Intercept Editors Win Polk Award for Coverage of Snowden Documents

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Featured photo - Intercept Editors Win Polk Award for Coverage of Snowden Documents Ewen MacAskill, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras in Hong Kong on June 10, 2013. (Photo by Laura Poitras)

Intercept editors Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras have won the George Polk Award, one of the highest prizes in journalism, for revealing expansive National Security Agency surveillance programs detailed in documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.  They shared the national security reporting award with the Guardian‘s Ewen MacAskill and the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman.

Whether Greenwald and Poitras will return to the U.S. to collect their prize remains to be seen, however, as senior government officials have repeatedly employed rhetoric equating the journalism the Polk Award is recognizing to criminal activity. Greenwald is currently living in Brazil; Poitras in Germany. Both are American citizens.

House intelligence committee chair Rep. Mike Rogers – who once jokingly  offered to help former NSA Director Michael Hayden add Snowden to a U.S. kill list – called Greenwald “a thief selling stolen material” earlier this month. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has repeatedly referred to journalists reporting on the Snowden documents as “accomplices.”

Long Island University announced the winners of the 65th annual George Polk Awards in Journalism on Sunday evening.

The announcement praised Greenwald, Poitras, MacAskill and Gellman for using “their extensive backgrounds covering national security to explore the purloined files and reveal their stunning import, describing how the NSA gathered information on untold millions of unsuspecting — and unsuspected — Americans, plugged into the communications links of major Internet companies and coerced companies like Yahoo and Google into turning over data about their customers.”

The awards were established in honor of CBS correspondent George Polk, who was murdered in 1948 while covering the Greek civil war. The awards “place a premium on investigative and enterprise work that is original, requires digging and resourcefulness, and brings results.” They will be presented at a ceremony in New York City on April 11.

Other winners this year included James Yardley of the New York Times for coverage of the disastrous Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh; Eli Saslow of the Washington Post for writing about the lives of food stamp recipients; Shawn Boburg of the Record of Northern New Jersey for tracing the decision to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge; four reporters for the Center for Public Integrity for reporting on how regulators and prosecutors have failed to hold a single major player on Wall Street accountable for the reckless behavior that sparked the 2008 financial crisis; and Matthieu Aikins for his Rolling Stone investigation into the role of U.S. forces in the deaths of 10 Afghan civilians in late 2012.

Past winners have included Edward R. Murrow, I.F. Stone, James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, Seymour Hersh, Christiane Amanpour, Anthony Shadid and Intercept editor Jeremy Scahill.

“Many of the journalists we have recognized did more than report news,” award curator John Darnton said in a statement. “They heightened public awareness with perceptive detection and dogged pursuit of stories that otherwise would not have seen the light of day. Repercussions of the NSA stories in particular will be with us for years to come.”

Under the Obama administration, six government employees and two contractors – Snowden included – have been the targets of felony criminal prosecutions under the Espionage Act, double the number under all previous administrations combined. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice, under a veil of secrecy, has subpoenaed and seized journalists’ phone and email records in at least two investigations.

The administration’s concerted effort to investigate unsanctioned leaks has had a chilling effect on the relationship between reporters and sources, as documented in a special report published by the Committee to Protect Journalists last year.

In October, Free Press – a journalism advocacy organization – delivered a letter with more than 75,000 signatures to the Department of Justice, calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to “protect freedom of the press and our freedom to travel without fear of unwarranted interference.

“Both Poitras and Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, U.S. citizens who have led the reporting on recent NSA revelations, worry that their safety and security would be compromised if they returned to the U.S.,” the letter said.

One month after the letter was delivered, Holder indicated the U.S. government was not, at that moment, considering prosecuting Greenwald. “Unless information that has not come to my attention is presented to me, what I have indicated in my testimony before Congress is that any journalist who’s engaged in true journalistic activities is not going to be prosecuted by this Justice Department,” Holder told the Washington Post.

“I certainly don’t agree with what Greenwald has done,” the attorney general added. “In some ways, he blurs the line between advocate and journalist. But on the basis of what I know now, I’m not sure there is a basis for prosecution of Greenwald.”

