Snowden’s Journalist Friends Win Pulitzer for NSA Reporting

Is a Nobel Peace Prize next for the leaker-in-chief?

Investigative reporters Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, who worked with National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, hug before accepting the George Polk Award along side Ewan MacAskill and Barton Gellman, for National Security Reporting on April 11, 2014 in New York City. Greenwald, Poitras and MacAskill reported on the story for The Guardian; Gellman wrote for The Washington Post. This is the first time Greenwald and Poitras have returned to the United States since the story broke.
National Journal
Dustin Volz
April 14, 2014, 11:04 a.m.

The cadre of journ­al­ists who last year blew the lid off the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency’s top-secret sur­veil­lance ap­par­at­us and ig­nited a roil­ing in­ter­na­tion­al de­bate over the prop­er scope of gov­ern­ment spy­ing have net­ted their pa­pers the Pulitzer Prize for Pub­lic Ser­vice, the awards com­mit­tee an­nounced Monday.

The Guard­i­an and The Wash­ing­ton Post shared journ­al­ism’s most coveted hon­or Monday for their re­port­ing, which ex­posed clas­si­fied de­tails of the gov­ern­ment’s vast data-col­lec­tion pro­grams.

The award bol­sters the grow­ing trophy chest be­ing ac­quired by the journ­al­ists and their doc­u­ment-steal­ing source, former NSA con­tract­or Ed­ward Snowden, who has also been nom­in­ated for a No­bel Peace Prize, the win­ner of which will be an­nounced in Oc­to­ber.

Snowden called the award “a vin­dic­a­tion for every­one who be­lieves that the pub­lic has a role in gov­ern­ment.”

“We owe it to the ef­forts of the brave re­port­ers and their col­leagues who kept work­ing in the face of ex­traordin­ary in­tim­id­a­tion, in­clud­ing the forced de­struc­tion of journ­al­ist­ic ma­ter­i­als, the in­ap­pro­pri­ate use of ter­ror­ism laws, and so many oth­er means of pres­sure to get them to stop what the world now re­cog­nises was work of vi­tal pub­lic im­port­ance,” the fu­git­ive said in a state­ment. He ad­ded that his leaks “would have been mean­ing­less without the ded­ic­a­tion, pas­sion, and skill of these news­pa­pers.”

The im­port of the “Snowden files” was made im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent last sum­mer after the two pa­pers pub­lished the first in what be­came a seem­ingly end­less cas­cade of stor­ies ex­pos­ing in­tim­ate de­tails of the NSA’s spy pro­grams. Ewen MacAskill and Glenn Gre­en­wald led much of the cov­er­age for The Guard­i­an, while Bar­ton Gell­man did so for The Post. Doc­u­ment­ary film­maker Laura Poitras also has been closely in­volved with the re­port­ing and, along with Gre­en­wald, is be­lieved to be one of only two people in pos­ses­sion of the en­tire trove of Snowden files.

Snowden, a 30-year-old com­puter tech­ni­cian, im­me­di­ately achieved overnight in­ter­na­tion­al no­tori­ety as a res­ult of the stor­ies. He met with Gre­en­wald and Poitras in Hong Kong after down­load­ing an es­tim­ated 1.7 mil­lion secret NSA files while work­ing for gov­ern­ment con­tract Booz Al­len Hamilton in Hawaii. The dis­clos­ures have been widely cred­ited with for­cing Pres­id­ent Obama and Con­gress to con­sider and im­ple­ment still-pending re­forms to the NSA’s spy pro­grams.

The first NSA bomb­shell, pub­lished by The Guard­i­an on June 5, re­vealed that Ve­r­i­zon “on an on­go­ing, daily basis” provides the NSA in­form­a­tion on tele­phone calls with­in the United States. A day later, The Post ex­posed a top-secret pro­gram known as PRISM that col­lects for­eign com­mu­nic­a­tions traffic from the serv­ers of nine lead­ing U.S. In­ter­net com­pan­ies, in­clud­ing Google, Ya­hoo, and Face­book.

