I’ll Stop Writing About Glenn Greenwald’s NSA Coverage When He Stops Lying

FILED TO: Politics

greenwald_lying_nsaRecently, I’ve been badgered on Twitter by several overzealous cranks who’ve asked me whether I’ve become a professional Glenn Greenwald troll. This is especially bizarre considering how this question emanated from real-life anonymous trolls who fail to exhibit the courage of their convictions by using their actual names, and so, nestled snugly within the cozy protection of esoteric pseudonyms, they can tweet about anything with impunity.

I generally don’t take it seriously or personally, nor do I respond very often. But one troll in particular demanded that I stop covering this beat. I replied, “I will. When Greenwald stops lying.”

Of course I’ve written about many other topics in the meantime, both in this space and within my daily blog, but the ferocity with which I’ve pursued this story is a direct reflection upon the pervasiveness of the serial misinformation I’ve observed from Greenwald, Edward Snowden and their collective acolytes on the NSA issue.

Consequently, I’ve been predominantly focused on recording my day-to-day observations on this epic story. It’s not because I particularly like fighting my way through Greenwald’s pedantic articles and TV spots. It’s chiefly because I feel as if he’s leading a considerable segment of the left down an embarrassingly unhinged, conspiratorial, non-empirical road. And, simply put, I think it’s wrong. Actually, that understates how I strongly I feel about this thing. As with the far-right or Fox News Channel, or the National Rifle Association for that matter, I’m compelled by my own desire to seek the truth — to exploit my very small chunk of the internet as a means to correct willful misinformation, irrationality and outright lies.

Take, for example, Greenwald’s latest pair of television appearances.

On Friday, he was interviewed by Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. In addition to serving as Edward Snowden’s de facto U.S. spokesperson, responding to questions about Snowden’s emotional state and new accommodations in Russia, Greenwald stared into the camera and said on national television:

“[Snowden is] doing very well, he’s obviously very happy for the obvious reason that he’s not going to be subjected to the standard whistleblower treatment that the United States government gives to people, which is to put them in a cage for decades and render them incommunicado.”

Um. Which whistleblowers have been tossed in cages for decades?

This is totally inaccurate. As I’ve noted before, the longest “whistleblower” sentence (explanation of the quotation marks presently) that’s been handed down under President Obama has been 30 months. Not years. Months. The shortest punishment has been one year of probation. If he was referring to Pfc. Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army soldier who delivered 720,000 documents to Wikileaks hasn’t been sentenced yet, and even if he does end up receiving 130 years in prison, that’d be exactly one “whistleblower” imprisoned for decades. One out of seven “whistleblowers” who’ve been charged under what Greenwald calls the “war on whistleblowers.”

There’s simply no excuse for this kind of wild exaggeration. Greenwald has become a powerful voice on the neo-libertarian, conspiratorial left, not to mention an influential reporter whose articles have resonated through the news media and inside the halls of Congress, and therefore it’s utterly irresponsible to go on television and present a new set of highly misleading talking points to both passive viewers and active followers alike who will reflexively repeat the lines over and over until the exaggerations become conventional knowledge. But it serves his agenda, which he believes is a noble one, so the barrage of sharply delivered agitprop continues.

On Sunday’s edition of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Greenwald’s second This Week appearance in a row, he repeated this exaggeration to guest host Martha Radditz:

“Well I think the concern is that whistleblowers in the United States have become the number one public enemy of the United States government, which is incredibly disturbing. McClatchy has been reporting great things about how the Obama administration equates whistleblowing with treason, with all kinds of programs. […] Whistleblowers in the United States are put into prison for decades and basically disappeared, as we just saw with Bradley Manning…”

Once again, no, there haven’t been any “whistleblowers” under the Obama administration who’ve been imprisoned for “decades.” They’re not the “number one public enemy,” either, unless you dig way, way, way down the list of U.S. enemies beneath the thousands of people, both foreign and domestic, who are seeking to kill Americans, assassinate the president and overthrow our government. Nor have these “whistleblowers” been “disappeared.” Even if Manning goes to jail for decades, there’s no evidence that he’ll be “disappeared” — a word that’s traditionally reserved for sinister, covert kidnappings in which a suspect is grabbed and hauled off in total secrecy and prevented from alerting anyone to his whereabouts or from petitioning for habeas corpus. Extremist language used by a compulsive exaggerator.

Furthermore, Greenwald continues to conflate legitimate whistleblowers with men who’ve leaked national security secrets, generally either to the press or to foreign governments. Based on the fact that the president signed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act in 2012, he’s clearly used his authority as a means of encouraging government workers to come forward through proper channels and expose anyone who’s engaged in waste, fraud or abuse.

What the Obama administration — and all administrations — tend to object to is the indiscriminate leaking of thousands of sensitive national security secrets to the press. Regardless of any perceived heroism or nobility of the leaks, this is a crime which ought to be prosecuted. Yet again, what we’ve witnessed during the last five years are sentences that’ve been quite lenient — certainly not the melodramatic, cloak-and-dagger treatment Greenwald wants his disciples to believe. Then again, both Greenwald and Snowden have repeatedly speculated that the U.S. government might assassinate Snowden.

For whatever it might be worth in the grand scheme, I simply cannot allow such claims to go uncorrected. And if I’m the only one and no one else cares, then so be it. But this has to be done. These men are inciting an important discussion and therefore their claims must be matched with the truth, otherwise we’re proceeding on disingenuous terms.

I’ve endeavored to be fair and well-researched with everything I’ve written, just as I was during my occasional (and sometimes friendly) discussions with Greenwald on Twitter and via email. I’ve deliberately ignored the personal attacks against Greenwald and Snowden that’ve emerged in the press and online, especially the Greenwald-lives-in-Brazil attack, and I’ve written numerous blurbs condemning a hideous article in the New York Daily News that served no purpose other than to brutally smear Greenwald. (By the way, the article, which I won’t link here, also served as a form of intimidation against anyone who would dare to step into the spotlight: do it and your most private, intimate details will be used as a cudgel to crush you.) I’ve made a concerted effort to stick to the facts; to correct any mistakes and to play on-the-level.

So yes, I plan to continue my work on the NSA beat. Maybe not every day but as new information — or new misinformation — comes to light I will do my best to examine and debunk any claims that don’t hold up. As for the latter, the misinformation sadly doesn’t appear to be letting up any time soon.

(Adding… In his This Week appearance on Sunday, Greenwald also remarked about the “86-page” FISC opinion in which the court’s chief judge, Reggie Walton, held that one of NSA’s actions was unconstitutional. Greenwald implied that the Obama administration is the only impediment preventing it from being made public. But as of June, FISC was merely waiting for verification from lower court before it releases the document per the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Freedom of Information Act request.)

Bob Cesca is the managing editor for The Daily Banter, the editor of BobCesca.com, the host of the Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show podcast and a Huffington Post contributor.


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  • unclesamonmars

    I had watched Greenwald many times on Current TV before the Snowden story. He came off as a self impressed and a snotty little prick. He is still that person after Snowden. He writes and investigates motivated by his anger about his raw deal from somebody or something. He doesn’t write from the place of being a journalist. Very disingenuous person.

  • Ty Jackson

    I am quite happy that you did not ignore Greenwald’s double-standard when it comes to not criticizing Brazil for its secret spying on allies.

    Though I’m not without sin in this aspect, I think that using terms like “neo-libertarian, conspiratorial left” and, as the top commenter, JS Hooper accuses, “Glenn Beckwald,” or as commenter William Trent finger-wags, “The Oracle,” are unhelpful at best. Indeed, it makes people here sound no better than Greenwald’s ad hominem and straw man attacks against some of his targets. It gives the air of jingoism, not truth-seeking. Such name-calling does not highlight the truth; it detracts from the truth.

    Granted, when he spoke that comment about whistleblowers being thrown in “cages for decades” Manning had not been sentenced and the record then (not under Obama) was 17 years shorter than the record set when Manning was sentenced to 35 years. Since the comment was coupled with the “public enemies” comment, I wonder if it was meant to be understood literally or as hyperbole. Still, it did seem like loose-tongued demagoguery.

    Given all we’ve learned from the Manning and Snowden leaks, such as the NSA’s prevalent and widespread spying on allies and American citizens I’d say that they deserve more sympathy than you are willing to lend them, if, national security concerns notwithstanding, the truth is paramount.

    Truth is paramount, and I’m always happy when the little guy goes after the big guy if the big guy isn’t playing fair or living up to the standards of his pretensions. Unfortunately, Greenwald has fallen short of the glory of his stated goals since the days as one of the few bloggers criticizing the press and Bush administration over the WMD fiasco. If you don’t want to become that which you criticize, you must guard against hypocrisy as fervently as Tolkien’s Gollum guarded his “precious.” I speak from the experience as one who has, also, fallen short of my own pretensions toward truth-seeking. Nobody is easier to fool than yourself.

  • Ed Snowed Us

    Since 8/5:

    Now ‘Chelsea’ Manning is a “whistleblower” according to liberal media, not even a ‘leaker’, which is absurd.

    The War in Iraq had not yet ended, therefore Manning truly IS a TRAITOR regarding the released videos. 35 year sentence. Note that Chelsea was enlisted in the U.S. military and Snowden was not even a government employee, so G.G. is just nuts about the penalty for Snowden.

    The Horror: Greenwald’s husband subject to the same U.K. Customs inspections as anyone else! Look for Greenwald to rail against this to the United Nations demanding sanctions, as a guest of Brazil.

  • GwenKillerby

    No bob, YOU ARE the LIAR because you said that the Guardian claimed they
    were FORCED by the government to destroy their laptops. Rusbridger
    NEVER ever said that, so the big fat LIAR is you! You base your stuff on *”headlines”* ??? by 3rd parties and not your own research? Tip: googling is not research.


    “I’m compelled by my own desire to seek the truth”

    LOL. You’re a funny, funny guy.

  • SuzieTampa

    I just read this older post, and I’m grateful that you’re analyzing what Greenwald says. But I disagree on the NYDN story, which I hadn’t known about. A business isn’t private and personal.

    His brief stint in the porn business sheds some light on why he has attacked feminists who have fought against hard-core stuff. Perhaps, in his experience, all the performers enjoyed themselves. But he doesn’t get that a lot of female sex workers are abused.

  • condew

    Greenwald’s narrative dovetails so nicely with Left wing conspiracy theories that no amount of fact checking will make it go away. But thanks for making the effort.

    It’s a race to see which side recovers its sanity first, the right-wing gun nuts convinced Obama will take their guns away, or the left-wing NSA nuts, who think the government has nothing better to do than read their emails.

    I have hopes that the left will recover their sanity first; until Greenwald hyped Snowden, we were the reality-based community. I have fears that left wing privacy nuts will throw the next election just like the gun control nuts did for decades.

  • 624LC .

    Keep up the good work, Bob. Greenwald’s insufferable fanboys will always be a side effect of you pointing out actual facts, and I am glad that you do not let them deter you.

  • http://wonderwheels.blogspot.com/ Gregory Wonderwheel

    Hilarious!!! Others have pointed it out but 30 months is in fact “years,” two and a half years to be exact. If it is not a “lie” then what is it when you say 30 months is “not years”? Bob, you are quite the joker.

    • Michael Cruise

      Greenwald said decades, not years. I think Bob has made the point accurately.

  • naugiedoggie

    Yes, so important to protect everything the gov’t does in secret. We wouldn’t want the gov’t to be held accountable for any of its actions. “Trust me, I know what I’m doing.” Good enough for Bob Cesca and his dittoheads.

    The Obama administration and the NSA thank you sincerely for not wanting to know anything about anything that they’re doing in secret. You have their word that they would never, ever do anything wrong. (Of course, even if they did, you wouldn’t and don’t want to know about it.)

    • Michael Cruise

      What is it with you and those like you who see everything in extremes? It is not an either/or proposition.

      • naugiedoggie

        What is about people like you, who see 4th amendment Constitutional protections as something to be bargained away for safety.? You explain to me how you can have a Constitutional protection against warrantless search and seizure and at the same time, have a secret police that is permitted to engage in warrantless search and seizure.

  • lancepeeples

    Perhaps you’ll want to look into the case of journalist Barrett Brown who is facing over 100 years in jail for alleged crimes relating to his investigation into the world of private intelligence contractors for the US government.


  • fojap

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think you’re trolling Glenn Greenwald and I also think it’s important to point out when he’s wrong. Far too many people seem to be buying his lies without thinking. Most people I know are getting it second or third hand.

  • GeeOPee

    Thank you Bob you summed up what has been bothering me about Snowden and Greenwald. The lying is done to support the libertarian narrative that “Obama is worse than Bush.”

  • little_ole_jim

    “And if I’m the only one and no one else cares, then so be it. ”

    Don’t worry, you are not the only one who sees through Greenwald and Snowden. The initial video of Snowden released by the Guardian made me laugh out loud and predict that Snowden would turn out to be a libertarian ideologue who was exaggerating everything from his salary to his capability as an analyst. I’ve know and worked with several Snowden’s in my time.

  • kfreed

    “For whatever it might be worth in the grand scheme, I simply cannot allow such claims to go uncorrected.”

    Good on you. You’re not the only one. People concerned with accuracy in the media care, so even if you were the one person standing in the crowd pointing out that the emperor has no clothes, you’d still be right.

    This spectacle personally sickens me to no end. The fact that someone actually told you to stop covering this pretty amusing coming from people who claim to be concerned about transparency.

  • Schneibster

    I wonder what’s going to happen when the producers wake up and find they’ve been rolled by Greenwald and Co.

    And which big media will say so first (my bet’s on MSNBC).

  • BillAndersoot

    Greenwald is well-respected among members of the leakage community.

  • dpn1

    Thank you for staying on this to continue to expose Greenwald for being his usual arrogant lying self. I wish more would challenge – expose hiim – but the majority of those with their TV shows have no interest and in fact – have no knowledge as the majority sit and spew talking points and BS instead of facts and let everyone just spew on their talking points, their BS. They don’t research – they’re a body that fills a chair thinking themselves important but aren’t.

    An example is watched Greenwald’s interviews on MSNBC’s Chris Hayes show – I no longer watch as Hayes should have wiped up his slobber as he fell all over Greenwald like his hero. Then you have the others on the cable station praising Hayes for the interview. Then you have Andrea Mitchell and buffoon Chris Matthews – and I do mean buffoon. Just because they’ve been in the trade for years does not mean they are ‘good’. They’re both so out of touch, they’re a joke.

  • Hugo S LaVia

    It’s a shame the Andrea Mitchell’s and the Martha Radditz’s of network/cable so-called news can’t, won’t or don’t stand up to their lying “guests.” They just roll over and play dead. If they engaged these lying p.ricks, it might throw off the timing of that segment and screw up the spot breaks.

  • eab385

    The sad thing is you aren’t even paid to shill. You probably have a poster of Obama on your wall and a picture of him in your wallet.

    • truthzone333

      I doubt it but I’ll bet you jack off to Glenn Greenwald’s lying ugly mug every time you see him on TV, idiot fan boy.

      • william trent

        The Greenwald groupies remind me a lot of the “Beliebers” — a bunch of silly, immature people whose only reaction to any negative statements about their idol is a personal attack on the one with the criticism.

    • william trent

      And you burn a candle in front of a picture of Greenwald, no doubt.

    • kfreed

      Glenn Greenwald’s shilling for the tea bag contingent brings in how much exactly?

  • CitizenSoldier_RC

    You’re doing great work. Or maybe it just seems that way to me because I prefer cogent argument and find hyperbole pretty irritating. Either way, keep it up!

    • truthzone333

      You are just someone who values the truth.

  • Barbara Striden

    Greenwald has a very odd attitude towards America generally; he
    reminds me of the parent who is constantly criticizing a son or daughter
    in the sharpest terms who, when asked why he/she so infrequently
    expresses affection towards someone they supposedly love, protests that
    love is the reason they’re acting that way. It’s a BS rationalization,
    of course, as that sort of consistent animus always has more to do with
    the person expressing it than the target.

    A person who has such hostility towards a country seems like an odd person
    to be commenting so vociferously on issues relating to that country’s
    security. Am I really supposed to believe that Greenwald’s screeds are written with America’s best interests at heart? Or that his vitriolic mindset doesn’t affect what he reports?

    • truthzone333

      He has an “odd” attitude about America because he hates America. The guy doesn’t even live here yet the MSM dummies are too dumb to figure out his anti-american agenda, (or they don’t mind it).

    • GwenKillerby

      So, you live by “right or wrong, MY country!”?

      If so, that’s a primitive attitude. GG is more principled, he calls them how he sees it, no matter if its Putin doing the spying, or Obama
      To criticize Putin in the West is easy, criticizing let’s say … the US military (which is, after all, a collection of cowardly remote control butchers) is next to impossible.

  • Schneibster

    And Bob: please, absolutely do NOT stop writing about it until he stops lying, and never if he never does. Applause.

    • truthzone333

      I second that motion!

  • Lex

    and the neocon fake liberal bob cesca keeps spewing crap

    • Schneibster

      Pfff, is there some point to this other than proving Bob doesn’t bother to axe assholes? I mean, yay Bob, but I’m not sure the adulation is worth the smell.

    • truthzone333

      Neocon? lol, you dumb leftists are so stupid…you’re getting in bed with a guy who rolls with Glenn Beck and Rand Paul.

      • Lex

        and you got michell bachmann, dick cheney and pete king on your side.

        • nathkatun7

          The last time I checked, Michele Bachman and Dick Cheney were in the camp of Obama haters. Just like you and your cult leader, Glenny Boy!

          • Lex

            Bachmann came out in full support of the nsa

            So did Cheney
            And so did Peter King

        • 624LC .

          And you repeat the same stupid shit everyday like a brain damaged parrot. Pick some new names at least, you twit.

          • Lex

            How about Steve King and Lamar Smith then

          • 624LC .

            Let me clarify: your whole point is an excrement appetizer found on the shit menu at Le grande merde restaurant. You could list every wingnut your clammy hands can google and you still be wrong. Take a seat…

          • Lex

            they all voted in favour of the nsa , even under obama they agree on him with this.

      • kfreed

        How do we know Lex is a leftist?

    • nathkatun7

      You need to learn a new term! repeating “neocon” on every post makes you sound ignorant!

  • Tort Master

    Under the Whistleblower protection Act, all Manning had to do to get the protections afforded a whistleblower was as follows:
    STEP ONE: Take the one or two documents or videos showing governmental illegalities and email them to the Office of Special Counsel.
    STEP TWO: [There is no step two]
    Instead, Manning provided 700,000+ classified documents to a foreign national. That is not a “whistleblower.” There is an excrutiatingly simple procedure to be a “whistleblower,” and Manning completely ignored it. He couldn’t possibly have read all 700,000 classified documents, so what he was doing was taking an information shotgun and shooting it randomly into the public square with no thought to who might be harmed.
    Equating this type of new anarcho-libertarian mass serial revealer to whistleblowing is like describing Ted Bundy as having “lady issues.”
    The biggest problem I see caused by all of this is that tools like Greenwald are “chilling” actual, helpful whistleblowing. All federal employees have a duty to report illegalities, fraud and corruption, and the fact that over 1,000 federal employees did that last year, saving the Government 3.3 billion dollars, was helpful to all of us.

    • Schneibster

      Thank you for your observations. +1.

      Some claim I hate lawyers.

      Only dishonest ones. ;)

    • nathkatun7

      “The biggest problem I see caused by all of this is that tools like Greenwald are “chilling” actual, helpful whistleblowing”

      Thanks, Tort Master, for pointing out this important fact. Conflating people, like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, who are, in my humble opinion, borderline traitors, gives “whistleblowing” a bad name.

  • JohnThorpe

    Your concern-trolling is so overblown and you’re conflating two very different issues.

    The President is in favor of blowing the whistle on fraud, abuse, and waste. That’s lovely when the Department of Whatever is pissing away money on something stupid. I can’t imagine anyone would be opposed to that.

    What Snowden and others are blowing the whistle on are programs that aren’t fraudulent, aren’t abusive (under the law) and aren’t wasteful (again, under the law). They’re legal programs, in the sense of “passed by Congress, signed by a President”. But they’re highly unconstitutional and no one can even object because no one outside of the programs know they exist, how they work, or the scope of what they’re doing.

    Unlike the aforementioned Department of Whatever, the loss is not simply monetary, a loss with which the Republic can certainly survive; the loss is Constitutional protections, freedoms, and rights.

    This president and his idiotic predecessor have shown a great interest in going after heroes who bring these “legal” programs to light. It would be lovely if there were some other way for people to find out that the government is spying on Americans (and indeed, private citizens and governments all over the world). There isn’t, which is why these whistleblowers (and the Greenwalds of the world) need to be protected, defended, and supported wherever possible.

    • Schneibster

      I disagree, I think that there has been a hemorrhage of revelations due to these two individuals that were not whistleblowing but revelation of sources and methods, and that there have been many deaths due to these revelations and may yet be more. One need not be a conservative to be against revealing sources and methods, particularly when it seems that anything that touches a US citizen requires a warrant.

      However, well and politely presented.

    • Judah Frito

      I have known the government is accessing American citizen’s info (your “spying”) for years.

      Having a debate on holding our representative government in check is a good thing. It is my [informed – aka I’ve read and heard the guy] opinion that Mr. Greenwald is not interested in that debate. He is lost in some Orwellian mind game where he [alone] is speaking “truth to power”.

      There are going to be secrets in the world, always have been ,,, on so many levels in so many definitions of “relationship” > fixing this isn’t going to happen, especially with a narcissistic contrarian leading the charge.

      My opinion: Let’s fix what we can, what has real value. Let’s make sure people have food before we fight for their right to keeping secrets.

