It Takes 7 Years For Glenn To Get His USA Today?

So you may have heard that the politisphere is a little angsty today. My television isn’t even on and I can hear Chris Matthews yelling, all because of GIUARDIAN GLENN GREENWALD’S BIG GIANT SCOOP, which is is not materially different from LESLIE CAULEY’S BIG GIANT SCOOP OF AUGHT SIX, except that now it’s Obama doing it! With secret FISA courts, which I have a vague memory of Obama voting for way back when, which is why I have GIANT SCOOP letdown right now. It wasn’t my favorite of Obama’s moves then, but I decided I’d take the good with the iffy and move on. And then the blogoverse trumpets GLENZILLA’S VERY HUGE NEWS and it turns out to be sort-of-not-warrantless-not-wiretapping. You know how you may have always intended to catch a hot show after catching one good episode, and when you finally tune in, it’s a rerun of that same damn episode?

I’m curious: am I the only person who assumed the Bush-era program never stopped? Since the snooping doesn’t involve identity or conversations, but exclusively “Meta-data” of my “telephony” being stored by the NSA— but not accessed without a FISA warrant— I really am having a problem getting my outrage on. If only I could pretend to be outraged, the way the Republicans do!

(Big ole hat tip to TPM commenter Doremus Jessup20 ; perhaps GG should think about tipping his lid—currently up on the Guardian page, collecting coins, to help keep Glenn HONEST—to Ms. Cauley.)

**Update** Well! isn’t it nice to know we’re never alone? Oh Hell’s Bells. The discouraging thing is that I’m not surprised at all. I’m just surprised that the NSA didn’t buy my behavior from Google the way Hungry Girl did. Nothing I do is a secret to her!

Posted by Mrs. Polly on 06/06/13 at 06:37 PM • Permalink

Categories: ImagesMessylaneousNewsPoliticsBarack ObamaManic ProgressivesOur Stupid MediaWar In Error

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I think it’s interesting that the day after PBO appoints Susan Rice to the NSA there’s a big ole classified NSA dump.  How are those Bush moles doing by the way.

Nice to see at least one article today that doesn’t open with the blogger kissing Greenwald’s ring. Between that and the sudden reverence for Sully, I am getting so sick of the fucking blogosphere.

nellcote, I don’t know how long GG was working on his story, but the PRISM leak is quite a coincidence, isn’t it?

The permanent spook undercurrents are never taken into account by the untainted purists of the left. Obama betrayed them by signing on to, as my Firebaggeresque DH put it, “become Emperor of the American Empire.” Riding that tiger is not a job for the faint of heart. There is no such thing as a purely good president, including FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Carter, Clinton, and even Lincoln. Perhaps Geo. Washington might have satisfied the purists, but I doubt it.

@D, TBogg’s fairly mild prelude to le deluge post about Paypal Purists trying to respond to Greenwald’s Guardian blegging (because it keeps him honest! This is GG’s line, not mine, folks!) got TBogg a dismally (or delightfully, if you are trolly that way) predictable infestation of the usual hornets, buzzing in the entirely usual way.

Imagine the gasps if he’d connected the bleg post’s appearance to the upcoming FISAPALOOZA! Not that there’s anything wrong with wanting some remuneration for one’s hard work, from one’s readers, whom one would like to thank for keeping one honest.

BTW, the comments at the Guardian this morning would have made Robespierre piss his culottes, if he’d had any.

Al Giordano had a run-in with Greenwald back in ‘08 when the Obama/FISA kerfuffle was in full swing.

Greenwald was most skeptical at Giordano’s insider knowledge that a whole range of countries (including Brazil, which I guess comes a bit close to home for Greenwald) routinely gathered and passed surveillance info to the US government:

Someone just sent me a link to this claim you made yesterday:

Yes, this is already going on but not illegally! Here’s how. All communications between the US and Mexico (and any other US ally) are being vacuumed up already by the Mexican-owned telecom companies and turned over to US agencies, with the full blessing of the Mexican state. The same goes for every other country in the hemisphere save Cuba and maybe Venezuela and/or Bolivia. Nothing illegal about it, because it’s done with the imprimatur of those governments that have jurisdiction.

What’s your basis for stating that every country in the hemisphere other than the three you mentioned turns over all communications involving a U.S. citizen to the U.S. Government?

Glenn Greenwald

The correspondence continued, with Greenwald basically calling Giordano a lying liar because he wouldn’t do his basic research for him. Anyway, Giordano schooled him for the blowhard dilettante he is:

My newspaper, Narco News, has reported for more than eight years now on the subjects of the drug war, social movements, money laundering, and other sensitive topics in the American hemisphere. In 2001, the New York Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling, after the National Bank of Mexico (now Citibank) sued us for what it termed defamation (libel) in eight of those reports. From the December, 5, 2001 court decision:

“Narco News, its website, and the writers who post information, are entitled to all the First Amendment protections accorded a newspaper-magazine or journalist… Furthermore, the nature of the articles printed on the website and Mr. Giordano’s statements at Columbia University constitute matters of public concern because the information disseminated relates to the drug trade and its affect on people living in this hemisphere…”

That ruling, by the way, protects you and your work, too.

