Glenn Greenwald recently published his book, No Place To Hide, on how he was contacted by Edward J. Snowden and went to Hong Kong to have 10 days of face-to-face meetings with him about the NSA files he allegedly amassed while working in the US intelligence community. The book offers many insights, some which I feel like I’ve read a dozen times on the Internet already over the past 12 months, but there is new information contained therein. Greenwald goes to great lengths to lay out in the book why he participated, and the personal observations about motive in Snowden and himself. Problem is, less than three weeks after the book went on sale, he’s violating the premises he established in 240-plus pages, which is making me wonder what else he’s willing to compromise.
I’m confused. In the book Greenwald dedicates an entire chapter attacking many in the Fourth Estate and their efforts to demonize himself and Snowden. He then counters arguments about how leaking the top secret materials wasn’t being done to inflate the egos of either Snowden or Greenwald among the two paragraphs that follow:
“…Snowden was determined to disappear from sight, as he said, to do no interviews. He understood that the media love to personalize every story, and he wanted to keep the focus on NSA surveillance, not on him. True to his word, Snowden refused all media invitations. …Brian Williams dispatched several different representatives to make his case. Snowden could have spent all day and night on the most influential television shows, with the world watching him, had he wanted to do that.
“But he was unmovable. I conveyed the requests and he declined them, to avoid taking attention away from the revelations. Strange behavior for a fame-seeking narcissist.” (Pages 222-223)
So here’s the thing. Brian Williams, three weeks after the release of the Greenwald book, is advertising that this past week he flew to Moscow and met several hours with Edward Snowden and has interviewed Greenwald.
In an effort to not be critical or demonize Greenwald, as he so carefully sets up in the book that he doesn’t want anyone to do, that he, Snowden et al have worked hard NOT to be the story, then how come so closely after the release of the book, are they doing the very things in the book that they said they have stood steadfastly against doing?
To me this amazingly weakens many of the contentions that Greenwald seeks so hard to establish in No Place To Hide. He’s the defender of the concept that Snowden is not seeking press attention, and now NBC is harping about their exclusive with both men for a May 28th exclusive to run 10 Eastern/9 p.m. Central.
Yes, this is a marketing ploy to sell more books, but it runs contrary to the very points established in the book. Mr. Greenwald, if you want to have credibility about why you participated in the leaks, shouldn’t you remain true to ALL of the arguments you’ve laid out in the book and not just the ones now that are going to help you sell more?
Me thinks denial of personal ambition and ego should be made of sterner stuff….