The Irony of Glenn Greenwald Cuddling Up with Bill Barr, the Grandfather of Ed Snowden’s Phone Dragnet

Glenn Greenwald, who has written two books about the abuse of Presidential power, continues to dig in on his factually ignorant claims about the Mueller report. For days, he and the denialists said that if Mueller’s report was being misrepresented by Bill Barr, Mueller would speak up. Now that Mueller’s team has done so, Glenn complains that these are anonymous leaks and nevertheless only address obstruction, not a conspiracy with Russia on the election.

Glenn and his lackeys in the denialist crowd who continue to willfully misrepresent the public evidence have yet to deal with the fact that Mueller has already presented evidence that Paul Manafort conspired with Russian Konstantin Kilimnik on the election, but that they weren’t able to substantiate and charge it because Manafort lied. Mueller’s team say they believe Manafort did so in hopes and expectation that if he helped Trump and denialists like Glenn sustain a “no collusion” line, he might get a pardon. That is, we know that Trump’s offers of pardons — his obstruction — specifically prevented Mueller from pursuing a fairly smoking gun incident where Trump’s campaign manager coordinated with Russians on the hack-and-leak.

As Glenn once professed to know with respect to Scooter Libby’s obstruction, if someone successfully obstructs an investigation, that may mean the ultimate culprit in that investigation escapes criminal charge.

Glenn’s denialism is all the more remarkable, though, given that this same guy who wrote two books on abuse of presidential power is choosing to trust a memo from Bill Barr that was obviously playing legalistic games over what the public record says. As Glenn must know well, Barr has a history of engaging in precisely the kind of cover-up of presidential abuses Glenn once professed to oppose, fairly epically on Iran-Contra. The cover-up that Barr facilitated on that earlier scandal was the model that Dick Cheney used in getting away with leaking Valerie Plame’s identity and torture and illegal wiretapping, the kinds of presidential abuses that Glenn once professed to oppose.

I find Glenn’s trust of Bill Barr, one of the most authoritarian Attorneys General in the last half century, all the more ironic, coming as it does the same week that DOJ IG released this IG report on several DEA dragnets.

That’s because Glenn’s more recent opposition to abuse of power comes in the form of shepherding Edward Snowden’s leaks. Glenn’s recent fame stems in significant degree to the fact that on June 5, 2013, he published a document ordering Verizon to turn over all its phone records to the government.

The dragnet Snowden revealed with that document was actually just the second such dragnet. The first one targeted the phone calls from the US to a bunch of foreign countries claimed, with no court review, to have a drug nexus. Only, that term “drug nexus”  came to include countries with no significant drug ties but instead a claimed tie between drug money and financing terrorism, and which further came to be used in totally unrelated investigations. That earlier dragnet became the model for Stellar Wind, which became the model for the Section 215 dragnet that Glenn is now famous for having helped Edward Snowden expose.

Here’s what the IG Report released the same week that Glenn spent hours cuddling up to Bill Barr says about the original dragnet.

Bill Barr, the guy Glenn has spent 10 days nuzzling up to, is the grandfather of the dragnet system of surveillance.

The IG Report also shows that Bill Barr — the guy Glenn has spent 10 days trusting implicitly — didn’t brief Congress at all; the program wasn’t first briefed to Congress until years after Barr left office the first time.

This is the man that former critic of abusive presidential power Glenn Greenwald has chosen to trust over the public record.

This is, it seems, the strange plight of the denialist left, cozying up to the kind of authoritarians that their entire career, at least to this point, have vigorously opposed.

As I disclosed last July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

264 replies
    • Trent says:

      That blank comment should read
      “insert .gif of some badass chick bitch slapping some well-deserving dupe”

      safety tip…do not put text in between carrot symbols. It disappears.

      • David says:

        It thinks you’re trying to write an HTML tag. Some sites will display it if you put a space between the brackets and the text, but apparently this comment software will disappear it even so.

      • P J Evans says:

        Use “Lt;” and “Gt;” (with & in front of them) instead of the angle-brackets. (Carets are the one that points up.) You should get < and >.

      • Tech Support says:

        Whatever crankiness might exist in the site code, if there’s one forum that should hyper-aggressively guard against XSS (cross-site scripting) attacks in comments, it’s EW.

      • cat herder says:

        I would like to request that whatever feature it is that allows plain-text-that-turns-into-little-pictures-that-can’t-be-adblocked be turned off, please.

        At least the ones I’ve seen used so far aren’t animated.

  1. Ill fares the land says:

    Sigh of relief. And can we please save for later the sociology and pysch discusion of (their) motive? The beclowned deserve an analysis lest they continue the manufacture of alibis.

    • Rayne says:

      Your first comment here wasn’t about Greenwald (I’ll point out you have at least four different accounts here because you’ve entered your account information inconsistently, though most often as you have with today’s comment).