In this work, we have cultivated many sources and whistleblowers inside US and foreign intelligence and police agencies. The reports of journalist Bill Conroy and I, among others, frequently consult with those sources, including in Homeland Security, ICE, DEA, FBI, and others, and including their counterparts in Mexico and other lands. If you’ve dealt much with security and intelligence agents, you’d be familiar with their smug disregard for the US Constitution and their enthusiasm for finding loopholes and ways around it when it comes to wiretapping and surveillance. They’re part of their own very special subculture that plays by its own rules.

In 1998, the Mexican daily El Universal reported on the existence of a telephone surveillance headquarters in Mexico City operated by the DEA with the permission of the Mexican government that did not solicit nor honor the concept of warranting their work with court orders and such. Since then, obviously, technological advances make all of this much easier for them to do on a wholesale level. In 2000 I asked some questions of the then-US ambassador to Mexico, in writing, about that and related matters:


I don’t recall Greenwald ever following that story up and running an exposé, but then I don’t exactly hang on his every word. Seems like he only has eyes for one particular administration when it comes to this sort of thing, and with Bush II in the White House,  the government evidently deserved every benefit of the doubt .... One of his responses to Giordano is a gem of his petulant Obot-bashing oeuvre:

Can you point to anything published—rather than claims you now make about what secret sources tell you—to support your claim?  Your claim wasn’t restricted to Mexico, but to all countries in the hemisphere—which includes Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and many others—which are turning over communications with U.S. citizens to the U.S. Government.

That is an extraordinary claim to make—in your desperate effort to defend Barack Obama in all that He does—and I simply asked for your basis for the claim.  Given how you responded, it doesn’t surprise me that you would find a very simple, politely stated request of that kind to be offensive.

Glenn Greenwald

If you read the full post and comments, it ends up that Greenwald’s skepticism was severely misplaced because Giordano’s claims were amply backed up by mainstream media coverage over an extensive period, but it would take a journalist or somebody with access to Google to figure that out, rather than an ill-informed opportunist partisan (to The Party of Greenwald) faux-libertarian hack.

As for me, I know for a fact in the dim past I’ve had mail and phone calls intercepted—we have some pretty natty installations over here in the UK that feed into the NSA and CIA, and that’s been going on since at least the ‘60s. I’m almost certainly not a prime target nowadays, as my activist days are long done except for occasional eruptions when one or other of our governments does something truly outrageous on a global scale, but I’ve always assumed that nothing I say on the phone or via email is secret, and I’ve adjusted my behavior accordingly.

I was wondering about this being news, doubting my memory but too headachy to research.  Thank you!
Plus, Giordano is so great.

That’s pretty ironic, because when Glenn Greenwald illegally recorded telephone conversations it was in defense of murderous white supremacists. 75159FSupp2d1116_11178.xml/docbase/CSLWAR2-1986-2006

Comment by Lancelot Link on 06/07/13 at 01:54 AM

Lancelot, you’re the linkiest!

Honest Glenn’s bio at the Guardian doesn’t mention his stint doing that inconsequential wiretapping before he was freed to be an honestish kind of Cato-associated ink-stained wretch by his ever loyal readers:

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald is a columnist on civil liberties and US national security issues for the Guardian. A former constitutional lawyer…

A former lot of things.

Now, since Glenn’s self-Googling has in the past caused him to take disdainful notice of the merest whisper by dissenters (spooky, really, when you think about it, huh?), I would not be surprised to have him charge the thread with his horns out, so I would like to note that I used to have him bookmarked, and think that he’s done some good work. I would also like to see the NSA reined in, and think it is a good thing if journalists are on their case, doing hard, accurate reporting.

But, Glenn, much like the president you despise, you are a mixed bag. I’m not ready to dismiss you utterly, but I began to be bothered by the rants, defensiveness, and overall dickishness you exhibit, as well as a worldview determined by a standard no breathing human has yet managed to uphold, including yourself. It would be really lovely if Obama slammed the mic down one day and said, “Glenn, you try it for a week,” and left you the keys to the codes. I’d give you 24 hours before the permanent security apparatus that wrestled with Carter and Clinton and now wrestles with Obama simply slid the country right out from under you.

Goodness, it’s amazing what a 4AM headache can bring out in a person.  I wonder what time it is in Brazil.

That’s pretty ironic, because when Glenn Greenwald illegally recorded telephone conversations it was in defense of murderous white supremacists.


I too used to be a dedicated GG reader; I even turned my PITA anarchist/firebagger friend onto him writings (they make a lovely couple, and it has made my friend into an ex-friend).  There is only so much purity pony high dungeon a person can stand, and I hit my limit with GG several years ago.

You’re all on report, oh yes, every single one of you, en toto.

Former Greenwald reader here as well. I loved his first book on the Manichean tendencies of the Bush administration.

It wasn’t until later that I realized that Greenwald was the biggest Manichean of them all.

Bingo, Chris!

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