Whitney Webb’s ‘Edward Snowden to Address Select Audience in Israel: Will He Take On Israel’s Surveillance State?’

It’s subtitled: ‘Since having gained prominence as a whistleblower, Snowden has been a vocal advocate for free speech, freedom of the press, and privacy. However, the Israeli government routinely violates these rights for Palestinians as well as Israelis’, Oct. 10, 2018

As everything at MintPressNews is listed as Creative Commons, I’ll paste in a lot of the most illuminating parts of it.  She covers a lot as per her subtitle, but those aren’t the parts I’m really interested in, nor am I sure it’s the same for Webb. What I’d like to know is whether or not you see what I see.  Some of her internal links made me wish I’d known of her years ago, as she’s shorthanded so many of the diaries I’d gone to great pains to produce, as I’d started writing about the Intercept in 2013, and of course WikiLeaks before that.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Edward Snowden, the former U.S. government contractor who leaked classified information from the U.S.’ National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013, will be speaking at an upcoming conference in Israel via video stream on November 6. The event, which is being hosted by Israeli media consultancy firm OH! Orenstein Hoshen, will be closed to the general public and attended only by “specially invited guests.”

According to Israeli media reports, Snowden will be speaking on “Israel-related issues” to an Israeli-only audience and will take questions from the event’s specially selected guests. Snowden’s remarks will then be followed by statements from former Deputy Chief of the Mossad Ram Ben Barak, who currently serves as president of Israel-based private security consulting and intelligence firm Fortify Defense. [side note: her Israeli media reports link goes to the Jerusalem Post with these additional stories:  ‘the WikiLeaks CIA discloure, a Warning for Israel’s Intelligence agencies’, and an Analysis of the same.

“Details of the event were made public on Wednesday. According to Jewish Business News, during a negotiating process that lasted several months, Snowden’s associates and Snowden himself “have responded positively to OH! Orenstein Hoshen’s request to speak to an Israeli audience for the first time”

OH! Orenstein Hoshen is a relatively new Israeli PR firm whose clients include law firm DLA Piper, connected to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation scandal, as well as U.S. weapons giant Raytheon, and Teddy Sagi – one of Israel’s richest men.

Regarding Snowden’s upcoming appearance, the firm stated:

Snowden is a fascinating figure because his actions are so controversial. We have no intention of expressing support or an opinion on what he did. The audience will hear what he has to say, can ask tough questions and people can work out their own opinions on the matter.”

Within Israel, Snowden’s appearance via video conference is likely to invite controversy, given that many of the documents he leaked helped to expose the depth of U.S./Israeli intelligence sharing. For instance, documents from the Snowden cache revealed that the NSA shares raw signals intelligence, including information about innocent American citizens, with Israel’s Unit 8200, the military intelligence branch of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

In addition, the Snowden documents have shown that a U.S. government National Intelligence Estimate ranked Israel as “the third most aggressive intelligence service against the U.S.” for its targeting of U.S. government communications. The documents also revealed that the U.S. spied on Israeli government officials.

In 2014, journalist Glenn Greenwald – who received the full cache of the documents leaked by Snowden — told Israel’s Channel 10:

There were an enormous number of very important stories that have not yet been reported. There definitely remained stories related to the Middle East and Israel.”

It is likely that many of those “very important” stories have yet to be reported on, as over 90 percent of the Snowden documents have not been made public.”  [large snip]

MintPress has contacted Snowden for comment regarding his upcoming appearance in Israel and whether he has any stance on the BDS movement, Israel’s apartheid policies, or the IDF’s mass shooting of unarmed protesters in Gaza. No response had been received at the time of this article’s publication.”

Ms. Webb’s hyperlink to 90% of the documents haven’t been released goes to her Jan. 19, 2018FBI Whistleblower on Pierre Omidyar and His Campaign to Neuter Wikileaks; FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds asserts Pierre Omidyar decided to create The Intercept to not only take ownership of the Snowden leaks but also to continue his blockade against WikiLeaks and create a “honey trap” for whistleblowers’

Whitney chronicles WikiLeaks being booted out of the Freedom of the Press club, so no more funneling donations to WikiLeaks anonymously, leaving cryptocurrencies as a way around their financial blockade, although I’d forgotten that Snowden was on the board with Trevor Timm. Daniel Elsberg, John Cusack, Glenn Greenwald and others who had voted unanimously to  kick WikiLeaks to the curb.  Webb writes that Timm’s explanation seemed benign enough (I certainly don’t), but that Julian Assange had tied it to…Pierre Omidyar recently:

“has suggested that Omidyar’s influence was responsible not only for the FPF’s decision but also for the unusual attacks that some FPF members have launched against WikiLeaks, particularly Assange, in recent months. The most outspoken of these members has been FPF director Micah Lee, who is employed by the Omidyar-owned publication, The Intercept.” [rapist, liar, ally to fascists, Putin fanboy. etc.], as well as the Daily Beast and another at the Intercept (here and here).

