Snowden and Greenwald: Controlled Leaking

Pierre Omidyar, the eBay founder who bought Paypal, has announced he will create an alternative media operation despite Paypal’s effort to defund Wikileaks. Photo: Joi Ito

Sibel Edmonds, whistleblower and purveyor of the Boiling Frogs blog, has raised serious questions about journalist Glenn Greenwald’s relationship with Paypal and its billionaire owner, Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay.

In October, it was reported that Greenwald and his associate, Laura Poitras, had entered into a deal with Omidyar to establish a new media organization in response to “rising concern about press freedoms in the United States and around the world,” the Guardian reported. Omidyar is said to have invested a quarter of a billion dollars in the alternative media operation.

Edmonds reports that NSA whistleblowers are highly skeptical of the project and its stated objective. Moreover, as Wikileaks points out, it is outrageous that Paypal would be interested in establishing an alternative media organization when it moved to shut down Julian Assange and his whistleblowing organization by cutting off the organization’s ability to receive donations over the internet….

Back in June, prior to the arrangement with Omidyar, Greenwald said parts of the Snowden cache would never see the light of day. “We’re not engaged in a mindless, indiscriminate document dump, and our source didn’t want us to be,” Greenwald wrote in an email sent to BuzzFeed.

The corporate media connected Greenwald’s assertion to a statement released by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper accusing the media of exploiting “reckless disclosures of intelligence community measures used to keep Americans safe.”

However, according to Edmonds and NSA whistleblowers, the Snowden documents contain information about the relationship between “major U.S. financial institutions, including credit card companies and PayPal Corporation,” and the NSA. This is, at least in part, the reason the cache is untouchable….

Edmonds writes:

Russell Tice, a former NSA Intelligence Analyst and Capabilities Operations Officer, also confirmed the report, and stated that based on his knowledge, NSA regularly obtains financial information from major financial institutions, including credit card companies and PayPal. In January 2009, during an interview with Keith Olberman, he stated that information from credit card records and other financial transaction was being collected and stored by NSA.

On Wednesday, during an interview with Boiling Frogs, Tice elaborated:

“For NSA, information from financial institutions such as PayPal is equally if not more valuable and sought after than that obtained from social media and other software companies such as Facebook, Microsoft and Google.” He added, “I wouldn’t doubt the existence of evidence and documents implicating corporations such as PayPal within the large cache obtained by Edward Snowden. The partnership and data collection arrangements have existed for many years.”

Tice said there is something not quite right about Snowden’s silence in the matter. “I would be outraged and highly vocal if I were in Edward Snowden’s shoes,” he told Boiling Frogs. “For a journalist whom I had placed my trust in to go and withhold documents meant for the public?! For the journalist to make fortune and fame based on my sacrifices and disclosure?! Forming a lucrative business partnership with entities who have direct conflicts of interest?! No. That wouldn’t have been acceptable.”

Boiling Frogs then concentrates on efforts by Omidyar to stifle the work of whistleblowers. “The history of the billionaire’s stand and actions, when it comes to liberties, whistleblowers and freedom of the press, seems to be limited to: opposing, fighting and quashing government whistleblowers at every chance. Simply put, Mr. Omidyar has been consistently maintaining his stand as a billionaire who is pro-government, anti-government whistleblowers, and against transparency,” Edmonds writes….

It couldn’t be more obvious that 9/11 was an intelligence operation involving a number of countries, including the USA.  This fact would have to be widely known among western intelligence analysts.  Yet Snowden and Greenwald are silent on the issue.  Why?