The right-wing talking points around the Flynn-Trump-Russia-Peepee story are coalescing around this “it’s not Flynn’s actions that are illegal, it’s the leaking about them from anti-Trump forces that’s illegal”. It won’t surprise you to learn that this is Glenn Greenwald’s take on it:
I don't agree with all of it but this @EliLake article on Flynn has a sober, informative discussion of key issues https://t.co/6LPVZXVY80
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 15, 2017
I have nothing special against Glenn Greenwald, and I read and enjoy The Intercept. A few years ago, he posted a spittle-flecked screed against me and against this blog. You can read it for yourself, if you have the time, but the TL;DR is that he’s a rageaholic. And that’s cool. Anger can be power. But it can lead you to funny places. Like hating Hillary Clinton so much that you become a stooge for Trump, and, by extension, a stooge for Vladimir Putin.
Likewise, it wasn’t so long ago that Eli Lake was leading the #NeverTrump charge. Then, after Obama let the UN Resolution criticizing West Bank settlements go through, Lake started frothing at the mouth and also became a stooge for Trump, and, by extension, a stooge for Vladimir Putin.
When Wikileaks was dumping boring minutiae from Hillary Clinton’s emails, most of which were of course secured by Russian hackers, Greenwald thought that leaks were great, sunlight was the best disinfectant, and so on. Now, any leaks against Dear Leader Trump are the work of Deep State traitors who belong in jail. Likewise, when Saint Petraeus was being prosecuted for mishandling intel, Lake thought unauthorized disclosures were nothing less than the “fabric of the national security state”. Now, they’re apparently a threat against the Republic that should be prosecuted under the full extent of the law.
The inconsistency here is so laughable that it’s not worth elaborating on, so I won’t.
I’ve seen this before with a lot of national journalists and pseudo-journalists. For all the lecturing they give people like me about being unserious partisans, you think they might, just for a minute, think about how much of their own agenda is driven by personal hatred and grievances.
hedgehog the occasional commenter
It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup…where have we heard that before.
Wikileaks had much the same take on it.
Major Major Major Major
I can’t say I know much about Lake. Is he conservative? His wiki article doesn’t indicate anything in either direction, and his recent headlines at Bloomberg seem fine.
Greenwald and Lake can go off themselves.
@hedgehog the occasional commenter: David Corn is pretty clear that the crimes in this case are probably worse than the asscovering.
I bought a GG book about 10 years ago. Now I feel bad.
What the hell is Putin up to with this and why has Trump said nothing?
Paging Adam Silverman. Adam Silverman to the white courtesy phone. Do we (by that I mean “you”) know this guy?
Eli Lake is a neocon.
@debbie: Putin’s Puppet.
Major Major Major Major
@HeleninEire: Schindler is kind of nuts but he’s well-sourced if he stays on his beat, which is this sort of thing.
There are good reasons ‘some’ people shouldn’t spend much time in dark alleys.
I do. I’ve never been a fan, and get tired of his narrow outrage. He is similar to Andrew Sullivan in that he has strange blind spots and instead of examining his own beliefs more honestly, he just double downs on his arrogant certainty.
Leaks are only dangerous and bad if certain people make them, just as lives lost to necessarily lone wolf white men with a god-given-right to maximum firepower are acceptable collateral damage of freedom, whereas the same lives are sacred sacred snowflakes to be protected from even the theoretical threat of a toddler from a randomly identified set of geographic entities.
Somehow, this is just establishing who and who alone gets to kill and make cash off the local bipedal livestock.
all depends on whose ox is under the fence!
Mike in DC
Schindler is fairly conservative, but an ex NSA guy who still has a lot.of contacts in the IC. Malcolm Nance and he seem to not like each other much. There are a dozen or more people on Twitter who regularly drop nuggets, informed speculation etc about Russian Trump op.
@Major Major Major Major: I think Adam said basically the same thing in an earlier thread
hedgehog the occasional commenter
@Downpuppy Good article, and you are right.
(withdraws failed attempt at humor)
hedgehog the occasional commenter
@RobertB: I did as well (don’t recall which one). But yeah, that I gave him any oxygen and $$….
Here’s one from my old pal Pat Lang at SST:
Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire
Fuck Glenn Greenwald.
