I’m grateful to Betty Cracker for bringing that GQ interview to our attention, because there’s some very interesting stuff there:
… Without [Snowden’s] knowledge, let alone approval or consent, The Guardian gave a ton of documents to The New York Times and to ProPublica. And so, yeah, I mean, The New York Times has no source relationship with Snowden. It was a conscious choice that he made. And so they pretty much have published stuff that he didn’t think should be published, in a way that he didn’t necessarily think it should have been published. That last story being a perfect example, where he got accused of spilling American secrets about espionage against the Chinese, when in reality he had no role whatsoever to play in the decision to publish that story. They can basically damage his reputation by making choices that he doesn’t agree with and never approved.
I think the Times has had a close relationship with the government in the last five to six decades. I mean, it’s interesting, if you go back and read left-leaning media critics during the Vietnam War, they were saying a lot of the same things that left-wing media critics were saying during the Iraq War. That in the wake of 9/11, news-media outlets are disseminating pro-government, pro-war falsehoods by doing nothing more than talking to government officials and laundering their claims as reporting—as though the government is on the editorial board of The New York Times.
Yeah, like the incident you quote in the book about Bill Keller [former executive editor of The New York Times] on the BBC…
Yeah, where he’s boasting about the fact that they don’t publish things without the government being happy with what they’re doing. And it obviously has resulted in the suppression of all kinds of important stories, which is the most inexcusable thing that can happen in journalism. And that has happened repeatedly at the Times. I think they’ve essentially become this mouthpiece for those in power, perhaps not consciously. When I make this critique, people at The New York Times are offended, because they actually don’t believe that it’s happening. And they’re not lying. It’s a more subtle dynamic than the government marching in and issuing memos to the Times about what they should and shouldn’t publish. It’s just a cultural approach to the news that basically says that the parameters of what can be discussed and viewed as reasonable are the ones that are endorsed by the most powerful financial and political factions in New York and Washington. They’re reflecting the mind-set of those elite groups rather than challenging them or confronting them…
… Which is, I do believe, an aspersion about the NYTimes that’s been made right here in this very blog, and not just by me. I also remember various anti- Greenwald commentors exploding with glee over the “spilling American secrets about espionage against the Chinese” narrative, because it proved do you hear PROVED Snowden was just another cheap mercenary, and therefore we could totally dismiss everything he’d said or been quoted as saying.
Just another skirmish in the long OUR TEAM ROCKS UR TEAM SUKKS tribalism that is enobled as the march of human history…
Where did The Guardian get the docs?
Obots are just as easily led by the nose by the NYT as the Bushbots were. Just a big amplifier for whatever that current status quo is.
DougJ is really failing there, the Freakonomics guys on a book tour, on TV, doing an IAmA… where is our Truth to Power?
….without so much as a nanoshred of self-awareness.
Impressive, I must admit.
If Snowden revealed state secrets that will compromise this country, then he should be hanged as a spy. If he revealed secrets that are illegal, he should be subpeonaed and questioned. If he shows that illegal acts have been committed, and therefore he was forced to act, then he should be let go.
Anne, this is an auto-post, isn’t it? You’re not really up, are you? Your pet robot, pretending to be you, has posted this as you slumber away.
Oh happy thoughts of me not being at Bonnaroo this year. I think of this:
I was in that crowd. Kind of older then most there, jam band kind of guy, but that is what I love about the place. Never know what you are about to get yourself into. I’ve been to countless concerts and I don’t think I ever saw anything like this.
You mean someone didn’t handle sensitive information the way the person who entrusted them with that sensitive information would have wanted them to?
That’s just not right! What’s this world coming to…
Don’t quit your day job. You suck as an armchair prosecutor. I suppose you think Daniel Ellsberg and Chelsea Manning should be hung too.
Here’s the thing. If everything is secret, then the public knows nothing. If that’s the case, how do we have an open discussion about the merits of ANYTHING. None of these people gave secrets to the enemy (definition of treason) unless the enemy is the American people. They revealed gov’t secrets about either wrong doing, or about things that should never have been secret in the first place.
@Arclite: then there’s not a problem, is there?
gee, there goes gigi-guardian-greylady money spinner down the toilet, I guess.
The whiny victimhood of gigi never stops.
@Arclite: Exactly just classify everything as “Top Secret” even when it is a memo about what you are going to have for lunch. Then you, me, nobody can talk about it, cause “classified.” If folks don’t see this happening, even to the right, then I don’t know what to say. I can not vote to be honest if I don’t have the facts. IMHO, even liberals, don’t want me to have the facts.
Bueller? Bueller? No, she’s asleep.
Greenwald leaves out that the New York Times published those China documents in conjunction with Der Spiegel,; I doubt the latter at least is acting as an Obama Administration mouthpiece. I’m also dubious of Greenwald’s implication that Snowden didn’t intend for the documents about NSA’s spying on China to be released as that last year Snowden himself told The South China Morning Post about such spying and reportedly showed them some of the documents.
