On Sunday, January 26th ,the former NSA contractor, whistleblower, and US fugitive, Edward Snowden gave a candid 30 minute interview for the German television network ARD.
The problem with this interview is that in America there was zero mainstream media coverage via the web, television, or print. This story appears to have gone ‘radio silent’, and something about that doesn’t quite add up, as it is shocking this day and age, to perform any Google search and not be able to find any information on this interview from anyone other than blogs, and the Guardian.
Snowden’s discussion was filmed in an undisclosed location in Russia and was his first time interviewing with a major television network. In the video, Snowden chronicled the aftermath of his revelations that were provided to major media outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times.
Recently, President Obama called for Edward Snowden to return to the US and asked him to ‘make his case’ in the courts. In his interview Edward Snowden spoke directly to this request, as in the minds of most Americans this seems to be a reasonable action to take if you have done nothing wrong.
“What [the president] doesn’t say is that the crimes that he’s charged me with are crimes that don’t allow me to make my case. They don’t allow me to defend myself in an open court, to the public, and convince a jury that what I did was to their benefit. The Espionage Act… it’s from 1918, was never intended to prosecute journalistic sources, people who are informing the newspapers about information that is in the public interest.”
President Obama also recently has spoken about changes needing to be made in the data collection protocol, including the creation of a public interest advocate. These changes lend credence to Edward Snowden being more a whistleblower than spy, as he exposed to the public the mismanagement, corruption, illegality, and overall wrongdoing of the NSA.
The changes made by Obama prove that the NSA activities were less than legal, or else the President would have just come out and defended as well as justified the programs existence instead of modifying it and promising future modifications.
The revelations by Snowden have even surprised members of both parties in Congress, who are now calling for more oversight of the NSA. This comes about because of the current lack of oversight of the program and the potentially illegal activities taking place with this surveillance program due to the lack of oversight and transparency.
Whistle blower situations can be very difficult to dissect. To truly determine the detriment caused we would need information that would never be provided. The only thing at this point that we know is that Edward Snowden did indeed break the law and potentially harmed U.S. Security interests.
But what/whom’s security interest did he harm? Has anyone died as a direct consequence to his revelations? And lastly what is the long term damage caused domestically and internationally that would justify him being label a spy/traitor thus guilty of espionage with the subsequent punishment of being hung in the gallows of D.C for all the world to see.
These questions probably will never be answered publicly and I’m not sure that they should be, but I do know that those that we entrust with our interest need to have our complete trust in order for us to know that they have our interest in mind when they make these decisions.
Right now with the presidential and congressional approval ratings in the tank, it is clear our Government does not have the trust of the U.S people in order to execute such a task.
Once again, it can boil down to how much trust one has in the federal government, the NSA, president Obama and/or other relevant players or institutions and right now that trust is low.
Is it possible we have turned into the Soviet States of America? Could conspiracy theorists be right on this time and our very own US government has intentionally blocked access and coverage of this topic of conversation. I am not a conspiracy theorist but with multiple YouTube videos of the interview being taken down and Vimeo the site where it was embedded all of a sudden experiencing a DDoS attack, one does start to wonder.
However, I know this one thing to be true. The mainstream media should lose a bit of the trust of the American people for the seemingly unilateral lack of response to this news story. The American people had the right to hear the words from Snowden in this interview and to draw their own conclusions based on that information. Maybe this story would have gotten more coverage if Justin Bieber was the one providing the national security leaks.
UPDATE: The Vimeo video that was posted has been removed so, the source of the video has been changed to the liveleak feed.