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CNN Deletes Tweet Claiming New Edward Snowden Offer to ‘Spy’ on USA | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

CNN Deletes Tweet Claiming New Edward Snowden Offer to ‘Spy’ on USA

A bus passes by a poster of Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA). (Reuters)

It’s been another wild twenty-four hours in the NSA/Snowden epic story-of-the-year.

Just hours after 60 Minutes aired its whitewash of the NSA—Valentine’s Day coming early for the snoopers—a federal district judge ruled that the massive (and purportedly harmless) data collection on Americans by the NSA is probably unconstitutional. This inspired another CNN debate last night about what Edward Snowden has wrought between Glenn Greenwald and Jeffrey Toobin, this time on Anderson Cooper’s show.

Toobin, the CNN legal analyst, still thinks Snowden should be arrested and should have gone through channels. Toobin contends that the judge’s ruling doesn’t “vindicate” Snowden, since it’s just one judge. And the whistleblower “should have gone through” Congress or something—it was “untenable” to leak to a Greenwald etc.  (Senator Ron Wyden backs the judge here.)

This morning, seemingly unrelated to that, Snowden posted an open letter to Brazilians, offering to help them expose wrongful spying within their borders. Some took this to be plea for asylum, which Greenwald denies. When CNN posted a story about the open letter it tweeted the link with this message: “Edward Snowden offers to spy on the US & help Brazil investigate NSA surveillance.”

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After criticism from others on Twitter—Greenwald wrote, “Dear CNN: even for you, this is so remarkably reckless and false that it’s shocking”—CNN quickly deleted the tweet and changed it to: “ leaker Edward Snowden is offering to help investigate U.S. surveillance of Brazilian citizens.”

Naturally, a screen grab of the original was uncovered and posted. So I guess I should close with: watch this space for updates.

Read next: Zoë Carpenter on Internet surveillance and the government.

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