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Glenn Greenwald is one of three co-founding editors of The Intercept. He is a journalist, constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times best-selling books on politics and law. His most recent book, No Place to Hide, is about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. Prior to co-founding The Intercept, Glenn's column was featured at TheGuardian and Salon. He was the debut winner, along with Amy Goodman, of the Park Center I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism in 2008, and also received the 2010 Online Journalism Award for his investigative work on the abusive detention conditions of Chelsea Manning. For his 2013 NSA reporting, he received the George Polk award for National Security Reporting; the Gannett Foundation award for investigative journalism and the Gannett Foundation watchdog journalism award; the Esso Premio for Excellence in Investigative Reporting in Brazil (he was the first non-Brazilian to win), and the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award. Along with Laura Poitras, Foreign Policy magazine named him one of the top 100 Global Thinkers for 2013. The NSA reporting he led for TheGuardian was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for public service.
The Puritanical Glee Over the Ashley Madison Hack
That the cheating scoundrels of Ashley Madison got what they deserved was a widespread sentiment yesterday. Despite how common both infidelity and online pornography are, tweets expressing moralistic glee were legion. Websites were created to enable easy searches of the hacked data by email address.
Saturday, August 15, 2015(4 comments)
Hillary Clinton on the Sanctity of Protecting Classified Information
When it comes to low-level government employees with no power, the Obama administration has purposely prosecuted them as harshly as possible to the point of vindictiveness: It has notoriously prosecuted more individuals under the Espionage Act of 1917 for improperly handling classified information than all previous administrations combined.
To Defend Iran Deal, Obama Boasts That He's Bombed Seven Countries
Our nation's Churchillian warriors are such sensitive souls: sociopathically indifferent to the lives they continually extinguish around the world (provided it all takes place far away from their comfort and safety), but deeply, deeply hurt -- "especially insulted" -- by mean words directed at them and their motives.
A Crucial Realization About Journalism is Learned by Being its Subject
For the past decade, I've been writing critically about the American media, usually with a focus on the specific policy and legal topics I know best. So like most politically engaged people, I've long been rationally aware of how frequently deceitful and inaccurate claims are passed off by the most respected media outlets as fact, using highly authoritative tones.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015(1 comments)
The Spirit of Judy Miller is Alive and Well at the NYT, and It Does Great Damage
That the New York Times mindlessly disseminates claims from anonymous officials with great regularity is, at this point, too well-documented to require much discussion. But it is worth observing how damaging it continues to be, because, shockingly, all sorts of self-identified "journalists" -- both within the paper and outside of it -- continue to equate un-verified assertions from government officials as Proven Truth.
Announcing Our Matching Fund Donation to Chelsea Manning's Legal Defense
Chelsea Manning could have enriched herself by selling those documents to a foreign intelligence agency or media outlet for enormous sums, but did none of that. That's because she had only one motive: to inform citizens around the world of what their governments are doing in the dark. For her noble choice, Manning has been persecuted, brutalized and imprisoned by the U.S. government.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015(2 comments)
Iranians' View Of The Nuclear Deal: Optimistic, With Significant Caveats
U.S. media coverage of the Iran deal is, as usual, overwhelmingly focused on American and Israeli voices, with the hard-liner fanatics in each country issuing apocalyptic decrees, insisting that the deal is far too lenient on Iran and provides it with far too many benefits. The optimistic Iranian view is grounded in the expectation that the deal will usher in a normalization of relations between Iran and the Wes
Tuesday, July 7, 2015(4 comments)
Tony Blair and the Self-Exalting Mindset of the West: in Two Paragraphs
While the leading lights of the West love to celebrate themselves as beacons of civilized, progressive rationality, their overriding mentality is just the crassest and most primitive form of tribalism: when Our Side does it, it is right, and when Their Side does it, it is wrong. That is the primitive, banal formulation that lies at the heart of the vast, vast majority of foreign policy discourse in the West.
NSA's Top Brazilian Political and Financial Targets Revealed by New WikiLeaks Disclosure
That Rousseff's personal cell phone was successfully targeted by NSA spying was previously reported in 2013. That revelation -- along with others exposing NSA mass surveillance on hundreds of millions of Brazilians, and the targeting of the country's state-owned oil company Petrobras and its Ministry of Mines and Energy -- caused a major rupture in relations between the two nations.
Did Max Boot And Commentary Magazine Lie About Eward Snowden? You Decide.
It's not surprising that someone whose entire adult life is shaped by extreme cowardice would want to accuse others of lacking courage, as it distracts attention away from oneself and provides the comfort of company. Nor is it surprising that government-loyal journalists spew outright falsehoods to smear whistleblowers.
