Do Glenn Greenwald And His Fans Really Care More Than You?

In his zeal to embody everything execrable in contemporary leftish discourse, Glenn Greenwald has newly metamorphosed into The Rich White Guy Playing A Self-Serving Race Card.

Greenwald and his roving crew of asskissers and disciplinarians are very concerned about the way the surveillance apparatus disproportionately focuses on U. S. Muslims. But what really concerns them, more than anything it seems, is whether your concern is equal to theirs, as scientifically measured by your regard for Greenwald and Maz Hussain’s recent article in The Intercept.

The thinking appears to be as follows:

1. Being unsurprised by the article is the same as being unconcerned with its topic.

2. If you are unsurprised — that is, unconcerned — it can only mean one thing:

a story has to be about white people in order to be really exciting and important [to you].

It’s absolutely unthinkable that your reluctance to applaud truly owes to the article imparting almost nothing that any well-read person doesn’t already know, apart from the names and backgrounds of five high-status targets of surveillance. Or that by placing its five subjects largely outside the context of what we already know about surveillance of Muslims, and by omitting any mention of other surveilled categories at all, the effect is actually minimizing. Or that its delayed publication follows even more-extreme-than-usual hype from Greenwald about fireworks and such, and thereby invites disappointment.

Since your objections are rooted in racism, Greenwald and his crew feel no obligation at all to meet them head on. There is no onus to demonstrate exactly why you should join them in extolling one more needlessly prolix article about shit we mostly know, which, in keeping with Leak Keeper custom, emphasizes victims of high social status, and which is unique for the genre mainly in how much space it devotes to government officials touting the rigor of their warrant process. Instead, they’ll just find a hundred and one reasons to call you racist, callous and selfish. As we know, there is no such thing as a reasonable, substantive objection to anything Greenwald does. So Greenwald and his acolytes need never be reasonable and substantive in reply.

But wait! We know that Snowden provided all the documents a year ago. If Greenwald really really cares about abuses against Muslims, why has it taken this long to write about it in such detail and to release the documents on which the article is based?  Why aren’t the terribly concerned  advocates of Muslim people calling Greenwald to account for this, instead of cherry-picking Muslim avatars of their awe-inpiring concern, pursuant to smearing their insufficiently impressed comrades? Surely, the Greenwald RT, coveted though it is, can’t compete with keeping journalists genuinely responsible and public-spirited.

I mean, without further information, what can the Impressively Concerned Friends of Muslims and Glenn Greenwald conclude from this, but that Greenwald and his colleagues have been irresponsible in waiting on this:

For years, the government has succeeded in having such challenges dismissed on the ground that the various plaintiffs lack standing to sue because they could not prove that they were personally targeted.

Thanks to Snowden’s disclosures, those seeking to obtain such a ruling now have specific cases of surveillance against American citizens to examine.

What are we to make of this suprisingly candid passage:

Richard Clarke, a former counterterrorism official in the Clinton and Bush administrations, served on the recent White House intelligence review panel convened to address concerns raised by the Snowden revelations. If he had seen the NSA spreadsheet, Clarke says, he would have asked more questions about the process, and reviewed individual FISA warrants.

“Knowing that, I would specifically ask the Justice Department: How many American citizens are there active FISAs on now?” he says. “And without naming names, tell me what categories they fall into—how many are counterterrorism, counterintelligence, espionage cases? We’d want to go through [some applications], and frankly, we didn’t. It’s not something that five part-time guys can do—rummage through thousands of FISA warrants.”

Am I missing something, or is it exceedingly clear that, at the very least, the spreadsheet should have been released as soon as it was obtained? Shouldn’t this provoke long overdue scrutiny of Greenwald’s proclaimed inversion of the journalistic pyramid, in which the most important details are disclosed last?

Perhaps all the people on the spreadsheet were made aware of its contents a year ago. Perhaps there is an equally satisfactory answer for not furnishing Richard Clarke with the spreadsheet before the review panel convened. If so, Greenwald and Hussain should have addressed these important details in the article. With these questions still open, the lack of curiosity among people like this, this and this — so keen to discipline Greenwald’s detractors — seems very much at odds with their superior politics.


I think it’s largely self-evident to any well-informed person that the Intercept article imparted nothing new. Greenwald and co even seem to concede this, by insisting not on the article’s novelty, but rather that the lack of same should be no impediment to applause or handwringing. Still, for those painstaking point missers among us, the case against surprise is as follows:

1. While the article is supported by an NSA document, the story is mostly about the FBI, the agency tracking the five men. Surveillance of Muslims by the FBI has been widely covered, such as in this Nation article from October of last year. The Greenwald/Hussain article even links to, and quotes, this 2011 Wired article on the topic. That the NSA and the FBI share data is widely known. The FBI also collects signals intelligence of its own via its Data Intercept Technology Unit.

2. In 2011, AP began publishing a lengthy series on collusion between the CIA and the NYPD in surveilling Muslim groups, a project that began in 2001 and ended only last year, and involved warrantless spying on, and infiltration of, mosques, political groups, student groups, and unaffiliated Muslim social life over the entire Northeast. While there is little or no mention of the NSA in this series, the surveillance is actually more dramatic and disturbing than that covered by The Intercept, by virtue of its scale, its independence from any judicial oversight, and the de facto federalizing of a municipal police force.

3. Since we know that American Muslims have been targets of assassination, we can infer that they are first targets of NSA surveillance, since we know that the NSA provides the signals intelligence to the CIA that makes these murders possible. Unsurprisingly, drone targets Anwar al-Aulaqi and Samir Kahn, both U.S. citizens, are on the spreadsheet that is the basis for The Intercept article.


Greenwald’s Fireworks Finale Postponed

What a Fucking Asshole

In Conclusion

Take Your Drip and Stick It

A Harbinger of Journalism Saved

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147 Responses to Do Glenn Greenwald And His Fans Really Care More Than You?

  1. abraham vig says:

    The endless parade of endorsing Greenwald with negative publicity that encourages his defenders, while pretending to be criticizing yet doing no criticizing of anything meaningful.

    Dorothy Parker at the Algonquin? Perez Hilton on the internet?

    How about something other than criticizing him with this apertif-fueled rant about his corporate-ness being evil due to corporate stuff being so corporationy? Actually picking apart one of his essays and showing how his legal reasoning is wrong, his assessment of sociopolitical developments is flawed, or his use of facts is biased for confirmation of a theme he’s selling, could you do that? At least 15 essays on him, and you haven’t yet. Why, it looks like you’re just trying to keep him in the public eye with TMZ publicity.

    • Tarzie says:

      Hi Oxy:

      As I think I have said before, my main interest is in the meta narrative. In Greenwald and Co as gatekeepers and shapers of our discourse.

      But you are more than welcome to take as much space here as you like to ‘pick apart one of his essays and [show] how his legal reasoning is wrong’ etc. I mean that sincerely. Since you seemingly have a legal background, you are far better equipped than I am to do this.

      Why don’t you do that now, with the recent Intercept piece as your jumping off point. Seriously, I would be really interested. After all, seems to me you are easily as guilty of doing the same thing over and over again as I am. If you start contributing in this way, I might stop deleting your lovingly crafted comments.

      PS I find the Dorothy Parker comparison extremely flattering.

  2. robertmstahl says:

    You are a treasure, Tarzie. Greenwad is a joke. William Binney, hopefully, is on his way to a victory in the Supreme Court and we should support him. Never forget that Binney states the evidence presented by Greenwad&Co as supportive of his case about the unconstitutionality of massive collection (and, distribution!), but it ends there. Instead of encrypting, then decoding using constitutional means to track criminals, and only criminal behavior, Thin Thread is genius. Really, for all that is said on the topic, Binney has the first and last word.

    Let us all support William Binney through a hearing with the Supreme Court, and reinstate Thin Thread like it was designed to work in the first place. There is not another way to act constitutionally, and criminals do their very best to keep secret, don’t they?

  3. Greenwald’s inversion of the journalistic pyramid, in which the biggest, most important stories, are saved for last
    This description is really useful, thank you.

    It suggests another, related inversion going on, this time at the meta-narrative level: the shift of focus from the story to writer and audience. (I’m kind of riffing on…basically your entire Greenwald project, forgive me.)

    Obviously the journalist-as-story has deep roots, back to Mailer and Capote and Wolfe (even earlier, I’d say, given Riis and Sinclair’s fame), but that work was, though impressionistic, still grounded in the recounting and analysis of facts. It was just that the journalist was no longer invisible, but an acknowledged participant in the making of the story.

    With recent developments, and I’d say Greenwald is the/an exemplar of this, the story takes a backseat to the writer’s brand and the audience’s reception thereof. If the reception is unacceptably tepid, disciplining happens, as you’ve detailed here. Or Reddit mods get blamed. If the reception is acceptably laudatory – like say with Pulitzers and Oscar noms – then we get lots of reminders of that. The focus always slides from the (very temporary) subject back to the writer.

