In a powerful testament to the value of Edward Snowden’s decision to leak, the Pulitzer Prize for journalism was awarded to the Guardian and the Washington Post. This came just days after the lead reporters on Snowden’s NSA stories – Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman, and Ewan MacAskill – received the Polk Award for their journalism. Everyone involved in receiving these awards said they really belonged to Edward Snowden.
Snowden has been called a criminal, a traitor, a thief, a terrorist sympathizer, and worse. But these awards, along with the awards and international accolades Snowden himself has received, vindicate his actions and make fools out of those in Washington who can’t help but condemn him as a traitor. In a statement, Snowden said the award is “a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government.”
The Washington Post reports on its Executive Editor Martin Baron’s statement on the Pulitzer win:
“Disclosing the massive expansion of the NSA’s surveillance network absolutely was a public service,” Baron said. “In constructing a surveillance system of breathtaking scope and intrusiveness, our government also sharply eroded individual privacy. All of this was done in secret, without public debate, and with clear weaknesses in oversight.”
Baron added that without Snowden’s disclosures, “we never would have known how far this country had shifted away from the rights of the individual in favor of state power. There would have been no public debate about the proper balance between privacy and national security. As even the president has acknowledged, this is a conversation we need to have.”
Exactly. But not everyone feels that way.
Here’s a tweet from one of Snowden’s most aggressive critics, Rep. Peter King (R-NY):
Awarding the Pulitzer to Snowden enablers is a disgrace
— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) April 14, 2014
King, remember, refuses to call the award winning journalists “reporters.” He calls them “accomplices.”