Edward Snowden’s Back — Hooray!

Edward Snowden is back in the Paul Revere horsey saddle — hooray!
I’ve been walking around in a one-man parade with happy balloons all day.
There are some people who seem to think…
but then again it’s gone in a goldfish blink.

Well, the fusion databases are pumping fast and furious, and you and I are under siege and, what with Black Friday just ahead, there’s an enthusiasm for our buying and clicking habits that’s not been seen since, say, the 2000 presidential election, when They were wheeling and dealing in votes all day long.  What do we want? They want to know. Gypsy grifters at heart, selling fiddles as Rome burns. They’ll do us slow. The economy will grow.

That was fun.  But my point with this piece is to discuss Edward Snowden-related items.  He’s back in the saddle after essentially being absent from his Substack scene — Continuing Ed — since last Christmas, just a couple of months before the war in Ukraine began.  Of course, he was busy. In love. Having another bambino camouflaged with an emoji. Hey, it’s his prerogative, and probably wise, given the facial recognition technology out there now.  His kids will probably be targeted by the US government, now that he has settled in to becoming a full-fledged Russian citizen — a nicety that was never afforded Lee Harvey Oswald when he lived and got laid there back in 1959; eventually finding shelter from the storm in Marina, with whom he had a daughter before moving back to Texas and having another one in the lead-up you know what. When we do finally see Ed’s kids splashed across a newspaper (as if they were our business in the first place), let’s hope that they are wearing Marx Brothers disguises.  Maybe even the Russians will get a kick out of the reference.

Anyway, Ed. is back and, as I alluded to a few weeks ago, it is of noticeable interest that his first piece coming out of the hiatus, is a serious critique of the CIA, “America’s Open Wound: The CIA is not your friend.” The Agency is celebrating its 75th anniversary and no doubt secretly doing victory laps and pole-dance salutes to its own perverse subversions. He combs through their history and notes with some profligacy their many off-mission episodes of mischief-making. Note the green links in his salvo graph that emphasizes the Agency’s role in propaganda-making (an Agency mission) and some of instances of subterfuge, alluding to two operations now famous among “conspiracy theorists,” Operation Mockingbird and Operation MKULTRA:

It is outstanding writing and comprehensive, too. I love it that he begins his piece with the great Jewish ethics philosopher — and pantheist — Baruch Spinoza:

Better that right counsels be known to enemies than that the evil secrets of tyrants should be concealed from the citizens. They who can treat secretly of the affairs of a nation have it absolutely under their authority; and as they plot against the enemy in time of war, so do they against the citizens in time of peace.

Wise man, indeed, although pork-snorkelling chuckles were later heard among the swarthy Machiavelli element. Highly recommended reading. But, truly, one asks, why did he choose the CIA for his first piece back?  Does it have to do with Ukraine?  Should we be wondering where Cofer Black is? Doesn’t Ukraine qualify as what the late great hate Duane Clarridge used to call a “national security” issue?


Who has read about the “accidental” missile attack in rural Poland and not thought about the Gulf of Tonkin or any number of other firmly established “conspiracy theory” False Flag events from the past?

In the case of this attack, Deutsch Welt is telling us that the attack, which Polish officials have called accidental — indeed, suggested that they may have come from Ukrainian  anti-air defenses, not Russians — NATO may pursue Article 4 procedures (and mentions Article 5) that bring a direct confrontation with Russia one step closer.


Edward Snowden is a full-blooded American.  I salute him.


Speaking of Ed, he’s been busy of late on the Twitter front, too. Perhaps one of the most important pieces to hit the Twittersphere (now under new Red Light) is his re-tweet of an interview with a former CIA operative, Frank Snepp, who openly admits that many of the disturbing “conspiracy theory” details of Operation Mockingbird — the Agency’s MSM-influencing operation from the 40s on — were true.  In fact, he names names in the tweet.  Check it out:


As Snowden points out in his tweet, “The most important video of the year was filmed in 1983.” Probably Snepps’s “conspiracy theory” didn’t figure much in the MSM, which tells us what’s a conspiracy and what isn’t. They’re part of the conspiracy. Fuckers.


This Snepps interview got me thinking.  I had a hunch. A theory, you could call it. No evidence, per se, just a lifetime of careful parsing of events and generated news and training in critical thinking (liberal education) and anomalous presentations to the publisphere.  Many readers, prior to the Z Generation, are aware that The Paris Review had ties to the CIA through its editor Peter Matthieson, author of the great memoir, The Snow Leopard, who used his position as editor to “deflect suspicion from the nosing around in left-wing circles that he was being paid to do.” (Spoiler Alert: The self-absorbed Matthieson never does see the snow leopard when it appears.)

Snepps mentions New Yorker magazine. I felt a quease. I recently had reason to suspect that NYer is a domestic version of Paris Review. Just a gut feeling. Deja vu. Didgeridoo. My first suspicion came after listening to a podcast by Patrick Radden Keefe. Keefe had done a terrific take-down piece of the Sackler family and its above-and-beyond the law mischief regarding the push for sales of oxycontin. You came away from the piece believing that the Sacklers were unrepentant murderers, who, even when their Oxy days were up in America, began pushing the opiate on China(!).

But it was Keefe’s podcast, “Wind of Change: Did the CIA write a power ballad that ended the Cold War?,” that had me conspiracy-theorizing again, mostly because the podcast amounted to just that: a conspiracy theory. Keefe, through his CIA sources, delivers a bizarre account of how the CIA owned the rock group The Scorpions, singers of the global pop hit, “Wind of Change.”  You know the one. Me, I might have been teaching its lyrics in a hagwon in South Korea a few years later. It was that powerful. (Or, I was that lazy.) Anyway, Keefe’s contention is that the song led to the end of the Cold War and helped bring down the Wall and make a Mickey D’s in Moscow in early 1990, during the West’s victory lap phase of war’s end.

What are you kidding, Keefe?  Some argue that, as an alternative to that history, that Bruce Springstein’s awesome East Berlin concert in 1988, featuring a poignant cover of Dylan’s “Chimes of Freedom,” broke on through to the other side and set the stage for the Wall to fall. (I cried when I heard it and found myself longing for freedom again.) I mean, listen to The Boss sing that song, and you decide if it was Bruce/Dylan or The Scorpions what brought down the Commies:

See, I’m going with Springsteen on this one.  But Keefe’s claims are so bizarre that you have to wonder if he wasn’t played by his CIA handlers. (Just kidding.)

Further evidence of bizarre CIA-New Yorker doings? Well, that crazy article they published  this past June about how the CIA uploader of Vault 7 to Wikileaks was motivated by petty revenge with his mates drew a wry smile on my face. “The Surreal Case of a C.I.A. Hacker’s Revenge.” The article asks: “A hot-headed coder is accused of exposing the agency’s hacking arsenal. Did he betray his country because he was pissed off at his colleagues?” This piece, like the crazy podcast, is by none other than Patrick Radden Keefe. When I got my breadth back, I read and re-read:

On March 7, 2017, the Web site WikiLeaks launched a series of disclosures that were catastrophic for the C.I.A. As much as thirty-four terabytes of data—more than two billion pages’ worth—had been stolen from the agency. The trove, billed as Vault 7, represented the single largest leak of classified information in the agency’s history.

Cutting to the chase, Keefe tells us that Vault 7 wasn’t a whistleblower deed but a guy from the Agency — “Joshua Schulte—his real name”  — who’d lost his gruntle somehow.  The CIA hacker was doxxing or revengeporn or anything but a whistleblower. Payback or blowback or humptyback whales and a chimpanzee. I read Keefe’s description of the pre-Agency Schulte and its resonance shook me to what’s left of melted down core:

On a blog that he maintained in college, he espoused libertarian views. He was a devotee of Ayn Rand, and came to believe that, as he put it, “there is nothing evil about rational selfishness.” He also had a certain intellectual arrogance. “Most Americans, most people in general, are idiots,” he wrote in 2008.