@amk: It looks like the BJP is going to be swept into power if you go by the exit polls.
Come on Anne, this Greenwald argument / logic is beyond idiotic.
Snowden first leaked a subset of his document trove to Bart Gellman at WaPo. He next bulk leaked 100’s of thousands of unvetted classified documents to Greenwald & Poitras, two people who were essentially strangers to him who he had no reason to trust with the national security of the United States (their editorial judgment or ability to protect the documents from espionage). He also leaked a small number of documents on US-Chinese cyber espionage to the South China Morning Post when he was trying to grease the wheels of his brief Chinese asylum bid.
Greenwald shared the British state secrets subset of the archive (10’s of thousands of documents) with with the Guardian. The Guardian, after being pressured by the UK authorities, shared those documents with ProPublica & the NYT in the US, as a giant middle-finger to the British government.
Greenwald has also said he’s given “unrestricted access for long periods of time to the full archive of Snowden documents” to a number of other journalists, though he’s only outright named one: Ryan Gallagher. Finally Jacob Appelbaum has published a number of extremely sensitive Snowden documents in major papers, though it’s unclear exactly how he ended up with them.
Clearly, if Greenwald had intended to lock down access to the archive he’s done a spectacularly awful job at it, and consequently it’s spread widely. Snowden, by not leaking simply what he objected to, but instead bulk leaking a massive trove of classified files to third parties, bears ultimately responsible for it all. Those third parties publish based on a standard of “news-worthiness” instead of just potential criminality, and their independent publishing decisions don’t somehow absolve Snowden of responsibility for the initial theft and mass leak.
Uh, yeah. Snowden hands over juicy documents to news organizations, and is SHOCKED that they didn’t keep them a secret. Why, just the other day, I left a salmon fillet near my cat, and was SHOCKED when he gobbled it up. Thinking like this reveals why he was reduced to playing straight man to Putin the other week.
OMG, are you implying that Glenn Greenwald lies, tells half-truths and self-aggrandizes? NO, NEVER! He is the only true
Edward Snowden the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life, and Glenn Greenwald is his prophet….
Indian exit polls are notorious for unscientific sampling and have a very poor track record. Even now, the projected seats for bjp varies from 220 to 350 (!!!) from one pollster to another. That shows the talking through their ass-ness.
One solace is that despite modi’s megashow(manship) and multiple rallies (defying the omnipotent election commission) and the religious nutz pulling no stop to GOTV, the turnout was a meh 55% in his own constituency while the whole nation set a new record of over 66%. This to me sez modi magic is just a media bs. Just like, US msm’s on mittbot.
Anyhoo, we all will know the real outcome on 19th, so I am not blowing my brains yet.
No role whatsoever… It hurts Mommy, make it stop. This is why I can not read Greenwald. He is so self righteous that it even extends to his sources.
And why is it everyone looks at this whole thing and one side is right, the other is wrong, and if you don’t agree with them you are an idiot? Has it occurred to anyone that there are no saints? They’re all sinners?
@OzarkHillbilly: It’s all bullshit.
Then I will wait with you!
eta: If you have any plans to come to chennai, we can meet up.
But this is exactly what so many of us have criticized Snowden for – his indiscriminate leaking of information which was damaging/embarassing to US intelligence, but not actually illegal or immoral. He doesn’t get to leak the info and then renounce all responsibility for the results by claiming that he didn’t approve of how it was used. Greenwald is being extraordinarily weaselly in that last sentence – Snowden had “no role whatsoever in the decision to publish”. Okay, so he played a small part in terms of BEING THE ONE WHO LEAKED THE HIGHLY CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS IN THE FIRST PLACE. But other than that minor detail, no role whatsoever. If somebody uses info you’ve provided in a way you don’t approve, tough shit, you’re still responsible. Plus, as @Sophist: says, the sheer irony and lack of self-awareness is truly mind-boggling. The nerve of those journalists, thinking that they can make their own decision about what information should be released to the public, instead of going through the approved channels.
Also, everything @Carolinus: said
@raven: Yep, and I am really tired of the stench.
Sadly, all too many folks need a list of saints and sinners in order for them to try to understand the world that confronts them. Thus, actions that attack governmental power and governmental actions in this period (2009-2016), are perceived to be attacks against the current president – and for some, that can not stand.
Had a Republican been president when these documents were released, I doubt that as many here would view GG and Snowden with such visceral disdain.
What a hilarious un-argument. “All you people who said that Snowden was harming American security by leaking these documents were wrong, because he didn’t mean to do it!”
But I guess when The Great One decrees that all the people openly calling the President a “nigger” have been unfairly depicted as racist, you have to do whatever damage control you can.
