Rory Kennedy’s Oscar-nominated Vietnam Documentary Draws Fire from Journalists and her own On-Camera “Experts,” including CIA Veteran
By Frank Snepp, January 18, 2015
Rory Kennedy, daughter of the late Senator Robert Kennedy, has scored an Oscar nomination for her PBS-backed documentary “Last Days in Vietnam” about the evacuation of the Saigon embassy in April 1975.
But two of her key interviewees, backed by journalists who were in Saigon during the evacuation, are challenging the film’s objectivity and its portrayal of Henry Kissinger, who negotiated the 1973 ceasefire and helped shape Vietnam policy for the Nixon and Ford administrations.
The former Secretary of State was interviewed extensively for the documentary but was allowed to make allegations and self-serving remarks without any balancing perspective from Kennedy or anyone else.
Jim Laurie, former NBC correspondent
Jim Laurie, former NBC correspondent in Vietnam and one of Kennedy’s interview subjects, has delivered a cautionary letter to her, co-signed by other American reporters once based in Vietnam. It expresses concern about her handling of key events, including the breakdown of Kissinger’s ceasefire.
I am another of her featured “experts” who has faulted her treatment of the eyewitness testimony she got from me and others.
CIA Author Points to U.S. Supreme Court Precedent
By Frank Snepp, January 8, 2015
A recent “exclusive” from The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Edward Snowden’s producer, who helped turn his secrets-bust into an Oscar-contending documentary, could be facing a financial bust for her trouble.
Laura Poitras, Film director
A newly filed lawsuit alleges that Laura Poitras and her production associates are guilty of helping the former NSA contractor breach his fiduciary obligations to the government.
If they lose, they could be obliged to forfeit all profits from “Citizenfour,” the documentary they filmed about Snowden and his decision to expose some of the NSA’s most sensitive classified information.
Kansas attorney Jean Lamfers filed the suit on behalf of a former government worker who argues that Snowden and his collaborators should not be allowed to profit from his leaks. The plaintiff, Horace Edwards, who insists he is acting for the public, seeks to have a “constructive trust” imposed on the profits that would cause them to be turned over to the government.
By Frank Snepp – Posted April 13, 2014
Luke Harding’s new book, “The Snowden Files,” shamelessly recycles many of the Top Secret NSA revelations first reported in his own newspaper, the Guardian, by Glenn Greenwald, his former colleague and Ed Snowden’s favorite press contact.
Harding rushed his twice-told tale into print last February in an apparent effort to gain a march on Greenwald who is preparing to publish his own Snowden tell-all a few weeks from now.
Besides stealing part of Greenwald’s own stolen thunder, the Harding tome serves to remind us there is no honor among thieves, especially when they’re vying to cash in on the biggest secrets heist in the history of U.S. intelligence.
Not that Greenwald suffered pre-emption easily. On February 10, he tried to nudge “Files” out of the headlines by planting a new Snowden bombshell on an “investigative” website he’d just launched with the Nation’s Jeremy Scahill and freelancer Laura Poitras.
That web exclusive – co-authored by Scahill – dealt with NSA’s alleged involvement in U.S. assassination plots. Never mind that the essence of the story had been surfaced months before by The Washington Post, in two reports based on Snowden documents in its possession. Greenwald apparently has no reservations about beating a dead horse if it will help him preserve his monopoly of the lucrative Snowden franchise.
He and Poitras staked a claim to this money machine last June when Snowden met with them and another Guardian reporter in Hong Kong and handed them most if not all of the secrets he’d lifted from his former employer, the NSA. Greenwald then worked with Harding and others at the newspaper to make the most of this bonanza. The Guardian owned a good chunk of the Snowden story until Greenwald quit in October, taking the leaker’s remaining stash with him for use on the new website, as if it were now his property.
Harding’s book may well be the Guardian’s way of sticking it to the guy who heisted the heist.
Six months after AEG Live was found “not liable” in the Michael Jackson wrongful death lawsuit, another AEG subsidiary, which owns and operates the Staples arena in downtown Los Angeles, faces a legal showdown over a fatal accident there.
In a blistering reversal of earlier lower court rulings, a California appeals panel has ordered LA Arena Company to answer charges of negligence and unlawful business practices in the death of toddler Lucas Tang, who fell out skybox at Staples four years ago.
Alleged deficiencies in the front-row safety barriers, including their low height, figured in the family’s appeal.
“The company always knew that the barriers were constructed in a dangerous way,” Scott Wellman, an attorney for the Tang family said. “Their own witnesses testified that people would stand or sit on them. And still no one at Staples did anything to make them safer.”
In her first public interview, the victim’s mother, Hoai Mi Nguyen, expressed hope that the case might have the positive result of forcing changes in safety procedures at public venues everywhere. “The past has happened and there’s nothing we can do to bring Lucas back,” she said. “If this case is what it takes to prevent [similar accidents], I don’t want this to happen again to anyone else.”
Neither AEG’s spokesperson nor LA Arena’s attorneys responded to requests for comment.
“Edward Snowden’s Weasel Ways”
By Frank Snepp, January 31, 2014
Granting Edward Snowden clemency, as many have urged, would send a terrible message to other potential whistle-blowers. Yes, he may have sparked an important national privacy debate, but he did so through reprehensible actions that harmed national security.
If that’s a harsh verdict, I have earned the right to it. In terms of sheer media hype, I was the Snowden of my day, a disaffected ex-spy who, in the late 1970s and early ’80s, rocked the security community by publishing a memoir about intelligence failures I’d witnessed as a CIA officer during the last years of the Vietnam War. I did so only after the agency backhanded my repeated requests for an in-house review of our mistakes and refused to help me or anyone else rescue Vietnamese allies abandoned during the evacuation of Saigon.
“No Integrity Award, No Pardon for Edward Snowden”
By Frank Snepp (Posted January 2, 2014)
When I read recently that a group of CIA whistleblowers had traveled to Moscow to present Edward Snowden with their annual “integrity” award – his first public trophy for binge-leaking — I could only marvel at their audacity. The award is dedicated to the memory of the late, great CIA whistleblower Sam Adams and is supposedly reserved for insurgents of similar character. The current nominee doesn’t come close. The same reformist lobby is now invoking Sam’s name as part of an equally ill-considered campaign to win a Presidential pardon for Snowden, and The New York Times has recently seconded this appeal. If Sam were alive to pass judgment on it, he would give it a resolute thumbs down.
I know this with an insider’s certainty. Not only were Sam and I close colleagues in the CIA; we followed the same unwritten rulebook in exposing the wrongs and failings of our own spymasters, and suffered massive recriminations without turning tail. The last person either of us would embrace as a spiritual comrade is the mercurial young flight risk from the NSA.