“Citizen Four”—–A Must See Film About Edward Snowden’s Courageous Expose Of The Spy State

Once again I salute Edwards Snowden as an all-American hero. On second thought, make that an all-world hero.

A movie on how and why Snowden revealed NSA wiretaps is about to be released.

Showbiz reports Edward Snowden Doc Premieres: Shocking Inside Look at How He Did It.

Citizen Four is the shocking doc about Edward Snowden made by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. Just screened tonight was the two hour film which will be released by the Weinstein Company this month. It doesn’t paint the Obama administration in a very good light as Snowden explains how the government has violated privacy rights on a massive scale.

Also the filmmakers clearly indicate that all roads lead to POTUS, a fairly serious accusation. There may be serious repercussions.

Then there’s the Hollywoodization of Snowden. The detail of how and why Snowden went about this is pretty surprising considering how the 29 year old former NSA employee says he wants his own privacy and not to be a celebrity. It’s instructive to see his evolution from eyeglass wearing nerd to contact lenses and moussed up hair sporting hero of his own thriller. It’s all very Tom Cruise. Even the beautiful girlfriend sets up housekeeping with him in Moscow. Nevertheless as the details of the NSA’s programs are revealed Snowden says, “This isn’t science fiction. It’s really happening.”

Snowden Vindicated

Let’s turn to where it all started: The Guardian. Snowden made his revelations to Guardian reporter Glen Greenwald.

Please consider The Guardian article Citizenfour Review – Poitras’ Victorious Film Shows Snowden Vindicated.

Citizenfour must have been a maddening documentary to film. Its subject is pervasive global surveillance, an enveloping digital act that spreads without visibility, so its scenes unfold in courtrooms, hearing chambers and hotels. Yet the virtuosity of Laura Poitras, its director and architect, makes its 114 minutes crackle with the nervous energy of revelation.

At its heart, Citizenfour is the story of how Snowden’s disclosures unfolded through Poitras’ eyes, from the first communications Snowden sends Poitras, hinting at what is to come, until Snowden sees himself vindicated through emulation. (The film is named for a pseudonym Snowden used with Poitras.) The time before Poitras meets Snowden is symbolized by a car travelling through a pitch-black tunnel, barely illuminated by the glowing red lights on the ceiling, until sunlight bursts in when she and her colleagues Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill arrive in Hong Kong for their fateful encounter.

Accessibly explaining how surveillance works, and why it matters, only gets more challenging the deeper you dig into the NSA trove. At the Guardian, it consumed exhausting months’ worth of background reporting, verification and endless revisions.

Since June 2013, Snowden has been a cipher to the world, often yielding paranoid reactions (Russian spy! Chinese dupe!) from people understandably curious about his motives. It may be too late to change people’s minds about Snowden, at least so soon after his leaks. But the Snowden who Poitras shows – hair tousled, resisting his attempts at styling it – is determined, sincere and human.

While often portrayed as arrogant, especially by self-interested surveillance bureaucrats, Snowden tells Poitras, Greenwald and MacAskill that he wants journalists and not himself to decide what ought to be public. He is possessed with an uncanny calm as he is about to become forever targeted. Yet Snowden’s eyes redden and his shoulders stoop when he grasps the burden he is placing on his family and girlfriend – with whom he is now reunited in Russia, a place in which he never intended to live.

Given the passions that the NSA disclosures have generated, it’s remarkable how tempered Citizenfour comes across. Reflecting a style Poitras seems to share with Snowden, it’s a quiet movie, its soundtrack a sinister digital throb, packed tight with questions about how we live freely in an unseen dragnet. One of its only boisterous moments comes when Snowden and Greenwald discuss the spirit animating both the reporting and Snowden’s decision to reveal himself. Greenwald describes it as “the fearlessness and the f*ck-you”.

That fearlessness attracted Snowden to Poitras, and it shows through her camera.

Citizenfour opens in US cinemas on 24 October.

Second Leaker Involved

Please note Second leaker in US intelligence, says Glenn Greenwald

The investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald has found a second leaker inside the US intelligence agencies, according to a new documentary about Edward Snowden that premiered in New York on Friday night.

Towards the end of filmmaker Laura Poitras’s portrait of Snowden – titled Citizenfour, the label he used when he first contacted her – Greenwald is seen telling Snowden about a second source.

Snowden, at a meeting with Greenwald in Moscow, expresses surprise at the level of information apparently coming from this new source. Greenwald, fearing he will be overheard, writes the details on scraps of paper.

The specific information relates to the number of the people on the US government’s watchlist of people under surveillance as a potential threat or as a suspect. The figure is an astonishing 1.2 million.

Edward Snowden’s Girlfriend Living with Him in Moscow

The Guardian reports Edward Snowden’s Girlfriend Living with Him in Moscow.

Lindsay Mills, thought to have been deserted by Snowden before NSA revelations, appears beside whistleblower in Citizenfour.

The mystery of the whereabouts of Edward Snowden’s long-time girlfriend is solved in a documentary that premiered in New York on Friday night: she has been living with the national security whistleblower in Russia since July.

The surprise revelation in the documentary, filmed by Laura Poitras, upends the widespread assumption that Snowden had deserted Lindsay Mills and that she, in a fit of pique, fled Hawaii where they had been living to stay with her parents in mainland US.

Since Snowden, a former NSA contractor, outed himself last year as being behind the biggest leak in US intelligence history, Mills has remained silent, giving no interviews or any hints of her feelings on the subject of her boyfriend or his actions.

The two-hour long documentary, Citizenfour, shows Mills living in Russia with Snowden.

Greenwald and Snowden are Heroes

The NSA has 1.2 million files on “suspects”. Are any of them on president Obama for flagrant violations of the US constitution?  If not, I suggest the NSA is targeting the wrong people.

I am proud to have been on the right side of this debate from day one.

I repeat my assertion Greenwald and Snowden are Heroes. Greenwald is well deserving of the Pulitzer Prize he won for breaking this story.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock