The Nation's Jeremy Scahill appeared on HuffPost Live on Thursday and ripped into New York Times columnist Tom Friedman during a discussion with host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin on Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency's secret surveillance programs.
In his latest column, Friedman invoked 9/11 and the importance of preventing another terrorist attack as he defended the NSA's security programs. He also wrote that Snowden was not "some heroic whistle-blower." He wrote:
But as I listen to the debate about the disclosure of two government programs designed to track suspected phone and e-mail contacts of terrorists, I do wonder if some of those who unequivocally defend this disclosure are behaving as if 9/11 never happened -- that the only thing we have to fear is government intrusion in our lives, not the intrusion of those who gather in secret cells in Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan and plot how to topple our tallest buildings or bring down U.S. airliners with bombs planted inside underwear, tennis shoes or computer printers.
Scahill said in response, "Thomas Friedman as usual is living in La-La land with his ideas about how the world works. He should stop hanging out in taxi cabs and talking to concierges and actually listen to the whistle blowers that are coming forward and really painting a devastating picture of an out of control national security state."
He added, "Those of us who that are doing sensitive work particularly around national security issues, I think have great reason to be concerned about the level of monitoring and surveillance going on, not just of metadata but also intruding on the actual e-mails and communications of journalists and whistleblowers."