This morning I appeared on Huffington Post Live to discuss the Washington Post’s story based on documents from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden revealing the role of the NSA in CIA drone strikes and how Al Qaeda member Hassan Ghul was killed in a drone strike in October 2012.
I wrote about this article yesterday in a post titled, “The Troubling State-Identified Reaction to The Washington Post’s Story on NSA’s Role in Drone Strikes.” I talked about some of it during the segment.
Joshua Foust, former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst and now writer who publishes to Medium, was part of the segment. Brett Kaufman, a national security fellow for the ACLU, participated as well.
Kaufman did a very excellent job articulating key points. I even chose to recognize his expertise as someone working for the ACLU and suggested he talk about the secrecy games the government under President Barack Obama’s administration has played (because Foust was rationalizing these games as being acceptable).
Additionally, Kaufman highlighted how the story from the Post raised these questions.
There were some technical issues. Toward the end, my video froze up, but I was still able to share one of my views on the recent Snowden interview published by The New York Times’ James Risen.
Foust has spent the last few months trying to piece together some conspiracy theory that would prove Edward Snowden was not able to keep the documents he took from the NSA secure. He has maintained the intelligence services of China and/or Russia have obtained copies and Snowden is probably lying about this. I think he believes Glenn Greenwald is part of a coverup.
I do not know if you can take someone committing his or her time as a journalist to pushing allegations against Snowden without any substantial proof seriously and I do not hesitate to tell him that during the segment.
Also, he said there was “potentially” information or intelligence in the Post story on the NSA’s role in drone strikes that could cause damage. “Potentially.” Actually, in spook speak he used the word “potentialities.”
Foust responded to something I said about the government not acknowledging Ghul’s death when he was killed by a drone and claimed anonymous officials had leaked that Ghul was, in fact, killed prior to the Post’s story. I cannot find any earlier news story with these alleged quotes.
Alyona Minkovski was the host. She did a good job of moderating the discussion.