On NSA claims about misreporting of two slides

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					                    1. On NSA claims about misreporting of two slides
NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander asserted yesterday that two "Boundless Informant" slides
we published - one in Le Monde and the other in El Mundo - were misunderstood and
misinterpreted. The NSA then dispatched various officials to the Wall Street Journal and the
Washington Post to make the same claim, and were (needless to say) given anonymity by
those papers to spout off without accountability. Several US journalists (also needless to
say) instantly treated the NSA's claims as gospel even though they (a) are accompanied by
no evidence, (b) come in the middle of a major scandal for the agency at home and abroad
and (c) are from officials with a history of lying to Congress and the media.

That is the deeply authoritarian and government-subservient strain of American political and
media culture personified: if a US national security official says something, then it shall
mindlessly be deemed tantamount to truth, with no evidence required and without regard to
how much those officials have misled in the past. EFF's Trevor Timm last night summarized
this bizarre mentality as follows: "Oh, NSA says a story about them is wrong? Well, that
settles that! Thankfully, they never lie, obfuscate, mislead, misdirect, or misinform!"

Over the last five months, Laura Poitras and I have published dozens and dozens of articles
reporting on NSA documents around the world: with newspapers and a team of editors and
other reporters in the US, UK, Germany, Brazil, India, France and Spain. Not a single one of
those articles bears even a trivial correction, let alone a substantive one, because we have
been meticulous in the reporting, worked on every article with teams of highly experienced
editors and reporters, and, most importantly, have published the evidence in the form of NSA
documents that prove the reporting true.

It's certainly possible that, like all journalists, we'll make a mistake at some point. And if and
when that does happen, we'll do what good journalists do: do further reporting and, if
necessary, correct any inaccuracy. But no evidence of any kind (as opposed to unverified
NSA accusations) has been presented that this was the case here, and ample evidence
strongly suggests it was not:

First, these exact same Boundless Informant documents have been used by newspapers
around the world in exactly the same way for months. The NSA never claimed they were
inaccurate until yesterday: when it is engulfed by major turmoil over spying on European
allies.

More than three months ago - in late June - Der Spiegel published an article under the
headline "Partner and Target: NSA Snoops on 500 Million German Data Connections." It
reported that the Boundless Informant documents "reveal that the American intelligence
service monitors around half a billion telephone calls, emails and text messages in the
country every month." The report was based on the same set of documents, for the same
time period, as the one published in France and Spain:
The statistics, which SPIEGEL has also seen, show that data is collected from
Germany on normal days for up to 20 million telephone calls and 10 million
Internet data exchanges. Last Christmas Eve, it collected data on around 13
million phone calls and about half as many online exchanges. On the busiest
days, such as January 7 of this year, the information gathered spiked to nearly
60 million communication connections under surveillance.
A similar article, using the same set of documents, was published in Brazil's O Globo a week
later, reporting the NSA's collection of the data for more than 2 billion calls and emails in
Brazil in a single month. Another article, in the Indian daily the Hindu, reported on bulk
collection of the data of calls in India based on the same document set.
And the very first article on Boundless Informant documents was published in the first week
of our reporting in the Guardian, and detailed how this set of documents "details and even
maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and
telephone networks." Those documents, we reported, "show the agency collecting almost 3
billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period ending in
March 2013." The article detailed several country-specific metadata totals based on those
documents.

Nobody from the US government ever once - over the last four months - claimed that any of
this reporting was inaccurate. The US government was asked for comment on all of these
stories, including the ones in France and Spain, and never once claimed it was mistaken.
That's because this is exactly what these Boundless Informant documents show. Perhaps
journalists should exercise a bit of skepticism - demand some evidence - when the NSA
suddenly claims these documents are misreported in the midst of one of the agency's worst
scandals in history.

Second, note what the NSA is not denying: that they collect the data on the communications
activities of millions and millions of people in European countries. They claim that these two
slides in particular have been misinterpreted, but have not denied the story itself.

Third, look at the NSA's own documents, and see how they themselves describe what these
Boundless Informant documents actually count. As part of our reporting in early June at the
Guardian on these documents, we published in full the NSA's own document about what
data is counted. Those interested should read the full document, but here are the relevant
excerpts (emphasis added):
BOUNDLESSINFORMANT is a GAO [Global Access Operations, a branch of
the NSA] prototype tool for a self-documenting SIGINT system. . .
BOUNDLESSINFORMANT provides the ability to dynamically describe
GAO's collection capabilities (through metadata record counts) with
no human intervention and graphically display the information in a
map view, bar chart, or simple table. . . .
        By extracting information from every DNI and DNR metadata
        record, the tool is able to create a near real-time snapshot
        of GAO's collection capability at any given moment. The tool
        allows users to select a country on a map and view the
        metadata volume and select details about the collection
        against that country. The tool also allows users to view high
        level metrics by organization and then drill down to a more
        actionable level - down to the program and cover term.
Could that be any clearer? These documents provide a "near real-time snapshot" of the
NSA's "collection capability at any given moment". The documents show the collection
efforts "against that country." Among the questions answered by these documents are "How
many records are collected for an organizational unit" and "How many records (and what
type) are collected against a particular country?"

Fourth, the fact some of this data is collected by virtue of cooperation with a country's own
intelligence service does not contradict our reporting. To the contrary: the secret cooperation
between some European intelligence agencies and the NSA has been a featured part of our
reporting from the start. Back in early July, der Spiegel, using Snowden documents and
Snowden's own words, reported on extensive cooperation between the German BND and
NSA. And this morning, in an article we prepared weeks ago, El Mundo published an article -
using Snowden documents - reporting the cooperation between the Spanish intelligence
service and the NSA.
The NSA spies extensively with (but rarely on) its four closest, English-speaking surveillance
allies in the "Five Eyes" group: the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. But for many
European nations, the NSA cooperates with those nations' intelligence services but also
spies on their populations and their governments without any such cooperation. That
negates none of our reporting: it is simply a restatement of it.

Finally, contrary to the suggestions of one particularly gullible reporter that these slides are
fake and of unknown origin, their authenticity is beyond dispute, just like every document
we've thus far published. A separate top secret NSA document on Boundless Informant, to
be published very shortly, in its title describes Boundless Informant as "Describing Mission
Capabilities from Metadata Records".

The first page states that its purpose is to "describe the collection capabilities and posture of
our SIGINT infrastructure". And it contains not only the Boundless Informant maps that were
long ago published, but exactly the type of accompanying graphs that were published this
week, taken from the same NSA electronic file. The core purpose of these Boundless
Informant documents, it says, is to "review every valid DNI and DNR metadata record
passing through the NSA SIGINT infrastructure": exactly what our reporting stated.

Again, it's certainly possible, given the number of reports and the complexity of these
matters, that reporters working on these stories will at some point make a mistake. All
reporters do. But this thing called "evidence" should be required before blindly believing the
claims and accusations of NSA officials. If that lesson hasn't been learned yet, when will it
be?


                         Postado há Yesterday por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            2.
                                                 Oct
                                                 26

                        Rep Rush Holt on "Stop Watching Us" Protest
News from
Representative Rush Holt
12th District, New Jersey
http://www.holt.house.gov
For Immediate Release Contact: Patrick Eddington
October 26, 2013


   HOLT STATEMENT ON “STOP WATCHING US”
                 PROTEST
     ON PATRIOT ACT’S 12TH ANNIVERSARY
(Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), former chairman of the House Select
Intelligence Oversight Panel, issued the following statement on the anit-domestic
surveillance Stop Watching Us rally and protest on the National Mall, commemorating
the 12th anniversary of the infamous PATRIOT Act becoming law:
―The American patriots participating in this protest understand the fundamental truth I
have articulated before: a true democracy does not treat its entire citizenry as suspects.
The PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act do exactly that, which is why in
August 2013 I offered the Surveillance State Repeal Act (H.R. 2818), which would repeal
both of these laws and end the civil liberties abuses they have spawned.
―I am grateful that key groups responsible for organizing this event—the Bill of Rights
Defense Committee and CREDO Action—are long-time supporters of the bill. I hope
every activist participating in this event in Washington and those supporting it around the
country and online will join me in seeking an end to the American surveillance state by
calling for swift passage of the Surveillance State Repeal Act.‖
                                              ###
                         Postado há 5 days ago por Glenn Greenwald
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                                          3.
                                               Oct
                                               15

                       Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian's statements
Statement of Glenn Greenwald:
"My partnership with the Guardian has been extremely fruitful and fulfilling: I have high
regard for the editors and journalists with whom I worked and am incredibly proud of what we
achieved.
        "The decision to leave was not an easy one, but I was presented with a once-in-a-
        career dream journalistic opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline.
       "Because this news leaked before we were prepared to announce it, I'm not yet able
       to provide any details of this momentous new venture, but it will be unveiled very
       shortly;"

Statement of the Guardian's Jennifer Lindauer:
"Glenn Greenwald is a remarkable journalist and it has been fantastic working with him. Our
work together over the last year has demonstrated the crucial role that responsible
investigative journalism can play in holding those in power to account. We are of course
disappointed by Glenn’s decision to move on, but can appreciate the attraction of the new
role he has been offered. We wish him all the best."
                        Postado há 3 weeks ago por Glenn Greenwald
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                                          4.
                                            Sep
                                            25

                                    Khaled M tweets
                     Postado há 25th September por Glenn Greenwald
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                                          5.
                                            Sep
                                             8
                                           NSA denial
Washington Post, August 30, 2013 [asterisks in original]:
       U.S. intelligence services are making routine use around the world of government-
       built malware that differs little in function from the “advanced persistent threats” that U.S.
       officials attribute to China. The principal difference, U.S. officials told The Post, is that
       China steals U.S. corporate secrets for financial gain.
       ―The Department of Defense does engage‖ in computer network exploitation,
       according to an e-mailed statement from an NSA spokesman, whose agency is part
       of the Defense Department. “The department does ***not*** engage in economic
       espionage in any domain, including cyber.”
                      Postado há 8th September por Glenn Greenwald
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                                             6.
                                               Aug
                                               16

                    Statement of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on NSA
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement on reports of
thousands of privacy violations and illegal surveillance each year by the National
Security Agency (NSA):
       “As more and more is revealed about the NSA’s sweeping surveillance practices,
       we are just scratching the surface of the full scope of blatant violations of
       personal privacy and freedoms. The news today uncovering even more abuse
       and overreach is extremely troubling. It also raises more questions about how
       extensive and invasive these programs truly are. The American people deserve to
       know more about the extent of the NSA’s intrusions on our civil liberties.”
                        Postado há 16th August por Glenn Greenwald
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                                             7.
                                               Aug
                                               10

                         Media reaction to Obama's news conference
Huffington Post:
Drudge Report:




National Journal:
Slate's Dave Weigel:
Huffington Post:




Washington Post's Ezra Klein:
New York Times Editorial Page:




                     Postado há 10th August por Glenn Greenwald
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                                        8.
                                          Aug
                                           7

                                 "Conspiracy to silence"
The claim:
The actual words:

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org,The War and Peace Report.
I’m Amy Goodman. I want to go back to Senator Saxby Chambliss, the top Republican on
the Senate Intelligence Committee, to get Glenn Greenwald’s response. During an
appearance on MSNBC’s Meet the Press, he said theNSA surveillance programs had
uncovered information about the threats that prompted the U.S. to close 19 embassies in
North Africa and Middle East.

SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS: These programs are controversial. We understand that. They’re
very sensitive. But they’re also very important, because they are what lead us to have the—
or allow us to have the ability to gather this chatter that I referred to. If we did not have these
programs, then we simply wouldn’t be able to listen in on the bad guys. And I will say that it’s
the 702 program that has allowed us to pick up on this chatter. That’s the program that
allows us to listen overseas, not on domestic soil, but overseas.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Senator Chambliss. Glenn Greenwald, your response?

GLENN GREENWALD: You know, it’s so ludicrous. For eight straight years, literally,
Democrats, every time there was a terrorist alert or a terrorist advisory issued by the United
States government in the middle of a debate over one of the Bush-Cheney civil liberties
abuses, would accuse the United States government and the national security state of
exaggerating terrorism threats, of manipulating advisories, of hyping the dangers of al-
Qaeda, in order to distract attention away from their abuses and to scare the population into
submitting to whatever it is they wanted to do. And so, here we are in the midst of, you know,
one of the most intense debates and sustained debates that we’ve had in a very long time in
this country over the dangers of excess surveillance, and suddenly an administration that
has spent two years claiming that it has decimated al-Qaeda decides that there is this
massive threat that involves the closing of embassies and consulates throughout the world.
And within literally an amount of hours, the likes of Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham
join with the White House and Democrats in Congress—who, remember, are the leading
defenders of theNSA at this point—to exploit that terrorist threat and to insist that it shows
that the NSA and these programs are necessary.

What that has to do with the ongoing controversy about the NSA is completely mystifying.
Nobody has ever questioned or disputed that the U.S. government, like all governments
around the world, ought to be eavesdropping and monitoring the conversations of people
who pose an actual threat to the United States in terms of plotting terrorist attacks. The
controversy is over the fact that they are sweeping up billions and billions of emails and
telephone calls every single day from people around the world and in the United States who
have absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. And, if anything, the only thing that that
controversy—the warning has to do with the current controversy is that the argument that a
lot of analysts have made, very persuasively, is that when you have an agency that collects
everything, it actually becomes harder, not easier, to detect actual terrorist plots and to find
the actual terrorists. And if this agency really were devoted, if these surveillance programs
were really devoted to finding terrorism, they would be much more directed and
discriminating. But they’re not. They’re indiscriminate and limitless, and that’s one of the
problems.



                         Postado há 7th August por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            9.
                                              Aug
                                               5

                                        PGP Public Key
Email: Glenn.Greenwald@riseup.net
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                        Postado há 5th August por Glenn Greenwald
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                                           10.
                                              Jul
                                              27

                             Brazilian public reacts to NSA stories
On July 15, 2013, Epoca, one of the two largest newsweeklies in Brazil, published a cover
story on the NSA's bulk collection of the electronic communications data of tens of millions of
Brazilians by tapping into Brazil's communication system, with this cover:
[The caption reads: I Spy On You: No Brazilian Is Safe From The Electronic Surveillance of
the US Government]

The following week, July 23, Epoca published four (4) Letters To The Editor about this story.
All 4 letters are below in their entirety, translated from Portuguese:
________________

EPOCA showed that the electronic surveillance system of the US government is far more
pervasive than anyone imagined:

LETTER ONE: Clarisse Renzini, Sao Paulo:
The US thinks it is the owner of the world, which can do whatever it wants. It's not like this. A
country does not have the right to invade the privacy of people around the world.
        Sometimes, conflicts are necessary to show that not everything is permitted. The
        absence of a reaction from Dilma and other leaders of the world shows the fear they
        have of the American military.
LETTER TWO: Andrea Neves, Lavaras, Minas Gerais:
I have nothing to hide. For me, Obama can sit and read my emails as much as he wants.
        But what an abuse of power this is, without doubt.
LETTER THREE: Roberto Vidal, Belo Horizonte:
They use terrorism as the justification for spying on the whole world. Of course, this has
been happening for a long time now, and no nation has the courage to stand up to the US,
so it all continues the same.
LETTER FOUR: Pedro Luis Favaro, San Jose do Rio Preto:
I don't see what's new. It's obvious that the US is spying on the whole world. They think they
are the owners of everything.
        The spied-upon countries should unite to confront Obama and his spies.
                          Postado há 27th July por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            11.
                                               Jul
                                               25

                            Nancy Pelosi and Bush's NSA program
Remember: this is the same Nancy Pelosi who spent years during the Bush administration
pretending to be a vehement opponent of the illegal Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping
program after it was revealed by the New York Times, even though (just as was true of the Bush
torture program) she was secretly briefed on it many years earlier when it was first implemented.
At the end of June, we published the top secret draft report by the Inspector General's office of
the NSA that was required to provide a comprehensive history of the NSA warrantless
eavesdropping program secretly ordered by Bush in late 2001. That report included this passage:

      "Within the first 30 days of the Program, over 190 people were cleared into the
      Program. This number included Senators Robert Graham and Richard Shelby,
      Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard
      Cheney, Counsel to the Vice President David Addington, and Presidential Assistant I.
      Lewis 'Scooter' Libby."

                          Postado há 25th July por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            12.
                                               Jul
                                               24

                         Rush Holt: Repeal the Surveillance State Act



                                   News from
                          Representative Rush Holt
                           12th District, New Jersey
                          http://www.holt.house.gov
                       For Immediate Release Contact: Chris Gaston
                               July 24, 2013 202-225-5801
 HOLT INTRODUCES “SURVEILLANCE STATE REPEAL ACT”
Bill Would Repeal PATRIOT Act, Other Over-broad Surveillance Law
(Washington, DC) Today Rep. Rush Holt introduced legislation to repeal federal
surveillance laws that the government abused by collecting personal information
on millions of Americans in violation of the Constitution, as revealed by a federal
whistleblower and multiple media outlets last month.
―As we now know, the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of
Investigation have been collecting the personal communications of literally
millions of innocent Americans for no legitimate reason,‖ said Holt. ―Instead of
using these powers to zero in on the tiny number of real terrorist threats we face,
the executive branch turned these surveillance powers against the American
people as a whole. My legislation would put a stop to that right now.‖
Holt’s bill, the ―Surveillance State Repeal Act‖, would repeal the PATRIOT Act
and the FISA Amendments Act, each of which contains provisions that allowed
the dragnet surveillance. The bill would reinstate a uniform probable cause-
based warrant standard for surveillance requests, and prohibit the federal
government from forcing technology companies from building in hardware or
software ―back doors‖ to make it easier for the government to spy on the public.
Additional features of the bill include the true legal protections for national
security whistleblowers, as well as changes to the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court to give it greater expertise in reviewing and challenging
executive branch applications for surveillance operations.
―The executive branch’s groundless mass surveillance of Americans has turned
our conception of liberty on its head. My legislation would restore the proper
constitutional balance and ensure our people are treated as citizens first, not
suspects.‖


                      Postado há 24th July por Glenn Greenwald
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                                      13.
                                        Jul
                                        24

                    Democratic whip description of Amash/Conyers
2) Amash/Conyers/Mulvaney/Polis/Massie
Amendment – Bars the NSA and other agencies
from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act (as codified
by Section 501 of FISA) to collect records, including
telephone call records, that pertain to persons who
may be in communication with terrorist groups
but are not already subject to an investigation under
Section 215
                      Postado há 24th July por Glenn Greenwald
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                                      14.
                                        Jul
                                        16

 Email from former GOP Sen Gordon Humphrey to Snowden: "courageous whistle blower"
Emails posted at this link
                           Postado há 16th July por Glenn Greenwald
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                                      15.
                                        Jul
                                        14

                     Email from Marwan Bishara to AJ executives
From: Marwan Bishara

Sent: 10 July 2013 15:30

To: Salah Negm; Ehab Alshihabi; Al Anstey; Mostefa Souag; Khalid Ali Johar

Cc: Director General; Amjad Atallah; Abderrahim Foukara; Paul Eedle; Saeed Al
Kaabi; Muhannad H Abu Ghazaleh; Ayman Gaballah; Ahmed Mahfouz Nouh;
Amin Saad Abdalla; Nasser Al Khelaifi; Abdulla Thamer Al-Thani; Ehab
Sahawneh; Ibrahim Helal; Moussa Nuseibeh; Abraham Ahmad; Imad Musa;
Giles Trendle; Julian Ingle; Mesallam Al Rashdi; Paul Rudd; Jonathan Powell;
Nasser Al Khelaifi; Yacine Messaoui; Ahmed Mahfouz Nouh; Mohammed
Dawood; Yacine Messaoui; Muftah Al-Suwaidan; Diarmuid Jeffreys; Salah
Khadr; Heather Allan; Ramzan Alnoimi; Ramsey Zarifeh
Subject: To Rectify the Mistakes with AJAM

To Rectify the Mistakes with AJAM

The next few weeks and months carry with them the daunting task of launching a
new and successful Al Jazeera channel in the US. And we must give it our all to
make it fulfill the promise of the mother company.

I started writing this email with bitterness and disappointment. But after taking
part in the last week‘s days coverage of Egypt and witnessing once again the
wonderful way in which everyone seems to pull together and give it their best, am
humbled by the efforts and professionalism of all involved. And after long and
difficult discussions with our various colleagues including those with formidable
responsibility both in Doha, NY and WDC, let me salute each and every one of
you with no exception and including the ones I share serious disagreements.
Your eagerness to make Aljazeera a success is formidable.

The following reflections are meant to contribute to rectifying some of the serious
mistakes made over the last several months in order to guarantee a healthier
launch and a more solid commitment to a potential American viewership.

Most of these mistakes, it seems to me as an observer, culminated because of a
lack of communication, lack of consultation and the rush to act out of a personal
ambition.

I had long decided not to interfere in the working of AJAM, but it has become
clear to me over the last few days and weeks that some terrible decisions have
been taken that separate AJA & AJE from the new channel on the basis of faulty
and ill-thought assumptions.

Paradoxically, those who know America best at AJN, or at least have had the
longest and most experience there have been the least consulted and kept out of
the loop. In the process Doha has been short changed and AJN has been
harmed.

The new effort in America benefits from and builds on our brand, journalism and
credibility, only to distance AJAM whenever convenient to appease those who
won't, or don't necessarily want to be, appeased, and in the process insult the
intelligence of the American people.

Do not to erect a firewall between AJN and AJAM under any circumstance.

I've been hearing many ill-conceived assumptions and baseless conclusions
about what's good for Aljazeera and what makes it successful in America. And it
seems to me a few tend to believe their own feeble pseudo-marketing claims - by
definition bullshit .

Presentation after presentation of selective clichés and deformed citations from
materials some of us have written in the recent past doesn't make for good PR let
alone for making the case for Aljazeera in America.
Silence is understood as agreement. It's shouldn't. As I said in the last episode of
Empire, ‗Secrecy corrupts the system‘. That‘s why it‘s high time to speak out and
to discuss the almost secretive ways in which AJ matters and interests have
been handled in America.

Colleagues in NYC and in Doha are trying to do their best and some are trying
harder to carry out and improve on instructions they don't agree with for reasons
that I and all of you should understand. But their dedication shouldn't be
understood as consensus.

Have we signed a deal where AJAM program/content must be substantially
different from AJE? Really!!!! What does substantially mean? Who have we
made the agreement with and why? I asked several executives and not a single
person can give me a categorical answer about the issue, which by itself is mind-
boggling!!! (I have issues with AJE's formats, and at times perspectives, but we
have so much to hold onto.)

