By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Some of our media, including the publication Politico, seem totally confused about the role of NSA defector Edward Snowden in the crimes of the terrorists who murdered and maimed hundreds of people in the Paris attacks. The verdict is in: he has bloody hands.
In a November 16 story, “Blaming Snowden for Paris,” David Perera of Politico insisted that no evidence had surfaced that the “revelations” of NSA defector Edward Snowden had “made a difference” in the case of the Paris terrorist attacks, and there was no evidence the perpetrators had “used encrypted communications to conceal their activities.”
Once again, the publication had gotten ahead of the facts in this story, prejudging the case in order to get Snowden off the hook for facilitating the activities of the Islamic State, or ISIS.
Politico is the same publication that alleged that GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson had admitted fabricating an offer of a West Point scholarship, only to reverse course and drop the claim in a rewritten version of the same story.
Only 24 hours later, after exonerating Snowden, the publication again reversed itself, running an interview with Michael Morell, the former acting head of the CIA, who said the Snowden revelations not only helped the Islamic State but probably contributed to the Paris attacks.
Morell stated, “First, ISIS went to school on how we were collecting intelligence on terrorist organizations by using telecommunications technologies. And when they learned that from the Snowden disclosures, they were able to adapt to it and essentially go silent…And so, part of their rise was understanding what our capabilities were, adjusting to them so we couldn’t see them. No doubt in my mind. And the people who say otherwise are just trying to defend Edward Snowden.”
As embarrassing as this was, the original Politico story had referred to “journalist Glenn Greenwald” as “a Snowden ally” who was arguing “that U.S. officials had complained of difficulty tracking terrorist communications long before the NSA whistleblower emerged.”
It’s true that the terrorists had been evading the NSA before Snowden went to Russia, but that was beside the point. What Morell and others were pointing out is that Snowden had made it easier for the terrorists to plot to kill Europeans and Americans.
Rather than being a “journalist,” Greenwald is a political extremist who speaks before Islamist, Marxist and libertarian groups. He has, for example, been afeatured speaker at conferences sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Cato Institute and the International Socialist Organization. At one of these conferences he declared that al Qaeda’s 9/11 terrorist attacks on America were “very minimal in scope compared to the level of deaths that the United States has been bringing to the world for decades—from Vietnam to illegal wars in Central America…”
He is more than a “Snowden ally.” He is a mouthpiece for Snowden’s illegal disclosures and an accomplice in his alleged espionage activities.
A former gay pornography executive, Greenwald was the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award, named in honor of the left-wing journalist identified as an agent of influence for Soviet intelligence. At the awards ceremony, Greenwald said that Soviet agent Stone “pioneered what modern journalism ought to be.”
Snowden is supposedly a “whistleblower,” but that is a false designation considering that he illegally leaked classified information and fled to Russia rather than face up to the authorities and take his punishment. He is specifically charged with espionage.
Despite the claim about encrypted communications not playing a role in the attacks, Politico had itself reported on November 16 in a separate article that “Terrorists linked to the so-called Islamic State are employing encrypted Internet services—including a new generation of mobile messaging apps—that the authorities do not have the technological capability to break, according to intelligence sources, public comments by senior officials, and evidence disclosed in recent criminal trials.”
By November 18, Cory Bennett of The Hill newspaper had identified and cited a 34-page ISIS manual on how to conceal communications from the NSA and other intelligence agencies. Bennett noted that the Arabic document was translated and released by analysts at the Combating Terrorism Center, an independent research group at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
“It includes warnings to avoid Instagram because it is owned by Facebook, and Dropbox because former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sits on its board of investors. Famous government leaker Edward Snowden has also criticized Dropbox over its privacy, the document notes,” added Bennett.
In other words, the Islamic State is taking Snowden’s advice and openly citing the NSA defector’s expertise on planning terrorism against the West. The reference to Snowden is clear in the translation.
This means that no honest journalist can claim that Snowden’s activities have not helped the terrorists who want to kill us.
Bennett wrote a separate story noting evidence first developed by NBC News that ISIS had set up a 24-hour “help desk” to advise terrorists about encrypting their communications in order to evade authorities.
In the NBC News story, Josh Meyer quoted counterterrorism analysts affiliated with the U.S. Army as saying that the ISIS help desk is “manned by a half-dozen senior operatives around the clock” for the specific purpose of “helping would-be jihadists use encryption and other secure communications in order to evade detection by law enforcement and intelligence authorities.”
Now that it has been definitively proven that Snowden’s disclosures have aided ISIS in planning acts of terror, it is time for the media to start examining the Snowden network that AIM has been exposing for several years now. All of his apologists, including such figures as Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano, should apologize to the world for rushing to the defense of this despicable character, who now clearly has blood on his hands.
It was Napolitano who had declared, “I would describe this man [Snowden] an American hero, as a person willing to risk life, limb and liberty in order to expose to the American people one of the most extraordinary violations of the American principles, value judgments and the Constitution itself in all of our history.”
The evil genius of Snowden’s collaborators was to frame his defection in terms of alleging that he was a “whistleblower.”
He didn’t risk his life or limb but has given up his liberty in return for KGB protection in Moscow.
Citizens of France and possibly the United States, however, will be giving up their lives and limbs so that Snowden can be honored as a hero by Napolitano and his ilk.