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'Demonizing Edward Snowden: Which Side Are You On?'

June 25, 2013 - Ben Klein
There's been a lot written about Edward Snowden over the last couple of weeks since the former National Securty Agency contractor leaked a number of documents to The Guardian and Washington Post newspapers.

The Times Observer poll question of the day asked on Monday - "Do you consider NSA leaker Edward Snowden a criminal or a hero?"

Responses ranged from calling Snowden a "traitor" to backing "him for protecting the Constitution. Unlawful search and seisure" to the claim that he "He has lists of CIA operatives, lists of co-op names".

The best response so far is from John Cassidy of the New Yorker who on Monday wrote about how "journalists" such as David Greggory the host of Meet the Press have covered the whole affair.

From The New Yorker:

"More unnerving is the way in which various members of the media have failed to challenge the official line. Nobody should be surprised to see the New York Post running the headline: "ROGUES' GALLERY: SNOWDEN JOINS LONG LIST OF NOTORIOUS, GUTLESS TRAITORS FLEEING TO RUSSIA." But where are Snowden's defenders? As of Monday, the editorial pages of the Times and the Washington Post, the two most influential papers in the country, hadn't even addressed the Obama Administration's decision to charge Snowden with two counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of theft.

If convicted on all three counts, the former N.S.A. contract-systems administrator could face thirty years in jail. On the Sunday-morning talk shows I watched, there weren't many voices saying that would be an excessive punishment for someone who has performed an invaluable public service. And the person who did aggressively defend Snowden's actions, Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian blogger who was one of the reporters to break the story, found himself under attack. After suggesting that Greenwald had "aided and abetted" Snowden, David Gregory, the host of NBC's "Meet the Press," asked, "Why shouldn't you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?"

After being criticized on Twitter, Gregory said that he wasn't taking a position on Snowden's actions—he was merely asking a question. I'm all for journalists asking awkward questions, too. But why aren't more of them being directed at Hayden and Feinstein and Obama, who are clearly intent on attacking the messenger?"

Cassidy continues, writing the Obama Administration wants to lock up Snowden for "And for what? For telling would-be jihadis that we are monitoring their Gmail and Facebook accounts? For informing the Chinese that we eavesdrop on many of their important institutions, including their prestigious research universities? For confirming that the Brits eavesdrop on virtually anybody they feel like? Come on. Are there many people out there who didn't already know these things?"

"...on its side, the Obama Administration has the courts, the intelligence services, Congress, the diplomatic service, much of the media, and most of the American public. Snowden's got Greenwald, a woman from Wikileaks, and a dodgy travel document from Ecuador. Which side are you on?"


Article Comments

Jul-04-13 6:10 AM

continued: numerous journalists as they discuss Edward Snowden with Wikileaks at ****wikileaks****. You will find a transcript titled "Transcript of WikiLeaks Press Conference on Edward Snowden’s Exit From Hong Kong." It is a very interesting read.

Jul-04-13 6:08 AM

I believe the media is afraid of the US Government, seeing as it's outright bullying so many countries around the world. So it's to be understood that the media is hesitant to support the underdog in this fight. I don't believe their are really any media companies out there with the.. er, guts to take on serious political issues anymore. They're happy to sit back and reroll the same news about crime, weather and gossip. No, our society is lazy and quite comfortable in not taking up the hard topics and doing what needs to be done for the greater good, those days are gone, my friends. Only Edward Snowden doesn't believe that - he believes in the American people enough to throw away his entire livelihood in pursuit for the truth. Please, before you set judgement on this man for his actions I invite you to do your own research - look into the truth of the matter for yourself instead of letting others chose what news you watch. If you are interested, take a look at the transcript of numero


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