    This isn’t journalism and it certainly isn’t activist journalism. Keeping this a secret for over a year is indefensible, yet there’s hardly a murmur of protest. No one, least of all GG and Hussain, are asking “what is to be done?”. Instead, we’re all asked to prove our loyalty to *the writers*.

    Or, as Emma Q. said recently:

    @OLAASM celebrity is the darling of neoliberalism— Emma Quangel (@m_anyfesto) July 10, 2014

    Celebrity is all about personalizing and dispersing critical energy. That’s so revoltingly evident in this whole stupid fizzly fireworks fail.

    Also, I wanted to pluck this out — shit we mostly know, which, in keeping with Leak Keeper custom, emphasizes victims of high social status — because it deserves more attention in general. Not from you, just on principle.

  4. robertmstahl says:

    Instead, encrypting then decoding…. makes Thin Thread genius.

  5. robertmstahl says:

    Ever see A Theft by Deception by Larken Rose? Statutes are the law, regulations the means to apply the statutes. But, where taxes are concerned, the manipulation of the regulations obfuscates the statutes altogether. Juror’s prudence should maintain that the obligation of law is statutory. Greenwad is just another regulation ignorant of statute.

  6. Peter says:

    Maybe Glenn could find some time in his breakneck schedule with the Snowden Affair to talk to, and clarify, NSA whistleblower Russ Tice’s allegations:

    Russ was a primary source in the 2005 NYT piece on NSA spying and I think Glenn is just the kind of guy with enough ‘street cred’ to pull this into the light of day. Make a nice headline at The Intercept, I would think. Something like “NSA Whistleblower Held Senate Candidate Obama’s Wiretap Paperwork In His Hands”.

    • Tarzie says:

      Yeah. Very odd the way GG keeps Tice at arm’s length. Maybe he feels he’s not credible enough.

      • Peter says:

        “Maybe he feels he’s not credible enough. ”

        That’s why I inserted the cautionary “to clarify” regarding Mr. Tice. Absent documents — and boy do they hate leaked documents — then some good old fashion journalistic curiosity and inquiry would suffice.

  7. haptic says:

    I saw this RTd by Crabapple earlier today:

    It struck me that, if we are to be virtuous, we should probably excoriate these Muslims for their internalized racism and privileged lack of concern for racist counter-terrorism policy.

  8. haptic says:

    Also, I don’t know if you caught it, but I spent a good part of yesterday reflecting on the counterposition of these two fragments [my emphasis]:

    I think we will end the big stories in about three months or so [June or July 2014]. I like to think of it as a fireworks show: You want to save your best for last. There’s a story that from the beginning I thought would be our biggest, and I’m saving that. The last one is the one where the sky is all covered in spectacular multicolored hues. This will be the finale, a big missing piece. Snowden knows about it and is excited about it. Afterwards, there’ll be more to release—I made a promise to Snowden that we’d get as much of the archive out as possible—but I think the big media splashes will probably be over.

    “The Man Who Knows Too Much”, GQ, May, 2014

    • Tarzie says:

      I did catch it. I love the petulance of the tweet. How silly you are media for taking him at his word! But I’m confused, is there going to be a finale or not? July will be over before we know it. Is there a new date to put stars by?

      • haptic says:

        It’s a genre.

      • Tarzie says:

        I wonder what’s going to happen first:

        1. Greenwald realizes he’s the ultimate media insider, largely as a result of the mainstream media’s willingness to tout him as the midwife of its rebirth

        2. They get really sick of his self-superior hectoring and entertainingly ruin him.

      • “Dear Media” is pretty rich, nice twofer though, positions GG as an outsider and drips with the condescension he seems to adore. You gotta wonder when the PT Barnum act is gonna wear thin, but if it hasn’t by now with his fans I don’t suppose it ever will.

        So this is the story he postponed? It took three months? It’s just bizarre, after all this, there’s a quarter billion dollar media venture, tons of high profile hires, a huge stockpile of government secrets. And this is what they’re putting out…occasionally? I don’t get it.

      • Tarzie says:

        It’s really really weird. It’s like the point of First Look is to prevent news.

      • Dear Media: No, you deranged, unhinged, pathetic, cowardly, lazy sociopaths, this story is not the “finale.” #YouAintSeenNothinYet

      • Tarzie says:

        @ggreenbacks lives!

      • babaganusz says:

        Kandy, you forgot to include “drooling authoritarians” somewhere in there.

    • newcrownvic says:

      This is probably the most bizarre development in the Snowden/Greenwald spectacle. As you quote, Greenwald says, “this will be the finale. a big missing piece.” The latest Intercept article isn’t, however, the missing piece of anything and it’s hardly a finale. Last year they revealed tapping of the German chancellor’s personal cell-phone, backdoor access to all the big social media sites, and data-mining of millions. We’re supposed to be all ZOMG about surveillance on the lawyers of terrorists and Muslim civil rights leaders?

      Either Greenwald’s an idiot or he balked at publishing his big story (or aspects of it) due to government pressure and rather than eating crow, as he should, he’s throwing it back with silly claims of racism aimed at the unimpressed.

      • Tarzie says:

        He’s claiming this isn’t the finale.

        I don’t share your amazement at the early stories — I truly don’t give a fuck about Angela Merkel’s phone — though will concede they at least occasionally imparted things that weren’t widely known, which they quickly started telling us over and over again.

      • newcrownvic says:

        Yeah, i got that he’s claiming it’s not the finale now. I was speculating (rather pointlessly I’ll admit) from the perspective that he’s full of shit. He said the finale would come out in June/July and that it was going to be about “Who have been the NSA’s specific targets? Are they political critics and dissidents and activists? Are they genuinely people we’d regard as terrorists?” Check and check. The roll out of this story with the last minute holding (as you mention in the post) also suggests that it was likely the finale. Now he says that this wasn’t the finale and there are going to be many other stories to come from the archive. He appears to be trying to walk back what he said earlier.

        Your post busts him and he knows it. There’s little substantive/new in his article and he can only criticize those calling him out. This is a great point btw, “by placing its five subjects largely outside the context of what we already know about surveillance of Muslims, and by omitting any mention of other surveilled categories at all, the effect is actually minimizing.” There’s no small number of people in the US who probably feel more comfortable with the NSA now; they’re only going after Muslims after all.

      • nomad says:

        I was just wondering. Maybe he was actually prevented by the government from publishing his intended finale, which actually remains undisclosed, and substituted a more innocuous story instead as a coverup? And which he has to massage as if it were a big deal?

  9. Michael says:

    Ughhhh, Glenn Greenwald. I don’t really have anything else to add.

    Wait, yes I do.

    Is it weird that I feel nothing when I hear about government surveillance because Big Retailer has been fucking surveilling me since I got my first credit card (classic case of desensitivity)? I mean, fucking Visa and my cellphone provider probably know just about as much about me as any NSA surveillocrat could find out, and Visa is a far less accountable and more mysterious entity (at least to me; how do those magical cards work?) than the US government.

    It seems like such a strange problem to focus on. I mean, why is surveillance or breach of privacy anymore outrageous than when a boss fires a worker and takes away his or her ability to eat or care for children or live a decent life? That seems to me totally outrageous, it happens all the time, and we see it happen. But the outrageousness of it is made invisible by this comparatively minor issue.

    I’m embarrassed to say, though, that I was a bit of a Glenn Greenwaldite when I was a freshman in college. Oh, the foibles of youth!


    • Tarzie says:

      I’m embarrassed to say, though, that I was a bit of a Glenn Greenwaldite

      Most of us around here know that sense of regret. I wonder who that person was that didn’t notice he’s entirely bereft of good qualities.

    • Tarzie says:

      Well the Leak Keepers are fond of saying Facebook can’t arrest or kill you, but of course it can, and does, provide data to the government on request.

      I think a distinction can be made between commercial surveillance of all users and, say, the FBIs targeting of Muslims, but, again, the complicity of private enterprise with the state makes this distinction largely meaningless.

      • Michael says:

        Yes, I hear that a lot–that the state has coercive powers that business lacks–but then I end up thinking, like you do, about the spider’s web of connections between the state and corporate sectors. It all runs together for me.

        Also, people tend to forget that business has coercive powers that the state lacks. For instance, it can take the bread right out of your mouth for the most absurd reasons, while the American state is obliged to feed even those prisoners it despises most (though that food will likely be substandard).


      • Most of us around here know that sense of regret. I wonder who that person was that didn’t notice he’s entirely bereft of good qualities.

        It is funny that this blog seems to be the meeting place for members in the Society Former Glenn Admirers. I know that’s why I joined.

