AuthorTopic: Washington Post turns on Snowden despite receiving Pulitzer Prize for his NSA le  (Read 601 times)

Offline Palloy

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The ultimate irony - WaPo published the Snowden leaks, got journalistic awards for it, then says their source should go to jail.  Sick.
Washington Post turns on Snowden despite receiving Pulitzer Prize for his NSA leaks
19 Sep, 2016

The Washington Post says whistleblower Edward Snowden should not be granted a presidential pardon from Barack Obama. This is despite the newspaper receiving a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting of the NSA leaks sent to the Post by Snowden.

In an editorial published on Sunday, the Post said that Obama’s answer to whether Snowden – the paper’s one-time source – should be granted a presidential pardon is complicated, but should continue to be “no.”

    House urges Obama not to pardon #Snowden, claims he is ‘not a whistleblower’
    — RT (@RT_com) September 15, 2016

The Post accepts that Snowden’s actions helped to make the US public aware of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) use of metadata, which led to reforms regarding surveillance legislation.

However, while accepting that Snowden may have had noble intentions in trying to expose the NSA’s spying on members of the public, the Post believes he crossed a line by leaking information about the NSA internet-monitoring program PRISM, which was “clearly legal and not clearly threatening to privacy.”

“Worse — far worse — he also leaked details of basically defensible international intelligence operations: cooperation with Scandinavian services against Russia; spying on the wife of an Osama bin Laden associate; and certain offensive cyber operations in China,” the paper stated in its editorial.

The Post adds that his revelations possibly caused “tremendous damage” to national security.

    Shouldn't they say: "therefore, this paper made a major mistake in revealing it: sorry"- then return their Pulitzer?
    — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 18, 2016

Glenn Greenwald, who helped publish Snowden’s leaks in the Guardian newspaper, was scathing of the Post’s decision. Writing in the Intercept, he called the decision made by the Washington-based publication an “act of journalistic treachery,” by saying Snowden should not be pardoned.

“In doing so, the Washington Post has achieved an ignominious feat in US media history: the first-ever paper to explicitly editorialize for the criminal prosecution of its own source — one on whose back the paper won and eagerly accepted a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service,” Greenwald wrote.

“But even more staggering than this act of journalistic treachery against the paper’s own source are the claims made to justify it,” he added.

    To defend NSA from critics, @WashingtonPost attacks the story they broke. Which won the Pulitzer for Public Service.
    — Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 18, 2016

The Post has called on Snowden to return to the US from Russia, where he has been granted asylum, adding that this would “be in the best tradition of civil disobedience, whose practitioners have always been willing to go to jail for their beliefs.”

The newspaper also states that Snowden “hurt his own credibility as an avatar of freedom by accepting asylum from Russia’s Vladimir Putin.”

The Intercept, the New York Times and the Guardian, who also published the NSA leaks, in contrast to the Post’s editorial, have called on the US government to allow Snowden to return to the US and not face any charges.

Greenwald was scathing of the Post, saying that the paper fails to note that it was not Snowden, “but the top editors of the Washington Post who decided to make these programs public. Again, just look at the stories for which the Post was cited when receiving a Pulitzer Prize,” he wrote in the Intercept.

    Here's what Post Exec Editor @PostBaron said when Post celebrated itself for its Pulitzer
    — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 18, 2016

Greenwald also cited comments from the Post’s Executive Editor Marty Baron in 2014, after the paper was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

“Disclosing the massive expansion of the NSA’s surveillance network absolutely was a public service,” Baron said, as cited by the Intercept. “In constructing a surveillance system of breathtaking scope and intrusiveness, our government also sharply eroded individual privacy. All of this was done in secret, without public debate, and with clear weaknesses in oversight.”

Despite the Post profiting from Snowden’s NSA leaks, the paper believes a favorable solution would see Snowden accepting “criminal responsibility” for his actions, and an outright pardon “would strike the wrong balance.”
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Offline Eddie

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Pardons are only for billionaires and party donors. Whistleblowers who take on the Deep State get the shaft.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Palloy

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Edward Snowden: The hypocrisy is in the (Washington) Post
Neil Clark
21 Sep, 2016

Consider the following: A newspaper receives documents about mass state surveillance from a whistleblower. It publishes a selection of the material. It is awarded a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting of the leaks.

Then, a couple of years later, having made money from the whistleblower and gained a prestigious award - it publishes an editorial arguing that the whistleblower- who had to leave his country, his family and loved ones and claim political asylum in another - does not deserve an official pardon.

Whatever your views are on whistleblowers, I’m sure you’ll agree that the newspaper has behaved pretty reprehensibly. We can talk about hypocrisy, betrayal, double standards, treachery - and also think of quite a few unprintable words to describe what the paper has done.

