While discussing the news this Sunday that NSA leaker Edward Snowden has now fled Hong Kong and is heading for Venezuela with the help of WikiLeaks and the Obama administrations extremely aggressive treatment of whistleblowers, The Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald let Meet the Press host David Gregory have it when he asked Greenwald if we ought to be prosecuting journalists such as himself for publishing these leaks.
GREGORY: To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movement, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald be charged with a crime?
GREENWALD: I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalist should be charged with felonies. The assumption in your question David is completely without evidence – the idea that I’ve aided and abetted him in any way.
The scandal that arose in Washington before our stories began was about the fact that the Obama administration is trying to criminalize investigative journalism by going through the emails and phone records of AP reporters, accusing a Fox News journalist of the theory that you just embraced, being a co-conspirator in felonies for working with sources. If you want to embrace that theory that every investigative journalist in the United States who work with their sources, who receive classified information is a criminal, and it’s precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States.
It’s why The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer said investigative reporting has come to a standstill, her word, as a result of the theory that you just referenced.
GREGORY: Well the question of who’s a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you are doing. Of course, anybody who’s watching this understands I was asking a question, and that question has been raised by lawmakers as well. I’m not embracing anything, but obviously, I take your point.
Greenwald reacted to the question by Gregory on Twitter as well this Sunday.