Call it the Snowden Effect. The NSA and FISA Court plan to selectively release documents to try to win back some support for the questionable domestic spying activities of the U.S. government. The move comes after Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress.

U.S. spy agencies plan to release newly declassified documents as early as this week about the National Security Agency surveillance programs revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden, and also material related to a secret intelligence court, a U.S. intelligence official said on Tuesday.

The declassified documents were intended to provide the public more information about the programs as part of a commitment by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for greater transparency, the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The Surveillance State has been losing the battle for public opinion as a majority of Americans now believe Snowden to be a whistleblower. If not for the efforts of Nancy Pelosi there may have even been a bill to limit the NSA’s power to spy on Americans passed in the House of Representatives. The selective declassifications are a way to try to spin the public to the NSA’s side – go back to sleep America.

General Keith Alexander, director of the NSA, said he was glad the government was taking action to declassify more information. “I think it is the right thing. I think it helps articulate what we are trying to do and why we are trying to do it,” he told Reuters in Las Vegas where he is scheduled to speak at the Black Hat conference of cybersecurity experts on Wednesday…

The move to declassify more information about the surveillance programs, which intelligence officials say have helped thwart terrorist attacks, comes as some lawmakers seek curbs in response to privacy concerns.

The Surveillance State is hoping a few symbolic and benign declassifications – most likely built around appearing to undermine the validity and credibility of Edward Snowden’s statements – will convince the public that the NSA should continue to have a blank check that is periodically rubber stamped by the FISA (pseudo-) Court.

Of course, if Snowden is lying then he can’t really be charged with a crime right? Especially not under our World War 1 era red-baiting Espionage Act. Lying about NSA programs isn’t an act of treason. Is he a fraud or is he a traitor? It’s a fine line to walk, and if the NSA has its way in the media, Snowden will somehow be both.

Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.