        Although in our defense, I do think that Pre-First Look GG was at least somewhat willing to go after the ruling class as a whole. At the beginning of the Snowden affair it seemed like there was going to be a focus on the nexus of public and private institutions in that larger system of discipline and control to refer to below. I think I remember the first major revelations being about the cooperation with the NSA by Google, Facebook etc. This angle seems to have been left to fallow. But that might have been projection on my part, as my admiration at the time could have let me impute motives to GG/Snowden that weren’t actually there.

        In hindsight it’s telling that Snowden chose Cincinnatus as his nom de leak, as contrary to the anecdote which describes him as a humble farmer, he was in fact a Roman patrician deeply committed to foiling the plebes in their struggle for political rights. In fact, his status as a “humble farmer” was due to his exile and the confiscation of his estates in punishment for his son’s commission of crimes against the plebes that were apparently too extreme even for the brutal tastes of the Roman ruling class to let slide.

        Generally, I view admiration for the Romans as one of those red flags that function as the proverbial tip of the iceberg for the signature pathologies of our culture. In this cases it makes clear that GG, Snowden and their ilk are, wittingly or unwittingly, committed to replacing the unprincipled oligarchy with a principled one. So, for myself at least, I think some of the earlier admiration was mistaking his attacks on the specific ruling class we have now for attacks on the idea of a ruling class generally.

      • Tarzie says:

        Yeah, class warrior he ain’t. But that was apparent from his free speech absolutism. Greenwald’s trajectory from 2005 to the present is very odd. I think it’s a mistake to credit him with much more than opportunism, but if you look at the record, he seems like a libertarian at heart.

        It’s interesting that you bring up PRISM. He was very adamant about corporate collusion — so was Cheney hagiographer Gellman — but then suppressed most of the slide deck that might have supported his claim. So the corps lied their way out and he was credited with writing a shoddy story. Every now and then he still talks about how corps and the nsa are two spokes on the same wheel, that is, when he’s not touting private industry’s tempering influence. He’s always talking out of both sides of his mouth. It’s all marketing.

        To me, we knew everything we needed to know about Snowden and Greenwald and where their little reality show was headed when they campaigned against Manning right out of the gate.

      • Yeah, the Manning trashing was the final nail in the coffin for me (and your pieces in particular were influential on my thinking). I think you are right that, if anything, he’s a garden variety libertarian at best. I don’t think that’s necessarily mutually exclusive to opportunism though. If you’ll permit a bit of amateur psychologizing, I think the opportunism is in service to gratification of his ego as a fighter for justice as much as it is for money and fame. Which makes it a bit harder for him to recognize in himself. Hence the anger and defensiveness when people point out the way in which his actions often serve power or otherwise criticize his motives. It’s too great an ego threat for him to do anything but lash out at any implication he is something other than a white knight for justice.

      • Tarzie says:

        Yeah. I think he believes his own myth. I guess that’s part of what makes him so credible to his followers.

      • babaganusz says:

        “… if anything, he’s a garden variety libertarian at best. I don’t think that’s necessarily mutually exclusive to opportunism though.”

        did i miss a memo or otherwise not get exposed to very many libertarians yet? was this just a drily-crafted Understatement From Hell? does ‘garden variety’ mean selfless in the cause of libertad? my impression has been that the common self-identified libertarian is opportunistic above most else…

    • haptic says:

      I don’t believe complacence about the trajectory of nobody-left-behind surveillance practices in the 21st century is well advised. I think it’s a grave issue. Altogether too much has been made of the distinction between the government surveilling us and corporations surveilling us. I don’t think that is a prima facie important distinction. What is worrying about it all doesn’t really respect that distinction. I don’t think your habituation to being surveilled on a regular basis should lead you to be complacent about the subject matter that has been monopolized in recent months by these people.

      What upsets me about the coverage of the Snowden stuff has been the infantilization of the issue, the commodification of rebellion, the peddling of false hope in bankrupt systemic remedies, the needless “strategic” compromises to imagined “public opinion”, the reluctance to acknowledge that the only real remedies are radical ones, the marginalization of authentic anti-system action in the headlong approval-seeking dive towards the middle, the unbearable eulogizing, mythologizing and self-congratulation, the brutal suppression of dissenting opinions, the pretend-repudiation of establishment behavior while perfectly instantiating it, the conventionalism sold as disruption, the monetizing, the brand-building, the gatekeeping, the patronizing, the censorship, the opportunism, the souring and fragmentation of a nascent and well-meaning goodwill for whistleblowers which had grown up around people like Chelsea Manning, and the trend towards celebrating the symbolism of the whole thing while remaining in denial about how the rot is only sinking in deeper.

      • Michael says:

        You’re probably correct that my complacence is not admirable and something I should resist–but I only have so much energy, and privacy is a “right” I just don’t care much about.

        Your second paragraph captures very well the noxious soup that is the current debate on this matter. Kudos!


      • Tarzie says:

        I think my position is somewhere between yours and haptic’s. I would rather see surveillance discussed as but one small part in the whole system of discipline and control. I would ratify everything in haptic’s list of objections and add something about the minimizing focus on the NSA vs every other element in the whole apparatus, meaning not just the private sector, but municipal police, prisons, etc.

      • Goldfish Training Institute says:

        I’m in the tarzie camp on this as well. The surveillance is one of their tactics. In tandem with, in collusion with, working together with the corporations. Since both the bourgeois government and the corps are enemies of the working class, it’s all of the same monster.

        Oppressed and marginalized people get the shit kicked out of them with or without this tactic. Activists need workarounds to it to have successful operations and actions. To me, that’s how surveillance should be thought about and approached: How can liberation movements be successful in spite of its presence?

        But the overarching problems are imperialism and capitalism and its oppression. Surveillance is one of the tactics working towards those ends, Greenwald and Snowden and their collusionists are monsters in that respect since they work with power, not against it.

        And where the fuck ARE the docs on Israel intelligence.

      • Tarzie says:

        Good to see you back. I thought you’d forgotten about us.

      • TheKid says:

        That post was visceral.

    • mardy says:

      “I think the opportunism is in service to gratification of his ego as a fighter for justice as much as it is for money and fame. Which makes it a bit harder for him to recognize in himself. Hence the anger and defensiveness when people point out the way in which his actions often serve power or otherwise criticize his motives. It’s too great an ego threat for him to do anything but lash out at any implication he is something other than a white knight for justice.”

      I agree with this. I suggested this a few months back when I noticed his behavior in comments, but I thinks it’s a problem generally for most people in the realm of politics, and I believe it’s a major reason why things don’t change. The era of Obama really highlighted this.

  10. Phil says:

    I also feel there’s a danger in shifting the narrative from “The NSA is spying on all Americans” to “The NSA is spying on Muslims.” As Tarzie noted in his fine post, this is basically old news (though the specifics are new). We’ve known Muslims have been the target of FBI/NSA/NYPD, etc surveillance for years. And such programs always have majority support and show no signs of ceasing.

    Let me be clear, I do not condone blanket spying on Muslims or any kind of racial profiling. That being said, the sad reality is so many Americans still fall into the false “war on terror” paradigm that such a spying program would unquestionably be popular. To the extent that there was any public uprising over the NSA and related issues over the past couple of years, it was because it affected everyone. If Greenwald & First Look change the narrative back to look at what they’re doing to Muslims, then we’re going back to a debate from 2002 again. A debate which those of us on the side of privacy lost big time.

    Focusing on these five individuals (while ignoring and of course redacting the many other names on that list) is missing the forest for the trees.

    • Tarzie says:

      I agree. It bothers me that we have absolutely no idea who else is on that list and why they ended up deeper in the net along with Muslims. Mind you, Greenwald and pals could be planning to disclose that at a later time, but it could have been covered in the same article and certainly should have been. All of these details should have been covered at the beginning.

    • Tom Allen says:

      When asked about this on the Reddit Ask Me Anything, Hussain wrote in part:

      >>The five people whom we based the story on represent people whose identities we were able to ascertain from their email address, we were able to get in touch with, and who agreed to take part in the story. As we mention in the article there were indeed people on this list who were surveiled at least ostensibly as part of investigations into illegal activity (of course we have no way of evaluating the substance of those allegations but at least the pretense was there).

      >>Given the above constraints part of our intention in profiling these five is to show that even [if] the system itself can serve a legitimate purpose, as presently designed it leads to abusive outcomes where prominent public citizens end up in a surveillance dragnet which we’d previously believed was only intended to catch spies and terrorists.

      So they specifically didn’t want to look at the general public. It’s when prominent individuals — people like the reporters themselves — are targeted that they feel the government has crossed a line. (“I’ve done everything in my life to be patriotic. I served in the Navy, served in the government, was active in my community—I’ve done everything that a good citizen, in my opinion, should do.” — Gill) After all, who can the reader identify with if not a senior adviser from the Bush Administration?

      • Tarzie says:

        It’s when prominent individuals — people like the reporters themselves — are targeted that they feel the government has crossed a line.