The DOJ did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this article.

In an email to The Intercept over the weekend, Josh Stearns, Press Freedom Director at Free Press, said:

U.S. journalists who have exercised their First Amendment rights around the world should be welcomed home, not harassed and detained. It is unconscionable that American journalists are afraid to return home for fear of their own safety and the security of their work. A number of recent cases raise real questions about press freedom at the U.S. border where journalists have been detained and had their electronics searched because of their reporting or because of their ethnicity. Neither is acceptable.

And too often, when journalists and newsrooms go looking for answers they are stonewalled. The intimidation and harassment of journalists at U.S. borders is bad enough, but the utter and complete lack of accountability is outrageous. That’s why more than 75,000 people signed a petition to the Department of Justice calling for assurances that Greenwald, Poitras and other journalists could travel freely back to America.

Poitras and Greenwald expressed their appreciation for the award Sunday night, and said they are weighing their options on the question of return.

“I would love to accept the Polk award in person with Glenn and Ewen, but I’m not sure I feel safe to travel to the U.S.,” Poitras said in an email. “Listening to senior members of the government describe reporters working on the NSA story as ‘accomplices’ concerns me. On the other hand, receiving this award for the NSA reporting might be the perfect moment to confront this kind of intimidation.”

Greenwald added, “Given that we’ve been accused of ‘terrorism’ by the UK government and ‘accomplices’ by the U.S. government, having our colleagues recognize our work for what it is — journalism — is gratifying.”

NSA Articles Cited by the Polk Awards:

Edited by: Dan Froomkin

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  1. I just find it incredulous that any politician, as corrupt as they can be, would find a journalist guilty of wrong-doing when they report on illegal activities: either by the gov’t or private individuals/corporations. That is their job.

  2. “Unless information that has not come to my attention is presented to me, what I have indicated in my testimony before Congress is that any journalist who’s engaged in true journalistic activities is not going to be prosecuted by this Justice Department,” Holder told the Washington Post.

    We all know that testimony before Congress is sacrosanct, correct?
    Congratulations on your well deserved award but don’t come home if you value your journalistic and personal freedom.

  3. We are reminded of the death of Michael Hastings and of Nicola Calipari in his successful rescue of Giuliana Sgrena, and the deaths of Tareq Ayyoub told in the film Control Room, and Jose Couso.

    The truth about a killing machine is a dangerous commodity. Stay safe, dear ones.

  4. Congratulations to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras for winning the 2013 Polk Award on Journalism. What they, together with Edward Snowden, achieved in serving the public good – a central theme in the principles of journalism – is indeed, a special achievement. May this accomplishment inspire young journalists and those entering the world of journalism as students today, to reach for the highest heights by merely upholding the true principles of this discipline, with utter contempt for fear and despise for lies. May the best yet come your way….

  5. Congratulations; this is a well-earned and deserved award. We already know how momentous this story is. Paradoxically, if people heed its message it may loose some of its impact over time, but that will be because our rights have been safeguarded and we return to a state of normalcy. If we don’t pay attention to the dangers inherent in the rise of a secret state, historians may well highlight this team of journalists and their work as the last and lost turning point, and marvel at their prescience.

    Everything depends on what the reading public does with the knowledge it’s been given. The journalists have done their job.

  6. I think you should all remain abroad since we cannot trust our government to keep you free from harassment, arrest or worse. We need your voices now more than ever. Our politics is rife with the corrupting influence of corporate power and big money now controls the entire electoral process. America is rapidly becoming a totalitarian state where freedom is based on the influence of wealth and power not citizenship. Keep the revelations coming in your heroic work to uncover political, corporate and economic malfeasance. My god there is so much material to cover from the current huge economic inequities to the militarization of our police.

