Then, Greenwald kills his own message by making the blackmail even more explicit. Greenwald claims that Snowden has created a "dead man's switch" which would cause those documents to be released should he be killed by the US government (the paranoia of this crowd is truly astounding). But this is where Greenwald makes things interesting. He claims, specifically, that said 'switch' can also be flipped if Snowden is forcibly taken into custody, via entirely legal channels. I quote:
I was asked whether I thought the US government would take physical action against him if he tried to go to Latin America or even force his plane down. That's when I said that doing so would be completely counter-productive given that - as has been reported before - such an attack could easily result in far more disclosures than allowing us as journalists to vet and responsibly report them, as we've [been] doing.Let's leave alone for a second Glenn Greenwald's spurious claim to be a "journalist." Let's look at what he's saying here. He's saying that should the United States or one of its allies forcibly ground a plane carrying Edward Snowden over their airspace, and then presumably take Snowden into custody so that he could face the charges that the United States has filed against him, that legal process would also open the floodgates on the supposed 'dead man's switch' and thereby cause unprecedented damage to the US. That's not a threat? That's not blackmailing? What in his sick mind does Greenwald think blackmailing is?
And if Edward Snowden, as Greenwald claims, has set up that switch for information to be released should he be captured, then it is as if he released the information himself, and caused any damage resulting from its going public (such as falling into enemy hands) himself. Greenwald actually doubles down on the claim that Snowden stole highly sensitive documents the release of which would cause grave damage to the United States, and which if revealed, as I said this weekend, could be grounds to try Snowden for treason.
Interestingly, while Greenwald has now backpedaled and claimed that he does not have the documents that would come from the so-called 'dead man's switch' that can, according to Greenwald be flipped by Snowden merely being arrested and not dead, in his actual interview (original, Google's English translation), he also told the Argentinian newspaper that "several people" have access to the actual data. And just last week, Greenwald said himself that he was one of those people.
Greenwald said that for the past six weeks he has carried around "for every second of everyday" a highly encrypted electronic copy of the secret documents leaked to him by Snowden – some 10,000 documents from the NSA. Greenwald said that he has other copies should anything happen to the one he carries around, and Snowden has previously said that other encrypted copies of the documents have been given to other journalists for safe keeping.So either the arrested man's switch is talking about even more than these 10,000 documents or Greenwald is lying (lay your faith in the latter; that's a pretty safe bet). Depending on which Greenwald you believe, either he's trying to blackmail the United States himself, or he's accusing his pal Snowden of doing the same. Or both.
Using his usual arrogance in his defensive post, Greenwald continued to prove that whichever law school gave him a law degree should immediately revoke it. He says:
The current criticism of Snowden is that he's in Russia. But the reason he's in Russia isn't that he chose to be there. It's because the US blocked him from leaving: first by revoking his passport (with no due process or trial), then by pressuring its allies to deny airspace rights to any plane they thought might be carrying him to asylum (even one carrying the democratically elected president of a sovereign state), then by bullying small countries out of letting him land for re-fueling.I'm sorry, Snowden didn't choose to be in Russia? Just who made him fly from Hong Kong to Russia? For that matter, who forced him to leave Hawaii to go to Hong Kong in the first place? The US government? No, he went there on his own free will. But it's in the following charge that Greenwald proves that his law degree is a farce. By complaining that the US government revoked Snowden's passport without "due process or trial," he insinuates that such revocation is illegal or unconstitutional, which shows that Greenwald is completely ignorant of the Constitution.
The protection of due process is enshrined in the fifth amendment, which reads that no one shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." There is no such case here. Wait a minute, isn't Snowden's passport property? Yes, but it's not Snowden's property. If you've got a passport, open it up. It says in clear, bold letters:
U.S. Government Property: This passport is the property of the United States (Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 51.9). It must be surrendered upon demand by an authorized representative of the United States Government.It's your passport only in the sense that you are the bearer of it, but it's not your property; it's the government's. Congress is of course fully authorized to make all the rules and regulations of any US government property in the full body of the Constitution (Article IV Section 3).
As for using diplomatic channels to block the flight of a fugitive, Greenwald can cry about it, but those are exactly the proper and legal channels to pursue Snowden. I mean, I know that Greenwald is really trying to argue that the United States should not have the legal right to pursue a traitor and a fugitive, but come on. As the Vice President would put it, that's malarkey.
I maintain my original suspicion in all of this: Snowden's usefulness in terms of releasing intelligence data - harmful and otherwise - is at an end. If he is captured and returned to the United States, that fact would be exposed and Greenwald and cult's bluff would be called. They need to keep Snowden outside of the country precisely so that they can continue to play footsie and blackmail the United States, not because it is advancing any civil liberties discussion (quite clearly, it isn't).