The business model of NSA apologists

Those talking heads you see on TV defending the NSA and calling for Snowden's ass in a sling? They make bank off NSA surveillance contracts.

From former NSA general counsel Stewart Baker, who went through the regulatory revolving door and came out a lobbyist for the NSA's biggest suppliers (and who dared The Intercept to publish his ridiculous non-denial, which they did) to Fox News Military Analyst Jack Keane who parachuted out of the life of a humble four-star general and Army vice-chief of staff onto the board of NSA general contractor General Dynamics.

What's more, the press outlets who quote the hysterical TERRISTSGONNAKILLUSALL party-line these profiteers spout never ask them if their views are in any way related to the bathtubs full of money they get from the NSA's mass surveillance programs.

"The American people," Clark said confidently during an interview on CNN, "are solidly behind the PRISM program and all that's going on." Appearing on Fox News, Woolsey referred to Snowden's disclosure of documents as "damaging because it gives terrorists an idea of how we collect and what we might know." Woolsey would later comment that Snowden "should be hanged by his neck" if convicted for treason.

The men are, and were at the time, advisors to Paladin Capital Group, an investment advisor and private equity firm whose Homeland Security Fund was set up about three months after the September 11 attacks to focus on defense and intelligence-related startups. Woolsey confirmed he is paid by Paladin Capital; Clark did not respond to a request for comment. In 2014, Paladin's portfolio was valued at more than $587 million. At the time of Woolsey and Clark's anti-Snowden statements, it included a stake in Endgame Systems, a computer network security company that had worked with the NSA, having reportedly counted the agency among its largest customers. Paladin was also invested in CyberCore, which had provided technological work to the NSA. Later, in 2014, Paladin invested in Shadow Networks, formerly known as ZanttzZ, which also provided tech work to the NSA.

Many of the NSA's Loudest Defenders Have Financial Ties to NSA Contractors [Lee Fang/The Intercept]