Snowden’s de­tract­ors have tire­lessly claimed that his leaks have harmed na­tion­al se­cur­ity and that the journ­al­ists who pub­lished the clas­si­fied gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments ac­ted ir­re­spons­ibly. House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee Chair­man Mike Ro­gers has per­haps been Snowden’s most vo­cal crit­ic, hav­ing fre­quently de­rided him as a “trait­or.” The Michigan Re­pub­lic­an has also sug­ges­ted that Snowden’s cur­rent res­id­ence in Mo­scow in­dic­ates he could be op­er­at­ing as a spy for Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent Vladi­mir Putin.

In a tweet, Rep. Peter King, a New York Re­pub­lic­an, called the Pulitzer se­lec­tion a “dis­grace.” 

The Pulitzer is just the latest in a string of ac­col­ades that Snowden and his con­fid­ants have earned re­cently. Last week Gre­en­wald and Poitras were jointly awar­ded the George Polk Award for na­tion­al se­cur­ity re­port­ing, a sim­il­arly pres­ti­gi­ous mer­it. Their at­tend­ance at the awards ce­re­mony in New York City marked the first time either had set foot in the U.S. since their ini­tial NSA stor­ies were pub­lished last June.

Earli­er this month, Snowden and Poitras were jointly re­cog­nized as win­ners of the left-lean­ing Riden­hour Truth-Telling Prize.

The Pulitzers are giv­en an­nu­ally by Columbia Uni­versity and chosen at the re­com­mend­a­tion of a 19-mem­ber board of journ­al­ists.

What We're Following See More »
PEAK CONFIDENCE
Clinton No Longer Running Primary Ads
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-ex­pec­ted primary battle be­hind her, former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton (D) is no longer go­ing on the air in up­com­ing primary states. “Team Clin­ton hasn’t spent a single cent in … Cali­for­nia, In­di­ana, Ken­tucky, Ore­gon and West Vir­gin­ia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “cam­paign has spent a little more than $1 mil­lion in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone back­er in the Sen­ate, said the can­did­ate should end his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign if he’s los­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton after the primary sea­son con­cludes in June, break­ing sharply with the can­did­ate who is vow­ing to take his in­sur­gent bid to the party con­ven­tion in Phil­adelphia.”

Source:
CITIZENS UNITED PT. 2?
Movie Based on ‘Clinton Cash’ to Debut at Cannes
2 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."

Source:
INFLUENTIAL APPROPRIATOR
Former Sen. Conrad Burns Dies in Montana
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Conrad Burns, the colorful livestock auctioneer and radio executive from Montana who served three terms as a senator, died on Thursday at age 81. Burns "was ousted from office in 2006 under the specter of scandal after developing close ties to "super-lobbyist" Jack Abramoff," although no charges were ever filed.

Source:
BETTING ON CARS
Biden Goes Max Biden at the Vatican
3 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

In an exchange not ripped from the page of The Onion, Vice President Biden revealed to a Vatican cardinal that he's been betting reporters on which cars are faster. After meeting privately with Pope Francis, Biden met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State. Within moments of greeting one another, Biden said that he'd met with the pope and, gesturing to the press pool, "I've met with these guys too." Singling out reporter Gardiner Harris, who recounted the exchange, he said, "I had to pay this man $10. He's from the New York Times. We had a bet: which is the faster car, the newer Cadillac or the new [Tesla]. ... The Tesla's two tenths of a second faster. But I lost. I paid my $10." He joked that he's "seeking absolution."

17 ARRESTED
Trump’s First California Rally Turns Ugly
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump held his first rally in California Thursday night, and things were chaotic: "Hundreds of demonstrators filled the street outside the Orange County amphitheater where ... stomping on cars, hurling rocks at motorists and forcefully declaring their opposition to the Republican presidential candidate. Traffic came to a halt as a boisterous crowd walked in the roadway, some waving American and Mexican flags. Protesters smashed a window on at least one police cruiser, punctured the tires of a police sport utility vehicle, and at one point tried to flip a police car."

Source:
×