    • mrbrink

      You personally not knowing national security secrets is not “unconstitutional.”

    • nathkatun7

      There is absolutely no evidence the government is illegally spying on America. There are laws going back from the time this country was founded that make it illegal to disclose government secrets. People who share U.S. secrets with foreign governments, thereby endangering the security or the diplomatic dealing of this country are traitors.

  • Patrick Meighan

    “What the Obama administration — and all administrations — tend to object to is the indiscriminate leaking of thousands of sensitive national security secrets to the press. Regardless of any perceived heroism or nobility of the leaks, this is a crime which ought to be prosecuted.”

    In what way does the above not endorse the criminal prosecution of Daniel Ellsberg? The Pentagon Papers, remember, were 7,000 pages.

    • Jeff Cramer

      The fact is leaking ANY classified information, regardless of if it is the Pentagon Papers, is illegal. It doesn’t matter how noble or heroic the intent is, that is the law.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      Ellsberg WAS prosecuted after he turned himself in — in Boston!

      • Schneibster

        Damn straight.

    • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

      Yeah. Why did that guy have to go to jail for killing Dr. Tiller? It was an act of conscience!

    • Judah Frito

      Again. Ignorance is the food charlatans feed upon. Always been true. Still is.

    • CL Nicholson

      Also, Ellsberg, get this wrote the damn Pentagon Papers So, Ellsberg knew exactly what was in those documents.
      Manning, OTOH, had no idea what he was sending out to WikiLeaks. I know Ellsberg has jumped on the Snowden/Manning bandwagon, but the comparisons are weak to the point of farce, even if Mr. Pentagon Papers himself are making them.

      • Patrick Meighan

        “Also, Ellsberg, get this wrote the damn Pentagon Papers So, Ellsberg knew exactly what was in those documents.”

        Thirty-six analysts wrote the Pentagon Papers, over the course of two years, based on three decade’s worth of DoD documents, producing a final work that ultimately tallied 7,000 pages, in 47 volumes. Ellsberg worked on the project for a few months in the early part of the Pentagon Papers’ compilation, but it is not the case that Daniel Ellsberg “wrote the damn Pentagon Papers”, and it’s highly unlikely that he closely read each and every one of its 7,000 pages.


        • CL Nicholson

          I misspoke, apologies. I didn’t mean to imply that Ellsberg literally ran the entire analysis for the Rand corporation by himself. My point was that Ellsberg was key participant in the strategy of Vietnam and related policies – so he knew what he was doing when he release the documents.

          Manning – OTOH had no clue what he released. Most of the justifications are retrospective hand washing by folks can’t seem to grasp the idea that what Manning did was ill-planned and dangerous – no matter his intentions.

    • nathkatun7

      Ellsberg was criminally prosecuted. To his credit he did not directly share his leaks with foreigners, especially foreign adversaries.

  • js hooper

    Greenwald looks like a Ghostbuster in that pic.

    • villemar

      Lol I just noticed that on Bob’s page. He ain’t fraid of no ghosts!

  • hwestiii

    So you are essentially reporting on the leaves, and disregarding both the trees and the forest. I thing GG is basically a douche, too, but he’s at least concerned with the big picture that a large segment of the media seems determined to ignore.

    • Schneibster

      But then what’s Bob missing?

      Dare I ask.

      • hwestiii

        I would say that he’s missing that government’s abuses of the security apparatus is a bigger deal and more consequential than any of Greenwald’s rhetorical abuses.

        • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/akinsc Carla Akins

          I disagree, Cesca very vocal on the privacy issue. Enough so that on occasion I think “damn, isn’t he going to write about something else”. Perhaps you just don’t follow his work closely enough to have an accurate picture his position.

          • hwestiii

            That’s entirely possible. I really don’t know much about Cesca’s positions on anything, but the notion that “Greenwald can be a douche” is hardly news. He is a litigator by trade. It’s practically in his job description to be an annoying gadfly. Under the circumstances, I find it excusable. The US gov. has an enormous bureaucratic infrastructure to fight back against these revelations, all Greenwald, et al have is their own energies.

          • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/akinsc Carla Akins

            I agree it’s a discussion we should all be having with our friends and neighbors and most importantly our Representatives. Unfortunately,Greenwald’s “nails on a chalkboard” approach doesn’t help the cause – and as Cesca points out the whole situation is already inexcusable and outrageous. Greenwald’s exaggerations are neither helpful or excusable. We, as citizens already have the high road, I for one don’t want the distraction of defending GG when the outrage on the issue is sufficient. Maybe he’s better suited for a job as an activist than a journalist.

          • Jeff Cramer

            “Maybe he’s better suited for a job as an activist than a journalist.” In Glenn’s mind, journalist=activist, non-activist does not equal journalist.

          • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/akinsc Carla Akins

            Excellent point. I keep forgetting I’m old, and things have changed since the young Woodward & Berstein days.

          • Judah Frito


        • Judah Frito

          A lie is not a “rhetorical abuse”. It is presenting something that is not true/factual/with verifiable proof as if it was.

          The government’s “abuses of the security apparatus” remains something to discuss. But it is not something to assume is so, just because some folks say so and say so and say so…

          “What if…” is NOT reporting fact. It is not journalism. It is opinion by conjecture. Period.

        • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

          Go to my blog and search for ‘naked body scanners.’

          • nathkatun7

            Actually every time I fly the government, via air port security using those “body scanners,” is more intrusive in my personal privacy than what the NSA is alleged to be doing. But I’ve learned to accept my loss of total privacy as a price I have to pay for safety and for preferring to fly instead of driving for long hours or for days.

            So far, I have not seen any concrete evidence that the NSA, which is more focused on foreign threats, and has to go through court oversight as well as Congressional and Executive oversights, is somehow violating my privacy and endangering my freedom. I especially have not seen any evidence that President Obama is taking away my freedom and is acting like past dictators in South and Central America who “disappeared” people.

          • condew

            Agreed. NSA and CIA are for foreign threats. Those concerned about American privacy should be questioning the FBI and Homeland Security, who are the agencies tasked to “spy” on Americans who may be a threat. And yet I don’t hear a peep from the Snowbunnies about the FBI or Homeland Security.

        • Schneibster

          But none of those have anything to do with any of Greenwald’s “revelations,” all of which have been well-known to the entire network engineering community for decades. The only thing that has ever– let me repeat, EVER– restrained the NSA is the requirement that warrants be provided for evidence used in court.

          Now what precise “[government] abuses of the security apparatus” are you speaking of? Do you have links to specific allegations of illegal actions?

          • condew

            Actually, warrants are required to collect the communications of Americans, period. It does not matter whether the material might be used as evidence in court, it takes a court order to collect it in the first place.

          • Schneibster

            Someone has to look at it and see it’s not usable- USP, or persons inside the US, or whatnot.

            Even if you put an automaton in charge of it, say a program, it will still have errors and reject stuff and you’ll have to figure those out and fix them.

            This is what everyone’s whining about.

            ETA: IIRC you’re a real programmer, so you’ll understand the implications when I say, they’re objecting to incremental augmentation.

          • Schneibster

            I mean seriously, what they want is the computer to spit out what they are supposed to monitor fast enough that it’s still available in storage when they find out they can listen to it. They’re not interested in what they’re not allowed to monitor. The programming task is to eliminate it.

            What Snowden is saying is there’s bugs in it. This is duh. Personally I wouldn’t have taken it to the world media to announce that software engineering makes bugs and software engineers fix them.

            OTOH I also wouldn’t have accused the NSA of spying on me because of a software bug, which appears to be unusual.

        • nathkatun7

          Supply the evidence to support your conclusion! By the way accusing the President of “Disappearing” people is not a”rhetorical” abuse. It’s a blatant lie aimed at inflaming people by spreading fear.

          Let me ask you a couple of questions that I’ve been asking members of the Greenwald cult: How personally have you suffered as a result of the “government’s abuses of the security apparatus”? How many people do you know personally who have suffered from what you deem to be “a bigger deal and more consequential”?

    • Judah Frito

      No, the media is not ignoring the big picture (if what you mean is the acts of and nature of surveillance in the digital age). And they have not ignored it for years now.

      Sorry, when a person (“douche” is your term…. I’ll accept it) lies in the guise of journalism – they should be chased from the forest. Period.

      • hwestiii

        So, suppose you chase Greenwald away, and no one else has the nerve to keep this story in the headlines will we be better off?

        • Judah Frito

          We may be better off, we may be worse off – but most likely we will be just about the same.

          Chasing Greenwald off would result in only good – in my opinion. Why? Because liars are NOT good “town criers”. Important issues or facets of issues are misconstrued by those who engage in false and/or “massaged-to-my-POV” narratives.

          False or Misinformation is worse than no information.

          And…. most important > Privacy issues are so down the list of important things facing us today. Privacy is not an essential human right. It certainly has value, but that value pales in the scope of human needs that are not currently met in the world today.

          • hwestiii

            I think characterizing what’s going on now with NSA as a “privacy issue” is really low-balling things. You’ve now evident got NSA passing questionably obtained info to other agencies through back-channels to obscure it’s provenance and likely more bad stuff to come.

            Also, it’s kind of disengenuous to pile on GG like this when we have gov. officials openly lying to each other and the public about this. I’m sure Diane Feinstein lies about this far more than GG does, and I say that as a two time voter for BHO.

          • nathkatun7

            “I’m sure Diane Feinstein lies about this far more than GG does, and I say that as a two time voter for BHO.”

            Where is your evidence to support your accusation that Sen. Feinstein is lying? Telling us that you are “a two time voter for BHO….” is not evidence. By the way, there is no way of proving that you voted twice for President Obama. But we have to take your word for it absent of evidence to the contrary. Yet you accuse a distinguished U.S. Senator of lying without any shred of evidence. How can we take your comment seriously?

        • Schneibster

          Yes. We will not be being fed disinformation by someone with something other than our collective good in mind.

        • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

          “The ‘nerve’?”

          Is that what kids are calling it these days? It used to be called “gall, unmitigated”.

        • nathkatun7

          A resounding “YES!”

    • D_C_Wilson

      Actually, to use your analogy, Snowden is the leaf, no matter how much Greenwald wants to act as his PR agent. By keeping the focus on Snowden and whatever “bombshells” he may still unleash, Greenwald is the one ignoring the trees.

      The forest is the Patriot Act, the FISA Amendments, and other laws enacted during the past decade that have enabled such broad-based data mining. That’s where our national debate should be focused on.

    • nathkatun7

      I think the best analogy is Glenn Greenwald, his cult followers and his other enablers are creating a Mt. Everest out of a mound!

  • missliberties

    Please someone tell me how this is different than the right wing media covering the juicy newsworthy story of Donald Trumps adventures into politics and birtherism. Donald Trump and Glenzilla are both gas bags, and the idiotic media covers these stories in a very serious fashion.

    Serious media journalists need to start pressing Glenzzilla with these obvious questions.