Speaking of American Likudniks and their enablers, they audibly creamed their pants this morning when Bibi dramatically intoned the Magical Words “radical Islamic terrorism.” What a weird thing that presser was.
Greenwald is every bit as eaten up with narcissistic personality disorder as Trump. He’s just got more brains and his grandiosity takes the form of the Pursuit of Truth rather than of money and bimbos. But he’s got that same tendency to conflate what he thinks with reality, that same inability to accept even the smallest criticism or affront from even the most insignificant critic without losing his shit, that same inability to recognize even the possibility that he’s ever been wrong.
Like Trump, just open up the Wikipedia page for “Narcissistic Personality Disorder,” drop down to the DSM-V description and tick off the diagnostic criteria, one by one.
Back when I used to read him, in his Salon days, I noticed the way that, time and again, he would dive deep, deep, deep into the comments, the frikkin’ comments for gawd’s sake, and launch one of his trademark savagely withering diatribes against just some random schmoe who dared to gainsay him, and I was like “whoa, somethin’ ain’t right with that guy.” And the pattern continued to the point that it undermined his reporting. He’s a master of leading readers to infer facts he doesn’t state because they’re not actually supported by his source material which takes them to a conclusion he doesn’t actually draw. And then, if you point that out, out comes the NPS Hammer of Righteous Vengence.
He’s just Trump with more brains, a husband and no money. Not to say that Trump actually has money, of course.
Segura, Scahill, Biddle & Hussein M are the only worthwhile columnists at the Intercept.
Why did Flynn lie to Pence? And why did Trump lie when he was asked about it?
Gin & Tonic
@HeleninEire: Adam’s mentioned him but no, he doesn’t know him. Schindler’s an asshole, but some people who know stuff and can’t talk use him as a mouthpiece. He’s also got a pretty good knowledge of eastern Europe and the Balkans.
@Brachiator: Same here. If “you go to (media) war with the army you have, not the army you want”, it fazes me that these two are posited as some type of all-knowing, super-sage guys with an inside track to anything.
They should not be irreplaceable.
@Kay: because that is what they all do as a matter of practice?
Gin & Tonic
@raven: I’d bet Obama’s control is so surreptitious that even he doesn’t know about it.
Of course, while the US abstained from voting on the particular UN Resolution, Russia (as well as every other member of the Security Council) actually voted for it.
The Moar You Know
Hates America. Really truly does in a way you rarely see outside of the terrorist community.
I’m not your doctor but I’d advise you to stop that.
Villago Delenda Est
Greenwald is beneath contempt.
Send in the drones. I’m done with this neo-feudalist asshole.
Do you know that you can use it?
Enhanced Voting Techniques
The hilerious part of it, as awsome as it would be, there is no such thing.
I sense conservative desperation.
schadenfreude: it’s what’s for dinner.
LOCK HIM UP!
Greenwald’s podcast (Intercepted, if you must listen…) is a bit perplexing. I get his take that Both Sides Are Corrupt and Evil because they like leaks when they help and they hate leaks when they hurt. What Master Of The Obvious Greeny has not explained is WTF he wants or what he proposes to do about it, short of sitting on the sidelines throwing bombs at both sides.
Major Major Major Major
@The Moar You Know: Greenwald hates America like an old-school paleoleftist, the kind that don’t even believe in nations, which makes him an easy pick-up for our foreign enemies’ propaganda efforts. The only question for me is whether or not he knows he’s been turned.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
That sounds suspiciously like that troll with the constantly changing name we have here. To think I thought that Doug having his fun with us.
O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!
I just feel as if the “this is a vendetta by intelligence services” theory would be more credible if Flynn and Trump hasn’t desperately and repeatedly lied about this.
Trump adores Putin. That’s no secret. Flynn could have said “I contacted them- so what?” Instead they all ran from it like it was on fire. Trump knew. Yet he let Pence go out there and say it didn’t happen.
Doug, if they had ever thought about their own positions in reasonable and thoughtful manners maybe they wouldn’t be douchebags in the first place.
@raven: Pat Lang actually said that? Jesus, that’s pretty paranoid. Col. Lang is really in a tough spot right now. On one hand, I think he recognizes what a menace the Trump administration is shaping up to be; on the other hand, this recent election represents a long awaited servicing of his deeply held tribal and regional grievances.