Greatest Threat To Free Speech Comes Not From Terrorism, But From Those Claiming To Fight It
Threats to free speech can come from lots of places. But right now, the greatest threat by far in the West to ideals of free expression is coming not from radical Muslims, but from the very Western governments claiming to fight them. The increasingly unhinged, Cheney-sounding governments of the UK, Australia, France, New Zealand and Canada -- joining the U.S. -- have a seemingly insatiable desire to curb freedoms.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015(1 comments)
Writers Withdraw From Pen Gala To Protest Award To Charlie Hebdo
Numerous prominent writers who were to serve as "table heads," or who are longtime PEN members, have withdrawn from the group's annual awards gala and otherwise expressed anger over PEN's decision to bestow its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award to Charlie Hebdo.
Thursday, April 23, 2015(45 comments)
What Explains The Power Of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Middle Finger?
This one photo, standing alone, was designed to produce a visceral, bottomless contempt for Tsarnaev which even disgust at his actual crime could not achieve. The expectation was that it would irreversibly establish the jury and public's view of him as not just evil but sub-human, deserving of state-imposed death.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015(2 comments)
Jeb Bush Praises Obama's Expansion of NSA Surveillance
Jeb Bush appeared on Michael Medved's conservative talk radio program, and was asked by the host what his favorite part of the Obama administration has been. His answer? As McClatchy's Lesley Clark noted on Twitter, Bush hailed "Obama's enhancement of NSA."
Friday, April 17, 2015(4 comments)
NBC's Conduct In Engel Kidnapping Story Is More Troubling Than the Brian Williams Scandal
Nobody can blame Engel -- a courageous reporter -- for falling for what appears to be a well-coordinated ruse. When he and his fellow captives believed with good reason that their lives were in immediate danger, it's completely understandable that he believed he had been captured by pro-Assad forces. There is no real evidence that Engel did anything wrong. is most certainly not true of NBC News executives.
Thursday, April 16, 2015(4 comments)
Religious Fanaticism Is A Huge Factor In Americans' Support For Israel
There is no denying that religious extremism plays a very significant role in American attitudes toward Israel. Given its importance, this is a remarkably under-discussed phenomenon, mostly because American media figures are very comfortable maligning other countries as being driven by religious fanaticism while ignoring how much their own country is.
Saturday, April 11, 2015(1 comments)
Iranians Are Much Talked About On Sunday Morning TV, But Never Heard From
Over the last couple months, the Sunday morning TV shows -- NBC's Meet the Press, CBS's Face The Nation, ABC's This Week, Fox's News Sunday, and CNN's State of the Union -- have focused on a deal with Iran as one of their principal topics. In doing so, they have repeatedly given a platform to fanatical anti-Iran voices, including Israeli officials such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu's Spying Denials Contradicted By Secret NSA Documents
Israel's claim that it does not conduct espionage against the United States is not only incredible on its face. It is also squarely contradicted by top-secret NSA documents, which state that Israel targets the U.S. government for invasive electronic surveillance, and does so more aggressively and threateningly than almost any other country in the world.
Thursday, March 19, 2015(2 comments)
US Threatened Germany Over Snowden, Vice Chancellor Says
There has been a sustained debate in Germany over whether to grant asylum to Snowden, and a major controversy arose last year when a Parliamentary Committee investigating NSA spying divided as to whether to bring Snowden to testify in person, and then narrowly refused at the behest of the Merkel government.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015(3 comments)
What's Scarier: Terrorism, Or Governments Blocking Websites In Its Name?
Forcibly taking down websites deemed to be supportive of terrorism, or criminalizing speech deemed to "advocate" terrorism, is a major trend in both Europe and the West generally. Last month in Brussels, the European Union's counter-terrorism coordinator issued a memo proclaiming that "Europe is facing an unprecedented, diverse and serious terrorist threat," and argued that control of the Internet is crucial to combating it.
Friday, March 13, 2015
The Orwellian Re-Branding Of "Mass Surveillance" As Merely "Bulk Collection"
Just as the Bush administration and the U.S. media re-labelled "torture" with the Orwellian euphemism "enhanced interrogation techniques" to make it more palatable, the governments and media of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance are now attempting to re-brand "mass surveillance" as "bulk collection" in order to make it less menacing (and less illegal).
The Parties' Role Reversal on "Interfering" with the Commander-in-Chief's Foreign Policy
members of both parties who are trying to subvert a peace agreement with Iran -- out of some warped allegiance to Israeli interests and/or a commitment to endless militarism -- are acting in destructive and dangerous ways. That they have disrespected and undermined our Glorious Commander-in-Chief, or breached precious inter-court protocols for who gets to exercise power are quite misguided positions.
