The U.S. mainstream media is staying totally silent on news that U.S. government officials have stated they wish to murder Edward Snowden. In fact, it appears there has been a complete media blackout of the information which was first broken by a German news outlet called NDR and an online website called BuzzFeed. The “big boys” of mainstream journalism in the U.S. such as The New York Times, CNN and other outlets have remained totally mum on the subject, but an interview Snowden gave on Sunday made all the papers and live broadcasts in Germany, where it was treated as a major breaking news story.
During the lengthy interview, Snowden said that he has received many death threats, which he seemed to indicate he believes are coming from the U.S. government. He said “government officials want to kill me.” This corresponds to a story published by the website BuzzFeed in which the author claimed that U.S. pentagon and government officials who would not give their names have complex fantasies about murdering Snowden.
A Pentagon official speaking to Buzzfeed stated “I would love to put a bullet in his head,” while a high ranking army official explained a fantasy scenario about exactly how he and his colleagues would murder Snowden:
I think if we had the chance, we would end it very quickly. Just casually walking on the streets of Moscow, coming back from buying his groceries. Going back to his flat and he is casually poked by a passerby. He thinks nothing of it at the time starts to feel a little woozy and thinks it’s a parasite from the local water. He goes home very innocently and next thing you know he dies in the shower.
Numerous NSA officials and government representatives made a variety of additional remarks wishing for Snowden’s death at their hands. Another official was quoted as saying that Snowden does not deserve any trial at all and should be immediately hanged.
These statements, which many would find shocking, appear to have been completely blacked out by the mainstream U.S. media. The remarks were reportedly made by people who hold very high positions within the U.S. government and stated freely to BuzzFeed, but the story hasn’t been picked up anywhere else. Perhaps, some would say, even more surprisingly, the media has not picked up the story of the newest Snowden interview out of Germany. Snowden said that he faces “significant” death threats. The German interviewer stated that Snowden has recently asked for police protection due to these threats.
A simple Google search reveals that no major U.S. media outlet is carrying the story of the death threats being made against Snowden nor any news item about the fact that government officials have admitted to actively constructing scenarios in which they would murder him. There are plenty of stories, though, on the NSA’s claims that Snowden has caused them a large amount of damage.
The story is, however, being covered extensively on many major international news outlets including those in Canada, Moscow, France and Britain among others. A website called United Press International, which is not based in the United States but has offices around the world, reports that Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, views the statements made by the U.S. government officials to BuzzFeed as “potential and implicit threats” against Snowden’s life.
Kucherena says he is very concerned that there has been “no reaction” from anyone in the United States regarding the statements reported on BuzzFeed. Indeed, while the mainstream media often denies purposeful blackouts, it seems difficult to many to explain away the reason why no major U.S. media news outlets have chosen to cover this story when the situation is being followed closely and reported upon comprehensively by world media.
Kucherena also says Snowden is being closely monitored by bodyguards 24/7, but it seems that’s not enough in light of the new threats being made. Kucherena has called for the statements made by people officially representing the U.S. government to be investigated immediately and for BuzzFeed to reveal the source of the comments. Snowden’s U.S. lawyer will work to try to identify the government representatives who spoke to BuzzFeed, however, it will be a tough request to fulfill given the laws protecting journalists in the U.S.
Several U.S. based smaller blogs and websites have reported upon the remarks which seemingly threaten Snowden’s life, but the major players in the mainstream media continue to remain completely silent. This has prompted at least one site to accuse the media of being controlled by corporate and governmental interests. A site called Rebellious Independent News and Film published a story about the blackout and says the media’s silence is a “deliberate and highly conscious” effort which is focused on “minimizing the significance of the mass domestic spying operations.” The site also states that the media blackout is an attempt to keep quiet any organized “death squads” officially sanctioned by the U.S. government who may carry out the stated fantasies about Snowden’s murder.
By: Rebecca Savastio