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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 Misguided Attacks on ACLU for Defending Neo-Nazis' Free Speech Rights in Charlottesville
Each time horrific political violence is perpetrated that is deemed to be terrorism, a search is immediately conducted for culprits to blame other than those who actually perpetrated the violence or endorsed the group responsible for it. It's usually only a matter of hours before the attack is exploited to declare one's own political views vindicated, and to depict political adversaries as responsible for, if not complicit.
Sunday, August 6, 2017(1 comments)
What's Worse: Trump's Campaign Agenda or Empowering Generals and CIA Operatives to Subvert it?
It was foolish to assume that the campaign vows of any politician, let alone an adept con man like Trump, would be a reliable barometer for what he would do once in office. And, as expected, he has betrayed many of these promises within months of being inaugurated, while the very Wall Street interests he railed against have found a very welcoming embrace in the Oval Office.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017(13 comments)
With New D.C. Policy Group, Dems Continue to Rehabilitate and Unify With Bush-Era Neocons
ONE OF THE most under-discussed yet consequential changes in the American political landscape is the reunion between the Democratic Party and the country's most extreme and discredited neocons. While the rise of Donald Trump, whom neocons loathe, has accelerated this realignment, it began long before the ascension of Trump and is driven by far more common beliefs than contempt for the current president.
Friday, July 7, 2017(5 comments)
Rachel Maddow's Exclusive "Scoop" About A Fake NSA Document Raises Several Key Questions
Maddow said her report should serve as a "heads up" to other news organizations that someone is attempting to destroy the credibility of those who report on Trump's connections to Russia by purposely giving them false information. She suggested, without stating, that this may have been what caused CNN and other outlets recently to publish reports about Trump and/or Russia that ended up being retracted.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
CNN Warns It May Expose an Anonymous Critic if He Ever Again Publishes Bad Content
There is something untoward about the fact that CNN -- the subject of the original video -- was the news outlet that uncovered his identity. That fact creates the appearance of vengeance: If you, even as a random and anonymous internet user, post content critical of CNN, then it will use its vast corporate resources to investigate you, uncover your identity, and threaten to expose you if you ever do so again.
Friday, May 19, 2017(4 comments)
Chelsea Manning Is a Free Woman: Her Heroism Has Expanded Beyond Her Initial Whistleblowing
EVER SINCE Chelsea Manning was revealed as the whistleblower responsible for one of the most important journalistic archives in history, her heroism has been manifest. She was the classic leaker of conscience, someone who went at the age of 20 to fight in the Iraq War believing it was noble, only to discover the dark reality not only of that war but of the U.S. government's actions in the world generally
Trump's War on Terror Has Quickly Become as Barbaric and Savage as He Promised
Donald Trump's "war on terror" has entailed the seemingly indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people in the name of killing terrorists. Trump is attempting to liberate the U.S. military from the minimal constraints it observed in order to avoid massive civilian casualties. And this should surprise nobody: Trump explicitly and repeatedly vowed to do exactly this during the campaign.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Newly Obtained Documents Prove: Key Claim of Snowden's Accusers Is a Fraud
For almost four years, a cottage industry of media conspiracists has devoted itself to accusing Edward Snowden of being a spy for either Russia and/or China at the time he took and then leaked documents from the National Security Agency. There has never been any evidence presented to substantiate this accusation.
Saturday, March 18, 2017(2 comments)
Trump Administration Ousts UN Official to Protect Israel From Criticism
Ehud Barak, Israel's former Prime Minister and its most decorated soldier, explicitly warned that Israel was on a path to what he called a permanent "apartheid" state. As he put it: "As long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic. If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state."
Tuesday, March 14, 2017(17 comments)
Rand Paul Is Right: NSA Routinely Monitors Americans' Communications Without Warrants
That the NSA is empowered to spy on Americans' communications without a warrant -- in direct contravention of the core Fourth Amendment guarantee that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause" -- is the dirty little secret of the U.S. Surveillance State.
