Via Juan Cole, I came across this excellent news clip from a British TV station below that summarizes the status of the Edward Snowden case. While it is a pretty accurate summary of the current situation, what I found particularly is interesting is skeptical tone that the reporters display about the US government’s claims, unlike the major US media that tends to treat them as if they have automatic credibility. They also point out the hypocrisy of Microsoft’s claims to protect their customers’ privacy, the hollowness of which was exposed by the latest revelations, though this big news disappeared rapidly from US news channels.
The second point of interest is when they show Michael Hayden, former head of the NSA and CIA who then (of course) went through the revolving door to join the Chertoff Group (founded by Michael Chertoff (former head of the Department of Homeland Security), a company that makes a huge amount of money contracting to the US government on security issues.
Hayden makes the classic authoritarian case made by those who seek to discredit Snowden, essentially saying, “Who are you going to trust? People like me in government or a young punk?” The answer is easy, Mickey. I wouldn’t trust people like you with a ten-foot pole because you have shown yourselves to be a bunch of greedy, self-seeking, power hungry liars whereas Snowden has not given me any reason to think that he is anything but an idealistic young person who feels that the government has massively overstepped its proper boundaries.