But really, the behavior of the Washington Post - the newspaper in question - should not surprise us.

    WPost acheives a 1st in media history: a paper calls for *imprisonment of its own source (after accepting Pulitzer)
    — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 18, 2016

The first paper in history to call for the prosecution of its own source - after accepting a Pulitzer (to quote the excellent Glenn Greenwald) - has, for a long time been an elite-friendly, pro-war organ masquerading as a progressive publication promoting the 'public interest'. And their treatment of Edward Snowden, the whistleblower in question, is par for the course.

This is a paper, after all, that enthusiastically pushed the case for the illegal Iraq war in 2003 - running no fewer than 27 editorials in favor of President George W. Bush’s criminal enterprise- which has left around 1m Iraqis dead. More recently, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) noted that the Post ran 16 negative stories about Bernie Sanders between 6-7th March this year - a crucial time in the campaign for the Democratic Party nomination.

The Post has also been at the forefront of the anti-Russian propaganda war currently being waged in the US. Uber neocon hawk and Iraq war supporter Anne Applebaum writes a bi-weekly foreign affairs column for the paper, which she uses to attack Russia and issue dire warnings about the Russian ‘threat’.

Her column of 8th September was entitled: "How Russia could spark a US electoral disaster" and took anti-Russian paranoia to new levels. "They (the Russians) might try to get Trump elected. Alternatively — and this would, of course, be even more devastating — they might try to rig the election for Clinton," Applebaum claimed. In 2014, in a piece entitled "War in Europe is not a hysterical idea", she asked whether Europeans should "drop everything, mobilize, prepare for total war [with Russia] while it was still possible".

Can we really expect a newspaper that publishes Applebaum’s anti-Russia tirades to support a pardon for Edward Snowden in its editorials?
Which begs the question: why did Snowden decide to work with the Washington Post in the first place? To answer that we have to put ourselves in his shoes.

The dilemma that whistleblowers face is how to get the documents they are leaking out to as wide an audience as possible. That inevitably means using, at least in part, mainstream print media.
Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, was asked about this at an international media conference I attended earlier this summer in Moscow.

Why, Assange was asked, via a video link from London, did Wikileaks deal with publications which could be expected to be ‘Establishment friendly’? Assange answered that Wikileaks wanted to make as big an impact as it possibly could, and that meant it had to work with some of the West’s biggest newspapers.

It’s easy to understand this, but, as we’ve seen, difficulties arise as the agenda of the whistleblowers rarely coincide with the newspapers they work with. The relationship between Julian Assange and the British Guardian newspaper was constructive at first, but later broke down with disagreements over the redaction of material.

In February, the Guardian published an editorial arguing that the Assange, who has been holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, was no victim of "arbitrary detention" as a UN panel had just ruled.

Guardian columnists have been very critical of Assange too, though the newspaper has published articles in defense of him as well.

The New York Times - another newspaper which published early Wikileaks material - also fell out with Assange. In an article entitled "Wikileaks, a Postcript", the paper's former editor Bill Keller described Assange as a 'rock-star leaker' and blasted the Wikileaks founder for signing up to a TV series with the "Kremlin’s English-language propaganda arm" RT.

So, as we see, Western newspapers falling out with whistleblowers who have provided them with documents is nothing new. It’s worth noting though that, unlike the Washington Post, neither the NY Times, or the Guardian, who also received leaked NSA documents, have opposed a pardon for Edward Snowden.

By taking such a hard line on the man whose leaks it was only too happy to publish, the Post has shot itself in the foot. It’s editorial decision has been widely criticized - not just by Glenn Greenwald in the Intercept.

    Washington Post throws Snowden under the bus
    — Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) September 19, 2016

"The Washington Post has stunned many people in the United States, including a large section of the country’s journalistic community, by coming out against a pardon for whistleblower Edward Snowden," reports the Guardian.

And today, a sign that perhaps the Post has realized that it went too far. In a new piece, entitled "As a source- and a patriot Edward Snowden deserves a Presidential pardon", the paper’s media columnist, Margaret Sullivan, takes a very different line from the now notorious 17th September editorial: "Snowden did an important — and brave — service for the American public and, in fact, the world, when he made it possible for news organizations to reveal widespread government surveillance of citizens. Some of that surveillance broke the law; some, although within the law, was nevertheless outrageous and unacceptable".

Sullivan is right. Snowden performed a service for the American public and the world. And so too, for that matter, has Julian Assange, who, lest we forget, has not been formally charged with any offense. Both men deserve their freedom: it’s the endless war lobby - and not those who expose what governments get up to in our name - who need to be held to account. Only don’t expect too much help from the Washington Post with that one.
The State is a body of armed men


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