....and a great deal else, apparently.
Would it be an exaggeration to say that the United States and Great Britain no longer have any intelligence? And I don't mean that (just) pejoratively, but literally as well:
Britain has been forced to remove some of its spies after Russia and China accessed the top-secret raft of documents taken by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, British media reported.
The BBC and the Sunday Times cited senior government and intelligence officials as saying agents had been pulled, with the newspaper saying the move came after Russia was able to decrypt more than one million files.
"It is the case that Russians and Chinese have information. It has meant agents have had to be moved and that knowledge of how we operate has stopped us [from] getting vital information," a Downing Street source said, according to the newspaper. [emphasis added]
Remember last week's ChiComm "cyber Pearl Harbor"? I think this one might be even worse.
And our enemies didn't even have to go to the trouble of stealing this treasure trove of critical information, unless Snowden was one of their deep cover agents. A very likely possibility (see below).
The BBC said on its website, meanwhile, that a government source said the two countries "have information" that spurred intelligence agents being moved, but said there was "no evidence" any spies were harmed.
Meaning it's a certainty that some operatives have been eliminated - perhaps all of them - but the BBC can't prove it. Which is about the only sensitive information, near as I can tell, that hasn't been spilled.
And don't think I haven't noticed that it's the British, not American, media bringing this biggest intelligence disaster yet to the Western public's attention. I can hear the champagne corks popping at MSNBC as I'm writing this.
Snowden fled to Russia after leaking the documents to the press in 2013 to expose the extent of U.S. online surveillance programs and to protect "privacy and basic liberties".
Put another way, Snowden unilaterally took a bold stand for "privacy and basic liberties" while stealing every U.S. and allied intelligence secret there was and fleeing to where "privacy and basic liberties" don't exist to share it with his new "police state, basically tyrannical" friends.
Oh, wait, sorry, he encrypted those million-plus files, didn't he?:
He previously claimed that "no intelligence service" could crack the documents, saying he was able to "keep such information from being compromised even in the highest threat counter-intelligence environments".
But an intelligence source told the Sunday Times: "We know Russia and China have access to Snowden's material and will be going through it for years to come, searching for clues to identify potential targets."
Whoopsie! Oh, well, better luck next time, Eddie.
The only place Edward Snowden belongs is dangling at the end of a rope. Or sizzling in an electric chair. Or on the receiving end of a firing squad. Or maybe we could capture him and deport him to the Islamic State....
....or could have if we still had any intelligence "assets" left with which to grab him. Although, if he is just a "useful idiot" and not a witting traitor, I imagine the Russians will take care of that for us, seeing as how he's no longer of any use to them.
The problem is, I don't think Snowden was working alone.
The deeper into this madness we go, the more difficult it is not to sound like a conspiracist. I am not one. I don't own so much as a single tinfoil hat. I've never even seen a black helicopter. I don't "want to believe". Although I was a huge X-Files mark, largely because the show depicted a world that differed from our own only in that its madness was a lot better concealed.
But in a world overtly gone mad, conspiracism becomes Occam's Razor: "The simplest answer that fits the available facts is usually the correct one". To wit: It is too much for me to believe that an "intrepid" intelligence contractor could have downloaded over 1.7 million highly classified intelligence files without being detected, stopped, and "detained". Once again, nobody, no administration, is capable of being that cosmically incompetent. Consequently, the conclusion reasons itself: Snowden was allowed to do so and escaped with that critical intel, on orders from....the top.
The White House.
The Oval Office.
President Eighteenth Fairway himself.
Because espionage of our enemies is bad, and America and its allies having any national security advantage over our enemies isn't "fair," but espionage from our enemies is good, because that restores "fairness".
Because America must be brought down to the level of the rest of the world.
Can I prove this? Absolutely not. I doubt anybody can. Because that's one piece of intelligence Barack Obama has every incentive to keep tightly and safely secret. It's like the massive voter fraud in the 2012 election that a lot of us on the Right believe put The One over the top to his second term. Logic indicated that there were too many "abnormalities" in too many places, too many instances of O garnering 100% of the vote (sometimes more than a hundred percent) in too many precincts in too many crucial States, too many "repeat voters" and illegal voters and dead voters and so on, to be just the usual fractal "noise" at the margins. But it worked, and to the winner goes the spoils, which includes the luxury of burying all the evidence of his ill-gotten triumph and blocking any and all investigations of same (because, yes, that would be "racist"). Which is why I, personally, try not to get too hung up on it.
But I still believe Barack Obama stole the 2012 election. Just as I believe that Barack Obama allowed Snowden to steal all that critical intelligence - maybe even had it funneled to him - and sent him off to Moscow in order to guarantee that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping would know everything that we know.
And I believe that Edward Snowden should die for what he did and the U.S. and allied lives he's sacrificed and those that will yet perish for his selfish, self-righteous, perhaps traitorous "cause".
Whether Barack Obama should share his cage I leave up to you.
Exit thought: Just imagine, if Snowden had chosen to "stand with Rand" instead, how much time and effort and unpleasantness he could have avoided.
He might even have wound up as President Paul's National Intelligence Director.