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OP-ED: The Snowden Snow Job
Not only did he spring into the public eye with his thefts, he just “accidentally” or purposely decided to link arms and treachery with sensation-seeking writer Glenn Greenwald of the UK’s Guardian newspaper who happily signed on to use his paper to be essentially Snowden’s daily PR window on the world. Greenwald is now leaving the paper to join a network financed by of all people the founder of –eBay. Of course he also writing a book about his newest buddy Snowden and indicating the “worst is yet to come.”One might have a semblance of respect for Snowden had he done as Daniel Ellsberg did when he copied and released the “Pentagon Papers” and resolved to go to jail if it would help end that conflict. Instead, Snowden took off with his information that no doubt will make him very wealthy when a book comes out as it must under such circumstances.
The final proof of Snowden’s snow job, abetted by Greenwald and a lazy array of media that clings to his every public expression is that this treacherous former government employer has yet to show his disdain for the widespread intelligence invasions of many other countries and, of course, his new homeland in Russia….unless, of course, we have yet to find out more about this man who portrays himself as a defender of the American public and foreign heads of state, among others.
At the real heart of the Snowden Snow Job, however, is not only what he has done but the alleged principles that drove him to steal stuff to blow the whistle on NSA activities and then to seek asylum in one of the most repressive countries that would never countenance the whistleblowing a la Snowden. What’s even more confusing is how simply and widely media have been taken in without at least raising serious questions.
In the meantime, both Greenwald and Snowden are trying to get the public and the media to believe the ex-NSA employee did not take any of those files to Russia. For those who have paid attention to his daily headlined “exposures” and accusations of the United States, it would be impossible to believe Snowden is merely reciting all his allegations from memory.Consider: Snowden asserted his desire to stop government nosing into private affairs of not only Americans but a list of foreign diplomats, heads of government etc. Surely this self-described fighter for privacy must know the massive amounts of such invasions not only by government but the private sector which daily collects all sorts of personal data and then markets them to others. At least, Snowden has not, so far as is known, accused NSA of “marketing” its collected information to people who sell cars, cosmetics and other mass marketed products and services. If his principal concern for privacy is so deep seated, he surely must be aware of the expressions heard millions of times daily when some robotic voice on the other end of calls intones: “This call may be recorded for training ….” Once that’s done, still more robotic voices demand callers recite all kinds of information so they can be “referred to just the right people” to help them. To be sure, blowing the whistle on government at any level is always good grist for even the most respectable media, but if the principle is what it’s supposed to be, why stop at government when you can use the exposure the same way Ralph Nader did so successfully? The answer just might be the publicity seeker and alleged protector of personal security could have another unexplored dimension. Edward Snowden fits that bill. And for him now to assert he has not turned over any actual files to his new found friends in Russia or to Greenwald is hard to believe on any level. In the final analysis, the larger question might well be who is servicing the ever ready media on almost a daily basis to help keep Snowden’s snow job alive.
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Honick is president of GMA International Ltd with offices in Bainbridge Island, WA. He is an international consultant to business and writes on a variety of public affairs issues.