The CIA's New Deputy Director Ran a Black Site for Torture
The CIA's New Deputy Director was centrally involved in the worst abuses of the CIA's Bush-era torture regime. She was "directly involved in its controversial interrogation program" and had an "extensive role" in torturing detainees.
WashPost Is Richly Rewarded for False News About Russia Threat While Public Is Deceived
IN THE PAST six weeks, the Washington Post published two blockbuster stories about the Russian threat that went viral. Both articles were fundamentally false. Each now bears a humiliating editor's note grudgingly acknowledging that the core claims of the story were fiction: The first note was posted a full two weeks later to the top of the original article; the other was buried the following day at the bottom.
Saturday, December 31, 2016(11 comments)
Russia Hysteria Infects WashPost Again: False Story About Hacking U.S. Electric Grid
The key scary claim of the Post story -- that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electric grid -- was false. All the alarmist tough-guy statements issued by political officials who believed the Post's claim were based on fiction. Even worse, there is zero evidence that Russian hackers were even responsible for the implanting of this malware on this single laptop.
Friday, December 9, 2016(1 comments)
A Clinton Fan Manufactured Fake News That MSNBC Personalities Spread to Discredit WikiLeaks Docs
That the emails in the Wikileaks archive were doctored or faked -- and thus should be disregarded -- was classic Fake News, spread not by Macedonian teenagers or Kremlin operatives but by established news outlets such as MSNBC, the Atlantic and Newsweek. And, by design, this Fake News spread like wildfire all over the internet, hungrily clicked and shared by tens of thousands of people eager to believe it was true.
Sunday, December 4, 2016(1 comments)
The Smear Campaign Against Keith Ellison Is Repugnant but Reveals Much About Washington
Three days ago, the now ironically named Anti-Defamation League pronounced Ellison's 2010 comments about Israel "deeply disturbing and disqualifying." Other Israel advocates have now joined in. What are Ellison's terrible sins? He said in a 2010 speech that while he "wanted the U.S. to be friends with Israel," the U.S. "can't allow another country to treat us like we're their ATM."
In Brazil, Major New Corruption Scandals Engulf the Faction that Impeached Dilma
Dilma Rousseff's impeachment was not designed to punish corruption but to protect it. The last two weeks have produced new corruption scandals that have vindicated that view beyond what even its proponents imagined was possible. In his short time in office, Michel Temer has already lost five ministers to scandal, but these new controversies are the most serious yet.
Three New Scandals Show How Pervasive and Dangerous Mass Surveillance is in the West, Vindicating Snowden
Just this month, two key members of the Five Eyes alliance have been found by courts and formal investigations to be engaged in mass surveillance that was both illegal and pervasive, as well as, in the case of Canada, abusing surveillance powers to track journalists to uncover their sources. When Snowden first spoke publicly, these were exactly the abuses and crimes he insisted were being committed by mass surveillance.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
On WikiLeaks, Journalism, and Privacy: Reporting on the Podesta Archive is an Easy Call
WikiLeaks has always been somewhat controversial but reaction has greatly intensified this year because many of their most significant leaks have had an impact on the U.S. presidential election and, in particular, have focused on Democrats. As a result, Republicans who long vilified them as a grave national security threat have become their biggest fans.
The Unrelenting Pundit-Led Effort to Delegitimize All Negative Reporting About Hillary Clinton
In his New York Times column yesterday, Paul Krugman did something that he made clear he regarded as quite brave: He defended the Democratic Party presidential nominee and likely next U.S. president from journalistic investigations. Complaining about media bias, Krugman claimed that journalists are driven by "the presumption that anything Hillary Clinton does must be corrupt...
Why Did the Saudi Regime and Other Gulf Tyrannies Donate Millions to the Clinton Foundation?
Hillary Clinton was America's chief diplomat, and tyrannical regimes such as the Saudis and Qataris jointly donated tens of millions of dollars to an organization run by her family and operated in its name, one whose works has been a prominent feature of her public persona. That extremely valuable opportunity to curry favor with the Clintons, and to secure access to them, continues as she runs for president.
