless I really don't get the point of this post, "Dr Strangelove" has nothing to do with either situation. Why would Ellsberg and Snowdon need more than their brave activities to find common ground? And why would either feel they needed common cultural ground?

At the same time, I'm gobsmacked at the idea of a 43-volume report on Vietnam, given it was requested in 1967. The war was less than half-way through, and a lot of the worst stuff was to happen after McNamara's request. Just for the hell of it, I'm trying to imagine how many man-years were wasted in writing such a "history". And, of course, I'm wondering if it was requested by McNamara to cover just his ass or the asses of Democrats who were in danger of losing presidential power in the 1968 elections.

Nice to have another issue to ponder tonight. I thought I might just be sitting and watching "Big Bang Theory", with an understated glass of red wine!

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3533

Re: Ellsberg and Snowden: The Leaker versus The Hacker
Posted on: 2/1/2017 6:01:18 AM
Brian,

 Without beating a horse here, I would offer the thought that your considering Ellsberg and Snowden to be comparable as mistaken. A huge difference is that one took action as a matter of conscience and remained in the country to answer for his actions. The situation with Snowden is beyond murky, and people in the intel community are convinced he was a Russian agent (as am I). Bottom line, I believe Ellsberg genuinely wanted to help his country, while I think Snowden's actions were nothing of the kind, his attempts to manipulate public opinion of his actions notwithstanding.

 My take on the "Strangelove" comment is that it perfectly illustrates what a narrow existence that people like Snowden inhabit. IMO, he is a bitter, selfish and mediocre person who would like for the rest of us to believe that he did what he did out of concern for other people. Snowden appears to have known something of technology and a lot about deceit. Not sure there is much more to him.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1457

Re: Ellsberg and Snowden: The Leaker versus The Hacker
Posted on: 2/1/2017 11:51:17 PM
Thanks, Bill. Yet more for me to try to wrap my tiny brain around. I will confess to feeling I know more about Ellsberg's actions than I do of Snowden's. Maybe Ellsberg was a beacon at the height of my emotional involvement with anti-war matters. Snowden I have no strong feelings for one way or the other.

I'm also still trying to get my mind around that 43 volume half-history of US involvement in Vietnam.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3533

Re: Ellsberg and Snowden: The Leaker versus The Hacker
Posted on: 2/2/2017 1:06:12 AM
I'm also still trying to get my mind around that 43 volume half-history of US involvement in Vietnam.

 Indeed! Makes one wonder how many other secret histories are 'out there'. IIRC, the U.K.'s history of the Second World War had two versions until certain material was declassified. Apparently, some of the "government" versions thereafter made it into the library system and are still extant, although I assume any editions printed recently no longer reflect any difference in content.

 On the Pentagon Papers themselves,


Quote:
The Pentagon Papers, officially titled "Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force", was commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1967. In June of 1971, small portions of the report were leaked to the press and widely distributed. However, the publications of the report that resulted from these leaks were incomplete and suffered from many quality issues.

On the 40th anniversary of the leak to the press, the National Archives, along with the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon Presidential Libraries, has released the complete report. There are 48 boxes and approximately 7,000 declassified pages. Approximately 34% of the report is available for the first time.


 And if you want to read what is available online ... [Read More]

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

tom ryan
Bethany Beach, DE, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal
Author


Posts: 108
http://www.tomryan-civilwar.com
Re: Ellsberg and Snowden: The Leaker versus The Hacker
Posted on: 2/2/2017 5:52:32 PM
Setting Snowden aside for the moment, my take on the Pentagon Papers is that they served more as a distraction from the task at hand which was originally to insure that South Vietnam did not fall under Communist rule. The mistakes made by both the Kennedy and Johnson administration undermined this objective, and caused the American people to become weary of and then antagonistic toward the struggle to keep SVN free. Much of this had to do with biased reporting coming out of Vietnam by the NY Times of other newspapers which gave Congress a leg to stand on when they eventually cut off aid to the SVN government.

It was a long, sad, painful tale, that could have been avoided if a similar attitude was adopted on the part of the government that has kept South Korea out of Communist hands.

In the case of SVN, IMO it was a matter of allowing them to fight their own battles with the steadfast financial and military support from the U.S. government -- which was exactly what the SVN government preferred to see happen. There was zero chance of that happening, however, once Congress gradually reduced and then practically eliminated support to the SVN government.

Tom

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1457

Re: Ellsberg and Snowden: The Leaker versus The Hacker
Posted on: 2/2/2017 9:33:22 PM
Tom, haven't crossed paths with you since we talked about your Civil War volume. Good to come face to face again. I still have both copies of your volume on my shelves, as a warning to others.

I hope you're not suggesting a "blame the press" reflection on 'Nam. God knows, we've had a sufficiency of that for just about everything during the past 24 months, with little chance of stopping it for the next 48.

I'd be prepared to argue that the primary mistakes in 'Nam were made when the US determined it had a better, more sophisticated military than did the French (which may have been true) and that it was much more capable than the French of supporting the Diem Regime against forces from the North (which may also have been true on paper, but which led to a US defeat). I think too little historical (as opposed to military or chauvinistic) attention has been given to the relationship between the Korean police action (which, what the hell, was a draw at best) and the Vietnam War (which was a defeat of US military tactics/strategy as much as a defeat of the South Vietnam regime, first brought to power under questionable circumstances.

The involvement of the US in post-WW2 Vietnam began during Mr Eisenhower's presidency. It ramped up under the directives of Mr Kennedy, altered dramatically (and illegally) under Mr Johnson, and played out under Mr Nixon.

One of the US's most interesting traits in a military/political framework is to talk about "freedom". IIRC, the buzz-words of the time were "domino theory". They had replaced "MCC". And they were just as inflammatory, meaningless and non-threatening in 1975 as they were at the end of the Korean police action. The "Domino Theory" did not prove itself after the US abandoned South Vietnam troops to their fate by arguing they had made agreements of mutual withdrawal with the North Vietnamese.

I admit that there were culture gaps, and age gaps, and emotional gaps, and (hugely) political gaps between various sectors of the US at the time. And I'll admit that the rather brief hold on power of the Democrats (1960: Kennedy to 1972: Nixon) was better in theory than on paper. Looking back, I guess at least some of the news networks (and I believe Cronkite was the lead anchor at the time) were challenging policies that had lead to US involvement in Vietnam. Or they were, at least, reporting the cost of US involvement in Vietnam.

I get that at the time the concern of many US folks was that communism is evil and a satanic alternative to "freedom" and the US way of life. But at the time, I increasingly wondered whether the sales pitch equalled the reality in US citizens' eyes. I'm a Canadian, for God's sake, and I lost two friends in Vietnam – both with the US forces.

I don't think the media undermined anything, to be honest. I think the media used clever and powerful cropping of honest footage to demonstrate what US troops were fighting for. It was ugly. It was shameful. And the Nixon solution was a final embarrassment to a war badly planned, executed or disengaged from.

Did the media do wrong here? I don't think so, to be honest. Was the media wrong in exposing questionable practices during the escalation of the war? I don't think so, to be honest.

Whether the media's focus was right or wrong, I would probably argue that more truth arose from media commentary than from government "histories".

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

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