    • Schneibster

      “Serious media journalists need to start pressing Glenzzilla with these obvious questions.”

      They don’t wanna. They’re making too much money.

      That’s why they kicked me off Mother Jones.

      • Judah Frito

        That is clearer Schneibster. The linking (or the mechanism your browser used?) may be the issue…. I don’t post at MJ, so I don;t know. It may be something in their Terms of Service.

        I do know I have read some good, objective stuff through links on Twitter, etc, from SOME MJ columnists/contributors.

        Sad if another once good source of liberal ideas has gone off the far left rails…

        • Schneibster

          I wish it were otherwise; my grandfather received Joe Hill’s ashes for the State of Washington.

          But I guess real liberals aren’t welcome there. Or else their money is more important to them than the truth, which is a betrayal of everything Mother Jones ever stood for.

          • missliberties

            Maybe you said something offensive, unintentionally.

            I got bullied to death and kicked off of C&L (no loss) because if you disagree with the Glenn/Snowden hero narrative they censor you. Also I used the word fire bagger, which apparently made them insane.

          • Schneibster

            If I did they never told me about it, and never bothered to explain it, to a paying customer. I expected more from a supposedly progressive organization, than to be kicked off by the Libertarian system administrators.

            I have no interest in cheats.

            I also use firebagger. In fact it’s most of Greenwald’s audience.

          • missliberties

            C&L never told me either. It’s a bit shocking to be ‘censored’, but in the end it is much better for me. I was spending way too much time there arguing with demagogues (idiots).

            It is quite the IRONY that those who insist that want the NSA to be more transparent, censor and silence those who disagree with them.

          • Schneibster

            Dunno who C&L is. I’ll probably be embarrassed when you tell me.

          • missliberties

            Crooks and Liars. Filled with many fire baggers, the term used to describe the FireDogLake crowd, led by one Jane Hamsher, a strong defender of Bradly Manning. FDL went whacko left conspiracy theory, even before it was ‘cool’. Crooks and Liars soon followed.

            It’s amazing how having a common enemy, GWB, united all these disperat factions, that fractured soon after President Blackenstein was elected.

          • Judah Frito

            I like that term “firebaggers”. I so saw the Hamsher site going the way of the oft seen in right wing circles, crazy loon some time ago.

            Extremism is awful – no matter what side of the body it infects. My very strong opinion.

          • Schneibster

            Yeah, I know who Jane Hamster is.

          • missliberties

            I am pretty fed up with ‘faux progressives’. But I guess I will get over it.

            I can’t imagine being nixed from Mother Jones, but there is a lot of crazy stuff going on these days. The left has joined the conspiracies R US crowd, with their Greenwaldworship. Which I find disgusting. I also find FDL disgusting.

          • Judah Frito

            Crooks and Liars – an aggregate site. Some of their contributors are extremely “my way or the highway”… others are cool.

          • Schneibster


      • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

        I posted Bob’s column on Raw Story and took a lot of shit too from all the GG disciples, but didn’t get banned.
        But I was banned from C&L a few weeks ago for not embracing the Snowden Greenwald love fest.
        It’s getting strange out there with all these hair on fire folks screaming about the constitution and then denying you of free speech.

        • Schneibster

          “screaming about the constitution and then denying you free speech”

          Those are precisely the ones who’ll vote away our rights- on both sides of the aisle. The dangerous stupids.

          But I think there’s more to it- I think it’s the money.

    • Jeff Cramer

      We already know how Glenn will react with any question he doesn’t like. Remember when Mika asked Glenn, “Isn’t all of this legal?” Glenn started off, with her using “WH talking points” and went into a tirade on her in general. He is just going to get super defensive with any question and reply that those asking him question are part of “the establishment” while he represents “investigative journalism.”

      • missliberties

        His ego is so very fragile, cosnidering how big it is.

        He’s an ego maniac with an inferiority complex.

  • Drift Glass

    “And if I’m the only one and no one else cares, then so be it.”

    Not the only one, but few. Exceedingly few :-)


    • Schneibster

      Spam flagged

    • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

      Driftglass, I’ve listened to you and Bluegal for years….long before you were married and have sent money through Paypal to support your podcast. But I have to tell you that you are keeping the wrong company and I will not, under any circumstances reinstate my bookmark for the Professional Left Podcast, you or Blugal unless you distance yourselves from whoever is running that train wreck for John Amato.
      Apparently I did not display enough love for Snowden and Greendrone and was banned.
      I will never, ever give that hostile environment against free speech a click again in my fucking life.

      • blackdaug

        The problem is Amato is running it. BG just works there, and she worked there long before it was taken over by the fire hairs..
        I won’t be ditching DGBG and the Pro Left.
        There are only a couple of sane places left in the neighborhood, and they live in one of them.

  • Indict Clapper

    ” I’m compelled by my own desire to seek the truth — to exploit my very
    small chunk of the internet as a means to correct willful
    misinformation, irrationality and outright lies.”

    How noble of you, Bob.

    So let’s review:

    1. You’ve quite correctly pointed out that Greenwald’s statement was inaccurate. It had some basis in reality– whistleblowers have been threatened with decades in prison, but none have yet been sentenced to decades in prison– but it certainly wasn’t true. I have absolutely no problem with you pointing this out.

    2. So, having written your umpteenth column on how much you hate Glenn Greenwald, perhaps you will now shift your attention to other lies. You do realize that there is other “willful misinformation” that your readers might want to know about, don’t you? To whit:

    – DNI James Clapper lied through his teeth while under oath. He claimed that the NSA does not intentionally collect data on millions of Americans. That was a complete and total lie, as he later admitted when the truth unexpectedly came out.

    – NSA Director Keith Alexander lied through his teeth under oath. He claimed that the NSA lacks the technical capacity– NOT the legal authority– to read Americans’ emails. That was an obvious lie.

    – Barack Obama lied when he said that “Nobody is listening to your phone calls.” Assuming “you” meant “American citizens,” this wasn’t true. The NSA routinely listens to Americans’ phone calls. It does so, in some cases, to figure out whether they are Americans to begin with.

    -NSA defenders lied when they said that Congress has been fully briefed on NSA surveillance. We now know that congressmen have been stonewalled when they have attempted to review documents that are central to these programs.

    -The NSA posted a “fact sheet” on the internet that apparently contained an inaccurate statement. We still don’t know what they were lying about, but they were forced to take it down when senators with knowledge of the program objected.

    – The NSA has repeatedly lied when it claims that it does not engage in domestic surveillance. There was a little story that broke today about the DEA using this intel to bust drug runners. They systematically have covered this up. Daily Banter readers might want to take a look at those stories.

    So here you have two groups of liars: one is a reporter and columnist who committed the unforgivable sin of exaggerating the truth for rhetorical effect. The other contains high officials who have systematically deceived the public about the nature of surveillance programs, and have even lied under oath.

    Gee… I wonder which is more deserving of your undying scorn?

    • Schneibster

      Noted you said “bust drug runners” but did not specify US citizens.

      Maybe if you had a link.

      Maybe if it wasn’t to Alex Jones, StormFront, or Faux Entertainment.

      Or High Times. Snicker.

      • Indict Clapper
        • Schneibster

          Yes, but you left the most important one out.

          You lied.


          Just like Greenwald.

          • Indict Clapper

            Huh? That was the very first article I linked to, genius. Right before the links to Soldier of Fortune and Inspire magazine

          • Schneibster

            No it wasn’t. You linked to the original Reuters article, not the one that shows the difference between this new “scandal,” which really isn’t a scandal, and the original NSA Greenwald “scandal,” which isn’t really a scandal either.

            You’re a liar. Again. Anyone can compare the links.

            Typical Libertardian. Step 2: lie about what’s in someone’s link.

            Step 3: insults.

          • Indict Clapper

            Whoops, right you are. I clicked on the same link twice.

            How any of this makes me a liar is beyond me.

          • Schneibster

            Because you claim it’s some fault of mine.

          • Indict Clapper

            You’re really a piece of work.

            I referred to a breaking news story. You responded with a snarky comment suggesting that it must be a crazy conspiracy theory. Then I gave you the links to the story. I never said that I was providing every single link. You got upset because I didn’t include one story that you, for some unknown reason, thought was the most important one. Apparently that makes me a liar.

            But please– let’s ignore the fact that the DEA is flagrantly violating the Constitution.

          • Schneibster

            “I gave you the links to the story.”

            You’re lying again. You left out the ones that said what you didn’t like.
            It’s called cherry-picking and it’s lying.

          • Indict Clapper

            Changing the subject is lying? How so?

            Failing to include the link that you seem to believe destroys my point is lying?

            I have no idea why you think the second Reuters piece in any sense discredits my argument. But perhaps you’ll explain it while acting like the biggest asshole in the world.

          • Schneibster

            “Changing the subject is lying? How so?”

            See ya. Wouldn’t wanna be ya.

            I don’t bother with cheaters and liars.

            Changing the subject is lying because you’re avoiding giving an answer that you don’t have, or admitting you don’t.

          • Indict Clapper

            Is editing stupid comments lying too?

          • Schneibster

            Not if you admit it later. In fact if you admit it later it’s commendable.

            People change their opinions. As long as they’re honest, they get cred from me for being smart.

          • mrbrink

            You came all this way to indict James Clapper? So, all of your truth seeking and exposing has brought you to the point where James Clapper is a consequential scalp? Hahaha. James Clapper must go! Admit it, you never heard the name James Clapper before today.

          • Schneibster

            The conversation was not about the DEA.

            You’re changing the subject.

            That’s lying again.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      Couldn’t get past “having written your umpteenth column on how much you hate Glenn Greenwald.” This itself is a lie. I don’t hate Greenwald, and none of my articles have been about that topic.

      • Indict Clapper


        • Schneibster

          Actually, Bob’s correct.

          You don’t have to hate Greenwald to think he’s wrong.

          You’re lying again.

        • nathkatun7

          So how are you doing with your call to “indict Clapper”? I am sure you look like a fool because you know you are exaggerating what he said and the corrections he made later.

    • Judah Frito

      Undying scorn?

      You sure don’t read well.

      Also – If you want to tell a columnist what they must write, perhaps do it in a mirror. Instead of posting anonymously (as Mr Cesca noted being done by countless “brave” Greenwald-and-his-Ilk sycophants) – write a Blog. Stand up and say what YOU wish.

      On another person’s site, engage them on the issue THEY choose to present. Or look like the impotent columnist-wannabe your post here defines.

    • nathkatun7

      Speaking for my self, I think you sir/madam deserves my scorn. You come here and post lies and exaggerations, with no concrete evidence to back any of your bs, while heaping scorn on the blog publisher. You sir/madam are scum!

  • Judah Frito

    Thank you Bob. Your voice is needed in a debate that needs to happen.

    I should say debates…. one being “what is the job of a journalist and what code must they follow to remain as such?” AND “how do we the people keep our representative government from overreaching on [anything]?”