        I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate. You’re part right certainly. I think Greenwald and Hussain think these guys are likely to elicit more interest by virtue of their prominence, and Hussain seems to think spy/terrorist and prominent public citizen are exclusive categories. But clearly GG and Hussain are concerned that these men are also distinguished by being law abiding, even conservative people and that the burden of probable cause doesn’t seem to have been met.

  11. diane says:

    There’s a reason why the Nooz Indu$try was tagged with that seriously undigestable – when a person feels free to be honest with their gut instinct- E$tate Word (as in: The Fourth Estate). Glenn epitomizes that Nooz Indu$try.

  12. Happy Jack says:

    Would it be considered mighty white of me to point out that one of the subjects of GG’s scoop knew this shit six years ago?

    If we haven’t seen any “reforms” or congressional hearings since then, I’m not sure if GG can keep pretending anything is going to happen. Even the most committed fan will get bored at some point.

  13. There is one notable aspect of the surveillance of these five individuals that may be a new wrinkle the mass surveillance of Muslims of which we were already aware. They are distinguished in that they are all so…distinguished. Two high-powered lawyers, two college professors and the head of CAIR, all of whom are described in the article as hobnobbing with extremely high level government figures.

    So what is new about these revelations is that its not precisely the Muslims targeted angle, but the members of the ruling class as targets angle. I really can’t help but think that part of the shock we are supposed to feel due to this finale is shock that the surveillance extends to those whose privilege and respectability would have insulated them if they were white. Which is kind of a mixed bag, since after all it is racist. But at the same time it takes for granted that economic and social privilege should provide some protection.

    • Tarzie says:

      Yeah, that is really the only thing new about it, and the piece really goes to great lengths to demonstrate both their high status and what fine, law-abiding citizens they are. The Leak Keepers have been overwhelmingly focused on high-status victims, though. Not just this time.

    • babaganusz says:

      There’s still the not-unreasonable speculation that even white elites (whether or not they could be expected to ever turn sour on their fellows/bosses) are kept coloring inside the lines via the hypothetical risk of having their darkest hypothetical skeletons revealed…

  14. So far to the Right I'm on the Left says:

    I wonder if GG made up the government coming in and making claims in order to hype the story? As everyone else said, this story is nothing. It could have been cut in half and it would still be too wordy, and there doesn’t appear to be a single mention of what the government’s concern was, or that the government even contacted them about the story. If nothing else, he should have mentioned the government contact to underscore the seriousness of the story.

    • Tarzie says:

      The story does mention the delay. See this bit:

      Prior to publication, current and former government officials who knew about the story in advance also told another news outlet that no FISA warrant had been obtained against Awad during the period cited. When The Intercept delayed publication to investigate further…

  15. trish says:

    Hi Tarzie,

    Managed to escape the GG drama for a bit, but had to check in when I saw his big finale. Yes, i do think this was the fireworks, blah, blah story. I read his tweet to ‘Dear Media’ to mean it is not the final story, but it is the last explosive one!!

    What strikes me as odd is that Snowden for the most part revealed the ‘mechanics” of how they spy, but when it comes to “who” apart from Merkel and some other foreign leaders, the information he took was about 5 muslims that most people have never heard of. Is it not strange that Snowden, who said he could spy on Obama in minutes, when deciding to provide proof did not go with high profile names, politicians, judges etc, (people that would also be familiar to him) but instead grabbed these names.? I dunno if i were Snowden and i was downloading all the files, and then wanting some that showed ‘who they spied on – information if revealed that could really impact shit – I think it would be much easier to search for familiar names such as (bill gates, hilllary clinton, obama, bush, kagan etc) then the ones he picked.

    I agree with everything you said here. GG has done his usual and gone on the attack. his fans, as usual, are not calling him out on holding this information for a year. he is trying to two step around if this was his “fireworks” story, but it is.

    Life goes on. GG is richer and still a prick. Nothing will change and it is not because people don’t care, they do. But without some true “fireworks” story i think most feel overworked, underpaid, and little energy to do much else. Snowden it seems has no problems getting his russian visa extended. which is also odd.

    • Tarzie says:

      I think it would be much easier to search for familiar names such as (bill gates, hilllary clinton, obama, bush, kagan etc) then the ones he picked.

      While I agree it might have made sense to provide evidence substantiating the claim that any analyst with an email address has all the address holder’s info at their fingertips, the five men profiled were not ‘picked.’ There is a spreadsheet that contains the names of targets and the five men profiled were on the spreadsheet.

      • Jay23 says:

        “it might have made sense to provide evidence substantiating the claim that any analyst with an email address has all the address holder’s info at their fingertips”

        Always thought it weird that Glenn accepted this notion without direct evidence, but then insists he can’t go near Russ Tice’ allegations (which flow logically from Snowden’s claims) because “without documents, they don’t mean anything.”

  16. Stephen says:

    It seems that despite the increase in the speed with which you can get news stories out (leaving aside how new it is), people are holding back for longer and longer. Al Jazeera English recorded a debate with Norman Finkelstein a month ago, and still haven’t aired it. Better to wait until it’s a historical document lest you be accused of ‘crusading’ journalism. History is the new news.

    • wendyedavis says:

      May be so, Stephen. I asked this at The Incest a bit ago, and apparently my comment got through eventually. (‘Polite’ helped, I reckon)

      wendy davis
      11 Jul 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Off topic, and with all due respect:

      When are we going to hear from Matt Taibbi and Jeremy Scahill, please? Their Tweets make it seem as though their book and film tours have wound down, and they tweet…sports opinions.

      It’s all beginning to put me in mind of ‘farmers’ with friends in high places…being paid to *not grow* certain crops.


      Glenn Greenwald
      11 Jul 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Matt is in the process of building his magazine. It takes longer than one might think. It certainly took longer than I thought it was. But he’s making good progress.

      Jeremy is busy on several stories and I expect you’ll hear from him before too long.

      Daily blogging is much different than either trying to build a new, innovative media outlet from scratch or from doing hard-core investigative journalism. The latter two tasks take lots of time, effort and energy to do them right.


      11 Jul 2014 at 4:25 pm

      …hard-core investigative journalism.

      As opposed to PowerPoint slides with clip art dumped on someone journalism, or these select current events can be accessed across the Equator over the internet journalism?

      Can you tell us why Marcy left? That would be good journalism.

      • Tarzie says:

        new, innovative media outlet

        What a joke. It’s a WordPress blog. There is no practical reason why all the writers they’ve hired can’t be producing stories and blog posts. Look at how quickly Vox went up, while all the people involved had full time gigs elsewhere. There is no excuse for it taking this long. Every single thing he does reeks of bullshit.

        (‘Polite’ helped, I reckon)

        Polite likely had nothing to do with it. Rude comments get put up all the time. They simply cherry pick trolls. Your question was posted because Glenn wanted to answer it.

      • wendyedavis says:

        No, I’ meant that I’d asked politely so that he’d answer. Of course it’s an absurd answer. Shoot, I remember doing a satire piece about Arianna announcing at Davos that ‘HuffPo World!!! was coming. That puppy was up before ya could say Jack(ie) Robinson. And these are tech savvy folks, no?

        As far as big media coverage on this current piece, last I’d seen, Kevin Gosztola’s coverage of it at FDL had a total of 12 comments, and I wonder if that’s because folks know there won’t be any legislative or judicial remedies to any of the hundred spy agencies in the security state acronym mix than there were to the 2008 meltdown. Dodd-Frank: hilariously nothing, and even it’s been diluted. The Fraudsters are still at it with total impunity. Well, maybe one or two minor exceptions that prove the point.

        I do wonder if ChéPasa isn’t correct on the ‘narrowing’, and yes, I’d chuckled over GG and friends denouncements of those who didn’t think spying on notable Muslims was huge as…bigots, or whatever.

        Oddly, Pierre the FauxLanthropist bothers me more…most days. Funding First Look seems to have inoculated his ‘projects’ from any scrutiny.

  17. Ché Pasa says:

    by placing its five subjects largely outside the context of what we already know about surveillance of Muslims, and by omitting any mention of other surveilled categories at all, the effect is actually minimizing

    Which I take to be the point of the article and why it was hyped.

    The whole point of the year-long media pageant has been to keep the focus as narrow as possible: on one agency whose surveillance mandate is primarily overseas (thus all the stories about NSA surveillance abroad) on behalf of the DoD. Now, in the context of domestic surveillance by NSA (or is it FBI?), the focus is narrowing again, to these five Muslim-Americans (or four Muslims and an atheist).

    The upshot is to minimize and to normalize the idea of pervasive and sometimes intrusive domestic surveillance — for most people. Of course there must be exemptions for people of sufficient status to deserve them. People like these men. Everyone can agree on this, yes?

    And so it goes.

