Contradictory & Highly Troubling Questions on Guardian’s Snowden Coverage

What Caused the Fallout between Snowden & Guardian-Greenwald, and Why?

Glenn Greenwald hinted on Monday (July 1) that Edward Snowden has leaked all of the documents that he intended to pass on to news outlets.

Last Sunday, WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange, who has been assisting Snowden, told ABC News that there was nothing anybody could do to stop the release of more documents. As soon as Assange made the statement we had a bewildered Greenwald who immediately began issuing statements and tweeting claiming that essentially everything that could be leaked from Snowden to the media has already been leaked by Guardian. Take a look at one of Greenwald’s vehemently stated claims issued by him via tweeter:

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald

NOTE: Snowden's leak is basically done. It's newspapers - not Snowden - deciding what gets disclosed and in what sequence.

11:53 AM - 1 Jul 2013

One day later, embarrassed by contradictory public statements put forth by Snowden’s current spokesperson, Julian Assange, and after being confronted by millions, Greenwald started backtracking, and issued this Flip-Flop statement via twitter:

I didn't say Snowden couldn't leak more documents if he wanted to. Obviously, he can do so if he's inclined. That's obvious.

What I said is that he's not doling out documents to us in drips & drabs. He gave us all the documents he provided to us weeks ago. That process is done. And we - not he - are the one deciding which of those gets published and which don't, and in what order. That's what this meant: "Snowden's leak is basically done. It's newspapers - not Snowden - deciding what gets disclosed and in what sequence."

We are now witnessing further flipping from Greenwald’s earlier flops that have been making the headlines for the headline-seeking pundit:

The world will be shocked by the next story on the National Security Agency's vast spying operations to be published by Guardian.

Greenwald, speaking with Eric Bolling on Fox & Friends, hinted that a new NSA story was forthcoming and potentially explosive. Here is the repeated head-line grabbing statement by Greenwald:

The World Will Be Shocked!

… and of course a major advertisement to go along with this was: The Guardian is the chosen one to shock the world.

You must hold on to your critical thinking hat and questioning minds in order to prevent yourself from being sucked into the ever-changing smoke and mirrors being put out by the establishment. We must ask critical questions on all these contradictory and highly troubling info packages being manufactured and heavily advertised by the establishment media outlets. Let’s ask some of these must-be-posed questions:

According to our sources, since turning to Wikileaks’ Assange Snowden has ceased all contact with Guardian and Greenwald:

1- Why did Greenwald and Guardian decide to publish less than 25% of Snowden despite their promise to him to publish the entire cache?

2- What caused Snowden’s doubt and alarm on Guardian-Greenwald, and what made him turn to Wikileaks-Assange?

3- Why is it that Wikileaks-Assange has made zero reference (or even slight mentioning) to Guardian-Greenwald? What is the reason for Wikileaks-Snowden distancing themselves from Guardian-Greenwald?

4- What are the behind-the-scene reasons for the scandalous public flip-flops and contradictions by Guardian-Greenwald? Why say ‘They were all done with publishing everything,’ and then, after being embarrassingly contradicted by Wikileaks-Snowden, come back and say, ‘we meant Guardian was all done publishing, not Snowden,’ and after that, jump under the spotlights and claim that ‘the Guardian is about to publish the most explosive Snowden revelations’?

5- Did Guardian play the Washington Post game by deciding to censor the majority of and the most explosive Snowden files, and then be forced to go ahead and publish once they were scooped by Wikileaks-Assange?

6- If so (number 5) was there a far-from-gentlemen’s agreement between Washington Post and Guardian to limit and censor Snowden’s documents?

7- How come Guardian-Greenwald has never been asked about the number of times they have met with US and UK government intelligence representatives? Isn’t it odd that despite his many mainstream interviews, Greenwald has never been confronted with this most logical question?

8- Why has Guardian-Greenwald never mentioned their meetings with government(s) officials and their discussions-agreements on how to proceed with Snowden files and information?

Immediately after the first exposure of the Snowden case we at Boiling Frogs Post conducted an interview with Cryptome’s John Young and asked some of the above questions and discussed the meaning and implications of the Guardian-Greenwald withholding of Snowden files. Please take time and listen to the podcast interview- discussion here.