    Let’s keep the dialogue going. Let’s spread the facts instead of the “what if’s” and let’s address them in the context of reality, not ideology.

  • Schneibster

    They banned me from Mother Jones for quoting you, Bob.

    • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

      The comments at Mother Jones are heinous.

      • Schneibster

        They were chickenshit as far as I could tell, allowing rightwingnuts to make threats without response. I never saw any of them kicked off for making outright threats against peoples’ safety. Including mine.

        I’ve since concluded that the system admins there are Libertardians, no matter what the writers are, and they’ve got all the writers bamboozled.

        • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

          THIS is why I think it’s important to moderate threads. Giving nuts the run of the place is doing us all a disservice.

          • Schneibster

            I think you will eventually moderate, and it’s better to catch the abusive early. Catching them late usually causes injustice against the people who were abused because you weren’t paying attention. Allow me to be abused six months and then change the standards without a word to anyone and kick me off without warning, and you’ll get no one but sycophants.

          • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

            am too sleep deprived to comprehende

          • Schneibster

            Come back tomorrow and no one will question you.

  • nathkatun7

    Mr. Ceska, you should be commended for the excellent work you are doing debunking the lies and exaggerations by Snowden and Greenwald. Sadly, the so called mainstream media never challenges Greenwald’s lies and hype and this gives him unnecessary influence on those who are ignorant of the facts.

    • Jeff Cramer

      Interesting because to hear it from Greenwald, it is the mainstream media that are the “Obamabots” and “loyalists to the surveillance state”. :)

      • nathkatun7

        I suppose that’s why he is on every news channel and sunday shows. I’ve even seen the WH Press use his staff to drill the President and Press Secretary.

  • http://www.angryblacklady.com/ ABL

    Way to go, Bob. Your work is appreciated.

  • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

    See my agreement in a previous comment. However, the question remains as to how useful it is to write so many words about sideline issues like what GG exaggerated in two TV interviews. The story is far beyond GG at this point and there are plenty of what you would call “straight news” articles that you could discuss. You continue to refuse to participate in that discussion by hopping on every small error and never looking at the bigger picture.

    And while I admit GG was being melodramatic, there is some reason to be. While the max sentence for small scale leakers like Kiriakou has been almost three years in prison (no small punishment), most of the leakers have had their professional lives destroyed even if their prosecutions collapsed. (Often for good reasons). Kirakou’s wife lost her security clearance and thus her career. Thomas Tamm and Thomas Drake are perfect examples of what happens to leakers.

    Finally, the only comparison of what would happen to Snowden if he were prosecuted is Bradly Manning. Which is three years of per-trial confinement, all of it incommunicado and most of it in solitary, with much cruel and degrading treatment (i. e. illegal). If you think a Snowden prosecution had any chance to end with less than decades of imprisonment, let me know.

    • Norbrook

      Manning was in solitary because he was in danger from other prisoners, and also considered to be a suicide risk. His being “held incommunicado” is a complete lie, in that he was able to see his lawyers, have visitors, and write letters. Most of the “incommunicado” was “I’m not allowed a computer and I’m not allowed to be on network TV giving interviews all the time.”

      • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

        Good points, but its obvious the self-harm watch was punative, as the psychologist said it was unnecessary. The USG also prevented the UN special rapporteur on torture from talking to Manning. The government harassed his most frequent (which wasn’t often) visitor, David House, as well. However you describe the per-trial treatment of Manning, it wasn’t good.

    • Bubble Genius

      Mark, it’s all how you interpret things. Three years (or even 2.5 in Kirakou’s case) is not “decades”. It’s not even “decade” singular, or even half that. In fact it’s a quarter of a single decade, for ONE person. There is no precedent for Greenwald to draw this kind of conclusion, unless he’s stupid (which he is not), ill-informed (easier to believe generally, but not in this case), or a self-serving liar (BINGO).

    • Badgerite

      These are two separate issues. The potential treatment of a captured Snowden and the existence of ‘other’ articles. Let’s be clear. The driving force behind these ‘revelations’ is Greenwald. He is the one who has made himself the public mouthpiece for the idea that American civil liberties are being violated. Most other articles I have seen have been trying to make sense of the stories he writes because they are so misleading and frequently just wrong. He only puts in the fine print disclaimers,( the the warrant requirements, etc) to keep the Guardian, an actual newspaper operating under British law, from having to make a retraction later or be sued. He attacks anyone who does not agree with or in any way questions his reporting as having motives of some kind of slavish loyalty to Obama as opposed to a genuine belief that maintaining this NSA program, with the proper safeguards, might actually be in the long term interest of the United States. You yourself, ignore any articles that have previously reported the NSA programs. You cited in one of your comments as important, documentation released by Snowden that was really just a paper trail showing that the review of NSA practices with respect to compliance with the 4th Amendment ordered by Obama, undertaken in March of 2009 and reported by The Times in April 2009, had actually occurred. The source of the continuing saga of ‘revelations’ is and has always been Greenwald and to expect that people should ignore the inaccuracies or slight of hand tricks that he pulls in not reasonable. What he reports IS the story. To ignore him, is to ignore the story.

      As to Snowden, I guess how you view him depends on how you perceive the value and the accuracy of the information he revealed and his motives in doing so. But, like Bradley Manning, it cannot be argued that it is alright for one person to make the decision as to what the country will and will not reveal to the world at large. I think his treatment had a lot to do with the anger of the military in his release of war logs and diplomatic cables when there are still troops in the field whose lives and efforts could be compromised by such disclosures. At least Bradley Manning I credit with having honest motives. Snowden, on the other hand, took his employment and took an oath while fully intending to break that oath. To date, I don’t think he has released anything that shows that civil liberties are or have been abused. He argues that the technology COULD be abused but that is true with respect to just about all technology we now have and will have in the future. Safeguards were put in in 2009. He doesn’t agree that that is enough. Fine. Make a complaints known in a manner in which they can be addressed internally or to your Congressman. But running off to two of the more repressive countries on earth just a couple of decades away from evil repression at home and abroad because they are more likely to be hostile to America and will therefore provide a haven to evade the law, taking with you laptops full of information that one minute he says cannot compromise American security and the next minute he is threatening to use to compromise American security, I don’t see the heroism in this.

    • DHaradaStone

      You seem to be arguing that there should be no penalty for disclosing national security secrets, particularly the sort of indiscriminate disclosure engaged in by Manning and Snowden. Any president or attorney general who declined to prosecute in these cases would be announcing to the world that our laws protecting classified information are meaningless and the lives of our covert intelligence agents and their sources expendable. NO president of any party would ever do such a thing. As for parallels between the treatment of Manning and Snowden, Manning is an active duty member of the U.S. military subject to military confinement and prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Snowden is not. He would be tried in a civilian court. There is NO basis for any suggestion that he would be held “incommunicado” or otherwise mistreated. Indeed, it is likely Justice officials would bend over backwards to make sure he is treated fairly, and he would probably receive much better treatment than the average federal pre-trial detainee. He would also likely receive the best legal defense money can buy, courtesy of lawyers eager to participate in his defense either out of principle or in the interest of self-promotion. That defense would no doubt be funded by thousands, if not millions, of supporters.

      • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

        You seem wrong. Of course he would be prosecuted, and should be. He has a legitimate whistleblower defense however.

        Not all of manning’s charges are from the UCMJ, and he pled guilty to most of those, aiding the enemy being the most obvious exception. He was also charged under the Espionage Act and the CFAA, domestic law.

        Your points are good ones, but it remains the case that Manning’s case is the closest to a potential Snowden trial. Don’t forget Jose Padilla either.

        • Badgerite

          Jose Padilla was not a ‘whistle blower’. And I believe his case went all the way to the Supreme Court and his lawyers won.

          • Indict Clapper

            “You believe,” but you are wrong. After being illegally abducted and tortured based on the accusation that he was involved in a plot to set off a dirty bomb, the government dropped the charges at the last minute and indicted him for “material support for terrorism,” alleging acts that had nothing to do with dirty bombs. He was convicted and sentenced to a lengthy jail term.

          • Schneibster

            Unfortunately that still doesn’t make Padilla a whistleblower.

          • Indict Clapper

            Of course not. He most certainly wasn’t a whistleblower.

          • Schneibster

            Then why did you bring him up? This was about whistleblowers.

            Oops, you lied again.

          • nathkatun7

            Learn to read! Badgerite comment was about Jose Padilla not being a “Whistle blower.” She is also right that the Bush Administration wanted to try Padilla in military courts as an unlawful enemy combatant, but the courts intervened and said he had to be tried in civilian courts. It’s not unusual for the government to drop certain charges where the evidence may not be as strong and then try on charges where the evidence is strong. This is routinely done in many criminal as well as civil cases. Most importantly, the Padilla case has nothing to do with two individuals who knowingly and admittedly violated laws by stealing classified information. I also wish we would stop calling them “Whistle blowers.” They are not whistleblowers! They are, at best, criminal leakers, and at worst, traitors. As far as I am concerned stealing and giving U.S. classified information to foreign governments makes a you a traitor. That is why I classify Edward Snowden as a traitor.

        • DHaradaStone

          Yes, Manning was charged under civilian law as well, but he was subject to military detention and a court martial because of his military status. Snowden is not. Jose Padilla’s case has no bearing here. He was not a leaker but an accused terrorist. The Bush administration initially designated him an “enemy combatant.” The Obama administration has never suggested that Snowden would be treated as an enemy combatant, as Padilla was, and the administration has flatly ruled out subjecting American civilians to military detention, even when they are charged with terrorism-related offenses, which Snowden is not.

        • stacib23

          I’ve been watching you post over and over again for the past couple weeks, and I’ve come to a conclusion – you just like to argue. Whether or not you’re making valid points is totally irrelevant to the conversation. Jeez, that’s tiring. It’s like a two year old that keeps asking why.

      • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

        Also, punative solitary confinement in US prisons is endemic and there is a large mass media contingent who will continue to vilify Snowden. I think it’s hard to say with certainty how Snowden would be treated.

    • Judah Frito

      Lying is not what a journalist does. Period. That is what an Activist for “the cause[es]” does because activism does gain followers by being run on perception as much as real provable events. ( Note: I don’t agree with any lying, exaggeration, hyperbolic “headlining” or fear mongering in either journalism or activism…)

      Manning and Snowden are not the same. Military law is not the same as Civilian law. Ordinary citizens don’t take an oath, they just get born here.

      I want to know how you can decide the entire US Justice system is so horribly flawed, any lawbreaker must be afraid of the terrible treatment in our country. We are a Representative Republic…. diss the government, you diss the people. Them Is Us. (yes, we DO need to be more involved in creating a “better” government…. and our Constitution gives us that responsibility. Tragically too many don’t participate > GG type hysteria-peddling does NOT help in that!)

      Mr. Snowden broke the law. Even at the most basic in criminal complaints > He Stole. Every code of conduct – in society/community/family etc. – since codes have been written bans stealing.

