Pierre’s Intercept Shuts Down Access to Snowden Trove
[Caution: schadenfreude & satire hard-hat area]
First: ‘The Intercept shuts Snowden archive amid layoffs & outrage’, RT.com, 14 Mar, 2019
“First Look Media, the parent company of the Intercept, announced it will shut access to the archive of documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to cut costs as it plans to layoff 4 percent of staff.
The news was met with outrage from high ranking staff member and filmmaker Laura Poitras, who went to Hong Kong to meet Snowden in 2013, just before the first revelations from his trove of National Security Agency documents were published.
She said she was “sickened” by the decision to “eliminate the research team, which has been the beating heart of the newsroom since First Look Media was founded,” and slammed the company for making the decision without consulting her or other board members.
Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill joined First Look Media at its founding, launching the Intercept in 2014 as a place to“aggressively report” on the Snowden documents. The company employed a research team to work on the huge trove of documents provided by Snowden.”
Then Tweets from:
@MarkAmesExiled “5 years ago I criticized Poitras-Greenwald deal to privatize Snowden NSA docs to a tech oligarch connected to the national security state—and was smeared as a CIA/COINTELPRO & worse. Now Poitras is mad that Omidyar is shutting down their fencing operation”
@emptywheel “Potentially unpopular opinion: I think the Snowden archive would be better served elsewhere. Working with the Intercept was always … challenging. There are a number of stories with important policy implications I’d like to do w/o those difficulties.”
Readers may remember that when Wheeler had quit the vaunted organization, she’d claimed ‘no bad blood’, but a year later had announced that the real reason she’d left was because as she was ‘just a blogger, not a real journalist, thus worth less pay’, she’d skedaddled.
“The vast majority of the contents of the Snowden documents have never been reported on. Snowden chose to give the documents to trusted journalists in the hope they could filter and decide what information to publish, without endangering people. This has been a source of contention for those who feel the entire cache of documents should have been released and published in a searchable format, like WikiLeaks’ releases.
Omidyar has been accused of sweeping in to fund the Snowden publishing in a bid to control what is released.”
Ha; exactly why I’ve long said the name of the site is apt: The Intercept, especially coupled with the fact that a few months ago I’d bingled as to how many ‘fearless journalists are in Pierre’s stable?’ and found there are 200, although I was only able to kick up one page’s worth (100 of them). Controlling the news?
From the dailybeast.com (also aptly named), March 13, 2019: ‘The Intercept Shuts Down Access to Snowden Trove; First Look Media, the company that owns the Intercept, also announced that it was laying off several of the researchers who had been charged with maintaining the documents.’
“But in an email to staff Wednesday evening, First Look CEO Michael Bloom said that as other major news outlets had “ceased reporting on it years ago,” The Intercept had decided to “focus on other editorial priorities” after expending five years combing through the archive.
He added: “It is our hope that Glenn and Laura are able to find a new partner—such as an academic institution or research facility—that will continue to report on and publish the documents in the archive consistent with the public interest.”
First Look Media’s decision to shut down the archives puts an end to the company’s original vision of using The Intercept as a means to report on the NSA documents.”
@dangillmor Mar 13, 2019 “This needs a LOT more explanation. Was the archive ever open (in any way) to anyone beyond Intercept and chosen partners? Not that I know of. What’s the future of this? (Does Poitras have a copy?)”
@ggreenwald “Both Laura & I have full copies of the archives, as do others. The Intercept has given full access to multiple media orgs, reporters & researchers. I’ve been looking for the right partner – an academic institution or research facility – that has the funds to robustly publish”
You may remember they’d opened a Reading Room for ‘journalists’ in their NY offices a few years ago, iirc.
“From the time we began reporting on the archive provided to us in Hong Kong by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we sought to fulfill his two principal requests for how the materials should be handled: that they be released in conjunction with careful reporting that puts the documents in context and makes them digestible to the public, and that the welfare and reputations of innocent people be safeguarded,” Greenwald wrote in a 2016 post.”
Yes to my bold: it was once of the principal reasons that Snowden and GG have long called Julian Assange: ‘the bad whistleblower’ (as compared to Snowden). Remember when WikiLeaks had named Afghanistan as the nation in which the NSA was helping site in bombs for ISAF or whatever the joint venture was called?
“As time has gone on, The Intercept has sought out new ways to get documents from the archive into the hands of the public, consistent with the public interest as originally conceived.”
What in the world does that sentence signify, and would you manage to still be in control, Glenn?
Now the Daily Beast author (Maxwell Tani) had linked to ‘Welcome to the Intercept’, Feb. 2014, scahill, poitras, and greenwald, and the page does prove my memory correct for once while trying to imagine where in the world Pierre’s quarter of a billon bucks went so fast. As I’d remember it, the place would pay for itself in no time, as they’d be advising other entities on IT, site creation (ludicrous, as they weren’t even able to get their commenting software to behave for a long time), etc., and they’d feature various News Magazines:
“We are very excited to welcome everyone to The Intercept, a publication of First Look Media (FLM). The Intercept, which the three of us created, is the first of what will be numerous digital magazines published by FLM.”
The rest reads rather ironically to me at this point in time. I’d been prepared to write that at some point, TI began begging for money under articles, but in the Welcome to’ page, along with ‘which journalists we’ve hired’, was ‘become a supporting member’, but that wasn’t quite as brazen as the further developments. Where’d that quarter of a billion bucks go, anyway?
Matt Taibbi had quit cuz they were such skinflints they wouldn’t even pay for meals and drinks while he’d been interviewing sources; sheeesh.