As Israel Prospers, Obama Set to Give Billions More in Aid While Netanyahu Demands Even More
Usually, when someone hands you billions of dollars in aid, you're not in much of a position to demand more. But the rules for Israel when it comes to U.S. policy, as is so often the case, are simply different. Even as Israel has aggressively expanded settlements of the West Bank (often in a way designed to most humiliate the U.S.) and slaughtered civilians in Gaza, U.S. aid simply increases more and more.
Chilcot Report and 7/7 London Bombing Anniversary Converge to Highlight Terrorism's Causes
Blair was expressly warned before the invasion that his actions would provoke al Qaeda attacks on the U.K. the report's executive summary quotes Blair confirming he was "aware" of a warning by British intelligence that terrorism would "increase in the event of war, reflecting intensified anti-U.S./anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim world, including among Muslim communities in the West."
Wednesday, July 6, 2016(10 comments)
Washington Has Been Obsessed With Punishing Secrecy Violations -- until Hillary Clinton
Secrecy is a virtual religion in Washington. Those who violate its dogma have been punished in the harshest and most excessive manner -- at least when they possess little political power or influence. As has been widely noted, the Obama administration has prosecuted more leakers under the 1917 Espionage Act than all prior administrations combined.
Stop Exploiting LGBT Issues to Demonize Islam and Justify Anti-Muslim Policies
Over the last several years, Christian zealots in the U.S. have agitated with both activism and money -- often successfully -- for the implementation of severely repressive anti-LGBT laws in Christian Africa. That includes Uganda, where they tried to implement the death penalty for homosexuals. The law that was passed, criminalizing homosexuality, has led to severe increases in violent attacks against LGBTs.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016(4 comments)
Perfect End to Democratic Primary: Anonymous Superdelegates Declare Winner Through Media
That the Democratic Party nominating process is declared to be over in such an uninspiring, secretive, and elite-driven manner is perfectly symbolic of what the party, and its likely nominee, actually is. The one positive aspect, though significant, is symbolic, while the actual substance -- rallying behind a Wall Street-funded, status quo-perpetuating, multimillionaire militarist -- is grim in the extreme.
The New York Times's (and Clinton Campaign's) Abject Cowardice on Israel
Essentially the entire world recognizes the reality of Israeli occupation with the exception of a tiny sliver of extremists in Israel and the U.S. That's why Chris Christie had to grovel in apology to GOP billionaire and Israel-devoted fanatic Sheldon Adelson when the New Jersey Governor neutrally described having seen the "occupied territories" during a trip he took to Israel.
Saturday, May 21, 2016(2 comments)
Watch: First Interview With Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff Since the Senate's Impeachment Vote
Rousseff's suspension will last up to 180 days as her Senate impeachment trial takes place, at which point she will either be acquitted or (as is widely expected) convicted and permanently removed from her office. Rousseff -- who was imprisoned and tortured for three years in the 1970s by the U.S.-supported military dictatorship that ruled the country for 21 years -- is more combative, defiant, and resolute than ever.
Monday, May 16, 2016
The Intercept Is Broadening Access To The Snowden Archive. Here's Why
FROM THE TIME we began reporting on the archive provided to us in Hong Kong by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we sought to fulfill his two principal requests for how the materials should be handled: that they be released in conjunction with careful reporting that puts the documents in context and makes them digestible to the public, and that the welfare and reputations of innocent people be safeguarded.
The Joke of U.S. Justice and "Accountability" When They Bomb a Hospital
Ever since the U.S. last October bombed a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Kunduz, Afghanistan, the U.S. vehemently denied guilt while acting exactly like a guilty party would. First, it changed its story repeatedly. Then, it blocked every effort -- including repeated demands from MSF -- to have an independent investigation determine what really happened.
Friday, April 29, 2016(3 comments)
New Study Shows Mass Surveillance Breeds Meekness, Fear and Self-Censorship
There are numerous psychological studies demonstrating that people who believe they are being watched engage in behavior far more compliant, conformist and submissive than those who believe they are acting without monitoring. Writers are not only overwhelmingly worried about government surveillance, but are engaging in self-censorship as a result.
