mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author


Snowden Did “A Public Service,” Says Former Obama Attorney General

Maybe Edward Snowden did the right thing after all? Or so implies Eric Holder, the Obama administration’s former Attorney General, in calling Snowden’s whistle blowing “a public service.” But Holder, like Obama and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, still claims Snowden should have raised his concerns through official channels instead. Read the following articlein The Nation, adapted from my new book, Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing in the Age of Snowden, to see why such advice is disingenuous at best:


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Latest Book


By now, almost everyone knows what Edward Snowden did: leak top secret documents revealing that the US government was spying on hundreds of millions of people around the world. But if you want to know why Snowden did it, the way he did it, you need to know the stories of two other men.

The first is Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on the very same surveillance ten years before Snowden did and got crushed. The other is The Third Man, a former senior Pentagon official who comes forward in this book for the first time to describe how his superiors repeatedly broke the law to punish Drake—and unwittingly taught Snowden how to evade their clutches.

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About Mark

Independent journalist Mark Hertsgaard is the author of seven books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing in the Age of Snowden; HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth; and A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles. He has reported from twenty-five countries about politics, culture and the environment for leading outlets, including The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Time, Mother Jones, NPR, the BBC and The Nation, where is the environment correspondent. He lives in San Francisco.