“You have a 45mm automatic pistol on your lap, and I have a 35mm camera on my lap, and my weapon is just as powerful as yours. (To Black Panther militant Eldridge Cleaver)”
~ Gordon Parks
You know who Edward Snowden is, and you know that what he’s done has stung the government but good. Snowden’s exposure of numerous media corporations cooperating with the NSA’s vast domestic spying program known as PRISM has authorities scrambling to perform damage control. They’re already attacking his character, attacking his education, trying to deflect public attention away from that fact that the government has been secretly harvesting the emails and phone records of tens of millions of Americans for the last decade, regardless of criminal suspicion.
Snowden is currently bunkered down in Hong Kong, a city that maintains free speech rights superior to that of both the U.S. and the Chinese mainland. Knowing full well how Fortress America treats its whistleblowers under the Obama regime, Snowden was keen to pick Hong Kong as a base of operations while monitoring the fallout of his actions. Indefinite detention, solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, being stripped naked in a cold cell for hours on end, ‘enhanced’ interrogation techniques – all are common punishment for political prisoners in the United States. However, as the admitted leak source, Snowden isn’t the only person who has to fear the wrath of the White House. Guardian UK and Salon.com journalist Glenn Greenwald conducted the initial video interview with Snowden that’s now been viewed millions of times.
Greenwald has since been vilified and threatened with criminal persecution not only by elected representatives, but by other reporters who pride having insider access more than holding state officials to account. One widely read Obama supporter caps-lock Tweeted the word “TRAITOR” in reference to Greenwald in what has been a mildly reported upon tirade. This has become another alarming trend; faced with being shut out from getting insider information, many in the profession of journalism would prefer a cozy, noncritical relationship within the very halls of government they’ve been tasked with covering. As pointed out by Amy Goodman after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, “Of the four major nightly newscasts, and that’s CBS, NBC, ABC, and PBS, there were 393 interviews done on the war. Only three were with anti-war representatives.”