    Supposedly, these targets now have standing to sue, but the two that have been appearing on all the shows say they are not going to sue. They merely want Congress to perform “adequate oversight.”

    • Tarzie says:

      It’s remarkable how many people find this propaganda disruptive and important. Really sad to see intelligent people jumping on the bandwagon for this story.

  18. poppsikle says:

    A lot of it is organized trolling-as-activism, I am pretty sure is coming from EFF, Jillian York plays a big part in it. They are working really hard to sway opinion, and shift guilt away from Google. They are backing up Greenwald and the Intercept. The whole “Fight for the Future” campaign, they have a FB page also, is using a model of activism but is in fact, propaganda. I don’t trust this either: @xposefacts. Someone has sunk a lot of money and thought into these campaigns, its so devious, its manipulation of people’s wanting to do good. If what Greenwald said was really so wise and important, wouldn’t need all this manipulation and opinion-mining behind it.

    Here is my contribution to resistance to this manipulation, I don’t like it and have been calling it out. Its taking the NSA debate away from where it needs to be. Not to mention, the corporate culprits which are so dangerous to all of our Futures, are wrecking such harm, are not being investigated the way they need to be.

    The Sparkler vs. The Fireworks

    • trinketsforall says:

      Why the emphasis only on EFF?

      • poppsikle says:

        They (EFF) are doing the most devious Twitter campaigns, that is why I brought them up in this comment. My longtime focus has been on Topix, which led me to Google who are profiting off of and protecting them from exposure, also long-involved with the NSA – both of them, since the Sun Microsystem days, which I have posted about on Twitter. Also, I seem to be a magnet for learning/hearing about, so-many cover-ups going on – data journalism etc – its really wide the net that’s been cast to hide what is going on and to shed the guilt there are certainly scared of being held accountable for, because this has affected millions of people’s lives, the Topix scandal.

  19. “As we know, there is no such thing as a reasonable, substantive objection to anything Greenwald does.”

    Not so. If you’re high enough status, you get a somewhat respectful, disappointed response from Greenwald. And all will be well as long as you back the FUCK down in good time.

  20. Hieroglyph says:

    Turns out Cryptome were right about the July ‘war’. Naturally, I’m not sure the beatdown of Gaza is really a war, as such, more a slaughter. On their Twitter feed, Cryptome hinting that Snowden docs, if released, would have stopped this war, and also that the dreadful UK spy legislation might not have passed. I’m sceptical, personally, because our masters get what they want generally, and a few docs would likely make no difference. However, it is interesting that Cryptome think the docs could have been of such huge value. We need to see them, to make our own minds up. And Greenwald won’t let us. Does GG even recognise the moral quagmire he’s entered in retaining these docs?

    I’m only really guessing at GG’s motivations. Perhaps he fears prison, or maybe simply fears the docs might have too much impact. Maybe the docs contain references to alien contact, who knows? But it’s clear to me now that the docs have to be released, all of them, and the only real question is the, admittedly thorny, question of redactions. I think, like Silber, the whole redaction spectacle is just another tool of the deep state, a kind of moral blackmail. Put it this way, if no lives at all were at risk, the NSA and their acolytes would loudly tell us otherwise. I think there are careers at risk, certainly, but that’s really not my problem. However, if there are no redactions, I’m fairly sure everyone involved gets arrested, and the embassy gets stormed, and it’s a whole different level of nastiness. So, yes, thorny.

  21. Thomas Lord says:

    This is a very minor but sincere nit on a style question. In my opinion it would be better to write “I think that the Intercept article [….]” rather than “I think that The Intercept article [….]”.

    The article applies to “article” and is thus not used in its capacity as part of the publication title.

    The abbreviation of the publication title for the sake of syntactic flow is conventional. See how people write about The Guardian, for example.

    Also, I think “The Intercept” is an oddly apt name in light of your criticisms of their work. A funny thing happened to those leaks on the way to the public…

    • Tarzie says:

      Style issue: Yeah, you’re right. Fixed. My posts are littered with tons ‘o shit like that.

    • TheKid says:

      “Also, I think “The Intercept” is an oddly apt name in light of your criticisms of their work. A funny thing happened to those leaks on the way to the public…”

      I see what you did there. I was thinking the same thing a few months ago.

      • Tarzie says:

        Yeah, it’s kinda funny, these instances where they sorta fess up. Like when Snowden says he’s still working for the surveillance establishment.

  22. diane says:

    I suppose, asking Where are the #Snowden docs about Israel? likely amounts to that non answer given when it was discovered that Keyhole/Google Earth forbode satellite photos of that hotpot of Power and $$$$$$$ neighboring the Red [And BLOODY] Sea

  23. trinketsforall says:

    You’re probably correct that my complacence is not admirable and something I should resist–but I only have so much energy, and privacy is a “right” I just don’t care much about.

    So your whole life can and should be open to anyone seeking to learn, pruriently or not, what you do even behind closed doors? Is anything you own, read, eat, wear, consume, use in any way possibly seen as fostering domestic terrorism, which can be interpreted as nearly anything the interpreter wishes and still not likely be challenged by anyone holding true challenge power?

    If mothers can be arrested for leaving their 11-yr-old child in a car, or for leaving their child in a waiting room while the mother is seeing a health care person, do you think those same arresting authorities are generous with you when they’ve assumed you’re doing something they dislike or something over which they’d like to assert their power?

    They’re tough questions, aren’t they?

    • teal says:

      Everyone has to decide for him- or herself how seriously to take invasions of personal privacy. Unfortunately for those who are nonchalant about it, the ramifications of surveillance are universal. Even just making sure one’s own information is secure is not protection from the fallout. Bill Binney is convinced that the Petraeus “scandal” (“He had sex? Oh my god, oh my god!”) was an example of what this mass datmining really is all about.

      That said, trinkets’ reminder of the childsnatching state would have sent me into crisis mode had my kids still been underage. It’s spot-on.

      The fact that most people think of the issue as one of personal rights is proof that this Snowjob has been brilliantly managed. First they talk about indiscriminate mass surveillance, linking it to Facebook and Google to make it All About You, as opposed to About Power – but at the same time talk in such generalities and on such a broad scale that it’s hard to feel there exists a really personal threat. Then they divert attention to the non-issue of how willingly compliant were the corporations (it doesn’t fucking matter! They complied!), of course exonerating that particular group of overlords in the end. Then they let us know that nine of ten being surveilled are innocent of any wrongdoing — “Wait: they’re watching everyone in the universe, and one in ten of the lot are TERRORISTS?!! Watch on, my man!” Finally, they focus on a handful of individuals (muslims, so that’s a relief, right?) to help us forget that we all are under the microscope. They even let the fireworks display be an impotent sputter – “no worries, Glen, we’ve got your back” – such that a collective sigh of boredom is the dénouement.

      • trinketsforall says:

        Well, one might say that a Mark Zuckerberg who wanted to provide a service that’s all about the users would not be the same Mark Zuckerberg who used that service to mine data to resell not just for commercial purposes (hidden objective 1) but also for state surveillance purposes (hidden objective 2 and the real means to gain inside power). One could set up a facebook that makes money only on the format enabling the “sharing” people find so important to their daily lives, without data mining for any purpose. But that would only make the designer/implementer as powerful as a successful video game company, not as powerful as a state surveillance entity.

        I have told people that facebook is like the US Postal Service ransacking your mail for items it can pilfer and resell or hold against you. “No it’s not!” they reply. “I keep up with my old friends from HS on facebook, people I never would have reconnected with otherwise!”

      • Tarzie says:

        The fact that most people think of the issue as one of personal rights is proof that this Snowjob has been brilliantly managed.

        Yep. I remember there was this brief, bizarre period where both Snowden and GG were going on about how it’s in our private moments when we are most ourselves or some shit and how privacy is integral to human creativity. There is a video of GG on his porch in Brazil just yapping inanely along these lines. I think it was done by Vice, which figures.

      • teal says:

        So many Facebook users seem to have a devotion to it that reminds me of religious zealotry. I’ve never used it myself, so am not qualified to analyze the phenomenon, but it’s creepy.

  24. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    That is an amazing screen shot by geronimo:

    There it is, folks: Snowden the imperialist. Thinks the U.S. “should be the world’s policeman” and U.S. support for Israel the least worst option.

    No wonder the media love him.

    • trinketsforall says:

      If I wanted a ready patsy, I’d find a starving actor-wannabe who fancies himself (but isn’t) a technoguru, who had some past history working in peripheral natsec/intel, and who has made himself look desperate on facebook. Then I’d pay him 5-6x what he’s worth, and give him a workstation where any rube could insert a thumb drive and download random data that’s behind only 1 internal firewall.

    • haptic says:

      Geronimo seems to have renounced the quoted tweet.

  25. TheKid says:

    Ha. More incremental fessing up. Good call on that, Tarzie and GTI.