  7. Thanks to whistleblowers like Snowden and journalists like these from First Look Media we can hope to one day see this:

    “The deeper threat that leakers such as Manning and Snowden pose is more subtle than a direct assault on U.S. national security: they undermine Washington’s ability to act hypocritically and get away with it. Their danger lies not in the new information that they reveal but in the documented confirmation they provide of what the United States is actually doing and why. When these deeds turn out to clash with the government’s public rhetoric, as they so often do, it becomes harder for U.S. allies to overlook Washington’s covert behavior and easier for U.S. adversaries to justify their own.

    Few U.S. officials think of their ability to act hypocritically as a key strategic resource. Indeed, one of the reasons American hypocrisy is so effective is that it stems from sincerity: most U.S. politicians do not recognize just how two-faced their country is. Yet as the United States finds itself less able to deny the gaps between its actions and its words, it will face increasingly difficult choices — and may ultimately be compelled to start practicing what it preaches.”

    • This publication is vitally needed. I hope that it will be used as source material by journalists employed by the corporate controlled media that most people know. However, I despair of any hope that there can be any impact on our culture because of the deep effect that the decades and decades of propaganda and distortion of the truths about our government and capitalist structure that almost all of our media ingrain in our minds. The very media are unaware of what is happening and will defend the lies to the ends of the earth. I was shocked when recently, I commented positively about the interviews with Assange and Snowden on MSNBC’s website and noted that 99% of the other comments were negative about these men mostly because Snowden went to Russia. I suspect that this is a cop out because people just don’t want to acknowledge the vast problem that we have and if they did acknowledge the problem, they have no idea of how we are going to deal with it. Also, I think that the geek factor of the technicalities of the incursion of government into the internet boggles the mind and people feel they can’t deal with it. Snowden needed to go to wherever he could so that he can continue to work. The U.S.obviously is in total control over European response to the Wikileaks and NSA surveillance . Why should these men be martyrs? They would only be a headline for a few days and then be locked away in some torture chamber of a prison (Chelsea Manning) . Then everything could proceed as if nothing had happened with full consent of the ignorant governed. The reason I despair is because in my environment and amongst my friends and what I see expressed by community members is either total apathy or vehement defense of the status quo in the name of false patriotism. My friends get a glazed over look if political subjects are breached. I have felt like the lone stranger for most of my life. It is in the later years of my life where I have seen no change and things are getting worse! I often wonder why I still care if people want things to be the way they are.. Anyway, I will be reading this publication avidly knowing there are a few other people who care about the future.

  8. we need people like you to push the truth.I feel you must come back to make a not let the bully intimidate us.we will fight for your freedom.good luck and thank you.

  9. Next to share the Nobel Peace Prize with Manning, Assange, WikiLeaks, Snowden, Poitras, Greenwald & other current truth-tellers!

  10. What i don’t realize is if truth be told how you’re now not actually much more well-favored than you may be right now. You’re so intelligent. You realize thus considerably with regards to this topic, made me in my opinion imagine it from numerous varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t involved except it is one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs great. All the time take care of it up!
    self credit repair

  11. Rogers and the NSA are correct that these journalists published stolen information. Information, that is, that was stolen by the NSA from the American people and from people around the world. I never gave my permission to the NSA to steal my data, but I fully support these four great journalists in their exposing the NSA’s spying on millions of innocent people.

  12. Thank you, Glenn, Laura, Ewen and Barton. Your brave service to democracy, the privacy of millions, and the freedom of the press should be recognized with this prestigious Polk award and many others. The whole world is benefiting greatly because of your expert work to report what was initially revealed to you by Edward Snowden. May you all, including Snowden, be reunited some day with open arms by a grateful nation. All the best.

  13. Just want to echo the congratulations on a well-deserved award. As far as coming back to accept it or not, that’s really up to you; whatever choice you make I’ll always be grateful for the work you’ve done.

  14. What a contrast. Award winning American journalists have to live abroad for fear of incarceration or state murder.

    America has become a totalitarian state and the US military is the tool of enforcement.

  15. Your are all heroes, and you do deserve all the honorable prizes, you have entered history. Thank you all.

  16. TheIntercept, Wiki-Leaks, and other like minded sites ought to have a box at the top of the page that says something like “The NSA is surveilling this site. Please type your messages to the NSA here.”

