The site began as a project by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, who both received tens of thousands of documents from Snowden, and “Dirty Wars” author Jeremy Scahill with the backing of Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar as publisher of First Look Media.
The staff includes senior editor
Liliana Segura and senior writers including Peter Maass and Dan Froomkin along with reporters including Ryan Gallagher, Ryan Devereaux, and Murtaza Hussain.
(Here’s a list of The Intercept staff’s Twitter handles.)
The Intercept’s stated long-term mission is “to produce fearless, adversarial journalism across a wide range of issues,” and adds: “The editorial independence of our journalists will be guaranteed.”
The new story, written by Scahill and Greenwald, details an NSA program codenamed GILGAMESH that provides geolocation data to U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) to target drone strikes and capture/kill raids.
The report quotes a former Air Force drone operator named Brandon Bryant:
“JSOC acknowledges that it would be completely helpless without the NSA conducting mass surveillance on an industrial level,” the former drone operator says. “That is what creates those baseball cards you hear about,” featuring potential targets for drone strikes or raids.
Drawing on documents from Snowden, Scahill and Greenwald also detail a previously undisclosed CIA surveillance program.
The tone of the first post, imbued with information from NSA documents, is hard-hitting and certainly adversarial to the U.S. government:
“Whether or not Obama is fully aware of the errors built into the program of targeted assassination, he and his top advisors have repeatedly made clear that the president himself directly oversees the drone operation and takes full responsibility for it.”
The NSA declined to respond to questions for the article and a spokesperson for the National Security Council refused to discuss “the type of operational detail that, in our view, should not be published.”
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