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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.
Michael Hayden, Bob Schieffer And The Media's Reverence Of National Security Officials
When it comes to people like Michael Hayden, the profoundly unhealthy reverence harbored by TV journalists means that they would never dare utter any such facts. We are thus subjected to "journalism" in which those least qualified to opine, and those with the greatest personal interests in the outcome of debates, are presented as objective experts, while viewers remain entirely uninformed.
Friday, August 9, 2013(7 comments)
Email service used by Snowden shuts itself down, warns against using US-based companies
Lavabit has shut itself down rather than participate in what it calls "crimes against the American people," and in doing so, has gone to the legal limits in order to tell us all what has happened. There will undoubtedly be more acts inspired by Snowden's initial choice to unravel his own life to make the world aware of what the US government has been doing in the dark.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013(3 comments)
On Obama's cancellation of summit with Putin and extradition
President Obama today canceled a long-scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in part because the US president is upset that Russia defied his personal directive to hand over Edward Snowden despite the lack of an extradition treaty between the two nations.
Sunday, August 4, 2013(4 comments)
Members Of Congress Denied Access To Basic Information About NSA
When members of the Intelligence Committee learn of abuses by the NSA, they are barred by law from informing the public. Two Democratic Committee members in the Senate, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, spent years warning Americans that they would be "stunned to learn" of the radical interpretations of secret law the Obama administration had adopted in the secret FISA court to vest themselves with extremist surveillance powers.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013(12 comments)
XKeyscore: NSA tool collects "nearly everything a user does on the internet"
A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its "widest-reaching" system for developing intelligence from the internet.
Monday, July 29, 2013(4 comments)
Major opinion shifts, in the US and Congress, on NSA surveillance and privacy
The only ones defending the NSA at this point are the party loyalists and institutional authoritarians in both parties. That's enough for the moment to control Washington outcomes -- as epitomized by the unholy trinity that saved the NSA in the House last week: Pelosi, John Bohener and the Obama White House -- but it is clearly not enough to stem the rapidly changing tide of public opinion.
Thursday, July 25, 2013(2 comments)
Democratic Establishment Unmasked: Prime Defenders Of NSA Bulk Spying
The history of Democratic leaders such as Nancy Pelosi isn't one of opposition to mass NSA spying when Bush was in office, only to change positions now that Obama is. The history is of pretend opposition -- of deceiving their supporters by feigning opposition -- while actually supporting it.
Sunday, July 21, 2013(1 comments)
This week in press freedoms and privacy rights
In the utter travesty known as "the Bradley Manning court-martial proceeding," the military judge presiding over the proceeding yet again showed her virtually unbreakable loyalty to the US government's case by refusing to dismiss the most serious charge against the 25-year-old Army Private, one that carries a term of life in prison: "aiding and abetting the enemy."
Tuesday, July 16, 2013(2 comments)
Email Exchange Between Edward Snowden And Former GOP Senator Gordon Humphrey
Snowden: "My intention, which I outlined when this began, is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them. I remain committed to that. Though reporters and officials may never believe it, I have not provided any information that would harm our people -- agent or not -- and I have no intention to do so."
Monday, July 15, 2013(7 comments)
The Crux Of The NSA Story In One Phrase: "Collect It All"
The NSA is constantly seeking to expand its capabilities without limits. They're currently storing so much, and preparing to store so much more, that they have to build a massive, sprawling new facility in Utah just to hold all the communications from inside the US and around the world that they are collecting -- communications they then have the physical ability to invade any time they want.
Sunday, July 14, 2013(12 comments)
Inside look at the internal strife over Al Jazeera America
There is a gaping need for strong, fearless, adversarial journalism in the American TV landscape. There is a huge audience hungry for that type of TV journalism. A well-funded TV network with a new, aggressive, fearless investigative approach and a well-recognized global brand name could certainly succeed. Whether AJAM will seek to fill that need, or will run away from it, remains to be seen.
Saturday, July 13, 2013(3 comments)
About the Reuters article
The oft-repeated claim that Snowden's intent is to harm the US is completely negated by the reality that he has all sorts of documents that could quickly and seriously harm the US if disclosed, yet he has published none of those. e could have sold all the documents he had for a great deal of money, or indiscriminately published them, or passed them to a foreign adversary. He did none of that.
Snowden: I never gave any information to Chinese or Russian governments
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, in an interview on Saturday and then again Tuesday afternoon, vehemently denied media claims that he gave classified information to the governments of China or Russia. He also denied assertions that one or both governments had succeeded in "draining the contents of his laptops." "I never gave any information to either government, and they never took anything from my laptops," he said.