He may be a victim of the common delusion that it’s okay to hold Democrats and liberals to a higher standard, so shit that was perfectly fine for conservatives to pull against liberals is OMG TOTALLY UNFAIR YOU GUYS when liberals retaliate in kind.
BC in Illinois
Wow – – that’s right! I had to go upstairs to check, but I still have a copy of How Would a Patriot Act? (Greenwald, 2006) on my bookshelf.
At the time, he and Dan Froomkin at the Washington Post were the main people I saw raising questions about torture and the Bush administration’s administration of torture. I greatly admired their work, and shared their outrage. I was unhappy when the WaPo fired Froomkin in 2009.
Then, without any one reason I remember, I started reading Greenwald less and less. I only know what he is doing now from comments here. (Froomkin is now writing for Greenwald at The Intercept.)
If the mechanics of democracy are harmed, leak the truth. (Political lies about illegal voting or “intelligence that Tr has but no one else does” are different.) Rs are trying to dissolve the seriousness by claiming that leaked information that’s negative to one side in a political contest isn’t fair or can’t be real. This is about citizens’ right to know and as usual their attempt to suppress it is ugly and undemocratic.
GG was serving a purpose when he was a fighter with the ACLU. But he totally lost the plot on his journey to today. It is not about defending American Civil Liberties. It is about going after GG’s enemies.
And someone totally opposed to civil liberties, Vladimir Putin, went all out against Hillary and he cheered every minute of it. Putin assassinates his enemies and has pogroms against gays, and GG doesn’t care.
The Moar You Know
@raven: I have an ugly suspicion he’s well into dementia now. Really fucking sad.
This is what I want. As I believe I have made clear :)
The Moar You Know
@Major Major Major Major: Yeah! Damn, that’s what I was looking for. That guy. And no, I don’t think he even knows he’s been turned.
Major Major Major Major
@agorabum: @BC in Illinois: yep. Greenwald was good in the late Bush era. Then he got weird in the early Obama era, and instead of taking criticism at face value decided it was all the work of hypocritical liberals who had changed ideologies with leaders rather than the possibility that he might be wrong. He followed that paranoid rabbit hole, along with a combination of hard leftists, libertarians, and anti-liberals, all the way to Snowden. Again, my only question is at what point he knew he’d been turned.
@The Moar You Know: He must be, he unbanned me!
Minor quibble…it wasn’t Hillary’s emails that were leaked, I believe. It was the DNC’s. Her server was secure!! Correct me if I’m wrong.
I’m surprised that Greenwald has morphed into an anti-leak Trump-fluffer who worships the ground that Mike Flynn walks on especially given the pro-leak supposedly progressive Accountability Now founder that he was pretending to be back in 2009-10 and the dynamic anti-Bush Glennzilla that he was from 2005-08. He reminds me of Christopher Hitchens in his various peregrinations across the political spectrum. Like Charles Lane, who I vastly preferred when he was Peter Sarsgaard, GG was vastly preferable as Zach Quinto in the movie “Snowden.” I think he’ll probably ride the pro-Trump pony for awhile and then morph back into a pretend-progressive somewhere around 2019, still thinking that he’s maintained his credibility throughout. He did win a Pulitzer back in better days and I respect that, but the likelihood of him repeating that seems doubtful given the destruction of his credibility and his deranged Obama/Clinton hatred.
As for the Lake article, it accurately points out the contradiction between the Trump administration’s claimed reason for dumping the Flynn traitor (he lied to Pence) and the actual timeline that the IC’s leaks provide. (I suspect that that is the part that GG disagrees with). But it minimizes the possibility that Flynn was a Russian mole that could damage or actually damaged our national security (which is probably what GG agrees with).
Reading GG’s spittle-flecked screed though reminds me of olden times. Where’s Accountabilty Now now? How many “progressives” did Glenn and Jane elect? How active were they in 2016? The answers to these questions would show how much of a scam GG was then running and whether he is a true “progressive” now. Why are leaks great when he gets them and terrible when his Dear Leader is the target?
If you have his address, I’ll send him a pink pussyhat. Free of charge.
Yeah you are right
I was in Schiff’s district before we moved one city over. He’s a good guy who knows his stuff, and his district is full of Armenian immigrants who distrust the Russians and vote solid Democrat.