Does the fear of contractual obligations with carriers etc. mean it‘s necessary for
some to do whatever they want with Aljazeera, including banning AJE altogether
from America and web livestream, just when they themselves try to make the
case for a 21st century type television news!!!!

How have all these contradictions and ill-conceived decisions come about? Was
Doha told of ALL the options possible? Was this wisely negotiated? And how
have we moved from the main idea that the strength of AJN lies in the diversity,
plurality and even accents of its journalists to a channel where only Americans
work, when clearly that's not what American viewership wants, even according to
the polls?

Let me be clear. I reject flat out that we are polled in the United States as AJE
journalists-programs-network in order to find out from Americans whether "we"
are "anti-American"!! As I wrote to those who ran the poll in the US (and never
gotten a response back). By merely posing the question we‘ve sent the wrong
message.

"What does "Anti-Americanism" even mean here? How did you define anti-
Americanism to those polled! Do you estimate that criticizing the American
government or its policies ―anti-American‖ are a fundamental ―American‖ trait and
essential element of its democracy and freedom of speech, not to speak of the
role of global media. Do you think The Guardian newspaper asks whether its
columnists are anti-American as it expands its presence in America? Or does
John Stewart ask whether John Oliver is an anti-American Brit considering he‘s
continuously ridiculing American power and at times culture? Since we are
Aljazeera from Muslim Qatar, featuring an entire episode critiquing the Catholic
Church, why not ask if we are anti Christian! ... Shameful."

Such leading questions only hurt us without adding anything to the understanding
of our journalism. Yes we need to poll to understand our TV viewership, and the
viewership of other networks. But who's suggesting these types of questions?
What's the relationship with the former Current TV? And who's dictating what to
whom in New York?

I am glad we at EMPIRE have passed the test. LOL. My American team
appreciates not being seen as "anti-American", but doesn‘t appreciate the
questions. We are also proud of our in-depth and critical journalism. EMPIRE is
an AJAM must program according as so many of you have told me over the last
few weeks and months. Thinking otherwise is as wrong as it is dangerous.

Somehow, perhaps because of a high degree of intimidation and pressure, in
addition to a lack of consultation, it rendered us hostage to a faulty and
superficial process in a country whose elites and people crave for AJE/AJA kind
of journalism. And I did hear of apologies being extended for this rather shameful
process, but I think it‘s a symptom of a greater problem.

In the past, I was asked by the DG to write up and email a number of
observations and guidelines, but with the exception of a little feedback from
colleagues, there was no discussion about the identity and culture of the new
channel.

But these issues are not the main problem per se; they are indications of a
greater failure to assign the right tasks to the right people in the right places and
to consult with those who know better. Somehow and for whatever reason, a new
culture crept on us of late based on the faulty, even absurd assumption that
journalists cannot be trusted with our media, and that business minded
consultants are better at making the major decisions. With all respect, and I
mean that, that's not true. I watch our producers every day write up budgets,
deploy teams, do the work flow etc. and have proven more than capable when
they know what they're doing. They also know what's good for the network they
helped establish.

Something has got to give and soon. Otherwise, if the same closed mindset and
superficiality continues to dictate our decisions, we might end up with a far
greater crisis in the future.

So for the sake of the many of the hidden foot-soldiers that make Aljazeera work
every day, for those who are putting the hours and staying away from their
families, and for those who dedicated their lives over the years for the cause of
our journalism; some even sacrificed their lives in the call of duty, let's safeguard
the dignity of an institution and the credibility of its journalism that has become a
cause celebre around the world.

That's why it's high time for a serious reflection about where we are heading
editorially with AJAM and other potential projects. And for that we need to start
answering the questions I listed above, including AJAM's identity and journalism
and figure out what will happen as and when Salah and co. leave New York back
to Doha. How will AJAM cover the next Egyptian crisis- as we did this week at
AJE- when all eyes are on us in America to supply the best possible reporting
that Americans have come to expect of us since our coverage of the Arab
revolutions.

Aljzeera enjoys the three ingredients that any network can only dream of: Thanks
to Doha, we've received billions of dollars over the last few years; we've been
granted basically free and independent editorial decision-making; and we have a
dedicated and talented body of journalists. It's also the perfect timing to make a
difference when other networks are abdicating their core journalistic mission. It
takes hard work to get it wrong...

Ehab, you took on a huge responsibility and have a great opportunity to prove
yourself. But personal ambition is leading you astray. You should make no more
appearances in public forums or photo-ups with political characters, shady or
otherwise, that would only hurt us on the long run. And stay clear of our content.
Journalism is not your thing; do whatever you know how to do.

It's truly insulting to the greater majority of the Americans who I suspect want to
watch us and support us that AJAM communicates with them through empty
gimmicks and poor marketing theatrics. If we fail America around the launch
time, it will be ever more difficult to salvage a tarnished image and compromised
credibility.
                       Postado há 14th July por Glenn Greenwald
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                                          16.
                                            Jul
                                            13

                            NSA revelations over the last month
All linked here

*****

How Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages

12 Jul 2013: Documents show company collaborated closely with NSA and FBI to help
agencies intercept data

********
The Snowden video sequel and Brazil fallout

8 Jul 2013: Glenn Greenwald: The worldwide debate over US surveillance which the NSA
whistleblower was eager to provoke is clearly emerging

********

The NSA's mass and indiscriminate spying on Brazilians

7 Jul 2013: Glenn Greenwald: As it does in many non-adversarial countries, the surveillance
agency is bulk collecting the communications of millions of citizens of Brazil

********

NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama

27 Jun 2013: • Secret program launched by Bush continued 'until 2011'
• Fisa court renewed collection order every 90 days
• Current NSA programs still mine US internet metadata

********

How the NSA is still harvesting your online data

27 Jun 2013: Files show vast scale of current NSA metadata programs, with one stream
alone celebrating 'one trillion records processed'

********

GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world's communications

25 June 2013 British spy agency collects and stores vast quantities of global
email messages, Facebook posts, internet histories and calls, and shares
them with NSA
********
The top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant

20 Jun 2013: Fisa court submissions show broad scope of procedures governing NSA's
surveillance of Americans' communication

********

Fisa court oversight: a look inside a secret and empty process

19 Jun 2013: Glenn Greenwald: Obama and other NSA defenders insist there are robust
limitations on surveillance but the documents show otherwise

********

Boundless Informant: the NSA's secret tool to track global surveillance data

11 Jun 2013: Revealed: The NSA's powerful tool for cataloguing global surveillance data –
including figures on US collection • Boundless Informant: mission outlined in four slides

********
Obama orders US to draw up overseas target list for cyber-attacks

7 Jun 2013: Exclusive: Top-secret directive steps up offensive cyber capabilities to 'advance
US objectives around the world'

********

NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others

7 Jun 2013: • Top-secret Prism program claims direct access to servers of firms including
Google, Apple and Facebook


********

NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily

6 Jun 2013: Exclusive: Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data
shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama administration

                         Postado há 13th July por Glenn Greenwald
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                                           17.
                                             Jul
                                              9

                                   Email to Walter Pincus
Dear Mr. Pincus:
That you decided to write an entire column grounded solely in baseless innuendo is between
you and your editors. But your assertion of several factually false claims about me, Laura
Poitras, and others is not:

 (1) "On April 10, 2012, Greenwald wrote for the WikiLeaks Press’s blog about Poitras and
 WikiLeaks being targeted by U.S. government officials."

I have no idea what you're talking about here, and neither do you. I never wrote anything "for
the WikiLeaks Press's blog". How you decided to pull that fact out of thin air is a genuine
mystery.

The April 10, 2012, article of mine you seem to be referencing - about the serial
border harassment of the filmmaker Laura Poitras - was written for Salon, where I
was a Contributing Writer and daily columnist. Neither it, nor anything else I've ever
written, was written "for the WikiLeaks Press's blog".

 (2) "In that same interview, Assange previewed the first Greenwald Guardian story based
 on Snowden documents that landed a week later."

This claim is not just obviously false, but deeply embarrassing for someone who claims even
a passing familiarity with surveillance issues.

The sentence you quoted from Assange's May 29 interview about the collection of phone
records was preceded by this: "The National Security Agency — and this has come out in one
court case after another — was involved in a project called Stellar Wind to collect all the
calling records of the United States."

Stellar Wind, as you rather amazingly do not know, is the code name for the 2001-2007 Bush
NSA spying program. As part of that program, the NSA (as you also rather amazingly did not
know) engaged in the bulk collection of Americans' phone records.

Back in April, 2012, NSA whistleblower William Binney went on Democracy Now and
detailed how, under Stellar Wind, the NSA argued that the Patriot Act "gives them license to
take all the commercially held data about us" and has thus "assembled on the order of 20
trillion transactions about U.S. citizens with other U.S. citizens."

When "Assange described how NSA had been collecting 'all the calling records of the United
States, every record of everyone calling everyone over years'", he was not "preview[ing] the
first Greenwald Guardian story based on Snowden documents that landed a week later" (a
story that revealed for the first time that a radical interpretation of section 215 of the Patriot
Act was being used by the FISA court and the Obama DOJ to justify the bulk collection of
Americans' communications record and that this indiscriminate domestic surveillance
program was active under the Obama administration).

Instead, Assange was describing - explicitly - a Bush program from 8 years earlier, one that
was widely reported at the time and thus known to the entire world (except, apparently, to
you and your editors).

 (3) "He [Snowden] worked less than three months at Booz Allen, but by the time he reached
 Hong Kong in mid-May, Snowden had four computers with NSA documents."
Edward Snowden has worked more or less continuously at the NSA for various contractors
since 2009 - not since March, 2013. See this July 4, 2013, New York Times article on
Snowden's four-year history at the NSA as a sophisticated cyber-operative:

 "In 2010, while working for a National Security Agency contractor, Edward J. Snowden
 learned to be a hacker. . . .By 2010, he had switched agencies and moved to Japan to work
 for Dell as an N.S.A. contractor, and he led a project to modernize the backup computer
 infrastructure, he said on the résumé. That year also appears to have been pivotal in his shift
 toward more sophisticated cybersecurity."

By the time he contacted us, he had already been working at the NSA with extensive top
secret authorization for almost four years. To conceal this vital fact from your readers - in
order to leave them with the false impression that he only began working at the NSA after he
spoke with me, Laura Poitras and your Washington Post colleague Bart Gellman - is deceitful
and reckless.

 (4) "Was he encouraged or directed by WikiLeaks personnel or others to take the job as part
 of a broader plan to expose NSA operations to selected journalists?"

Although you also conceal this from your readers, both Poitras and I have repeatedly,
publicly and in great detail addressed all of these questions. I did so in a newspaper called
"the Washington Post" ("It was only in May — and not before — that Snowden told
[Greenwald] who he was, who he worked for (at that point he identified himself as affiliated
with the NSA) and what sort of documents he had to share, Greenwald says. It wasn’t until
June — when Greenwald visited Snowden in Hong Kong — that Snowden told him he worked
specifically for Booz Allen"), as well as in the New York Times.

Poitras did so in an interview with Salon: "I didn’t know where he worked, I didn’t know he
was NSA, I didn’t know how — nothing. There was no like, Oh do you think you …, no
nudging. It’s like the crazy correlations that the NSA does. There’s no connection here. We
were contacted, we didn’t know what he was up to, and at some point he came forward with
documents".

You're free to disbelieve those answers in pursuit of your frenzied conspiracy theorizing. But
you should not feel free to pretend those answers haven't been provided and thus hide them
from your readers.

Apparently, some establishment journalists have decided that the way to save a discredited
and dying industry is to fill articles and columns speculating about the news-gathering
process on a significant story in which they had no involvement, and thus traffic in
innuendo-laden "questions" designed to imply elaborate and nefarious conspiracy theories.
So be it: I don't think that will work - I think what readers want are fact-based revelations
about those in power - but feel free to try.

But making up facts along the way, as you've done, should still be deemed unacceptable. At
the very least, they merit a prominent correction.

All of this is independent of the fact that the conspiracy theory you've concocted is just
laughable on its own terms. The very notion that Julian Assange would have masterminded
this leak from the start, but then chose to remain demurely and shyly in the background so
that others would receive credit for it, would prompt choking fits of laughter among anyone
who knows him. Your suggestion that Assange would refrain from having WikiLeaks publish
these documents, and instead direct these news-breaking leaks to The Guardian of all places
- with which he has a bitter, highly publicized and long-standing feud - is even more
hilarious.

Our NSA stories have been published and discussed in countless countries around the world,
where they have sparked shock, indignation and demands for investigation. So revealingly, it
is only American journalists - and them alone - who have decided to focus their intrepid
journalistic attention not on the extremist and legally dubious surveillance behavior of the
US government and serial deceit by its top officials, but on those who revealed all of that to
the world.

This is an important news story and journalists should be free to ask all sorts of questions
about who was involved and how. That's why we've been so forthcoming - unusually so -
about addressing all these questions. Read your Washington Post colleague Erik Wemple as
he explains that to you: "In response to various questions going back to the days just
after his first NSA stories, Greenwald has delivered a remarkable amount of
disclosures about how he got the story, how he executed it and how he plans to
continue pursuing it."

But when those questions are posed by fabricating events that never happened and ignoring
the answers that have already been provided, it strongly suggests that something other than
truth-seeking is the objective.


Glenn Greenwald

                         Postado há 9th July por Glenn Greenwald
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                                           18.
                                             Jun
                                              25

                                   Bernie Sanders on VRA
       WASHINGTON, June 25 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement
       after the Supreme Court ruled today that Congress had not provided adequate
       justification for continued federal oversight under the Voting Rights Act of 1965:

       ―The Supreme Court has turned back the clock on equality in America by striking down a
       key provision of the Voting Rights Act. The landmark civil rights law that Congress
       passed almost five decades ago, and reauthorized with overwhelming bipartisan support
       only seven years ago, has been an important tool to protect voters in places with a
       history of discrimination. The law is as necessary today as it was in the era of Jim Crow
       laws. We must act immediately to rewrite this vital law.‖

                        Postado há 25th June por Glenn Greenwald
                                                 1
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                                           19.
                                             Jun
                                              8

                                   Gail Collins on Clapper
From Gail Collins' NYT column today:


Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon did everything but tap dance theinformation in Morse code.
       ―Does the N.S.A. collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of
       millions of Americans?‖ he asked James Clapper, thedirector of national
       intelligence, at a public hearing.
         ―No sir,‖ said [Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/08/opinion/collins-intelligence-for-dummies.html?smid=tw-
share&_r=0
                       Postado há 8th June por Glenn Greenwald
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                                                 20.
                                                   Jun
                                                    7

                                     NYT/Sullivan email exchange

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Andrew Sullivan <>
Date: Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 3:31 PM
Subject: Re: glenn greenwald
To: "Kaufman, Leslie" <


I count Glenn as an honest blogger whose passions in real time can sometimes lead to misreadings of
others. But we're all vulnerable to that in the blogosphere, and in our various spats, I've always
enjoyed the give-and-take, rather than resenting some of the occasionally unfair barbs. They come
with the territory. But once you get into a debate with him, it can be hard to get the last word. A friend
described debating him as like engaging with a rhetorical trampoline. But I actually enjoy rhetorical
trampolining, as long as no one gets hurt too much. I do not take anything he writes about my work
personally.
His passion is a great antidote to the insidery access-driven village of Washington journalism, but at
times, I think he has little grip on what it actually means to govern a country or run a war. He's a purist
in a way that, in my view, constrains the sophistication of his work.
Yes, we're friends. We've hung out a bit, and are bonded by a couple of things. He relies on readers
for much of his income (and I rely on readers for all of mine) - and has made online debate much
sharper in many ways. I've benefited from his criticism, even as I remain to his "right." And he is forced
to live abroad with his partner David because the US refuses to acknowledge the validity and dignity of
bi-national gay couples. I was in that exact position for a long time with my American husband - and
our shared experience matters a lot to me. Our husbands have also bonded over the same issue.
And I genuinely like him as a human being.
you can use any all or none of that
cheers
andrew


On Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 3:18 PM, Kaufman, Leslie <> wrote:

 Needed in the next two hours, daily deadlines and whatnot.

 So if you can:
1) He obviously had strong opinions, but how is he as a journalist? Reliable? Honest? Quotes
you accurately? Accurately describes your positions? Or is more advocate than journalist?
2) He says you are a friend, is this so? I get the sense that he is something of a loner and has the
kind of uncompromising opinions that makes it hard to keep friends, but could be wrong.


Would love your thoughts on both or either of these questions.

Leslie

From: Andrew Sullivan]
Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2013 3:15 PM
To: Kaufman, Leslie
Cc: Jessie Roberts
Subject: Re: glenn greenwald

i'm temporarily without an assistant and extremely over-worked. my current temporary help, jessie, is
cced here and she can set up a time for a phoner of, say, 20 minutes, some time after 3 pm on
monday or tuesday next week.
hope that's ok. if needed sooner will have to reply by email
cheers
a


On Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 3:00 PM, Kaufman, Leslie < wrote:
What’s the best way to reach you?

From: Andrew Sullivan []
Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2013 3:00 PM
To: Kaufman, Leslie
Subject: Re: glenn greenwald

sure.
a


On Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 2:52 PM, Kaufman, Leslie < wrote:
Dear Andrew

I am doing reporting for a profile of Mr. Greenwald in light of the Verizon story today. Since he has
alternatively described you as a friend and criticized your writing, I wondered if you’d be willing to chat
about him

Thanks.


                            Postado há 7th June por Glenn Greenwald
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                                                21.
                                                  Jun
                                                   5

                      Sen. Mark Udall on the Verizon/phone records story
"While I cannot corroborate the details of this particular report, this sort of widescale
surveillance should concern all of us and is the kind of government overreach I've said
Americans would find shocking. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, it's why
I will keep fighting for transparency and appropriate checks on the surveillance of
Americans."
                             Postado há 5th June por Glenn Greenwald
                                                  2
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                                            22.
                                              Jun
                                               5

                            ACLU on Verizon/phone records story
    Massive NSA Phone Data-Mining Operation
                   Revealed
      ACLU Calls for End to Program, Disclosure of Program’s Scope,
                       Congressional Investigation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2013

NEW YORK – Using the Patriot Act, the U.S. government has been secretly tracking the calls
of every Verizon Business Network Services customer – whom they talked to, from where,
and for how long – for the past 41 days, according to a report published by The Guardian.

―From a civil liberties perspective, the program could hardly be any more alarming. It’s a
program in which some untold number of innocent people have been put under the constant
surveillance of government agents,‖ said Jameel Jaffer, American Civil Liberties Union deputy
legal director. ―It is beyond Orwellian, and it provides further evidence of the extent to which
basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable
intelligence agencies.‖

The program was put in place under the Patriot Act’s Section 215, a controversial provision
that authorizes the government to seek secret court orders for the production of ―any
tangible thing‖ relevant to a foreign-intelligence or terrorism investigation. Recipients of
Section 215 orders, such as telecommunications companies, are prohibited from disclosing
that they gave the government their customers’ records.

―Now that this unconstitutional surveillance effort has been revealed, the government should
end it and disclose its full scope, and Congress should initiate a full investigation,‖ said
Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel with the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. ―This
disclosure also highlights the growing gap between the public’s and the government’s
understandings of the many sweeping surveillance authorities enacted by Congress. Since
9/11, the government has increasingly classified and concealed not just facts, but the law
itself. Such extreme secrecy is inconsistent with our democratic values of open government
and accountability.‖

The first information about the government’s use of Section 215 was made public in
response to Freedom of Information Act litigation filed by the ACLU 10 years ago. More
recently, members of Congress have warned that the government has secretly interpreted
Section 215 in a way that would shock Americans. In 2012, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and
Mark Udall (D-Colo.) wrote, ―When the American people find out how their government has
secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they are going to be stunned and they are going to be
angry.‖

In May 2011, shortly before Section 215 was scheduled to expire, the ACLU filed a new FOIA
request in an effort to learn more about the ―secret interpretation‖ to which Sens. Wyden
and Udall had referred. Congress reauthorized Section 215 without amendment until 2015,
and for the last two years, the government has refused to describe its secret interpretation.
Whether or not the program described by The Guardian reflects that ―secret interpretation,‖
today’s disclosure confirms that the government has interpreted Section 215 extraordinarily
broadly.

This disclosure is likely to have significant implications for the ACLU’s pending FOIA lawsuit.
The Department of Justice is scheduled to file a brief in that case on June 13; the ACLU’s
response is due on June 28, and oral argument is scheduled for July 11 in the Southern
District of New York.

More information on the ACLU’s FOIA lawsuit requesting information on Patriot Act Section
215 is at:
aclu.org/national-security/section-215-patriot-act-foia

                           Postado há 5th June por Glenn Greenwald
                                                   1
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                                             23.
                                                Jun
                                                 5

                            ACLU on Verizon/phone records story
Following is the statement of ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer to the Guardian's
report on the NSA's bulk collection of telephone records:

"From a civil liberties perspective, the program could hardly be any more alarming. It’ s a
program in which every single person in the country has been put under the constant surveillance
of government agents. It'’ s the equivalent of the FBI stationing an agent outside every home in
the country to track who goes in and who comes out. It is beyond Orwellian, and it provides
further evidence, if any were needed, of the extent to which basic democratic rights are being
surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence agencies.

"That this program was apparently implemented under Section 215 of the Patriot Act makes it
even more disturbing. When President Bush signed the Patriot Act into law, the ACLU and many
other groups denounced Section 215, contending that it would permit unjustified invasions of
individual privacy. We brought lawsuits to try to invalidate the provision and shed light on the
government’ s use of it.

"But not one— legislator and no civil liberties critic —envisioned that the provision would be
exploited to justify a dragnet surveillance program on this scale. If the government thinks Section
215 permits this surveillance program, it hasn'’ t just interpreted the law; it’ s rewritten it
altogether."
                           Postado há 5th June por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            24.
                                              May
                                              25

 Email to Andrew Sullivan - Subject: "Keep Calm and Carry On: Your Glenn Greenwald Post"
For God's sake, calm down! And then do the right thing and apologize to Glenn Greenwald
for your over-the-top and silly criticism of his column asking the obvious and appropriate
questions of whether the London attacks meet the legal definition of "terrorism" and/or what
consistent definition of "terrorism" exists in our age of the "War on Terror." Couple of points:

1. Before this barbaric London attack, you had posted on the Dish an explanation that
"terrorism" legally requires (under U.S. law) that attacks be directed at civilians, and not (as
in the London attack) soldiers or "combatants."
http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/05/16/terror-and-terrorism-ctd/ Imagine if someone then
responded to you pointing out that fact (like Greenwald did) with the type of sanctimonious
outburst that you showed here. Would you have even taken it seriously?

