It is rumored that Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Ewen MacAskill, and Barton Gellman who broke the first stories based on the Edward Snowden documents may get the prestigious George Polk award for 2013, a major honor in journalism. As Matthew Zeitlin writes:
The award, one of the most respected in journalism, is given out every year in different categories by Long Island University and tends to recognize high-impact, investigative journalism. Past winners have included Jane Mayer for her New Yorker profile of National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake and David Rohde’s five-part series on his capture and detainment by the Taliban in The New York Times.
This will set up an interesting situation. Since many people in the US government and Congress have been demanding that journalists who published the documents be prosecuted, will they try and arrest Greenwald and Poitras when and if they come to the US? Gellman and MacEwen are already in the US and have not been arrested but it is clear that the greatest ire has been aimed at Greenwald.
Greenwald himself seems to be willing to test his faith in the First Amendment protections and to force the issue and see if those threats against him are bluster. He has several reasons for coming here.
“My parents are getting older, my nieces [live there] — none of that is something I’m going to go home for now … I had a foundation that wanted to sponsor and pay for and market aggressively a six-city speaking tour to talk about the NSA story and the revelations. I would have completely loved to have done it … on the assurance that nothing would happen. And because we couldn’t get it from the U.S. government, I had to cancel.”
If he does get a big journalism award, that would be the best time to come here. I wonder how the establishment media types who love to cozy up to the national security state would react if he were to be arrested.