Whistleblowers are always accused of helping America’s enemies (top Nixon aides accused Daniel Ellsberg of being a Soviet spy and causing the deaths of Americans with his leak); it’s just the tactical playbook that’s automatically used. So it’s of course unsurprising that ever since Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing enabled newspapers around the world to report on secretly implemented programs of mass surveillance, he has been accused by “officials” and their various media allies of Helping The Terrorists™.
Still, I was a bit surprised just by how quickly and blatantly – how shamelessly – some of them jumped to exploit the emotions prompted by the carnage in France to blame Snowden: doing so literally as the bodies still lay on the streets of Paris. At first, the tawdry exploiters were the likes of crazed ex-intelligence officials (former CIA chief James Woolsey, who once said Snowden “should be hanged by his neck until he is dead” and now hasdeep ties to private NSA contractors, along with Iran–obsessed Robert Baer); former Bush/Cheney apparatchiks (ex-White House spokesperson and current Fox personality Dana Perino); right-wing polemicists fired from BuzzFeed for plagiarism; and obscure Fox News comedians (Perino’s co-host). So it was worth ignoring save for the occasional Twitter retort.
But now we’ve entered the inevitable “U.S. Officials Say” stage of the “reporting” on the Paris attack – i.e. journalists mindlessly and uncritically repeat whatever U.S. officials whisper in their ear about what happened. So now credible news sites are regurgitating the claim that the Paris Terrorists were enabled by Snowden leaks – based on no evidence or specific proof of any kind, needless to say, but just the unverified, obviously self-serving assertions of government officials. But much of the U.S. media loves to repeat rather than scrutinize what government officials tell them to say. So now this accusation has become widespread and is thus worth examining with just some of the actual evidence.
- Snowden and spread of encryption blamed after Paris terror attacks
- Paris attacks show U.S. surveillance of Islamic State may be ‘going dark’
- Former DIA Chief Michael Flynn Says Rise of Islamic State was “a willful decision”
- How the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq
- The hidden hand behind the Islamic State militants? Saddam’s army
- How the US Helped ISIS
- ISIS and the Curse of the Iraq War
- America’s Allies Are Funding ISIS
- How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of Iraq
- NPR Is Laundering CIA Talking Points to Make You Scared of NSA Reporting
- Many of the NSA’s Loudest Defenders Have Financial Ties to NSA Contractors
- Political Smears in U.S. Never Change: the NYT’s 1967 Attack on MLK’s Anti-War Speech
- Signaling Post-Snowden Era, New iPhone Locks Out N.S.A.
- Top British Spy Warns of Terrorists’ Use of Social Media
- The US/UK Campaign to Demonize Social Media Companies as Terrorist Allies
- Twitter and Facebook are helping terrorists says new GCHQ chief
- Ex-CIA director: Snowden should be ‘hanged’ if convicted for treason
- Boundless Informant: the NSA’s secret tool to track global surveillance data
- XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’
- From 2001: Terror groups hide behind Web encryption (See here and here)