  17. Well deserved! Congratulations…I don’t trust that you wouldn’t be arrested the moment you step into American soil. Too much temptation to prove a point that “aiding and abetting leakers” (or any such invented charge) is a crime that no journalist should attempt. You got the award already.

  18. Congratulations for a much deserved award.

    You’d all be much admired if you challenged the DOJ and picked up your awards in person. But it might be too risky. Everyone would also hate to see you silenced the way Manning was by being in solitary confinement. Besides, I hate to imagine what you’d have to go through at the border just to get in. I’ve had only one border confrontation while changing planes, but one was enough. I will never go back to the US until it can get its paranoia under control.

  19. Infinite congratulations to the most eminent Mr. Greenwald, the tireless and most awesome Ms. Poitras, and the brave Mr. MacAskill and Mr. Gellman. Many, many thanks for your work on behalf of those of us who care about privacy and freedom.

  20. Receiving the award is enough. Obviously, you will not return to the US–right?
    It is, no doubt, stressful, putting yourselves on the front line for truth and transparency. Still, it must feel so gratifying and meaningful to be involved in such pursuits. Any chance The Intecept would consider a satellite office in Kansas City?
    With gratitude and much appreciation to you all.

  21. Congratulations to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras for the George Polk Award!

    Also greetings to your colleague and Intercept cofounder Jeremy Scahill!

    I am deeply impressed by your journalisic works, telling the truth, exposing lies! Quoting Norwegian peace researcher Johan Galtung: We need DailyLeaks! It seems that Intercept is exactly this!

    Many thanks!

    Björn Lindgren

  22. One can only hope that you all may continue doing this necessary job. Best of luck going forward. My heroes!!!

  23. Congratulations all for a well deserved honor. Hope you see you all safe and sound in USA in April. Am angered to hear of Jesselyn Radack recent airport harassment at Heathrow.

  24. Congratulations, we are all hoping for more journalism exactly this probing, this honest, this transparent! Let the citizens decide! Thanks to you all!!!

  25. 4th Estate, hang in there! Congratulations on doing real reporting on the most important stories. Some of us actually want to know the truth.

  26. Like others who have commented, I think it is better to be cautious. It is likely that things will only get worse. Were there a movement of people willing to support you with bodies and money, that could possibly make the difference. But I fear even if you came home to “confront” the system, you could be scooped up with insufficient outcry or outrage. Perhaps I am wrong. Your work only makes sense in the context of a citizenry willing to stand up for their freedoms and their rights. It goes a long way to justify such a stand by the people; but the capacity to justify a stand is not the same as a willingness to make it. To risk one’s own freedom for the sake of freedom. There is a lot of work that needs to be done before that is likely to happen. I am among those who long to trust my government’s essential good will. But I do not. We have entered a time when the government believes against Gandhi and with Al Capone, that kindness is weakness. These are unhappy times.

  27. Congratulations! This is a well deserved award. May many, many more follow you on your amazing journey!

  28. I think your work is the finest in the western world. You are real journalists, and millions of us appreciate your good work and bravery in reporting the real news.
    I strongly urge you NOT to go to the US for any reason. With the passage of NDAA, the military is now empowered to sweep up any civilian and lock them away for years without charges. No evidence is necessary, just suspicion. This law abolishes habeas corpus forever, and gives the military excessive power over US citizens in direct defiance to the purpose of our founders. The constitution was set up to protect the people from military rule, they had suffered under it, and understood how terrible it can be. Ironic that a constitutional attorney would be instrumental in destroying the remaining vestiges of our broken Constitution………..the US people were snookered again. Now, it is too late, but most Americans listen to US media, and sit dreaming the constitution is still in power. The US is now one baby step away from a military dictatorship.
    Please don’t put yourselves into any position where the US can get you. If they do, you will never see daylight again.
    Thank you a million times for your great reporting.

  29. Congratulations to all the award recipients. Certainly well deserved honor as so many have pointed out. Also, whatever you do, Glenn and Laura, stay safe!

