Editor's note:

I was already a big fan ;)


John Cusack

John Cusack

The Snowden Principle

At the heart of Edward Snowden's decision to expose the NSA's massive phone and Internet spying programs was a fundamental belief in the people's right-to-know. "My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them," he said in an interview with the Guardian.

From the State's point of view, he's committed a crime. From his point of view, and the view of many others, he has sacrificed for the greater good because he knows people have the right to know what the government is doing in their name. And legal, or not, he saw what the government was doing as a crime against the people and our rights.

For the sake of argument -- This should be called The Snowden Principle.

When The Snowden Principle is invoked and revelations of this magnitude are revealed; it is always met with predictable establishment blowback from the red and blue elites of state power. Those in charge are prone to hysteria and engage in character assassination, as are many in the establishment press that have been co-opted by government access . When The Snowden Principle is evoked the fix is always in and instead of looking at the wrongdoing exposed, they parrot the government position no matter what the facts

The Snowden Principle just cannot be tolerated...

Even mental illness is pondered as a possible reason that these pariahs would insist on the public's right to know at the highest personal costs to their lives and the destruction of their good names. The public's right to know---This is the treason. The utter corruption, the crime.

But as law professor Jonathan Turley reminds us, a lie told by everyone is not the truth. "The Republican and Democratic parties have achieved a bipartisan purpose in uniting against the public's need to know about massive surveillance programs and the need to redefine privacy in a more surveillance friendly image," he wrote recently.

We can watch as The Snowden Principle is predictably followed in the reaction from many of the fourth estate - who serve at the pleasure of the king.

Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC suggests that Glenn Greenwald's coverage was "misleading" and said he was too "close to the story." Snowden was no whistleblower, and Glenn was no journalist she suggests.

Jeffrey Toobin, at the New Yorker, calls Snowden "a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison."

Another journalist, Willard Foxton, asserted that Glenn Greenwald amounted to the leader of a "creepy cult."

David Brooks of the New York Times accuses Snowden- not the Gov--of betraying everything from the Constitution to all American privacy ...

Michael Grunwald of TIME seems to suggest that that if you are against the NSA spying program you want to make America less safe.

Then there's Richard Cohen at the Washington Post, who as Gawker points out, almost seems to be arguing that a journalist's job is to keep government secrets not actually report on them.

The Snowden Principle makes for some tortured logic.

The government's reaction has been even worse. Senators have called Snowden a "traitor," the authorities claim they're going to treat his case as espionage. Rep. Peter King outrageously called for the prosecution of Glenn Greenwald for exercising his basic First Amendment rights. Attacks like this are precisely the reason I joined the Freedom of the Press Foundation board (where Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras also serve as board members)

As Chris Hedges rightly pointed out, this cuts to the heart of one of the most important questions in a democracy: will we have an independent free press that reports on government crimes and serves the public's right to know?

It cannot be criminal to report a crime or an abuse of power. Freedom of the Press Foundation co-founder Daniel Ellsberg argues that Snowden's leaks could be a tipping point in America. This week he wrote "there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material," including his own leak of the Pentagon Papers.

Continue reading Cusack's blog here:


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Thanks for this, Cusak has always been one of my favorites and this seals it for me. However, has it really gone this far have they won? Apparently 56 percent of Americans believe it is okay for the gov to spy on us as long as it keeps us safe. The madness abounds and the masses sleep. 

Polls lie :)

And you're welcome.

Having a Kumbaya moment.........no really !!!

"As Chris Hedges rightly pointed out, this cuts to the heart of one of the most important questions in a democracy: will we have an independent free press that reports on government crimes and serves the public's right to know?"

See that is their problem right there. He and many others that are out of one false paradigm, end up in another . This belief or shilling that we are in a so called democracy makes this whole thing very suspect because as most know here on 12160 and other alternative media sites,  we are not in a democracy and never have been.  He is confusing the corporate press with an "independent free press". The alternative media that exist gets ignored mainly through the mass corporate media (unless it serves their interest ) . There are and have been people reporting on government cover ups, atrocities, murderers, scams, police state, etc,etc for years and it has been bigger than ever thanks to the spreading of the information through the internet. Anyone with half a brain has knew the government has been spying on Americans for years and years. Even before the Patriot Act, that was already written before 9/11 and rolled right after 9/11. It even stated in the Patriot Act the government can spy on Americans in the name of safety from terrorist. All these politicians trying to pretend that they didn't know the government was spying on it's citizens is such BS. Now, with the leak, they are all acting like they are shocked and dismayed. The tragic thing about it is that we have about half of the Americans see that such invasion and elimination of privacy is OK, if it can keep us safe from "terrorist". I see those people as a long arm of the nwo an should be seen as that. Those people are just as dangerous as the government and nwo controlling it.

Amen!  Under the articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, it is a felony to NOT report one.  It is also a felony to obey unlawful orders.  NSA broke the law with PRISM; if the Attorney General and DOJ  did nothing about it, they, too, broke the law.  Article 3 of the Constitution clearly defines "treason," and it is NSA and NSA's apologists in Congress AND they media that are committing it.


John Cusack was tremendously displeased with NBC's David Gregory Sunday for asking the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald on Meet the Press if he should be charged with a crime for aiding and abetting National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

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