@Mnemosyne: yeah, he seems to throw passing statements about how Republicans hate it and then launch into a lot of vitriol about how bad Obama and Clinton were, so it’s possible it’s the higher standards thing, or else it seems like massive toddler butthurt smarting about something the Democratic Party did to him in the past – is there something there in the past that he’s grinding axes on? I admit I knew nothing about him until the Snowden saga and even then he seemed intolerably smug and cheering for overall chaos more than any specific goal or point.
I don’t stick up for the Innumerate Tory Douche often, but Sullivan sometimes, sometimes works his way through his obnoxious blind spots and smug self-certainty to see things differently. I can’t say I’ve ever seen Greenwald ever acknowledge that a single word he has ever published or spoken was anything but pure, unadulterated truth. It’s one of the most insufferable things about him.
@hedgehog the occasional commenter: I confess, I bought one of GG’s books during Bush The Lesser’s reign of error. I think it was called “What Would a Patriot Do?” Once he moved to Salon I stopped paying attention, which turns out to have been a good thing.
The Moar You Know
@raven: Must be indeed :)
I am not sure if I got banned or not – pretty sure yes – but I not only don’t comment there any longer, nor do I wish to, but don’t even read him save for maybe once or twice in a year, hoping that maybe he’s found his way back to sanity. The interval between visits just gets longer, as he obviously isn’t going to. His obsession with Obama – the degree of it alone – puts him square into clinical territory. Truly paranoid.
Q: What do they all have in common?
A: They’re non-entities without any insight, any real-world salience, or any influence, that a small subset of progressive masochists gets all exercised about.
His Snowden writing was bursting at the seams with the bullshit you describe. Headlines and lead grafs meant to scare readers into believing that the NSA is probably watching them right now, followed about 17 paragraphs later with “oh, by the way” reference to key facts that undermine the scaremongering he wants to convey.
Leak/schmeak, flynn/Schwinn… never met the man, nothing personal, but it’s NOT about him, nor is it about leaks. It’s about WHY ARE ELECTED OFFICIALS OUTSIDE THE WH ignoring the bear in the room, the not so cuddly Russian bear!
I forget the exact context, but after one particularly nasty lashing-out, I once tweeted that Greenwald had thinner skin than Trump.
He promptly blocked me.
I think this is my diagnosis of Comey as well.
WTF!? Bugging the phones of foreign diplomats and operatives is the dreaded ‘national security state’?
What am I missing?
And Flynn was some random John Doe talking to his second cousin twice removed who lives overseas?
I’m filing the whole argument under ‘stuff people say in public that is so dumb I can’t believe it.’
He’s also either a hypocritical asshole or completely oblivious to the fact that he is guilty of the same sin he ascribes to the parties. He loves leaks that purport to reveal how irredeemably awful the intelligence agencies are. Love love loves them. (ETA – also loves leaks that make Obama and Hillary look bad) Doesn’t seem to have the same affection for leaks that do not advance those causes, which he long ago turned into a personal crusade.
@agorabum: That’s the weird thing. Glenn is gay and has faced some persecution because of that. It would seem that he would see Putin for what he is – especially given what was done to gays and lesbians around the time of the Sochi Olympics and continuing on through today. If he cared at all for civil liberties, he should be appalled by that. The Russians actively persecute gay people and Glenn doesn’t care one whit about that. But he does care a lot about IC leaks aimed at his new Dear Leader – that’s a cause celebre for Glenn. He wrote precisely one grudging article about the Obama administrations progress on gay and lesbian rights – he hasn’t written even one article about Russian anti-gay pogroms.
@NCSteve: Over at LGM I made a not terribly disparaging remark about Greenwald’s lack of consistency and became the subject of his ire. When I didn’t respond he returned to the charge, going after a tack with a sledge hammer.
Didn’t change the fact that he is inconsistent and trembling on the brink of neo-condom.
@BC in Illinois: This directly mirrors my own experience with Greenwald. I have that book and it was very interesting.
But he’s really gone off the rail in the past two years, at least where I’ve been paying attention. He’s been especially awful in his strident hatred of Hillary Clinton. I’m not sure where it comes from – like, maybe he expects Democrats to be perfect and is much more outraged by them when they don’t live up to his standards? But it’s led him to a weird place with regards to WikiLeaks, Russia, etc.
