Glenn Greenwald Details The 'Fireworks Show' NSA Leak That He's Saving For Last

Greenwald poitrasREUTERS/Eduardo MunozLaura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald receive the George Polk Awards in New York, April 11, 2014.

“As with a fireworks show, you want to save your best for last,” Glenn Greenwald told GQ recently. “There’s a story that from the beginning I thought would be our biggest, and I’m saving that. The last one is the one where the sky is all covered in spectacular multicolored hues.”

That finale involves the name of victims names of US citizens targeted by NSA surveillance, according to an interview Greenwald gave to the Sunday Times. He told GQ that the last of the big stories based on the documents he recieved from Edward Snowden would be published this summer.

“One of the big questions when it comes to domestic spying is, ‘Who have been the NSA’s specific targets?’,” he said. “Are they political critics and dissidents and activists? Are they genuinely people we’d regard as terrorists? What are the metrics and calculations that go into choosing those targets and what is done with the surveillance that is conducted? Those are the kinds of questions that I want to still answer.”

The question is certainly important, and echoes a question then-Senator Joe Biden asked in 2006: “What do they do with this information that they collect that does not have anything to do with Al Qaeda?”

Greenwald received about an estimated 200,000 documents from Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor who accessed 1.7 million documents before fleeing to Hong Kong and eventually Russia last summer.

Last June, the Rio-based American journalist reported on U.S. domestic surveillance regarding the collevtion of Verizon phone records and data from Internet companies. Greenwald subsequently published several stories on U.S. international espionage, including spying on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as well as Russian leaders.

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