@amk: Not this trip. Actually I have never been to Chennai. I have been to Tirunalveli for a Nuclear Physics conference many moons ago and then we traveled to Kodai, Ooty and Kanyakumari. That is the extent of my travels in TN.
It would have been nice to see you, though.
ETA: Also stopped by Madurai on that trip.
@heckblazer: You mean Greenwald is making shit up here? I’m shocked.
True, he is. But that doesn’t mean he was consciously in cahoots with the Chinese or Russians or whomever. I realize you didn’t say it does mean that, but others make the charge that Snowden and Greenwald had to have been Putin’s willing accomplices, and their evidence is just as flimsy as Greenwald’s lame attempt at exculpation. The more Greenwald talks up Snowden as a brave truthteller, the more Snowden appears a naive bungler, albeit one who brought needed attention on a serious issue.
This is an awfully convoluted argument – the Times was doing the government’s bidding by releasing a story based on documents that potentially caused harm to the government (at, as noted above, the same time another publication in another country was doing the same thing) because doing so would hurt Snowden’s credibility. I think I prefer the simpler analysis: The Times thought the story was newsworthy, so it published it. Occam’s Razor and all, you know? Also, in case anyone hadn’t noticed, Keller no longer is the editor of the Times.
And, of course, once Snowden handed over the information to anyone, he no longer had control of it. He certainly should have known that, so if he wanted to prevent disclosure he shouldn’t have included it.
I like how GG goes directly from blaming the NYT for leaking the embarrassing story about the govt espionage efforts in China to a rant about how the paper just does the govt’s bidding. Not a lot of nuance there at all.
Oh for FUCKS sake… does information want to be free or not? MAKE UP YOUR GODDAMNED MIND.
I didn’t ask Snowden or Greenwald to take over this country’s security decisions. Nobody fucking did. What goddamned right does Greenwald have to decide which bits of information we should have and which bits we shouldn’t? It’s so fucking hypocritical it makes my head hurt.
No, no, no, you don’t understand! The cat was supposed to only eat certain bits, but not eat the other bits that were dangerous to your still having a meal! When in reality you had no role whatsoever to play in the cat’s decision of which bits to eat.
Greenwald made the argument even more convoluted when he pushed it on Colbert last night. Colbert raised a laundry list Snowden leaks that dealt with adversary governments and terrorist group surveillance. Greenwald blamed it on the NYT:
Colbert then repeatedly asked if he believed the NYT made the right decision in publishing, and Greenwald finally said yes after the third or so interruption.
(it’s at 15:24)
@Carolinus: Thank you.
Oh, and let’s not forget, Greenwald says the New York Times is a mouthpiece for the US government… which is why they chose to print those secrets about American espionage against China. To discredit the person who leaked them to the Times.
This is the totebagger way of crying “false flag,” isn’t it?
@Keith G: Wrong. I was as unhappy when Bush outed Valerie Plame as I am at SOME of the stuff that’s going on now.
Let me explain in small words. I think that it is important that intelligence operations be carefully managed and tightly supervised. I think it is important that abuses be reported. I also think responsible journalists try their best to not destroy the lives — literally sometimes — of the field agents doing the actual work, which is why some newspapers refused to publish some of the data Snowden and Greenwald gave them. However, they did publish other parts of that information because they considered it to be a legitimate story; that is what newspapers do.
When it comes to intelligence matters, my beef is with the United States Congress that pretty much abdicated its oversight responsibility until they realized they were under the microscope too. My bitter amusement — and that of other posters — is reserved for people who were OHSOSURPRISEDANDSHOCKED at the news, since this has been common knowledge to anyone interested in intelligence matters for years.
Now, as to Mr. Greenwald. He is a very intelligent, thin-skinned, self-centered moral monster. His world centers on himself and anyone he interacts with is merely an actor in his drama. And most damningly, he takes no responsibility for his actions. It’s all about maintaining his own image as a crusader that matters. Well, to misquote someone, the first thing a crusade does is kill someone, even if metaphorically. If the outcome is worthwhile, you accept that and move on. You don’t spend your time trying to keep your own halo shiny.
As someone said already, there are no saints here.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
You mean kind of like the NSA and Sndowden,….? I am thinking Sndowen can’t be that stupid, but then again he is a libertarian.
Gosh, Anne, think that old dog will hunt?
Poke it harder! Harder!
“Without [Snowden’s] knowledge, let alone approval or consent, The Guardian gave a ton of documents to The New York Times and to ProPublica.”
So Snowden giving a ton of documents to The Guardian is brave whistle blowing – not betrayal
but The Guardian giving a ton of documents to The New York Times and to ProPublica is betrayal – not whistle blowing
Do I have that right?