According to our sources and experts there seems to be a major feud and confrontation between Snowden-Assange and Guardian-Greenwald. There have been numerous highly troubling censorships and contradictions by Guardian-Greenwald. We have seen major mainstream media coverage and stardom-seeking pseudo debates presenting Greenwald. There are talks and rumors about Greenwald seeking Pulitzer and mainstream status, thus trying to negotiate with Assange-Snowden and trying to prevent the duo from going public with what really took place involving Guardian-Greenwald on Snowden coverage. How much of these talks and leaks are just rumors and unsubstantiated? How much is fact? Why so many troubling questions and contradictions? Why the censorship by Guardian? Why …

It all boils down to the usual smoke and mirrors, and it is up to us the people to push and seek real answers to all these troubling questions and scandalous contradictions.

# # # #

Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman's Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

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  1. Isn’t this a little much ado about nothing? So The Guardian decided to space out its revelations, or even decided not to publish disclosures that are shocking but reasonably irrelevant to citizens’ rights? There is still such a thing as appropriately classified material… I mean, if Assange wants to dump, cool. But I don’t see what the big deal is. And if some kind of conspiracy is being suggested, well, that’s a bit silly.

  2. samadams73 says:

    Strongly suggest watching the Charlie Rose Show episode from last week where he interviewed the Guardian’s editor and US correspondent who oversaw Greenwald’s efforts. They also describe their interactions with gov’t officials.

  3. Richard says:

    Glad you are keeping an eye on things cos I have pretty much tuned out. Case in point; cult of personality and drama shows always have that effect on me. To be honest, I’ve been pretty disinterested from the beginning. Too much like a rerun of the Assange drama.
    Assange who also turned to The Guardian. As well as the NY Times and Der Spiegel. To let them handle the “selecting and redacting.” And he picks these outlets? Der Spiegel was set up by British intelligence for crying out loud. Now with people like Greenwald, overeager to keep himself in the spotlight, it’s a bit too much.

    The fine points you raise here are striking the root. Are the intermediaries actually functioning as Bureaus of Censorship? What relations with intelligence agencies and government officials are in play? How can we, the public, accurately asses and appraise what is being disclosed with these kind of unaddressed questions lurking in the background? I can’t see how..

  4. off the cuff it would appear that Greenwald is playing the limited hangout? Tarpley has accused Whistle-blowers of engaging in this practice, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Is Greenwald knowingly participating by mitigating the information as a limited hangout?

    Yes, smoke and mirrors.

  5. Addendum: Cui prodest scelus, est facit. He who benefits from the crime is the one who committed it. Let’s see who benefits?

  6. LarryinColumbus says:

    We are talking about the Guardian and the Washington Post for Christ sake. He may as well told his story right to US and UK intellegence directly.

    Snowden may be a whistleblower but I think we still have to keep our guard up. He has provided less information so far than previous whistleblowers have been saying for years.

    Look at the story in mainstream media about the Bolivian plane being diverted because of suspicions that Snowden was aboard. Governments saying they dont even want someone seeking asylum entering their airspace?

    As much as I encourage the waking of people of what is really going on in our government, this story seems more like a threat to future whistleblowers on how capable and how far our government will go to chase you down.

    Such a shame to visit blogs and seeing the word “traitor” in there. People working in sensitive areas of our government who actually have some integrity should be the standard. Unfortunately, these are the ones who go to their jobs, see the corruption going on, and let that pressure build until they say enough is enough. Where are these people supposed to turn to?

  7. jschoneboom says:

    I’m not entirely happy with Greenwald’s performance myself, in particular how he has avoided dealing with Russell Tice. However: THERE HAS BEEN NO FLIP-FLOP! That’s simply not fair.

    When he said “Snowden’s leak is basically done”, even before his later clarification I interpreted that exactly as he says he meant it: Snowden dumped all the docs at once rather than mete them out in drips and drabs. Then it’s up to the newspapers to release them. They choose the documents and the timing. They’re not done yet, so it’s a little early to get up in arms that they’ve somehow betrayed Snowden or decided to engage in censorship.

    His second statement, far from being a flip flop, says exactly the same thing once again, verbosely. What’s so hard to understand about that? How is it a flip flop at all, never mind a “scandalous” one?

