As I wrote recently, last Sunday the German television station ARD broadcast an interview with Edward Snowden in Moscow in which he revealed a few more details about NSA spying such as that they were also targeting big German corporations such as Siemens. I based my comments on a print report of the TV interview that appeared in the Guardian and in the comments reader Jorg was kind enough to provide a link to the actual broadcast.
I assumed that the interview would get good coverage but since I do not watch TV news I did not follow up. But Charlton Stanley says that the US government and its loyal media seem to have made a concerted effort to prevent people from seeing the interview. Stanley writes:
Last Sunday, former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden was interviewed for the German television network ARD. The interview was big news in Germany and much of the world in both print and broadcast media. However, the interview appears to have been blocked intentionally by US government authorities. In fact, the media in the US appears to have gone to ‘radio silence’ about it. It has been posted on YouTube several times, but is taken down almost immediately. The video site Vimeo has it embedded, but as I write this, Vimeo is under a DDoS attack.
When I went back to check Jorg’s link I got the following message
Sorry, “Edward Snowden’s First Television Interview (ARD/Germany)” was deleted at 3:41:53 Fri Jan 31, 2014.
Vimeo has removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by NDR claiming that this material is infringing: Edward Snowden’s First Television Interview (ARD/Germany).
This made me curious. Has anyone in the US seen any coverage of the ARD Snowden interview in the major media?
Stanley provides another link to the 30-minute interview that I give below. It is must-watch TV but I don’t know how long it will be up so see it now.
(UPDATE: So the above site seems to have also been taken down but you can see it here.)
After watching the 30-minute interview I can understand why the US government is freaking out. Snowden comes across as a thoughtful, calm, intelligent, and articulate person who chooses his words very carefully and makes the case for why what he did was right in a very compelling way. Put this guy up alone in a debate against president Obama, James Clapper, Keith Alexander, Diane Feinstein, Mike Rogers, and all the other shifty liars who try to defend the NSA and it is absolutely no contest. Even the German interviewer seemed sympathetic to Snowden.
Snowden is also careful to not reveal any new information, saying that it is up to the journalists to whom he gave the documents to make the judgment as to what is in the public interest. But he drops enough hints to lead us to expect future stories to reveal that the tapping of German chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone was just the tip of the iceberg and the phones of government officials all the way down the line were also tapped in Germany and other countries, and that Siemens is by no means the only foreign company to be spied upon. Snowden says that the US spies on anyone or any entity as long as it is in the US’s national interest as opposed to national security, contrary to what Obama and others claim.
I think the US government realizes, after watching this interview, that they absolutely cannot let Snowden make his case directly to the US public, which is why the charges against him are based on the Espionage Act. Those provisions are such that if he ever comes to the US, he will not be allowed by law to make his case as to why he did what he did. So Obama and the rest who say that he should come back and face the legal system are as usual, not telling Americans the whole truth.
This episode made me curious as to whether any major US media has made any attempt to get an interview with Snowden or whether they are too afraid of offending the US government by allowing him to make his case directly to the American people. Some have already been accused of abetting treason for publishing the stories and they may well be too scared. Meanwhile, while this is going on, John Kerry feels free to lecture other countries on what constitutes democracy and why they should not suppress dissent.
Such is the sorry state of the US government and media.