@schrodinger’s cat: mebbe next time.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@jefft452: What you need to understand is Libertarians like Snowden and Greenwald believe in FREEDOM(tm) and what FREEDOM(tm) means is everyone is free to do what a Libertarian tells them without the inference of the governments. OPPRESSION(tm) is when people don’t do what a Libertarian wants.
The Great and Powerful Greenwald certainly didn’t seem to enjoy experiencing something like real journalism in real time. ‘Twas a mighty surprise to all who have observed his egomaniac, selective and often profoundly dishonest rantings over the years.
High-functioning sociopath would seem to be the applicable term here.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: Can you provide a link to some source that provides evidence that Greenwald is a libertarian? I think he fits the bill as a civil libertarian (as is the ACLU), but that’s not the same as an Ayn Rand / Rand Paul-type libertarian, and I’m wondering if the terms are being conflated.
I don’t trust either of them. I wouldn’t have voted for them if I had the choice, which I didn’t. Now, I have no recourse.
I have to say, this is a novel argument. The NYT’s subservience to government as evidenced by their revelation of spying on China.
Well, at least we now know that the Russian government doesn’t spy on its own people. And what a blessing it is to have our minds set at rest on this crucial topic!
And you didn’t even get into the part where the NY Times published extremely sensitive documents about our spying on China because they’re the US Government’s bitch. I guess that makes sense if you assume the primary interest of the government is making Snowden look bad, but if they’re actually interested in protecting their secrets it’s obvious nonsense. What color is the sky in Greenwald’s world? Plaid?
Love threads like this, if only to watch all the Center Right types get their 2 Minute Hate on.
Love threads like this, if only to watch all the Center Right types get their 2 Minute Hate on.
Leave Anne Laurie ALOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE!
Just another skirmish in the long OUR TEAM ROCKS UR TEAM SUKKS tribalism that is enobled as the march of human history
Well then. How about you Anne write your next post for team Anti-Tribal?
Here's a humble suggestion for an interesting topic: the implications of Snowden electing to appear on video link recently and personally asking Vladimir Putin a – seemingly pre-cleared – question about Russias surveillance practices. Extra bonus points if you can work the name Anna Politkovskaya into your musings. Since Snowden would not, and all that.
Snowden did some things which turned out to be useful in swaying public opinion in a direction which I personally appreciate. But what he did pretty clearly was not "whistleblowing" in any conventional sense. Hacking into systems and stealing a bunch of stuff you don't know the contents of isn't whistleblowing. It's hacking.
Distributing huge document caches of widely varying content to various people and leaving it up to them to determine the public interest also isn't whistleblowing. Distributing encrypted document caches as personal "insurance" also isn't whistleblowing.
Progressives would be wise to view the Snowden affair as an opportunity to tilt policy in the right direction, but keep their distance from Snowden-the-person. The more he is lionized as some kind of hero, the more it will come back and bite us in the ass, eventually.
Anne Laurie: chest-beating troll who enjoys having a good gob right in BJ reader’s faces.
What Snowden did isn’t hacking at all. He stole some passwords and used them to access data. Nothing about Snowden’s career indicates that he’s got unusual skills as a programmer. If anything, he seems to be more the systems administrator type, which is a perfectly good thing to be.
What Snowden did is classic hacking. It’s not all about computer code. Never has been.
I thought GG was full of shit long before Obama became president.
That time he stole CalTech’s cannon and put it on top of the MIT dome really raised the bar.
No, not really. Hacking these days is about coding to solve problems, meet challenges. You might be thinking about the older practice of what is now differentiated as “social hacking”, which started with obtaining access by calling up and conning lower tier people in corporate structures into handing over passwords. Either way, Snowden is not a hacker as the term is now generally understood.
Basically. Every time Annie or John try to troll this site with the “poor innocent Snowden!” stuff, all I can think about is that if the is truly a man living by his principles then he should be willing to stand trail for them. Also, the simplistic way in which Greenwald describes absolutely everything he does or advocates for just renders so much of the conversation mute because it forces you into a binary mindset.
@Emma: thank you, that’s it exactly.
You know, Ann, ggbots are odd in that they believe without any critical thought a man they keep telling me is trying to make me be think critically about government. It is entirely sensible to see massive flaws in the actions of all here.
1) It’s Caltech, not CalTech.
2) It’s not Caltech’s cannon, it’s Fleming Hovse’s cannon, i.e. it belongs to one specific group on campus rather than to the Institute as a whole. This makes stealing it easier than you’d think, because it means most of the undergraduate population would be just as happy to have it stolen.
Roger Moore, Fleming ’94
@Danny: Already covered at this full-service blog! Now, if only someone would answer my question at #47 above re: the alleged libertarian Greenwald…
@heckblazer: please don’t trouble her with facts. She has got a garden to till and the innocent lamb snowden’s face to carve into something.
@some guy: and poseur lefties get their paranoia on.
