Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who has broken a series of stories about the National Security Agency’s surveillance methods over the past few days, said on Sunday that he would be “happy” to speak with any law enforcement officials investigating the information leak.
“Any time they would like to speak to me, I would be more than happy to speak to them, and I will tell them that there is this thing called the Constitution, and the very first amendment of which guarantees a free press,” Greenwald said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“As an American citizen, I have every right and even the obligation as a journalist to tell my fellow citizens and our readers what it is that the government is doing, that they don’t want people in the United States to know about, and I’m happy to talk to them at any time, and the attempt to intimidate journalists and sources with these constant threats of investigation aren’t going to work.”
Over the past few days, Greenwald’s reports have revealed, among other things, NSA data-mining and phone surveillance programs. The Obama administration has opened a criminal investigation into the source of the leak, something that Greenwald said was akin to government’s history of “demonizing” whistleblowers as “traitors.”
“What they did was they risked their careers and their lives and their liberty because what they were seeing being done in secret inside the United States government is so alarming and so pernicious that they simply want one thing,” Greenwald said of the source of his reporting, which he said may be more than one individual.
“And that is for the American people at least to learn about what this massive spying apparatus is, and what the capabilities are, so that we can have an open, honest debate about whether that’s the kind of country that we want to live in.”
President Barack Obama on Friday denounced the leaks as media “hype.” And House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) blasted Greenwald and his source(s) on Sunday, saying Greenwald “doesn’t have a clue how this thing works.”
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