2. The emotional intensity with which you demand that the London attack be described as
"terrorism" (as opposed to "horrific act of violence," "killing," "hack to death," "barbaric and
horrendous act," etc., as Greenwald writes) only confirms Greenwald's point that it is
important to define what "terrorism" means, particularly because certain folks have an
emotional, political and/or legal reason for insisting on its usage. What free thinker would
want to shout down that discussion? Respectfully, that is "very hard to understand, let alone
forgive."

3. Your core outrage that Greenwald improperly conflated U.S. actions with the type of
London barbaric attack is, frankly, a muddled mess and wrong. Greenwald did not remotely
compare US policy to two nut jobs hacking a guy to death in the street. Greenwald's
discussion (again in the context of trying to define "terrorism") acknowledged the historical
and present amount of massive civilian suffering, death, and maiming in this area of the
world by the U.S. -- whether directly or through US supported regimes -- and then, rightly,
noted that none of this has been described as "terrorism." Ironically, by your emotional
definition of "terrorism," don't you think that many Muslim civilians in this area of the world
could justifiably consider the U.S. to be terrorists?

Personally, I think your post suffered from a weird Republican (or, ex-Republican) notion that
it is somehow "tough" and "morally clear" to use the word "terrorism" -- an almost semantic
obsession that is freight with legal consequences. In fairness, I think Greenwald was writing
about something more nuanced, and was less concerned about checking the "tough on
terror" box. I honestly think you missed that.

Anyway, your fundamental misreading of Greenwald's column is succinctly stated in your
sentence: "How can that [U.S. history in the Mideast] legitimize a British citizen’s brutal
beheading of a fellow British citizen on the streets of London?" Greenwald never remotely
said that. And you owe him an apology. Its the decent thing to do.
                         Postado há 25th May por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            25.
                                              May
                                              24

        Deleted tweet: https://twitter.com/thescottfinley/status/338046937498542080
                         Postado há 24th May por Glenn Greenwald
                                                    3
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                                              26.
                                               May
                                               22

                       Jeremy Scahill statement re Holder admission
Jeremy Scahill, whose upcoming groundbreaking film, Dirty Wars, deals extensively with
US drone killings in Yemen, reacts to the admission by the US government today that it
drone-killed 4 Americans in Yemen, including the 16-year-old American Abdulrahman
Awlaki:

*****

"Attorney General Eric Holder's letter raises more questions than it answers. While the
Obama administration now admits it intentionally killed Anwar Awlaki despite never having
charged him with a crime, it continues to insist that the evidence against him is too sensitive
to be made public. The assassination of Anwar Awlaki was a watershed moment and
crossed a dangerous line. The public has a right to know the full, legal basis for killing
an American citizen without providing him any access to due process. How would
Awlaki have surrendered when he was not even charged with a crime? How do you
surrender to a drone?

"In his letter, Holder says that the United States did 'not specifically target' 16-year-old US
citizen Abdulrahman Awlaki. What does that phrase mean? Why then was he killed? The
White House should explain his killing to the American people and to the boy's family.
Despite its claims to be the most transparent administration in history, the Obama White
House continues to keep secret from the American people vital information about its
claimed lethal authorities. How does an American get on the kill list? How does one
get off the kill list, especially when there are no criminal charges filed against you?

"Perhaps most disturbing about the Attorney General's letter is that it leaves totally
unexplained why the United States has killed so many innocent non-American citizens in its
strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. Yet, from my investigation on the ground in a variety of
countries, I've become convinced that we are making more new enemies than we are killing
terrorists. We must confront the realities of the full impact of our 'targeted' killing program,
particularly when innocent civilians are killed, so that we can have a real debate about
whether our counterterrorism strategies are enhancing or degrading our national security."

*****
See the trailer for Dirty Wars here:
                              Postado há 22nd May por Glenn Greenwald
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                                                 27.
                                                      May
                                                      21

                                              Editor's Note

EDITOR'S BLOG


Editor's Blog: In the Massad case, we should have
done better
On the (temporary) removal of Joseph Massad's article, "Last of the Semites", from these
pages.
Last Modified: 21 May 2013 18:18
                 Imad Musa
                 Head of Online, Al Jazeera English

                 RSS




Recently there has been much give and take about a column published on our website, and
the decision to remove that column. During the past few days, people have speculated that
Al Jazeera succumbed to various pressures, and censored its own pages.
Al Jazeera has always demanded transparency from the centres of power around the world,
and we demand it from ourselves as well.
The article, re-posted below, is "The Last of the Semites". It was written by Professor
Joseph Massad, who teaches at Columbia University in New York. His article featured in
the Opinion section of our website.
After publication, many questions arose about the article's content. In addition, the article
was deemed to be similar in argument to Massad's previous column, "Zionism, anti-
Semitism and colonialism", published on these pages in December.
We should have handled this better, and we have learned lessons that will enable us to
maintain the highest standards of journalistic integrity.
Our guiding principle has always been "the opinion and other opinion". Our pages have
always been - and will always be - open to the most thought-provoking thinkers and writers
from across the globe.
Al Jazeera does not submit to pressure regardless of circumstance, and our history is full of
examples where we were faced with extremely tough choices but never gave in. This is the
secret to our success.
As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments.
                      Postado há 21st May por Glenn Greenwald
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                                             28.
                                               May
                                               17

                                Who bears the fighting burden?

This chart, from the December 2004 issue of the Population Bulletin (.pdf),
reflects the percentage of the American population which, throughout the
country‘s history, served in its armed forces:



There are currently 41.9 million Americans (.pdf) who are between the ages of
18-29 — the ―9/11 Generation.‖ And according to the CIA, there are roughly 108
million Americans ―fit for military service‖ — 54 million males and 54 million
females who, as the CIA defines it, are able-bodied and between the ages of 18-
49.
But the total number (.pdf) on active duty in American‘s armed services in 2007
only totaled roughly 1.4 million. Thus, a meager 1% of the total number of
Americans fit for military service — and less than 1/3 of 1% of the total number of
Americans — actually serve in the armed forces.

Moreover, roughly 60% (.pdf) of those in the armed forces are in the 18-29 age
group, which means that 800,000 out of the 41 million Americans in this 9/11
Generation —i.e., 2% — have ―answered the call‖ by volunteering to fight in the
Epic War of Civilization against the Existential Islamofascism Threat. Thus, 98%
of the ―9/11 Generation‖ in America refuses to serve.
                         Postado há 17th May por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            29.
                                              May
                                              13

                                ACLU on DOJ/AP phone story


         ACLU Comment on Justice Department
           Subpoenas of AP Phone Records
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2013


NEW YORK – The Department of Justice secretly obtained two months' worth of phone records of
Associated Press reporters and editors, according to an AP story.

The following statement can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil
Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office:

"The media's purpose is to keep the public informed and it should be free to do so
without the threat of unwarranted surveillance. The Attorney General must explain the
Justice Department's actions to the public so that we can make sure this kind of press
intimidation does not happen again."

The following statement can be attributed to Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy,
and Technology Project:

"Obtaining a broad range of telephone records in order to ferret out a government
leaker is an unacceptable abuse of power. Freedom of the press is a pillar of our
democracy, and that freedom often depends on confidential communications between reporters
and their sources."
                         Postado há 13th May por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            30.
                                              May
                                               6
                                  NYT on Syria-Israel attack
                                         1. 0
                                      Add a comment
                                            2.
                                              May
                                               6

                                  NYT on Syria-Israel attack




                          Postado há 6th May por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            3.
                                              May
                                               1

                               Maureen Dowd on Obama/Gitmo
May 1, 2013:


"Asked about the hunger strike, the former constitutional law professor in the White House
expressed the proper moral outrage at holding so many men 'in no-man’s land in perpetuity.'
But it sounded as though he didn’t fully understand his own policy.

"Closing Guantánamo doesn’t address the fundamental problem of rights. Obama’s solution,
blocked by Congress, is to move the hornet’s nest to a Supermax prison in Illinois — dubbed
'Gitmo North' — and keep holding men as POWs in a war that has no end. They’re not
hunger-striking for a change in scenery.

"It’s true that Congress put restrictions on transfers of individuals to other countries with bad
security situations. But, since 2012, Congress has granted authority to the secretary of
defense to waive those restrictions on a case-by-case basis. The administration hasn’t made
use of that power once. So it’s a little stale to blame Congress at this point."

See also: Brookings' Benjamin Wittes: here and here, and the ACLU here.
                         Postado há 1st May por Glenn Greenwald
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                                              4.
                                                   Apr
                                                   30

                                    ACLU on Obama/GITMO


   ACLU Statement on President's Guantánamo
                  Comments
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2013

NEW YORK – At a press briefing today, President Obama restated his belief that the prison at
Guantánamo should be closed. Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil
Liberties Union, responded to the president's comments by detailing immediate actions the
president could take.

"We welcome the president's continuing commitment to closing Guantánamo and putting an end
to the indefinite detention regime there," Romero said. "There are two things the president
should do. One is to appoint a senior point person so that the administration's
Guantánamo closure policy is directed by the White House and not by Pentagon
bureaucrats. The president can also order the secretary of defense to start certifying
for transfer detainees who have been cleared, which is more than half the
Guantánamo population."

"There's more to be done, but these are the two essential first steps the president can take now
to break the Guantánamo logjam," Romero said. "We couldn't agree more with President
Obama's statement that the 'idea that we would still maintain forever a group of individuals who
have not been tried – that is contrary to who we are, it is contrary to our interests, and it needs
to stop.'"
                          Postado há 30th April por Glenn Greenwald
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                                              5.
                                                   Apr
                                                   27

                           Bill Keller on Manning and the Arab Spring

Keller on NPR:

On whether The New York Times helped spark the revolts in Tunisia

        "We talk about this a lot around the office: To what extent did we set this in motion?
        The simple nuts-and-bolts answer to that is, in the case of the WikiLeaks cables in
        Tunisia, WikiLeaks certainly did make a difference. I'm pretty sure that the New
        York Times didn't because we didn't publish any of those cables until after the uprising
        was already under way. We've only reviewed a fraction of those 250,000 cables.
        There are a number of things that we're looking at now that suddenly seem
        interesting because the region is in turmoil. But Tunisia was not on our top 10 list of
        subjects to search when we got the first batch of cables."
        "I think the Tunisia one was at least fueled by [the release of Wikileaks
        documents.] The accepted version of how things happened in Tunisia was that a
       fruit seller who was mistreated by the government set himself on fire and this began
       an uprising by the impoverished fruitsellers in the marketplace and so on. We've
       tracked down the family of the guy who immolated himself. That all seems to be true,
       but it also seems to be true that the circulation of the Wikileaks documents
       that talked about how the Ben-Ali regime lived high off the hog ... clearly
       did circulate widely and if it didn't start what happened in Tunisia, it
       certainly fueled it."

In the NYT:
"If a project like this makes readers pay attention, think harder, understand more
clearly what is being done in their name, then we have performed a public service.
And that does not count the impact of these revelations on the people most touched
by them. WikiLeaks cables in which American diplomats recount the
extravagant corruption of Tunisia’s rulers helped fuel a popular uprising
that has overthrown the government."


                          Postado há 27th April por Glenn Greenwald
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                                               6.
                                                    Apr
                                                    20

           CCR Condemns Miranda Exception in Boston Marathon Suspect Case

 CCR Condemns Miranda Exception in Boston Marathon Suspect
                          Case
April 20, 2013, New York – Today, Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Executive Director
Vincent Warren released the following statement in response to the news that the government
had decided not to read the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings his Miranda rights before
interrogating him for what is now the longest exception to date

       Our thoughts go out to the friends and families of victims of these horrific bombings.
       While it is difficult to turn to points of law in times of tragedy, those are, in fact, the times
       we most need to cling to the values, laws and rights that make us who we are as a
       nation.

       The Miranda warnings were put in place because police officers were beating and
       torturing "confessions" out of people who hadn't even been formally accused of a crime.
       We cannot afford to repeat our mistakes. If officials require suspects to incriminate
       themselves, they are making fair trials and due process merely option and not a
       requirement. To venture down that road again will make law enforcement accountable to
       no one.

       Like Obama's expanded killing program and his perpetuation of indefinite
       detention without trial at Guantanamo, this is yet another erosion of the
       Constitution to lay directly at the President's feet. Obama's Justice Department
       unilaterally expanded the "public safety exception" to Miranda in 2010 beyond anything
       the Supreme Court ever authorized. Each time the administration use this exception, it
       stretches wider and longer. However horrific the crime, continuing to erode constitutional
       rights invites continued abuse by law enforcement, and walks us down a dangerous path
       that becomes nearly impossible to reverse.
                        Postado há 20th April por Glenn Greenwald
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                                          7.
                                               Apr
                                               20

                                      Toure re-tweet




                        Postado há 20th April por Glenn Greenwald
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                                          8.
                                               Apr
                                               20

                                     Drudge headline




                        Postado há 20th April por Glenn Greenwald
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                                          9.
                                               Apr
                                                8

                                    Drone lobby invite

From: Mario D. Mairena [mailto:xxxxxxx@auvsi.org]
Sent: Monday, April 08, 2013 9:41 AM
To:
Subject: 9 April Event in Cannon Caucus Room

Dear Congressional Staffer:

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) is the largest trade
association representing the unmanned systems — which includes air, ground and maritime
systems — and robotics community. We are holding AUVSI Hill Day in conjunction with
National Robotics Week on 9 April and we invite you to attend the celebration of the 4th
annual National Robotics Week in the Cannon Caucus Room on Tuesday, 9 April from
5:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. (hors d'oeuvres and refreshments).

AUVSI members will display and demonstrate interactive robotic technologies for attendees.
AUVSI coordinates this annual event with the House Robotic Caucus co-chairs Reps. Phil
Gingrey and Mike Doyle.

This year’s event is sponsored by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, UAV Solutions
and Carnegie Mellon University.

The reception in the Cannon Caucus Room is a widely attended event and is open to
all Members and staff.

We look forward to you joining AUVSI and the unmanned systems and robotics industry.
                         Postado há 8th April por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            10.
                                              Apr
                                               6

                    Murtaza Hussain replies to Harris and his defenders
Last week, Murtaza Hussain wrote a column in Al Jazeera which, among other things,
examined some of the uglier views of Sam Harris. Harris attacked that column in various
ways, including by angrily emailling me over my having tweeted it and claiming it distorted
his views, and he then touted on his Twitter and Facebook pages this post from one of his
readers, which also accused Hussain of distorting Harris' statements.

Below is Hussain's eloquent and compelling reply to that attack on him, which he posted on
Harris' Facebook page last night. What I find particularly compelling about it is how it
exposes the core disingenuous conceit of Harris and many of his followers: that their
relentless quest to prove that Islam is the world's gravest threat is nothing more than an
apolitical, scienitific, and rational assessment of facts, even though it occurs exactly at the
same time as (and within the context of) a decade-long war by the US, Israel and their allies
against predominantly Muslim countries that entails all sorts of violence, aggression, and
oppressive measures against Muslims - policies which Harris often expressly defends.

What Harris is so obviously peddling is nothing more than neoconservatism disguised as
atheism - in order to make that political ideology more palatable to people who would
otherwise reject it.

As he and his supporters tell the story, they just so happened to pop up to devote
themselves to scorning Isalm as the world's greatest evil at exactly the same time that
their very own nations and governments have been targeting Muslims with all sorts of
systematic state violence, aggression and suppression. But it's not their intent to glorify
all of that imperial state aggression with intellectual justification: oh, no, that's just a big
coincidence. They are not "tribalists" like Harris says those Muslims are: when they tout
the supreme evil of their governments' chosen enemies, they are just being rational and
objective and floating above it all.

Theodore Sayeed, in his brilliant comprehensive look at Harris' public advocacy, made the
key point to all of this: "Any review of Sam Harris and his work is a review essentially of
politics. . . . For a man who likes to badger Muslims about their 'reflexive solidarity' with Arab
suffering, Harris seems keen to display his own tribal affections for the Jewish state. The
virtue of Israel and the wickedness of her enemies are recurring themes in his work." The
same is true of Harris' other tribal affections: the US and the west generally, Hence the
obssessive focus on suicide bombs and reactions to cartoons by a tiny portion of the world's
Muslims, while ignoring (when not explicitly justifying) their own governments' massive
invasions, killings, occupations, torture and lawless detention regimes, and, in the case of
Israel, a 45-year-old brutal occupation fuelled in substantial part by religious conviction over
God's intent. Us Good, Them Bad.

Hussain:
This was a piece which could only be written by someone utterly
ignorant of the political and social contexts in which Harris makes
his arguments. Harris - for all his apparent moral and character
failures - happens to be stridently political and is not ignorant of
the context within which he is speaking. His endorsement of this
piece seems to reflect a disingenuous claim on his part that it
constitutes a solid defense of him - nothing could be further from
the truth.

        When I first read the claim here that Harris' defense of
        torture extends only to hypothetical non-real world
        individuals, I almost fell off my chair laughing. Harris wrote
        "In Defense of Torture" in 2005, directly in the middle of the
        Iraq War and the public debates over torture spawned by the
        abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib, Bagram Air Force Base,
        Guantanamo Bay, and innumerable CIA "black sites" all over the
        world. The claim that he is offering a neutral commentary on
        the subject in general - and not giving his green-light as a
        scientific and philosophic authority to the policies being
        fiercely debated at that very moment - is utterly risible. It
        has not been nameless, shapeless, colourless, individuals who
        have been the subjects of institutionalized torture over the
        past decade and as a political animal Harris knows this full
        well.

        Much the same can be said of his delightful commentary on the
        utility of nuclear holocaust. He's not making this argument in
        a vacuum, there is a fierce public debate about a particular
        Islamic country (Iran, if you're somehow unaware) potentially
        attaining nuclear weapons. There is literally no other country
        being debated at present to whom his "hypothetical" scenario
        may pertain than the Islamic Republic of Iran. Despite his
        apparently deep ignorance of this issue, given what actual
        experts (including the leading figures in the *Israeli*
defense establishment) have to say about the utility of
deterrence, he still feels compelled to chime in with his
casually genocidal opinion.

Harris magnanimously offers that under racial profiling he
would fit the description of the type of person being
profiled. How anyone could possibly find this absurdly
disingenuous claim to be credible is beyond me. I will pause
here for one moment because I think some degree of common
sense should apply in profiling and would like to separate the
concept from the man. In response to this article Harris
printed an email he received from a Muslim lawyer, the content
of which I believe made good sense. Muslims should do their
part to be patient with certain fears and concerns (even if
exaggerated) and not take offense if they are respectfully
scrutinized for a greater period than average. However what I
found disturbing about Harris' own flagrantly irresponsible
commentary on the issue was that he feels we should profile
anyone who "looks Muslim". Given that Muslims come from every
ethnic background on Earth - though, as I noted, they are
overwhelmingly black and brown - how exactly would we discern
who "looks Muslim"? Long flowing robes? Large beards?
Grandiose turbans? There is simply no natural way to do so. It
is a flippant yet highly dangerous statement made by Harris;
the only effective solution to which would be having Muslims
carry special ID cards or wearing crescent-moon armbands for
easy identification.

Robby's piece proceeds from the false premise that I'm trying
to psychoanalyze Harris, and as such leads him to make
erroneous conclusions. The fact that it gets Harris' back up
when he sees people who "look Muslim", and that people who
"look Muslim" are a potential threat in his eyes is a
statement which should stand on its own - I really couldn't
care less what he feels in his heart of hearts. What I and
everyone else should have a problem with is that the practical
implications of this view are utterly bigoted.

Furthermore, saying we are at "War with Islam" in the context
of the past decade of bombings, invasions, occupations and
wanton mass-murder (which he incredibly believes are actually
massive favors to the subject peoples), is, contrary to
Robby's endearingly quaint contention, indeed a call for open-
ended war. The United States is conducting a battle without
defined limits under the guise of an amorphous "War on Terror"
- a war which has no defined victory conditions and in
variously brutal forms continues to be carried on with no end
sight. In his great wisdom, [Harris] simply wants us to change
the name of the open-ended war which already exists and, by
expanding it from "Terror" to "Islam", make every one of the
1.5 billion people who identify with the latter a potential
enemy. Much as Harris would like, Muslims - even secular-
minded ones - are never going to stop identifying with the
1400 year old constructed civilization which, despite its
present hardships, has for centuries been the world standard
in art, science, governance, as well as racial and religious
tolerance. While in Muslims' present downtrodden state some
have tried to wipe their contributions out of history and
paint them as timelessly-backwards savages (a frequently-
employed colonialist depiction of their subjects), Muslims
have a collective memory of their past and will not be parted
from it, nor from their identification with Islamic
civilization.

In response to another of Robby's points, the United States is
not propping up a "benign dictatorship" in North Korea but is
certainly doing so in Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia (none of
these in my opinion really pass the "benign" test, but I
digress) and many other Muslim countries. The bigoted and
ignorant trope that Muslims are inherently incapable of
responsible self-governance has been trotted out again and
again and now finds Harris as another defender. Again, he
knows what he is doing as he is stridently political (as Glenn
so incisively pointed out, he pushes "atheism sprinkled on a
neoconservative worldview") and to see him claim ignorance of
the geopolitical reality he speaks to is an absurd game on his
part.

I don't begrudge Robby for making what he felt was a good
faith argument and defending someone he obviously admires. In
fact he admires him so much that it has led him to effectively
exonerate Harris in every circumstance from the real-world
consequences of his own words. If Harris were not stridently
political I would give him the benefit of the doubt - maybe
his words are simply being misappropriated and he is speaking
in terms of pure theory. However this is not the case, and as
I've shown in my piece just because you are a "scientist"
doesn't mean you are immune from the pull of ideology. Harris
is not only political, he subscribes to a particularly
virulent neoconservative worldview which - as I pointed out -
dovetails extraordinarily well with his supposedly impartial
philosophical arguments.

I'm a traditional liberal Muslim who despises extremism of all
types. The simple fact is that Islamic extremism is almost
exclusively a threat to people like me - not rich, white,
Westerners like Sam Harris. I was born in a Muslim country and
have traveled extensively in the Muslim world - whereas Sam,
the great empiricist, has never stepped foot in a Muslim
country in his life. How he can nonetheless make such boldly
idiotic statements regarding Muslims and the Muslim world is
beyond me. If he, as he so magnanimously stated, wants to help
"Muslim women and girls" he can start by opposing the wars he
has so enthusiastically promoted waging in Muslim lands. To
put it bluntly, women ALWAYS suffer the most in war. When they
are victims of sexual violence, when their family members are
        killed, when they lose economic security, when they fall prey
        to human trafficking and when their bodies are torn apart by
        bullets, bombs, and chemical weapons. The fact a warmonger
        such as Harris perceives himself as a savior of Muslim women
        would be hilarious if it weren't so tragic.

