Washington Created Edward Snowden

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 10 2013 10:25 AM

Opening Act: Special Jet Lag Edition

170293812
Supporters gather at a small rally in support of National Security Administration whistle-blower Edward Snowden on June 10, 2013 in New York City.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

I left the People's Republic of China for the sweet, more-expensive freedom of the United States at a ground-delayed 8 p.m. Sunday night; I touched down at Dulles at 9 p.m. the same day. That's one way of saying this space will only be half as busy as usual today—well, that, and the sob story about returning home to see that someone had stolen my bike's handlebars and brakes. But I'm back, and I have all kinds of gratitude to Emma Roller for keeping this blog humming in my absense.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Apparently, while I was out, Glenn Greenwald became the king of all media. The irony that I left China just as Edward Snowden took the news cycle there has been pointed out to me, though 1) I was in the PRC, not Hong Kong, and staying roughly as far from Hong Kong as New York is from Denver, and 2) it doesn't seem all that crazy that Snowden would hide out in HK for privacy reasons. The city doesn't fully sink into the mainland until 2047, I think.

Binyamin Appelbaum and Eric Lipton manage to profile the business of the NSA leaker in a few hours on a Sunday.

The government has sharply increased spending on high-tech intelligence gathering since 2001, and both the Bush and Obama administrations have chosen to rely on private contractors like Booz Allen for much of the resulting work.
Thousands of people formerly employed by the government, and still approved to deal with classified information, now do essentially the same work for private companies. Mr. Snowden, who revealed on Sunday that he provided the recent leak of national security documents, is among them.
Advertisement

Along the same lines, Alec MacGillis explains how Washington's security boom is churning out Snowdens.

Betsy Woodruff offers the very rare skeptical take on Kirsten Gillibrand's sexual assault bill.

And what else did I miss? Bachmann retiring, Lautenberg dying, mediocre jobs report, IRS scandal sort of slow-burning without any more heads rolling. Was that it?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

Politics

The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems

Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 16 2014 4:09 PM It’s All Connected What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.