Glenn Greenwald writes: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, in an interview on Saturday and then again Tuesday afternoon, vehemently denied media claims that he gave classified information to the governments of China or Russia. He also denied assertions that one or both governments had succeeded in “draining the contents of his laptops”. “I never gave any information to either government, and they never took anything from my laptops,” he said.
The extraordinary claim that China had drained the contents of Snowden’s laptops first appeared in the New York Times in a June 24 article. The paper published the claim with no evidence and without any attribution to any identified sources.
In lieu of any evidence, the NYT circulated this obviously significant assertion by quoting what it called “two Western intelligence experts” who “worked for major government spy agencies”. Those “experts” were not identified. The article then stated that these experts “said they believed that the Chinese government had managed to drain the contents of the four laptops that Mr. Snowden said he brought to Hong Kong” (emphasis added).
So that’s how this “China-drained-his-laptops” claim was created: by the New York Times citing two anonymous sources saying they “believed” this happened. From there, it predictably spread everywhere as truth. [Continue reading…]