the easy case: think 'paraphrase' (as far as i know, that is. what went on in private discussions is unknown of course, but the public posts speak for themselves, see more on this below).
for what to read: it's not only about the few posts we linked to, it's the entire flamewar on lkml and some 5 threads here on LWN, hundreds of posts altogether. i understand if you're less than inclined to read them though, but then don't expect me to repeat all what was said back then either (much to the delight of many readers i guess ;).
as for your other questions: i assume you're not involved in computer security which would expain why you missed the real meaning behind spender's quote. in short, it was slyly disparaging as Linus' publicly stated position and actual actions are so much disconnected from reality (it's not a matter of my or anyone's belief, it's of public record, so much so that it earned him this nomination last summer: http://pwnie-awards.org/2008/nominees.html#lamestvendor).
let me leave you with some food for thought: imagine someone with the ability to write exploits against kernel bugs. imagine further he can also determine just by looking at a given patch whether it fixed a (potentially) exploitable bug (potentially, since one cannot be sure until one actually tries it, kernel bugs usually aren't the easiest kind to exploit). now imagine that you give this person a list of patches without telling him what they do. do you actually believe that this will prevent him from picking out the ones fixing exploitable bugs? because that's exactly what Linus et al. have tried to argue in their desperate attempt at explaining why coverup is good. last but not least: imagine that a file system driver has a bug that can corrupt on-disk data. do you think the proper approach is to not tell the world about it? history says otherwise. now imagine you have a kernel memory corruption bug that can do the same by virtue of corrupting filesystem (meta)data (let's forget about the potential for privilege elevation). do you think it's prudent to not tell the world about it and vehemently argue why it is even a good thing? history says yes. now consider that a memory corruption bug is typically much easier to abuse for trashing random memory (including the filesystem stuff i mentioned) than it is to properly and reliably exploit for privilege elevation. as i said, just some food for thought...