        If you like Harris for his neuroscience work or his work
        arguing against the existence of God; good for you. Even
        though I disagree on the latter point I think it is a subject
        worthy of continuous debate and - to burn this strawman for
        the millionth time - it is never bigoted to criticize ideas,
        including Islam. Although Harris is unfortunately a deeply
        dishonest intellectual who has made a career of "quote-mining"
        the Quran (something he, without apparent irony, accused me of
        doing to him), this is not what is perfidious about him. The
        fact is that he is a demagogue and hatemonger, who takes his
        most courageous moral stands against the weakest and most
        oppressed people he can find. He uses his intellectual
        authority as a scientist to act as an advocate for exceptions
        for the most despicable policies ever devised by humanity -
        seemingly arguing that whatever humans have previously decided
        is an absolute wrong in fact does not need to be. And again,
        he argues in the present tense, in the context of *these*
        ongoing wars fought against Muslims.

        Simply put, it is not me who has decontextualized Harris'
        words but rather those who have ignobly chosen to defend him.


                    Postado há 6th April por Glenn Greenwald
                                       20
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                                     11.
                                       Apr
                                        5

                   Twitter exchange with Sam Harris and friends
_____
_____
_____
____
___
___
____


___

____
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__
____
__

See also: my column on Harris' views

Noam Chomsky on Harris and similar "New Atheists": here and here

Former NYT Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Hedges on Harris and similar "New Atheists":
here

Theodore Sayeed on Harris: here

Laila Lalami in the Nation on Harris: here

Atheist Chris Steadman on Islamophobia in Harris and the writings of a few others: here

                             Postado há 5th April por Glenn Greenwald
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                                             12.
                                               Apr
                                                5

                                                 e
                             Postado há 5th April por Glenn Greenwald
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                                             13.
                                               Apr
                                                2

                                       Email with Sam Harris
Earlier today, I posted a tweet linking to a column in Al Jazeera by Murtaza Hussain that
accuses "New Atheists" such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens of
trafficking in anti-Islamic bigotry. A column making similar claims was published earlier this
week in Salon by Nathan Lean.

Shortly thereafter, I recieved an email from Sam Harris claiming, among other things, that the
column by Hussain took out of context several of his quotes. I wasn't persuaded at all by
Harris' arguments, and encourage everyone to read both Hussain and Lean's well-
documented columns, but repeatedly offered to publish our email exchange and then tweet a
link to it so that everyone could make up their own minds (Hussain, in his column, linked to
the full Harris columns from which he was quoting). Now that Harris has requested it, I'm
publishing our email exchange - in full and unedited - below:

SH to GG


                  Glenn --

                  Before you retweet defamatory garbage about me to 125,000 people, it would nice
                  if you looked at the article from which that joker had mined that "very revealing
                  quote." The whole point of my original article, written in 2006, was to bemoan the
                loss of liberal moral clarity in the war on terror--and to worry about the influence of
                the Christian conservatives in the U.S. and fascists in Europe.

                http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/the-end-of-liberalism/

                Here is the very revealing quote in context:
                         Increasingly, Americans will come to believe that the only people
                         hard-headed enough to fight the religious lunatics of the Muslim
                         world are the religious lunatics of the West. Indeed, it is telling that
                         the people who speak with the greatest moral clarity about the
                         current wars in the Middle East are members of the Christian right,
                         whose infatuation with biblical prophecy is nearly as troubling as the
                         ideology of our enemies. Religious dogmatism is now playing both
                         sides of the board in a very dangerous game.
                         While liberals should be the ones pointing the way beyond this Iron
                         Age madness, they are rendering themselves increasingly irrelevant.
                         Being generally reasonable and tolerant of diversity, liberals should
                         be especially sensitive to the dangers of religious literalism. But they
                         aren’t.
                         The same failure of liberalism is evident in Western Europe, where
                         the dogma of multiculturalism has left a secular Europe very slow to
                         address the looming problem of religious extremism among its
                         immigrants. The people who speak most sensibly about the threat
                         that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists.
                         To say that this does not bode well for liberalism is an
                         understatement: It does not bode well for the future of civilization.

                         Sam


GG to SH



               Sam - To be honest, I really don't see how that full quote changes anything. You are
               indeed saying - for whatever reasons - that the fascists are the ones speaknig most
               sensibly about Islam, which is all that column claimed.
                        I know Murtaza's writings really well and he's always trustworthy and
                        diligent, and I think he was here, too.

                        I'm not sure how you can blame me for tweeting an article published in Al
                        Jazeera and written by a respectable commentator, but I'm happy to post
                        your email to me - or some edited version of it as you wish - and tweet that,
                        too.

                        Glenn Greenwald


SH to GG


      You have got to be kidding…

      A few points that it would be nice to get into your brain:

      1. There is absolutely nothing racist about my criticism of Islam. I criticize white, western
      converts in precisely the same terms--in fact, I am even more critical of them, because they
            weren't brainwashed into the faith from birth. And one of my main concerns--always ignored
            by "trustworthy and diligent" people like Murtaza--is for all the suffering of women,
            homosexuals, freethinkers, and intellectuals in indigenous Muslim societies. One of my
            friends (and heroes) is Ayaan Hirsi Ali--whom I'm constantly having to defend from similarly
            tendentious attacks from my fellow liberals. How you get "racism" out of these convictions, I'll
            never know. (But you know how Murtaza would summarize this point: "Harris says, 'Some of
            my best friends are black'!") The truth is that the liberal (multicultural) position on Islam is
            racist. If a predominantly white community behaved this way--the Left would effortlessly
            perceive the depth of the problem. Imagine Mormons regularly practicing honor killing or
            burning embassies over cartoons...

            2. I wasn't making common cause with fascists -- I was referring to the terrifying fact (again,
            back in 2006), that when you heard someone making sense on the subject of radical Islam in
            Europe--e.g. simply admitting that it really is a problem--a little digging often revealed that
            they had some very unsavory connections to Anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, neo-Nazi, etc.
            hate groups. The point of my article was to worry that the defense of civil society was being
            outsourced to extremists.

            3. If you can't see that Murtaza's article is an unscrupulous exercise in quote-mining, you're
            not paying attention. How can I blame you for retweeting it? The article is defamatory--
            indeed, it is beneath responding to--and it was destined to be buried in noise until you
            retweeted it. You endorsed it and amplified its effects--hence my annoyance. What part of
            that process don't you understand?
                    Sam


GG to SH


           Sam - You can sneer and hurl insults all you want, but I've long believed that the crowd of
           which you're a part has been flirting with, and at times embracing, Islamophobia. I'm sure you
           saw the Salon article by Nathan Lean from a couple days ago, which I believe I also tweeted,
           that made the same point
           (http://www.salon.com/2013/03/30/dawkins_harris_hitchens_new_atheists_flirt_with_islamoph
           obia/).
                   I understand "the process" perfectly fine. I think you're embarrassed that people are
                   now paying attention to some of the darker and uglier sentiments that have been
                   creeping into this form of athesim advocacy, and are lashing out at anyone helping to
                   shine a light on that. A bizarre and wholly irrational fixation on Islam, as opposed to
                   the evils done by other religions, has been masquerdaing in the dark under the
                   banner of rational atheism for way too long.

                   The fact that you intended to convey a more-in-sorrow-than-anger tone when praising
                   fascists for their uniquely "sensible" view of Islam doesn't change the fact that you did
                   say exactly what Murtaza said you said.

                   My offer to publish our whole email exchange and then tweet it still stands so that
                   anyone is able to decide for themselves. Let me know if you'd like me to do that.
                   Glenn
SH to GG

Glenn --

Yes, I saw the Lean piece -- also absurdly unfair. The idea that "new atheism" is a cover for a racist
hatred of Muslims is ridiculous (and, again, crudely defamatory). I have written an entire book attacking
Christianity. And do you know what happens when I or any of my "new atheist" colleagues criticize
Christians for their irrational beliefs? They say, "Of course, you feel free to attack us, but you would
never have the courage to criticize Islam." As you can see, our Christian critics follow our work about
as well as you do.

Needless to say, there are people who hate Arabs, Somalis, and other immigrants from predominantly
Muslim societies for racist reasons. But if you can't distinguish that sort of blind bigotry from a hatred
and concern for dangerous, divisive, and irrational ideas--like a belief in martyrdom, or a notion of male
"honor" that entails the virtual enslavement of women and girls--you are doing real harm to our public
conversation. Everything I have ever said about Islam refers to the content and consequences of its
doctrine. And, again, I have always emphasized that its primary victims are innocent Muslims--
especially women and girls.

There is no such thing as "Islamophobia." This is a term of propaganda designed to protect Islam from
the forces of secularism by conflating all criticism of it with racism and xenophobia. And it is doing its
job, because people like you have been taken in by it.

Did you happen to see The Book of Mormon? Do you know how the Mormons protested this attack
upon their faith? They placed ads for Mormonism in the Playbill. Imagine staging a similar production
about Islam: Would it be "bizarre and wholly irrational" for Trey Parker and Matt Stone to worry that the
Muslim community might have a different response?

Your treatment of these issues, and of me in this email exchange, has been remarkably disingenuous.
If I had endorsed a similarly libelous attack on you and broadcast it to all my readers, you would also
be annoyed. Just imagine how you would view me if I then defended my actions in the way that you
have here, claiming that you are just "embarrassed" to have been found out to be the racist that you
are.

Yes, I think we should publish this. It might be useful for our readers to see how difficult it is to have an
honest conversation about these things, even in private.
          Sam


My further reply to Harris is set forth in my Guardian column today - here.
                          Postado há 2nd April por Glenn Greenwald
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                                                  14.
                                                    Mar
                                                    24

                         Bro-gressives who praise the Rand Paul filibuster
Various Democratic partisans - ironically led by the all-male group blog (and overwhelmingly
(exclusively?) straight-white-male blog) LGM - have spent two straight weeks falsely
suggesting that the leading supporters of Rand Paul's anti-drone filibuster are males, often
implying that they are only white males. They've even adopted a slur designed to promote
this lie, "bro-gressives": meaning, white male progressives who support the Paul filibuster.
To maintain this deceit, they deliberately - and quite tellingly and characteristically - ignore
and silence the numerous prominent women and people of color who have vocally praised
the Paul filibuster, literally pretending they don't exist:

ACLU's Laura Murphy:
      "As a result of Sen. Paul’s historic filibuster, civil liberties got two wins: the
      Obama administration disclaimed authority to use an armed drone within the United
      States in the absence of a Pearl Harbor-style attack, but more importantly,
      Americans learned about the breathtakingly broad claims of executive authority
      undergirding the Obama administration’s vast killing program.
        "There is now a truly bipartisan coalition in Congress and among the public
        demanding that President Obama turn over the legal opinions claiming the authority
        to kill people far from a battlefield, including American citizens. We are not a country
        of secret rules, particularly when the rules unilaterally justify the killing of as many
        as 4,700 people, including four American citizens."

Falguni Sheth, Salon:
"Although it broke no records, Paul‘s filibuster met with telling widespread
negative reactions on the parts of liberals and progressives. . . . Yet instead of
expressing outrage, Democrats continued to acquiesce to the White House‘s
radical expansion of executive power. And they turned on Rand Paul, even
though his objections should have been shared not just by liberals, but by
everyone with even a passing respect for the rule of law. . . .
       "Rather than challenge a Democratic administration in defense of
       constitutional principles that all citizens should insist be guaranteed,
       Democrats embraced party tribalism. . . .
        Is Paul a racist? Here‘s a better question: Is Paul any more racist in his
        economic and drug policy endorsements than the White House in its
        policies of kill lists, targeted killings, drone strikes, TSA no-fly and watch
        lists, Department of Homeland Security‘s Secure Communities program or
        ―See Something, Say Something‖ policy? Is Rand Paul more of a threat to
        black and brown populations (American or foreign) than the current
        administration, which deported more than 1.5 million migrants during its
        first term and separated tens of thousands of migrant parents from their
        children? Is Rand Paul more of a threat to our safety than the current
        administration?
        Democrats should have participated in Paul‘s filibuster until the answer
        they received was an unconditional ―no‖ to the question of targeted killings
        of Americans on American soil.
Former White House official Van Jones, on CNN:
"Sen. Rand Paul was a hero yesterday, and what I've been hearing was a lot of shame from
liberals and progressives. . . . I think this is a watershed moment . . . . We have this undefinied,
ill-defined war and we have not had the conversation we need to have. What Rand Paul did was
use the filibuster how it's supposed to be used. . . .
          "It's wrong to call it a stunt . . . .This was not a stunt. It was democracy. . . .The shame is
          that liberals and progressives have given a pass to any adminstration on civili liberties
          issues. I see Rand Paul as a civil rights villain. . . . but Rand Paul was a hero last night
          on civil liberties, and liberals and progressives should be ashamed."
Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, as reported by The Huffington Post:
"Rachel Maddow . . . gave Paul her nightly 'Best New Thing In The World'
designation, and spoke to Ron Wyden, the lone Democrat who joined him in his
filibuster. She said that partisan politics were definitely playing a role in Paul's
actions, and she criticized him for what she called his "gratuitous Hitler references.'
But she also said the filibuster was 'dramatic and significant and full of
meaning,' and praised Paul for staying on his feet."
Liza Sabater, repeatedly praising the Paul filibuster on Twitter and criticizing Dems for not
supporting it:
And:




And:




Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, as reported by BuzzFeed:
Asked about Democrats' lack of support for [Paul's] filibuster, Missouri's Sen. Claire
McCaskill offered, "A lot of people weren't in the building yesterday."
       "I am 100 percent behind him that we need drone oversight," she told BuzzFeed,
       adding that she respected "his overall theme."
Margaret Kimberly, Black Agenda Report:
      Rand Paul was denounced as the wrong man with the right message, but most
      Democrats were too craven to deliver any message at all on the high crimes of their
      president and his killing assistant. . . . Yet when members of the United States
      Senate had the opportunity to stand against an imperial president claiming a right to
      murder, it was Paul instead of supposedly liberal Democrats who took to the
      Senate floor for thirteen hours in an act of protest against what ought to be a
      high crime.
       Rand Paul proved that there is almost no one charged with upholding the
       Constitution who will actually do it. Democrats attacked the Bush administration
       when it claimed a right to designate anyone an enemy combatant and destroy their
       rights to due process. But in a twist reminiscent of Alice falling down the rabbit hole,
       it is now Democrats who stand idly by while both domestic and international
       law is torn asunder by one of their own.
       In an example of politics making strange bedfellows, leftists can thank Paul for
       proving a point they have been making for years. The Democratic Party is not just
       ineffectual, it is actually a partner with the Republicans working against the aims of
       achieving a peaceful and just country and world.

The women of Code Pink:




Former CAP writer Zaid Jilani:
And:




And, most revealingly:
The thinking seems to be that if the Reality-Based Community of progressive blogs
continues to just pretend that these women and people of color don't exist - if they just
scream "bro-gressives!" enough times - then maybe these commentators and activists will
just disappear from view: just like they hope that the fact that the victims of President
Obama's militarism are overwhelmingly non-white and Muslim will be forgotten.

Most of these commentators and activists have harshly criticized Paul in the past, and even
did so while they praised his filibuster, because they recognize the simple and obvious truth
that many Democratic loyalists do not: you can praise a politician's stance on a discrete
issue while still vehemently opposing others that they hold. But as Jilani points out, the
ugliest aspect of this whole spectacle is not only watching these progressives silence the
voices of women and people of color who give the lie to their narrative, but even worse,
continually mocking and demeaning the work against Obama's militaristic policies and civil
liberties abridgments because those policies overwhelmingly harm non-white Muslims and
thus have no effect on these sneering Good Progressives, protected by their privilege
against these abuses and therefore free to deride efforts against them.
                         Postado há 24th March por Glenn Greenwald
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                                           15.
                                             Mar
                                             14

                                    Boeing's ad in Politico
                        Postado há 14th March por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            16.
                                              Mar
                                              11

                         Email from Charlie Savage on Awlaki killing
The exact date that Awlaki went on ―the list‖ is one of several issues
that we dug into at length, and while we were able to mosaic together
some answers to some previously outstanding questions this one remains
murky. The starting point is that there is a contradiction in the
early-leaks public record between Dana’s anonymous source in that late
January 2010 article you point to, who said ―late 2009,‖ and Scott’s
anonymous source in this April 2010 article http://goo.gl/RYzRN, who
said ―earlier this year‖ i.e. 2010. Moreover even if ―late 2009‖ were
correct, that could mean either pre or post underwear bombing.

While it is clear that Fort Hood elevated Awlaki’s profile and led to
a big push to find out more about him, as best as we can tell that
push seems to have been oriented initially toward identifying anyone
else whom he may have been in contact with (i.e. who may be the next
Hasan?); we found no one who told us of any decision to specifically
target him before Abdulmutallab’s attack. Webster’s Fort Hood report
also has several passages that support the notion that it was only in
the aftermath of the underwear bombing that the US government decided
that he was directing attacks rather than merely inspiring people, as
someone at the ACLU pointed out to me during the course of this
project.

The notion that there is a singular ―kill list‖ is also a bit of an
oversimplification, which could add to the fog. First, as Scott and Jo
Becker explained in their big piece last May http://goo.gl/uZ4bZ,
there are two different procedures – one for JSOC and one for CIA –
and within those separate processes there are escalating steps – one
is nominated for consideration before a decision is made, etc. And of
course there can’t be an order to shoot until a target is located and
the specific circumstances in that window of opportunity are
evaluated. So it could be that the discrepancy is that there were
different steps in climbing that ladder for Awlaki, one in late 2009
(perhaps putting him on the nominations list for evaluation?) and
another in early 2010 (perhaps the completion of the first memo saying
it would be lawful, as part of that evaluation?).

Importantly, as we reported, Abdulmutallab’s acknowledgement that he
was sent by Awlaki (and Asiri, the bombmaker, of course) when he
resumed talking in late Jan/early Feb, and the wealth of detail he
recounted, was a clincher to them that he was personally involved in
the underwear attack, but it was not an out-of-the-blue revelation.
Intel agencies had zeroed in on him very quickly in its aftermath
through other means, possibly electronic intercepts.

But despite these educated guesses or speculation, we all still have a
lot of unanswered questions about this. Just as how the Abdulrahman
strike came to go so disastrously wrong – what exactly was the bad
intel and why was it so off, who else did they think may have been
down there, were they aware it was an public eatery rather than some
kind of private encampment or compound, etc – remains murky, there is
much that is left to be told about this. We did our best to advance
the ball and succeeded in some respects, I think, but just as we are
still fighting in court to get the real memos out, the work is not
done.

______________


Again I think the oversimplification is in looking for a singular
point in time in that period at which they decided to kill him and he
went on "the list." Instead it appears the narrative is more like
attention to him is escalating and they are thinking seriously about
it. But the decision to order a target's killing is not made until he
is located and they can see where he is at that moment of opportunity,
who else is around him, what would be involved logistically in getting
the drones or whatever to that spot, what the context is. The legal
analysis is developed to be part of that decision if and when the time
comes to make it. So if they had located him before Abdulmutallab's
fuller confession, then decision would have been made based on
whatever signals intercepts they had developed before then that tied
him to the plot, but since they didn't find him for a long time all
this stuff had time to accumulate.
                          Postado há 11th March por Glenn Greenwald
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                                                17.
                                                  Mar
                                                   7

                                         ACLU on Rand Paul


              ACLU Comment on John Brennan’s
                Confirmation to CIA Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 07, 2013

WASHINGTON – The Senate today voted 63-34 to confirm John Brennan as director of the
Central Intelligence Agency. Brennan’s confirmation came after a bipartisan coalition objected to
the secrecy surrounding President Obama’s targeted killing program and began to assert
congressional oversight over this unlawful White House policy. The effort was capped off by a
nearly 13-hour filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

―As a result of Sen. Paul’s historic filibuster, civil liberties got two wins: the Obama
administration disclaimed authority to use an armed drone within the United States in the
absence of a Pearl Harbor-style attack, but more importantly, Americans learned about the
breathtakingly broad claims of executive authority undergirding the Obama administration’s vast
killing program,‖ said Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s
Washington Legislative Office. ―There is now a truly bipartisan coalition in Congress and among
the public demanding that President Obama turn over the legal opinions claiming the authority to
kill people far from a battlefield, including American citizens. We are not a country of secret rules,
particularly when the rules unilaterally justify the killing of as many as 4,700 people, including
four American citizens.‖

During the past six weeks, steps towards transparency have included the President’s State of the
Union commitment to disclose more information on the killing program, several of the eleven
Justice Department legal opinions released to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, a
disavowal of authority to use armed drones domestically, and two congressional oversight
hearings. There also have been new promises of a public explanation of the killing program by
President Obama, possible subpoenas for the legal memos from the Senate and House Judiciary
Committees, and expanded efforts by key members of the Intelligence and Judiciary committees
to obtain the legal opinions and exercise greater oversight over the killing program.

―We’re glad to hear commitments from Congress to provide meaningful oversight over the killing
program as well as a new promise from President Obama to provide a fuller explanation of it to
the public,‖ Murphy said. ―However, there is no substitute for providing the legal opinions to both
Congress and the American people, and no one should accept anything less than being able to
read for ourselves what the government is claiming it can do.‖

The ACLU currently has two Freedom of Information Act lawsuits pending before federal appeals
courts in Washington and New York seeking the release of Office of Legal Counsel memos and
other records concerning the targeted killing program.
More information is at:
www.aclu.org/national-security/targeted-killings
                           Postado há 7th March por Glenn Greenwald
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                                                18.
                                                   Mar
                                                    7

                                       Jeff Merkley on Brennan

       Merkley: Brennan Not Right Person for the Job
Washington, DC- Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement after voting against
John Brennan’s nomination to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

―The Bush Administration was far too quick to sacrifice our core constitutional values that guarantee
freedom in the name of fighting terrorism, and while the Obama administration has attempted to turn
the page on some important infringements on civil liberties, too many of those Bush-era policies
continue. We need new leadership in our intelligence community to help steer our nation toward a
clear re-affirmation of our values. John Brennan, an inside player in both administrations, is not the
right person for that job.

