To whom it may concern,
I have recently read online that The Intercept – a publication I respect and have supported since its inception – plans to publish an article detailing former NSA employee David Grusch’s struggles with mental health, namely Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I would strongly urge you to consider the potential personal and social impact of this article, and to also apply a measure of critical thinking to motivations behind the source of your information.
As I am sure you are well aware, the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community deemed David Grusch’s claims ‘credible and urgent’, and he is also in the process of a whistleblower complaint that details reprisals by his former employers.
These are murky waters, and given that PTSD rarely results in loss of critical thinking or psychosis, it is extremely hard to see the public interest angle on this reporting. It seems at best cruel and irrelevant to report that a decorated veteran suffered from this incredibly common illness after the extreme nature of his tours in Afghanistan.
I would love longform reporting on the epidemic of PTSD in veterans, that is a valid and important public interest story. It is a silent killer, and is widely under diagnosed. Its relevance to David Grusch’s claims is harder to discern, and would definitely be a case of adding to the noise, rather than the signal.
I’m sure The Intercept is well aware of sophisticated CO-INTEL action by security services worldwide and attempts to undermine whistleblowers by any and all means are matters of public record.
I would urge you to personally interrogate the public interest validity of such a piece of reporting, and I would hope you have consulted with multiple mental health professionals about the relevance of such a piece. I would also think there is valid questions around safeguarding of public figures when medical records are released by major news outlets, such as yourself.
Further, as a mental exercise; if I were the security services, post-Snowden, I would think that the publication I would want to go against a new whistleblower coming forward, the one that would have the most impact in undermining a new whistleblower, would be The Intercept. It would be a shame if your organisation was being unwittingly used by the security services.
With kind regards,