In his latest article for The Intercept, headlined "NPR Is Laundering CIA Talking Points to Make You Scared of NSA Reporting," Glenn Greenwald takes a highly critical look at a story by NPR's counterterrorism correspondent, Dina Temple-Raston, which aired on Morning Edition earlier this month.
Temple-Raston's report focused on claims by the tech firm Recorded Future that it has "tangible evidence" that National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden harmed national security by prompting terrorists to develop more sophisticated encryption programs. Greenwald says the NPR erred in failing to mention that the firm is funded by the CIA.
"This was such a pure and indisputable case of journalistic malpractice and deceit," Greenwald explains on Democracy Now! today. "NPR radically misled millions of people with this report."
NPR provided this statement to Democracy Now! in response to Greenwald's article:
"The piece was measured and fair. It cites research by the two companies that found changes in the methods al-Qaida-linked groups use to encrypt communications. It also cites their conclusion that those changes were likely a response to the Snowden leaks. We contacted computer security expert Bruce Schneier, someone who has defended Snowden, for his views. We gave him substantial space to make two points: that changes in al-Qaeda encryption might be explained by something other than the Snowden leaks; and that even new encryption would not prevent NSA from finding other ways to intercept al-Qaeda communications."
"[Temple-Raston] misled NPR's listeners into believing that this was some independent, credible source, rather than what it is, which is a government-loyal firm. And that's to say nothing of the huge numbers of fallacies in the report itself," Greenwald says.
"The reality is, is that you can go back to 2001 and find all kind of news stories every year describing the efforts of al-Qaeda to develop sophisticated and advanced forms of encryption. They've known forever that the U.S. government wants to electronically surveil their communications. They've been developing encryption for many, many years before the Snowden stories ever began."
Click here to watch Greenwald's interview on Democracy Now! and to read the full transcript.
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