Journalism vs. National Security

I mentioned this video in another thread but had not watched it at the time. Now that I have watched it I want to highly recommend it. It is one of the few things about what the Snowden revelations mean in global terms that stays on subject. That is, it talks about the revelations rather than focusing on the person.

It is an skyped interview conducted by Roger Cohen of the New York Times. The interviewees are Barton Gellman of The Washington Post, Glenn Greenwald Journalist of The Intercept and Filmmaker Laura Poitras. In other words, the three journalists trusted with the NSA documents. It is a video available from CUNY TV.

All three are US citizens but two have elected to stay outside the US for the moment. One point really struck home with me when Roger Cohen asked Glenn Greenwald if he didn't feel he was picking on the US government too much and not other governments. Note that Glenn is an ex-constitutional lawyer.

His response was that as a US citizen he has the obligation to speak up when he sees the government deviating from its course. I believe it was Bart Gellman who went on to say that not doing this -- that is, allowing the government to do anything it claims is in the public interest in secret -- allows for unchecked actions.

This "it is our responsibility" position is the same as mine when I "pick on" the US government. It is rather clear that voting is not sufficient in controlling the direction of government. But, we cannot offer more direction if all decisions are secret.

In any case, the interview will tell you quite a bit about the interviewees as well as shine some light on the issue of press freedom and national security.