    Also, I think it was @joe who mentioned a story idea – the ‘suicides’ of bankers – which I also believe would certainly be a good area for someone on your team to investigate.

    BTW, anyone notice the little avatars are blocking part of the comments? Hopefully just a minor tech glitch and you can get it corrected easily.

  30. Congratulations on a richly-deserved honor. This has seldom been more-appropriately awarded.

    Now, I don’t really see how a Pulitzer or two could be avoided. . .

  31. Congratulations Ewen MacAskill, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras (and Edward Snowden)!
    You all deserve to come home welcomed as American heroes to the tune of a giant New York style ticker tape parade.
    I continue to maintain that we should make a trade – send Obama, Clapper and Kerry et al. out of the country (revoke their passports) and let us have Greenwald, Snowden and Poitras back.

  32. Congratulations, and hopes for many more such awards and recognitions.

    I guess the other journalists will have a hard time keeping you out of their club, now — not that any of you would want to be a member, but still. This must sting them.

  33. You all would be remembered as our HEROES who expressed extreme zeal and courage disclosing the worst era of “dark secrecy” violating human rights in every sense to favor the corporates and Military Industrial Complex.
    Hats Off for you people from the core of my heart.
    It is a battle worth sacrificing what you people are. You would return home with honor and gratification because truth cannot be stopped and true courage and determination can’t be defeated with lies and intimidation.
    Don’t come back. You people have lot of unfinished work ( still ) to do. You are much needed in creating and preparing a generation of brave, honest, young and conscientious journalists; a mammoth task and responsibility.
    You all are not only standing against a “particular” government, you are fighting against a CULTURE of CORRUPTION & INTIMIDATION which has become universal in all countries driven by “sponsored” politicians of both/every isle and “hijacked” puppets of news and social media working against us, benefiting a certain class while ignoring all others.
    There is no “Left or Right” or “Conservatives vs. Diplomats”. There is only one class vs. all of us.

    We all are proud of you. Stay blessed and safe.

  34. I have been following the Snowden revelations from Day One. And I am absolutely delighted that the three of you have won this prestigious award. Congratulations! So well deserved!

  35. I think it would be unwise for you, Glenn, or Laura to trust any statements or promises by the US Government and return, even to accept your well deserved Polk awards. Your reporting is too valuable to us to chance your being detained by US authorities. Freedom of the press is too iffy with Rogers, Feinstein, Clapper, Holder, and even Obama on your case. Please don’t come to the USA anytime soon.

  36. This is so deserved! I could not be happier for all of you. All of you are truly heroes and need to be treated accordingly. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  37. Hello intercept team,
    i would like you to report on the bizzare “suicides” of top bankers that are happening at the moment.
    Im not a conspiracy nut, but neither an ignorant fool. With the ongoing investigations regarding FOREX fraud, i can count 1+1 together.
    Since media purposely seem to ignore that topic, i hope you guys will spread the news.
    2 suicides could be coincidence. 3 would be kinda odd. 4 almost impossible, and with 5 “suicides” within 2 weeks, there should be little doubt, that something else is going on.
    Now we have 6 “suicides”….

  38. Congratulations to all of you! You are all doing something very important for all of us right now, and deserve all the recognition you can get.

  39. The following comment from Zygmunt Bauman seems to me profound, and applicable to the journalists being recognized in this article:

    “Democracy expresses itself in continuous and relentless critique of institutions; democracy is an anarchic, disruptive element inside the political system; essential, as a force of dissent and change. One can best recognize a democratic society by its constant complaints that it is not democratic enough.”

    Found here in Henry A Giroux’s Totalitarianism: Temporary Madness or Permanent Danger?

  40. Congratulations to you all, this is so well-deserved!
    And hopefully the event will settle for the best this awkward ‘come back and we’ll see whether we arrest you or not, can’t quite tell from here!’ situation…

  41. Wonderful testament to the superb journalism of the awardees. We must hope that sanity prevails and they will be able to receive their awards in person.

