Glenn Greenwald, now writing for the English newspaper and web site the Guardian, wrapped up a week during which he broke the Verizon story, then followed with the even scarier PRISM revelations. His column today is an homage to whistle blowers.
They did not act with any self-interest in mind. The opposite is true: they undertook great personal risk and sacrifice for one overarching reason: to make their fellow citizens aware of what their government is doing in the dark. Their objective is to educate, to democratize, to create accountability for those in power.
The people who do this are heroes. They are the embodiment of heroism. They do it knowing exactly what is likely to be done to them by the planet's most powerful government, but they do it regardless. They don't benefit in any way from these acts.
He doesn't mention any names, but those of Julian Assange, now holed up in an embassy in London, and Bradley Manning, currently on trial for God knows what, come quicky to mind. And it was people like them who gave us these latest revelations.
Further down Greenwald observes: "Like puppets reading from a script, various Washington officials almost immediately began spouting all sorts of threats about "investigations" they intend to launch...But as this week makes clear, and will continue to make clear, the ones who will actually be investigated are them."
Times have changed; the worm has turned, and the shoe is on the other foot.