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The Spy Who Stayed Out in the Cold

Controversial national-security information leaker Edward Snowden will be giving his first interview to a major US media outlet on Wednesday 28 May, on NBC. Snowden, who worked as a systems administrator with private firms doing contract work for the CIA and the NSA, revealed the existence of several mass electronic surveillance programs to journalists in 2013. After being charged by the US with espionage, he fled to Russia, where he was granted temporary asylum.

Snowden is viewed by some as a whistleblower with legitimate concerns about national-security overreach, and by others as a traitor. His actions have been compared to those of Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 leaked to the press the “Pentagon Papers,” a classified Defense Department report that revealed the scope of deception and mismanagement involved in the prosecution of the Vietnam War. Critics of Snowden have pointed out that instead of fleeing to avoid prosecution, Ellsberg remained in the US to face a federal trial (all charges against him were eventually dismissed).

Guardian correspondent Luke Harding was the first to bring out a book on the affair, The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man. The just-published No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, is by Glenn Greenwald, the journalist to whom Snowden originally leaked his information. If you’re interested in the comparison with Ellsberg, take a look at the following books (as well as a DVD) concerning his case and the Pentagon Papers.


Amazon Says: ACADEMY AWARD® NOMINEE-- BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE {Audience Award -- Best Documentary - 2010 Palm Springs Film Festival} {Audience Award -- Best Documentary - 2009 Mill Val more...
Amazon Says: ACADEMY AWARD® NOMINEE-- BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE {Audience Award -- Best Documentary - 2010 Palm Springs Film Festival} {Audience Award -- Best Documentary - 2009 Mill Valley Film Festival} {2009 Toronto International Film Festival} {2009 Vancouver International Film Festival} {2009 IDFA Film Festival "In Competition"} In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a high-level Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist, concludes that the war is based on decades of lies and leaks 7,000 pages of top secret documents to The New York Times, making headlines around the world. Hailed as a hero, vilified as a traitor, and ostracized by even his closest colleagues, Ellsberg risks life in prison to stop a war he helped plan. This is the riveting story of one man's profound crisis of conscience that shook a nation, its courts, its free press and its presidency to the core. It is also an acutely timely and piercing look at the world of government secrecy in wartime as revealed by the ultimate insider. Marked by a landmark Supreme Court battle between America's greatest newspapers and its president, this political thriller unravels a saga that leads directly to Watergate, Nixon's resignation and the end of the Vietnam War. less...
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Amazon Says: In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communic more...
Amazon Says: In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency’s widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security and information privacy. As the arguments rage on and the government considers various proposals for reform, it is clear that we have yet to see the full impact of Snowden’s disclosures. Now for the first time, Greenwald fits all the pieces together, recounting his high-intensity ten-day trip to Hong Kong, examining the broader implications of the surveillance detailed in his reporting for The Guardian, and revealing fresh information on the NSA’s unprecedented abuse of power with never-before-seen documents entrusted to him by Snowden himself.Going beyond NSA specifics, Greenwald also takes on the establishment media, excoriating their habitual avoidance of adversarial reporting on the government and their failure to serve the interests of the people. Finally, he asks what it means both for individuals and for a nation’s political health when a government pries so invasively into the private lives of its citizens—and considers what safeguards and forms of oversight are necessary to protect democracy in the digital age. Coming at a landmark moment in American history, No Place to Hide is a fearless, incisive, and essential contribution to our understanding of the U.S. surveillance state. less...
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Amazon Says: IT BEGAN WITH A TANTALIZING, ANONYMOUS EMAIL: “I AM A SENIOR MEMBER OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY.”   What followed was the most spectacular intelligence breach ever, bro more...
Amazon Says: IT BEGAN WITH A TANTALIZING, ANONYMOUS EMAIL: “I AM A SENIOR MEMBER OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY.”   What followed was the most spectacular intelligence breach ever, brought about by one extraordinary man. Edward Snowden was a 29-year-old computer genius working for the National Security Agency when he shocked the world by exposing the near-universal mass surveillance programs of the United States government. His whistleblowing has shaken the leaders of nations worldwide, and generated a passionate public debate on the dangers of global monitoring and the threat to individual privacy.   In a tour de force of investigative journalism that reads like a spy novel, award-winning Guardian reporter Luke Harding tells Snowden’s astonishing story—from the day he left his glamorous girlfriend in Honolulu carrying a hard drive full of secrets, to the weeks of his secret-spilling in Hong Kong, to his battle for asylum and his exile in Moscow. For the first time, Harding brings together the many sources and strands of the story—touching on everything from concerns about domestic spying to the complicity of the tech sector—while also placing us in the room with Edward Snowden himself. The result is a gripping insider narrative—and a necessary and timely account of what is at stake for all of us in the new digital age. less...
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Amazon Says: Daniel Ellsberg began his career as the coldest of cold warriors-a U. S. Marine company commander, a Pentagon analyst, and a staunch supporter of America's battle against Comm more...
Amazon Says: Daniel Ellsberg began his career as the coldest of cold warriors-a U. S. Marine company commander, a Pentagon analyst, and a staunch supporter of America's battle against Communist expansion. But in October 1969, Ellsberg-fully expecting to spend the rest of his life in prison-set out to turn around American foreign policy by smuggling out of his office the seven-thousand-page top-secret study, known as the Pentagon Papers, of U.S. decision making in Vietnam. Now, for the first time, Ellsberg tells the full story of how and why he became one of the nation's most impassioned and influential anti-war activists-and how his actions helped alter the course of U.S. history. Covering the decade between his entry into the Pentagon and Nixon's resignation, Secrets is Ellsberg's meticulously detailed insider's account of the secrets and lies that shaped American foreign policy during the Vietnam era. Ellsberg provides a vivid eyewitness account of the two years he spent behind the lines in Vietnam as a State Department observer-an experience that convinced him of the hopelessness of Johnson's policies and profoundly altered his own political thinking. As Ellsberg recounts with drama and insight, the release of the Pentagon Papers, first to The New York Times and The Washington Post, set in motion a train of events that ultimately toppled a president and helped to end an unjust war. Infused with the political passion and turmoil of the Vietnam era, Secrets is at once the memoir of a committed, daring man, an insider's exposé of Washington, and a meditation on the meaning of patriotism under a government intoxicated by keeping secrets. less...
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Amazon Says: In March 1971, Daniel Ellsberg gave The New York Times access to a classified government report revealing the secret history of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg, a former Vietnam Mar more...
Amazon Says: In March 1971, Daniel Ellsberg gave The New York Times access to a classified government report revealing the secret history of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg, a former Vietnam Marine, said he violated national security to protest an illegal war. The release of the Pentagon Papers exploded in controversy. Ellsberg was indicted for espionage; charges were dropped when it was revealed that Nixon operatives burglarized the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist in order to discredit him. Wild Man is the first biography of the man at center stage in one of the most remarkable periods in American history. What drove this cold war intellectual to break the law? A richly detailed tale of the times, this indelible portrait of the hawk-turned-dove who tried single-handedly to end the war will stand as one of the great American stories. less...
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Amazon Says: This bold account provides an original perspective on one of the most significant legal struggles in American history: the Nixon administration's efforts to prohibit the New Y more...
Amazon Says: This bold account provides an original perspective on one of the most significant legal struggles in American history: the Nixon administration's efforts to prohibit the New York Times and the Washington Post from publishing the 7,000-page, top-secret Pentagon Papers, which traced U.S. involvement in Vietnam. In his gripping account of this highly charged case, Rudenstine examines new evidence, raises difficult questions, and challenges conventional views of a historic moment. less...
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