  26. wendyedavis says:

    The nested comments on Facebook have run out, but this is purdy funny nonetheless, and so very open to satirizing. Geronimo’s Tweet and screenshot are incredible work. Does anyone know if he’s posted them at TI? I will say that GG has been tweeting against Israel’s blood-thirsty bombing of Gazan citizens, just for the *current* record.

    WikiCables nailed the Israeli govt. back in the day, of course, with this, if it’s not too off topic.

    • Tarzie says:

      Yeah GG tweets about Gaza and then proudly announces that Snowden has kept it off the front page of the Guardian.

      • wendyedavis says:

        Ah; it was he who’d scrubbed the references, or that the scrubbing was done at his bidding? I hadn’t checked the link to the original.

      • Tarzie says:

        No, he didn’t scrub the references. My comment is about this, tweeted yesterday:

        For most leftish people, the most interesting thing about that front page is that the ongoing atrocity in Gaza is not on it. But clearly not for GG.

        I don’t care about his handwringing tweets. Without marrying them to any recommendation about what to do, it’s just branding. It’s things like the above tweet, and the fact that he has disclosed virtually nothing about Israel’s relationship to the NSA, which show his true concerns and constraints. It’s akin to when he threw Manning under the bus after building his brand on her.

    • TheKid says:

      “they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.

      Of course, what is a humanitarian crisis by Israeli definition and by the standards of any reasonable person are vastly different.”

      The amount of hatred it takes to do something like this.

      And this – “ “- amazing.
      The truth always comes out in the clutch.

  27. wendyedavis says:

    Thank you for the explanation, and yes, an e-friend and I have been discussing academics’ tendencies to be safety valves to the Empire and national security state rather than activist. I followed a lot of the internal links, and was glad to see Alexa O’brien mentioned for her Occupy and Day of Rage work, but dismayed to see that Thomas Drake had so willingly picked up the GW/BW meme. And now I understand the above reference to ‘no Snowden leaks about Israel’.

    Snowden’s “I wanted to start a discussion” seems more true than ever, but such a naif he is about spying having good and bad uses, or however he expressed it. GG, as well, iirc. And “the least worst option”: oh my stars. Well, anyway, back to the garden…

    • Goldfish Training Institute says:

      If there is anything Empire loves, it’s a discussion. Sure, let’s all talk it over because everybody has equal power and equal input and even if we don’t, you know imperialists are going to listen to the little people. No problem. GG and Snowden can go fuck themselves with their imperialist dialogues and discussions that lead nowhere but to the destruction of the powerless..

      “How many kilotons did you say you were dropping on the Gazan people? Sorry, I didn’t hear your response. What was that you said? Oh, you want to know what kind of cheese is on my artisanal cracker?”

  28. haptic says:

    Greenwald did an interview with Kim Zetter from Wired the other day:

    There has been a lot of speculation about the possible existence of a second leaker, ever since Jake Appelbaum, a developer for The Tor Project, and Der Spiegel published the so-called ANT catalogue of NSA surveillance tools and didn’t attribute the document to Snowden. Then last week Jake published a second story in Germany about surveillance of people who use privacy tools, based on what appears to be leaked source code from an NSA datamining tool. That story also wasn’t sourced to Snowden. You’ve said you think there’s a second leaker.

    It’s hard for me because I actually know what’s in the archive and I don’t want to just come out and say: this is in the archive, this isn’t in the archive. But the thing I thought was most notable about that Der Spiegel article Jake did is that they don’t say a single thing about what the source was for those documents, and every single other time Der Spiegel has reported on Snowden documents they say specifically: this came from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. And they were just completely coy and silent on the sourcing for those catalogues. I think that should have been a red flag for a lot of people, in addition to the fact that it wasn’t any of the normal journalists who did that reporting. Everyone knows who got the documents, like me and Laura [Poitras] and Bart [Gellman at the Washington Post].

    And then later:

    So you still hold strong to this idea that there probably is a second source.

    It’s hard for me because I know for certain but I don’t want to be coy and be like well there may be and there may not be but I can’t say for certain because I don’t want to talk about what’s in the archive or not in the archive for the rest of my life… . It’s hard to me to say for certain because there are so many documents.

    So, in effect, “Neither yes nor no (but yes! strongly yes! very yes!) But I can’t say.”

    Greenwald is doing a terrible job of failing to answer the question here and manages to strongly imply that there is a second whistleblower. And it looks as if it is because he just can’t resist boasting.

    • Tarzie says:

      That really is very odd. “It’s hard for me because I know for certain.”

      What’s the boast, though? That he and Snowden inspired another leaker? I think there could be other reasons he wants to float this. I don’t trust a single thing any of these people say.

      • haptic says:

        The boast, as I see it, is simply that he knows this exciting piece of information and can’t resist sharing it, even if it brings heat down on someone.

    • wendyedavis says:

      Zetter: You have characterised this story as the finale in your coverage, the pinnacle of your reporting on this topic. Does this and the other stories now constitute the whole iceberg? (With the understanding that of course you don’t possess everything about the government’s surveillance in your cache of documents.) But is this the peak now?

      GG: When I talked about my finale I just sort of meant…basically I’ve been doing this for a year now so it’s just kind of time for me to do other things. I’m sure there are stories in there that I passed by because I didn’t recognise the significance of it and neither did the other journalists working on it that people who have a different set of understandings about things would. I already have a few stories written that are going to come after this one, so this isn’t my last one. But I do think there are some really big stories left to tell that would probably be very related to what Ron Wyden was saying… . But we have a snippet of what the NSA did. We don’t have anything close to everything that the NSA did. And it’s possible — in fact I think it’s highly probable — that there are things Ron Wyden knows about and was referring to that, for whatever reason, just aren’t in the documents that we have, or we haven’t found them.

      I’d ask about now what the holy hell the folks at Cryptome meant about publishing more leaks, documents, To say that this is getting baroque would be putting it mildly. And how can Applebaum say there is another leaker? Just say it? And gads, so much of that coverage was in German, like the original coverage. What war did they mean, and the way I remember it, it wasn’t so much about *preventing war* John Young had alluded to in the first place.

      • Tarzie says:

        I don’t have the will to find the source for this, but according to GG, Cryptome was expressing an aspiration that someone would publish more. They never said they would be the ones publishing. Nor did they know if anyone would. Young is a bit of a showman in his own right.

        The war they spoke of might have been the assault on Gaza, though it’s not a war in any conventional sense. Since the Gaza atrocities started, John Young has been tweeting up a storm about Greenwald not releasing docs about the NSA’s potential involvement in helping the thing along.

        The NSA is just a tiny little piece in the whole panopticon and they will never disclose more than a tiny piece of information about it. At this point, everything related to these docs is BFD. It’s a distraction. We’ve had a year of being told the same story over and over again. This meta-narrative keeps it fresher than it has a right to be. It’s smoke and mirrors. Time to disengage.

        What a bullshit answer about the finale, btw. He never stops lying.

  29. wendyedavis says:

    I did just googled to try to remember Young’s claims and…obfuscations, and it appears that you’re right. Some coverage was more in line with ‘to make wars’ than prevent them, but what I just read was more the former.

    Yes, NSA is one bit of the Panopticon, not quite TIA, but getting closer. CC cameras everywhere, as in the UK. But yep, I’m tired of it all, but GG has told us he’s tired, too. “…basically I’ve been doing this for a year now so it’s just kind of time for me to do other things..”

    • Tarzie says:

      Cameras everywhere. How primitive.

      • Peter says:

        Glad to see the word/concept of “Panopticon” tossed around as consciousness of that, while not necessarily the intent (can’t prove it), is certainly a primary function of the Snowden revelations: WE SEE EVERYTHING.

        The key drawback to all this technological wizardry is revealed in a joking observation by the rude comic Doug Stanhope: “They can’t keep drugs out of prison and they look in your ass!” Corruptible human element. Combine this eavesdropping power with our knowledge of and experience with human nature and we know we’re in for quite a ride.

  30. forest says:

    completely off-topic. has anyone heard from Silber in the last month or so?

  31. diane says:

    Oh my, I’m tickled by you (and smiling – open mouthed … teeth showing … momentarily peaceful …happy – like that: has become a precious gift I’ve come to truly treasure.):

    It’s biased to pose questions that presume the onus of ending a racist occupation is on the occupied.

    Thank you so much, that mind set is what allows stunningly venal and lethal shit like this to happen:

    071314 Facebook ‘Friends’ Its City, Pays for Officer – Company Gives No-Strings-Attached Gift to Menlo Park, Calif., to Fight Truancy and Help Businesses Plan for Emergencies

    It would take a lifetime to sum up and clarify the VENAL in that event. It would take a lifetime –and then more many lifetimes – to address the historic and current: Who, What, When, Why, How, How Many of it all.