Monday, July 8, 2013
Edward Snowden: US Surveillance "Not Something I'm Willing To Live Under"
Snowden had not fallen out of love with America, only its government. "America is a fundamentally good country. We have good people with good values who want to do the right thing. But the structures of power that exist are working to their own ends to extend their capability at the expense of the freedom of all publics."
Sunday, July 7, 2013(1 comments)
The NSA's Mass And Indiscriminate Spying On Brazilians
NSA has, for years, systematically tapped into the Brazilian telecommunication network and indiscriminately intercepted, collected and stored the email and telephone records of millions of Brazilians. The claim that any other nation is engaging in anything remotely approaching indiscriminate worldwide surveillance of this sort is baseless.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013(7 comments)
James Clapper, EU Play-Acting, And Political Priorities
If you're spending your time calling for Ed Snowden's head but not James Clapper's, or if you're obsessed with Snowden's fabricated personality attributes (narcissist!) but apathetic about rampant, out-of-control NSA surveillance, it's probably worth spending a few moments thinking about what this priority scheme reveals.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
NSA Collected US Email Records In Bulk For More Than Two Years Under Obama
One function of the internet record collection is what is commonly referred to as "data mining," and which the NSA calls "contact chaining." The agency "analyzed networks with two degrees of separation (two hops) from the target," the report says. In other words, the NSA studied the online records of people who communicated with people who communicated with targeted individuals.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013(4 comments)
The personal side of taking on the NSA: emerging smears
Glenn Greenwald: Distractions about my past and personal life have emerged -- an inevitable side effect for those who challenge the US government. The recent journalist-led "debate" about whether I should be prosecuted for my reporting on these stories was precisely the sort of thing I knew was coming.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Liberal Icon Frank Church On The NSA
Virtually nothing was known at the time about the National Security Agency. The Beltway joke was that "NSA" stood for "no such agency." The conditional part of Church's warning -- "that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people" -- is precisely what is happening, one might even say: is what has already happened. That seems well worth considering.
Saturday, June 22, 2013(4 comments)
On The Espionage Act Charges Against Edward Snowden
The Obama administration leaks classified information continuously. They do it to glorify the President, or manipulate public opinion, or even to help produce a pre-election propaganda film about the Osama bin Laden raid. The Obama administration does not hate unauthorized leaks of classified information. What they hate are leaks that embarrass them or expose their wrongdoing.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Revealed: The Top Secret Rules That Allow NSA To Use US Data Without A Warrant
The Fisa court plays no role in the selection of individuals, nor does it monitor who is selected by the NSA. The NSA's ability to collect and retain the communications of people in the US, even without a warrant, has fueled congressional demands for an estimate of how many Americans have been caught up in surveillance.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013(4 comments)
Fisa Court Oversight: A Look Inside A Secret And Empty Process
Once the NSA has this court approval, it can then target anyone chosen by their analysts, and can even order telecoms and internet companies to turn over to them the emails, chats and calls of those they target. The Fisa court plays no role whatsoever in reviewing whether the procedures it approved are actually complied with when the NSA starts eavesdropping on calls and reading people's emails.
Saturday, June 15, 2013(9 comments)
Edward Snowden's Worst Fear Has Not Been Realized -- Thankfully
The stories thus far published by the Guardian are already leading to concrete improvements in accountability and transparency. The ACLU quickly filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the legality, including the constitutionality, of the NSA's collection of the phone records of all Americans.
Saturday, June 15, 2013(3 comments)
On Prism, Partisanship And Propaganda
How can anyone think that it's remotely healthy in a democracy to have the NSA building a massive spying apparatus about which even members of Congress, including Senators on the Homeland Security Committee, are totally ignorant and find "astounding" when they learn of them?
Sunday, June 9, 2013(3 comments)
Edward Snowden: The Whistleblower Behind The NSA Surveillance Revelations
The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning.
Friday, June 7, 2013(10 comments)
On Whistleblowers And Government Threats Of Investigation
There seems to be this mentality in Washington that as soon as they stamp TOP SECRET on something they've done we're all supposed to quiver and allow them to do whatever they want without transparency or accountability under its banner. These endless investigations and prosecutions and threats are designed to bolster that fear-driven dynamic. But it isn't working. It's doing the opposite.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013(14 comments)
Revealed: NSA Collecting Phone Records Of Millions Of Americans Daily
Allowing the government to collect and store unlimited "metadata" is a highly invasive form of surveillance of citizens' communications activities. Those records enable the government to know the identity of every person with whom an individual communicates electronically, how long they spoke, and their location at the time of the communication.