To Protect Hillary Clinton, Democrats Wage War on Their Own Core Citizens United Argument
The key argument of the right-wing justices in Citizens United has now become the key argument of the Clinton campaign and its media supporters to justify her personal and political receipt of millions upon millions of dollars in corporate money: "Expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption" -- at least when the candidate in question is Hillary Clinton.
A Key Similarity Between Snowden Leak and Panama Papers: Scandal Is What's Been Legalized
dozens of newspapers around the world reported on the Panama Papers: a gargantuan leak of documents from a Panama-based law firm that specializes in creating offshore shell companies. The documents reveal billions of dollars funneled to offshore tax havens by leading governmental and corporate officials (the U.S. was oddly missing from the initial reporting, though journalists vow that will change shortly).
Sunday, April 3, 2016(1 comments)
Fighting Israeli Occupying Forces Is "Terrorism." Boycotting Is "Anti-Semitism." What's Allowed?
Even ardent defenders of Israel admit that "the West Bank is under a legal regime of belligerent occupation" and "Israel's settlement enterprise is, and has always been, grossly illegal under international law." Despite this world consensus, Israeli settlements continue to grow rapidly. Israel is not engaged in any meaningful efforts to negotiate an agreement to end the occupation.
Saturday, March 26, 2016(2 comments)
Highlighting Western Victims While Ignoring Victims of Western Violence
No famous American TV correspondents will be sent to the places where people have their lives ended by the bombs of the U.S. and its allies. At most, you'll hear small, clinical news stories briefly and coldly describing what happened -- usually accompanied by a justifying claim from U.S. officials, uncritically conveyed, about why the bombing was noble.
Monday, March 14, 2016(3 comments)
The Rise of Trump Shows the Danger and Sham of Compelled Journalistic "Neutrality"
Imagine calling yourself a journalist, and then--as you watch an authoritarian politician get closer to power by threatening and unleashing violence and stoking the ugliest impulses--denouncing journalists who warn of the dangers. That is the embodiment of the ethos of corporate journalism in America, and a potent illustration of why its fetishized reverence for "objectivity" is so rotted and even dangerous.
Hillary Clinton, With Little Notice, Vows to Embrace an Extremist Agenda on Israel
Bill Clinton's vow of even greater support for Israel is completely consistent with what Hillary Clinton herself has been telling American Jewish audiences for months. In November, she published an op-ed in The Forward in which she vowed to strengthen relations not only with Israel, but also with its extremist prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The "Bernie Bros" Narrative: a Cheap Campaign Tactic Masquerading as Journalism and Social Activism
truth doesn't matter here -- at all. Instead, the goal is to inherently delegitimize all critics of Hillary Clinton by accusing them of, or at least associating them with, sexism, thus distracting attention away from Clinton's policy views, funding, and political history. It's an effective weapon when wielded by Clinton operatives. But, given its blatant falsity, it has zero place in anything purporting to be "journalism."
The U.S. Intervention in Libya Was Such a Smashing Success That a Sequel Is Coming
Libya -- so predictably -- has all but completely collapsed, spending years now drowning in instability, anarchy, fractured militia rule, sectarian conflict, and violent extremism. The execution of Saddam Hussein was no vindication of that war nor a sign of improved lives for Iraqis, and the same was true for the mob killing of Qaddafi.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
The Seven Stages of Establishment Backlash: Corbyn/Sanders Edition
Sanders is a more fundamental, systemic critic than the oligarchical power centers are willing to tolerate, and his rejection of corporate dominance over politics, and corporate support for his campaigns, is particularly menacing. He is thus regarded as America's version of a far-left extremist, threatening establishment power.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016(1 comments)
Meet Debbie Wasserman Schultz's First-Ever Primary Challenger: Tim Canova
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is widely perceived to have breached her duty of neutrality as DNC chair by taking multiple steps to advance the Clinton campaign, including severely limiting the number of Democratic debates and scheduling them so as to ensure low viewership (she was co-chair of Clinton's 2008 campaign).