      As for what sentence he would get for his crimes… NOBODY knows what that would be – because nobody has had a chance to participate in a trial. The person who broke the law ran away to escape ANY [US legal] punishment.

      I am one of the people who say – if Mr. Snowden had truly had a pure motive and stood up for both the responsibility of his actions and the KNOWN consequences … I would have respect for him. I wouldn’t agree with what he did, but I would respect his integrity. Now, I do not.

      As to the issue. We have known it for years. That it is highlighted now is something to discuss in rational, truthful exchanges. I think Mr. Cesca is trying that. I do not think Mr. Greenwald reaches that level of reason.

      The story is about Snowden/Greenwald etc because THEY keep it going within those parameters.

      I appreciate Bob’s measured reporting on this. You don;t get to tell him what issues to pick. If that’s your goal… getting your own blog set up is very easy, Mark.

      • nathkatun7

        Excellent comment!

    • Schneibster

      First, let’s be completely clear: Greenwald himself in both his articles in the Guardian buried disclosure that warrants are required in the center of the article a dozen paragraphs in. In both articles, let me emphasize. The quotes have been mentioned in Bob’s columns here. Given that, Greenwald has lied every time he has accused anyone of anything.

      Second, you yourself are lying by ignoring these earlier columns.

      I see no reason to say anything more.

    • Jeff Cramer

      Snowden isn’t in the military, for one. Military punishment is far more harsh than civilian, not to mention Snowden is in the public eye far more than Manning, so per-trial confinement is very unlikely. As for his sentence, I don’t know, but one thing, if Snowden ever comes to the USA, he won’t have any shortage of Johnny Cochran-like lawyers waiting to take him for pro bono.

  • suburbancorrespondnt

    Wow. Thank you. Glenn Greenwald has proven that the far Right does not have a monopoly on cranks who enjoy propagating falsehoods.

    • GwenKillerby

      GG has indeed proven that Bob cESCA is a crank who enjoy propagating falsehoods.

  • Norbrook

    What Greenwald has been saying has been either dead wrong, outright lies, or “old information.” Anyone who has been paying attention for the past decade or two already knew most of this was around, not to mention that the media has been writing stories all along. When he announces that the NSA intercepts electronic communications, that they have analysis programs and databases relating to that, and can … spy on people, the real reaction should have been: “No shit, Sherlock.”

    • mCG24443

      so you’re OK with it? Since the person delivering the message is someone you don’t like, or since this information is old, you’re fine with the government storing all your personal locational, phone and internet data?

      • Norbrook

        As opposed to Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, my internet provider?

        Seriously, whether I’m “fine” with or not doesn’t matter. That data exists, and it’s stored by *someone.* Unlike the ones I mentioned, the government has limits on its use.

        Just as an FYI, the government has a lot more on me than that. They also have a complete medical record, x-rays, education transcripts, a record of most of what I did in my life from the time I was born until my middle 30’s. It’s called “I was in the military and I had a security clearance.”

        • mCG24443

          Thank you for your service.

          You speak of the government’s limits on their usage of this data, but what about the recent Reuters article that showed the NSA illegally shared info with the DEA, then provided them documentation on how to cover up where the info came from?


          Mission Creep is the issue, and its happening already…

        • GwenKillerby

          you were in the militar? do you expect shoulder pats for that? Unless you didn’t get paid, it was no sacrifice at all. Oh wait, should we kiss your butt now? Cos you got to play with taxpayer funded hardware, while killing mostly civilians, not military, not even militants who you outgunned by a factor of 30 to 1?
          The present day army is the most gutless of them all, going with a tank after stone throwing teens.

          Unless, you were a woman, then I guess you get survival credits for being in rapist-friendly environment.

          • Kevin Hurt

            wow, trollop alert! Look here gwennie – You just accused me of some pretty heavy shit there. Are you gonna back that up? This is why GG is such an anti-American hack. All of his supporters are cowardly punks hiding behind fake avatars. What is going to happen when someone exposes your IP/name to the world? Can you live with people knowing how much you hate this country? Yes, I served in the military. You are welcome.

      • fojap

        You’ve changed the topic. I’ve encountered that tactic every time I’ve brought this subject up to friends who are on the far left. Supposedly Snowden’s entire escapade was justified because he was alerting the American public to things they didn’t know their government was doing. If we already knew, then stealing laptops and running around the world wouldn’t be morally justified. Whether people are “OK with” the actions of the NSA are entirely irrelevant to the question of whether or not the public was aware of them.

        • mCG24443

          I’m aware I changed the topic. Congrats on demonstrating your grasp of basic conversation.

          I’m not interested in defending Snowden or Greenwald. I’m interested in slowing down a national surveillance state, and to do that we need to discuss the programs rather than the people who expose them.

          With that said I’ll get to your later point:

          A large portion of the US population STILL doesn’t know these programs exist or what they do, despite the recent revelations or however informed YOU may be. How can a public who has no idea of a programs existence make an educated decision as to the value delivered by that program? Whether people are “OK with” the program are directly relevant to their opinion of that program. How exactly do you have an opinion of something you’re unaware of?

        • GwenKillerby

          clearly, the majority of the public DID NOT know. In that, Snowden performed an admirable publicity stunt, he sacrificed his life as he knows it, and he can NEVER go home again, or even fly OVER Europe.

      • GwenKillerby

        agreed. They’re so happy with taking down GG, they forget all about the NSA. Meanwhile, they NSA is extatic that the left is bickering amongst itself.

        With friends like these, who needs enemies?

  • sealiagh

    Thank you for doing this and keep up the good work. Misinformation should and, indeed, can never be the basis for solving any problem, including problems with NSA, etc. Look at how paralyzed we are in implementing (or even talking about seriously) any solutions to climate change because of the misinformation and outright lies pushed by the right.

    • GwenKillerby

      but based on what i’ve seen so far GG is more trustworthy than Bob C.

  • flubalubaful

    I am amazed that so many oblivious republican right wing fanatics are supporting the President in this case, good for you all. But i am also amazed that you would think this is a story worth covering, would it not be better and if more interest to cover what he has released , i mean surely if he has released proof of the NSA lying to congress then it is revealing a crime. Or is it ok for the government to lie to us and continue monitoring everyone, if so then please post all of your phone records and emails online , i am sure there is nothing to hide ,,,,right…..or do you have things you do not feel comfortable with just anyone knowing.

    Yes I agree Greenwald is embellishing a hell of a lot but why not, if he was not doing this it would become a non story , the press would hide it.

    • Badgerite

      And that is, of course, what all the hype in the headlines and disclaimers in the fine print ( as in front-end filters,and warrant requirements ) are all about. This isn’t journalism or telling the public anything that wasn’t already out there in the public domain. It is merely repackaging it in a ‘the sky is falling’ manner, known material complete with slides and a fugitive ‘whistleblower’ to stampede people into believing something is true that is not. I will give him this. It is a brilliant bit of propagandizing. The left is stumbling all over itself to prove how ‘true’ to ‘the cause’ they are and anyone who points out that actually, during the Bush administration, the NSA program was conducted outside of any restraints or warrant requirements and that the Obama administration actually put those restraints into the law, is accused of only supporting these programs because Obama is in office. Making it all about Obama, as opposed to the value of the NSA programs or the safeguards built into them. What you are saying, in essence, is the ends of a propagandist justifies the means. I’ve never thought so, and I still don’t.

      • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

        Yes and while the loonies are making this about Obama, many states are doing their best to deny women reproductive freedom to a degree that cries out for an Emancipation Proclamation for women, teens, and girls capable of becoming impregnated so that we are not enslaved by random men; and thirty or so states have “Stand Your Ground” laws that makes it easy for resentful whites to murder young men of color; and too many people in this country are being imprisoned, especially people of color; and the crime of rape is still not being investigated with the seriousness it deserves; and Republicans are doing their best to disenfranchise voters; and Citizen’s United should be outlawed by Congress… low wages, wage theft, dangerous working environments, crumbling infrastructure, ramshackle schools…

        …but Greenwald’s nothingburger and Snowden’s betrayal are what’s important right now? A lot of somebodies really should eat a bag of salted dicks (preferably their own) til they choke on them. This is the concern of people who have the privilege of having to find something to be alarmed about.

        • Schneibster

          Now that’s also damn straight.

          I don’t see a difference between this and either the supporters of pedophile priests who hand over their children for abuse, or the Southerners and flatlanders who want to marry their sisters.

          And in the face of these facts Greenwald’s allegations are chickenshit.

  • http://www.angryliberal.org/ TMac

    He is never going to stop exaggerating, not ever. How can he get the liberal conspiracy folks to pay good money for his horrific writing? I had a discussion if you can call it that with a friend who is buying all this BS fed to him by Greengalt and those who would use the Greengalt misinformation i.e. Michele Catalano et al to make a name for themselves.

    I have been shocked with the frequency Greengalt has been on ABC in particular, but MSNBC, CBS etc, Glenn has finally made the big time, and remains an Alex Jones like character, with his thin skinned reactions to every conversation he has ever had. But why is it there is a side on the left, supposedly educated and smart who buy into every conspiracy as presented by these Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Jones like characters?

    Was Michele Catalano served with a warrant prior to the cops searching her home? I presume she was, since you cannot search someone’s house without a warrant unless of course you give them permission to search your house. I’m pretty sure I am correct on this point. That piece of information is conveniently left out of the story Catalano told, and that is the key here, this is the piece that is always left out of Glenn’s pieces too. He conveniently forgets to mentions warrant(s) always, or he buries in word ten thousand of his frenetic updates to every treatise he has ever written.

    The other thing people don’t seem to be thinking about when Greengalt makes his wild claims is this: server space. What kind of loon saves everything? Seriously? While capacity for storage is bigger and better than ever before, no one vacuums up “all the data”, it’s crazy! How many LOLKatz does one need? How about the backup system needed for that shit, what? Come on, I just can’t buy that kid of lunacy. Well I don’t waste my space by saving everything ever… IT where I work is constantly asking the organization to clean out their unnecessary crap on our servers, it’s just all so absurd.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, it’s great stuff.

    • TheKInKC

      Withholding key facts and ignoring them seem to be the M.O of anti-Obama people from both the left and the right…
      I am a resident of Kansas City, MO and I live about 30-45 minutes away from Warrensburg, MO where the Unversity of Central Missouri campus is located and is where Obama visited less than two weeks ago…well, about a year ago a shocking murder happened in Warrensburg when a popular bar owner was shot and killed. The man who pulled the trigger was a former bouncer of the bar and had recently been fired, upon his arrest, he said that his roommate, a Saudi national, at the time paid him to kill the bar owner and he was arrested on charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. A long issue ensued as the Saudi government shelled out $2 million for the mans bail but the local judge refused to let him leave as he was deemed a flight risk because his student visa had expired once he didn’t attend classes due to his incarceration and there was fear he would be deported and not stand trial.
      Last week, all charges against the Saudi national were dropped because it had finally been released that the prosecution lacked sufficient evidence outside of the word of the man who pulled the trigger that pointed to the Saudi national having paid for the murder let alone any trace of involvement. Since then…a raging “Obama helped free him” campaign has surged throughout the area…the conspiracy theory gains traction with each passing day since the sudden twist in the case and the Warrensburg locals and republican utopia surrounding it refuse to believe that a realization was made that no de facto evidence could keep the Saudi national in the case to even go through a trial period…the people here TRULY BELIEVE that Obama stopped in Warrensburg to free the Saudi man and that he is helping “one of his own”. They read the headlines saying “Saudi National Freed” and immediately without hesitation relate it to the recent Obama visit. Sad, pathetic, and tragic…

      • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/akinsc Carla Akins

        Hello neighbor! As a KC resident, I found the sudden dismissal of charges and subsequent release of Abid a little “off” especially since no adequate reason was provided – and he had confessed.