Thursday, May 30, 2013(4 comments)
Obama's New FBI Chief Approved Bush's NSA Warrantless Wiretapping Scheme
Comey will run the FBI alongside Obama's chief of the CIA, John Brennan, who spent the Bush years advocating multiple torture techniques and rendition. The Agent of Change reaches deep into the bowels of the Bush National Security State and empowers them to run two of the most powerful agencies.
Obama's Terrorism Speech: Seeing What You Want To See
In lieu of substance, the speech was heavy on feel-good rhetoric, mostly designed to signal that unlike the mean and simplistic George Bush -- who presumably pursued these policies thoughtlessly and simplistically -- Obama experiences inner turmoil and deep moral and intellectual conflict as he embraces them.
Sunday, May 26, 2013(7 comments)
Andrew Sullivan, terrorism, and the art of distortion
Americans and westerners have been relentlessly bombarded with the message that We are the Noble and Innocent Victims and those Muslims are the Evil, Primitive, Savage Aggressors, so that's what many people are trained to believe, and view any challenge to that as an assault on their core tribalistic convictions.
Friday, May 24, 2013(11 comments)
Was the London killing of a British soldier "terrorism"?
Can it really be the case that when western nations continuously kill Muslim civilians, that's not "terrorism," but when Muslims kill western soldiers, that is terrorism? The US has even imprisoned people at Guantanamo and elsewhere on accusations of "terrorism" who are accused of nothing more than engaging in violence against US soldiers who invaded their country.
Washington Gets Explicit: Its 'War On Terror' Is Permanent
Each year of endless war that passes further normalizes the endless rights erosions justified in its name. Those powers of secrecy, indefinite detention, mass surveillance, and due-process-free assassination are not going anywhere. They are now permanent fixtures not only in the US political system but, worse, in American political culture.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The Major Sea Change In Media Discussions Of Obama And Civil Liberties
Leave to the side how morally grotesque it is to oppose rights assaults only when they affect you. The pragmatic point is that it is vital to oppose such assaults in the first instance no matter who is targeted because such assaults, when unopposed, become institutionalized. Once that happens, they are impossible to stop when they expand beyond the group originally targeted.
Barbara Lee And Dick Durbin's "Nobody-Could-Have-Known" Defense
Immediately after the 9/11 attack, Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California knew exactly that which Durbin now says nobody "could have envisioned." She not only knew it, but she stood up on the floor of the Congress a mere three days after the 9/11 attack in order to cast the lone vote against the AUMF.
Monday, May 6, 2013(1 comments)
Israeli Bombing Of Syria And Moral Relativism
Few things are more ludicrous than the attempt by advocates of US and Israeli militarism to pretend that they're applying anything remotely resembling "principles." Their only cognizable "principle" is rank tribalism: My Side is superior, and therefore we are entitled to do things that Our Enemies are not.
A young Yemeni writer on the impact and morality of drone-bombing his country
Even natural allies of the United States feel that the targeted killings infringe on Yemen's sovereignty. Many ruefully repeat a line from President Obama's press conference on November 18, 2012: "There is no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders."
Monday, April 29, 2013(6 comments)
Report: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Repeated Requests For A Lawyer Were Ignored
There is no legal or ethical justification for refusing the request for someone in custody to have a lawyer present. If this report is true, what's most amazing is not that his core rights were so brazenly violated, but that so few people in Washington will care. They're too busy demanding that his rights should have been violated even further.
Saturday, April 27, 2013(2 comments)
Bradley Manning Is Off Limits At SF Gay Pride Parade, But Corporate Sleaze Is Embraced
Apparently, the very high-minded ethical standards of Lisa L Williams and the SF Pride Board apply only to young and powerless Army Privates who engage in an act of conscience against the US war machine, but instantly disappear for large corporations and banks that hand over cash. What we really see here is how the largest and most corrupt corporations own not just the government but also the culture.
Friday, April 26, 2013(4 comments)
Bill Moyers interview on Boston Marathon bombing
An interview wherein Bill Moyers and Glenn Greenwald discuss the Boston Marathon bombing, terrorism and civil liberties, the dangers of secrecy, US foreign policy and general issues relating to US political and media culture:
Wednesday, April 24, 2013(1 comments)
The Same Motive For Anti-US "Terrorism" Is Cited Over And Over
There seems to be this pervasive belief in the US that we can invade, bomb, drone, kill, occupy, and tyrannize whomever we want, and that they will never respond. If you believe all that militarism and aggression are justified, make that argument. But don't walk around acting surprised, bewildered and confounded when violence is brought to US soil as well.
Monday, April 22, 2013(10 comments)
Why Is Boston "Terrorism" But Not Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson And Columbine?
