Last Sunday on Sixty Minutes, the lead NSA investigator — tasked with determining how much damage Edward Snowden has done to national security — floated the idea of giving him amnesty to entice him to return to the U.S. and bring back everything he stole. The head of the NSA, General Alexander, was not of the same mind. He compared Snowden to a hostage taker that kills ten people then asks for amnesty if he’ll release the rest. I agree with Alexander, but not for the reasons he stated. Snowden doesn’t need amnesty. What he needs is a set of press credentials.
Think about it: this release of top secret information required two parties. One to steal it, and one to report it. Glenn Greenwald is on the record saying he was working with Snowden before Snowden began working for the NSA (then, when he realized that statement could potentially get him in trouble by taking him out of the vaunted “journalist” circle and placing him in the less sexy “co-conspirator” circle, he backpedaled). Snowden has stated that the only reason he took the job was to steal secrets. Both worked together to harm our national security, yet one became an international fugitive and the other an Internet darling. What’s the difference? Press credentials.
What Snowden should have done was build up his cover before he started. I remember the breathless revelations that occurred in the seventies and eighties when a reporter went “undercover” to get a scoop at a business or organization, then outed himself and began shoving a microphone in everyone’s face. Snowden should have done the same thing, because apparently being a reporter means you can do whatever the hell you want, harm anyone you see fit, and generally get away with murder simply because you can claim the mantle of journalist. Why is it the government keeps debating Snowden’s fate, yet the mouthpiece of his leak is untouched? Hard to believe, but claiming to be a journalist gives Glenn Greenwald complete immunity even though he was/is instrumental in the stealing of secrets.
The New York Times has reported that the NSA may never know how much information Snowden stole, and yet there’s one way to at least neck down the size. Ask Greenwald to show what he has. The NSA is combing through its databases and painstakingly piecing together what Snowden might have stolen, and Glenn Greenwald is sitting there with – according to him – the entire trove of Snowden data. Glenn Greenwald, amazingly enough, is an American citizen. He claims that he has the United States’ best interests at heart, and that he has all of Snowden’s data. Given that both of those statements are absolute bullshit, he does have upwards of 1.7 million documents, and he shouldn’t mind the US looking at it. I mean, what harm would that bring to him? Why would he refuse to let the NSA see what he has? Is it because it would damage his ability to titillate and shock with future revelations? Is that what trumps national security in his mind? One thing is for sure: it would clearly show his true colors, because I guarantee if the US asked to see – not take, just see – the data in order to prepare against the damage the leaks will have to national security, Glenn Greenwald would say no. His newspaper already did. When the UK asked to see the data just to determine the damage, instead of letting that happen The Guardian destroyed its trove of documents. Yes, that’s right. They destroyed it instead of letting its own government take a look, knowing they could always count on ol’ Glenn to give them another copy. Does that sound like anyone in this sordid affair gives a tinker’s damn about damage to national security?
I’ve blogged about it before, but clearly the modern journalist has no quantifiable left and right limits on integrity or honesty. Glenn Greenwald can repeatedly report falsehoods about the NSA, like his initial story on PRISM, which was pretty much proved to be bullshit within forty-eight hours, or his habit of printing half the story and conveniently leaving out the other half that provided much needed context. When called out on it by a privacy lawyer, he whips up his Internet trolls and attacks the messenger, which apparently is his method of operation as reported by news outlets that have worked with him. And yet everyone takes what he says at face value as being true. By contrast, 60 minutes gives the NSA a chance to rebut the story and is immediately trashed as being a sycophant of the government and a pack of liars.
It used to be that a journalist was unbiased and set out to report the truth of what he found. In today’s cable world, that’s ridiculous. Every news outlet reports with a slant, but few bend so far over that they reach the horizontal position like Glenn Greenwald. He’s hated the United States since he went through puberty, and has had an agenda since he learned to type. He genuinely wants to harm national interests and has overtly threatened to do so, against both the United States and England, yet he gets a complete pass. Oh, and for those that still think Snowden is a “Whistleblower” looking out for the average US citizen, he’s just offered to tell Brazil everything he knows about our intelligence operations in exchange for asylum. What’s that got to do with the fourth amendment?
Snowden should have learned a thing or two from working with Greenwald. If he had claimed to be a journalist, he wouldn’t have had to leave Hawaii. Instead of amnesty, he should be asking Santa for a set of back-dated press credentials.
He’s a traitor. He’s a thief. But someone dropped the ball on giving his security clearance in the first place. He and his accomplices will probably never come back to face it. Expats forever.
Very well said.
I actually don’t think everything about Snowden has come out yet. He may have started out as a whistleblower and having the American peoples interest at heart. I don’t know. But he did bring out the lies of the government spying on it’s own people.I can see that. I can’t see giving foreign governments national secrets. That I don’t condone and should face charges if true. Though I don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. I err on the side of liberty, not government secrets, especially unconstitutional violations on its own people. So Snowden will be a modern Robin Hood, a villan to some and a hero to others.
