Let’s face it — if Edward Snowden’s appearance at Vladimir Putin’s propaganda puppet show yesterday was supposed to improve his image in the US by showing him “questioning” Putin about mass surveillance, it was a miserable failure. Even many of Snowden’s stongest defenders were appalled at that display.
So it should come as no surprise that today, the axis of Snowden is spinning like crazy to try to undo some of that damage — and extend the propaganda opportunity by propping up Snowden as a false dissident. See: Vladimir Putin Must Be Called to Account on Surveillance Just Like Obama | Edward Snowden.
Yes, “just like Obama.” Snowden (or whoever actually wrote this — see below) apparently sees no difference between the two leaders at all.
Putin’s response was remarkably similar to Barack Obama’s initial, sweeping denials of the scope of the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs, before that position was later shown to be both untrue and indefensible.
Snowden’s point in this article is to boast about his bravery and the sacrifices he’s made, and call on Russian journalists to follow up on his ground-breaking work.
When this event comes around next year, I hope we’ll see more questions on surveillance programs and other controversial policies. But we don’t have to wait until then. For example, journalists might ask for clarification as to how millions of individuals’ communications are not being intercepted, analysed or stored, when, at least on a technical level, the systems that are in place must do precisely that in order to function. They might ask whether the social media companies reporting that they have received bulk collection requests from the Russian government are telling the truth.
Sure, Russian journalists might ask those questions. And they might also be murdered for asking those questions.
It should be pointed out, because Glenn Greenwald isn’t going to admit it, that there’s a disclaimer at the bottom of this piece revealing what’s really going on here:
Edward Snowden wrote for the Guardian through the Freedom of the Press Foundation
Who is the “Freedom of the Press Foundation?” Well, the Guardian doesn’t mention it for some reason, but it just happens to be a front group for, yes, you guessed it, the Mighty Glenn Greenwald. This is basically a press release, courtesy of Mother Russia, for the Snowden-Greenwald project.
And of course, today Greenwald praised the bravery and integrity of the piece he (at the very least) helped Snowden put together.
UPDATE at 4/18/14 12:55:34 pm
Greenwald associate Trevor Timm says the Snowden op-ed is “all his words.”
The Lies Edward Snowden Tells