    And suddenly Greenwald is a “stardom-seeking”, “headline-seeking” pseudo debater? Huh? He’s far from perfect (his mind is closed on 9/11 for one thing) but compared to everyone else in the mainstream media he’s got a pretty strong record of tackling issues most everyone else avoids. And he’s shown more courage, and more persistence, with this, than I’ve seen in the MSM for a damn long time.

    Who stole Sibel Edmonds? Suddenly you sound like the NY Daily News talking about his past business activities and his debt, casting vague and poorly founded aspersions on his character and motivations — just like they do to WHISTLEBLOWERS for god’s sake. Sibel, nothing but love and respect for you honey but I’m shocked at this.

  8. A very informative interview with John Young. John is correct that we should put down the “psychic driving” press (my words) we call the major print media. Yes, I do read the NY Times. However, I read it for everything they’re not telling me. What “they” don’t tell me is what John is entreating us to pay attention too. And that depends on we knowing the history of what transpired regarding intelligence. Furthermore, I think I have said here on Sibel’s Facebook that our future course of action depends on us knowing the past. For past is indeed prologue. I would like to ask you folks this, especially because you posters are informed. How many of you have read two of the most quintessential books on the NSA by James Bamford – “The Puzzle Palace and Body of Secrets?” Please be honest.

  9. Carsonite says:

    Greenwald has and is making compromises. It’s fine to criticize him for those but it’s not fine to ignore the huge contribution he has and is making to protection of civil liberties and to greater transparency and accountability in government. So please, Sibel, don’t bring this turfy-sounding innuendo here.

  10. I watched a video a couple of nights ago of Greenwald giving an annual speech to a group via skype. Greenwald appears at 10:30

    He described meeting Snowden for the first time in the Hong Kong Hotel and wanting to understand Snowden’s motivation. He said after hearing what Snowden had to say, he did not have any doubt that his motivation was pure and that it had such a profound impact on Greenwald that he further said he now planned to “do good” for the rest of his life. He, too, seemed sincere. Maybe I’m naive (but I don’t think so.)

  11. I see no contradiction in Greenwald’s narrative: in his July 1st tweet, he said “Snowden’s leak is basically done”, which doesn’t mean that they had published everything, but just that the newspapers have all the documents.

  12. american1975 says:

    Greenwald is obviously afraid Assange and Wikileaks will screw up the counter propaganda campaign he is waging by doing a document dump and ruining the story. The best way to tear down the establishment is with an endless drip of new revelations that grab national attention.

    Greenwald has done an excellent job from everything I have seen and read, is doing everything to keep the story alive and public as much as possible.

    The Guardian even ran an interview with James Madsen a few days ago that got D noticed. I see nothing wrong in their tactics or actions thus far.

  13. If BFP readers actually listen to John Young’s interview he said (paraphrase): “Once the lawyers get involved, all manner of shenanigans will take place.” This is likely why both The Guardian and Washington Post have withheld documents; reporters and editors are constrained by their legal departments. Despicable? Sure, but a reality in “new normal” America and D-Notice Britain.

    All this blathering on about “limited hang-outs” misses the point. Do some people here really believe that NSA and the Obama regime are orchestrating disclosures that confirm government lawbreaking and illegality? Or that the intelligence agencies themselves are involved in promoting the leaks as a kind of cautionary tale for future whistleblowers and a disgusted public?

    Would the Obamaites and their underlings on so-called congressional “oversight” committees really work to affirm what whistleblowers Binney, Drake, Tice and Wiebe have been saying for years: the secret state is grabbing everything, content, not just metadata, and then storing it in massive databases for future “reference”? Such conspiracy-mongering is a bridge too far!

    This doesn’t absolve The Guardian and Washington Post’s withholding of Snowden documents, and to that list we can add South China Morning Post and Der Spiegel; far from it. They should be called out and held to account. If WikiLeaks has the goods and chooses to publish, more power to them! Having said so, it doesn’t lessen contributions made by Greenwald, Gellman and Poitras to our knowledge of these sinister programs and how they work. But it doesn’t help matters to accept on blind faith, from unnamed “sources” no less, that “since turning to WikiLeaks’ Assange Snowden has ceased all contact with Guardian and Greenwald.”