Thank you for your post. I find it instructive of the entire affair as it relates to perceptions. You state that he “did bring out the lies of the government spying on its own people” as if that’s a given. Because Greenwald said it, it is so and written in stone. On the other hand, you say you don’t condone Snowden giving foreign governments national secrets, and he “should face charges IF TRUE.” As in, yeah, SOME people – including Snowden himself – have said he’s giving up national secrets to foreign government, but that’s not PROVEN. It’s just people saying that. This is what has frustrated me from the very beginning with this whole affair. There very well may have been abuses in the surveillance apparatus of the United States, but it aggravates me to no end that anyone who defends the system with facts and analysis is AUTOMATICALLY a liar, and anyone who attacks the system, whether with facts or falsehoods, is automatically telling the truth. I don’t mean to pick on your comment, and I actually agree with your sentiment. I, too, err on the side of liberty but having seen the workings from the inside of the belly of the beast, I’m not convinced at this stage that there have been unconstitutional violations. Maybe there have been, but just because Greenwald and Snowden say so doesn’t make it fact.
One quiet agent should quietly slip up behind both of these traitorous assholes and give them an ear-to-ear smile.
Thank you for your input, comrade.
Brad, I still can’t help but think Greenwald has some kind of political agenda behind this. Not sure what it would be, but he has to have some agenda or motive that is not so evident. Do you think he has that or some other hidden agenda, because it certainly doesn’t seem to be simply for ‘freedom of the press’?
Well, YEAH he has an agenda. He’s ALWAYS had an agenda. He literally hates the United States and all it stands for. It’s not a hidden thing. He has written repeatedly about his disdain, and has spoken to numerous socialist and communist organizations in support of their goals. His basic premise is that the United States is an imperial nation that, at its core, is materialistic and evil, and the U.S. government, by extension, does things solely for the profit of its elites. No, I’m not being McCarthy on this or reducing myself to ad hominem attacks. That’s who he is, and proudly so. (http://www.aim.org/aim-column/glenn-greenwald-regularly-attends-marxist-leninist-conferences/)
I am disgusted by how easily the government feels it has a right to eavesdrop on everyone, everywhere in the world, and Edward Snowden has done a service to his country. Now, you can vilify him if you want, and that is what someone who is trying to hide something or thinks the US government can do no wrong might do, but in fact, trying to make a whistleblower the enemy is to take the focus off the crime and moral low-ground and trying to kill the messenger. Good luck with that. You don’t just do anything you want because you can (compiling private conversations and transactions), and saying you’re doing it to fight terrorism doesn’t mean you can do anything you want. This all puts President Obama and former President Bush in the same boat – blinded by terrorism. Terrorism wins. Privacy rights lose.
Why, is this my alter ego? Amazing. While I agree with everything you say, it is all caveated on one simple plank: IF WHAT HAS BEEN REPORTED IS TRUE (actually, it’s never been reported ANYWHERE that the NSA is “compiling private conversations”). And that is where we part ways. You choose to believe everything you read, and I choose to take a more nuanced approach, having seen it from the inside. I know I’ll never, ever convince you that Greenwald and Snowden are a pack of liars, but if you really cared, do a little in-depth research beyond the daily hysteria. Here’s a start: Greenwald/Snowden released a hyperventilating story about Sweden breaking all kind of international laws and basically raping all of Europe of their electronic communications. As ALWAYS happens with these stories, the truth eventually comes out. The sad thing is nobody bothers to read a news report three days later. They only read the lies up front, when it’s on the front page. Nobody cares about the follow up on page three, and Greenwald knows this. In this case, it was a little better than most, as the head of the Swedish version of the NSA did a point-by-point rebuttal – AND OFFERED FOR GREENWALD TO PRESENT HIS EVIDENCE IN OPEN COURT. Of course, that’ll never happen because Greenwald is an opportunistic jerk who has no interest in proving what he says is true. He only has to print it for it to be true.
Like I said in my blog, you’ll just call them a bunch of liars. After all, it’s only Snowden and Greenwald who EVER tell the truth. Unless, of course, you have the ability to use google and don’t fall prey to the sensationalism that Greenwald and Snowden rely on to get their agenda across. I have no tolerance for government surveillance on United States citizens without due process. NONE. But I also have no tolerance for a bunch of lying media hounds perpetuating myths laid against the backs of military members protecting the very freedom they use to disparage them.
Those last two comments threw me for a minute. Then I recovered and laughed heartily. Merry Christmas, lads.
Fantastic article I think your readership (and you) will enjoy.
I would love to hear your thoughts on Scahill’s documentary, “Dirty Wars”. Thanks for your time.