        But how the leap was made to credit POTUS with this action requires a tinfoil hat. Silly me, I was thinking perhaps small town law enforcement / prosecutors office simply did not have sufficient experience and expertise to investigate and prosecute the case.

        Really, how many non-meth related murders have Warrensburg police (including county sheriff) seen? I feel awful for Whitworth’s mother, and I hope she is able to find some closure in this tragedy.

        I saw the comments in the Star and almost fell out of my chair shaking my head in dismay. These people are my neighbors. I travel the same streets and shop in the same stores, and I find this disturbing. It could be worse though – I could live in Kansas and have Brownbackwards for a Governor.

        • TheKInKC

          Glad I am not alone in recognizing the crazy rhetoric overtaking our town because of the matter! Abid never confessed though…the Warrensburg police assumed his confession after the actual killer confessed to killing Blaine with payment from Abid and they took his confession as Abid’s too…there was a lot wrong with how the case was handled by professionals after his arrest including the judge who is on record with the Star having expressed his feelings about simply not liking where Abid’s bond money came from. Also considering several reports have said the killer also stated during his windsock testimonies that the mafia paid him and then in the next breath it was a gang…a pathological liar finding his out, you might say.
          I am disturbed by the conspiracy theories circulating…as tragic as this case is for the UCM community and surrounding areas, I don’t think it’s something a President of all people would feel the need to intervene on. What’s even more disturbing is these same people are seeking justice for Blaine and his family yet the guy who admittedly pulled the trigger seems to have become an afterthought as his distraction is successfully working as more people are concerned about cooking up a non-existent story to tie POTUS to an innocent man they seem to want behind bars more than the guy who killed Blaine. Sad.

          • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/akinsc Carla Akins

            When I read your post and saw KC, I was relieved to see at least one sane resident amongst our ranks. In all fairness, there are a handful of regulars that post in the Star that offer rational opinions. Some are there for the sole purpose of agitating, others create real concern. Of course it’s hard to argue with the conspiracy theorists once we discover our own government is spying on us.

            You are correct about the growing number of people that not only believe these conspiracies, but feel compelled to perpetuate them. After reading this theory my first thought was “why”? and the second was “couldn’t he have done that with a phone call’? Relating the POTUS visit and Abid’s release seem to make sense to no one except those who believe.

            I did not follow Whitworth’s murder closely but tried to keep up with the developments. What bothered me most was the bail issue. Going with the assumption Abid had committed the murder, it still did not give the court reason to act as it did on bail. I realize small town judges are used to getting their way – but since when can you continue to hold a person once the conditions of bail are met?

            That is not conspiracy theory scary, that’s real life scary.

  • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

    You’re right. Those GG statements were incorrect. And I’m glad you’ve admitted that Snowden and GG have initiated an important debate. But, you exaggerate as well “the thousands of people, both foreign and domestic, who are seeking to kill Americans, assassinate the president and overthrow our government.” Who are these thousands of people? AQ Central is under 100, AQAP may be in the hundreds (thanks to the drone war there), where are the thousands coming from? And what plot to assassinate Obama are you aware of?

    My issue is not that you stop writing about this story, but to do two things. 1) Acknowledge and engage with the many good sources of information that you have studiously ignored. Starting with Ron Wyden and the ACLU. Of course there are dozens of others in Congress and out. But at least show you know of other claims, statements and analyses that you should consider good sources.

    2) Put some energy into stating your own case for reforms. For example, you’ve said FISC should be changed. How? What is the most worrying aspect of the surveillance state? How should Congress be able to exercise oversight over domestic surveillance?

    • Norbrook

      First, Wyden shot his mouth off in a reflex reaction, which later ended up with his having a serious amount of egg on his face when it turned out that he had skipped all the briefings on these programs. So instead of being a “valiant Congressional defender of civil liberties,” he looked like an incompetent boob who hadn’t been doing his job. The ACLU reaction was to the *first* reports, and is still based around *potential* abuses, not *actual* ones.

      I might also note that Congress *does* exercise oversight of surveillance, and if you haven’t been just parroting what the Greenwald group has been saying, you’d have known that. Mainly because so many Representatives and Senators whose job it is to oversee things things have been quite vocal that they have been overseeing them.

      • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

        Is that why James Clapper apologized to Wyden?

        “so many Representatives and Senators whose job it is to oversee things things have been quite vocal that they have been overseeing them.” Beyond the chairs of the intelligence committees and Dutch R. (D-NSA), who are you talking about? Most members are saying they’ve learned more in past month about the NSA than the rest of their careers.

        • Schneibster

          That’s because they don’t know anything about signals intelligence, or networks.

    • Badgerite

      Well, let’s see. How many AQ did it take to take down two prominent buildings in New York, two planes, hit the Pentagon, cause the White House to be evacuated, and kill about 3000 Americans and others who just happened to be in the way. I believe the count was 19. Yes there is a danger the government could be overthrown by terrorism. If any terrorist cell should again take root in the US and succeed in attacking a large American city and this time succeed in causing tens of thousands of casualties, as was the goal on 9/11, the paranoia and fear that would grip the country would likely result in exactly what it resulted in last time, only worse. The throwing away of basic tenets that the country has lived by both in terms of domestic law and especially in international law. After 9/11 the NSA was doing exactly what it is doing now and FISC oversight, warrant protections and ‘front-end filters’ did not make an appearance til the GOP lost the White House. And that probably had as much to do with the economy as anything else. In my opinion, you and the Greenwaldians underestimate this danger. Without these people whom the left spends a great deal of time vilifying and belittling, the attacks after 9/11 would have kept coming. That does not mean they get a blank check, but it does mean you don’t make stuff up or exaggerate to the hilt to make them villains to achieve you political goals. I’ve always objected to this, no matter who is doing it.

      Bob Cesca has actually proposed that the appointment of judges to the FISA court, which for as long as it has existed has been under the control of either Rehnquist or Roberts, be changed so as to include judges with a record demonstrating a greater regard for protection of civil liberties. Another words he has advocated for reforming the appointment process to the FISA Court. As to good sources of information, excuse me, but we just had an episode of ‘good sources of information’ spread all over about the ‘pressure cooker googler’ that was reported in a manner that was totally untrue as you yourself acknowledged. I have watched Congressman Grayson stand in the well of the House and ‘mis-state’ the relevant law for 20 minutes. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit and lets see where that goes.

      • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

        After the biggest air defense failure in the history of the U.S. and the history of air defense, I expect all relevant agencies to get it together, keep it together, and keep up with the changes.

        That only a dozen years after the 9/11 attacks, so many people seem to think that the biggest threat to the citizens of the U.S. is that someone in the N.S.A. might for some gawd forsaking reason want to monitor the mindless “chatter” that is the bulk of our communications is something to behold. It screams for—


        Of course, we need checks and balances in the government and that should always be a work in process; but we also need a citizenry that isn’t so consumed by its own solipsistic imagination that it has abandoned all reason and has somehow managed to become even more self-centered. It’s as if total global atomization is what life’s all about to these people— no sense of communal or civic engagement beyond shared fetishes and cult membership.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      There have been thousands of threats to assassinate the president. There are right wing extremist groups. My line wasn’t just about AQ.

      • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

        Fair enough. Ever going to mention Ron Wyden or the ACLU?

        • nathkatun7

          Ron Wyden is a political grandstand who is ashamed that he did not do his job properly!

  • judi

    Greenwald and Snowden knew EXACTLY what they were doing from Day One. I’m of the mind that Greenwald egged this poor schmuck on…….

    • villemar

      I think this will come out. I have my own theory, but I need to research a little more.

    • GwenKillerby

      Yes. Teabaggers also KNOW that Obama is a Communist-Nazi-Muslim-Black-Liberation-Theologist who is set on destroying America.

      Funny how we don’t hear about his “inexperience” anymore (=code for calling a black man “boy”)

  • missliberties

    Here’s my question. Why didn’t Andrea Mitchell push back against the false claims of closeted imprisonment for whistle blowers.

    But further this dude Snowden is NOT a whistle blower. I won’t say the T-word.

    Greenwald is just a rotten skank.

    He is a demagogue and an attention whore just like Ted Cruz. And they are both liars.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      The problem is that this is a highly complex topic and most TV people have only cursory knowledge of how it all works. Greenwald plays this to his advantage.

      • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

        If only there were some huge electronic library full of all kinds of information from all kinds of institutions and agencies— even government agencies— that could be accessed 24/7 with something simple that most people have in their homes and offices— like electric can openers or something.

        • Schneibster

          Smart aleck. :D

      • Schneibster

        It’s worse than that.

        Networking is mathematically arcane, unless you’ve been trained in network engineering. It’s not hard to get the idea, but you have to accept some assumptions that a lot of people find difficult to understand.

        Unfortunately these things also make them aware of things like evolution, and global warming. So they have to quit their churches to believe them.

        Even more unfortunately about half of all people who do this become Libertardians because they understand the engineering but not the science.

        That explains most of it.

      • formerlywhatithink

        On this I have to disagree. Andrea Mitchell has shown over and over that she will, only very rarely, push back on anything her guests say. I can’t count the number of times she has allowed right wing and left wing guests (but mostly right wing) say something incredibly untrue/fake/outright lie without calling it. It’s no surprise to me that she allowed Greenwald to say what he wanted to without any push back. That’s her stock in trade. If someone like Soledad O’Brien had been running the interview, I think there would have been a decent dose of cynicism on what Greenwald said and some pointed questioning about his claims.

      • Schneibster

        As a web server architect and computer systems engineer, I agree.

        The problem is, when we try to tell them, they ignore us because of the money.

        But as Fox Mulder used to say, “the truth is out there.”