    Snowden is a hunted man, holed-up in a Moscow airport with little contact with the outside world, on the run from the most nefarious state on earth. Didn’t the US government just force their “close” allies to deny landing rights to the president of a sovereign state and then search the plane! How could anyone possibly know what’s going through his mind, let alone who he is in contact with? We don’t.

    Let’s not add to the smear machine in high-gear against Greenwald, by piling on with talk of “stardom-seeking pseudo debates,” mysterious allusions to “talks and rumors about Greenwald seeking Pulitzer and mainstream status;” its unseemly, hardly worthy of Sibel Edmonds’ heroic efforts over the years to expose widespread government lawbreaking.

  14. Personally, I wish everyone would stop dripping and drabbing. I don’t understand why anyone would condone this. When you have important information, just release it. Because it’s imperative that the public know about it asap.

    You can say that dripping causes extended interest. I can just as easily say that it obfuscates and covers up the facts, when you get them piecemeal.

    So, no more games/dripping strategy, please.

  15. LarryinColumbus Says:

    We are talking about the Guardian and the Washington Post for Christ sake. He may as well told his story right to US and UK intellegence directly.
    Snowden may be a whistleblower but I think we still have to keep our guard up. He has provided less information so far than previous whistleblowers have been saying for years.
    Look at the story in mainstream media about the Bolivian plane being diverted because of suspicions that Snowden was aboard. Governments saying they dont even want someone seeking asylum entering their airspace?
    As much as I encourage the waking of people of what is really going on in our government, this story seems more like a threat to future whistleblowers on how capable and how far our government will go to chase you down.


    I could not agree more!
    Additionally, I too am not seeing this alleged “flip-flop”.
    …and, to be clear, I have no interest in coming to Greenwald’s defense. I simply didn’t feel that this translated as “flip-floppery”.

  16. Xicha,

    I think the bottom line here is that drip-drabbing is what an outfit like The Guardian is known for. There simply is no excuse for Snowden to have expected otherwise from them, so why is he complaining now?
    It’s like going to Mcdonald’s and then getting upset because you got a burger instead of fried chicken.

  17. @hohum, I guess he wanted a burger. He may have been attracted to having the info come out through a mainstream publication, instead of dumping all at cryptome, for instance. That’s what I would have liked, especially knowing that cryptome exists.

    But, maybe he wanted the public to hear about it from a source that they trust. We can’t know for sure.

    Unfortunately, not all whistle blowers are savvy at whistle blowing. We’ve heard Russ Tice talk about Thomas Drake that way.

    The larger point here is whether or not the information contained in the published leaks is true or not. If it is, then Snowden has done us all a service by informing the public. To me, that’s black and white and outweighs any supposed conspiracy of scaring Americans away from dissent, which I don’t think is logical anyway.

    All the activists already thought that the government was spying on them, before Snowden’s leak and ensuing chase. Why tell all Americans they are being spied on, just to scare the activists?

  18. I would say that most people in general knew that they were being spied on by the time that this leaked, so I’m wondering why this rich CIA guy thought “hey, I think I’ll go ahead and forfeit my entire life as I knew it… just to add emphasis to what was already well-known among most people.”

    Remember, even The Guardian is still considered “alternative news”, which main stream viewers lend no more credit to than that of Alex Jones.

    Everybody down here has already forgotten about this (except for …the activists). Right now the Zimmerman trial is the hot topic du jour.

  19. Why? Simply because he’s offered evidence, not speculation.

    The difference between AJ show and Gueardian. I turned on NPR in the car and they were having roundtable discussions about it and the news went far and wide – much wider than the AJ million or so (I think that’s what he says he has.) The Guardian has a ton more mainstream cred than AJ.

    You have to search just to find someone who doesn’t know about Snowden’s leak, which may be why he did go there.

    Again, the basic point, IMO, is that true information and evidence (according to Tice) is now known to be valid by the large majority of American people, not to mention the rest of the world. And they are viewing him as a whistle blower. What else really matters about this leak, in comparison to that? His motives? I don’t think so.

  20. Because nothing about this feels authentic.
    I was watching another Snowden interview last night, and there is not even the faintest hint of emotion to be detected in the guys voice.
    He sounds like your typical monotone corporate drone rehearsing a script.
    I no longer harbor any doubts in regards to this being a CIA stunt.

    …and in the end, it had no positive effect because those who have now been made aware are “not surprised by the news”.

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