Watch How Casually False Claims Are Published: New York Times and Nicholas Lemann Edition
Publisher: The Intercept
Date Written: 10/01/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20415
We have a perfect example of how this happens from the New York Times today, in a book review by Nicholas Lemann, the Pulitzer-Moore professor of journalism at Columbia University as well as a longtime staff writer for the New Yorker. Lemann is reviewing a new book by Edward J. Epstein -- the longtime neocon, right-wing Cold Warrior, WSJ op-ed page writer, and Breitbart contributor -- which basically claims Snowden is a Russian spy.
It's unclear who Lemann means by Snowdens "immediate circle of allies," but I personally have never heard anyone who qualifies as such express the cartoon view Lemann has manufactured here. What I've heard from both Snowden and his "immediate circle of allies" has been quite consistent: that -- as is true of all countries -- it is legitimate for NSA to engage in targeted surveillance (i.e., monitoring specific individuals whom a court, based on evidence, concludes are legitimate targets) but inherently illegitimate to engage in suspicion-less mass surveillance (i.e., subjecting entire populations to monitoring). Everything Snowden has said and done is the antithesis of this absolutist abolish-the-NSA view Lemann concocted (indeed, Snowden has been harshly criticized by actual radicals for being too protective and supportive of NSA's functions, as have the journalists who worked with him for refusing to dump the whole archive).