―I have deep concerns with the Obama Administration’s continuation of Bush-era policies related to
warrantless wiretapping and the collection of electronic records pertaining to the activities of ordinary
citizens. I have concerns about policies that allow the administration to strip due process rights from
Americans it chooses to deem enemy combatants. Those lost rights constitute core Constitutional
values including the requirement to show cause for detaining a citizen, the right to a public trial, and
the right to confront those who bear evidence against you. I am also deeply concerned about the
implications of the administration’s policy on drone strikes. And I am troubled that so much of the legal
justification for these policies remains secret, preventing Congress, let alone the American people,
from weighing the trade-offs.

―We can and should protect America from our enemies without compromising the very essence of
American freedom and rule of law. We need someone at the CIA who will lead us towards
counterterrorism policies that reflect and respect Americans’ deep faith in our Constitution. I don’t
believe John Brennan is the right person for that challenge.‖
                           Postado há 7th March por Glenn Greenwald
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                                                19.
                                                   Mar
                                                    7

                                       Trust in political leaders
Thomas Jefferson, 1798:
"In questions of power . . . let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down
from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
John Adams, 1792:


"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man
living with power to endanger the public liberty."



                        Postado há 7th March por Glenn Greenwald
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                                           20.
                                             Feb
                                              26

                                  March speaking events
On Saturday, March 2 at 7:00 pm, I'll be in Portland, Oregon, speaking at the annual
Liberty Dinner of the ACLU of Oregon. Ticket and event information are here.

On Monday, March 4, at 1:00 pm, I'll be speaking in Brooklyn, New York, at Brooklyn
College. The event is open to the public; event information is here.

On Tuesday, March 5, at 9:00 am, I'll be speaking in Washington, DC at the
Freedom2Connect conference. Event information is here.

On Tuesday, March 5, at 5:30 pm, I'll be speaking in Amherst, MA, at Hamsphire College.
Event information is here.

On Wednesday, March 6, at 6:00 pm, I'll be speaking in New Haven, CT, at Yale Law
School. The event is open to the public; event information is here.

On Thursday, March 7 at 7:00 pm, I'll be speaking in Brockport, NY at the College of
Brockport.

                      Postado há 26th February por Glenn Greenwald
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                                           21.
                                             Feb
                                              22

                              Brennan on geographic limits
From Brennan's written responses to the questions submitted by the Senate Intelligence
Committee
                      Postado há 22nd February por Glenn Greenwald
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                                           22.
                                             Feb
                                              19

                                  The public opinion fallacy

Progressives often excuse Obama's embrace of these extremist Bush/Cheney terror policies
on the ground that Americans support these policies and therefore he's constrained. But that
claim reverses causation: it is true that politicians sometimes follow public opinion, but it's
also true that public opinion often follows politicians.

In particular, whenever the two political parties agree on a policy, it is almost certain that
public opinion will overwhelmingly support it. When Obama was first inaugurated in 2009,
numerous polls showed pluralities or even majorities in support of investigations into Bush-
era criminal policies of torture and warrantless eavesdropping.That was because many
Democrats believed Obama would pursue such investigations (because he led them to
believe he would), but once he made clear he opposed those investigations, huge numbers
of loyal Democrats followed their leader and joined Republicans in opposing them, thus
creating majorities against them.

Obama didn't refrain from investigating Bush-era crimes because public opinion opposed
that. The reverse was true: public opinion supported those investigations, and turned against
them only once Obama announced he opposed them. We see this over and over: when
Obama was in favor of closing Guantanamo and ending Bush-era terrorism policies, large
percentages supported him (and even elected him as he advocated that), but then once he
embraced those policies as his own, large majorities switched and began supporting them.

                      Postado há 19th February por Glenn Greenwald
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                                           23.
                                             Feb
                                              14

                            Lawsuit threats to Brooklyn College


          CUNY TRUSTEE, JEWISH LEADERS AND LEADING CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY
          CALL UPON BROOKLYN COLLEGE TO MAKE IMMEDIATE CHANGES OR WILL
                                COMMENCE LAWSUIT

        February 13, 2013 --- A press conference will be hosted where Jewish students
        from Brooklyn College, Jeff Wiesenfeld, a 14-year CUNY trustee, noted-civil
        rights attorney Neal Sher and Jewish communal leaders will gather to demand
        that Brooklyn College adopt immediate policy changes. The Press conference is
        being held in response to Jewish students being wrongly ejected from an event
        hosted by the school in support of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
        movement.

        The event will be held at 888 Seventh Avenue, 12th Floor (57th Street) at 12:30
        PM on Thursday, February 14th.

        Atendees will include:

        Jeff Wiesenfeld – 14-year CUNY trustee, former aide to Governor Pataki and
        other elected officials: ―As a trustee who has observed for many years the
        heroic leadership of Chancellor Goldstein in restoring the reputation of CUNY, I
        will not stand by as the cancer of faux ―academic freedom‖ is used to malign
        people indiscriminately and damage the reputation of our University, as cited by
        President Obama in last night’s State of the Union. We need a new paradigm.
        For too long the august principles of the American Association of University
        Professors (AAUP) have been corrupted: teaching has morphed into
        proselytizing, debate into propaganda, ―free and open exchange‖ into
        harassment and exclusion. Not all groups play by the rules. It is time for a
        national discussion on intellectual diversity – the one diversity disappearing
        from our campuses. Organizations which have a demonstrable record of
        exclusion, harassment of others, prohibited political propaganda or even
        physical disruption or violence - should and must be excluded.‖

        Neal Sher – former Special war Crimes Prosecutor, US Dept. of Justice: ― I wish
        to make clear that the paradigm where some groups were ―exempt‖ from the
        protections afforded by Title VI of the US Civil Rights Act. These federal
        statutes afford Jewish students the same protection and rights to a safe and
        unhindered educational environment as their peers in other ethnic groupings. I
        am prepared to commence legal proceeding s against the City University of
New York if guidelines are not adopted which would prevent the violations we
witnessed recently at Brooklyn College of the civil and constitutional rights of
Jewish students at a Brooklyn College event sponsored by its Political Science
department.

Dovid Efune – editor-in-chief, Algemeiner Journal, which came into possession
of audio recording documenting the falsehood of allegations of disruptive
behavior by Jewish students made by Brooklyn College administrators: ―we had
reported on the initial narrative from both sides and were quite surprised when
Brooklyn College came out quite forcefully on the side of the BDS organizers.
We were shocked to discover upon hearing the tape that the allegations were
baseless, and that Brooklyn College had lied to the public by taking sides
without securing sufficient evidence of what took place first."

Students will also be available for interview.
              Postado há 14th February por Glenn Greenwald
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                                   24.
                                     Feb
                                      14

                    Lawsuit threats to Brooklyn College


 CUNY TRUSTEE, JEWISH LEADERS AND LEADING CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY
 CALL UPON BROOKLYN COLLEGE TO MAKE IMMEDIATE CHANGES OR WILL
                       COMMENCE LAWSUIT

February 13, 2013 --- A press conference will be hosted where Jewish students
from Brooklyn College, Jeff Wiesenfeld, a 14-year CUNY trustee, noted-civil
rights attorney Neal Sher and Jewish communal leaders will gather to demand
that Brooklyn College adopt immediate policy changes. The Press conference is
being held in response to Jewish students being wrongly ejected from an event
hosted by the school in support of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
movement.

The event will be held at 888 Seventh Avenue, 12th Floor (57th Street) at 12:30
PM on Thursday, February 14th.

Atendees will include:

Jeff Wiesenfeld – 14-year CUNY trustee, former aide to Governor Pataki and
other elected officials: ―As a trustee who has observed for many years the
heroic leadership of Chancellor Goldstein in restoring the reputation of CUNY, I
will not stand by as the cancer of faux ―academic freedom‖ is used to malign
people indiscriminately and damage the reputation of our University, as cited by
President Obama in last night’s State of the Union. We need a new paradigm.
For too long the august principles of the American Association of University
Professors (AAUP) have been corrupted: teaching has morphed into
proselytizing, debate into propaganda, ―free and open exchange‖ into
harassment and exclusion. Not all groups play by the rules. It is time for a
        national discussion on intellectual diversity – the one diversity disappearing
        from our campuses. Organizations which have a demonstrable record of
        exclusion, harassment of others, prohibited political propaganda or even
        physical disruption or violence - should and must be excluded.‖

        Neal Sher – former Special war Crimes Prosecutor, US Dept. of Justice: ― I wish
        to make clear that the paradigm where some groups were ―exempt‖ from the
        protections afforded by Title VI of the US Civil Rights Act. These federal
        statutes afford Jewish students the same protection and rights to a safe and
        unhindered educational environment as their peers in other ethnic groupings. I
        am prepared to commence legal proceeding s against the City University of
        New York if guidelines are not adopted which would prevent the violations we
        witnessed recently at Brooklyn College of the civil and constitutional rights of
        Jewish students at a Brooklyn College event sponsored by its Political Science
        department.

        Dovid Efune – editor-in-chief, Algemeiner Journal, which came into possession
        of audio recording documenting the falsehood of allegations of disruptive
        behavior by Jewish students made by Brooklyn College administrators: ―we had
        reported on the initial narrative from both sides and were quite surprised when
        Brooklyn College came out quite forcefully on the side of the BDS organizers.
        We were shocked to discover upon hearing the tape that the allegations were
        baseless, and that Brooklyn College had lied to the public by taking sides
        without securing sufficient evidence of what took place first."

        Students will also be available for interview.
                     Postado há 14th February por Glenn Greenwald
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                                          25.
                                            Feb
                                             12

              Chris Hayes on the "no-alternative" fallacy for justifying drones

Chris Hayes monologue on drones - 2/10/13:

And besides: it‘s war, would you rather, I am often asked by supporters of the kill list,
that we have boots on the ground, big expensive, destructive deadly disastrous land
invasions of countries like the Iraq war? Isn‘t the move from wars like Iraq to
―surgical strikes‖ in Yemen precisely the kind of change we were promised?

This narrow choice between big violence and smaller violence shows, I think,
just how fully we have all implicitly adopted the conceptual framework of the
War on Terror, how much George W. Bush’s advisers continue to set the terms
of our thinking years after they’d been dispatched from office. Because that
argument presupposes that we are at war and must continue to be at war until
an ill-defined enemy is vanquished.
What, people ask, is the alternative to small war, if not big war? And the
answer no one ever seems to even consider is: no war. If the existence of
people out in the world who are actively working to kill Americans means we are still
at war, then it seems to me we will be at war forever, and will surrender control over
whether that is the state we do in fact want to be in. There’s another alternative:
we can be a nation that declares its war over, that declares itself at peace and
goes about rigorously and energetically using intelligence and diplomacy and
well-resourced police work to protect us from future attacks.
The Obama administration quite ostentatiously jettisoned the phrase war on terror
from its rhetoric, but it‘s preserved and further expanded its fundamental logic and
legal architecture. Even after the troops come home from Afghanistan, we will still be
a nation at war.
In 1832, German military theorist Carl von Clausewitz declared that ―War is an act of
force, and there is no logical limit to the application of that force….a clash of forces
freely operating and obedient to no law but their own.‖ Much of the history of war and
international law in the last century, particularly after the horror of the second world
war, was an attempt to prove Clausewitz wrong. But we shouldn‘t fool ourselves. We
may find ourselves at some point facing a stark choice between the war we are
now fighting and the law which we all at least pretend is the bedrock of our
republic.
I say we choose the law.
_______________
[GG: I'd add: The assumption that there would be full-scale war without drones is
itself dubious in the extreme. Drones are risk-free and easy means of killing; if they
did not exist, it's hardly the case that full-scale war would inevitably replace them - as
though the US would be invading and occupying Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan in
their absence.
Because drones are risk-free and easy means of killing, they make war and violence
much more likley, not less likely. The "alternative" to killing people with drones is not
full-scale war but a cessation of America's Endless War that they have played no
small role in furthering, combined with law enforcement and security operations
against any terrorism that actually exists (and that terrorism would almost certainly
be less once the US ceases running around the world killing at will]].

                     Postado há 12th February por Glenn Greenwald
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                                         26.
                                           Feb
                                                 7

                        City Councilman Stephen Lvevin to constituents


Dear Neighbor,
Thank you for contacting me to voice your opinion about the upcoming
Brooklyn
College event, “BDS Movement Against Israel.” As your representative in
the New York City Council, I appreciate your feedback on this and other
important issues.

After careful consideration, I have decided to withdraw my name from
the letter sent by members of the City Council to the President of
Brooklyn College, Karen Gould. This letter, as you have noted,
contained language that could be interpreted as a threat to remove
funding from Brooklyn College. While I disagree with many aspects of
the BDS movement and I believe that some of their statements are
inflammatory and counter-productive to the goal of a peaceful two-state
solution, I believe deeply in the principle of free speech and in the
right of academic institutions to allow the open exchange of differing
points of view. We may or may not agree on the merits of BDS, but we
can surely agree that upholding the First Amendment is essential to our
democracy. I also want to make clear that I would in no way base my
support for Brooklyn College on such considerations, and I support
Brooklyn College and the entire CUNY system, despite my criticism of
BDS and the Brooklyn College Political S
cience department's co-sponsorship of the forum.

Thank you again for sharing your concerns about the letter with me. I
hope that we can continue to have candid conversations about important
issues facing our community. Please feel free to contact me at any
time, either by email at slevin@council.nyc.gov or by phone at 718-875-
5200.

Sincerely,

Stephen Levin
Councilmember, 33rd District
                        Postado há 7th February por Glenn Greenwald
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                                             27.
                                               Feb
                                                2

                   Email exchange with Alan Dershowitz - February 1, 2013
GG to AD

Professor Dershowitz - I'm writing a piece on the controversy over the BDS event at Brooklyn
College. I have a few of questions:

(1) You yourself have previously spoken at this college, including when you delivered the Political
Science Department's annual Konefsky Lecture (coincidentally, I'm giving that same lecture next
month at Brooklyn College).
On that occasion, you spoke alone. You've spoken alone on other occasions at the school. Why
is that different? Should they have had someone next to you who disagrees with your views? Did
you request that?

(2) As a long-time advocate of free speech and academic freedom, do you view it as concerning
that local political officials are now trying to interfere in BC's events and dictate to the PoliSci
deparmtent how they should hold such events?

(3) Why shouldn't advocates of a movement be able to gather at an event to debate tactics and
strategies without having someone there who objects to the movement itself?

(4) PoliSci departments host a wide range of speakers. Indeed, the one at BC hosted you. Is it
fair to view their sponsorship of an event as an endorsement of the ideas expressed by the
participants?

Thanks -

Glenn Greenwald
THE GUARDIAN

AD to GG

Dear Mr. Greenwald:

Before I respond to your questions I have two questions for you:

1. Are your editors aware that you are an active participant in the controversy at Brooklyn College
about which you are writing—that you have threatened to cancel your speech if the event is
cancelled?

2. Are your readers going to be made aware of your bias in this matter?

Now to answer your questions. First, I hope you will emphasize that I would be completely
opposed to any cancellation of the event. As I have written in all of my articles, I want the event to
go forward. My sole objection is to the fact that the political science department has officially
―endorsed‖ and ―co-sponsored‖ the event.

Your absurd comparison between this highly politicized advocacy event and the Konefsky
lectures reveals your bias. I was selected to give the Konefsky lecture by the Konefsky family
about 40 years ago. It was an entirely academic lecture. Much of it was devoted to memorializing
my great professor, Samuel Konefsky (who would be appalled by the invocation of his name for
the support of BDS.) I have no problem with an academic department sponsoring an academic
lecture. I would be just as opposed to the political science department endorsing and co-
sponsoring an event advocated increased Israeli settlement on the West Bank. (Of course the
political science department would never sponsor such an event.)

If and when I come to Brooklyn College to speak against BDS, I do not expect the event to be co-
sponsored by the political science department. It will be sponsored by student and outside
groups, as this event should be.

I am opposed to any officials trying to stop the BDS event from taking place. But I think it is
perfectly appropriate for all concerned citizens to speak to the issue of principle. Namely: whether
departments, which include students who are taking classes, should be officially endorsing highly
contentious and divisive issues. What if the political science department had decided to officially
endorse Mitt Romney’s campaign for president? You would be jumping up and down in furry. If
you don’t like that analogy, you would be jumping just as high if the political science department ,
or any other department, were to sponsor an event by pro settlement advocates demanding more
building in the West Bank. I believe there should be a rule prohibiting any department from co-
sponsoring or endorsing one sided political events that are not academic in nature. Any other
approach denies academic freedom to students who disagree with the official political line of the
department and risks putting them in fear of being downgraded or otherwise discriminated against
for deviating from the ―party line.‖ Every school I’ve ever been associated with has such a rule. At
Harvard, professors can’t even use their official Harvard stationary to advocate political positions.
They are, of course, free to do so with their own stationary and without the university’s
imprimatur.

In this case, it is crystal clear that the political science department ’s co-sponsorship and
endorsement of these extremist speakersdoes constitute an endorsement of BDS. The best proof
is that they have refused to endorse anti-BDS events or even pro-Israel speakers who advocate
the two state solution and an end to the settlements. If you can’t see through the charade of the
political science department ’s claim of neutrality, then you don’t deserve to be a journalist.

Of course advocates of a movement should be able to gather at an event to debate tactics and
strategies without having someone there who objects to the movement itself. The absurd way in
which you pose the question again reveals your bias Do you know anyone who objects to the
BDS movement gathering to debate among themselves? Do you think that the political science
department should officially sponsor and endorse such an unacademic meeting that deals with
tactics and strategies? Would you favor the political science department endorsing or sponsoring
a gathering of Republicans debating tactics and strategies as to how to roll back health care or
how to pack the Supreme Court? I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more ridiculous analogy or
question. I would expect you to hide your bias with a little more subtlety.

I am sending a copy of this letter to the editor of the Guardian, because I don’t trust you—as an
advocate—to report my views fairly and in context. I am also publishing your letter and mine
online as a further protection against your anticipated mischaracterization of my views based on
your history and your advocacy position. I hope you will surprise me and actually present my
views fairly, fully and in context.

Sincerely,


Alan M. Dershowitz
Harvard Law School

GG to AD

Thanks for the responses. As for your two questions:

1. Are your editors aware that you are an active participant in the controversy at Brooklyn College
about which you are writing—that you have threatened to cancel your speech if the event is
cancelled?

YES, because I wrote this expressly when I wrote about the controversy several days ago (see
Item 7: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/29/obama-guantanamo-pentagon-
cyber-yemen).

2. Are your readers going to be made aware of your bias in this matter?

YES, they will once again be informed of this, because I intend to reiterate this commitment when
I write about this again.
Finally, feel free, of course, to publish this in full. I intended to do so anyway when I publish the
piece, as that is my standard practice.

AD to GG

I've now read your totally deceptive and dishonest article on bds at bc. You never discuss the
issue of formal departmental sponsorship and endorsement. Not do you address the issues I
raise in my shoe on the other foot article. I am sending you an updated version which I hope ( but
doubt. ) you will honestly address.

GG to AD

 "You never discuss the issue of formal departmental sponsorship and endorsement."

You seem to have missed this sentence:

 "Earlier this year, the college's Political Science Department decided to sponsor a
 panel discussion on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement aimed
 at stopping Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, featuring Palestinian and BDS activist
 Omar Barghouti and US philosopher Judith Butler."

I don't think the Political Science Department at Brooklyn College needs to please local politicians
- or you - when deciding which events they want to sponsor for the students.

If the Department had sponsored an event on Israel and only invited "pro-Israel" speakers - or if
they had an event on torture and only invited you but no torture opponents - the very idea that
you would object is so absurd that I doubt even you could manage to claim it with a straight face.

This is about you wanting to stop events that contain opinions you dislike about Israel. And I'm
confident most rational people can see that.


AD to GG

First of you I am and always have been an opponent of all torture. I favor accountability if torture
is to be used. Even you should understand the difference. Second I would oppose a pro Israel
event being sponsored by a department.

GG to AD

Oh, OK - I guess you just forget to mention your opposition to torture when you proposed your
torture courts and wrote: "Torture, it turns out, can sometimes produce truthful
information."

http://www.alandershowitz.com/publications/docs/torturewarrants.html

Yes, you argued that torture warrants were preferable to judge-free torture, but never
argued in that piece that torture should not be used. Multiple sentences suggested you
believe it should be -- which is why, as you know, the perception of you as pro-torture is
very widespread.

AD to GG
I recently told someone who invited me to give a talk on Israel that the talk should not be
sponsored by the school or a department. But you wouldn't understand a principled point of view
whether its about Israel, torture or free speech. I don't know whether you feign ignorance as a
cover for your bias or whether the ignorance is real. Either way...

GG to AD

 But you wouldn't understand a principled point of view whether its about Israel, torture or free
 speech.

I have a long history - as both a lawyer and a journalist - of defending the free speech rights of
people expressing views I find utterly repellent (including Matt Hale and the World Church of the
Creator, whose free speech rights you refused to defend), so this is really not a very good claim
to make about me.

GG to AD

 I recently told someone who invited me to give a talk on Israel that the talk should not be
 sponsored by the school or a department.

Can you identify where this happened? Would love to follow up on it for inclusion in what I write.

AD to GG

Of course I defended hale's free speech rights. He fired me because I wanted to contribute his
fee to anti racist groups like the NAACP.

Dershowitz also sent the text to his article on this case, here.


                         Postado há 2nd February por Glenn Greenwald
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                                               28.
                                                 Jan
                                                  29

                              Contact information: Brooklyn College
President Karen Gould (718.951.5671 - bcpresident@brooklyn.cuny.edu -
klgould@brooklyn.cuny.edu)

Provost William Tramontano (718.951.5864; tramontano@brooklyn.cuny.edu)

Director of Communications and Public Relations Jeremy Thompson
(718.951.5882; JeremyThompson@brooklyn.cuny.edu).
                         Postado há 29th January por Glenn Greenwald
                                                     9
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                                               29.
                                                 Jan
                                                  26

                                    Frequently told lies (FTLs)
by Glenn Greenwald
Anyone who develops any sort of platform in US political debates becomes a target of
hostility and attack. That's just the nature of politics everywhere. Those attacks often are
advanced with falsehoods, fabrications and lies about the person. In general, the point of
these falsehoods is to attack and discredit the messenger in lieu of engaging the substance
of the critiques.

There are a series of common lies frequently told about me which I'm addressing here.
During the Bush years, when I was criticizing George Bush and the GOP in my daily writing
and books, there was a set of lies about me personally that came from the hardest-core
Bush followers that I finally addressed. The new set comes largely from the hardest-core
Obama followers.