Clapper Calls For Arming Ukrainian Forces: Who Would That Actually Empower?
Anyone pointing out that arming the regime in Kiev would strengthen fascists and neo-Nazis is instantly accused of being a Putin propagandist: exactly like those arguing that the best anti-Assad fighters were al-Qaeda-affiliated were accused of being Assad propagandists (until that became the official position of the US Government).
Hailed As A Model For Successful Intervention, Libya Proves To Be The Exact Opposite
What we see here is what we've seen over and over: the west's wars creating and empowering an endless supply of enemies, which in turn justify endless war by the west. It was the invasion of Iraq that ushered in "Al Qaeda in Iraq" and ultimately ISIS. It has been the brutal, civilian-slaughtering drone bombing of Yemen which spawned Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in that country.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015(1 comments)
The U.S. Media And The 13-Year-old Yemeni Boy Burned To Death Last Month By A U.S. Drone
If it were American teenagers rather than Yemeni ones regularly being burned to death -- on American soil rather than Yemeni soil -- does it take any effort to understand why there'd be widespread calls for violence against the perpetrators in response? Consider how much American rage and violence was unleashed by a single-day attack on American soil 13 years ago.
The Petulant Entitlement Syndrome of Journalists
Prior to the advent of blogs, establishment journalists were largely immunized even from hearing criticisms. If a life-tenured New York Times columnist wrote something stupid or vapid, or a Sunday TV news host conducted a sycophantic interview with a government official, there was no real mechanism for the average non-journalist citizen to voice critiques.
Friday, January 16, 2015(8 comments)
Latest FBI Claim Of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny And Skepticism
The known facts from this latest case seem to fit well within a now-familiar FBI pattern whereby the agency does not disrupt planned domestic terror attacks but rather creates them, then publicly praises itself for stopping its own plots. Predictably, political officials instantly exploited the news to justify their powers of domestic surveillance.
Dianne Feinstein, Strong Advocate Of Leak Prosecutions, Demands Immunity For David Petraeus
Feinstein wanted Julian Assange, who isn't a US citizen and never served in the US Government, prosecuted for espionage for exposing war crimes, and demanded that Edward Snowden be charged with "treason" for exposing illegal eavesdropping which shocked the world. But a four-star general who leaked classified information not for any noble purpose but to his mistress should be protected from any legal consequences.
Friday, January 9, 2015(40 comments)
In Solidarity With a Free Press: Some More Blasphemous Cartoons
This week's defense of free speech rights was so spirited that it gave rise to a brand new principle: to defend free speech, one not only defends the right to disseminate the speech, but embraces the content of the speech itself. One should not merely condemn the attacks and defend the right of the cartoonists to publish, but should publish and even celebrate those cartoons.
Jeb Bush V. Hillary Clinton: The Perfectly Illustrative Election
Having someone who is the brother of one former president and the son of another run against the wife of still another former president would be sweetly illustrative of all sorts of degraded and illusory aspects of American life, from meritocracy to class mobility.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
U.S. TV Provides Ample Platform For American Torturers, But None To Their Victims
When America is forced to confront its heinous acts, the central strategy is to disappear the victims; render them invisible. That's what robs them of their humanity. That is what enables American elites first to support atrocities, and then, when forced to reckon with them, tell themselves that--despite some isolated and well-intentioned bad acts--they are still really good, elevated, noble, admirable people.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014(2 comments)
Live Coverage Of The Senate Torture Report
American torture was not confined to a handful of aberrational cases or techniques, nor was it the work of rogue CIA agents. It was an officially sanctioned, worldwide regime of torture that had the acquiescence, if not explicit approval, of the top members of both political parties in Congress. It was motivated by far more than interrogation.
Talking To James Risen About Pay Any Price, The War On Terror And Press Freedoms
There have been lots of critiques of the War on Terror on its own terms, but Risen's is one of the first to offer large amounts of original reporting on what is almost certainly the most overlooked aspect of this war: the role corporate profiteering plays in ensuring its endless continuation, and how the beneficiaries use rank fear-mongering to sustain it.
Congress Is Irrelevant On Mass Surveillance -- Here's What Matters Instead
The pro-NSA Republican senators were actually arguing that if the NSA were no longer allowed to bulk-collect communication records of Americans inside the U.S., then ISIS would kill you and your kids. But because they were speaking in an empty chamber and only to their warped and insulated D.C. circles and sycophantic aides, there was nobody there to cackle contemptuously or tell them how self-evidently moronic it all was.