I haven’t written much about the latest NSA revelations because what was fairly obvious from the start is now blindingly obvious: Snowden’s leaks are authentic, the NSA program of surveillance is widespread and some of it is almost certainly illegal, and we’re writing huge checks to the NSA without much meaningful oversight. It is also true from the start that Greenwald is is generally right on this topic, but he’s also great at trolling a fair number of people, so some of the worst knuckleheads in the comments here and elsewhere call him “dudebro” and “traitor”, unlike almost every other journalist who writes on this topic. For most reasonable people, then, Kevin Drum’s observation today about Greenwald and the Snowden leaks is more of the obvious. For others, I guess it puts Drum in the ever-expanding dudebro club:
There’s more at the link, but it’s worth noting that although Greenwald himself is the subject of routine suggestions of treason-esque behavior, very rarely is the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman given the same treatment. But Gellman has been responsible for some of the biggest stories to date based on the Snowden documents.
Why the difference? Obviously Greenwald has placed himself in the public eye more than Gellman has, but that’s hardly sufficient explanation. What matters is what gets published. And the truth is that, as near as I can tell, nearly every single document that Greenwald has published so far would also have been published by the Post or the New York Times if they had gotten to it first. He hasn’t done anything that these pillars of American journalism haven’t done too.
The latest revelation, published in the Times, is that the NSA has penetrated the networks of Huawei, the huge Chinese manufacturer of networking equipment. I guess that makes the Times dudebros, too.