GHayduke (formerly lojasmo)
Stolen state secrets are given to a news organization, and then published? Shocked! Shocked, I tell you!
Snowden sure isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, is he?
@Morzer: funny how his nasty tweet about the Nigerian girls kidnapping response was not discussed by our front pagers. Must have all been busy planting flowers and taking cat photos.
@Roger Moore: Oh you’re no fun anymore.
@Betty Cracker: I’ve tried twice now, and both times it’s gotten lost in moderation. (Too many links?)
Well, you know, you can’t discuss little details like that. The BIG PICTURE is what matters.
Re: GG’s ideological leanings I submit the fact that he’s as far as I know a pretty huge Ron Paul fanboy, and that he’s also in favor of our divinely mandated and constitutionally protected 2nd amendment rights.
Or, that is, he was pro gun back in the day when he first got into blogging – before he went celebrity blogger with the netroots over the warantless wiretapping business.
Then again, in those early days he was tentatively pro GWOT too (which in retrospect many libertarians claim they did oppose – I believe Ron Paul actually did).
Yeah he’s a lolbertarian. Just look at the guy!
@Marc: Well damn. Just looked in pending comments, and I don’t see it there.
This standard — if you believe in something, you should be willing to spend the rest of your life in jail for it — seems to be a standard that we don’t apply all that uniformly, since we don’t demand that dissidents in the rest of the world, for example in China, Chinese-occupied Tibet, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Cuba, etc. Quite the opposite, in fact, we laud those dissidents when they manage to escape.
Does anyone denounce the blind Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng, for example, because he fled from China to its “enemy” the US? Do we demand that he spend his life in a Chinese jail if he truly believes in freedom?
@Morzer: That is the way computer scientists use the term yes. But that horse has left the barn because, hacking is used to mean gaining computer data that one is not supposed to access. That is the common definition used by reporters, and law enforcement and most of the public. And that covers a lot of ground, from Kevin Mitnick’s social engineering stunts in the 70’s and 80s, to Weev’s downloading of customer data from an ATT website that relied on security by obscurity to the compromise of Target’s network to whatever the latest zero day exploit of IE. It’s all hacking. It’s all gaining access to data that should be protected. And while Snowden didn’t use any sophisticated buffer overflows or SQL injection attacks, what he did falls under the common and legal definition of hacking. ‘Hacking’ is gone. Let it go. You need a new term to cover technological exploits that are independent of social and procedural security weaknesses.
@Betty Cracker: Maybe the Exiled online link was killing it? Let’s try this one and this one.
Basically, he vociferously denies he’s a libertarian but he espouses libertarian (or outright conservative) positions, supports libertarian candidates, and works for libertarian outlets. If he walks like a duck, etc.
Seriously, I agree with a lot of what Snowden did but let’s be real here– no role, that’s like saying that if I left a loaded pistol in an elementary school but didn’t shoot anyone myself I’d have “no role” in any ensuing violence when my actions obviously precipitated the incident.
Furthermore, Greenwald didn’t say crap except to tweet and promote the supposedly unapproved stories at the time. He’s only voiced objections after they the proved to be unpopular.
I tried to post about the interview where he supported Citizens United, but it didn’t go through. If that’s not ‘libertarian’ rather than ‘civil libertarian’ I don’t know what is.
So there’s a logical inconsistency in this take on the NYT.
Is it a thinly veiled government mouthpiece that just regurgitates what the government wants it to?
Or did it spill a lot of secrets about how we deal with the Chinese for some other purposes?
You can’t have it both ways unless your premise is that the NYT spilled a lot of secrets about epsionage targeting the Chinese at the behest of the US Govt. But that doesn’t make any sense…
So which is it?
Basically, he vociferously denies he’s a libertarian but he espouses libertarian (or outright conservative) positions, supports libertarian candidates, and works for libertarian outlets. If he walks like a duck, etc.
Let me try this again, without the blockquote fail:
He also espouses liberal (or outright left-wing) positions, supports liberal candidates, and works for liberal outlets such as The Guardian. That must mean he’s also a liberal! Or, maybe, he’s not so easily categorized. As Greenwald himself puts it:
To apply a “right-wing libertarian” label to someone with [my] views and [my] activism is patently idiotic. Just ask any actual libertarian whether those views are compatible with being a libertarian. Or just read this October, 2012 post – written on Volokh, a libertarian blog – entitled “Glenn Greenwald, Man of the Left”, which claims I harbor “left-wing views on economic policy” and am “a run-of-the-mill left-winger of the sort who can be heard 24/7 on the likes of Pacifica radio” because of my opposition to cuts in Social Security and Medicare.
