Investigative reporters Laura Poitras (C), Glenn Greenwald (L), and Ewan MacAskill (R)

Investigative reporters Laura Poitras (C), Glenn Greenwald (L), and Ewan MacAskill (R), who all worked with National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, speak at a press conference after accepting the George Polk Award along side Barton Gellman, for National Security Reporting on April 11, 2014 in New York City. Greenwald, Poitras and MacAskill reported on the story for The Guardian; Gellman wrote for The Washington Post. This is the first time Greenwald and Poitras have returned to the United States since the story broke.

(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Greenwald, Poitras Return to the US to Accept Prestigious Polk Award

In acceptance speech, Greenwald says awards such as George Polk Award 'vindicate' whistleblower Snowden

Journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras returned to the United States on Friday for the first time since they exposed the United States government's vast surveillance using documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Along with Guardian reporter Ewan MacAskill, the team flew to New York to accept the prestigious George Polk Award for national security reporting Friday evening.

Ahead of their arrival, reports speculated that the journalists were under threat of being stopped by U.S. officials.

During his acceptance speech, Greenwald discussed the intimidation that both whistleblowers and journalists face.

"The only way to deal with those kind of threats," he said, referring to actions such as the airport detention of his partner David Miranda or the destruction of the Guardian's computers, "is to just do the reporting, as aggressively, if not more so, then you would absent those threats."

Discussing the many awards and accolades that both Snowden and the reporters received, Greenwald said that each one "provides further vindication that what [Snowden] did coming forward was absolutely the right thing to do and merits gratitude and not indictments and decades of prison."

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