Apr 20, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 30 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Last week, Edward Snowden came out (or was let out) of his home in liberty-loving Russia to grant an interview to John Oliver, erstwhile Comedy Central Daily Show correspondent and current host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. A few seconds in, the ever-so-earnest Snowden began to realize that Oliver, much like his mentors Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, was actually less interested in conducting a traditional interview than in needling him.
Oliver proceeded to pepper Snowden with questions about how much he missed the taste of Hot Pockets, people from the state of Florida, and “Truck-nutz” (a novelty item that the more aristocratic members of American society deign to hang from the rear bumpers of their pickups). The interview then took a much more interesting turn, with Oliver gaining Snowden’s concession on the grave risk to national security he precipitated by handing over NSA documents to newspaper reporters.
As Snowden settled into the groove of the interview, his ever-present megalomania became a touch more pronounced, and at one point he contended that the overwhelmingly positive reception by Americans of his revelations felt like “vindication,” and that if one asks Americans to make “tough decisions,” “confront tough issues,” and think about “hard problems,” their level of engagement will “surprise.” At this point the plucky Oliver pounced, playing
for an increasingly crestfallen Snowden man-on-the-street interviews with “average” Americans, none of whom seemed to have any idea of his global “importance.”
Snowden, who seems to believe he bestrides the narrow world like a Colossus, does not need to worry about an Oliver, Flavius, or Murellus plucking his garlands of fame too soon. Or maybe he should. Last week, a 100-pound bust of Snowden, placed by a group of “artists” in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park (known for its Prison Ship Martyrs Monument, a lasting tribute to over 11,500 American prisoners of war who gave their lives during the War for Independence), was promptly covered and taken down. Later, a Snowden hologram was projected, but this, too, only lasted for 20 minutes.
And the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument? It remains standing, as it has done for over 100 years, a testament to the men and women who suffered to create the strong America Snowden so desperately faults for all the world’s ills.
2:10 PM, Jul 7, 2014 • By GARY SCHMITT
Yesterday, the Washington Post’s top story was another leak from NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Unlike many of the Post’s other Snowden stories, where sensationalism has greatly outweighed the reported facts about this or that NSA program, this one had more substance and less breathless analysis.
10:00 AM, May 28, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
White House press secretary Jay Carney told the press today that NSA leaker Edward Snowden "faces felony charges here in the United States and he ought to return here to face these charges." Carney made the comments aboard Air Force One, en route to West Point where President Obama will deliver today's commencement address.
Via the pool report:
7:33 AM, Jan 29, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Betray your country, hide out in a thugocracy, then have your name put up for the Nobel Peace Prize. So goes Snowden’s improbable odyssey as reported by Reuters:
Feb 3, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 20 • By GARY SCHMITT
In the wake of all the “leaks” by Edward Snowden of the National Security Agency’s collection programs and the resulting debate over those programs, one constantly hears from elected officials and the commentariat about the need to strike the right balance between privacy and security. More often than not, this is followed by a suggestion that, as a country, since 9/11, we haven’t.
2:22 PM, Jan 9, 2014 • By GARY SCHMITT
For all those civil libertarians of both the left and the right who think we ought to thank Edward Snowden for his actions in revealing NSA’s secret metadata collection program—or, at a minimum, believe the U.S. government should show leniency toward him should he ever come back to these shores—they might want to just stop for a moment and consider what else Mr. Snowden has revealed.
9:01 AM, Dec 19, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Russia strongman Vladimir Putin had some kind words for NSA leaker Edward Snowden. "[H]e's noble," Putin said at a press conference in Moscow today. Snowden has been given temporary asylum in Russia and is on the run from the U.S. government.
"Thanks to Mr. Snowden, a lot has changed in the minds of people around the world ... We don’t help him - we just gave him temporary asylum," said Putin, according to NBC.
12:00 AM, Nov 9, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
That’s the way globalization ends, not with one large headline, but with several changes in the direction of policy, caused by events seemingly unrelated to the policy changes they produce. That’s bad news for those who believe that freer trade and an increase in the international flow of capital -- the principal manifestations of globalization -- contribute to efficiency, rising incomes and job creation. And they know who to blame -- Edward Snowden and Barack Obama.
6:10 PM, Nov 4, 2013 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
During an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Congressman Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that al Qaeda has changed the way it communicates in light of Edward Snowden’s leaks. Rogers said of Snowden (emphasis added):
8:17 AM, Sep 17, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Reuters reports that Edward Snowden, who stole any of his own country's secrets that he could get his hands on before fleeing to the arms of its enemies is a hero. Or is, at any rate:
Sep 9, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 01 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
There are reasons to worry about NSA surveillance. Civil servants have all the usual human frailties, and when they abuse their power, it’s good to know about it—that’s why we have extensive whistleblower protection laws. But whistle-blowing is different from stealing state secrets and absconding to an unfriendly power, as Edward Snowden did this summer.
3:37 PM, Aug 9, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
At his Friday afternoon press conference, President Barack Obama said he does not consider Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified information, a patriot.
"No, I don't think Mr. Snowden was a patriot," said Obama, in response to a question from NBC News's Chuck Todd. Watch the video below:
11:39 AM, Aug 1, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator John McCain released this statement after learning the news that Russia had granted asylum to Edward Snowden:
“Russia’s action today is a disgrace and a deliberate effort to embarrass the United States. It is a slap in the face of all Americans. Now is the time to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Putin’s Russia. We need to deal with the Russia that is, not the Russia we might wish for. We cannot allow today’s action by Putin to stand without serious repercussions.
1:42 PM, Jul 31, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Edward Snowden, one of many thousands of people holding very high security clearances, stole the family jewels in what was, arguably, the greatest security breach in American history. And the reaction of the agency that he violated? The usual Washington shrug. Stuff, you know, happens.