  42. I surely wish adjectives such as “purloined” or “stolen” which originated in times where physical goods would be physically removed, depriving their original owners of them, or when technology did not permit copies to be made, resulting in their unavailability to the original holders, would not be used in an era where we are speaking rather of information disclosure. The original holders have not had their documents stolen, only information that they did not want publicly disclosed leaked or revealed. There is a not insubstantial difference, one that has Orwellian implication for the misuse of language in order to change perceptions of reality. It is also one that the purveyors of these distortions use to excuse their own copying of the private communications and information of millions of Americans as not being theft.

  43. Congratulations – well deserved.

    Hopefully, freedom will someday return to America and Greenwald and Poitras will be able to travel there and accept this recognition of their journalistic work. But that time has not arrived, as various legal opinions seem to confirm that they would be taking a significant risk by doing so. The continued reporting is the most important, so I hope they wait, since prosecutions under the Espionage Act greatly restrict the rights of the defendant, and under those circumstances, I don’t believe it is possible to receive a fair trial. The Espionage Act was written in exceptional circumstances during World War I and is really not compatible with a free society. Most US governments have had the sense not to invoke this act without cause, but the current administration uses any and every tool at its disposal to mask its imcompetence and punish those who challenge it.

    The US government has launched these espionage act prosecutions against people who have acted in the best interests of America by showing the American people the corruption and incompetence of their government. The government and its stooges are committed to silencing such criticism and now seek to unleash this Act against journalists. Don’t give them that opportunity just to prove a point.

    I am in blood stepped in so far that should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er
    Macbeth (former Nobel Peace Prize winner)

  44. “It would seem to be ideal for them to test the waters by traveling to NYC to attend the ceremony. After all, arresting them during a trip to accept a major journalism award would be awful optics for the governments — U.S. and UK.”–Mona

    With the understanding that only the people who would be taking whatever risks might await them, there has to be a point where we all stand up to this threat of arrest, detainment, prosecution, charges and what have you. I’d like to see an organized mass visible support begin to take place for them to return to the US to receive their award. I’d also like to see Jacob Applebaum who is, if I’m not mistaking, continuing to live in exile in Germany, return to the US to attend the ceremony.

  45. Proud congrats to Glenn and Laura for wining the Polk.

    It would seem to be ideal for them to test the waters by traveling to NYC to attend the ceremony. After all, arresting them during a trip to accept a major journalism award would be awful optics for the governments — U.S. and UK. If one could only be sure those optics would prevail.

    But I don’t want them to do it. The thought of either of them being silenced, unable to publish or contribute to the public debate is horrifying, not to mention my personal concerns for their being held without bail and caught up in the U.S. incarceration system.

    Glenn has spoken defiantly, saying he will not be kept out of his country. A big part of me sings: “That’s the spirit!.”

    To be an American in this situation is a sign of the times.

    • As you might recall, Emad Burnat was detained at LAX on his way to the Oscars. Bureaucracies don’t necessarily care or are aware of stuff like that — even as politicians do care about bad PR — so it’s still risky.

    • I agree with Mona. Don’t come back! I think coming back would be a DISASTER for them and for us. It would play right into the regime’s hands because they’ve made the courts their arena by writing the rules in their favor, stacking the deck by choosing select districts for trial, and they can pull State Secrets Privilege and other secret trump cards anytime they want. Oh, and most importantly, LIE UNDER OATH.

      They don’t care about optics either. As a matter of fact, whatever makes them look tough and ruthless will work to their advantage to discourage others. Glenn must not fall into the trap and temptation to play their rigged legal game. The regime doesn’t just have undue influence on the courts, they also control the media and will come up with phony leaks to the press to make Glenn and Laura look like traitors to their country or worse. If the media doesn’t do a dirty enough job for them, they’ll deploy their well-honed propaganda machine domestically – now legal for them to do as of July 2013.

      This regime obviously has no respect for the law or Constitution. They think their War of Terror justifies rewriting our Constitution behind our backs in secret and keeping everything they do a secret from us. (Our Founders told us what to do, and it WAS NOT to fight them in court). Sometimes you have to accept losses in order to win by playing in your own arena and making your own game and rules, especially when up against an Empire.