Al Jazeera America Terminates All TV and Digital Operations
While AJAM has struggled with its television programming, its online reporting and digital opinion sites have been successful, finding relatively large audiences among American news consumers. Nonetheless, all of AJAM is terminating, and both the TV and digital employees are expected to lose their jobs.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016(7 comments)
U.S. Media Condemns Iran's "Aggression" in Intercepting U.S. Naval Ships -- in Iranian Waters
Most U.S. news accounts last night quickly skimmed over -- or outright ignored -- the rather critical fact that the U.S. ships had "drifted into" Iranian waters. Instead, all sorts of TV news personalities and U.S. establishment figures puffed out their chest and instantly donned their Tough Warrior pose to proclaim that this was an act of aggression -- virtually an act of war: not by the U.S., but by Iran.
Thursday, January 7, 2016(2 comments)
The Deceptive Debate Over What Causes Terrorism Against the West
Most people need some type of fervor to be willing to risk their lives and kill other people: It can be nationalism, xenophobia, societal pressures, hatred of religion, or religious convictions. But typically, such dogmatic fervor is necessary but not sufficient to commit such violence; one still needs a cause for the targets one selects.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
A Redaction Re-Visited: NSA Targeted "The Two Leading" Encryption Chips
The NSA vehemently argued that any reporting of any kind on this program would jeopardize national security by alerting terrorists to the fact that encryption products had been successfully compromised. After the stories were published, U.S. officials aggressively attacked the newspapers for endangering national security and helping terrorists with these revelations.
U.S. First Shields Its Torturers and War Criminals From Prosecution, Now Officially Honors Them
he U.S. government unambiguously signaled to the world that not only does it regard itself as entirely exempt from the laws of wars, the principal Nuremberg prohibition against aggressive invasions, and global prohibitions on torture, but believes that the official perpetrators should be honored and memorialized provided they engage in these crimes on behalf of the U.S. government.
What Foreign Policy "Debate" Means on "Face the Nation"
There is, needless to say, an enormous amount of viewpoint, experience and mentality homogeneity among these Face the Nation panelists extending far beyond their vocal enthusiasm for the attack on Iraq. The fact that the nation's most watched Sunday morning news TV show convenes such similar "experts" to comment on foreign policy illustrates how illusory is the supposed "free debate" which establishment media outlets permit.
Friday, November 27, 2015(2 comments)
Why the CIA is smearing Edward Snowden after the Paris attacks
Snowden did not tell terrorists anything they did not already know. They have known for years that the US government is trying to monitor their communications. What the Snowden disclosures actually revealed was that the US government is monitoring the Internet communications and activities of hundreds of millions of innocent people under the largest program of suspicionless mass surveillance ever created.
Sunday, November 22, 2015(4 comments)
CNN Punished Its Own Journalist for Fulfilling a Core Duty of Journalism
Labott's crime wasn't that she expressed an opinion. It's that she expressed the wrong opinion: after Paris, defending Muslims, even refugees, is strictly forbidden. I've spoken with friends who work at every cable network and they say the post-Paris climate is indescribably repressive in terms of what they can say and who they can put on air.
Interview with Charlie Savage on Obama's War on Terror Legacy
Very early on in his administration, I defended Obama from the "he's-just-like-Bush" critique as premature. But six months later, the evidence piled up higher and higher that there was far more continuity with the Bush/Cheney model than almost anyone expected.
Why Is The Daily Beast's Russia Critic Silent About So Many Hideous Abuses?
What could possibly explain Hamad's stunning, disgraceful silence about these massacres, abuses, injustices, and extreme levels of avoidable human suffering? One might conclude from his utter silence that he supports these heinous actions. Or perhaps he is an apologist for the perpetrators, seeking to conceal their culpability by never acknowledging these crimes?
Friday, October 30, 2015(4 comments)
Anti-Israel Activism Criminalized in the Land of Charlie Hebdo and "Free Speech"
As more and more people around the world recognize the criminal and brutal nature of the Israeli government, its loyalists have been increasingly trying literally to criminalize activism against the Israeli occupation. For that reason, "pro-Israel" activists this week celebrated this French assault on basic free speech rights.