    • diane says:

      (Where’s that Wilson Sonsini, et al Page Mill/ [Sand Hill [Roads]] Esquire, Mikey Arrington/[Andreessen ‘Family, et al]/TechCrunch/Paul Carr/Sarahcuda’sPando and London Inc.’s, Grand Meridian Time, NIck Denton’s/Valleywag.GAWKER? Pointing elsewhere, of course. … not to diminish some of their employees exposes, many of them are quite likely valid.)

      • diane says:

        (Nitasha Tiku was allowed to, ever so carefully, …… touch down on that FESTERING, VENAL, Totally UNREPORTED ON …… Sly Con Valley tumor of stunning inequality…….here (since her BOSS is in the London Inc./GMT Zone where time, begins and ends?):

        07/15/14 Even Tech Bloggers Hate Themselves

        Mean while: ExPat Brit, Paul Carr got paid for this stunningly pathetic shabby, and insulting bit of Pando carez about all the Sly Con Valley females who have been mercilessly mowed over, along with all the rest of the targets:

        071514 There is no reason whatsoever for this post to be on Pando )

      • Tarzie says:

        Hadn’t realized that you were commenting in ref to something on Twitter. You’re prolific; that’s why I notice it more. Carry on. Done fighting with you.

  32. Bill Wolfe says:

    It was so long ago that I forgot where I saw it, but I recall a documentary of how the Homeland Security and FBI and their Joint Task Forces and local police forces conducted a political infiltration and entrapment operation on a bunch on kids (anarchists) who were protesting the republican national convention.

    They turned them into domestic terrorists. And prosecuted them under federal law.

    Ditto numerous examples of FBI harassment of animal rights and environmental groups.

    Ditto the jailing of Tim DeChristopher (Bidder 70).

    There are similar examples in the hacker world and in the black community (New Jim Crow).

    This to me is COINTELRPO on steroids and is far, far far more significant that the reported Muslim professors et al who were spied on – and has zero to do with racism.

    Has Greenwald written about ANY of that?

    • Tarzie says:

      Has Greenwald written about ANY of that?

      Course not. Occasionally talks about Barrett Brown, but that’s pretty much it.

    • Goldfish Training Institute says:

      I only saw this about a week ago and it took me a while to remember where I read it but, like you said, threatening activists is real and ongoing. And this story is about only one political group of activists (Bay Area Committee to Resist Political Repression) that was hit. I wonder how the pro-Palestinian groups are faring given the current atrocities against Gaza. Or the pro-wage worker organizers.

    • wendyedavis says:

      Via WikiLeaks retweet: ‘Is there a plot to shut down CAGE?’

      “CAGE is an independent advocacy organisation working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror. The organisation highlights and campaigns against state policies, striving for a world free from oppression and injustice.

      CAGE has been campaigning against the War on Terror for more than a decade. Its work has focussed on working with survivors of abuse and mistreatment across the globe. Its website is one of the leading resources documenting the abuse of due process and the erosion of the rule of law in the context of the War on Terror. CAGE has delivered more than 750 lectures across the UK, produced cutting edge reports and provided a voice to survivors of the War on Terror through its media work.”

      Yes, WikiLeaks likely correctly surmises that there is indeed a plan to tank their efforts, first by pocketbook.

  33. diane says:

    Okay (the silence has prompted me):

    Sam Biddle, likely always testing limits on Nick Denton’$ thumb, on Valley Wag:

    071614 Fuck Stanford

    071714 <a href=Plan to Destroy California Is Even Crazier in Nutcase's Own Words Plan to Destroy California Is Even Crazier in Nutcase’s Own Words

    (I do take issue with young Sam’s title (or, perhaps, that wasn’t what Sam initially titled it????), it seems that the latter State of California had malicious intent behind it …since even before its proclamation as a: STATE …. of THE UNION exactly whoze fucking union? :0) ;0(……. )

    (Loved Yasha’s TOR[!] piece (likely always testing limits on Thiel/Andreessen/Sonsini/Pando[Tree]$ thumb.), though like most ALLOWED exposes, thoroughly too late to nip it in the bud before things FESTER.)

  34. diane says:

    (anywho, after the last two temporarily failed – as to that flouted REAL TIME!!!!! “NET” -….’carry on’ posts: …it couldn’t at all be clearer that physical face to to face communications..(followed up by that, now … near totally obsolesced, …excepting a handful of MONSTERS, Land Line phone) are far more efficient in communicating thoughts from one concerned human to another.)

  35. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    .@ggreenwald is still doing media crit even though he has the resources to build a real media org, with reporters in Gaza, etc.— Sam Husseini (@samhusseini) July 18, 2014

    • Tarzie says:

      His response was so stupid. First Look announced a 50 million dollar infusion in December and the total is supposed to be 250 million. Glenn and Co are at that point where it’s impossible to keep track of their own bullshit. What a joke.

      • Goldfish Training Institute says:

        Sorry, didn’t realize it was already in your Twitter feed from 5h ago. Feel free to delete.

        But yes so ridiculous.

        I thought about the title of this article “Do Greenwald Fans Really Care More …” yesterday when GG highlighted in his Twitter feed some fucking Zionist commenter off his website who finally decided that Israel was wrong. Or something. Sixty years of occupation didn’t do it. The Intifada didn’t do it. Systematic bombings and terrorism didn’t do it. 300 children killed in Cast Lead didn’t do it. Dude had an a-ha moment and Greenwald parades this imperialist out on Twitter like he’s a hero.

        Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald · Jul 17

        Long-time Israel-defending commenter eloquently renounces his support
        View summary

      • Tarzie says:

        No I saw it because of you. Just now RT’d it.

      • Tarzie says:

        Yeah I saw that and had similar thoughts. Other commenters all patted him on the back also. It’s a variation on Stockholm Syndrome, I think. It pays to have been a piece of shit at some point in your life.

  36. diane says:

    oh …’for fucks sake’ …that fucking slime bag who took stunning and venal advantage of his then mate’s (that female mate is not too pleasant either there, what with Ambassador Cloonster and Eric ‘Prince’ .and Academia!…) FOSTER (vietnamese and totally voiceless … much like Ambassador Jolie’s Kiddles ….) child?

    what a mother fucking cess pool.

    jeesh … what a venal mother fucker … .

    • diane says:

      WOODY ™ [& ROMAN ™, et al ….. ], indeed You’re probably too young to remember, ‘Tarzie’ that icky ‘comic strip’ woody put out in the 70’s , but that, alone, would have outed him as a true creep had any journalists dared to criticize the frighteningly and stunningly SELF ABSORBED AND PATTED ON THE BACK FOR IT WOODY ™, at the time.

  37. Rayanne says:

    Glenn Greenwald ends Israeli apartheid. Nobel Prize awaits.

  38. diane says:

    Bleakly enjoyed this twitter back and forth (thank you!):

    .. especially when [Mark] Ames/Pando name came up ……

    Yup when Pando (most often, Mark Ames and Yasha Levine) notes any inequality in the guts of Sly Con Valley …along the perimeter of Highway 101 (which I do not believe Ames or Levine reside and suffer next to), it’s always as regards to Republicans and Libertarians … never any mention as to the fact that the entirety of Silicon Valley (I can’t think of any exceptions) is governed by DemoRat Congressional House Members most of whom have been in place for decades: Eshoo, Lofgren, Honda, Fong, (with guarding DemRats – Pelosi, Lee, Swalwell, Speier, and Medicare/Medi-Cal $$$$$$Feeding Tube Nur$ing Home/Rehab Fa$ility FanBoy, Wax Man – on Their Valley’s perimeters; ….all of whose coffers are continually replenished by ReThugs and Libertarians running The Valley’s Multinational Corps[e].

    • diane says:

      (ewwww, …and …whoaaa ick …. sigh …gasp … OUTRAGED doesn’t even begin to explain….. just glimpsed Special ‘White’ Boy’s Home Twit Cloud Bio:

      6’4, native Texan, baseball cap size 7 ….

      Yeah, we git your outsized HEAD …no need to bring on more feelings of PTSD nausea …. from wee peeps, ……. though perhaps you enjoy it?

      And …. never mind that that female in the backdrop looks like she might want to commit suicide if she has to bear any more of his sociopathic SUPER EGO.)

    • diane says:

      (and whooooa ….talk about a most speshul and sadistic treat: the majority of them are the .000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent of females, on the planet earth, who are allowed to keep there heads above those increasingly drowning waters …. talk about a fucking Tojan Horse in the Shadow DC, Malarial Swamp, Government of Sly Con Valley. Lean In and Nap Time Allowed (Right Sarah Pando Tree? ……..for the select few ‘chosen’ …. does not even fully encompass the Sadism.)

  39. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    Operation Capital Driven Genocide.

