The claim was made in the Sunday Times and quoted western intelligence agencies saying they have been forced into the rescue operations after Moscow gained access to more than 1m classified files.
One senior Home Office official accused Snowden of having “blood on his hands,” although Downing Street said there was “no evidence of anyone being harmed.”
Greenwald said that the entire report was “a self-negating joke.”
“Unless he cooked an extra-juicy steak, how does Snowden “have blood on his hands” if there is “no evidence of anyone being harmed?” As one observer put it last night in describing the government instructions these Sunday Times journalists appear to have obeyed: “There’s no evidence anyone’s been harmed but we’d like the phrase ‘blood on his hands’ somewhere in the piece,” wrote Greenwald.
The “journalists” who wrote it neither questioned any of the official assertions nor even quoted anyone who denies them. It’s pure stenography of the worst kind: some government officials whispered these inflammatory claims in our ears and told us to print them, but not reveal who they are, and we’re obeying. Breaking!
He said that the Sunday Times article is even worse because it protects the officials they’re serving with anonymity.
“The beauty of this tactic is that the accusations can’t be challenged. The official accusers are being hidden by the journalists so nobody can confront them or hold them accountable when it turns out to be false,” Greenwald wrote.
This is the opposite of journalism. Ponder how dumb someone has to be at this point to read an anonymous government accusation, made with zero evidence, and accept it as true, he said.
There’s an anonymously made claim that Russia and China “cracked the top-secret cache of files” from Snowden’s, but there is literally zero evidence for that claim.
These hidden officials also claim that American and British agents were unmasked and had to be rescued, but not a single one is identified. There is speculation that Russia and China learned things from obtaining the Snowden files, but how could these officials possibly know that, particularly since other government officials are constantly accusing both countries of successfully hacking sensitive government databases.
He said that the Sunday Times had done this before. For example it ran a story of David Miranda, Greenwald’s partner being seized at Heathrow in 2013” in possession of 58,000 “highly classified” intelligence documents after visiting Snowden in Moscow.”
It later turned out that Miranda did not visit Snowden in Moscow before being detained, had never been to Moscow and had never met Snowden. In fact he had just come back from Berlin and didn’t have any secret documents with him.