Washington Post: Stop Snowden From Leaking to Us

Editorial draws quick criticism
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2013 1:49 PM CDT
Washington Post: Stop Snowden From Leaking to Us
A TV screen shows the image of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs, at a shopping mall in Hong Kong on June 21.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

The Washington Post drew a few double takes today with an editorial that calls for Edward Snowden to surrender to the US government. "The first US priority should be to prevent Mr. Snowden from leaking information that harms efforts to fight terrorism," the editors write. Which is strange, given that the Post was one of two papers to publish Snowden's initial leaks, a fact mentioned nowhere in the piece. It does acknowledge that past leaks have "shed useful light" on the NSA, but speculates that he might turn over documents to Russia.

The outcry has been fierce. Hamilton Nolan at Gawker led the charge, dubbing the Post a "bitter, jealous little newspaper," and warning would-be whistleblowers that "the official stance of the Washington Post's editorial board is that you should shut up and go to jail." The Huffington Post has a rundown of Twitter outcry, and points out that the Post's editorial board is run independently of its news room. Some of our favorite reaction tweets include:

  • Glenn Greenwald: "Shouldn't media outlets need—y'know—facts or evidence before asserting that Snowden 'may' have given secrets to Russia and/or China?"
  • Kevin Poulsen: "This Washington Post editorial is so screamingly bad you kind of have to wonder if they've been hacked.
  • Jack Shafer: "Washington Post editorial board calls for prosecution of Daniel Ellsberg. Or at least a plea bargain."
(Read more Edward Snowden stories.)

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