Glenn Greenwald: Gov’t labels people like Snowden ‘traitors,’ history calls them ‘patriots’
Glenn Greenwald joined Eric Bolling on Hannity to talk about the continuing debate over the NSA and Edward Snowden, especially the question of whether Snowden is a patriot or a traitor. Bolling and Greenwald took note of how this debate does not fall neatly along political lines, and Greenwald said “the breakdown is do you have primary allegiance to the government… or is your allegiance to the Constitution?”
He told Bolling that since the the time of the Founders, the government has always branded people like Snowden, trying to get information to the people, as traitors, but ultimately “history views them as patriots.”
Bolling brought up a class-action lawsuit against the NSA and Obama administration being pushed by Senator Rand Paul, and asked if Snowden would ever consider coming back to the United States, especially given what could happen to him if he did.
Greenwald argued that there would be absolutely no way Snowden would be free to speak if he returned to the U.S., so it would be anything but a “fair fight.” Greenwald also said people should expect more NSA reporting in the future, as early as this month.
You mentioned in a recent Esquire interview that you’d feared the NSA leak stories would be met with apathy and lack of interest, but that your fears had been allayed by the public’s response. I agree that much outrage and recourse to legal action have emerged. Maybe my bar is too high, but I’ve also witnessed a lot of resignation and acceptance of this state of surveillance, too. As I like to think about it: There’s too much outrage, not enough rage. Can you expound a little more on why you’re pleased with the response?
I think sometimes there is excessive impatience with how political change actually happens. And I empathize with that impatience because I share it and in some ways that impatience has great value because it drives us for change and to keep wanting more. But at the same time it’s really important to realize that it was less than six months ago that we began doing this reporting. And radical change doesn’t happen in six months. Major institutions of power aren’t subverted and undermined radically in less than six months. National security state — power centers that have reigned for many years without challenge — don’t collapse in less than six months.
So I think it’s important not to look for unrealistic metrics in determining whether or not a story has had an impact or is successful. Always the prelude to any kind of meaningful change is people first becoming aware or what is taking place, and then persuading each other that they ought to take it seriously enough to respond. So the prism through which I’m evaluating this is the extent to which people’s thinking has changed about the issues. Of course it’s not as much as I’d like, I’d like people to be in upheaval over the surveillance state, but that’s not realistic. I think perspectives have changed about a huge number of very critically important issues in a short period of time as a result of all of these disclosures. I think if you look, not just from the perspective of the United States but around the world, there are some very serious movements to fortify Internet freedom, to augment technologies that shield our communications from invasion. There are radically different ways of thinking about state secrecy and the role of the United States in the world and the role of journalism, so I think these changes tend to not be instantaneous but to take place in a ripple effect. And here we are six months later and the fact that it’s one of the biggest stories in the world is a big testament, if not the biggest testament, to just how much of an impact it has made.
As your recent interchange with Jeffrey Toobin on CNN highlighted, there are some chilling media tendencies to condemn whistle-blowers like Snowden in fealty to the established order.
How do you account for the U.S. media’s defense of an administration that has consistently lied about the level of surveillance going on?
I think the path of least resistance and the greatest careerist benefits come from embracing orthodoxies and supporting those in power. That has been true forever. If you’re kind of an outsider, and you are looking for ways to up your status, you become a loyalist to the king, you go serve the royal court, this is, I think, common in all societies. There is a temptation among certain kinds of people to further themselves by turning themselves into servants of power, and a lot of people in journalism are very much like that.
I also think that because most of our well-known journalists work for large corporations there is an institutional ethos embedded into these institutions saying that those in authority are to be respected and admired and obeyed. That is the nature of what large institutions inculcate. People who thrive in those corporations tend to embrace that way of thinking. So unlike, say, 50 years ago when journalists were kind of these consummate paid outsiders, now the television stars, the Jefferey Toobins, tend to be authoritarian; they tend to be supportive of the status quo because it has rewarded them so much. And then, finally, there is the tendency in American journalism to be very closely identified with those in political power, and anyone who opposes political power in D.C. — Julian Assange or Chelsea Manning or Edward Snowden or any of those whistle-blowers — are going to to be hated by journalism because they are going to be viewed through the prism of those who wield political power. I think all those factors combine to bring hostility toward people who can bring about transparency. The ultimate irony is that journalists, if you can believe anything that they say about themselves, should be cheering for those who bring transparency.
Click on the link below to watch the video:
Do you still have ‘nothing to hide’ after watching this video?
Watch the video: http://vimeo.com/49098795
The NSA, FBI, state and local police aren’t alone. Did you know that your boss, stalker, abusive ex-husband, or parent may be secretly monitoring your phone and internet use, using spyware installed on your devices? Mobistealth is one of the companies selling this shady spyware, presumably to anyone who can pay. Watch the video embedded above to see just what it’s capable of doing.
Companies like Mobistealth are free to sell their spyware products to your boss, your ex-lover, and your parents. If you find out someone is stalking you using this technology, you might not have legal recourse to stop it.
But that’s not all. The company and others like it also market their products to federal, state, and local law enforcement. A reporter who attended a government surveillance conference in Cambridge late last year tells me Mobistealth reps were there in the flesh, hawking their wares to cops. Do police get warrants before they install this gear onto their targets’ phones? Who knows! (We are trying to find out.)
Watch the video at the top of this page to see just how invasive is this kind of surveillance; it’s really chilling. Send the video to people who say they don’t care about someone spying on them if they aren’t doing anything wrong. Maybe ask if they’ll let you install Mobistealth on their phone and laptop; tell them you think it’ll keep them safe. After they recoil in horror, show them this, which makes Mobistealth look like child’s play.
Poll: U.S. gov’t seen as biggest threat to world peace