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PRISM scandal


  • Originally published 07/19/2013

    Justyn Dillingham: Jimmy Carter’s Forgotten History Lesson

    Justyn Dillingham is a freelance writer residing in Tucson, Arizona. A former president has given the weight of his voice and reputation to the critics of the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program, blasting the federal government’s “invasion of human rights and American privacy” and suggesting that leaking the program’s existence to the press was “beneficial.” Ordinarily, this might give even the staunchest defenders of the NSA pause, for ordinarily a former president’s opinion carries considerable influence.But this time it will make little difference. For the former president is, of course, Jimmy Carter—the only former president one could imagine making such a statement, and not coincidentally one of the more widely detested former presidents in recent memory.

  • Originally published 07/18/2013

    Rebecca Solnit: A Letter to Edward Snowden

    Like Edward Snowden, Rebecca Solnit has a GED, not a high-school diploma. She lives in Silicon Valley’s shadow, in a city where billionaires race $10 million yachts and austerity is closing the community college.  Her newest book is The Faraway Nearby. Billions of us, from prime ministers to hackers, are watching a live espionage movie in which you are the protagonist and perhaps the sacrifice. Your way forward is clear to no one, least of all, I’m sure, you.I fear for you; I think of you with a heavy heart. I imagine hiding you like Anne Frank. I imagine Hollywood movie magic in which a young lookalike would swap places with you and let you flee to safety -- if there is any safety in this world of extreme rendition and extrajudicial execution by the government that you and I were born under and that you, until recently, served. I fear you may pay, if not with your death, with your life -- with a life that can have no conventional outcome anytime soon, if ever. “Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped,” you told us, and they are trying to stop you instead.

  • Originally published 07/14/2013

    Demystifying the NSA Surveillance Program

    The NSA scandal is fast becoming the most serious diplomatic disaster in recent American history. For a host of reasons the surveillance needs to stop right now.

  • Originally published 07/11/2013

    Max Boot: What the Snowden Acolytes Won't Tell You

    Max Boot is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of "Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present" (Liveright, 2013).'The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe."That quip from Tom Wolfe is worth savoring as the U.S. prepares to celebrate the Fourth of July—and as overheated rhetoric emanates from fans of Edward Snowden, the proud thief of American secrets. Even supporters, like Sen. Rand Paul, who express discomfort with how he fled to China and Russia, nevertheless applaud Mr. Snowden for alerting Americans to a supposedly dangerous infringement of liberty from the government's monitoring of electronic communications. Mr. Snowden's more extreme acolytes credit him with stopping the rise of a new tyranny in Washington.

  • Originally published 06/27/2013

    Charles Marvin, a Nineteenth-Century Edward Snowden?

    Credit: Wiki Commons.Meet the Press host David Gregory’s recent insinuation that Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald should possibly be charged with the crime of aiding and abetting whistleblower Edward Snowden in the NSA surveillance scandal is alarming for all who value protecting the principles of investigative journalism. It is made more alarming, though, by considering how closely this exchange matches a landmark case in the history of public secrecy and investigative reportage, namely the 1878 Globe scandal. A consideration of this episode in relation to Greenwald’s (and, indeed, Gregory’s) role in the ongoing NSA imbroglio should be unsettling to those who value and want to protect the freedom of the press.

  • Originally published 06/27/2013

    The Nineteenth Century British Version of Edward Snowden

    Meet the Press host David Gregory’s recent insinuation that Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald should possibly be charged with the crime of aiding and abetting whistleblower Edward Snowden in the NSA surveillance scandal is alarming for all who value protecting the principles of investigative journalism. It is made more alarming, though, by considering how closely this exchange matches a landmark case in the history of public secrecy and investigative reportage, namely the 1878 Globe scandal. A consideration of this episode in relation to Greenwald’s (and, indeed, Gregory’s) role in the ongoing NSA imbroglio should be unsettling to those who value and want to protect the freedom of the press.

  • Originally published 06/11/2013

    Yes, PRISM Really is a Big Deal

    The truth is that the terrorist threat is much diminished from what it was when the Patriot Act was adopted in 2001, or even from 2008, when amendments to that law opened the door to PRISM.

  • Originally published 10/10/2001

    Leaks to the Media ... An Old Story?

    Image via Shutterstock.Leaks through History Was It Illegal for President Bush to Leak Classified Secrets to Bob Woodward?Deep Throat and the FBI's History of Hiding Its Own LeaksWhy Did President Ford Ban Assassinations? (Explains that Ford leaked the fact that the CIA had plotted the assassination of foreign leaders.)Rick Shenkman: Leaks that might have changed the history of Vietnam Athan Theoharis: Deep Throat and the FBI's History of Hiding Its Own LeaksCIA Spy Case: Valerie Plame Leak Note: This article was first published October 10, 2001 and has been updated.

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