Snowden: I Probably Wouldn't Have Revealed Quite As Much As Reporters Did
from the journalism-choices dept
People who have followed the Snowden story closely know that he gave all of the documents over to a small group of reporters, and then got rid of his own copies, telling the reporters to make their own choices about what to reveal and what to keep secret. He also claimed that he had gone through the files he had to make sure that he wasn’t handing over any really damaging stuff — but of what he was giving them he wanted the reporters to make their own journalistic choices about what to report on. And yet, some people (often those in the “string up Snowden” cabal) keep insisting that Snowden himself is directing the various reports and deciding what reports should reveal what information. However, over the weekend in an interview with the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, Snowden actually notes that he probably would have been “more conservative” in choosing what to reveal:
Snowden, who worked with the journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Bart Gellman to bring highly classified materials about N.S.A. surveillance programs to the public eye, also responded to a Mayer question that he summarized by saying, ?do I agree with all of the stories that the journalists have presented??
?I don?t,? he went on. ?I would draw those lines a little differently, and I think much more conservatively than some of the journalists have,? without naming which reporters? stories he disagreed with.
In earlier stories, Snowden has more or less admitted that part of the reason he went to trusted journalists like those three above was that he was too close to the story and the NSA himself to make fair, journalistic decisions on which of the documents deserved to be public. Otherwise, he could have just dumped all of the documents publicly. It appears to reinforce the idea that — contrary to the claims of some — Snowden was exceptionally careful in getting this information out there, not even trusting his own judgment to make the final calls on what should and should not be released.