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on 24 March 2015
The Snowden narrative should strike a cautious observer as bizarre. Why would someone who purports to be simply exposing violations of privacy in intelligence agencies steal so much data unrelated to violations of privacy? Why would much of this stolen data detail particulars of US intelligence gathering against rival countries, including China and Russia? Why had Snowden been stealing data from the NSA as far back as his earlier employment with Dell? Why did he deliberately seek out a job for the NSA in Hawaii, a weak point in the NSA network, which had full access to the main NSA networks in Fort Meade? What explains his peculiar trip to Hong Kong, of all places in the world, following the data theft? At the very least, some time before his NSA employment in Hawaii, Snowden intended to steal information, and had contact with others on how best to do it. Whether or not Snowden has been sincere about his ideals, his action was premeditated theft.

Drawing upon a career of following and reporting on the world of espionage in the West, Eastern Europe and the former USSR, Lucas questions the benign "whistleblowing" image of Edward Snowden to show how he could have been duped into cooperating with Russian intelligence. By providing a series of plausible answers to the lingering questions around Snowden's actions, Lucas shows the uneasy parallels between Snowden's situation and the spycraft practiced by Russians. The conclusions are striking. Snowden has either been oblivious about what the effects of his actions are, and is a naive anti-US government ideologue, or cooperating with foreign powers to damage American institutions, and is a traitor. While Lucas realizes that there are no "smoking guns" in the Snowden case, as of yet, that can definitively establish Snowden's motivations, Lucas is able to provide a compelling account of a bizarre series of events: a series of events, which, in the media's sanctimonious posturing against the long-standing practices of espionage, need more careful scrutiny.

Other reviewers, squirming to see Lucas accuse Snowden so forcefully, denounce the book as akin to political party literature. They are likely upset that Lucas is not in their political party. Nor is Lucas in any recognizable "pro-NSA" political party either. Lucas has strident criticisms concerning the NSA and its leadership, as well as previous and current US Presidential administrations. Ultimately, Lucas is trying to provide some subtle analysis in a charged, partly mythologized conversation, a conversation that is already moving into that summit of mythologizing, the Hollywood biopic. The book's one weakness is that it is an account of current events: it lacks the time to make a more polished description of espionage practices and the institutional accountability that already exists over the NSA, and where room for improvement could take place. Such a description would show that Snowden's sensational actions can only be justified by one who already views democratically-elected legislative assemblies and contemporary diplomacy as inherently illegitimate. This would demonstrate the theoretical extremism of Snowden's supporters and the existential challenge they present to the long-standing, if often misunderstood, institutions that underwrite international relations.
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on 22 February 2014
The intended purpose seems to be to argue the case that Snowden is not the hero as presented by some.

I bought it because I thought it would be interesting to read an account of what had in fact happened - but that was rather lost amongst the continued points being made about interpreted intentions.

It felt like a one sided argument with conclusions being drawn that were not obvious to me from the information presented. However, I found it seemed to assume the reader had more detailed knowledge than I had, and I did not find it very interesting. I therefor rather skimmed the book and may have missed some of the points. It may be of more interest to those with more background knowledge but I found it about as convincing as party political literature.
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on 10 March 2014
Very self opinionated and extremely biased which this type of book should not be. I'm sure the majority of his points are factually correct but it comes across as being commissioned by the Government of the USA.
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on 28 February 2014
I realise that the whole of Snowden revelations run counter top a lot of his own writings in both "The New Cold War" and "Deception".
So, from my point of view this is a "hatchet job" and worthy of a severe dose of caution, as are his conclusions.
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on 28 April 2014
Seems to be written by a hurt party rather than an analysts. I was surprised by the stance that Europe is backwards, venal and corrupt which is why the U.S.A. is forced to spy. To add my dismay the content contradicts itself hence the low score.
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on 25 March 2014
A very establishment and one-sided view of Snowden,s activities in highlighting the atrocious spying activities in which the US is involved worldwide.
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on 14 July 2014
Read this, it won't take long, and afterwards remain sceptical.... (That's skeptical in the US.)
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on 24 April 2014
This is an important book. It's short, readable and comprehensible to those outside the national security system. Snowden is heralded as a hero, but he has irreparably damaged our national security and left us vulnerable to a wide variety of threats. The fact that he is now living comfortably in Moscow ought to serve as an indicator he may well have been on their payroll all along.
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on 14 March 2014
The author clearly has a single view about Snowden and argues remorselessly for this viewpoint. I may or may not agree with this viewpoint, but didn't really want to read a polemic. I would have preferred a more balanced argument.
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on 3 March 2014
While I won't go as far as the reviewer called it subjective, narrow, and churlish I will say that he isn't too far off, what I thought was good that he provides a very good counter point but goes too far in the other direction. By the third chapter I started skip and by the fourth I gave up.
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