CNN Sr. Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin says NSA leaker is 'in enormous trouble' That's the CNN headline from this morning, but it doesn't say enough about how NSA leaker Edward Snowden is starting to be characterized in the media. Like Jullian Assange before him, Snowden is being smeared quickly by the establishment media as being unpredictable, uneducated and bizarre for going to Hong Kong to avoid being arrested.
Toobin: And I think Snowden's bizarre ideology makes it even more bizarre. I mean here's someone who's supposedly concerned about free speech and transparency and goes to a place that's under control of one of the most oppressive in the world. So I don't think we're looking at a coherent ideology here, where someone he's upset, he doesn't like government policy, but we don't usually let 29 year old high school drop outs decide what our policy is.
Why does Toobin consider it a bizarre ideology to believe that the NSA program has overreached into a massive privacy issue and wanting the American people to know what's going on behind their backs? I'm no fan of Libertarians, as you know - or Ron Paul, but that doesn't make this any less a legitimate story. And he's not trying to decide policy, but only informing the public on what is being done without their knowledge. And I doubt if he was such a moron (high school dropout) if the CIA and Booz Allen hired him in the first place.
This is the first step in undermining his credibility and it won't be the last. At least Jeffrey doesn't believe Glenn Greenwald should be prosecuted. I mean, what could he be prosecuted for, reporting? I didn't see the clip where Toobin calls him a 'clown,' but Jonathan Turley did.
Edward Snowden, 29, is now a hunted man. The media this morning has moved from the shock over the massive surveillance of citizens to attacking Snowden as a leaker. Indeed, this morning, CNN’s Senior Legal Analyst Jeff Toobin denounced Snowden as a “clown” and someone who should be denounced. Toobin and I have been disagreeing a great deal lately. While I respect Jeff Toobin, I was surprised last week when he defended aspects of the investigation of journalists and later the massive surveillance programs. However, I was taken aback by the attack on Snowden.
There certainly is a basis for criminal investigation — a point no one denies. He will have to answer for any violation of his clearance agreement and national security laws. However, it is the tenor and shift of the comments this morning that so surprised me. Rather than continue the debate of the loss of privacy, political and media figures are focusing on Snowden rather than the programs. You can disagree with his methods just as you can disagree with Julian Assange. However, there is an obvious effort to (like Assange) make him look unbalanced and dangerous.
The story appears more complex. This is a man who gave up a $200,000-a-year job and his likely freedom to reveal something that he felt the public should know about in the interest of privacy. You can disagree with his method, but few of his critics would even consider such a sacrifice for principle. Yet, the coverage this morning is largely on how to catch him and punish him. Over the weekend, the White House said it would find the person responsible and punish him. Snowden then self-disclosed his identity.
Clapper has made this a criminal investigation now so Snowden does face arrest. Let's hope Greenwald isn't being made to face prosecution himself as a warning to other reporters.