Two nights ago, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams introduced highlights of his pre-taped interview in Russia with exiled NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in a prime-time special. The 30-year-old American patriot came off just as well as he did nearly a year ago when he faced similar questions from then-Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald in a Hong Kong hotel room. As always, the Obama Administration & its allies in the intelligence community should be very worried. He’s the best living argument against their unconstitutional agenda.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of important questions Williams didn’t ask:
1. Why didn’t you leak to WikiLeaks?
2. Don’t you miss your girlfriend?
3. What other secret mass surveillance programs are currently operational at the NSA that we don’t know about that we should know about?
4. How many prominent opponents of the Obama Administration, who don’t actually pose a threat to national security, are specifically being targeted by the NSA?
5. Do you regret revealing your identity publicly before reaching your intended destination of Latin America in order to achieve a more permanent political asylum?
6. It was reported that you originally did not approve of Chelsea Manning’s leaking of classified documents to WikiLeaks. First, is that true, and second, if so, when & why did you change your mind about her whistleblowing?
7. Are you worried about publicly criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian policies (blogger registration law, secret mass surveillance) too much to the point where it affects your asylum status?
8. If you do make it back to America & not face any jail time or real consequences, what do you hope to do career-wise?
9. Based on what you’ve seen & experienced as an intelligence analyst, instructor & spy, is it really possible to rein in the NSA’s astounding technological capabilities with legislation alone?
10. Why does the NSA view critics of the Obama Administration as “adversaries” on par with “terrorists” when they’re not breaking the law?
11. Do you fear for your life in Russia?
12. How much secret NSA material is overclassified as such, ballpark percentage-wise?
13. Is the NSA secretly spying on President Obama & Vice President Biden or any other public officials like sitting members of the Senate, the House Of Representatives and the Supreme Court?
14. Are you prepared to spend the rest of your life in Russia if necessary?
15. Do you think the President should be impeached for supporting these secret mass surveillance programs purely on the basis that they violate the 4th Amendment?
16. Do you support the War On Terror?
17. How did you determine what classified material to steal and what not to steal?
18. Do you think the National Security State can survive in its current form despite the growing international backlash to its secret mass surveillance programs?
19. When did the NSA’s focus on terror expand to protest groups, other types of criminals (drug dealers, for instance) & foreign commercial enterprises?
20. Do you feel you & the journalists who have written all these articles about these documents you leaked are doing enough to combat the misinformation spread about the information, them & yourself by Obama officials and their sympathetic media allies?
21. Do you think President Obama’s Insider Threat Program, initiated in the aftermath of the Chelsea Manning leaks, will have any kind of deterring effect on future potential government whistleblowers?
22. Are you disappointed that Democratic Representative & 60s civil rights activist John Lewis doesn’t support your whistleblowing?
23. Do you think the “Restore The 4th”, “Stop The NSA” & “Reset The Net” movements will ultimately succeed despite the significant pushback from Obama and the intelligence community?
24. Were you surprised at how easy it was to take all those documents without detection?
25. In your estimation, is the American public sufficiently angry enough over these revelations? What about the rest of the world?
26. Do you think the reform movement in general can sustain itself beyond the stories about your disclosures & the Obama Presidency?
27. Isn’t it only a matter of time before the NSA is able to break through all forms of encryption no matter how strong it keeps getting?
28. What was wrong with season 2 of The Wire?
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Friday, May 30, 2014