There is no doubt that I share many views with actual libertarians, including: opposition to a massive surveillance state, support for marriage equality for LGBT citizens, restraints on government power to imprison or kill people without due process, opposition to the death penalty and the generally oppressive US penal state, contempt for the sadistic and racist drug war, disgust toward corporatism and crony capitalism, and opposition to aggressive wars and the ability of presidents to wage them without Congressional authority. It’s also true that I supported the Citizens United decision on free speech grounds: along with people like the ACLU and Eliot Spitzer (the only politician to put real fear in the heart of Wall Street executives in the last decade and probably the politician most hated by actual libertarians).
Liberals and libertarians share the same views on many issues, particularly involving war, civil liberties, penal policies, and government abuse of power. That is why people like Alan Grayson and Dennis Kucinich worked so closely with Ron Paul to Audit the Fed and restore civil liberties.
But “libertarianism” has an actual meaning: it’s not just a slur to mean: anyone who criticizes President Obama but disagrees with Rush Limbaugh. Anyone who applies this label to me in light of my actual views and work is either very ignorant or very dishonest – or, most likely, both.
@Marc: Thank you for the links. The first one contains these sentences:
The second accuses GG of being a neo-Naderite. I think both contain fair criticism, but in my book, that makes GG a firebagger rather than a libertarian. I think the distinction is important.
You don’t know what is. While I disagree with them, the ACLU themselves supported the Citizens United decision on the grounds that restricting donations would impede free speech rights. If that’s the sole criteria, does that make the ACLU “libertarian” rather than civil libertarian?
It might if you think the government has an overwhelming desire to persecute Edward Snowden. If silencing him is the true objective, they might be willing to publish damaging information about themselves in order to make him look bad as the leaker of that information. That’s especially true if that information were already out there and/or the government didn’t have a legitimate interest in keeping it secret in the first place.
@Rafer Janders: You do realize that quote is actually filled with support for the case that Greenwald is a libertarian, right? Typically for Greenwald, he lists all the warm fuzzy civil liberties issues where liberals agree with libertarians but glosses over all the thorny race and gender issues where Glenn Greenwald apologizes for libertarians.
Libertarianism does have an actual meaning. Glenn Greenwald fits it.
@Someguy: Greenwald’s a lawyer. This is how they argue.
False. In the same piece, he actually does detail exactly what those issues are, including:
*opposing all cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (here and here);
* repeatedly calling for the prosecution of Wall Street (here, here and here);
* advocating for robust public financing to eliminate the domination by the rich in political campaigns, writing: “corporate influence over our political process is easily one of the top sicknesses afflicting our political culture” (here and here);
* condemning income and wealth inequality as the by-product of corruption (here and here);
* attacking oligarchs – led by the Koch Brothers – for self-pitying complaints about the government and criticizing policies that favor the rich at the expense of ordinary Americans (here);
* arguing in favor of a public option for health care reform
criticizing the appointment of too many Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street officials to positions of power (here, here and here);
* repeatedly condemning the influence of corporate factions in public policy making (here and here);
* using my blog to raise substantial money for the campaigns of Russ Feingold and left-wing/anti-war Democrats Normon Solomon, Franke Wilmer and Cecil Bothwell, and defending Dennis Kucinich from Democratic Party attacks;
* co-founding a new group along with Daniel Ellsberg, Laura Poitras, John Cusack, Xeni Jardim [sic], JP Barlow and others to protect press freedom and independent journalism (see the New York Times report on this here);
* co-founding and working extensively on a PAC to work with labor unions and liberal advocacy groups to recruit progressive primary challengers to conservative Democratic incumbents (see the New York Times report on this here);
I’d link to the piece where these quotes are from, but every time I link it refuses to post, so you can just google it for verification.
@Betty Cracker: I see the political distinction, but not the practical one. Then again, I would say the same for the firebaggers who chose to side with the Tea Party in opposing Obamacare. Whatever fine ideological distinctions they want to draw in theory pale in comparison to the policies and candidates they support in practice.
The neo-Naderite link talks specifically about Greenwald’s support for Gary Johnson (a candidate who cut all those social programs GG claims to support when he was governor of New Mexico) at an event sponsored by a “Paulite libertarian group.” To take it back to your initial query, somebody who’s expressed as much support for Ron Paul as Greenwald has would seem to me to be a pretty good fit for an “Ayn Rand/Rand Paul” type libertarian.
Bob believes “X” and is a libertarian.
Joe believes “X”.
Therefore, Joe is a libertarian.
This is a generally intelligent group, so I don’t have to point out the logical fallacy of the undistributed middle here.
@Rafer Janders: Already edited my comments to reflect that after I found the piece you were quoting. I would say something snarky about including the link, but FYWP has been eating my links too.
I did find it through Google, by the way. The first place it came up was a glowing piece on Breitbart.
