Is Snowden Part of the KGB Attack?

Mike James. former news anchor KING TV

Mike James

There was no apparent reason to say no when those daily drip-drips of Clinton emails were offered to the American press, and no newsroom said no – nor did they when Edward Snowden started unpacking the national security secrets he’d stolen. Eager to print is the true takeaway.

I’m not comfortable now, never have been, with the notion of Snowden as hero, nor that he lives well in Russia, likely a hero of sorts there – nor do I swallow the conviction among so many that he qualifies for hero status here. Heroes come home, face their accusers.

All of this is on view again given what we know about Julian Assange (another proud leaker of stolen goods embracing the protection of a government hostile to the United States), about the Russian manipulations of our past election campaign, in the publication of a new book asking whether a Snowden is “hero, traitor, or spy.” (worth reading through)

The money graph for me suggests something important now about journalism in the age of Trump:

“…hackers prefer finding partners in the mainstream media to simply releasing information on their own, but this new set of arrangements makes journalists look more like conduits than contextualizers, and less like originators of information. Reporters aren’t supposed to be hackers themselves, but they’re not capable of resisting juicy information that others have hacked, no matter how unsavory the purpose (see the ubiquitous coverage of John Podesta’s Russian-hacked private emails…….).”
— NYT Book Review

As the essay also notes, what should or should not be secret gets a lot messier when there’s no longer “one trustworthy group in society, the established press, that acts as a benign check of excessive government secrecy.”

No checks now, just leaks, and their consequences……

In “How America Lost Its Secrets,” Edward Jay Epstein says Russia was the main beneficiary of Snowden’s revelations.

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