Over the last two years, the US has witnessed at least three other episodes of mass, indiscriminate violence that killed more people than the Boston bombings did. The word "terrorism" was almost never used to describe that indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people, and none of the perpetrators of those attacks was charged with terrorism-related crimes.
Saturday, April 20, 2013(12 comments)
What rights should Dzhokhar Tsarnaev get and why does it matter?
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been convicted of nothing and is thus entitled to a presumption of innocence. The reason to care what happens to him is because how he is treated creates precedent for what the US government is empowered to do, including to US citizens on US soil. When you cheer for the erosion of his rights, you're cheering for the erosion of your own.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013(10 comments)
The Boston Bombing Produces Familiar And Revealing Reactions
One wishes that the empathy for victims, and outrage over the ending of innocent human life that instantly arises when the US is targeted by this sort of violence would at least translate into similar concern when the US is perpetrating it, as it so often does (far, far more often than it is targeted by such violence).
Saturday, April 13, 2013(7 comments)
Barbara Boxer, AIPAC Seek To Codify Israel's Right To Discriminate Against Americans
If you're a US politician finding yourself working to allow a foreign government to discriminate against your own fellow citizens -- by vesting that foreign country with a right that no other country (including your own) has -- then you're essentially broadcasting to the world that the interests of that foreign government take precedence over your own and over the equal rights of your own fellow citizens.
Thursday, April 11, 2013(10 comments)
Three Key Lessons From The Obama Administration's Drone Lies
It's unsurprising that the Obama administration got caught making plainly false statements about its killing program. But for the same reason, it's very significant that it has been caught. In light of this evidence, any journalists who continue to rely on US government statements about its killing program are revealing themselves to be eager propagandists, willing to be lied to and help amplify those lies.
Monday, April 8, 2013(4 comments)
Margaret Thatcher And Misapplied Death Etiquette
This demand for respectful silence in the wake of a public figure's death is not just misguided but dangerous. That one should not speak ill of the dead is arguably appropriate when a private person dies, but it is wildly inappropriate for the death of a controversial public figure, particularly one who wielded significant influence and political power.
Friday, April 5, 2013(3 comments)
The Soft, Weak Chinese Cite Concerns For International Law And Due Process
What kind of weak, soft, overly legalistic government worries about trivial concerns like international law and "sovereignty issues" when it comes to drone-killing heinous murderers for whom capture is difficult? Why not just shoot Hellfire missiles wherever you think he might be hiding in weaker countries and kill him and anyone who happens to be near him?
Wednesday, April 3, 2013(1 comments)
Sam Harris, the New Atheists, and anti-Muslim animus
A 2004 Pentagon study concluded that "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies" -- specifically "American direct intervention in the Muslim world" -- through the US's "one sided support in favor of Israel"; support for Islamic tyrannies in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia; and, most of all, "the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan."
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Follow-up on prior stories and a few new items
The Swedish government should agree that it will not use Assange's appearance on its soil as a ruse to turn him over to the US, and Assange should then board the next possible plane to Stockholm to face the accusations against him.
Sunday, March 31, 2013(2 comments)
The Message Sent By America's Invisible Victims
The most propagandistic aspect of the US War on Terror is that its victims are rendered invisible and voiceless. Evidence is overwhelming that what has radicalized huge numbers of previously peaceful and moderate Muslims is growing rage at seeing a continuous stream of innocent victims, including children, at the hands of the seemingly endless US commitment to violence.
Friday, March 29, 2013(7 comments)
Domestic Drones And Their Unique Dangers
It remains to be seen how Americans will react to drones constantly hovering over their homes and their childrens' schools, though by that point, their presence will be so institutionalized that it will be likely be too late to stop.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013(1 comments)
The Gay Marriage Snowball And Political Change
There are reasons why such radical change on this issue is easier than on many others. Social issues don't threaten entrenched ruling interests: allowing same-sex couples to marry doesn't undermine oligarchs, the National Security State, or the wildly unequal distribution of financial and political power.
Monday, March 25, 2013(3 comments)
The Racism That Fuels The "War On Terror"
Many Americans can (a) say that they oppose the targeted killings of Americans on foreign soil while simultaneously (b) supporting the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen because, for them, the term "Americans" doesn't include people like Anwar al-Awlaki.
Sunday, March 24, 2013(2 comments)
How Noam Chomsky is discussed
Far from being some sort of brutal, domineering, and angry "alpha-male" savage, Chomsky -- no matter your views of him -- is one of the most soft-spoken and unfailingly civil and polite political advocates on the planet. He is as steadfastly polite and considerate and eager to listen when it comes to interacting with those who are powerless and voiceless.