I've ignored these for awhile, mostly because they have never appeared in any
consequential venue, but rather are circulated only by anonymous commenters or obscure,
hackish blogs. That is still the case, but they've become sufficiently circulated that it's now
worthwhile to address and debunk them. Anyone wishing to do so can judge the facts for
themselves. The following lies are addressed here:

1. I work/worked for the Cato Institute
2. I'm a right-wing libertarian
3. I supported the Iraq War and/or George Bush
4. I moved to Brazil to protest US laws on gay marriage
5. Because I live in Brazil, I have no "skin in the game" for US politics
6. I was sanctioned or otherwise punished for ethical violations in my law practice

______________

I work/worked for the Cato Institute

I am not now, nor have I ever been, employed by the Cato Institute. Nor have I ever been
affiliated with the Cato Institute in any way. The McCarthyite tone of the denials is
appropriate given the McCarthyite nature of the lie.

In seven-plus years of political writing, I have written a grand total of twice for Cato: the first
was a 2009 report on the success of drug decriminalization in Portugal, and the second
was a 2010 online debate in which I argued against former Bush officials about the evils of
the surveillance state.

I not only disclosed those writings but wrote about them and featured them multiple times on
my blog as it happened: see here and here as but two examples. In 2008, I spoke at a Cato
event on the radicalism and destructiveness of Bush/Cheney executive power theories.
That's the grand total of all the work I ever did for or with Cato in my life. The fees for those
two papers and that one speech were my standard writing and speaking fees. Those
payments are a miniscule, microscopic fraction of my writing and speaking income over the
last 7 years. I have done no paying work of any kind with them since that online surveillance
debate in 2010 (I spoke three times at Cato for free: once to debate the theme of my 2007
book on the failure of the Bush administration, and twice when I presented my paper
advocating drug decriminalization).

I have done far more work for, and received far greater payments from, the ACLU, with
which I consulted for two years (see here). I spoke at the Socialism Conference twice -
once in 2011 and once in 2012 - and will almost certainly do so again in 2013. I'll speak or
write basically anywhere where I can have my ideas heard without any constraints.
Moreover, I'll work with almost anyone - the ACLU, Cato or anyone else - to end the evils of
the Drug War and the Surveillance State. And I'll criticize anyone I think merits it, as I did
quite harshly with the Koch Brothers in 2011: here.




The very suggestion that there is something wrong with writing for or speaking at CATO is
inane and childish. The claim that it means I "worked at CATO" is just an obvious lie. If
writing for or speaking at CATO makes one a right-wing CATO-employed libertarian, then
say hello to the following right-wing libertarian CATO employees, all of whom have been
writers for or speakers at the CATO Institute in the past:
    o   Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas (Writing for CATO's Unbound: here and
        here);
    o   Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (speaking about surveillance issues at CATO in
        January, 2011, speaking again at CATO in July, 2012 about FISA, and favorably
        citing CATO);
    o   Democratic Rep. Jared Polis (defending CATO as "a leader in fighting to end the
        war in Afghanistan and Iraq and helping to end the War on Drugs").
    o   the ACLU's Legislative Counsel Michelle Richardson (speaking at the CATO
        Institute's 2011 event on FISA);
    o   Brown University Professor Glenn Loury (writing for CATO's Unbound);
    o   liberal blogger and Clinton Treasury official Brad DeLong (writing for CATO's
        Unbound);
    o   Harvard law Professor Lawrence Lessig (writing for CATO's Unbound);
    o   liberal blogger and GWU Professor Henry Farrell (writing for CATO's Unbound);
        and
    o   Wall Street critic and securities professor William Black (writing for CATO's
        Unbound).

Trying to judge someone for where they write or speak - rather than for the ideas they
advocate - is about as anti-intellectual and McCarthyite as it gets. CATO has a far better
record of advocacy than the mainstream Democratic Party on vital issues such as opposing
the Drug War, secrecy abuses, the Surveillance State, marriage equality for LGBT citizens,
anti-war activism, and reforming the excesses of America's penal state. They were attacking
Bush and Cheney for power abuses (see here) and aggressive wars (see here) far earlier,
and far more loudly, than most mainstream Democratic politicians

As is obvious, all sorts of liberals, progressives, and even leftists have written for or spoken
at CATO. It's a think tank devoted to debate and discussion of public policy, and invites a
wide range of speakers to participate.

I'm proud of all the advocacy work I've done against the evils of the Drug War and
surveillance abuses -- whether it's at the ACLU, CATO, the Socialism Conference or
anywhere else. That's why I write openly about all of that work. But the claim that I've ever
worked at CATO or was in any way affiliated with them is just an outright lie.

I'm a right-wing libertarian

Ever since I began writing about politics back in 2005, people have tried to apply pretty much
every political label to me. It's almost always a shorthand method to discredit someone
without having to engage the substance of their arguments. It's the classic ad hominem
fallacy: you don't need to listen to or deal with his arguments because he's an X.

Back then - when I was writing every day to criticize the Bush administration - Bush followers
tried to apply the label "far leftist" to me. Now that I spend most of my energy writing critically
about the Obama administration, Obama followers try to claim I'm a "right-wing libertarian".

These labels are hard to refute primarily because they've become impoverished of any
meaning. They're just mindless slurs used to try to discredit one's political adversaries. Most
of the people who hurl the "libertarian" label at me have no idea what the term even means.
Ask anyone who makes this claim to identify the views I've expressed - with links and quotes
- that constitute libertarianism.

I don't really care what labels get applied to me. But - beyond the anti-war and pro-civil-
liberties writing I do on a daily basis - here are views I've publicly advocated. Decide for
yourself if the "libertarian" label applies:
* 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 (repeatedly);
        * 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);
        * praising and defending the Occupy Wall Street movement as early and vocally as
        anyone (here, 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 Jardin, 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);
To apply a "right-wing libertarian" label to someone with those views and that 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.

I supported the Iraq War and/or George Bush

These claims are absolutely false. They come from a complete distortion of the Preface I
wrote to my own 2006 book, How Would a Patriot Act? That book - which was the first book
devoted to denouncing the Bush/Cheney executive power theories as radical and lawless -
was published a mere six months after I began blogging, so the the purpose of the Preface
was to explain where I had come from, why I left my law practice to begin writing about
politics, and what my political evolution had been..

The whole point of the Preface was that, before 2004, I had been politically apathetic and
indifferent - except for the work I was doing on constitutional law. That's because, while I
had no interest in the fights between Democrats and Republicans, I had a basic trust in the
American political system and its institutions, such that I devoted my attention and energies
to preventing constitutional violations rather than political debates. From the first two
paragraphs:
I never voted for George W. Bush — or for any of his political opponents. I believed that
voting was not particularly important. Our country, it seemed to me, was essentially on
the right track. Whether Democrats or Republicans held the White House or the
majorities in Congress made only the most marginal difference. . . .
        I firmly believed that our democratic system of government was sufficiently
        insulated from any real abuse, by our Constitution and by the checks and
        balances afforded by having three separate but equal branches of
        government. My primary political belief was that both parties were plagued by
        extremists who were equally dangerous and destructive, but that as long as neither
        extreme acquired real political power, our system would function smoothly and more
        or less tolerably. For that reason, although I always paid attention to political debates,
        I was never sufficiently moved to become engaged in the electoral process. I had
        great faith in the stability and resilience of the constitutional republic that the
        founders created.
When the Iraq War was debated and then commenced, I was not a writer. I was not a
journalist. I was not politically engaged or active. I never played any role in political debates
or controversies. Unlike the countless beloved Democrats who actually did support the war -
including Obama's Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - I had no
platform or role in politics of any kind.

I never once wrote in favor of the Iraq War or argued for it in any way, shape or form. Ask
anyone who claims that I "supported" the Iraq War to point to a single instance where
I ever supported or defended it in any way. There is no such instance. It's a pure
fabrication.

At the time, I was basically a standard passive consumer of political news: I read The New
York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic: the journals that I thought high-end consumers of
news would read and which I assumed were generally reliable for getting the basic truth.
What I explained in the Preface was that I had major objections to the Iraq war when it was
being debated:
During the lead-up to the invasion, I was concerned that the hell-bent focus on invading Iraq
was being driven by agendas and strategic objectives that had nothing to do with terrorism or
the 9/11 attacks. The overt rationale for the invasion was exceedingly weak, particularly given
that it would lead to an open-ended, incalculably costly, and intensely risky preemptive war.
Around the same time, it was revealed that an invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam
Hussein had been high on the agenda of various senior administration officials long before
September 11.
Nonetheless, because of the general faith I had in political and media institutions, I assumed
- since both political parties and media outlets and journalists from across the ideological
spectrum were united in support of the war - that there must be some valid basis to the claim
that Saddam posed a threat. My basic trust in these institutions neutralized the objections I
had and led me to passively acquiesce to what was being done ("I believed then that the
president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent
that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security
really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.").

Like many people, I became radicalized by those early years of the Bush administration. The
Preface recounts that it was the 2002 due-process-free imprisonment of US citizen Jose
Padilla and the 2003 Iraq War that caused me to realize the full extent of the government's
radicalism and the media's malfeasance: "I developed, for the first time in my life, a sense of
urgency about the need to take a stand for our country and its defining principles."

As I recount in the Preface, I stopped practicing law and pursued political writing precisely
because those people who had an obligation to act as adversarial checks on the Bush
administration during the start of the war on civil liberties and the run-up to the Iraq War -
namely, Congress, courts, and the media - were profoundly failing to fulfill that obligation.

I wasn't a journalist or government official during these radical power abuses and the run-up
to the Iraq War, and wasn't working in a profession supposedly devoted to serving as
watchdog over government claims and abuses. I relied on those people to learn what was
going on and to prevent extremism. But I quickly concluded that those who held those
positions in politics and journalism were failing in their duties. Read the last six paragraphs of
the Preface: I started writing about politics to bring light to these issues and to try to
contribute to a real adversarial force against the Bush administration and its blind followers.

It is true that, like 90% of Americans, I did support the war in Afghanistan and, living in New
York, believed the rhetoric about the threat of Islamic extremism: those were obvious
mistakes. It's also true that one can legitimately criticize me for not having actively opposed
the Iraq War at a time when many people were doing so. Martin Luther King, in his 1967
speech explaining why his activism against the Vietnam War was indispensable to his civil
rights work, acknowledged that he had been too slow to pay attention to or oppose the war
and that he thus felt obligated to work with particular vigor against it once he realized the
need ("Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own
silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical
departures from the destruction of Vietnam").

I've often spoken about the prime benefit of writing about political matters full-time: namely, it
enables you to examine first-hand sources and not have to rely upon media or political
mediators when forming beliefs. That process has been and continues to be very eye-
opening for me.

Like most people who do not work on politics or journalism full-time, I had to rely back then
on standard political and media venues to form my political impressions of the world. When I
first began writing about politics, I had a whole slew of conventional political beliefs that
came from lazy ingestion of the false and misleading claims of these conventional political
and media sources. Having the time to examine political realities first-hand has led me to
realize how many of those former beliefs I held were based on myth or worse, and I've
radically changed how I think about a whole slew of issues as a result of that re-examination.

The purpose of the Preface was to publicly explain that evolution. Indeed, the first sentence
of this Preface was this quote from Abraham Lincoln: "I do not think much of a man who is
not wiser today than he was yesterday." When I still trusted and relied upon the claims of
the political and media class - when I was basically apolitical and passive - I tacitly accepted
all sorts of views which I've come to see are warped and misleading. I've talked often about
this process and am proud of this evolution. I have zero interest in hiding it or concealing it.
Quite the contrary: I want readers to know about it. That's why I wrote the Preface.

But anyone using this Preface to claim I was a "supporter" of the Iraq War is simply
fabricating. At worst, I was guilty of apathy and passivity. I did nothing for or against it
because I assumed that those in positions to exercise adversarial scrutiny - in journalism and
politics - were doing that. It's precisely my realization of how profoundly deceitful and failed
are American political and media institutions that motivated me to begin working on politics,
and it's those realizations which continue to motivate me now.

I moved to Brazil to protest US laws on gay marriage

The reason I live in Brazil is very simple. It is not because I voluntarily left the US to protest
any laws.

The reason is that my spouse of eight years is a Brazilian national. The Defense of Marriage
Act bars the issuance by the US government of any and all spousal benefits to same-sex
couples, even ones who are legally married. The benefits that are not permitted to be issued
to same-sex couples include immigration rights. That means that - unlike for US citizens who
marry a foreign national of the opposite sex - I am unable to obtain a visa for my own spouse
to live or work in the US. For this reason, we are unable, due to discriminatory laws, to live
together in the US. Living in the US would mean living on a different continent than the
person with whom I intend to spend the rest of my life.

Unlike the US, Brazil - like most civilized countries in the world - provides permanent visas to
the same-sex spouses of their gay citizens. That means that I can obtain - and have
obtained - a permanent visa to live and work in Brazil because of my marriage to my
Brazilian spouse. Therefore - at least as long as DOMA is still the law of the land - Brazil is
the only country in which we are able to live together.

Thousands of other bi-national same-sex couples are similarly affected by these
discriminatory and unjust laws: unable to live together in the US or, worse, when unable to
live in either spouse's country, forced to live together illegally or to live apart. I've written and
spoken on television many times about this fact.

It's particularly revolting to watch self-proclaimed "progressives" - who parade around as
champions of anti-discrimination - try to exploit this discriminatory legal framework to
discredit the work of gay Americans who are forced to live outside their own country because
the US government won't recognize their marriage.

Because I live in Brazil, I have no "skin in the game" for US politics

The view that US citizens on foreign soil should not be permitted to participate in US political
debates - or should have their views discounted - is nothing more than ugly jingoism. It's also
grounded in factually false claims.

US citizens who live in a foreign country are required to pay income taxes to the US
government. They bear every other obligation and right of citizenship, including voting. The
view that US citizens on foreign soil should be obligated to pay income taxes and have the
right to vote, but not be allowed to participate in debates over US government policy, is
ludicrous on its face.

Beyond that, in my own case: virtually my entire family resides in the US (parents, sibling,
nieces, etc). Most of my life-long friends do. My work is based in the US. I'm in the US very
frequently - at least once every four to six weeks - and always fly into, out of, and within it.

Most of all, I'm barred from living in my own country with my spouse because of a
discriminatory legal framework enacted by both political parties. I have at least as much
personal interest in US political debates as any other US citizen. Combine that with the fact
that the actions of the US Government, as the world's sole superpower, have profound
effects on all parts of the world, and the claim that I should be barred from participating in US
political debates or should have my views discounted - because I'm on foreign soil - is as
intellectually corrupt as it is an expression of toxic uber-nationalism.

I was sanctioned or otherwise punished for ethical violations in my law practice

To call this claim a total falsehood is to be generous. Put simply, I have never been
sanctioned or disciplined by any court, judge, bar association or anyone else for any work
I've ever done as a lawyer. Indeed, in more than 10 years of practice in the very acrimonious
world of Manhattan litigation, I never even had a disciplinary complaint filed against me with
any bar association.

I allowed my New York law license to lapse in 2007 when I ceased practicing simply because
- due to my full-time work writing about politics - I no longer intended to practice and thus did
not continue to renew it. But the law license is fully valid, and I can easily reinstate it at any
time simply by paying the requisite fees and completing whatever continuing legal education
requirements apply.

The only specific example I've ever seen raised in support of this innuendo was a 2001 ruling
on the propriety of my tape recording of a witness which arose in a First Amendment free
speech case I litigated in defense of a white supremacist church. When I was in my office in
New York (where tape recording witnesses was permitted), I interviewed a witness by
telephone who was in Illinois (where tape recording witnesses was not permitted). There was
a split in legal authority on which rule applied: the rule of the jurisdiction where the recorder
was physically located, or where the witness was physically located. The American Bar
Association had expressly ruled that surreptitious tape recordings of witnesses by lawyers
was permitted.

I took the position that New York rules should apply and the other side took the position that
the Illinois rules should apply. The district court judge - 12 years ago - ultimately ruled that
Illinois rules applied, but made expressly clear in his written opinion that this was a mere
standard legal dispute with reasonable views on both sides, not a question of whether
anything unethical had been done:
Given the rhetoric in the papers filed with respect to this difficult ethical
question, we wish to clarify one last matter. We are applying rules here,
not judging character. As the magistrate judge noted, although ultimately
unsuccessful, defendants' arguments were reasonable. Defense
counsel could have reasonably believed that his conduct was
permissible. Although we find that his conduct did violate the
rules, our rejection of his position does not equate to an
indictment as an unethical person.
There was zero sanction, penalty, or any other form of disciplinary action proposed or taken
as the result of that. As the district court judge said, it was a "difficult" question on which
there was conflicting precedent and the arguments for the legality of the tape recording were
"reasonable". Anyone claiming that this was a finding of unethical behavior or that I was
sanctioned in any way is either lying or ignorant. I continued to practice law for six years after
that.

It is true that I defended the First Amendment free speech rights of white supremacists and
other people with heinous views - in exactly the way the ACLU has defended the free speech
rights of neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. I'm immensely proud of that work: I would do it
again in an instance. Indeed, since I've began political writing, I've defended the free speech
rights of all sorts of people whose views I find pernicious. Defending free speech rights
typically means defending people with marginalized views because that's where free speech
abridgments are typically aimed.

People are free to debate that if they wish. But they shouldn't be free to claim that I was ever
sanctioned or disciplined as a lawyer or barred from practicing law because - like the above-
referenced falsehoods - that is an outright fabrication.
                       Postado há 26th January por Glenn Greenwald
                                                  7
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                                            30.
                                               Jan
                                                22

                               Joshua Foust on the Guardian
Jingoism plus a warped elitism, all packed into one ugly tweet:
                      Postado há 22nd January por Glenn Greenwald
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                                         31.
                                           Jan
                                            19

                                 Blake Hounshell re-tweet
Foreign Policy Managing Editor's Blake Hounshell re-tweet:
                    Postado há 19th January por Glenn Greenwald
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                                     32.
                                       Jan
                                        11

                                Merkley on Brennan

        Merkley Statement on Brennan Nomination
Washington, DC- Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement
on the nomination of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence
Agency.

―I will certainly be looking to hear how John Brennan responds to concerns that
have been raised about his nomination. I have followed reports that Brennan, as
a former senior official in the Bush-era CIA, knew about and may have supported
controversial programs, including the use of torture, extraordinary rendition,
secret prisons, and warrantless wiretapping. If true, connections to these
programs would be cause for concern. I want to hear clear answers from him
about how he may have been involved in these activities, as well as his vision for
the Agency.‖
                    Postado há 11th January por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            33.
                                              Jan
                                               8

                                 Mark Bowden on torture
The last two paragraphs of Mark Bowden's 2003 article in The Atlantic, "The Dark Art of
Interrogation":

The Bush Administration has adopted exactly the right posture on the matter. Candor
and consistency are not always public virtues. Torture is a crime against humanity, but
coercion is an issue that is rightly handled with a wink, or even a touch of hypocrisy; it
should be banned but also quietly practiced. Those who protest coercive methods will
exaggerate their horrors, which is good: it generates a useful climate of fear. It is wise of the
President to reiterate U.S. support for international agreements banning torture, and it is wise
for American interrogators to employ whatever coercive methods work. It is also smart not to
discuss the matter with anyone.
       If interrogators step over the line from coercion to outright torture, they should be
       held personally responsible. But no interrogator is ever going to be prosecuted for
       keeping Khalid Sheikh Mohammed awake, cold, alone, and uncomfortable. Nor
       should he be.
Mark Bowden, 2008, "In Defense of Waterboarding" (and here):
In the unlikely event that Zubaydah knew nothing of value and that every bit of
information he divulged was false, it was still reasonable to assume in 2002
that this was not the case. If his interrogators were able to stop one terror
attack by waterboarding him, even if they violated international agreements
and our national conscience, it was justified. . . .
        Which is why I say that waterboarding Zubaydah may have been illegal, but it wasn't
        wrong



                        Postado há 8th January por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            34.
                                              Jan
                                               7

                            ACLU on Brennan appointment to CIA
       Brennan Nomination to Head CIA Raises
                    Concerns
The counterterrorism advisor’s nomination should not proceed until the
   Senate determines whether his past actions were within the law.
WASHINGTON – President Obama this afternoon nominated his counterterrorism advisor
John Brennan to become the next director of the CIA. Laura W. Murphy, director of the
ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, had the following concerns with the president’s choice
to fill this critical national security post.

Despite media reports that Brennan continually raised civil liberties concerns within the
White House, noted Murphy, the Senate should not move forward with his
nomination until it assesses the legality of his actions in past leadership positions
in the CIA during the early years of the George W. Bush administration and in his
current role in the ongoing targeted killing program.

―The Senate should not move forward with his nomination until all senators can assess the
role of the CIA—and any role by Brennan himself—in torture, abuse, secret prisons, and
extraordinary rendition during his past tenure at the CIA, as well as can review the legal
authorities for the targeted killing program that he has overseen in his current position,‖
Murphy said. ―This nomination is too important to proceed without the Senate first knowing
what happened during Brennan's tenures at the CIA and the White House, and whether all
of his conduct was within the law. ―

Murphy also added that a recent Senate Intelligence Committee report could be used to
determine the extent of Brennan’s role in these programs.

―To the extent these questions can be answered by the Intelligence Committee’s still-
undisclosed report on the CIA’s role in torture, the Senate should use the report to
determine what role Brennan had and whether his conduct was consistent with both the law
and American values,‖ Murphy said.

Murphy remarked that the CIA can take two actions now to help restore the rule of law.
―The Senate should not move forward with the nomination of John Brennan until it is clear
that he is committed to making sure that the CIA will end its targeted killing program, and
agree to work with the Senate Intelligence Committee on the declassification review and
disclosure of the committee’s report on the CIA’s past role in torture and abuse,‖ she said.
‖These steps would help assure all Americans that the past wrongs of the CIA have ended,
and won't be brought back.‖
                       Postado há 7th January por Glenn Greenwald
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                                           35.
                                             Dec
                                             14

                                    Zero Dark Thirty and torture
Frank Bruni, The New York Times:
"[I]t's hard not to focus on them, because the first extended sequence in the movie shows a
detainee being strung up by his wrists, sexually humiliated, deprived of sleep, made to feel
as if he's drowning and shoved into a box smaller than a coffin.
          "The torture sequence immediately follows a bone-chilling, audio-only prologue of the
          voices of terrified Americans trapped in the towering inferno of the World Trade
          Center. It's set up as payback.
       "And by the movie's account, it produces information vital to the pursuit of the world's
       most wanted man. No waterboarding, no Bin Laden: that's what 'Zero Dark
       Thirty' appears to suggest."
Steve Coll, New York Review of Books:
[T]he filmmakers cannot, on the one hand, claim authenticity as journalists while, on the
other, citing art as an excuse for shoddy reporting about a subject as important as whether
torture had a vital part in the search for bin Laden, and therefore might be, for some,
defensible as public policy. . . .
The easiest question to consider is what Zero Dark Thirty actually depicts about the part
torture played in locating bin Laden. . . . There can be no mistaking what Zero Dark Thirty
shows: torture plays an outsized part in Maya’s success . . . . In virtually every instance
in the film where Maya extracts important clues from prisoners, then, torture is a factor.

Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker:
"Bigelow maintains that everything in the film is based on first-hand accounts, but the
waterboarding scene, which is likely to stir up controversy, appears to have strayed
from real life. According to several official sources, including Dianne Feinstein, the head of
the Senate Intelligence Committee, the identity of bin Laden's courier, whose trail led the CIA
to the hideout in Pakistan, was not discovered through waterboarding."

Peter Bergen, CNN (unpaid adviser to the film):
"The compelling story told in the film captures a lot that is true about the search for al
Qaeda's leader but also distorts the story in ways that could give its likely audience of
millions of Americans the misleading picture that coercive interrogation techniques
used by the CIA on al Qaeda detainees -- such as waterboarding, physical abuse and
sleep deprivation -- were essential to finding bin Laden. . . .
       "'Zero Dark Thirty' is a great piece of filmmaking and does a valuable public service
       by raising difficult questions most Hollywood movies shy away from, but as of this
       writing, it seems that one of its central themes -- that torture was instrumental to
       tracking down bin Laden -- is not supported by the facts."
Film critic Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly:
"The suspect finally gives up a name: Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, whom he claims works as a
courier for bin Laden. Part of the power of Zero Dark Thirty is that it looks with disturbing
clarity at the ''enhanced interrogation techniques'' that were used after 9/11, and it
says, in no uncertain terms: They worked. This is a bin Laden thriller that Dick Cheney
Barack Obama could love. At the same time, the film spins its fearless — and potentially
controversial — stance toward the issue of how the U.S. treats its prisoners into a heady
international detective thriller."
Fordham Law Professor Karen Greenberg, Salon:
The sad fact is that Zero Dark Thirty could have been written by the tight circle of
national security advisors who counseled President George W. Bush to create the post-
9/11 policies that led to Guantanamo, the global network of borrowed ―black sites‖ that added
up to an offshore universe of injustice, and the grim torture practices – euphemistically
known as ―enhanced interrogation techniques‖ — that went with them. . . .

As its core, Bigelow‘s film makes the bald-faced assertion that torture did help the
United States track down the perpetrator of 9/11. . . . [T]he fact is that Bigelow has bought
in, hook, line, and sinker, to the ethos of the Bush administration and its apologists. It‘s as if
she had followed an old government memo and decided to offer in fictional form step-by-step
instructions for the creation, implementation, and selling of Bush-era torture and detention
policies.
Film critic Stuart Klawans, The Nation:
"I can easily name twenty better films released in the US in 2012. But as for the torture: I
said in my column, and will repeat: the movie revels in it. In a film that‘s entirely about
professionalism—are you, Jessica Chastain, tough enough to do the job?—the ability to
overcome a first squeamishness and participate in torture, initiate torture, identify with a
torturer as your mentor, is the defining quality of a character who makes herself hard-core
enough to earn the respect of Navy SEALs.
         "Arguments that the film exposes torture as abhorrent are absurd. The movie
         juices the audience on the adrenaline generated by these physical
        confrontations, and offers vicariously the sense of power enjoyed by the
        person holding the leash.
        "Does the film go further, and present torture as the necessary tool for taking
        down bin Laden? Absolutely."
Emily Bazelon, Slate:
"I think the movie has earned its acclaim because film critics aren’t fact checkers. And when
you do check the facts, you find that while the movie is putting a thumb on the scale for
torture, the film doesn’t get the role it played in the Bin Laden chase condemnably wrong. I
do think the movie reads as pro-torture, and as someone who opposes the practice, I
wish that it didn’t. . . .
         "When Amar is led around by a dog collar and then finally, horribly stuffed into a tiny
         wooden box, we recoil at this treatment and feel Amar’s pain—but we also feel Maya’s
         sense of urgency. At the end of the interrogation scenes, I felt shaken but not morally
         repulsed, because the movie had successfully led me to adopt, if only
         temporarily, Maya’s point of view: This treatment is a legitimate way of
         securing information vital to U.S. interests."


Greg Mitchell, The Nation:
"In summary, I‘d simply say that those picking apart various scenes and pointing to key
details in the film are not wrong in suggesting that the film‘s depiction of torture helping to get
bin Laden is muddled at best—but the overall impression by the end, for most viewers,
probably will be: Yes, torture played a key (if not the key) role."

Film critic David Edelstein, New York Magazine:
"It also borders on the politically and morally reprehensible. By showing these excellent
results—and by silencing the cries of the innocents held at Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and other
'black sites'—it makes a case for the efficacy of torture."
Novelist Bret Easton Ellis:
"The most morally dubious, obtuse and overrated movie of 2012: Zero Dark Thirty."
Michelle Shepard, national security reporter, The Toronto Star:
"[F]or the greater movie-going public it will be hard not to walk away with the
impression that this type of interrogation was a necessary evil – at the very
least, an essential part of the CIA’s tool box when forced to operate in what
Cheney famously dubbed 'the dark side.'"
Jane Mayer, the New Yorker:
"Yet what is so unsettling about 'Zero Dark Thirty' is not that it tells this difficult history but,
rather, that it distorts it . . . .
         "In addition to excising the moral debate that raged over the interrogation program
         during the Bush years, the film also seems to accept almost without question that
         the C.I.A.'s 'enhanced interrogation techniques' played a key role in enabling
         the agency to identify the courier who unwittingly led them to bin Laden. But this
         claim has been debunked, repeatedly, by reliable sources with access to the facts. . . .
        "In addition to providing false advertising for waterboarding, 'Zero Dark Thirty'
        endorses torture in several other subtle ways. . . . The filmmakers subtly put their
        thumb on the pro-torture scale, as Emily Bazelon put it, in another scene, too. . .
        .[B]y the time millions of Americans have seen this movie, they will believe that, as
        Frank Bruni put it in a recent Times column, 'No waterboarding, no bin Laden.'"
Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney:
It's difficult for one filmmaker to criticize another. That's a job best left to critics. However, in the
case of Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, an issue that is central to the film
-- torture -- is so important that I feel I must say something. Mark Boal and Kathryn
Bigelow have been irresponsible and inaccurate in the way they have treated this
issue in their film. . . .
        I want to focus my concern on the way in which the film is fundamentally reckless
        when it comes to the subject of torture . . . . [I]t's a cop-out for Boal and Bigelow to
        say they shouldn't be held to account for the meaning of their film because "it's just a
        movie," and/or because it's a "journalistic account." In the context of the final result,
        neither statement is credible. When it comes to torture, the film fails the
        truth test for both accountants and poets.
Acting CIA Director Michael Morrell:
I would not normally comment on a Hollywood film, but I think it important to put Zero Dark Thirty,
which deals with one of the most significant achievements in our history, into some context. The
film. . . the film takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically
accurate.
           [T]he film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation
           techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were
           the key to finding Bin Ladin. That impression is false.
Senators John McCain, Dianne Feinstein (Chair, Intelligence Committee) & Carl Levin
(Chair, Armed Services Committee):
Regardless of what message the filmmakers intended to convey, the movie clearly implies
that the CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques were effective in eliciting important
information related to a courier for Osama bin Laden. We have reviewed CIA records
and know that this is incorrect‖. . . .
        The use of torture in the fight against terrorism did severe damage to America‘s
        values and standing that cannot be justified or expunged. It remains a stain on our
        national conscience. We cannot afford to go back to these dark times, and with the
        release of Zero Dark Thirty, the filmmakers and your production studio are
        perpetuating the myth that torture is effective.
Xeni Jardin, BoingBoing:
My problem with "Zero Dark Thirty" isn't just that it validates the use of torture, and sends a
clear message that the systematic violation of human rights, drone strikes, and extrajudicial
assassinations are just the dirty truths that "protecting our freedom" requires.
       My problem is that its use of accurate documentary detail and artistic verisimilitude
       seems not merely a weak justification for its inaccurate depiction of torture's value,
       but a way of drawing the eye to it, a whispering and surreptitious endorsement.
Michael Wolff, the Guardian:
The controversy about the movie involves its unambiguous cause and effect assertion
that the torture of al-Qaida principals and hangers on was the key to finding Osama
bin Laden – ie: torture works. . . .
        Kathryn Bigelow is a fetishist and a sadist, which, in a literary sense, certainly has a
        fine tradition. But without some acknowledgement that this is her lonely journey and
        not a shared one – not our collective reality, not a set of accepted assumptions but,
        for better or worse, her own particular, problematic kink – all you have is a nasty
        piece of pulp and propaganda.
Terry McDermott, LA Times:
In a riveting opening section, the film obliquely credits the discovery of the key piece of
information in the search for Bin Laden to the torture of an Al Qaeda prisoner held by
the CIA. This is at odds with the facts as they have been recounted by journalists
reporting on the manhunt, by Obama administration intelligence officials and by legislative
leaders.
         Bigelow and her writing partner, Mark Boal, are promoting "Zero Dark Thirty" in part
         by stressing its basis in fact. It's curious that they could have gotten this central,
         contentious point wrong. And because they originally set out to make a movie about
        the frustrating failure to find Bin Laden, it's hard to believe their aim was to
        celebrate torture. But that's in effect what they've done.
Dan Froomkin, The Huffington Post:
Zero Dark Thirty is a despicable movie, even if Bigelow and Boal didn't intend it that way. .
. . Do yourself a favor, and don‘t go see this movie. Don‘t encourage film-making that at best
offers ambiguity about torture, and at worst endorses it. Spend the two and a half hours and
the $10 on something more valuable, and moral.
NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake:
Saw #ZD30. Portrayal is gov't propaganda film. Leaves no doubt torture got leads.
Torture scenes tame compared 2 reality. Ends justifies means.
Former US Air Force Col. Morris Davis, Chief Prosecutor in the Guantanamo military
commissions:
Nothing was tortured more in the making of Kathryn Bigelow's film "Zero Dark Thirty"
than the truth about torture.

While it's just a movie, it runs the risk of becoming the basis for a false view of reality for
millions of moviegoers who have largely ignored a decade of debate about the efficacy of the
United States sanctioning torture. . . .
         This is Hollywood's version of reality about torture. It is a false reality that does a
         disservice to our many effective interrogators who obtain critical intelligence through
         humane methods, as well as the public who deserve to know the truth about torture.
Mother Jones film critic Asawin Suebsaeng:
Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter—and former journalist— Mark Boal explicitly
draw a (patently false) link between the savage torture of Islamist detainees and
finding Osama bin Laden. And that's a hell of a thing for Boal to do, given that he began his
last movie by quoting the rabidly anti-torture lefty Chris Hedges.

Mehdi Hasan, Political Director, the Huffington Post UK:
[T]he truth is that the entire plotline of ZDT is built on a lie: that the torture of detainees by
the CIA produced the intelligence which led the US to Osama Bin Laden's hideout in
Abbottad, Pakistan.

In pushing this false narrative, the movie effectively excuses and implicitly condones the
torture that was done by the Agency - it was a necessary means to an important end; it
worked as a method of intelligence-gathering; it was vital to protect America and track down
Bin Laden.
Actor and Academy member David Clennon:
        I'm a member of Hollywood's Motion Picture Academy. At the risk of being expelled
        for disclosing my intentions, I will not be voting for Zero Dark Thirty - in any Academy
        Awards category. . . .

        Torture is an appalling crime under any circumstances. Zero never acknowledges
        that torture is immoral and criminal. It does portray torture as getting results. . . .

        Individuals and groups protesting the easy tolerance of torture in Zero Dark Thirty
        have been dismissed by some commentators as having "a political agenda." The
        grievous problem presented by torture is not political. It's moral. And it's criminal.
Michael Hastings, BuzzFeed:
       [T]he film lets the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency play the
       protagonists with the true claim to Bin Laden‘s scalp.

        This is not a coincidence. The CIA played a key role in shaping the film's
        narrative, corresponding with the filmmakers to negotiate favorable access to a
        movie that one CIA official described as "get[ting] behind the winning horse" of the
        "first and biggest" movie about the Bin Laden raid, according to internal CIA emails
        obtained by Judicial Watch.
Chris Hayes, MSNBC:
"I had a moral revulsion to the film." It "colludes with evil". It's "objectively pro-torture."
_____________

See also: Peter Maass, The Atlantic: "Don't Trust 'Zero Dark Thirty': The acclaimed thriller
about the hunt for Osama bin Laden represents a troubling new frontier of government-
embedded filmmaking."
                    Postado há 14th December 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                               36.
                                                 Dec
                                                  3

                                    Canine fun with porcupines
                 Postado há 3rd December 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                         37.
                                          Nov
                                          27

                              Orwell on drone cheerleaders

Orwell, Homage to Catalonia, on how lack of personal risk increases likelihood of
war support:
      "One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all the
      screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting" . .
      ..
      "The people who write that kind of stuff never fight; possibly they believe
      that to write it is a substitute for fighting. It is the same in all wars; the
      soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot
      ever gets near a front-line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda-tours.
      "Sometimes it is a comfort to me to think that the aeroplane is altering the
      conditions of war. Perhaps when the next great war comes we may see that sight
      unprecedented in all history, a jingo with a bullet-hole in him."
                 Postado há 27th November 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                                   38.
                                                     Nov
                                                     27

                           Konczal and Kessler on Citizens United
A few points about the interesting, enlightening Bloggingheads discussion between Mike
Konczal (Rortybomb, New Deal 2.0, Roosevelt Institute) and Jeremy Kessler (n+1, Yale University) regarding,
among other things, my 2010 argument on Citizens United (views I updated this year, here):

(1) It's difficult to claim there's something inherently libertarian (in a right-wing sense) about a
pro-CU position given that not only the ACLU, but also people like Eliot Spitzer, have
embraced it. Spitzer is arguably the only political official of this generation to put genuine fear
in the hearts of Wall Street, and, at the height of his power, nobody was more loathed by
actual libertarians than he. If there's one person who doesn't merit the label "libertarian", it's
Spitzer, yet he defended CU.

That's because there is a long and noble tradition on the American left - by no means
uniform, but still substantial - on insisting upon absolute protection for political speech.
Regardless of how radical or even dangerous the speech in question was -- Communist
revolutionaries, racism, neo-Nazism, Islamic extremism, Fred Phelps' disgusting funeral
protests -- one finds the Left at the forefront of efforts to bar state restrictions on it. There
long has been, and still is, particular left-wing hostility to the argument that the state has
some compelling reason to suppress political speech.

Civil liberties in general may be the area where trans-ideological coalitions are most
possible. That's because civil liberties ultimately exist to protect minority ideas and minority
groups from attacks by majoritarian force (through the democratic state), and there are
minority ideas on both sides of the ideological spectrum. It's why the ACLU and CCR were
able to join with the Christian Coalition and other religious conservative groups to oppose, for
instance, the Patriot Act, or why the role of Russ Feingold on civil liberties in now played by
Rand Paul: all those at the ideological margins are motivated by fear of state/majoritarian
suppression.

One might reasonably argue that there is a lawyer bias here in terms of how law schools
teach the doctrine of "free speech." But I think it's a huge mistake to try to squeeze civil
liberties advocacy into traditional left/right ideological labels in order to claim that a pro-CU
position is inherently right-wing. If anything is right-wing, I'd say it is the premise at the heart
of the anti-CU position: namely, that the state should be empowered to suppress political
speech when it can be demonstrated that doing so is necessary to avert bad outcomes.


(2) Related to that last point: Jeremy somewhat misstated the position I made at the
beginning of my 2010 argument on CU. With that argument, I was not, as Jeremy suggested,
advocating for any specific methodology for how the Constitution should be interpreted (i.e.,
strict constructionism v. original intent v. an evolving document, etc). My argument was about
a different issue.

I was rejecting a consequentialist opposition to CU (or any other constitutional decision from
a court). That is, once you determine - using whatever interpretative methodology you think
is optimal - that there is a constitutional prohibition on State Action X, then the mere fact that
this prohibition produces bad outcomes is not a good argument for allowing State Action X.

In other words, the only valid issue in CU was whether the Free Speech clause bans the
legislative provision in question. I wasn't making an argument there about which method of
interpretation should be used to answer that question (though I do have views on that:
namely, I think the Free Speech clause does ban it). Instead, I was simply pointing out that
the prime argument made against CU -- that it will lead to bad outcomes (i.e., worsening the
problem of oligarchical domination of politics) -- is not an argument against allowing the
legislation if it's inconsistent with the First Amendment. To argue against CU, one has to do
the work to mount the constitutional and legal arguments against it, not merely complain that
it produces bad outcomes.

All sorts of clear constitutional constraints produce bad outcomes. Allowing racists to spread
their views, or Fred Phelps to torment mourners, produces bad outcomes. So does barring
the police from entering homes at will without a search warrant (that often helps dangerous
criminals elude capture). So does barring imprisonment without due process, or requiring a
unanimous verdict by a jury of one's peers (which often helps horrible criminals go free).

Once you start to argue for the power of courts to simply strike down or uphold laws based
solely on their views of the desirability of the consequences - and I think Jeremy came close
to doing this, if not actually doing it - then you adhere to the Right's caricature of "judical
activism": that the Left, whenever they fail to get their way through the democratic process,
wants unelected judges to legislate from the bench. That critique is invalid only if one rejects
a purely consequentialist approach to jurisprudunce: court outcomes have to be grounded in
something other than outcome preferences in order to be valid (rather than tyrannical)
exercises of judicial power.

I don't know of a single Supreme Court justice - from the left to the right - who has ever
disputed that premise. Lots of judges have surely been driven by outcome preferences in
reaching their decisions, by they all at least pretend that it's grounded in constitutional
theory, because everyone acknowledges that outcome-driven jurisprudence is undesirable.

(3) I don't disagree at all that the ability of the very rich to dominate political discourse is a
huge problem. In fact, as I believe I wrote in that CU argument, I think it's one of the top 2 or
3 biggest problems the democracy faces, if not the biggest. So I'm not in favor of the status
quo, where the rich dominate political debates with little opposition (that said, I think the
effect of CU on this has been wildly overstated, given that the problem was hideous before,
and the examples of CU's evil often cited - Sheldon Adelson and the parade of billionaires
this year - were free to spend unlimited sums before CU: that case dealt only with restrictions
on corporations and unions, not billionaires).

I just don't think that empowering the state to ban political speech is the right solution (given
the dangers and costs involved). Instead, I strongly favor a system of robust public financing
to even the playing field - a solution completely anathema to libertarians.

As bad as oligarchy is, there is nothing more dangerous than empowering the state to
suppress political speech. Preservation of free speech enables even the most entrenched
tyrannies to be challenged and subverted. Suppression of political speech is the greatest
danger. Even those who are, in the first instance, happy with how that power is being used
almost always come to regret its advocacy.
                    Postado há 27th November 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            39.
                                              Nov
                                              26
                  Obama habeas
Postado há 26th November 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                     40.
                      Nov
                       7

                  dog adoption




Postado há 7th November 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                     41.
                      Nov
                       6

                InsideHoops.com
                   Postado há 6th November 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                           42.
                                             Oct
                                             23

                         Alan Grayson on the foreign policy debate
                                       Dear XXXX

Good news and bad news. The good news is that President Obama won last night's debate.
 The bad news is that the entire debate, questions and answers, seemed premised on the
       false assumption that virtually everyone else on this planet wants to kill us.

Here is a list of the topics last night: (1) Libya embassy attack. (2) War in Syria. (3) Why we
    shouldn't cut military spending. (4) Israel or the U.S. attacking Iran. (5) The war in
Afghanistan. (6) "Divorcing" Pakistan. (7) What is the greatest future threat to our security?

   In other words, seven variations on the same theme: xenophobia. Fear of foreigners.

 Let's go over the basic facts. There are two large oceans that separate us from 191 of the
 193 other countries in the world. Our northern border has been peaceful since 1812. Our
  southern border has been peaceful, more or less, since 1848. In the 229 years since the
    Treaty of Paris, establishing our independence, foreign military forces have attacked
          American territory only twice - in both cases, on the outermost periphery.

  So how is it that a "foreign policy" debate can be devoted entirely to the single, narrow
subject of who is going to kill whom? It appears that the military-industrial complex has not
  only occupied huge chunks of the federal budget, but also huge chunks of our political
                               discourse, and even our thinking.

 Why is it that every candidate for public office keeps pressing that big, red PANIC button?
           Isn't there anyone out there who will try to put a little love in our hearts?

       Here are some questions that should have been asked last night, but weren't:

 (1) What should we do about the 10+ million undocumented people in this country, more
                      than half of whom came here from Mexico?

 (2) Speaking of Mexico, the drug war in Mexico was the most deadly armed conflict in the
  world last year, killing more people than the war in Afghanistan and the civil war in Syria
                            combined. What should we do about it?
(3) We have run the largest trade deficit in the world every year for roughly the past 20 years.
This year, it's half a trillion dollars, again. Other developed countries like Japan and Germany
                 run consistent trade surpluses. What should we do about this?

  (4) The United States is the only industrialized country without universal healthcare, paid
          vacations and paid sick leave. Why is this? What should we do about it?

 (5) Climate change obviously is a worldwide issue. Should the United States participate in
                             efforts to mitigate it? If so, how?

  (6) There is tremendous suffering now in both Greece and Spain, with unemployment of
              25%+. Should we do anything to help people in those countries?

 (7) In poor countries, three million people die each year of respiratory infections, 2.5 million
    die each year of diarrhea, and two million die of AIDS. Virtually all of these deaths are
                              avoidable. Should we avoid them?

             As Charles P. Pierce of Esquire put it, before the debate last night:

  Trade is foreign policy. The environment is foreign policy. Energy policy is foreign policy.
Human rights are foreign policy. Drought is foreign policy. Starvation is foreign policy. War is
 generally only foreign policy when one of those other things I mentioned get[s] completely
  out of control. However, as I suspect we will see argued enthusiastically from both sides
 tonight, war, and not its historic causes, has come to define foreign policy. Increasingly, it
   has come to define us as a nation as well. This is a problem that, I predict, will not be
                               addressed at all this evening . . . .

                            He was right. It wasn't addressed at all.

