WaPo Runs Huge Correction On Pincus Column About Snowden, Greenwald

July 11, 2013 5:24 am

The Washington Post issued an exhaustive correction Wednesday on a piece written earlier this week by national security reporter Walter Pincus. 

In the column that was published Monday, Pincus asserted that a previous piece by Glenn Greenwald was written for a WIkiLeaks blog while also suggesting that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden had collaborated with WikiLeaks. A three paragraph, 187 word correction (posted below) now appears atop the article after the Post drew heavy pressure from Greenwald.

In an open letter on Tuesday, Greenwald accused Pincus of writing a column “grounded solely in baseless innuendo.” On Wednesday, Greenwald wrote a scathing column in The Guardian in which he criticized the Post for failing to run a correction even after Pincus had acknowledged the errors. 


A previous version of this Fine Print column incorrectly said that an article by journalist Glenn Greenwald was written for the WikiLeaks Press blog.The article, about filmmaker Laura Poitras and WikiLeaks being targeted by U.S. officials, was written for the online publication Salon and first appeared April 8, 2012. Its appearance on the WikiLeaks Press blog two days later was a reposting. 

This version has been corrected.

A previous version of the column also asserted that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, during a May 29 interview with Democracy Now, “previewed” the story that Greenwald wrote for the Guardian newspaper about the Obama administration’s involvement in the collection of Americans’ phone records. There is no evidence that Assange had advance knowledge of the story; the assertion was based on a previously published interview in which Assange discussed an earlier surveillance project involving the collection of phone records.The assertion has been taken out of this version.

The column also does not mention Snowden’s past work in the intelligence community. The lack of this context may have created the impression that Snowden’s work for Booz Allen Hamilton gave him his first access to classified surveillance programs.

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