Shit, I do. He’s a parody of a brogressive, a little shit so obsessively loathing of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party, and the United States as an international actor, that it’s led him to align with and defend bona fide fascists (do I mean Bannon or Putin, you ask? Pick one) and to piss away every alleged “principle” he’s ever had, now up to and including the idea he trumpeted for years that leakers who are concerned about their government’s behavior deserve to be protected and are heroes. (The “now of course I don’t agree with everything here” disclaimer is as unconvincing from him as it is from the both-sides-do-it-but-liberals-are-worse professional centrists in the MSM).
I have no idea if he’s a genuine fascist or simply a useful idiot, and he and his clique are very far from the biggest problem we’re facing, but he’s still no less of a toxic virulent asshole for that.
Isn’t Greenwald safely, conveniently tucked away in Brazil where he can throw sage poo at everyone without any tangible consequences for his criticism – such as having to actually live in the US under the Trump regime (or Moscow under Putin)? How nice.
There was some discussion yesterday that some gay men (particularly white gay men) are prone to misogyny and gynophobia. It’s possible that GG falls into that group and has a special hatred for Hillary based on her gender.
The Moar You Know
@MisterForkbeard: There is a thankfully small subset of gay men who hate women, especially powerful women. He’s one of them.
@Medicine Man: Yep, I went over to his blog and he says that in a comment on this page.
When Obama took over and did not immediately disband the NSA and dismantle the American intelligence apparatus en toto, Greenwald lost his mind, started calling Obama “Dear Leader” and saying anyone who didn’t recognize that Obama was an amoral monster no better than Bush was a mindless zombie. When he started writing and responding to his critics with that as his starting frame, he was off to the races into the bottomless depths of egomania, hypocrisy and stupidity he now dwells in.
He could have given a frank and honest accounting of the places where President Obama fell short of Candidate Obama on that score – there was plenty to work with there. But he went a different route and decided that Democrats are no better than Republicans, and really, even worse, because they pretended to have these high-minded Greenwald-approved ideals when they were opposing Bush but turned around and supported the exact same stuff when it was Obama. And he even had a point that partisans are willing to excuse behavior among their own that they think is criminal when the other side does it. But he turned that shit up to eleventy-billion, to the point of looking like a much bigger fool than the ones he was intending to mock, and never looked back.
Like I said, there was plenty of room for him to be a thorn in Obama’s side about the issues he cared about without turning it into a soap opera where he casts himself as the only honest person on the planet. But he made his choice.
@The Moar You Know: @The Moar You Know: I don’t know of any evidence that Glenn hates women generally – I think it was just specifically Hillary that he hated. And that was because she was a leader of the Democratic party and was in the way of his new Dear Leader.
@Scamp Dog: I’ll take your word for it. I don’t read the comment threads on any topic not associated with war/foreign policy on SST.
It’s always weird to mention that I’ve been personally insulted by a guy that Zachary Quinto played. It also sounds very pathetic.
And he let Russian operative Ed Snowden whisper everything he’d ever wanted to hear into his ear.
I quit paying attention to Greenwald years ago when it became clear that there was no modulator on his outrage meter, and Obama was WORSE THAN BUSH BECAUSE SHUT UP, THAT’S WHY. I mean, sure, hold Obama’s feet to the fire when he deserves it, but try to maintain some sense of proportion, FFS. Hacking through that tedious, discursive prose was barely worth it even when you were in your heyday, dude.
Never expected to see him toadying up to Trump/Putin, though. I’m guessing it was Obama’s fault?
@Scamp Dog: What, you think I made it up???
@The Moar You Know:
And it’s not like I can’t understand how some people might come by that honestly, given how many foreign policy fuckups we’ve made.
But this is a guy whose hate has taken him so far that he’s now shilling for gangster capitalists and white fucking nationalists. People who have already targeted vulnerable Middle Eastern refugee populations, people who have promised to deep-six the two-state solution, people who have claimed that we should’ve looted Iraq’s oil when we invaded, people whose main contribution to the foreign policy debate has been to demand that we say “Islam” more when denouncing our enemies.
… all because said white nationalists offer a chance at crashing (or seriously reducing) the United States’ role in the world by shredding NATO and other international organizations and making nice with Putin. (And because at least they’re not Democrats, who were mean to him on the Internet).