      Glenn and Laura won’t be treated as citizens should they return, and they should not expect normal legal rights or treatment. Why? Because they are walking around with classified secrets in their heads. They’re like walking and talking WMDs to this regime. I’m sure there has already been a special category created for them, and Holder’s version of ‘due process’ – not necessarily judicial.

      They should keep their distance, keep their freedom, and live on to fight battles with the truth, in the open and in the light of day. A courtroom or a military tribunal darkened and tangled with secrecy will only result in being effectively bound (flight risk) and gagged (to protect state secrets). Neither liberty nor justice will prevail because this regime is military-run, even if it is fronted by a civillain, I mean civilian, President.

    • I concur with Mona. I have no doubt of Glenn’s courage, either moral or physical, but this is a risk too far. Having him and Laura incommunicado or worse means an irreparable loss, just as losing Matt Taibibi at Rolling Stone or Sy Hersh at New Yorker would cause another major section of exposé work to go dark.

      Nasty suggestion: if Dilma Rousseff is willing, perhaps they should send the Brazilian Ambassador to pick up the award and say a few choice words.

      • I think that at least one of them should attend and accept the other person’s award on their behalf. This would demonstrate their full commitment to any persons who doubt their courage and steadfastness. However, given the insaneness of President Obama and his executive spy empire, the world simply cannot do without at least Greenwald’s or Poitras’ further publications of the Snowden Documents should Obama et al. do the unthinkable. Regardless, history books will chronicle these journalists as among the finest patriots throughout recorded history.

    • This:

      “The thought of either of them being silenced, unable to publish or contribute to the public debate is horrifying, not to mention my personal concerns for their being held without bail and caught up in the U.S. incarceration system.”

      In an even marginally-sane world, there is no way that an alegedly democratic government would even think of making such a move under these circumstances. We don’t live in such a world, and we can be certain that they would indeed think of seizing these inconvenient journalists without much concern for optics.

      Stay away for now, Glenn & Laura.

    • Well said, Mona, and a sad day for Americans and the world that that is the reality. Upthread, Kitt has an excellent point that should they choose to come it’s high time people actually risked doing something to support them, should things turn ugly. The status quo won’t stand much longer; it’s collapsing under the weight of its own inertia.

  46. Greenwald’s tweet this morning,

    “Congrats to my fellow accomplices Laura Poitras, @ewenmacaskill & @bartongellman – & The Guardian ”

    lol! This is why I love Glenn Greenwald. Balls of steel and laughing in the face of the world’s biggest bully.

    • Totally agree. Glenn’s refusal to bow to the forces that repeatedly try to silence or crush him is invigorating. We could learn something from that refusal to play the game.

  47. I don’t know man. I don’t see how y’all can win a journalism award when you haven’t even done one story on Justin Beiber.

  48. It’s a little reminiscent of Boris Pasternak’s Nobel Prize in reverse, isn’t it? He couldn’t leave his homeland, Greenwald and Poitras can’t return.

  49. Congratulations on the award. You do the award an honor and, no, I don’t have that reversed. That’s really how good you are. The Snowden documents may be powerful, but the way you guys have been reporting on them is what gave them the huge international audience of ordinary people who are ultimately going to have to be the force behind any change.

    Personally, if I were in your shoes, I would stay clear of the U.S.. I think it’s impossible to overstate how intensely some people inside the U.S. government want you to disappear. In fact, the temptation for them to make that happen probably becomes overwhelming whenever you guys are within a single blast radius of each other. Something to think about next time you gather to collect another award….

    Keep up the fight and good luck with the new venture.

    • Great point Dave!

      I think its still just hard for most Americans to understand how evil our government is and that there is literally no limit on their power once they get you in their clutches.

      Please don’t come back just yet Glenn.

  50. Congratulations to Glenn and Laura for revealing to millions of people around the world this outrageous case of espionage — and the true face of the “American democracy”.

