— The Erimtan Angle —

‘Hundreds of demonstrators march on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to protest against the government’s online surveillance programs. Sarah Toms reports (26 Oct 2013)’.

The Guardian’s Jim Newell in Washington reports that “[t]housands gathered by the Capitol reflection pool in Washington on Saturday [, 26 Oct 2013] to march, chant, and listen to speakers and performers as part of Stop Watching Us,[i] a gathering to protest “mass surveillance” under NSA programs first disclosed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Billed by organizers as ‘the largest rally yet to protest mass surveillance’, Stop Watching Us was sponsored by an unusually broad coalition of left- and right-wing groups, including everything from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Green Party, Color of Change and Daily Kos to the Libertarian Party, FreedomWorks and Young Americans for Liberty. The events began outside Union Station, a few blocks away from the Capitol. Props abounded, with a model drone hoisted by one member of the crowd and a large parachute carried by others. One member of the left-wing protest group Code Pink wore a large Barack Obama mascot head and carried around a cardboard camera. Organizers supplied placards reading “Stop Watching _____”, allowing protesters to fill in their own name – or other slogans and occasional profanities. Homemade signs were more colorful, reading ‘Don’t Tap Me, Bro’ ‘Yes, We Scan’ and ‘No Snitching Allowed’”.[2]

While the NSA contractor Edward Snowden did the heavy lifting, the journalist Glenn Greenwald appears to have been the one to inform the world through his articles published in the more than respectable Guardian newspaper. And now, the “Guardian has lost its primary source for breaking news on the NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden. Journalist Glenn Greenwald — the Guardian writer who[m] Snowden entrusted with the leaked documents — has revealed to BuzzFeed that he’ll be stepping away from his current employer to begin work at an upcoming news organization that has yet to be announced. Though it’s unclear exactly how much leaked information the Guardian will retain, it appears that Greenwald and his working partner, filmmaker Laura Poitras, will continue to be the only two people with full access to the documents”.[3]

On 15 October, Greenwald published this statement: “My partnership with the Guardian has been extremely fruitful and fulfilling: I have high regard for the editors and journalists with whom I worked and am incredibly proud of what we achieved . . . The decision to leave was not an easy one, but I was presented with a once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline . . . Because this news leaked before we were prepared to announce it, I’m not yet able to provide any details of this momentous new venture, but it will be unveiled very shortly”.[4]

Still, last Friday Greenwald wrote in the Guardian that the “most under-discussed aspect of the NSA story has long been its international scope. That all changed this week as both Germany and France exploded with anger over new revelations about pervasive NSA surveillance on their population and democratically elected leaders. As was true for Brazil previously, reports about surveillance aimed at leaders are receiving most of the media attention, but what really originally drove the story there were revelations that the NSA is bulk-spying on millions and millions of innocent citizens in all of those nations. The favorite cry of US government apologists -–everyone spies! – falls impotent in the face of this sort of ubiquitous, suspicionless spying that is the sole province of the US and its four English-speaking surveillance allies (the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand)”.[5]  The journalist will leave the newspaper at the end of this month.

[2] Jim Newell, “Thousands gather in Washington for anti-NSA ‘Stop Watching Us’ rally” The Guardian (26 Oct 2013). http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/26/nsa-rally-stop-watching-washington-snowden.

[3] Jacob Kastrenakes, “NSA leaks reporter Glenn Greenwald leaving Guardian to launch new site” The Verge (15 Oct 2013). http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/15/4842216/glenn-greenwald-nsa-scoops-leaving-guardian-start-own-site.

[4] Glenn Greenwald, “Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian’s statements” GGSideDocs (15 Oct 2013). http://ggsidedocs.blogspot.com/2013/10/my-statement-and-guardians.html.

[5] Glenn Greenwald, “As Europe erupts over US spying, NSA chief says government must stop media” The Guardian (25 October 2013). http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/25/europe-erupts-nsa-spying-chief-government.


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