Look - the world is a beautiful place. I know; I've seen it. This planet is full of people just like
 us. It's not full of monsters and demons and ogres and beasts. And there are solutions to
                  problems other than "shoot it," "bomb it," "burn it," and "kill it."

            Let me make this as simple as possible: The Earth - love it or leave it.

                                            Courage,

                                       Alan Grayson
                     Postado há 23rd October 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                             43.
                                                Oct
                                                10

                      Twitter exchange with NYT's Matthew Rosenberg
Postado há 10th October 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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        44.
          Sep
          24

Andrew Sullivan on Obama
                 Postado há 24th September 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                         45.
                                          Sep
                                          18

                                  Why do they hate us?
                                   Via Cracked.com:




                 Postado há 18th September 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                         46.
                                          Sep
                                          14

                           October/November speaking events
From October 15-19, I'll be at several colleges on the West Coast, speaking as part of the
 FFF/YAL College Civil Liberties Tour along with Bruce Fein and Jacob Hornsberger. All
         events are free and open to the public. Those dates are as follows:
  On Monday, October 15, at 7:00 p.m., I'll be in Seattle, Washington, to speak at the
                        University of Washington, Smith Hall 120.
      On Tuesday, October 16, at 7:30 p.m., I'll be in Davis, California, to speak at the
                          University of California-Davis, 1002 Geidt Hall.
        On Wednesday, October 17, at 7:00 p.m., I'll be in San Diego, California, to speak
         at the University of California-San Diego, Student Services Center - Multi-Purpose
                                                Room.
         On Thursday, October 18, at 7:00 p.m., I'll be in Tuscon, Arizona, to speak at the
                               University of Arizona, CESL 103.
         On Friday, October 19, at 7:00 p.m., I'll be in Boulder, Colorado, to speak at the
                        University of Colorado-Boulder, Humanities 1B50.
 On Saturday, October 20, at 8:00 p.m., I'll be in Ottawa, Canada, to deliver the keynote
 speech on the Surveillance State to the Defense Counsel Association of Ottawa's Annual
             Criminal Law Conference. Event and ticket information are here.

 On November 10, at 7:00 p.m., I'll be in Seattle, Washington, to speak at the 2012 Bill of
  Rights celebration of the ACLU in Washington. Ticket and event information are here.

  On November 13, I'll be in New York, New York, at the documentary film festival DOC
NYC, to moderate a panel discussion with documentary film makers including Laura Poitras,
         Jeremy Scahill and others. Some event information can be found here.

On November 17, I'll be in San Jose, California, to speak at the 2012 annual benefit for the
  Bay Area office of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Ticket and event
                                   information are here.

                  Postado há 14th September 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                           47.
                                            Sep
                                             8

                        Cynicism as enabling force for power abuses
                                     August 29, 2012

  The fact that a certain behavior is common does not negate its being corrupt. Indeed, as is
true for government abuses generally, those in power rely on the willingness of citizens to be
       trained to view corrupt acts as so common that they become inured, numb, to its
  wrongfulness. Once a corrupt practice is sufficiently perceived as commonplace, then it is
   transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable.

    Indeed, many people believe it demonstrates their worldly sophistication to express
 indifference toward bad behavior by powerful actors on the ground that it is so prevalent.
This cynicism – oh, don't be naive: this is done all the time – is precisely what enables such
                       destructive behavior to thrive unchallenged.
                  Postado há 8th September 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                           48.
                                            Sep
                                             8

                       Believing oppression only happens elsewhere
                                     August 26, 2012
   It is very easy to get people to see oppression and tyranny in faraway places, but very
    difficult to get them to see it in their own lives ("How dare you compare my country to
 Tyranny X; we're free and they aren't"). In part that is explained by the way in which desire
  shapes perception. One naturally wants to believe that oppression is only something that
happens elsewhere because one then feels good about one's own situation ("I'm free, unlike
     those poor people in those other places"). Thinking that way also relieves one of the
obligation to act: one who believes they are free of oppression will feel no pressure to take a
                                 difficult or risky stand against it.

  But the more significant factor is that one can easily remain free of even the most intense
 political oppression simply by placing one's faith and trust in institutions of authority. People
 who get themselves to be satisfied with the behavior of their institutions of power, or who at
least largely acquiesce to the legitimacy of prevailing authority, are almost never subjected to
                        any oppression, even in the worst of tyrannies.

    Why would they be? Oppression is designed to compel obedience and submission to
    authority. Those who voluntarily put themselves in that state – by believing that their
  institutions of authority are just and good and should be followed rather than subverted –
                           render oppression redundant, unnecessary.

  Of course people who think and behave this way encounter no oppression. That's their
  reward for good, submissive behavior. As Rosa Luxemburg put this: "Those who do not
 move, do not notice their chains." They are left alone by institutions of power because they
     comport with the desired behavior of complacency and obedience without further
                                        compulsion.

  But the fact that good, obedient citizens do not themselves perceive oppression does not
   mean that oppression does not exist. Whether a society is free is determined not by the
 treatment of its complacent, acquiescent citizens – such people are always unmolested by
    authority – but rather by the treatment of its dissidents and its marginalized minorities.

  In the US, those are the people who are detained at airports and have their laptops and
 notebooks seized with no warrants because of the films they make or the political activism
    they engage in; or who are subjected to mass, invasive state surveillance despite no
   evidence of wrongdoing; or who are prosecuted and imprisoned for decades – or even
     executed without due process – for expressing political and religious views deemed
                              dangerous by the government.

   People who resist the natural human tendency to follow, venerate and obey prevailing
authority typically have a much different view about how oppressive a society is than those
 who submit to those impulses. The most valuable experiences for determining how free a
 society is are the experiences of society's most threatening dissidents, not its content and
compliant citizens. It was those who marched against Mubarak who were detained, beaten,
   tortured and killed, not those who acquiesced to or supported the regime. That is the
                        universal pattern of authoritarian oppression.

   The temptation to submit to authority examined by Compliance bolsters an authoritarian
culture by transforming its leading institutions into servants of power rather than checks on it.
 But worse, it conceals the presence of oppression by ensuring that most citizens, choosing
 to follow, trust and obey authority, do not personally experience oppression and thus do not
                        believe – refuse to believe – that it really exists.

                    Postado há 8th September 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                             49.
                                               Sep
                                                8

                   Media and academia as servants of authority and power
                                    August 26, 2012

  There are multiple institutions that are intended to safeguard against this ease of inducing
 blind trust in and obedience to authorities. The most obvious one is journalism, which, at its
    best, serves as a check against political authority by subjecting its pronouncements to
skepticism and scrutiny, and by acting in general as an adversarial force against it. But there
                  are other institutions that can and should play a similar role.

  One is academia, a realm where tenure is supposed to ensure that authority's most sacred
    orthodoxies are subjected to unrelenting, irreverent questioning. Another is the federal
judiciary, whose officials are vested with life tenure so as to empower them, without regard to
   popular sentiment, to impose limits on the acts of political authorities and to protect the
                            society's most scorned and marginalized.

 But just observe how frequently these institutions side with power rather than against it, how
 eagerly they offer their professional and intellectual instruments to justify and glorify the acts
 of political authority rather than challenge or subvert them. They will occasionally quibble on
the margins with official acts, but their energies are overwhelmingly devoted to endorsing the
   legitimacy of institutional authority and, correspondingly, scorning those who have been
                                   marginalized or targeted by it.

    Their collective instinct on any issue is to rush to align themselves with the sentiment
  prevailing in elite power circles. Most denizens in these realms would be hard-pressed to
  identify any instances in which they embraced causes or people deeply unpopular within
those circles. Indeed, they judge their own rightness – they derive vindication – by how often
they find themselves on the side of elite institutions and how closely aligned they are with the
   orthodoxies that prevail within them, rather than by how often they challenge or oppose
                                               them.

      It is difficult to overstate the impact of this authority-serving behavior from the very
 institutions designed to oppose authority. As Zobel, the writer and director of Compliance,
   notes, most people are too busy with their lives to find the time or energy to scrutinize
prevailing orthodoxies and the authorities propagating them. When the institutions that are in
  a position to provide those checks fail to do that, those orthodoxies and authorities thrive
       without opposition or challenge, no matter how false and corrupted they may be.

As much as anything else, this is the institutional failure that explains the debacles of the last
decade. There is virtually no counter-weight to the human desire to follow and obey authority
because the institutions designed to provide that counter-weight – media outlets, academia,
  courts – do the opposite: they are the most faithful servants of those centers of authority.
                   Postado há 8th September 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                             50.
                                               Sep
                                                8
                                   British media & Assange
                                        August 22, 2012

 But the contempt is far more intense, and bizarrely personal, from the British press, much of
  which behaves with staggering levels of mutually-reinforcing vindictiveness and groupthink
 when it's time to scorn an outsider like Assange. On Tuesday, Guardian columnist Seumas
 Milne wrote a superb analysis of British media coverage of Assange, and observed that "the
 virulence of British media hostility towards the WikiLeaks founder is now unrelenting." Milne
    noted that to the British press, Assange "is nothing but a 'monstrous narcissist', a bail-
jumping 'sex pest' and an exhibitionist maniac" – venom spewed at someone "who has yet to
                       be charged, let alone convicted, of anything" . . . .

There are several obvious reasons why Assange provokes such unhinged media contempt.
   The most obvious among them is competition: the resentment generated by watching
  someone outside their profession generate more critical scoops in a year than all other
media outlets combined (see this brilliant 2008 post, in the context of the Clintons, about how
 professional and ego-based competition produces personal hatred like nothing else can).

Other causes are more subtle though substantive. Many journalists (and liberals) like to wear
   the costume of outsider-insurgent, but are, at their core, devoted institutionalists, faithful
     believers in the goodness of their society's power centers, and thus resent those (like
  Assange) who actually and deliberately place themselves outside of it. By putting his own
liberty and security at risk to oppose the world's most powerful factions, Assange has clearly
      demonstrated what happens to real adversarial dissidents and insurgents – they're
  persecuted, demonized, and threatened, not befriended by and invited to parties within the
 halls of imperial power – and he thus causes many journalists to stand revealed as posers,
                                 servants to power, and courtiers.

   Then there's the ideological cause. As one long-time British journalist told me this week
   when discussing the vitriol of the British press toward Assange: "Nothing delights British
former lefties more than an opportunity to defend power while pretending it is a brave stance
 in defence of a left liberal principle." That's the warped mindset that led to so many of these
     self-styled liberal journalists to support the attack on Iraq and other acts of Western
     aggression in the name of liberal values. And it's why nothing triggers their rage like
fundamental critiques of, and especially meaningful opposition to, the institutions of power to
                                  which they are unfailingly loyal.
                     Postado há 8th September 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                            51.
                                              Sep
                                               6

                                 Reply to response from CNNi
                                    by Glenn Greenwald

CNN International has posted a six-point response to my Guardian story from Tuesday on its
    refusal to broadcast a documentary featuring Amber Lyon showing the repression and
violence used against protesters in Bahrain and its substantial financial relationships with the
  regime in Bahrain and others around the world. But the claims CNNi makes bolster rather
  than undermine the story, as the point-by-point reply below demonstrates (although I feel
  compelled to respond, I'm posting this here because it really does not warrant a full-scale
  Guardian column). But before getting to my point-by-point reply, I want to highlight what
                          CNNi revealingly does not address.

  CNNi has nothing to say about the extensive financial dealings it has with the regime in
Bahrain (what the article called "the tidal wave of CNNi's partnerships and associations with
the regime in Bahrain, and the hagiography it has broadcast about it"). It has nothing to say
 about the repellent propaganda it produces for regimes which pay it. It has nothing to say
about the Bahrain-praising sources whose vested interests with the regime are undisclosed
 by CNN. It provides no explanation whatsoever for its refusal to broadcast the iRevolution
documentary. It does not deny that it threatened Lyon's severance payments and benefits if
   she spoke critically about CNNi's refusal. And it steadfastly ignores the concerns and
           complaints raised by its own long-time employees about its conduct.

In sum, CNNi's response does not deny, or even acknowledge, the crux of the reporting, and
simply ignores the vast bulk of the facts revealed about its coverage of, and relationship with,
 the regime in Bahrain. Indeed, one searches its response in vain for any explanation to the
 central question which New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof asked nine months ago:




As for the points CNNi does make, most of the claims in the article which CNNi attacks are
nothing more than CNNi's own transparent strawman inventions, at best wild caricatures of
 the article's claims. Thus, CNNi purports to debunk as "false" and "misleading" that "CNN
   International ensured Amber's reporting 'was never seen on television by Bahrainis or
 anyone else in the region'"; that "Amber and her crew were the principal vehicle for CNN's
coverage of Bahrain in 2011"; and that "CNN avoided covering events in Bahrain 'in the first
  half of 2011'". Plainly, none of those claims is remotely made by the article. Moreover, in
   many cases, CNNi's responses serve only to demonstrate the accuracy of the article's
                                            reporting:


 CNNi's POINT 1: CNNi says that my "speculation" about its decision not to broadcast the
 documentary is "false" because "there is nothing unusual about" a simple "programming
            decision" not to show a documentary commissioned by CNN.

   Suspicion over CNNi's refusal to broadcast the documentary is not "my speculation." As
documented in the article, CNN's own employees were, and to this day remain, mystified and
  angry about it. One of its own senior news executives emailed Lyon in June 2011 to ask:
 "Why would CNNI not run a documentary on the Arab Spring, arguably the the biggest story
                                  of the decade? Strange, no?"

 Another long-time employee, quoted in the article, provided multiple reasons why it was, as
the source put it, "highly unusual not to air it": namely, that it was purely international in topic,
     that it was a highly produced and expensive documentary about the most significant
 international news story in years, that it would have been free programming for the budget-
 constrained CNNi. All of those reasons are, presumably, what led Kristof to raise this same
question with his 1 million-plus followers on Twitter and to ask publicly whether "intimidation"
                        was the cause for CNNi's refusal to broadcast it.

     Pretending that these issues are nothing more than my "speculation," rather than the
  suspicions and anger from those who best know CNNi's agenda, accomplishes nothing for
 anyone who read the article. That CNNi still refuses to provide any explanation whatsoever
 for its facially bizarre refusal to broadcast this award-winning documentary is telling indeed.


 CNNi's POINT 2: This is the crux of CNNi's response. It says that "Amber's reporting from
Bahrain was actually featured and promoted on CNN International" and that "this happened
months before the full documentary aired on CNN US." It then links to multiple appearances
  by Lyon in April 2011 in which she reported on Bahrain, and says this demonstrates that
  Lyon's Bahrain reporting "was heavily featured on CNN International." Had I been clear
about this, argues CNNi, then "the underlying (and false) premise of [my] article would have
                                        fallen apart."

That Lyon appeared multiple times on CNNi in April once she returned from Bahrain to report
 on the violence there does not negate the point of the article. That is the point of the article.

The article explicitly described how Lyon, upon her return from Bahrain, did not want to wait
until the documentary aired to show the world the repression that she witnessed. She thus
                   went on CNN multiple times to talk about what she saw.

    It was then -- as a result of that initial spate of reporting from Lyon in April -- that the
Bahrainis, who had extensive relationships with CNNi, began complaining vociferously about
her and her reporting. It was then that CNNi stopped Lyon from reporting further on Bahrain,
denied her requests to return there, and then refused to broadcast the documentary that put
                              the regime in such a negative light.

 CNNi's response tries to mislead readers into believing that the article omitted discussion of
    this April reporting Lyon did that was critical of the regime. To the contrary, the article
 expressly discussed it -- and supplied multiple links to those appearances -- because it was
that April reporting from Lyon that led the Bahrainis to object to her hard-hitting reports about
     the regime, complaints that appear to have been quite successful. From the article:
  Upon returning from Bahrain in April, Lyon appeared on CNN several times to recount her
 own detention by security forces and to report on ongoing brutality by the regime against its
own citizens, even including doctors and nurses providing medical aid to protesters. She said
 she did not want to wait for the documentary's release to alert the world to what was taking
                                              place.
             In response, according to both the above-cited CNN employee and Lyon, the
           regime's press officers complained repeatedly to CNNi about Lyon generally and
         specifically her reporting for "iRevolution". In April, a senior producer emailed her to
             say: "We are dealing with blowback from Bahrain govt on how we violated our
                                              mission, etc."
        "It became a standard joke around the office: the Bahrainis called to complain about
        you again," recounted Lyon. Lyon was also told by CNN employees stationed in the
        region that "the Bahrainis also sent delegations to our Abu Dhabi bureau to discuss
                                         the coverage." . . .
            In emails to her producers and executives, Lyon repeatedly asked to return to
        Bahrain. Her requests were denied, and she was never sent back. She thus resorted
         to improvising coverage by interviewing activists via Skype in an attempt, she said,
                                    "to keep Bahrain in the news".
  So yes, it is indeed true -- exactly as the article expressly and at length described -- that
Lyon, upon returning from Bahrain, appeared multiple times on CNN in April to report on the
       violence from the regime. Those reports were precisely what prompted regime
 representatives to complain so vocally about her reporting (to get an added sense for how
  aggressively the regime objected to Lyon's April reporting, and how seriously CNNi took
those complaints, see this amazingly propagandistic statement from the regime which CNNi
   dutifully appended to its own website featuring the video of one of Lyon's reports -- all
without comment or response from Lyon or anyone else; this video was one which the CNN
                               P.R. Twitter feed yesterday cited.)

 From that point forward, Lyon was prevented from reporting on the regime again. And the
harrowing documentary which CNN spent more than $100,000 to produce was never shown
to Bahrainis or the world outside of CNN's U.S. market because CNNi refused to broadcast
 it. Those April appearances by Lyon cited by CNNi as though they negate the point of the
 article and were omitted from it were, in fact, expressly documented in the article because
       they are what precipitated Bahrain's complaints and CNNi's capitulation to them.


    CNNi's POINTS 3-6: CNNi makes the same basic point in all four points: that despite
   blocking Lyon from further reporting on Bahrain, and despite refusing to broadcast the
  iRevolution documentary, it sent other reporters to Bahrain to cover the events unfolding
there. Many of these reports, it claims, were critical of the regime's actions. CNNi adds that
        there is nothing wrong with including the regime's response to its reporting.

   Nobody, and certainly nothing in the article, claimed that CNNi has never broadcast any
 reports critical of the regime in Bahrain. Given the magnitude of the violence, it would have
   been impossible to maintain a total blackout, and nothing in the article suggested it did.

CNNi does not link to any of the reports it touts, so it is difficult to assess what this reporting
 was. But the article expressly acknowledged that CNNi has on occasion broadcast reports
  showing the violence and repression in Bahrain, and then explained why that does not
                   negate, or even pertain to, the criticisms of its coverage:
CNNi's reports on the violence in Bahrain take a much more muted tone than when it reports
                   on regimes disfavored by the US, such as Iran or Syria.
         More importantly, the tidal wave of CNNi's partnerships and associations with the
             regime in Bahrain, and the hagiography it has broadcast about it (see the
            accompanying commentary on the relationship between the network and the
                  regime), appear to have overwhelmed any truly critical coverage.
  When the Arab Spring erupted and began spreading to Bahrain, it was not only CNNi that
  had a long-standing and deep financial relationships to the regime. So, too, did the U.S.
 government (and it still does). That is why even when Western media outlets such as CNNi
   reported on the regime's efforts to crush the protest movement in Bahrain, it did so with
  much more deference and timidity than it uses when it reports on similar repression from
regimes which are scorned by the U.S. It was the undiluted, unvarnished tone used by Lyon
 to highlight how severe the regime's repression had become that distinguished it from the
      standard, tepid CNNi fare and that made it uniquely objectionable to the regime.

 As political science professor As'ad AbuKhalil has observed: "When a pro-US dictator kills
 protesters it is [described as] 'fighting', and when a non-pro-US dictator kills protesters it is
    considered a massacre, according to Western media standards," even though "it is a
 massacre in both cases." Indeed, CNN frequently uses the tepid, both-sides-are-to-blame
  term "clashes" when describing the assaults by the Bahraini regime's security forces on
 protesters. Lyon's reporting avoided these methods of apology and dilution, which is what
                              made the regime so angry about it.

  Put another way, can anyone imagine CNNi taking money from the Iranian mullahs or the
   Assad regime to produce hagiography about their leaders and governance? Can anyone
  imagine CNNi producing documentaries "in association" with those regimes? Can anyone
 imagine CNNi forcing its reporters to give prominent play to the plainly false claims of those
regimes, or to append without comment to its own video segments aggressive denunciations
from those regimes attacking its own reporters and stories? CNNi's fear of alienating western
 power centers, as described by NYU journalism Professor Jay Rosen in my article, ensures
   that only U.S.-favored regimes like Bahrain receive such accommodation and deference.

So yes, CNNi can point to various reports discussing violence used by the regime in Bahrain:
  exactly as my article discussed. But what it cannot do, obviously, is deny or even address
the two vital points of the article: that (1) it refused to broadcast a highly produced, expensive
  documentary viscerally conveying the extreme violence and repression from the Bahraini
regime in the face of vociferous complaints from the regime; and (2) it pursued and cultivated
extensive financial dealings with that regime which infected its coverage in multiple ways and
    generated heavily promoted hagiography of regime leaders masquerading as "news."

 Finally, it is worth noting that I sought an interview with CNNi President Tony Maddox, and
 also sought detailed answers to specific questions from CNNi, before publishing the piece.
CNNi refused all of those requests, opting instead to provide a thoroughly generic and vague
 statement (which was included in the original article). It decided to respond in earnest only
   after the piece was published. As it turns out, its refusal to comment in any specific way
  ahead of time now appears understandable: what CNNi ignores in its new response is at
                                 least as revealing as what it says.
                      Postado há 6th September 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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                                             52.
                                               Aug
                                               30

                             ACLU on Obama DOJ announcement


           ACLU Comment on Closure of Justice
                    Department’s
               CIA Torture Investigation
 NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will close its
     investigation into the CIA’s torture and abuse of detainees without bringing charges.
          ―That the Justice Department will hold no one accountable for the killing of prisoners in CIA
          custody is nothing short of a scandal,‖ said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. ―The
       Justice Department has declined to bring charges against the officials who authorized torture, the
        lawyers who sought to legitimate it, and the interrogators who used it. It has successfully shut
                            down every legal suit meant to hold officials civilly liable.

         ―Continuing impunity threatens to undermine the universally recognized prohibition on torture
        and other abusive treatment and sends the dangerous signal to government officials that there
         will be no consequences for their use of torture and other cruelty. Today's decision not to file
           charges against individuals who tortured prisoners to death is yet another entry in what is
                                          already a shameful record.‖
                            Postado há 30th August 2012 por Glenn Greenwald
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