  51. CONGRATS to Ewen, Laura and Glenn!!! Hope all of you can come back with Snowden someday soon and accept your awards. Americans are sick of this country being run by WAR, INC–hope you continue to expose the massive LIES in 2014.

    Now, more than ever, we need actual journalists (and publishers) who are dedicated to investigative journalism and printing the actual, unvarnished TRUTH. For the last year I have been referring to the press as the “Corporate Main Stream Media.” The other day I listened to Peter Dale Scott in an interview–he refers to the press as the “Governing Media” which I feel defines the press quite well.

    The Governing Media not only Shape and Sell the stories–the publishers/editors KILL articles (or may act in more subtle ways by omitting important facts). Indeed, the act of Omission is one of their biggest sins–wasn’t it Orwell who told us “omission the the most powerful form of lie.”

    The Governing Media has been around in America longer than one might think: Carl Bernstein exposed the basic set-up in 1976 with his investigation into “The CIA and the Media.” After showing these long-standing ties between the CIA and the NYT, Time-Life, CBS, ABC, NBC (etc.) how can Americans deny the press has not purposely been shaping our history (for example: by eliminating stories which question the Warren Report).

    But even more dangerous is when the Governing Media fails to be a check on political power–and begins selling WAR like it’s an economic problem (which can be solved by bombs or invasions). A look back at the first 2 minutes of Bill Moyers’ “Buying the War” is all you’ll need to see to understand the Governing Media.

    Bill Moyers “Buying the War” (pbs/2007)

    • This documentary portrays the mistake of trusting public officials as journalistic sources, and letting them decide what is convenient to be published in the name of national security or patriotism… the reporting by mainstream media leading up to the Iraq war in 2003, and its clear “mea culpa” in this documentary show that adversarial journalism is not only wrongly considered “unpatriotic” but also “bad for business.” Red pill anyone?!
      Congratulations Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras for the award! Most Deserved

  52. Great work, they deserve the recognition and are heroes in my book. Pushing back against an authoritarian police state is serious business.

  53. Reminds me of the Oscars, the Emmies, or any of the now countless self-award programs.
    Although many consider that to be a prestigious award, another reporter was awarded for covering a political “scandal” involving traffic delays, and another at Rolling Stone Magazine – so not so prestigious after all…
    Although there’s some good info. in this article it fails the standards professed in your introductory piece.
    Still looking forward however to what’s next!

    • “….a political “scandal” involving traffic delays, and another at Rolling Stone Magazine – so not so prestigious after all…”

      I am sure the governor of New Jersey would be happy if everyone thought the first story was as unimportant as you do, but I doubt that the relatives of the civilians killed in Afghanistan would be pleased if they knew you would throw the second out based on where it was published.

  54. Congratulations to all of you upon receiving this very well deserved recognition from your fellow journalists.

    May the positive effect of your excellent work continue to grow, and may those who characterize your work as contributing to terrorism etc. find themselves completely vitiated by waves of righteous indignation from all those who have learned the truth as a result of your reporting and the extraordinary patriotism of Edward Snowden.

  55. What an amazing day for you three! Congratulations on the award… now get back behind the keyboard and start typing so we can get our next story! :)

  56. A generic ‘Welcome Back’, however vitual, to all the above.
    Important voices. needing to be heard.
    Your return for the award would be highly symbolic but is equally fraught.
    [DOJs benign comments VERY qualified as you have no doubt noted.]

  57. Congratulations to you all! There are many of us in the US who support your efforts…and courage. We need more journalists like you. I hope The Intercept will meet with great success.

  58. every day in obituary column, rush limbaugh dies a little more. all the radio stations that were bought by the koch brothers are a little bit of history. this death is part of life like waves on the beach. please use your power wisely.

  59. Congratulations. Both Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald are highly deserving of this award, having contributed brave and valuable journalism, on such a vast and important subject. I hope if they choose to return the US, they are treated as the free citizens they are.

  60. We would like to inform you of the need to edit the word “accomplishes” to “accomplices” in 2nd to last paragraph. This also serves as our formal application for employment with FirstLook Media. Thank you.

    Droney and the Boys

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