Peabody-Award winning investigative journalist and broadcaster; best-selling author; former interrogator, counter-intelligence operative and chief strategy analyst for the CIA in Vietnam; ex-CIA whistleblower; named defendant in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on free speech and national security; expert commentator on the Vietnam war, national security, and the First Amendment.
Though I too was once reviled by the U.S. intelligence community as a faithless leaker and turncoat, Edward Snowden and I don’t have much else in common.
In fact, I have written skeptically of the former NSA/CIA contractor who stole boatloads of U.S. secrets, many unrelated to his stated concern about the privacy of U.S. citizens—and then leaked them to the universe under the guise of defending our 4th Amendment rights against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
My gripes about Snowden have been fairly well publicized. And he and his supporters are likely aware of them.
So I was somewhat surprised when I discovered several weeks ago that Snowden has resurrected an old news clip from my whistleblowing days, annotated it with some positive if calculated messaging, and flung it across the Twitter sphere.
Author’s Note: I was never an eyewitness to the Afghan war. But as the CIA’s last intelligence analyst in Saigon, with nearly six years of spy work in-country to answer for, I am cursed with a certain sensitivity to the issues, especially the intelligence ones, surrounding lost causes and worst-case scenarios. It is through this prism that I view the facts set out below.
Just before the midterms, GOP members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee circulated a preliminary “report” about President Biden’s handling of the Afghan evacuation that is likely to be part of the smear book for a Benghazi-style “investigation” in the new Republican-controlled House.
The “charges” against the President boil down to two major barking points. His critics would have us believe that he made a grave mistake in not keeping a residual force in place to protect our friends and preserve our supposed gains. They are equally adamant that he did too little in the end to save all those who fit our definition of the good and worthy Afghan.