American whistleblower Edward Snowden says he did not provide the mainstream media in the US with his leaks because the US media have failed their audiences for fear of being “punished.”
In an encrypted email correspondence with journalist Peter Maass, Snowden said the US media have not engaged in discussing the excesses of US government’s behavior since the 9/11 events.
“After 9/11, many of the most important news outlets in America abdicated their role as a check to power – the journalistic responsibility to challenge the excesses of government – for fear of being seen as unpatriotic and punished in the market during a period of heightened nationalism,” the New York Times quoted Snowden as saying.
“From a business perspective, this was the obvious strategy, but what benefited the institutions ended up costing the public dearly,” Snowden added.
Snowden then explained how he decided to leak the information he possessed to American documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras who acted as an intermediary between him and Glenn Greenwald, a prominent American journalist working with Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
“Laura and Glenn are among the few who reported fearlessly on controversial topics throughout this period, even in the face of withering personal criticism,” said Snowden.
Documents leaked by Snowden have blown the lid on top-secret spying programs run by the US government including a program codenamed PRISM for tracking the use of US-based web servers by people around the world.
US officials, including President Barack Obama, have repeatedly defended the government’s massive surveillance, claiming it protects Americans against what they call “terrorist attacks.

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