National Security Journalism Under Fire

Monday, August 19, 2013

National Security Agency (NSA) (Chris Hardie/flickr)

At the London airport this weekend, David Miranda, Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald's partner (and professional collaborator) was detained under Terrorism Act 2000 for 9 hours and questioned about the information supplied by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Also over the weekend, Time magazine reporter Michael Grunwald tweeted (and quickly deleted) that he would defend a drone strike that "takes out" Wikileaks' Julian Assange. Amy Davidson, who writes the "Close Read" column for The New Yorker, discusses the role of national security journalism in the digital age, and why so many reporters feel so intimidated.


Amy Davidson

Comments [24]

Monte Haun

On The Media-

"From Snowden's initial interview with the Guardian:

"I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President"

Better news outlets use [sic] after "authorities"."

He had authority to wiretap you, he had authority to wiretap your Account, he had many authorities from the Authorities [sic].

Too many, in the Authorities's [sic] opinions.

Monte Haun

Oct. 25 2013 04:29 PM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

Richard - you forgot to the add the last part of the quote genius, "..... if I had a personal e-mail.”... such particulars matter.

Aug. 19 2013 01:24 PM
Richard from W. 29th St.

Oh my, Mr. BlackSocialist. I'm so sorry to burst your comedic bubble.

From Snowden's initial interview with the Guardian:

"I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President"

Better news outlets use [sic] after "authorities".

Aug. 19 2013 11:23 AM

@Richard from W29

Snowden released documents which corroborated his claim -- that broad indiscriminate wiretapping does indeed go on, and is permitted, without judicial review, and available to countless employees. Indeed, there was even instruction manual on how NSA employees/contractors should best go about it, and what excuses to offer to justify it.

Perhaps you need to spend more time reading Greenwald and the Guardian, and less with secondary sources which claim to hate government, but apparently love everything government does in secret.

Aug. 19 2013 11:22 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

Richard - youre a hack, and probably a liar. snowden never argued that he had authority to wiretap anyone. what, do you think you can just make shite up and expect to buy it? ..... you, with high security clearance? hahahahahaha

Aug. 19 2013 11:06 AM
Richard from W. 29th St.

Brian mentioned very briefly that Assange is not a journalist, and driven by an agenda. It's very hip, especially among my younger and European friends, to defend Assange, Manning, Snowden, but there are a very few of us, yes, liberals who recognize that Assange's agenda really is not so different from someone like Hassan Nasrallah - both see their job as a fight 'to the death' against imperialistic entities. (No, I'm not saying Julian fires rockets) Personally, I liked the Donald Kirk piece that suggested Snowden go to North Korea. Furthermore, from 2004 to 2006 I worked, with high security clearance, for a firm very much like Booz Allen, and I will attest that Snowden is lying or delusional when he says he had 'the authority' to wiretap 'anyone.' He had no authority at all, he was a very junior consultant. The primary winner in all such affairs are the bureaucrats who run Russia Today. ;-)

Aug. 19 2013 11:00 AM


Here we have an extremely hostile interview, with Brian apparently as outraged as corporate-employed journalists and mainstream media is generally, at the appearance of real news, rather than the usual hack talk fest from the usual suspects.

Compare this segment with the worshipful treatment accorded billionaire Hedge Fund manager and self-proclaimed national savior, Steven Schwarzman, who is a far greater threat to American society and "American values" than Edward Snowden.

@john from Office

Remarkable, that guys who claim to distrust and/or hate government so very much, are deeply in love with Government Authority, and have fantasies of using government power to punish the evil doers. "They deserve what they get"? Really? Is that what you're going to say if the Government you apparently really do love, comes for you?

Aug. 19 2013 10:55 AM
Nick from UWS

The sheer hypocrisy of Grunwald's statement, after he has been utilizing Assange to sell millions of copies of his newspaper, is nothing less than repulsive.

Aug. 19 2013 10:48 AM
aaron from harlem

Brian, I'm afraid you don't understand what wiki leaks does - they get source material from government, corporations etc and make it available in full to the public. They are doing exactly what the NY Times et. al. does, except in a more transparent, intellectually honest and rigorous manner.

Aug. 19 2013 10:47 AM
Nick from UWS

The sheer jealousy of Brian, The Times, New Yorker, and other "plain vanilla" journalists of Assange and people like him, who had the balls to scoop the biggest and most important stories of our age, is always palpable. The New Yorker and all the rest tell the US public NOTHING of import; their only goal is to sell glossy magazines full of nonsense.

Aug. 19 2013 10:45 AM

Probably safe to say Grunwald was not actually calling for a military strike inside the capital city of one of our closest allies... Move on.

Aug. 19 2013 10:44 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

Lehrer's understanding of what journalism is all about suggests why he is such an insufferable hack.... there is no such thing as "objective" journalism. the Washington press corps is subjective to the interests of the gov't.....

Aug. 19 2013 10:42 AM
Joan from Brooklyn

If it wasn't for Greenwald and Poitras we would all be stuck with nothing but news about real estate, the Kardashians and "leaning in".

Aug. 19 2013 10:41 AM

They probably held Greenwald's partner NOT to search his laptop BUT to insert spyware on to the laptop.

Aug. 19 2013 10:40 AM

Grunwald apology: Fair point. I'll delete. @rober1236Jua my main problem with this is it gives Assange supporters a nice safe persecution complex to hide in.

he is a tool

Aug. 19 2013 10:40 AM
john from office

Negro socialist, the only idiot here is one who clings to an outdated system proven to be a joke, socialism.

Hey, Jesse Jackson Jr. Called, wants his Rolex back, Bro.

Aug. 19 2013 10:38 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Am I the only one surprised that Brian isn’t discussing Egypt at all today? And looks like Mubarak may soon be let go…The US seems complicit in the very heavyhanded bloody deadly overthrow of an elected government which will likely produce thousands of jihadists…Obama misjudged this one...

Aug. 19 2013 10:38 AM
NYC news alert from Manhattan

if you've read recent articles describing how Poitras and Greenwald have Snowden's documents and have only released parts of all they have it is a good guess that the government stopped Greenwald's partner to search for what documents he might be carrying. ... suspected for being a different kind of mule

Aug. 19 2013 10:38 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

ned - are you kidding with that foolish question?

Aug. 19 2013 10:35 AM

Sorry, not to be dumb but, what do we mean by "partner"? Writing partner? Romantic partner? Partner in a business venture? Just wonderin'.

Aug. 19 2013 10:34 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

once again, here we have the idiocy that is "john from office". im curious though, what office would dare hire such a dolt.....

Aug. 19 2013 10:31 AM
LK from Brooklyn

Who are the terrorists here? They took and kept all his electronic equipment.
Article from The Nation

Aug. 19 2013 10:31 AM
pliny from soho

"minions" John really?
last week it was boytoys

Aug. 19 2013 10:28 AM
john from Office

What were Greenwald and his minions expecting?? They will never sleep well for the rest of their lives and Julian remains in the embassy, outgrowing his welcome. They deserve all they get.

Aug. 19 2013 10:10 AM

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