Should we hear about Snowden? — Media blackouts do more harm then good

“Every time you pick up a phone, dial a number, write an email, make a purchase, travel on the bus carrying a cell phone, swipe a card somewhere, you leave a trace, and the government has decided that it’s a good idea to collect it all, everything, even if you’ve never been suspected of a crime.”

That revelation is actually from a second interview given by former Central Intelligence Agency and former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, this time to German broadcast giant ARD.

And even though ARD is the second largest public broadcaster in the world (after the British Broadcasting Company), and Snowden’s message easily unearths the largest violations of the Constitution by the US to date, our dinosaur media does not believe this is mainstream enough to cover.

To be clear, you cannot find the 30-minute interview – released via the international video-sharing site LiveLeak on Jan. 27 – on one single American news outlet.

There are several reasons why this is a dereliction of duty by the media, but the focus here is on the effect it will continue to have on international politics and the sheer impact of the information itself.

In a staggering release from German news magazine Der Spiegel, Germany plans to resume counter-espionage efforts after decades of indifference to Western spying. This initiative is a direct outcome of one of Snowden’s initial leaks, revealing that the NSA was wiretapping a non-governmental cell phone belonging to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Furthermore, Merkel plans to work with French President Francois Hollande to create permanent European Internet services to attempt to be walled off from the US spying grid. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if they call it The Berlin Firewall.

For perspective, contemplate what would happen if the US discovered that Great Britain was collecting every little slice of life emanating from the electronic footprint of Americans. The media would likely scream for immediate war.

Some agents in the US government have gone on the offensive. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul recently sued the Obama administration for violations of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

“The Fourth Amendment is included in the Constitution precisely to prevent the issuing of general warrants in which blanket authority is given to the government to spy on citizens at will,” states Paul in an official video released Feb. 11.

Snowden calls this blanket authority the “architecture of oppression,” and taking into account the scope of the mass surveillance and the confines of the Fourth Amendment, it seems Paul’s lawsuit has solid legal ground.

For the record, Paul received plenty of coverage from the lame-stream media regarding his suit, referring to Snowden’s whistleblowing all the way. And yet the same networks that trumpeted Paul’s press conferences shied away from airing Snowden’s ADR interview two weeks prior.

The rotten cherry on this spoiled sundae is the appalling opening of the ADR interview; Snowden references a Buzzfeed article wherein “acting government officials” from the Pentagon and the NSA were anonymously asked what they think about him.

He soberingly states “…They wanted to murder me. They would be happy, they would love to put a bullet in my head, poison me…and have me die in the shower.”

Cumulatively, Snowden is responsible for blowing the lid off of major violations of the tenets of Western diplomacy, given a US senator serious cause to sue the president, and would drive some federal officials to commit capital crimes against him.

Isn’t this someone the entire country should be paying close attention to?

Read the opposing view written by Diego Lynch here.