    • Judah Frito

      Agree with Bob. But also, you need to know that the Host doesn’t “run the show” (as a rule, some do have Editorial and or Producer input). Producers run the show and most will have Network Execs “in their ear”.
      The work/budget it takes to produce just one hour of TV does not as a rule include extensive research on the issues. Depends on how many interns and who they answer to, on most shows. (getting boss’ coffee is sometimes more important than getting facts :(

      And of course, any “Guest” who is currently enjoying the kind of celebrity Mr. Greenwald has [self and fan club] promoted… will be treated with kid gloves. Because the number one job of a show is to gain viewers … to gain ad dollars.
      Sad but true.
      (I worked in TV for years… I do know what I’m talking about)

  • A new fan

    GREAT piece. I am really frustrated at the hysteria and paranoia Greenwald’s pieces seem to have incited–just see that woman and her “the police are checking our Google searches!!!!!!111!!” story from last week. It’s been pointed out that there ARE laws in place to prevent abuses and as frightening it is to see some of the capabilities of the NSA, Greenwald curiously has not given us any evidence of abuses.

    There are people who are claiming just the existence of these programs are enough, and of course the NSA is violating our rights!!!

    I find it also fairly maddening that The Guardian seems quite happy to go along with this–so long as they sell papers. I really rooted for them when they were in the whole Murdoch phone hacking scandal. Now I’m starting to wonder.

    • AFV

      Yeah without Greenwald and Snowden our collective ignorance in loss of civil rights by secret republican judges on secret courts would be much more comforting.

      • Badgerite

        Well, nobody has come to my door asking if I have googled ‘pressure cookers’ lately and if they did I would expect that it had more to do with the neighbors or something than with the NSA. Civil rights is not really an absolute. It is more of a balancing act that the law and the courts do. Legitimate security concerns will be weighed against privacy rights. It is not an ‘all or nothing’ analysis. And as has been pointed out at this particular blog before, when the police to go to court for an individualized warrant, mistakes can still and do still occur. Nothing is absolute.

        • Judah Frito

          “reputed to hold”….

          All people who think facts are more important than assumption or conjecture rest our case.

          PS: That GG story has already been disputed – with…. hold on… FACTS.

          • Schneibster




        • Schneibster

          Actually turns out there was more to the pressure cooker story than originally reported. There might be a disgruntled former employee in trouble for making a false report.

          • Judah Frito

            I was referring to the GG story about a FISA Court opinion re: NSA violation of USC being “secret”. It isn’t. Protocol is being followed, that’s the hold up on reveal.
            But yep, pressure cooker story has also fallen apart as something so different from first breathless reports from way too many “serious journalists” … who didn’t check the facts.

        • AFV

          It’s certainly a rubber stamp. I can’t think of a more apt term for a 99.97% approval rate. In fact it makes me wonder about the 11 warrants they said no to.

      • nathkatun7

        Can you name one example of how you personally has lost your civil rights? Name one.

        • villemar

          His tinfoil shield has been protecteing him thus far, duh.

          P.S. WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!!1!1!!

        • mCG24443

          The right to privacy, which is constitutionally guaranteed, is lost if the government can track your location, communication habits, and all online activity without any probable cause. Do we have to wait until people are being thrown in jail for having dissenting opinions, or would it make sense to try and reign in some of these powers now while the civil rights violations aren’t as severe?

        • AFV

          Is it really a requirement of republicans to have injury from losing a constitutional right? You don’t hold their truths to be self evident? In the country you pretend to love everyone enjoys the 4th amendment right of “no warrants to be issued but upon probable cause”. Ironic to me that republicans don’t care about the document they pretend to love.

          • GwenKillerby

            Thanks, AFV, They have more constitutional hypocrisies, especially on abortion: They claim to be strict constitutionalists, yet they attack Roe v Wade which has constitutional protection.
            they claim to be against govt overreach, yet they want their grubby wombgrabbing paws in my womb.

            and so on.

      • Judah Frito

        The FISA Court has been in existence since 1978. John Roberts has not been Chief [SCOTUS] Justice all that time.

        Ignorance is what allows the charlatans to ply their trade.

        PS: Yes, please tell us what civil rights – as related to FISA rulings — you have lost in the last 35 years?

        • AFV

          Yes I know. From 1978 until 2000 there were 12,000 warrants approved. After that the flood gates were opened and with the arrival of the newest Chief Justice chosen by arguably America’s stupidest president who has, in turn, stacked the court with his right wing buddies. Your options for constitutional sanity is disappearing and you don’t seem to care. You’re on the losing side of this argument because you lack logic.

    • formerlywhatithink

      GREAT piece. I am really frustrated at the hysteria and paranoia Greenwald’s pieces seem to have incited–just see that woman and her “the police are checking our Google searches!!!!!!111!!”

      Whatever you do, stay away from Daily Kos. It’s turned into Grand Central Station for the Greenwald circle jerk.

      • Maike Hudson

        DK jumped the shark quite a while ago.

  • js hooper

    “Greenwald has become a powerful voice on the neo-libertarian, conspiratorial left”

    He is the Glenn Beck to these people. He is the leader…the main source of all their talking points and tag lines.

    That’s why long ago people dubbed him Glenn Beckwald.

    In the eyes of his cult followers he is above reproach. The very idea of criticizing him or giving his claims scrutiny means that you are a “Partisan Authoritarian Centrist Obama Lover”…(using Greenwaldian cult speak)

    Even using Greenwald’s own words and prior quotes against him is seen as an “unfair” tactic…and they whine that you’re killing the messenger.All of his lies, exaggerations, distortions and manipulative writings are viewed as almost religious text to his followers. They take it as a personal affront if you attempt to refute them.

    • william trent

      To Greenwald’s blind followers, he is The Oracle whose infallible judgments all of us lesser beings must accept unquestioningly.

      • Kennet

        I miss when the Oracle just stuck to making cookies and smoking 100s.

    • GwenKillerby

      Callng him ‘the Glen Beck’ makes you the Goebbels to his detractors. Also, (completely subjective observation!) you do sound like a teabagger describing Democrats who have the temerity to vote for Obama.

  • Draxiar

    “These men are inciting an important discussion and therefore their claims must be matched with the truth, otherwise we’re proceeding on disingenuous terms.”
    Bob, this is why I admire your efforts with your articles in this particular matter and other articles you write that pursue the facts of a situation (which is pretty much all of them).

    • GwenKillerby

      I don’t admire him, because he could have investigated the NSA, but no, he wants to jerk off Greenwald because he knows it gets more clicks, How is he different from Tod akin? he’s not.

  • JessFlagg

    This—–>”What the Obama administration — and all administrations — tend to object
    to is the indiscriminate leaking of thousands of sensitive national
    security secrets to the press”.


    • GwenKillerby

      Not the point. The point is whether the government should collect that data to begin with from citizens who clearly aren’t terrorists.

      • olcurmudgeon

        And how does one know whether one is “clearly” a terrorist?

  • blackdaug


    …..but..but eight uber patriots have been persecuted under the tyrant!

    • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

      How many government officials’ lives must be destroyed to make you start worrying it has gone too far? How big an impact on investigative journalism must these actions (including reporters’ phone contacts seized and general knowledge of all domestic call records stored) cause before you say stop?

      • nathkatun7

        In a country of almost 300 million people, I think 8 people, who are tried properly and convicted in courts of law does not make a police state. The second part of your comment about journalism and storing of records is once again the kind of hype and exaggerations you and and Greenwald, and Greenbwald’s followers, love to throw around to scare people.

        • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

          Of course its not a police state. Are you saying you wouldn’t be concerned until it is? How about this: almost all 8 people were from the DC metro area. That’s less than 6 million people to draw from. Does that change things? What if the law is applied selectively: those that leak that the gov doesn’t want known are prosecuted, those leaks the gov authorizes get ignored. Anything?

          Google AP phone recorded seized. Jane Mayer, an excellent investigative journalist, says confidential sources are drying up. And how could they not be? Do you know that James Risen has been under a real chance of being imprisoned for not revealing a source for years? What rock are you living under?

          • formerlywhatithink

            How about this: almost all 8 people were from the DC metro area.

            And those 8 people worked for the federal government. Gee, wonder where they would have lived. 3 of the charges were dropped (Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, Shamai Leibowitz), so now we’re down to 5, which pretty much ruins your “8” argument (but don’t let facts get in the way of your hyperbole). Kiriakou’s serving a 30-month sentence in a prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania, after pleading guilty to violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, not the Espionage Act (again, facts are pesky things).

            Do you know that James Risen has been under a real chance of being imprisoned for not revealing a source for years? What rock are you living under?

            From Lawfare: Readers will recall that last month a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit concluded, in a 2-1 decision, that Mr. Risen had no First Amendment privilege against testifying in criminal case. The panel thus compelled him to be a government witness in the prosecution of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who had once served as a source for Risen’s reporting.

            A federal court, the Fourth Circuit, not the Obama administration made the ruling. Yes, the Obama administration brought the case in front of the judges, but it was the judges that made the decision. Had they determined that there was nothing to support the case, they could have tossed it. But don’t let facts get in your way.

            It seems you have did an intentional search for the rock you wanted and intentionally it pulled over your own head.

          • nathkatun7

            Bravo! Excellent comment! Thank for saying so well all that I wanted to say.

          • nathkatun7

            “How about this: almost all 8 people were from the DC metro area. That’s less than 6 million people to draw from.”

            “Jane Mayer, an excellent investigative journalist, says confidential sources are drying up. And how could they not be? Do you know that James Risen has been under a real chance of being imprisoned for not revealing a source for years?”

            Amazing! So this is the sum total of your evidence as to why we should all be running around, hair on fire, decrying the loss of freedom and privacy in the United States.

            As for 8 people out 6 million (How many were convicted 4 or 5)) “from DC metro area” being proof of why we should all be fearful of the big bad government is totally laughable. More importantly, those convicted were tried in court and punished for violating laws. Is that some new? Do you know how many Black folks from D.C. metro who are improperly imprisoned as a result of racial profiling? Now that’s where civil libertarians aught to be focused on.

            I personally could care less that Jane Mayer no longer has confidential sources. I must admit that I am not that impressed by her. As for Risen, his reporting was irresponsible and placed undercover people at immediate danger of loosing their lives. Journalist have been imprisoned in this country for refusing to divulge sources in criminal cases. As to the rock I am living under, I don’t have to buy into hype, exaggerations and sensationalism to prove that I am just as informed as, if not informed, than you.

          • GeeOPee

            Why are those reporters leaking operational details? They aren’t exposing wrong doing, but jeopardizing secret operations overseas. I would rather the US secretly infiltrate & undermine terrorists than illegally invade nations and drone innocent people.

      • blackdaug

        How many roads must a troll stroll down, before he admits he is a troll?
        For an old guy….you sure write like a teenage girl…..

        • http://norwegianshooter.blogspot.com/ Mark Erickson

          I love your comments the most blackdaug.

    • Schneibster

      Free the spamglass eight!!!11!!one!

    • GeeOPee

      LOL. That link really debunks Greenwald’s talking points. He fails to point out that several of those charged under the Espionage Act have had those charges dropped, including the NSA whistle blower Tim Drake.

      • blackdaug

        It doesn’t try to do that. ….but that is exactly what it does.
        30 months is still the max anybody has been sentenced to do. Half are leftovers from Bush…several got nothing at all.
        Not quite the “disappeared” Gulag GG describes….


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