I still find the quote very typical of Greenwald. He lists all these issues where he supposedly holds liberal or leftist values, but then supports candidates who oppose every one of them. And some of those items are deeply disingenuous – by “arguing in favor of a public option,” he means opposing the reforms that could actually pass Congress, placing him on the same side as the libertarians and conservatives. And it’s great that he attacks “oligarchs led by the Koch Brothers,” but he supported the Supreme Court ruling that gave them unlimited spending on elections. Whatever torturous rationale he takes to get there, whatever principles motivate him, when push comes to shove he consistently supports libertarian positions and conservative candidates or backers.
@Rafer Janders: Shorter: hipster kitty is too cool for labels.
It’s a strange sort of libertarian who believes in public financing of elections, robust regulation of the financial sector, the prosecution of Wall Street, maintaining Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, fighting against income inequality, a public option for health care, and labor unions. I’d argue, in fact, that anyone who supports those things is not ipso facto a libertarian.
But, whatever you need to tell yourself….
Paul in KY
@Tommy: I was at that Bonnaroo, but not there. Think I was winding my way back to my campsite on the back side of forever.
Did go to some late night stuff last year (Empire of Sun, Billy Idol, Superjam, etc.) and that’s about the way it is in there.
Thanks for posting it.
@Rafer Janders: Does Joe say we should vote for Bob while downplaying Bob’s racist newsletters? Need more information.
Again, on First Amendment grounds, as did the ACLU. Does this make them libertarians as well?
Sometimes our principles lead us to unpleasant real-world outcomes, but this doesn’t mean the principles aren’t real.
@Rafer Janders: Your theory only makes sense to the point that people’s self identity is all too often in conflict with their actual beliefs. Which really doesn’t help Greenwald’s image in this debate.
Paul in KY
@Betty Cracker: I don’t consider Glenn to be a Libertarian like Aqua Buddha claimed to be.
That’s because bullshitters don’t give a hoot about internal consistency. They just bullshit.
@Rafer Janders: I notice you didn’t respond to this part:
Or this one:
Nor the effin’ outcomes. Which are more important?
But that’s simply not true. As noted above, he supported the campaigns of Russ Feingold, Norm Solomon, and Dennis Kucinich, among others, and teamed up with Markos Moulitsas and a coalition of labor unions to found a PAC to fund progressive left-wing candidates. Those are hardly the actions of a man who “when push comes to shoves consistently supports…conservative candidates.”
In the long run? The principles, because in the long run adhering to our principles will give us a more secure outcome than overthrowing them for some temporary advantage:
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!
I responded to it in a subsequent comment. I have a life, you know, and am only writing this in between other things.
@Rafer Janders: Holy fuck, that’s like a lost Monty Python sketch…
Did it ever occur to you that if your principles lead to bad outcomes, then perhaps the principles are the things that need re-evaluation?
Yes, I vividly remember all those contemporaneous statements by Snowden denouncing the NYT for publishing those documents and the Guardian for giving them the NYT and ProPublica documents it couldn’t publish because of the British Official Secret Acts. That’s how I know this isn’t just classic Nader-style self-serving after-the-fact justification of prior indefensible acts. That, and my certain knowledge that Greenwald, has never, ever, ever engaged in after-the-fact self-serving justification.
@Betty Cracker: I’ll save you time: No.
@Rafer Janders: At best that suggests an incoherent and self-defeating political philosophy in which he supports long-shot candidates who, if they could get elected, would completely cancel each other out. Except he tends to support the libertarian/conservative candidates in the bigger national races, and the progressive ones in the small races and hopeless causes. If we lived in Glenn Greenwald’s Imaginationland, President Ron Paul or President Gary Johnson would run roughshod over Representatives Franke Wilmer and Cecil Bothwell.
I would also point out that none of the people he lists to establish his progressive bona fides won the races he supported them in; some couldn’t even clear the primaries. And some of that support that Greenwald cites? It came after Kucinich had already lost. Greenwald is a master at taking symbolic stances, and yes, some of those stances burnish his progressive cred. But on the substance they tend to amount to nothing, while he continues to support libertarian issues and candidates, and other libertarians’ rights to spend unlimited amounts of money to elect them.
I think different-church-lady is right that there’s some distinction between self-image and actual beliefs and actions here, but it’s those actual beliefs and actions that matter.
@different-church-lady: When I’m dealing with a libertarian, I understand that he or she wants to wipe out the social safety net, gut corporate regulations, etc., and that knowledge helps me assess what he or she is asking me to believe. It’s not 100% dispositive, stopped clocks and all of that, but it can be a useful data point.
Principles can never fail, they can only be failed. That’s why communism works perfectly … in principle.
And any principles that require human beings to act completely rationally and unemotionally at all times aren’t principles at all, they’re moral standards.
@Tommy: I was there too! Great show.
For my money, even if you don’t want to call Glenn Greenwald a libertarian (and, if I recall rightly, he denies being one) it’s probably fair to consider him as operationally an intermittently Firedoglake-leaning libertarian, even if you don’t think he’s gone full-on Paulite. It’s not as if libertarians are one monolithic bloc, although the Paulites seem to want to make it look that way.
