Reaction to Leakers vs the Substance of the Revelations

When an Air National Guardsman leaked classified documents about the Russian war in Ukraine, it raised a lot of questions about our involvement, the lies being told by the government, and how the media plays a role.


Glenn Greenwald

On a virtually daily basis, one can find authorized leaks in The New York TimesThe Washington Post, on CNN and NBC News: meaning stories dressed up as leaks from anonymous sources that are, in fact, nothing more than messaging assertions that the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security and the Pentagon have instructed these subservient media corporations to disseminate. When that happens, the leaker is never found or punished: even when the leaks are designated as the most serious crimes under the U.S. criminal code, such as when The Washington Post‘s long-time CIA spokesman David Ignatius in early 2017 published the contents of the intercepted phone calls between Trump’s incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Most of Russiagate was constructed based on authorized leaks, a generous way of describing official propaganda from the U.S. Security State laundered in the American corporate press.

But when it comes to unauthorized leaks — which result in the disclosure of secret evidence showing that the U.S. Security State lied, acted corruptly, or broke laws — that is when the full weight of establishment power comes crashing down on the head of the leaker. They are found and arrested. Their character is destroyed. And now — in a new and genuinely shocking escalation — it is the largest media corporations themselves, such as the Times and the Post, that actually do the FBI’s work by hunting down the leaker, exposing him, and ensuring his arrest.

This playback is always used in such cases and is easily recognized. The point is to shift attention from the substance of the embarrassing and incriminating disclosures onto the personal traits of the person who exposed them, so as to make the public forget about what they learned and come to see the leaker as so unlikeable that they want nothing to do with the disclosures themselves.

……..When Edward Snowden furnished to myself and Laura Poitras the previously secret evidence that Obama national security official James Clapper lied to the public when denying that the NSA spied en masse on millions of Americans —  reporting that ended up winning every major journalism prize in the West and that caused an appellate court to rule that Obama’s NSA had acted both unconstitutionally and illegally in infringing the privacy rights of millions of Americans — CNN, NYT. NBC and The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin labeled him a “narcissist” for believing he knew better than everyone else, and numerous outlets dug through his old blog comments to prove he had bad politics as a teenager.

Now, when doing the FBI’s work by outing Jack Teixeira, both the Washington Post and CNN are emphasizing transgressive comments he made about race and anti-Semitism in a teenagers’ gaming room to distract attention from the lies these docs reveal about, among other things, Biden’s role in Ukraine.

Laura Ingraham:

The truth is, we’re not hearing the truth. Maybe the 21-year-old’s view of the intel community isn’t far-off. The American public has every right to know the truth about what they’re getting for their $200 billion and counting commitment to Ukraine. If the prognosis for victory is grim, we should all know it. If China is back-channeling lethal aid to Ukraine, we should know that. This is information that Americans actually may vote on in 2024.


There’s a difference between being a whistleblower and a traitor; the distinction is motive. If your purpose is to expose unlawful, unconstitutional abuse of powers, then by all means, raise hell.  If you’re a disgruntled, whiny little crapweasel like Bradley Manning or Reality Winner, who wants to damage national security to massage your ego, then you deserve the death penalty for the lives you endangered. Edward Snowden had questionable motives himself. He gave information to Wikileaks about the Obama regime’s extensive NSA surveillance operations. He fled to Russia and is now a Russian citizen. I would have had more respect for him if he stood his ground and faced Congress. If your principles and integrity are solid, don’t flee the country; it only raises questions about character and credibility.

Leaks aside, what are they going to do about the intel that proves just how fucked up things are in Ukraine and that the $100 billion that Biden gave to Zelensky went somewhere else instead of weapons and equipment.


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