Why did Pierre Omidyar shut down the Snowden archives, with the full agreement of Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill?

From Cat McGuire:

Virtually nothing is being said about how billionaire Pierre Omidyar, essentially the owner of the Snowden docs, has shut down the release, analysis and custodial care of the archives claiming lack of funds. This decision was made just this past March, 2019 with the full participation and agreement of Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill.  


Understanding the historical significance of the Snowden cache, Laura Poitras screamed bloody murder that this important treasure trove has been summarily shuttered, particularly since only 10% of the documents have ever been released. 


The raison d’etre of the new company Poitras, Greenwald and Scahill created in partnership with Omidyar called The Intercept (First Look) was for Omidyar to finance the herculean effort of responsibly releasing the Snowden documents. 

To date, however, once Omidyar got control of the goods around October 2014, only a trickle of the Snowden archives has seen the light of day. The remainder of the digital documents are in dire danger of never being released — or worse, being destroyed, accidentally or otherwise.

Remember, from June of 2013 when the Snowden event happened to late 2014, for weeks on end all we heard about were the Snowden docs, with one side saying they’re a violation of national security, and the Greenwald/Poitras side championing the right to whistleblow state secrets.

So now that the famous Snowden archives have been unilaterally shut down by Omidyar, Greenwald, and Scahill, why is hardly anyone from the left, right, or center raising red-flag alarms?  Even Snowden himself has been suspiciously silent. 

We would not know about any of this were it not for Poitras who released the private emails explaining how she was excluded from this momentous decision. She exposed how alleged budget concerns were a smokescreen since a mere 1.5% of the Intercept budget was allocated to the Snowden archives team anyway.

Since the very beginning, my sister Colleen and I have wondered what manner of subterfuge has been going on with Greenwald et al. For a long time now, a few brave critics have raised serious questions about Snowden, Poitras, Greenwald, Scahill, and Omidyar to the ire of indignant leftists who deem them all sacred cows immune to criticism. Over the years, a multitude of dubious actions surrounding Omidyar beg massive exposure. To wit:

  • His many connections to the NSA
  • Cutting WikiLeaks’ PayPal account, and supporting the criminal prosecution of Anonymous when they hacked PayPal
  • Attempting to steal Craigslist for which in an unusual move against a corporate principle, a Delaware judge all but called Omidyar a thief
  • Helping fund the neo-nazi coup d’etat in Ukraine 
  • Detrimentally undermining women’s microfinancing in India
  • After taking over Intercept and poaching star reporters, barely allowing anyone to publish their whistleblowing articles (e.g., Ken Silverstein, Matt Taibbi)
  • And much more

Past duplicity notwithstanding, this recent development of the shuttering of the Snowden docs is an unprecedented violation of the public trust. Those documents belong to the American people, no matter how deftly Omidyar purloined them — or whatever deals-with-the-devil Greenwald et al signed on to.  As Greenwald purportedly said in December 2014 when asked why he joined forces with Omidyar, “What billionaire do you expect me to go with?” 

Why is the press silent on such a momentous issue? Why has Greenwald colluded in this outrageous new development, including the ousting of Poitras? 

With the arrest of Julian Assange, Greenwald has rightfully spoken out in strong opposition to the extradition. Nonetheless, it is the height of unseemly opportunism when Greenwald sent the attached email on April 11 to The Intercept’s readers bemoaning Assage’s arrest. . . and then asking readers to support free speech by donating — not to Assange’s legal defense! — but rather to the already richly-endowed Intercept, the very organization that is abandoning the valuable assets entrusted to them by Edward Snowden, another besieged whistleblower.

Further worth noting is Greenwald’s interview with NPR on April 11, the day of Assange’s arrest in which in a tweet Greenwald claims the interview “became contentious” when NPR characterized him as a “colleague of Julian Assange.”  Why on earth would being a colleague of Julian Assange offend Greenwald?

Although Glenn Greenwald does a lot of superb work, his handling of the Snowden docs and his alliance with Pierre Omidyar should ring alarm bells.

Below are some starter articles.  Pass them on to journalists and beseech them to publicize the memory-holing of the Snowden archives.

MintPress:  Silencing the Whistle: The Intercept Shutters Snowden Archive, Citing Cost, March 30, 2019

Medium: Why The Intercept Really Closed the Snowden Archive, March 27, 2019 (Poitras’ emails)

Washington Babylon: Why Did Omidyar Shut Down The Intercept’s Snowden Archive?, March 25, 2019

MintPress: How One of America’s Premier Data Monarchs is Funding a Global Information War and Shaping the Media Landscape , February 18, 2019

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