“Despite the slander and demonstrably false claims, other FPF members who have historically defended WikiLeaks and Assange were silent regarding Lee’s accusations, including Glenn Greenwald, Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden. Though FPF members have denied that Omidyar’s influence has had a role in these attacks, as well as in the board’s decision to cut ties with WikiLeaks, a closer examination of Omidyar and his ties to the U.S. political establishment — as well as his apparent influence on some of the FPF’s most prominent members — gives credibility to WikiLeaks’ concerns.”

Her ‘Omidyar’s connections and agenda’ is lengthy, as it would be, some of it new to me, such as giving $30 million to the Clinton Global Initiative, his ties to the CIA, NSA, the DOD,  Booz Allen Hamilton, and more.

She has the seemingly scripted SoundCloud up between Naomi Klein and Greenwald railing against WikiLeaks having failed to ‘curate’ the damaging Podesta emails and called it 'benign' (really, it was far worse than that; there was a transcript at the Intercept, and I’d dubbed itThe Great WikiLeaks Train Robbery: Pinkerton Police Greenwald and Klein in Close Pursuit’, but Snowden had claimed the sameHe’d just wanted to ‘have a conversation about the NSA, and people could vote on whether or not they wanted to be spied on.  But as with b at Moon of Alabama, Webb notes that less than 2% of the ‘curated’ files have been released, and quotes Edmonds:

“…after Greenwald worked with so many whistleblowers and even though he has technically ‘aided and abetted’ this supposed illegal, major leak, he’s not touched. He can come and go [from the United States] as he pleases.”

All of that reminded me of the ‘drip, drip’ theory of the slow publication of the leaks (I covered them at My.firedoglake for a time), and when…they stopped.  ‘Glenn Greenwald: ‘…it’s just kind of time for me to do other things’, Café Babylon, July 15, 2014

He’d told GQ:  “I like to think of it as a fireworks show: You want to save your best for last. There’s a story that from the beginning I thought would be our biggest, and I’m saving that. The last one is the one where the sky is all covered in spectacular multicolored hues. This will be the finale, a big missing piece. Snowden knows about it and is excited about it.”  Then around July 4 he’d Tweeted that it would be delayed as they needed to check some additional claims by the government.  When it came…it was some small beer about some Muslim leaders who were under NA scrutiny.  Shocking Revelation!

To Kim Zetter at Wired he said this among other things: “When I talked about my finale I just sort of meant…basically I’ve been doing this for a year now so it’s just kind of time for me to do other things. I’m sure there are stories in there that I passed by because I didn’t recognise the significance of it and neither did the other journalists working on it that people who have a different set of understandings about things would.”

I’d brought this Tweet via Geronimo, beats me:

‘Guess what? #Snowden thinks US support of Israel is the “least worst” option. Hear that, Gaza? http://t.co/n9Rw6Fh02M http://t.co/n9Rw6Fh02M pic.twitter.com/C9b0SzFlhf

— Geronimo (@JbJabroni10) July 14, 2014

Funny thing was, apparently the Guardian scrubbed the two paragraphs after publication, and made no mention of it, and the Tweet’s gone too.  [Ha; I just discovered Geronimo’s account was suspended.]  Yeah, I’m done with it all.”

Will there be any leaks from the Nov. 6 ‘invited guests only’ conference? (j/k).  I’d sure be interested to hear what any of you make of all of this.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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wendy davis's picture

i'd added this at the bottom of my last diary (via wikiLeaks on twitter):

'LEAKED: Here Are the Demands Ecuador Has Given Julian Assange in Order to End His Isolation', via the gateway pundit:

"Despite numerous reports claiming that the communications of Julian Assange have been restored, they are not yet — and there will be a severe regime of penalties and sanctions on his speech and writing when they are.

The team at WikiLeaks was informed on Friday that his communications would be restored on Monday, October 15, but so far there has not been any change. In a grave violation of free speech, Assange was also presented with a nine page document that includes outlining limitations and restrictions on what he will be able to do and say online."

it's all breathtakingly ugly, but perhaps this is the scariest:

MEDICAL

The document says that Assange must submit to the quarterly evaluations with medical specialists at his own expense. The results of any examinations will be kept private.

“In case of a medical emergency or at the express request of mr. Assange, the Head of the Mission will authorize your transfer, as soon as possible, to receive care from physicians outside the Embassy,” the document says.

The UK has repeatedly denied Assange safe passage to a hospital after doctors who examined him called for him to be allowed to go and be treated for his deteriorating health. If he was to be transported to a hospital, it is extremely likely he would be arrested."

yeah, john bolton would be the ambulance driver, and would head straight to the airport to gitmo.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

This conference in Israel is little more than a long distance phone call.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

amigo. if you'd expand it, i'd be much obliged. although your second sentence...rocks.

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Pricknick's picture

he's protected by those evil Russians!!! (I was told somewhere that "Russians" must always be followed by three explanation points).
I'll tune in if it ever happens.
Thanks.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

wendy davis's picture

@Pricknick

julian assange? must be assange given you've said you'll tune in if it ever happens? as in: being thrown out of the ecuadorian embassy?

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wendy davis's picture

conference in israel, esp. given who the participants are, is this: what are his motivations in accepting? no, given no media, etc., it wouldn't matter one iota if he 'called out the israeli government' on anything. thus, to me, this isn't about altruism, but i suspect something self-serving.

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wendy davis's picture

tell it, johnny:

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