Discussion: Who Is Accused NSA Leaker Reality Winner?

Nice work ! Good with some background info !



I want to question why the info leaked was even classified.


Free Reality!

So many meanings there.


There were plenty of news articles last year covering the hack into the Florida based voting software company. The Russians were identified as the hacker then. The only new info seems to be the number of spear fishing emails sent to voting officials days before the election.


“The bigger issue is: Was my client interrogated without her attorney?” he said.

Because she declined one?

It was classified because revealing it now would reveal sources and methods, like when Trump bragged about Israeli intelligence he received to Lavrov. The government should be actively investigating Russian and other attempts to influence elections, and this effort is now hurt because they have a good idea how we do it. If she did this she is a traitor. Glenn Greenwald is a Russian hack too. Notice how he never reveals anything Russian or Chinese hackers do. He wIll be lucky if Putin does not whack him for giving up a source like a high school paper editor in the principals office.


Funny how when Winner hands over classified info to the American public, she lands in jail, but when Trump hands over classified info to the Russians, it’s just another day at the White House.


Digital forensics isn’t exactly the black arts and the ‘sources’ (caveat: so far, that I’ve seen) primarily include victims. Pretty sure the Russians already knew about that.

I agree with you about Greenwald, though. (To an extent; I think he’s just a narcissist as opposed to a conspirator. It’s odd how he loves to wax acerbic about HRC … but never really seemed to waste words criticizing DT. Moreover, you’d think that, given his ‘reputation’ he and his would be aware of the yellow-dot technique; yet apparently he didn’t care. (Or, in my paranoid hyperbolic reality, he wanted Reality to get caught – that’s a phrase for the decade – because it derails his hate-on for investigating the Russian election interference.))


the U.S. would become the “United States of the Russian Federation,” and referring to President Trump as an “orange fascist” and a “piece of shit.”

Other things aside, she sounds like my kind of gal.


It may be that what Reality Winner did is illegal under laws governing classified material, but this is clearly NOT espionage by any standard definition. She was not passing classified information to a foreign state. She was releasing it to the public. To me, it seems she was pursuing a patriotic end - even if it put her in legal jeopardy.

To those who argue it reveals NSA methods I say hogwash. This information was obtained by electronic surveillance. First, we all know that the NSA has this capability although we may not know the details of how they do it (e.g., with assistance from which telecoms and internet search companies, what the exact algorithms are, etc). Second, release of this document in no way reveals these details. Count me as ready to donate to her legal defense fund.


I can imagine several lines of reasoning which would lead to this information being classified.

The charitable case would be something akin to preventing public unrest due to incomplete information. (i.e.: Something halfway between ‘don’t shout fire in a crowded theater’ and 'let’s get the whole story for the public so they can make a fully informed decision rather than repeat the Boston Marathon Bomber or Sandy Hook misinformation crises.)

Along those lines, the neutral/boilerplate explanation would be something about ongoing investigations. (Or maybe even just standard operations procedures.)

Of course, nefarious reasons are easy to come by, too. Be it conspiratorial cover up or the ‘more benign’ someone covering their own ass and not wanting people to know just how badly things were.

That said, I, too, would love to know the specific rationale.


This story has a lot of questions, but how, at 25, would she know exactly what to go with leaking after less than three months on the job. She is still figuring out her passwords and where the bathrooms are.

How is it she knew exactly where to go to get the document she sent? How is it she knew where the document was but foolishly sent it to The Intercept over her OFFICIAL work email?

This whole thing, to me, cries out as a plant.

fluent in Pashto, Farsi and Dari, with top secret security clearance.

Seems like a mistake to paint her as something other than pretty damn smart.


Why exactly is this information classified and not printed everywhere in the public realm? Why is Intelligence trying to protect the people who did the hacking?

One can be smart and gullible at the same time. Seriously, one can. Have seen it multiple times in my life.

Why do you suppose Greenwald threw her to the sharks without even a passing concern about protecting his source? It’s like he went out his way to hand over her name, address, and description.

Meanwhile, I’m all for convicting Winner as soon as Trump, Kushner, Flynn, Pence, Manafort, and all the rest of the crew are arrested for variations on espionage and collusion.


OK, but you are saying because she’s young, or she’s new to a job, that she couldn’t have done this on her own. I don’t agree.


Hey, hey…those are Trump, Kushner and Bannon excuses. Reality bites.

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yeah, if she’s lookin’ for a suitor it’s gonna be a mile long line now! Except for the minor legal complications. :smiley:

When this broke I thought this was bigger news than it apparently is. I certainly at this point do not think it was worth what this person, who seems admirable and brave to me, especially for a 25 year old, is now going t go through. I only hope she did this with eyes open and a realistic appreciation of what might happen to her.

This certainly isn’t going to help the Intercept get any new sources in the future - seems like a bit of a clusterfuck on their part. I am disappointed because I like a lot of Scahill’s work, particularly on Blackwater.

As for Greenwald, he is definitely a bit of an egomaniac, but so are a lot of investigative reporters - look at Woodward and Bernstein. I would still prefer him to 99% of the bullshit that passes as reporting in this country these days.

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