Hamilton Nolan ridicules the halfwitted psychoanalysis and smearing aimed by sneering pundits at Edward Snowden
, the NSA whistleblower who revealed the agency's expansive surveillance of everyday Americans.
We are often accused of being cynics. But even we can see quite plainly that the Prism story is huge, important, and newsworthy, and that the person who made the story happen deserves credit for helping it come out. Oddly enough, the cynics on this story reside in the ultra-establishment. They are the journalists and pundits who feel compelled to demonstrate their own sophistication by dismissing these revelations as old hat (though documented proof of these programs has never been seen before). They are those who have grown so inured to the gross overreach of government power that they can no longer conceive of it as scandalous.
David Brooks' piece is particularly grotesque, and not simply because going to it means having to look at one of his weird Zoolanderesque mugshots. Check out this paragraph:
He betrayed the privacy of us all. If federal security agencies can’t do vast data sweeps, they will inevitably revert to the older, more intrusive eavesdropping methods.
Don't make me beat you, honey.
Since the earliest days of the Snowden revelations, apologists for the NSA’s criminal spying program have said that Snowden should have gone “through channels” to report his concerns, rather than giving evidence to journalists and going public.
Though he “harmed American interests,” says Eric Holder, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks “were also a public service.”
Michael from Muckrock found a reference to “Untangling the Web,” an internal NSA guide to the Internet, on Google Books, so he requisitioned a copy from the NSA under the Freedom of Information Act.
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