I mean, this is Flynn, for Christ’s sake. “Fear of Muslims is rational” Flynn. “Islam is a political ideology hiding behind religion” Flynn. “At war with Islam” Flynn. Greenwald should be celebrating no matter why the guy was shit-canned, if he really is the proud anti-imperialist defender of the poor and oppressed that he claims to be. Instead, he’s apparently whining about Deep State traitors.
(Now might be a good time to marvel at the fact that Glenn Greenwald once slammed Balloon Juice for being “one of the most Islamophobic sites on the Internet.”)
I’ve met virulent America-bashers (America’s-foreign-policy-bashers, at any rate) that I could actually understand or respect. Greenwald ain’t one. He’s a poser and a tool at best, a charlatan at worst.
Given that GG started his career defending some pretty nasty white nationalists for the ACLU, one wonders if he was defending them for reasons other than mere love of civil liberties.
@The Moar You Know: I’d like to see some evidence of this other than Hillary, but I’m willing to believe it’s possible.
Though I’m more likely to think it’s just because he’s a purity troll. Basically, he recognizes Hillary as someone putatively on his side, and is engraged by the fact that she doesn’t agree with him on everything. She’s not someone with a slightly different point of view, she’s a traitor. Compare that to Russians/Republicans who are known and expected enemies, and he just doesn’t have that depth of emotion towards them. It’s more important for him to punish Hillary, even if it means playing nice with and strengthening his real enemies. This would also explain why he had such a hatefest for Obama, though it took him longer. With Hillary, Glenn already believed she was corrupt due to propaganda and just went for it.
This also sides nicely with the idea shared by others on this thread that Greenwald is basically a giant rage monster. He acts upon anger, and he’s very, very angry with Clinton/Obama/Traitor Democrats.
I didn’t know that. I actually have no beef with the ACLU defending the rights of any client, no matter how vile. But what Greenie’s been doing is a long way from that.
David ?Canadian Anchor Baby? Koch
Can’t wait until Putin turns Snowden over to Trump as “a gift”, just to see griftwald spin into the ground.
@Chris:I have a long, roundabout story I’d like to share about calling Bannon/Trump/etc. white nationalists.
I had a “sensible conservative” friend attack me the other day for asserting that Trump had (at the least) made very racist and sexist comments. This was in context of a discussion about a Craigslist ad, where someone had stipulated “No Trump Supporters”. His opinion was that America (and Liberals) have devolved so far they’re not even willing to tolerate an opposing point of view. My opinion was that Trump was racist and sexist, or at least demonstrably had made many actions in that regard – and if you didn’t want to live with someone who thought racism or sexism was acceptable or laudable for the Presidency, that was a valid criteria.
This in turn started an argument about Trump’s racism and sexism, in which they accused liberals of calling everyone racist or sexist if they disagreed with liberal policies. I told them that was bullshit, and that I’m sure that’s happened to individuals but that’s far outside the scope of what we’re talking about. Namely, that Trump himself had made many racist and sexist statement during the campaign, let alone prior to the campaign – it wasn’t really a debatable point. They tried to argue about locker room talk, etc. until I finally just told them we weren’t getting anywhere and I didn’t want to talk about it anymore. They smirked, because they had just proved I was intolerant and unwilling to defend my positions without resorting to calling racism or sexism.
The point I’m getting at here is that even extremely intelligent, well mannered people can work very, VERY hard to convince themselves what they’re doing is rational and moral. I think Greenwald’s in this boat. He can convince himself that Trump and co aren’t really white nationalists if that makes attacking their opposition easier for him to bear. It’s cowardly and stupid, but I don’t think he actually realizes what he’s doing.
@XTPD: Dave Dayen. Just sayin’
“If you see something, leak something”. That’s what The Intercept’s banner reads. I guess that statement is about to become less simple.
@Major Major Major Major: Lake is columnist for Bloomberg and a neo-con. He very much supports the Saudi-American war in Yemen and very much wants to blow up the nuclear deal with Iran and have a war with Iran. Which makes it particularly ironic that GG and he are singing the same song right now in defense of Russia, and their American stooges Trump and Flynn. I doubt that Greenwald has ever agreed before with anything Lake wrote and that includes the “the” and “and.”
