Here’s a name we haven’t seen much of in the headlines recently. It turns out that noted traitor Edward Snowden, currently residing in Russia, has finished a memoir and found someone to publish it. As you will recall, Snowden is hiding out in Russia because he’s wanted on very serious charges back here in the United States. But our government isn’t so wild about the process he followed in preparing to release his book, so the Justice Department is taking him to court. Well… in spirit, anyway. (NBC News)
The Department of Justice has sued Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked secret documents, over the publication of his new memoir, arguing the book violates the non-disclosure agreements they say he signed with the CIA and NSA.
“The lawsuit alleges that Snowden published his book without submitting it to the agencies for pre-publication review, in violation of his express obligations under the agreements he signed,” the Justice Department said in a news release Tuesday.
The Justice Department said it is not seeking the stop of the release of the book, titled “Permanent Record” and published by Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. Instead, the department said it would seek to recover any proceeds Snowden earns from the book.
This story is kind of bizarre when you dig into the details. The DoJ isn’t even saying that Snowden shouldn’t have written the book. They’re citing his non-disclosure agreement which says that he needed to run the book past both the NSA and CIA before having it published. You know… so he wouldn’t inadvertently publish any sensitive information.
Do we all remember why Snowden is stuck hiding out in Russia? It’s because he stole and released tons of sensitive information. That’s sort of his thing. It’s hard to picture him sitting in his Moscow apartment and fretting over whether or not he should clear the book with his former bosses before sending it to the publisher.
The DoJ either couldn’t stop the release of the book or weren’t interested in trying. But what they can do is stop Snowden from profiting off of it if they can get the courts to go along with the plan. Then again, surely someone at NSA knew this book was in the works before it was ready to go on sale. If there was really any seriously damaging information in there that might compromise national security, they could have pulled Macmillan Publishers aside for a word.
The reality is that we probably don’t need to be worrying all that much about whether or not Edward Snowden gets a book advance. He needs to be in Leavenworth, not property claims court. And perhaps we’ll get a chance to make that happen. Just this week Snowden called on the President of France to grant him asylum and allow him to move there. Macron didn’t offer a comment on the request, but he’s still technically supposed to be an ally of ours, right? And it’s a long haul from Moscow to Paris. Sounds like there might be an opportunity for us to get our hands on him during such a transition. It’s something to think about, anyway.