    To provide some background, the natural gas issue arose in the year 2000 when British Gas (BG) discovered what they claimed to be $4 billion worth of natural gas reserves off the coast of Gaza. The Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) and British Gas (BG) both invested in the project, with BG holding 60% of the rights. Since then, more gas has been found in the region. Michel Chossudovsky, a Canadian economist, has estimated that the amount of gas in Palestine is so grand that it could make Palestine as rich as Kuwait. In due reaction, since 2000, Israel has strengthened its maritime blockade on Gaza, denying Palestine basic rights over its territorial waters, driving away Palestinian fishing boats, and contaminating the waters so heavily from its naval attacks that the fishing industry essentially collapsed. “On its coastal littoral,” reported Peter Beaumont from Gaza several years ago, “Gaza’s limitations are marked by a different fence where the bars are Israeli gunboats with their huge wakes, scurrying beyond the Palestinian fishing boats and preventing them from going outside a zone imposed by the warships.” It is discernible that this is directly due to Israel’s appetite for Palestinian gas.

    • Tarzie says:

      Would have been nice if the author had provided a single hyperlink to substantiate all the explosive claims made up front. Searching just brings me to things written by the same author.

  40. Stan Burnitt says:

    I was hopeful that Snowden, Greenwald & Co. were going to help expose the fourteen year old toilet-bowl scum who have been stalking and attacking me. And I was patient. A year went by and and I heard about upcoming fireworks. I remained patient, even bought his useless book, and only vented my frustration at the game show hosts a couple of times. Then… pfffft. The fireworks turns out to be a story about rich guys who did not even know they were under surveillance until someone told them — extravagantly pampered targets who were merely watched, never attacked or threatened. To top it off, he further betrays more deserving — of relief and legal standing — targets by accusing them of racism and affected sophistication, while he continues covering the Stasi’s back-side. Has he never heard of triage? Guess not, or he decided there’s no money in it.

    I’m back to playing it smart again: never, ever trust an American. Fortunately, I don’t have to.

  41. diane says:

    no doubt, duskier skinned and poverty ridden multi-hued locales, such as Detroit, Camden, Hunter’s Point, Richmond, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera,…will rapidly become tomorrow’s Gazas if something is not done to stop ‘the machinery,’

    Ooopsie, ……in fact, those communities have already become Gazas, have been for decades.

    Sociopath Shockley’s [sp?] eugenics never ever disappeared, just look at Silicon Valley – from where Shockley reigned – demographics and the unabashed death to the predominance of human species having free will cult hideousness that has been unleashed upon the planet at large, from within Silicon Valley.

    • diane says:

      (And, speaking of Their Big Valley: it is so horrifying to read the thousands of BLawwgh ‘pleas for the right to obscurity’ and freedom of movement – without being surveiled, as if a person were a deadly disease carrying flea, when one has no record at all of being a threat to anything or anyone – ….desire to make contact, then find that one must sign on to a Venal “Fa$e Book Page” or G[man]Mail (where no email goes un-scanned) .in order to “join The Movement”…

      Yup, apparently a direct phone number, preferably a land line, as the wiretap laws are most likely far more stringent for Land Lines is totally out of the question …even given the fact that millions own no computers , or cell phones ..and have good reason to not share highly personal information over a library computer where they are not allowed to erase any of that personal information from an ultimately corrupted government owned computer.

      I’m talking to you EFF and ACLU, since your Land Lines are no longer operative, in any direct contact, non-online way, except when your Fwend$ come calling.)

      • diane says:

        It’s a venal, horrifying and stunning crime that the Detroit Water Shut Offs (let alone what has historically preceded that) are not, and have not been at the forefront of what is proclaimed as The US News, As WATER IS VITAL TO LIFE.

        But then, there are no ‘News’ Outlets which stick to the horrid issue until it is addressed and corrected, other than in small, generally powerle$$ social gatherings of those directly effected.

    • diane says:

      07/23/14 Glen Ford Siege of Detroit: A War of Black Urban Removal

      “This is a war against a Black city, and a blueprint for future aggressions aimed at shrinking ‘chocolate cities’ across the nation.”

  42. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    Greenwald: There may 1 day be a nation both willing & able to effectively & regularly execute “humanitarian” interventions, but that day hasn’t arrived

    Is this a serious comment? This guy makes me sick. How he is given a platform to spout off about anything is amazing.

    There’s something really class collaboration-y about this comment. I’d like to know what imperialist intervention would be considered humanitarian to Greenwald because according to him it exists, it just hasn’t happened yet.

    This insensitive and ignorant comment just proves his imperialist denialism. How would it work? “There may one day be a nation both willing and able to effectively and regularly undermine a people’s self-determination in a good way, but that day hasn’t arrived.”

  43. Hieroglyph says:

    Mr Tarzie. Cryptome has just outed you as King Pierre. Please please make it so. I read the tweet and, obviously, read it as Kafka-satire, but please tell me you are King Pierre. That would be so brilliant I’d almost forgive You\King Pierre for your mischief. You naughty billionaire.

  44. diane says:

    I hope your near two day silence is your own choice, “Tarzie”, and, if that’s the case, that you are thoroughly enjoying it – versus something of the bad news sort.

  45. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    Greenwald addresses a national libertarian convention.

    Some bullet points, I kind of skipped through parts and typed along with what he was saying.

    — the coalition of libertarianism and liberals can break the stranglehold of entrenched power to take on the status quo

    — Snowden will embolden future whistleblowers in the government because he hasn’t been caught

    — regular citizens should not use companies that spy on us and collaborate with NSA. Doctors, journos, activists, etc., should use Tor and PGP and other advanced encryption to divert surveillance practices.

    — Facebook and Google will change their practices if they get panicked enough and this is an important “pressure point” in the “fight” against surveillance

    — Young people should work for companies that defend individual “liberties and rights” instead of subverting rights. (How that is manged in fascistic vertically oriented corporations wasn’t explained.) Young people should use their resources and skills to “sacrifice” for these political principles “like me when I worked with Edward Snowden” who had no prestige or power and was willing to sacrifice his own interests. We don’t have to be Edward Snowden but we have to use our talents and sacrifice to defend the “values we believe in” ( since it’s a libertarian conference, I can guess what those “values” are).

    — Brief shoutout to Chelsea Manning imprisonment, most whistleblower shit was about Snowden

    There’s your “socialist,” Glennbots. Addressing a Ron Paul convention.

    • Goldfish Training Institute says:

      Forgot to mention he’s standing in a jungle wearing a suit. WTF.

      • Tarzie says:

        His second worst crime, after making everything and everyone he touches dumb and reactionary, is being soul-crushingly dull.

        Greenwald calling young people — AGAIN — to self-sacrifice, mocks itself. No additional comment necessary.

        I hate everything about him.

      • Goldfish Training Institute says:

        I don’t know how anybody could sit through 45 minutes straight of this clown just standing there talking, he is so fucking boring. He’s also a perfect lieutenant for that neoliberal snake Omidyar. It speaks volumes about him that he can stand up at a libertarian conference without shame knowing and not giving a shit that libertarians despise marginalized people and want to destroy the working class.

      • Tarzie says:

        “libertarians despise marginalized people and want to destroy the working class.”

        I’ve known rank and file libertarians who don’t fit that description and I actually think anti-imperialist libertarians are better than no anti-imperialists at all. It is revealing, though, that GG ignores the dangers of such a coalition entirely. I suppose I would mind it more if such a coalition had any chance of forming. Rather, I think GG is the midwife of a new hybrid political gatekeeping that will work most of its magic on the left. The end result will simply be a different kind of rhetoric used to cudgel people into conformance and a rightward shift of the leftmost gate away from anti-capitalism. Chomsky at least held out socialism as an ideal. Greenwald doesn’t even do that. Individual rights are the beginning and end of political struggle, with the odd genuflection to the safety net to keep the liberals happy.

        UPDATE: Ugh, I just listened to the first fifteen minutes. I couldn’t take anymore. Ultimately what he’s selling is the reformability of the system, via this remarkable new aliance. Imagine, Conyers and Rand Paul co-signing a bill! As ever, I find myself dumbstruck that I ever found this asshole — with his nasally, spitty-mouthed, unutterably banal liberaltarian pontificating — something other than completely repulsive. Chalk it up to Stockholm Syndrome.

    • diane says:

      the, August 9, Paul/Greenwald Glenn X! (as in Ted X; Comcasts xfinity x, Stanford/Googles’ Med X; etcetera, etcetera symbology) you refer to, goldfish (hugs to you) appears in perfect confluence with the presumeably (can’t access, outside of the Googleplex, … so haven’t read …and don’t care to) ghastly NYT Sun Day! Magazine piece Has the ‘Libertarian Moment’ Finally Arrived?

      we are in such deep, deep shit ……sigh.

  46. Pingback: “Kill your idols”: Chelsea Manning and the reactionary “left” – Leftist Critic

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