Posted by Kevin on June 8, 2014.
When politicians lose the argument they attack the messenger. Having lost the argument over surveillance, they are now attacking Snowden: it is easier to depict him as a Russian pawn at best, or a Russian spy at worst.
That is the line taken by the UK’s Mirror newspaper. “Edward Snowden was targeted by Russian spies 6 years BEFORE he exposed US secrets,” claims the Mirror’s headline yesterday.
Proof of this comes from ex-KGB major Boris Karpichkov — it could be Kapichkov since the writer Denis Nelson (“Fleet Street’s longest serving national newspaper political editor”) doesn’t seem sure. Ka(r)pichkov is a former Russian spy granted political asylum in Britain:
He and his family have been granted asylum in Britain because Karpichkov claims he would be killed if he returned home.
Edward Snowden was targeted by Russian spies 6 years BEFORE he exposed US secrets
Nevertheless, despite the claim that they would kill him if they could, Karpichkov is still in contact with his previous colleagues in Russia — yeah, right. They have apparently told him that the first Russian words learned by Snowden were “the slang for ‘glass of vodka’ and ‘hangover’.” Yeah, right.
It is, frankly, a shoddy piece of journalism. It is designed to denigrate Snowden’s character in order to deflect interest away from GCHQ’s illegality while using a frankly pathetic device to appear more authoritative itself: it provides links that purport to support its claims but do nothing of the sort. The phrase, “the information was leaked to provoke the US into cancelling his passport” provides a link to another article with no reference to that claim.
Another statement, “This week it has emerged that GCHQ staff named by Snowden have made plans to rush their partners and kids to safety should they become targets for terrorists” also provides a link to nothing of the sort.
This is not journalism — this is pandering to the Cabinet Office and is shameful.