@Morzer: In the end it doesn’t matter what anyone calls him, because he’s right and they’re wrong!
I demand 17 updates on that theme!
Culture of Truth
If he didn’t think they should be published, maybe don’t take them from you place of work and hand them over to a news organization without restriction? Just a thought. Granted, I’m not the deep socio-political-philosophical thinker Snowden is.
I await the day when pick-pocketing is widely known as “trouser-hacking”. I do think it’s important to recognize though that there is a meaningful use of hacking, as opposed to the sloppy media use of it.
I think the important criticism of Greenwald is that he has exaggerated and twisted some of the Snowden doc revelations in his stories, often to pump up the surveillance state story, most notably confusing the ability to do something with actually doing it. It’s kind of insufferable to hear constant lectures about what true journalism is from someone who fails to accurately report the basic facts of their stories. As much as you may agree with Greenwald, you should not overlook this criticism of him.
Another Holocene Human
@Rafer Janders: Libertarians believe in using the police power of the state to keep moochers from stealing their property. They don’t really detail how this is paid for, but perhaps taxing other moochers might do.
Many libertarians (and “fiscal conservatives”) were outraged about 2006-2008 and wanted to see a perp walk so bad you guyse. They HATE Obama for not deliberately crashing the big banks, rounding up “banksters” and sending them to prison. Instead he followed conventional wisdom and saved the American economy’s ass. Then Holder failed to secure prosecutions because Clinton and Bush had made everything legal.
Libertarians are all about jackbooted thugs when THEIR ox is being gored. Police power for me and not for thee.
@Another Holocene Human:
They also have a very selective attitude towards voting rights, free speech and democracy. There’s a reason why libertarians are overwhelmingly callow young white men with some older white male gurus.
Another Holocene Human
@Morzer: Callow young white men living off their parents’ income who fear what happens when those apron strings are cut and they have to live within their means.
Thus the obsession with taxes and also coming up with ways to keep all the competition down and preserve the advantages they have heretofore enjoyed.
Little daylight between them and the Edwardian British upper classes. I would say ‘except on sexual matters’ but then I remembered what “country weekends” were for and the fact that lolbertarians tend to be quite sexually prudish* and get irritated if reproductive freedom comes up at all, as it’s either a “distraction” or divides them amongst themselves as the MRA woman-as-baby-factory-I-own faction is quite vocal.
*-hence the obsession with buying wives from developing countries
Wow, today’s Center Right 2 Minute Hate went a lot longer than 2 minutes. Good to see the usual GreenwaldSnowden haters get their froth on. Makes for a fun lunchtime read.
@Another Holocene Human:
Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas… to name only three.
@some guy: you enjoying your lunch at the smirky mcdouchenuts cafe?
Greenwald and Snowden – Balloon Juice is always fun!
I’m definitely an Obot and I despise Dear Leader Greenwald for a wide variety of reasons, but winning the Pulitzer and the Polk awards is actually kind of impressive, and I certainly didn’t like it when the Brits harassed his lover, who isn’t exactly a journalist. GG deserves a victory lap for now, so I’ll lay off him. But Snowden released the documents – all of them – so he doesn’t exactly have an argument about what was published by whoever got their eyes on them and if national security is compromised, he’s to blame. Not necessarily for treason, but he needs to be face the law and be held accountable – this Man Without a Country act is getting old.
And I never want to be in an elevator with Beyonce’s sister!
@Rafer Janders: I am sorry – did the blind Chinese lawyer do a document dump in the US of Chinese system secrets? Did he steal documents and compromise the chinese government ? Or did he, after bravely protesting the conditions in china , have to flee or face death in one of those hard labor camps in china? Because I fail to see the comparison.
First of all, if Snowden didn’t want it published, he shouldn’t have given it to ANYBODY. PERIOD, What, if anything is wrong with that statement?
@Another Holocene Human:
You must know a better class of libertarians than I do…in fact, yours sound more like firebaggers. The libertarians I know go apeshit if you mention The Fed, but they don’t have a problem with private banks screwing people with credit default swaps, balloon mortgages, adjustable rate credit cards and the like.
You mean the PAC, Accountability Now, that did little other than funnel money into Greenwald’s (and a few other bloggers’) pockets? It didn’t even last a cycle before closing up shop months before the 2010 midterms. It failed at every single stated goal.
Marduk will smite you for that heresy, blashphemer.
All together now– (to the tune of “God bless America”)
God bless Sumeria
Land that I love
slice and dice them
to Marduk who comes from above!
From the ziggurat
to the temple
to the altar red with human gore–
God bless Sumeria,
the land that I adore!
That is not physically possible.
It’s like accusing someone of exaggerating and twisting the holodomor revelations to pump up the starvation angle.