Accuracy in Media

“For the foreseeable future,” says President Obama, “the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism.” Yet his remarks at the United States Military Academy Commencement Ceremony included no acknowledgement that NSA traitor Edward Snowden has made this kind of terrorism more likely. And there were no demands for Moscow to turn him over to U.S. authorities to face espionage charges.

Our intelligence experts are worried that more terrorism is being planned. S. Eugene Poteat, a retired senior CIA Scientific Intelligence Officer and the current President of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, tells the most recent edition of Homeland Security Today that “Terrorists will now find it easy to counter our intelligence capability, which was based on NSA’s metadata, so we can expect more terrorism in the U.S. in the future.”

Asked by editor-at-large Timothy W. Coleman if Snowden received help from a foreign intelligence service, he commented, “[I] have no idea if he [Snowden] was already in Russia’s pocket, but I feel certain he is by now, and they will already have emptied his computers into theirs. The Chinese, I think, cleaned his clock also.” This was a reference to Snowden stopping in Hong Kong before going to Russia.

But some journalists, on the left and right, seem to think they know more than the experts, and that they are better equipped to judge.

Kirsten Powers is supposed to be one of the more level-headed liberals on the Fox News Channel. But her USA Today column on Wednesday praising Edward Snowden mouthpiece Glenn Greenwald is amateurish in its analysis of what happened in this case, and cavalier in dismissing the real possibility that American lives will be lost as a result of this anti-American intelligence operation.

“That Greenwald is not a member of the Washington insider club seems to be the real problem here,” she writes, in regard to some relatively mild criticism of Greenwald’s role. No, the real problem is that Greenwald’s role in publishing Snowden’s classified documents is a clear-cut violation of the Espionage Act. The former gay pornography executive deserves more, not less, media criticism.

Powers, whose bio says she graduated from the University of Maryland (but doesn’t say in what), doesn’t seem familiar with the law. She noted that NBC’s David Gregory asked Greenwald, “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden…why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?” She then commented, “This accusation, dressed up as a question, was nonsensical. That it came from a fellow journalist was bizarre. How could reporting news be ‘aiding and abetting’? What crime could Greenwald possibly have committed?”

As we said at the time, “The question is entirely legitimate. Section 798 of the Espionage Act absolutely prohibits the publication of classified information in the area of communications intelligence. That would include programs of the National Security Agency (NSA).”

The “crimes” are clear to anyone who reviews the law. The fact that Greenwald has not been charged is more evidence that the Obama administration is not enforcing the law. This seems to be a habit of this administration.

Powers says journalists who criticize Greenwald “seem to labor under the delusion that it’s their job to protect the government.” No, the government, in this case, is the people who expect the laws to be enforced. Snowden was a government employee who stole the property of the government. That is why he has been charged with theft of government property, in addition to espionage.

She also turns her attention to Michael Kinsley’s observation that “There shouldn’t be a special class of people called ‘journalists’ with privileges like publishing secret government documents.” Powers comments, “Actually, there should be, and there is. Without that protection, The Times could not have published the Pentagon Papers. Take that protection away, and we have zero oversight of the government from outside forces.”

In this case, Powers is horribly confused. The “protection” was given to the paper to publish the documents without prior restraint. The charges against Daniel Ellsberg, who stole the Pentagon Papers and provided them to the Times, were pursued. However, they were eventually dismissed because of allegations of government misconduct.

Finally, Powers writes, “Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg noted that the friendly fire against Greenwald is unusual. Ellsberg told an interviewer last year that though he himself was an enemy of the government for leaking secrets during the Vietnam War, ‘journalists were not turning on journalists.’”

First, Ellsberg was not a journalist. Second, as noted, the legal issue was prior restraint, not prosecution of the leaker. In addition, the Pentagon Papers were a history of the Vietnam War, unrelated to ongoing intelligence and military operations. That makes the Snowden-Greenwald case far different.

Finally, it is not a case of journalists turning on other journalists to question their behavior and point out when they violate the law.

Powers called journalistic criticism of Greenwald “strange fury.” No, it’s strange to promote the view that Greenwald should be above criticism and that questions about his conduct are somehow out of bounds.

Even more bizarre than Powers was a column by Joseph Farah in WorldNetDaily saying that Snowden, living in Moscow, should be given a ticker tape parade in the U.S. and welcomed back as a whistleblower. This was strange because Farah’s publishing house, WND Books, released the blockbuster, Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism, which examines how the Soviet Union/Russia remains a major threat to the U.S. Its co-author, Lt. Gen Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence official ever to defect to the West, told AIM that Snowden’s arrival in Russia was “the result of a well-prepared Russian intelligence operation” against the United States and that his analysis of the evidence shows that Snowden “is an agent of the Russian foreign intelligence service.”

Farah claims ignorance about Snowden’s motivations, and doesn’t seem to care. He should have consulted the co-author of one of his books. The former spy chief of Romania clearly understands the KGB/FSB.

“Apparently Snowden is willing to face the consequences of his action—which also makes him a conscientious practitioner of civil disobedience in its highest form, just like Martin Luther King Jr.,” Farah writes, in another mind-boggling statement. He quickly goes on to say, “He is willing to face trial if there is a deal that allows him to serve only a modest prison sentence.” So he is NOT prepared to face the consequences after all.

In effect, he wants a form of immunity from prosecution, no matter how many Americans die as a result of his treason.

Rather than encourage this kind of thing, journalists should be asking why the Obama administration is not doing everything possible to get Snowden back on U.S. soil to face espionage charges. As for Greenwald, the law dictates that he should be facing a grand jury himself, rather than hawking a book and flaunting his anti-Americanism.

Contrary to what Powers says, it seems that Greenwald has been admitted to the Washington insider club.

