As Bamford notes “it is very likely that no one knows precisely what is in the mammoth haul of documents—not the NSA, not the custodians, not even Snowden himself.” Haphazardly purloining massive amounts of data, to the extent that not even you have a real understanding of what it entails, and then handing it to a few select media stars that you happen to agree with has nothing to do with democracy.
Or to put it another way: Why should the American people trust Greenwald or Laura Poitras to decide when and how sensitive information about the United States is disseminated? And if Snowden felt compelled to expose what was going on beyond the surveillance program, he could have chosen someone who doesn’t believe the United States is the terror state. What Greenwald engages in is ideological motivated journalism—just spend some time on his Twitter feed for your fill of half-baked Chomskyite idealism—not a watchdog Constitution, security of intelligence, the United States, or any of the things that Snowden alleges to be his motivation.
There are dozens of media outlets that would have treated Snowden’s story more judiciously, thoroughly, and journalistically. And for all the legacy media’s faults, few would revel in chance to use the information to damage the United States. Now what have are snippets of purportedly vital revelations, with information redacted and curated by Greenwald and a few others. That doesn’t sound like democracy to me.