Thursday, October 23, 2014

Inside story of NSA whistleblower Snowden

Ashley Wells, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly; Amy Goodman, Juan González (, Laura Poitras, Jeremy Scahill (

Laura Poitras receives award
Snowden: "At this stage I can offer nothing more than my word. I am a senior government employee in the intelligence community. I hope you understand that contacting you is extremely high risk...This will not be a waste of your time."

This was one of the first messages Ed Snowden wrote to filmmaker Laura Poitras beginning an exchange that helped expose the massive U.S. surveillance apparatus set up by the National Security Agency (NSA).
  • Snowden is a "whistleblower," not a "leaker," because he was working for and deeply embedded in the NSA as an agent and operative, not the low level "contractor" as the NSA tried to portray him before his network interview, when he clarified all he did for the U.S. spying organization. Whistleblowers are doing a service to the country and humanity and, by law, are entitled to certain protections Bush and Obama deny routinely them. If someone within the FDA or NOAA reveals poisoningning and pollution-related cover ups, s/he is a whistleblower and deserves praise and protection from official retaliation U.S. Army Pfc. Chelsea Bradley Manning, Julian Assange (and WikiLeaks), Major Smedley Butler (War is a Racket), CIA Station Chief in South America Philip Agee are just some examples of whistleblowers.
Months later, Poitras would meet Snowden for the first time in a Hong Kong hotel room. Poitras filmed more than 20 hours of footage as Snowden debriefed reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill. That footage -- most unseen until now -- forms the backbone of Poitras’ new film, "Citizenfour."

Poitras went to DN! to talk about the film and her own experiences living under government surveillance. The film is the third installment of her 9/11 trilogy that also includes "My Country, My Country" about the war on Iraq and "The Oath" about the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Scahill on Blackwater execs/war criminals
Poitras’ NSA reporting contributed to a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service awarded to The Guardian and The Washington Post. DN! also speaks with Jeremy Scahill, who appears in the film reporting on recent disclosures about NSA surveillance from a new, anonymous government source [possibly an embedded disinformation specialist given what happens to actual whistleblowers under the Obama and Holder administrations].

Scahill, along with Poitras and Greenwald, founded The Intercept, a new media venture to continue investigating whistleblower leaks. More

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