For examples see: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-05-24/the-secret-history-of-the-iran-deal-echo-chamber
In my case, this kind of thing is made slightly easier by the fact that most righties I know are actually the NeverTrumpist brand, people who actually called him racist and sexist and unacceptably bad in the primary season, only to obediently follow his lead in the general, and who since his election have reverted to being shocked, shocked, that horrible liberals could ever call Trump cabinet members racist, which was clearly just slandering good honest conservatives…
Well. Actually, scratch all of that. In my case, it’s made easier by the fact that my interactions with right wingers are virtually nonexistent at this point – even those are people I’m only “connected” through via Facebook and Twitter. But if I ever did interact with them, I’d at least have some material to work with, i.e. their own words…
And as for your point, sure, otherwise intelligent people can convince themselves of this kind of shit if they hate liberals (you, presumably, are One Of The Good Ones) enough. Conservatism runs on such people, like both your and my acquaintances. I’m just saying that this is in fact what Greenwald is, even if he play-acts at being a leftist, and that he richly deserves the roasting he’s given by blogs like this one or LGM.
@MisterForkbeard: yeah, I mean, it’s a viewpoint that has been common since before the Civil War. This odd “you’re intolerant of my racism” is the new “state’s rights” argument retreaded again and and again: refusal to accept an intolerant viewpoint is itself intolerant and thus hypocritical. It’s the last refuge of scoundrels and intellectual lightweights.
I have plenty against Greenwald, starting with his soft spot for authoritarian white male leaders, and ending with the likelihood that he’s a useful idiot for Russia at best, and a paid operative at worst.
The ACLU should be defending the civil rights of even the worst assholes — it’s their job to work on the margins and find the hardest-to-defend defendants.
But sometimes people get a little too involved in their work; see also the historian David Irving, who went from a respectable biographer of Hitler to a virulent white supremacist and Holocaust denier because he found it difficult to believe that all of these nice Germans he was reading about and talking to could be mass murderers. I mean, even serial killers have families who can’t believe they would do such terrible things.
@Mnemosyne: And it was a civil, not criminal trial, which is interesting. Remember his famous characterization of the victims’ families (plaintiffs in the case) as “odious and repugnant”? He also taped a witness without his/her knowledge and drew fire from bar association for that.
@MisterForkbeard: We could turn this question around: has Greenwald, purported progressive, ever written anything about women’s issues? Misogyny doesn’t necessarily shows as active hate, it can also show as a conscious or subconscious ignoring of women and things related to women.
I’ve always wondered whether Glenn really is a leftist on anything other than his main hobbyhorse. Other than his narrow civil liberties focus (which turned out to be very narrow indeed – basically only the civil liberty to be free from NSA surveillance or not attacked by a US drone in Yemen), has Glenn ever really shown himself to be a liberal or leftist on anything else? Has he spoken about police brutality, income inequality, the environment, voting rights, Wall Street greed,….etc. If he has, I missed it. And I think that’s another reason why he pivoted so quickly to fire-breathing hatred of all things Obama and Democrat. Because, living in Brazil and not really caring about anything other than American surveillance and imperialism, he did not have any reason to support the Obama administration on the dozens of other fronts where they were trying to make progress. Their supposed “betrayal” on his pet issue was all that mattered.
I’ve spoken to others who I consider to be liberals who felt similarly about Obama (“who gives a shit about millions getting health insurance when there’s DRONES to be angry about!!!”) until his term started wrapping up, they had transferred some of that aimless rage to Hillary (but were horrified about Trump) and they belatedly realized that Obama is probably as good as it will ever get and they should probably appreciate what he accomplished. They still have trouble admitting Obama was a good president, but they’re speaking of him and what he acheived about 1000% more positively than they were a couple years ago.
@laura: Shit. Forgot that he wrote for the Intercept, but also, too. Except for Hussein, everyone else I wrote had done consistently good work elsewhere, so I immediately thought of those guys as worth saving.
@XTPD: well, he shops it around a bit and isn’t “on staff” so reasonable to overlook.
His intellectual accumen, and clear, spare writing that resonates with the average shlub on kitchen table issues earned my respect in the years before the crash.
@laura: I actually compiled a list of media employees to keep and purge last December over at LGM. When it came to Jacobin, the “save” column stayed empty and I had to ask again two weeks later; the problem was that while the worst writers over there were easily identifiable and the best ones don’t regularly publish on that site.
@XTPD: yeah, Jacobin just always turned me off in the same way as Zero Hedge. Similarly, The Atlantic. Too much Megan McArf, not enough Simon Johnson. . . .