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  • enoughlies

    I’ve yet to sort out what Obama is…Muslim Brotherhood? Putin Communist Operative?
    A few thoughts that are not yet cohesive…

    Snowden did not just land in Mother Russia

    The Muslim Brotherhood which Obama appears to lead…has set the Muslim Arab world on fire…the Arab Spring begot Arab chaos…Arab chaos gave America higher prices, is destructive to our economy and so too those high Petro and Natural gas prices have served Putin well in helping him to rebuild the Russian economy and perhaps to rebuild the old USSR which is Putin’s greatest wish.

    As Obama dismantles our military, disheartens our military and fires the most competent and most patriotic generals and officers ….and then tries to lead us into war in Syria…one wonders if it is to lead us to a destructive military loss. The massive losses suffered in Seal Team 6 perhaps plays into this scenario. That Obama has armed AlQaueda and sent them into Syria killing Christians and destroying their ancient historical churches suggests an evil we’ve yet to

  • enoughlies


    …fully comprehend. That Obama is surrounded by many who previously were self avowed Communists makes one consider if the Arab Spring and the Muslim Brotherhood TARBABY foisted upon America is not Putin’s plot toward our destruction…Is this the FLEXABILITY? Is Obama and so too Snowden actually working for Putin in his rebuilding of the old USSR and America’s destruction.

    I see Snowden in Mother Russia and I am reminded of the former FBI and their maxim “There are no coincidences” …I agree there are none…thus Snowden in Russia and Obama’s FLEXABILITY, NO USA drilling, massive unemployment, printing dollars out of existences, massive immigration removing conservative America’s vote efficacy while Marxist policies are enacted against America’s will. Obama is killing the middle class which the census showed is decidedly anti-immigration and conservative.

  • Erudite Mavin

    Another great background exposing Snowden and Greenwald.
    The Marxist background on them already established along with the other excellent reports here are denied especially by Libertarians who
    give Snowden and Greenwald cover.
    Those conservatives who have been sucked into this mindset of the Libertarian cheerleaders for Snowden, do your research and start with the other
    articles over the year+ on this site re Snowden and Greenwald.

  • Diogenes1949

    Cliff Kincaid’s analysis is right on target.

    Those who view Snowden as some kind of harmless idealist appear to have no understanding that a betrayal as massive as his and his current cooperation with the Russians is bound to cost American lives. And they seem not to care.

    btw, Kirsten Powers graduated from the University of Maryland with studies in journalism and political science. Anyone familiar with the political slant of those two departments at the University of Maryland should not be surprised when a graduate seems to struggle with critical thinking on anything political.

    The program there is absurdly one-sided with faculty who seem to think their role is indoctrination.

  • “The “crimes” are clear to anyone who reviews the law.”

    Bad men make bad laws. Each of us break the law at least 5 times a day and don’t even know it because the USG creates new laws/regulations/guidelines every day.

    Let us be cautious on who we call a traitor…..because there appears to be many in the congress and government who could be call traitors against the U.S. Constitution.

  • Lady_in_Black

    Wow. This is not the Accuracy in Media of Reed Irvine. This is ideological, blind to reality, over-the-top. This is shoe-horning wannabe facts into a preconceived picture of the world.

    Try this: Before Snowden there was NSA whistleblower William Binny. What happened to him, boys?

    This is sad, sad, sad. I am sorry for what’s happened to AIM. …Lady in Black

  • The Golden Rule … Cliff…The Golden Rule. Government is no exception. I suppose you also support the indefinite detention of Americans without due process and the fully armed militarization of every federal agency inside the United States. Looking for a job with the Obama Brownshirts in Ukraine?

  • Bad men make bad laws. Most all of us are committing at least 5 crimes a day, but we don’t realize it since the USG is constantly passing laws that we are not aware of. The NDAA is so huge that it could easily encompass each of us.

  • kuhnkat

    How much data did Snowden actually steal??
    What happened to it??
    Why did he need to steal so much to just blow the whistle on domestic spying??

    Got your head out yet?!?!?!

  • kuhnkat

    How much data did Snowden actually steal??
    What happened to it??
    Why did he need to steal so much to just blow the whistle on domestic spying??

  • kuhnkat

    See my comments above about how much data Snowden stole and explain to me why it was necessary just to blow the whistle on domestic spying?!?!?

  • spartacus

    I neither trust the fascist’s in our government or the commie’s in russia, from my view mr, snoden reveiled that they cannot be trusted and don’t hand me this crap about security , stay the hell out of other countries buisness and stop trying to turn this nation into a police state .

  • spartacus

    I suggest you take your own advise ,

  • Historically, all wars are started by elites within governments. Even the American Revolution was started by England. Today, American citizens and Iranians don’t want to fight. It’s the Iranian govt vs the US govt. For example, international secrecy of the sort available to Snowden could have prevented the US-Iraq war. Saddam Hussein attempted to surrender prior to the US invasion in a deal negotiated by the Syrian ambassador to the UN and 3 CIA people. It was ignored by Bush/Card/Powell/Cheney/McCain et al. One of the CIA people was jailed and drugged without due process under Patriot Act for the duration of Bush Administration and then released before Obama took office. Two other CIA people were deported. More recently, look at Ukraine, Egypt, Libya, multiple African counties and Syria. You would have to be an idiot to believe the spin coming from the US government on these obviously U.S. instigated uprisings. Americans do not want to be a colonial power or hegemon. Unfortunately, our leaders and their financial supporters – the oligarchy – want that. I don’t mean to single out the USA either… just an example. UK, Russia, Israel, etc are just as bad. Secrecy and covert activities are fundamentally adverse to liberty …at base they are deceptions.