Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the Surveillance State, and the 'Dark Mirror' Still Watching Us All

National security journalist Barton Gellman talks about "the surveillance-industrial state," the possibility of a Biden presidency or a second Trump term, and his gripping new book.

|

In 2013, Barton Gellman of The Washington Post started publishing stories about what he called the "surveillance-industrial state" based on documents given to him by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. Along with work done by filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald, Gellman's exposés laid bare an extensive and previously unacknowledged network by which the federal government systematically and illegally spied on American citizens and routinely circumvented checks on its power.

Gellman has just published Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State, which tells the story of his interactions with the whistleblower, bureaucrats, politicians, and the media as he helped reveal one of the biggest secrets in U.S. history. Nick Gillespie spoke with him about his new book and earlier, Pulitzer Prize-winning work that revealed how Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and others in the Bush administration exceeded constitutional limits in the name of prosecuting the war on terror.

They also discuss national surveillance in light of the two major-party presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Former heads of intelligence services are "much less sanguine about the government accumulating this enormous machinery of surveillance" with Trump in the White House because they openly acknowledge "it is subject to horrific potential abuse," says Gellman. At the same time, he stresses that Biden, who served in the Senate for decades and eight years as vice president under President Barack Obama, "has not been an apostle of transparency in the national security world. He was a strong backer of the prosecution of whistleblowers and leakers in the Obama administration and there were more prosecutions with charges of espionage against people who talked to journalists during the Obama administration than in all previous administrations combined, which had a chilling effect on national security reporting."

NEXT: How Coronavirus Is Like Venereal Disease, and Other Bad Analogies

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Did The Jacket write this? Otherwise it’s weird seeing “Nick Gillespie” writing about himself in the third person.

    1. I thought we were calling Nick Gillespie “Leather Man” and Matt Welch “Grape Juice Boy”? A sort of Libertarian Batman and Robin team that promotes limited government by being politically irrelevant.

      1. Welch promotes libertarianism by going on various media and saying he’s not a libertarian.

        1. Seriously what a turd. Constantly shitting on libertarianism on the Fifth Column podcast. Not to mention the unlistenable Reason podcast where Suderdork and Welch clearly forget they’re not on Chapo Trap House.

          1. I Make Money At H0me.Let’s start work offered by Google!!Yes,this is definitely the most financially rewarding Job I’ve had . Last Monday I bought a great Lotus Elan after I been earning $9534 this-last/5 weeks and-a little over, $10k last month . . WAs I started this four months/ago and immediately started to bring home minimum $97 per/hr

            Heres what I do……………… Online Cash Earn

        2. He’s definitely insufficient in his praise of Dear Leader so probably not a real libertarian. The real libertarians are all you GOP fucking suckoffs telling us how great Dear Leader is doing with his 20% unemployment rate and 4 trillion dollar deficits. He’s doing a great job.

          1. Progressive Plan to Win Re-election:
            Step 1: Promote total economic shutdowns for every state ’round the clock on every news channel and newspaper that is loyal to the DNC (roughly 80%). Pretend that you’re panicked and decontextualized coverage of the virus has nothing to do with the unemployment numbers.
            Step 2: Relentlessly accuse anyone that questions marshall law over a virus that kills roughly 0.1 – 0.3% of people that get it of being literally murderers. Get every Karen you can on your side.
            Step 3: Remind everyone how good you are at The Science! However, under no circumstances should you acknowledge previous predictions. Pretend like you knew everything the whole time.
            Step 4: Pass 2.3 trillion dollar “stimulus bill” that makes sure all of the Federal Reserve Chair’s golf buddies don’t have to sell any of their yachts or 9th houses. Let the rest of the peasants have some scraps and make small business pay their workers with loans. Approve this almost unanimously in the house, but don’t allow a vote on it so come November it can be disavowed by everyone up for re-election.
            Step 5: Nominate an unlikable zombie with dementia to take over for Orange Man. Ignore his actual voting record on things like the Iraq war and the fact that he co-authored bills that put away A LOT of brown people in prison for a LONG time. He may say things like “That ain’t black” in a vaguely racist accent to a popular internet black Identitarian. Luckily, news cycles are quick these days, so that shouldn’t be hard to memory hole.
            Step 6: Spend every waking minute blaming this on Trump and Trump alone. Remember to be vague on the details!

            1. Found on Wingnut.com?

              1. I just copied and pasted from a few different Brian Stelter articles. They should probably hire someone smart that doesn’t give up the game so easily.