Monday, October 26, 2015
BBC Protects U.K.'s Close Ally Saudi Arabia With Incredibly Dishonest and Biased Editing
the Saudis, says the anonymous official, are only arming groups such as the "Army of Conquest," but not the al Qaeda affiliate the Nusra Front. What's the problem with this claim? It's obvious, though the BBC would not be so impolite as to point it out: The Army of Conquest includes the Nusra Front as one of its most potent components. This is not even in remote dispute.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Israel Calls a Man Its Soldiers Killed a "Terrorist": Until They Realized He Was an Israeli Jew
Killing a man by two IDF soldiers was a mistake. The soldiers claim, he was acting erratically and tried to grab one of their guns. When he was fatally shot by the IDF, says the paper, he was "believed to be an Arab terrorist." As it turns out, he was not an Arab Palestinian but rather an Israeli Jew. Upon learning this, the "terrorist" designation was officially and "immediately" rescinded.
U.S. Bombs Somehow Keep Falling in the Places Where Obama "Ended Two Wars"
How do you know when you're an out-of-control empire? When you keep bombing and deploying soldiers in places where you boast that you've ended wars. How do you know you have a hackish propagandist for a president? When you celebrate him for "ending two wars" in the very same places that he keeps bombing.
U.S. State Department "Welcomes" News That Saudi Arabia Will Head U.N. Human Rights Panel
Saudi Arabia--easily one of the world's most brutally repressive regimes--was chosen to head a UN Human Rights Council panel provoked indignation around the world. Most of the world may be horrified at the selection of Saudi Arabia to head a key U.N. human rights panel, but the U.S. State Department most certainly is not. Quite the contrary: they seem quite pleased about the news.
Two Short Paragraphs that Summarize the US Approach to Human Rights Advocacy
What baffles me most about U.S. political discourse: how -- whenever it's time to introduce the next "humanitarian war" or other forms of attack against the latest Evil Dictator or Terrorist Group of the Moment -- so many otherwise intelligent and well-reasoning people are willing to believe that the U.S. Government is motivated by opposition to human rights abuses and oppression.
NYT Claims U.S. Abides by Cluster Bomb Treaty: The Exact Opposite of Reality
As Americans, we should feel proud that our government, though refusing to sign the cluster ban treaty, has nonetheless "abided by its provisions" -- if not for the fact that this claim is totally false. The U.S. has long been and remains one of the world's most aggressive suppliers of cluster munitions, and has used those banned weapons itself in devastating ways.
Thursday, August 27, 2015(7 comments)
Jorge Ramos Commits Journalism, Gets Immediately Attacked by Journalists
What is more noble for a journalist to do: confront a dangerous, powerful billionaire-demagogue spouting hatemongering nonsense about mass deportation, or sit by quietly and pretend to have no opinions on any of it and that "both sides" are equally deserving of respect and have equal claims to validity?
Tuesday, August 25, 2015(6 comments)
Email from a Married, Female Ashley Madison User
The private lives and sexual choices of fully formed adults are usually very complicated and thus impossible to understand -- and certainly impossible to judge -- without wallowing around in the most intimate details, none of which are any of your business. That's a very good reason not to try to sit in judgment and condemn from afar.
Friday, August 21, 2015(2 comments)
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.
John Cook Is Leaving The Intercept To Retun To Gawker At The End Of The Year
The Intercept's editor-in-chief, John Cook, who spent the year tripling our staff size and significantly increasing our daily journalistic output, is leaving at the end of the year to return to Gawker Media. Deputy Editor Ryan Tate will continue to work with John and the rest of the newsroom to effect a smooth transition until the search for Cook's permanent replacement, already underway, is completed.
Thursday, October 30, 2014(14 comments)
The Inside Story of Matt Taibbi's Departure From First Look Media
Taibbi's departure means that First Look has lost a talented, unique, and influential journalistic voice before he published a single word. After months of struggle and negotiation, The Intercept has arrived at the point where it can function effectively: with full editorial freedom and an ample budget. But First Look and Taibbi failed to reach a similar mutual understanding.