Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 5 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/29/16

Snowden and Media Friends: L'etat, C'est Nous

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   4 comments
Author 76576
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp
- Advertisement -
Louis XIV (seated) and family. (Image credit: Wikipedia)

"[T]he return of this information to the public marks my end," Edward Snowden told the Washington Post's Barton Gellman prior to telling that public -- under the auspices of several journalists and publications -- about the NSA's PRISM program and other horrors of the modern American surveillance state.

Snowden did indeed suffer for his good deeds: These days he lives in exile in Russia, awaiting a day when he might return home to some fate other than life in a prison cell at the hands of the criminals whose misdeeds he exposed.

- Advertisement -

It's a shame to see Snowden picking a public fight with Wikileaks, an organization dedicated to a similar mission whose leader, Julian Assange, himself suffers a form of exile in Ecuador's London embassy (one of his sources, American political prisoner Chelsea Manning, has it worse: She's serving a 35-year sentence in Leavenworth for her heroism in exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan).

On July 28, Snowden took Wikileaks to task via Twitter: "Democratizing information has never been more vital, and @Wikileaks has helped," he wrote. "But their hostility to even modest curation is a mistake."

Presumably Snowden's ire applies to previous Wikileaks operations such as "Collateral Murder" and "Cablegate," not just to this last week's uncensored dumps of emails exposing the internal workings of Turkey's government and of the US Democratic National Commitee.

- Advertisement -

The Wikileaks response (presumably tweeted by Assange) dripped vinegar: "Opportunism won't earn you a pardon from Clinton & curation is not censorship of ruling party cash flows."

I hesitate to criticize Snowden, or to impute to him the motives implied in the Wikileaks response. The sacrifices he's made command a great deal of respect from those of us who value truth and transparency.

Nonetheless, Wikileaks is right and Snowden is wrong here.

Good and honest motives or not, Snowden and the journalists who help him disseminate "curated" selections from the information in his possession have set themselves up as little governments. They're not "return[ing] this information to the public" which theoretically owns it. They're merely parceling out the information THEY'VE decided it's OK for the public to have. But the the NSA and the US State Department do the same thing. Snowden and friends differ from those organizations merely on content selection criteria, not on the principles involved.

Snowden and Assange both serve the public. But only one of them seems to actually trust that public.

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   Supported 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Thomas Knapp Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago

Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling ... Oh, Wait

Chickenhawk Donald: A Complete and Total Disgrace

The Nunes Memo Only Partially "Vindicates" Trump, But it Fully Indicts the FBI and the FISA Court

Aircraft Carriers: Give Truman and Ford a Burial at Sea

Political Parties Should Say What They Mean. The Libertarian Party Does.