J R in WV
Well, I commented at about 6 am about our dogs and their close encounter of the Skunk Kind. There’s still quite an aroma behind the house, where the event happened.
I went to the nearest retail outlet, and they had quart bottles of Hydrogen Peroxide 3%, and a box of Arm & Hammer calcium carbonate, which we mixed together (1/4 cup in 1 qt.) with some Dawn dish soap. Then two 60 pound dogs got a shower, with special oxygen-high shampoo.
They smell a lot better, look good, still a little sulpherous, because we didn’t do their faces to protect their eyes. I’m pooped.
J R in WV
We did help the mujahideen fighting the Russians back in, what 1990s? Reagan sent the anti-Russian partisians manpad anti-aircraft missiles, which lowered the effectiveness of those HIND helicopters no end.
Now, Putin gets to pay Trump back for what Reagan did back when Russia was just one province of the USSR, which Putin longs for, a reconstituted Russian Empire.
@laura: McArdle hasn’t been there since forever. The Atlantic is on balance now pretty good; probably the worst columnists currently there are the intermittently-decen Conor Friedersdorf & the somewhat-better David Frum.
@NCSteve: Long-time lurker here and I remember you from the old-school TPM days-yes, I am THAT Hobbes. This is probably the most spot-on analysis that I’ve seen of GG. At this point he simply sounds desperate; like one of those lawyers who knows he doesn’t have a leg to stand on during an argument and simply talks about public policy (any lawyer who has heard a public policy argument knows that the opposing counsel has no leg to stand on and is simply using the legal equivalent of “it’s not fair!!!!!!). GG at this point should simply be ignored.
And I also need to add that it has to be crystal clear that GG did not care at all about civil rights/liberties; he is a narcisist who only wanted to bathe in the libertarian/authoritarian limelight and be squeeze some dollars out of it. The same goes for Dr. Lawyer. Super Person. QB. PHD Jill Stein Esq. Jr. Sr. DDS. Squire. Its either idiocy and/ or fame and adulation, and both of those are not mutually-exclusive.
@Calouste: The thing is, Greenwald has never been particularly interested in most issues. He is very narrowly focused on militarism and surveillance; he may or may not have opinions about feminism, voting rights, organized labor, social welfare programs, etc., but if so he generally keeps them to himself. Which is fine— I mean, there have always been advocacy journalists with a very specific beat, that’s a useful thing. But it means that trying to determine whether he or isn’t a “progressive” in any general sense, or interpret his lack of coverage of any specific area, isn’t very fruitful.
@Turgidson: Reading his crap closely is what turned me against both him and Snowden. Regardless of whether he was just leading his devoted readers to an inference he didn’t actually draw himself or whether he was actually making a claim, time and again he’d link to a document leaked by Snowden. And time and again, the document didn’t actually support the claim. At best, it would be one of many possible inferences that could be drawn.
And more often than not, it wasn’t even a real document, but, rather, a stinking powerpoint slide yanked out of a presentation with no actual context for even what the slideshow was. An orientation program for new employees? Some bullshit sales pitch from a vendor? A claim about what a system could do once you got a warrant or other legal authorization? We were never told. You were just required to Trust Greenwald because hey, lookit, he’s citing real documents!
@Hobbes83: And I’m still there. But I never go a day without checking in here. TPM is sadly lacking in pet pics and rescue networking.
I honestly can’t imagine whether it would have been more miserable to be on the other side of a case from Greenwald when he was in practice or to have to be on his side.
And, yeah, I just got finished with a responsive brief in a case where the other side made exactly that kind of table pounding public policy argument.
The Chinless Fuck is worth a front page? Did nothing happen in the last hour?
Mr. Spock insulted you?
I used to read Greenwald daily, and I can’t recall him ever saying anything about equal pay or reproductive rights. To be somewhat fair, I also don’t recall him discussing LGBT issues much either. What I do remember is that he was Ron Paul-curious, at least, in 2008 and when the stuff came out about Paul’s racism, and specifically, him taking money from Stormfront, Greenwald went ballistic at anyone criticizing Paul. He lashed out at Dave Neiwart, accusing him of “guilt by association” for suggesting that taking money from Nazis might mean you’re a racist.
That was when I stopped reading Greenwald.
@NCSteve: Yeah, Greenwald is the “Dennis Miller” of liberal commentators. He sucks.