Edward Snowden’s interview with NBC’s anchor Brian Williams in Moskow last week, which was aired last night, yielded some news. In particular that Snowden has emailed his concerns to colleagues and superiors at the National Security Agency before he leaked them to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. He was told, “You should stop asking questions”. Similar statements have been made by Chelsea Manning when she was in Iraq. And before leaking the Afghanistan and Iraq war logs, the diplomatic cables, the Collateral Murder video etc. to Wikileaks, she had tried, according to her account, to get mainstream media interested. As the Washington Post reports, in Snowden’s case, at least two U.S. officials have confirmed on Wednesday that Snowden has actually sent at least one email to the NSA’s office of general counsel raising policy and legal questions.
An apparently agitated Secretary of State John Kerry exhorted Snowden on CBS This Morning already on Wednesday to “man up” and stand trial in the U.S. Fatherly patronizing Snowden is the latest turn in explaining the public why on hell someone wants to expose the mass surveillance state the U.S. has become in particular after 9-11 if not for the lowest motives.
But dont worry too much. As the Washington Post knows, U.S. politicians have frequently been admonished to “man up” in recent years. President Obama himself was challenged, among other occasions, by an Mitt Romney aide in the 2012 Republican election campaign to “man up” and use force in the Libya debacle. It seems to be a popular way to belittle an adversary. Ben Zimmer has a few explanantions of the phrase’s meaning, the most obvious being “Don’t be sissy”. Well, after all we know one year after his leak, sissy is the last attribute I would assign to Ed Snowden.29 May 2014 @ 5:10 pm. Last modified May 29, 2014.