Last night I’d been wracking my brain trying to remember a Snowden doc they’d finally published that many of us had thought: crap, ya mightta mentioned that one a lot earlier!
And here it is, back to the Rt.com version: @FreeThought84
Replying to @ggreenwald “You are a gatekeeper withholding information that is in the public interest.
It shouldn’t matter which documents Snowden wanted selectively leaked and the fact that other organizations won’t publish means absolutely nothing.
Publish in full! https://www.mintpressnews.com/intercept-withheld-nsa-doc-that-may-have-altered-course-of-syria-war/233757/ …
The Link leading to Whitney Webb’s Oct. 30, 2017 ‘The Intercept Withheld NSA Doc That May Have Altered Course Of Syrian War; If this document had been published sooner, it could have dramatically changed the course of the war by exposing the true face of the “moderate rebels” — and potentially saved tens of thousands of lives. That didn’t happen, and no reason has been given by the Intercept for its delay.’
“On Tuesday, the Intercept published a hitherto unknown document from the trove of National Security Administration (NSA) documents leaked by Edward Snowden over three years ago. The document was notable as it shed light on the early days of the Syrian conflict and the fact that, for the past six years, so-called “revolutionary” groups aimed at toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have largely acted as proxies for foreign governments pushing regime change.
The document explicitly reveals that an attack led by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which was intended to mark the anniversary of the 2011 “uprising” that sparked the Syrian conflict, was directed by a Saudi prince. The document proves, in essence, that the armed opposition in Syria – from the earlier years of the conflict – was under the direct command of foreign governments pushing for regime change.
An NSA graphic released by The Intercept outlines Saudi involvement in organizing and supplying Syrian opposition forces for attacks on Syria’s civilian infrastructure.
According to the document, Saudi Prince Salman bin Sultan had ordered the FSA to “light up Damascus” and “flatten” the city’s civilian airport. The Saudis had also “sent 120 tons of explosives/weapons to opposition forces” for the operation. The Saudis, as the document notes, were “very pleased” with the outcome, which claimed at least 60 lives.
The implications of the NSA document are significant. It offers the clearest proof, in the form of official U.S. government documents, detailing the direct relationship between the armed Syrian opposition and foreign governments, and exposing the fact that this relationship existed much earlier than the mainstream narrative on the conflict had previously suggested.”
And OMG is it a serious exposé of Pierre and his Palace, including his ties to USAAID/CIA in Ukraine, as she exposes various authors acting for the Opposition in Syria: Maz Hussein (who’d glorified the White Helmets),
“Hussain is by no means the only Intercept writer who has taken such a pro-opposition stance regarding Syria. A recent Intercept piece on Syria, published in September, committed glaring factual errors on basic facts about the war, while also mistranslating a speech given by Assad so as to link him to American white nationalists. In addition, the paper recently hired Maryam Saleh, a journalist who has called Shia Muslims “dogs” and has taken to Twitter in recent months to downplay the role of the U.S. coalition in airstrikes in Syria. She also has ties to the U.S.-financed propaganda group Kafranbel Media Center, which has close relations with the terrorist group Ahrar al-Sham.
For a paper ostensibly dedicated to “fearless, adversarial” journalism, it is strange that the Intercept gives voice to journalists who echo the U.S. position regarding the Syrian war while rarely publishing the work of journalists who have challenged prevailing Western narratives on that war — journalists who, as the Intercept itself recently revealed, have been right all along regarding the myth of the Syrian “moderate rebel.” Yet, given Omidyar’s political connections and the paper’s handling of the Snowden cache, this unfortunate decision is unsurprising.”
Irony as satire: ‘Glenn Greenwald: ‘…it’s just kind of time for me to do other things’, July 15, 2014, Café Babylon (It’s a disgusting read all these years later, but a snippet or two rather out of context):
“Just after the publication of that revelation, GG did an interview with Wired magazine’s Kim Zetter, excerpts of which follow:
“Zetter: You have characterised this story as the finale in your coverage, the pinnacle of your reporting on this topic. Does this and the other stories now constitute the whole iceberg? (With the understanding that of course you don’t possess everything about the government’s surveillance in your cache of documents.) But is this the peak now?
GG: When I talked about my finale I just sort of meant…basically I’ve been doing this for a year now so it’s just kind of time for me to do other things. I’m sure there are stories in there that I passed by because I didn’t recognise the significance of it and neither did the other journalists working on it that people who have a different set of understandings about things would. I already have a few stories written that are going to come after this one, so this isn’t my last one. But I do think there are some really big stories left to tell that would probably be very related to what Ron Wyden was saying… . But we have a snippet of what the NSA did. We don’t have anything close to everything that the NSA did. And it’s possible — in fact I think it’s highly probable — that there are things Ron Wyden knows about and was referring to that, for whatever reason, just aren’t in the documents that we have, or we haven’t found them.”
Wot? He’s tired of this stuff? After snippets? And did he just pass the torch to Ron Weyden?”
Ah, well, there’s more, but that’s enough, and yeah, it got worse, imo.
Also, this really toasted my cookies, still does: ‘Julian Assange Responds to the Freedom of the Press Foundation Cutting WL Loose’, Café Babylon, Dec. 21, 2017
Those parts being hits on The Bad Whistleblower (not publisher) Julian Assange (whose pants are always greasy and smelly) at the Intercept.
Part V isn’t listed, but it was hit on him by way of a choreographed ‘casual conversation’ between Naomi Klein and Glenn Greenwald.
Oh, Pierre, and all you fearless Interceptor journalists, would you please kiss my grits, then sink into the nearest abyss!
p.s. Can’t wait until Whitney Webb and b at MoA get wind of this story, smile. ; )
(cross-posted from Café Babylon)