          2. Look at the retard with TDS bringing up Trump in a thread about Reason writers.

          3. Fuck off, shill.

  2. Change Your Life Right Now! Work From Comfort Of Your Home And Receive Your First Paycheck Within A Week. No Experience Needed, No Boss Over Your Shoulder… Say Goodbye To Your Old Job! Limited Number Of Spots Open…
    Find out how HERE……More here

  3. Can I tell you what my favorite part of the day was? Reading 300/400 comments on why we should get behind Dear Leader’s campaign to ban Twitter, a private sector company. That was great!

    1. The article is about Snowden. Maybe go back to that article to comment on it? Or let me guess, you got smacked around like a bitch in there.

    2. In the worker’s paradise, every Twitter account will have a blue check mark. Forward, comrades!

      1. Did anyone else read this with a Yakoff Smirnoff voice. Propose every single reply to AmSoc begin with “In worker’s paradise…..”

        1. Every single reply to AmSoc should include 五毛党.

    3. Watching every left wingers head explode each and every day has been one of the great pleasures of this administration. I expect to see even more outrageous behavior from the faggotard left when Trump wins reelection.

    4. you require directions to outside?

  4. US COVID-19 death total surpasses 100,000! We’re #1! Thank you Herr Trump!

    Trump 21st Century Misery Index over 36%! (UE plus deficit as % of GDP) The Con Man can’t run on his record so what will he run on?

    Any guess, Peanuts?

    1. He better rev up a new convoy of Guatemalans real quick so he can sell us his dumb fucking Wall. That or the ISIS menace. Hard to tell.

      1. MIGRANT CARAVAN! SHIT YER PANTS! THEY AIN’T EVEN AMERICANS!

    2. Um, that’s a governor caused misery index. Trump has done very little locking down as my Prog friends keep reminding me.

      Prog:
      “Trump hasn’t done enough, what a fool!”
      “Too much has been done, must be Trump’s fault!”

  5. US coronavirus death toll crosses 100,000 in harrowing milestone

    https://www.foxnews.com/health/us-coronavirus-death-toll-exceeds-100k

    MAGA! WHITE TRASH ON DOPE! TAKE YER DROXY BOYS!

    1. Yeah, all those people who died when Covid-19 caused their car to crash, or stabbed them in an ally, or gave them cancer five-years-ago.

      https://cbs2iowa.com/news/local/cr-man-mistakenly-listed-in-new-york-times-front-page-covid-19-obituaries

      Just terrible all those totally Covid caused deaths.

      …You know Pedostache, you really need to ask your handlers for better talking points.

  6. Trump Borrowing $3 Trillion For The June Quarter Will Exceed Obama’s Last 5 Years

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2020/05/05/trump-borrowing-3-trillion-for-the-june-quarter-will-exceed-obamas-last-5-years/#1ad80d5f65e7

    Hilarious!

    Trump Trash – how do you defend this shit?

    1. Hi Pedostache, remind me again why it’s Trump’s fault and not Pelosi’s.

      Also, saw your picture posted in the other thread, your hands look like you have edema. Go see a cardiologist.

      1. Trump asked for trillions and then proudly signed it.

        Did you think that Nancy held him down in a chokehold and forced him to sign?

        I know The Con Man is a fat-ass pussy but I think he could stand up to Pelosi if he wanted to.

        Maybe.

        1. That still doesn’t explain how the bill created by the House Democrats isn’t the House Democrats, but Trump’s.

          1. Because the Senate and White House had to approve it. That huge welfare handout is therefore 2/3 owned by Republicans.

            And yes, I opposed it. You PAY for your spending bills.

            Obama did.

            1. Obama did

              Hahaha! You slay me!

  7. Consider the case of any rational person who, by whatever means, receives news of illegal activity documented and held from prosecutability.

    Does a rational person’s judgment matter by being selective in responding to certain information, or should these documents all be treated as intentional plants used to track spread of espionage — I.e, purely for employee and contractor control & rejection purposes?

    A representative form of government would provision a possibility of consulting, whether oneself or through aid of a lawyer, a specific professional charged with overseeing any concern.

    The guarantee of a representative form of government does not immediately appear to had been upheld.

  8. A new Keating-Onsight-Melanson poll of likely voters in Colorado finds former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is ahead of Sen. Cory Gardner (R) by 18 percentage points in the U.S. Senate race, 54% to 36% with 9% undecided.

    Dems are now favored to take the Senate – especially with the Con Man dragging the GOP into the sewer.

  9. Edward Snowden is a hero. So is Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange and all whistleblowers that expose our government’s crimes. When you look at it, how different are we really from tyranny?

    1. Snowden for sure. He was judicious in how he exposed criminal government. Assange and Manning, less so, since they were a bit careless, putting people’s lives in danger.

  10. Wow, just wow. Former heads of intelligence services are “much less sanguine about the government accumulating this enormous machinery of surveillance” with Trump in the White House because they openly acknowledge “it is subject to horrific potential abuse,” electrician arlington va

Please to post comments