Sweet Cheeses!  That could be a description of Ed Snowden. Remember that Oliver Stone movie where Snowden admits in an interview that, a la Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, he “believes” that one man with a wrench can stop the engine of the world? Check it out:

Who is this Patrick Radden Keefe, and who is he bedding down with at the CIA to get these tidbits about the Scorpions and the dork, “Joshua Schulte—his real name”?  His Sackler piece was fine stuff, but now I wonder if he didn’t get his info from an Agency nympho.  He’s exactly the kind of journalist that Snepps says the Agency planted seeds of fruition in. (Just kidding.)


Another anomalous situation around Ed Snowden has occurred, suddenly and disturbingly. I have been using links to Ed Snowden’s must-read memoir, Permanent Record, for a couple of years now. Multiple copies of the book had been available at the wonderful Internet Archive. When I referenced information from the book, I would link directly to the chapter and/or page so that the reader could see I wasn’t entirely full of shit. Important in these days of dissed information. But yesterday I discovered that the Archive had removed all of the available copies of Permanent Record.  As everyone but Z Generation knows, the profits from the sales of the book have been seized by the US government. The publisher can’t make a buck. The author, Snowden, can’t make a buck. There is no incentive to push it any longer. But like I say it is a must-read. I was further disturbed by this phenomenon when I discovered that the Archive took down the English language editions of the memoir but left up the Chinese edition. WTF? Some kind of joke?

But it gets creepier.  I looked around to see where it was available. The most obvious place was at Amazon.  This confused me (I’m easily so these days of bread and circus). So I sought information from Amazon.  How could you be selling a book for money, if neither the author nor the publishers could gain from it?  And they were pushing the book by naming it an Editor’s Choice. So I asked them and they kept trying to sign me up for a subscription that would land me the book for free. But not really free, because I’d be paying for the subscription. But also how could they justify selling it for money?  Did they have a special arrangement with the publisher to push now pulp-ready books?  Here is the film at 6 of the exchange between me and Amazon. Check it out:


No, I don’t want to buy it. I already had. It’s available at my G Drive if you want to read it without subscribing to Jeff Bezos’s Amazon, with its CIA ties. By the way,


Lastly, I recall Snowden’s great take on tyranny in his memoir, Permanent Record.  Early in the book he tells the story of Rhitta Gawr, tyrant of tyrants.  It’s essentially a parable of America and its hegemony game and worth quoting at length here:

Once, I picked up an illustrated version of the legends of King Arthur and his knights, and found myself reading about another legendary mountain, this one in Wales. It served as the fortress of a tyrannical giant named Rhitta Gawr, who refused to accept that the age of his reign had passed and that in the future the world would be ruled by human kings, whom he considered tiny and weak. Determined to keep himself in power, he descended from his peak, attacking kingdom after kingdom and vanquishing their armies. Eventually he managed to defeat and kill every single king of Wales and Scotland. Upon killing them he shaved off their beards and wove them together into a cloak, which he wore as a gory trophy. Then he decided to challenge the strongest king of Britain, King Arthur, giving him a choice: Arthur could either shave off his own beard and surrender, or Rhitta Gawr would decapitate the king and remove the beard himself. Enraged at this hubris, Arthur set off for Rhitta Gawr’s mountain fortress. The king and the giant met on the highest peak and battled each other for days, until Arthur was gravely wounded. Just as Rhitta Gawr grabbed the king by the hair and prepared to cut off his head, Arthur summoned a last measure of strength and sank his fabled sword through the eye of the giant, who toppled over dead. Arthur and his knights then went about piling up a funeral cairn atop Rhitta Gawr’s corpse, but before they could complete the work, snow began to fall. As they departed, the giant’s bloodstained beard-cloak was returned to perfect whiteness. [24]

I am the hairy man. The End.

The mountain is Snaw Dun. Get it? It’s where Ed says he got his surname. Or is that ‘sir’ name?

John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelancer based in Australia.  He is a former reporter for The New Bedford Standard-Times.