      As to your first comment about Greenwald in which you said, “I can’t stand GG,” the reason you were “ripped for it” is that you, a n00bie to this site at that time, dumped a drive-by opinion without context. You were drubbed as you should have been and as others doing the same thing in the same manner have been. You were lucky that comment wasn’t yanked to the back. We rarely tolerate that now given the amount of trolls and bots we’ve drawn.

      As for the difference between your dislike of GG and the post here: note Marcy has offered all manner of detailed context for why she finds Greenwald’s behavior ironic. She’s not written an emotional screed — she’s laid out receipts.

      You want to dump emotion? Context absolutely matters. Bring receipts.

    • Ruthie says:

      I followed Glenn’s blog starting in 2008 when he was at Salon. At the time, I found him to be largely persuasive on civil liberties issues. Likewise during his time at The Guardian, during which the Snowden affair became public. Then The Intercept was born and he quickly went downhill, IMO. He seems to relish his reputation as a contrarian, to the detriment of his work. And his commentariat is cult-like – being a person who enjoys a good comment section, that was a big turn off.

      • milton wiltmellow says:

        Exactly right!

        The Intercept seems to be the trigger event for his descent into frothing polemics.

        Is it the power, the money, the contract (and secret promises), or his innate sense of righteous and arrogant indignation?

        He lost me entirely when he blamed HRC for Donald Trump’s election. You can say she was a poor candidate, unlikable, followed a bad strategy or a million other explanations, but to call her responsible for Trump’s election is upside-down thinking.

        His cultist following in the comments section treat his words as scripture and any dissent as heresy.

        • NorskieFlamethrower says:

          Kompromat is a mother…remember when W Bush said that he’d looked into Putin’s heart and it was pure? JEEEzus, we are so fucked…

        • RMD says:

          Did you happen to see the extensive reporting at TI about their decision to withhold further release of Snowden docs?

          No one else did….except here:

          The Intercept Shuts Down Access to Snowden Trove
          First Look Media, the company that owns the Intercept, also announced that it was laying off several of the researchers who had been charged with maintaining the documents.
          ” The Intercept had decided to “focus on other editorial priorities” after expending five years combing through the archive.

            • RMD says:

              an excerpt for the curious:

              On the call, Glenn says we should not make this decision public because it would look bad for him and The Intercept.
              I objected to the decision.
              I am confident the decision to shut the archive was made to pave to fire/eliminate the research team.
              My email was leaked the press, which is why the public knows the archive is shut down.
              On Thursday March 14, I call Edward Snowden. He had not been informed by Glenn or Betsy about their decision to shut down the archive. I apologize to him

              In conclusion, neither Greenwald nor Reed are competent to decide anything at all about how these documents should be handled, or how The Intercept should be allocating its increasingly publicly-funded resources.

              Anyone else who is inclined to talk about the circumstances surrounding the closure of the Snowden archive may send me an email at this address, or on Wire at @BarrettBrown33. If you just want to send something anonymously via means of your choice, to be relayed to someone I believe many of you have reason to trust and respect, that can also be arranged.
              Good luck to the majority of you who are trying to do the correct thing in ambiguous circumstances.


            • milton wiltmellow says:

              Wow. What an episode.

              A corporation is an authoritarian structure.

              In my experience, CEOs without tact — those who lack people skills — become intolerant and bullying.

              Does closing the Snowden archives represent a financial issue or something less obvious? And if financial, what became of Omidyar’s support?

      • esjr says:

        Exactly my impression too. I can’t help thinking something happened during the Snowden and the Assange affairs. Apart from everything else, the way The Intercept handled Winner and how the Snowden Archive was “closed” — something Barrett Brown wrote about on Medium — are indeed big turn offs and put him in a rather awkward position to be pontificating on journalistic standards, to say the least.

        • timbo says:

          Rather than fall down that particular rabbit hole, why not just assume the more likely that Greenwald had better editors and less content control at his previous jobs. Some people are good at editing themselves and some are not…

      • Tech Support says:

        Thank you for calling this out specifically:

        “He seems to relish his reputation as a contrarian”

        I am so, so tired of people who seem to believe it is their divine mission to cynically adopt whatever position is most likely to irritate the people in their lives, for what seems to be no other purpose than to feed their own egos. There’s a couple folks I ghost IRL these days because they have revealed themselves to be gleeful conduits for misinformation that they couldn’t care to evaluate and who shamelessly front contradictory ideas. Were they strangers I might imagine them to be fanatics when the more pathetic truth is that they are just getting lulz from trolling people who have the temerity to believe that living in a rational world matters.

        Although I don’t think GG is bomb-throwing strictly for jollies, I can’t for the life of me figure out what his internal framework of rationalizations are for what seems like some fairly obvious contradictory positions.

  2. baba says:

    Thank u so much for this reply to GG’s recent temper tantrums… his journalism really has gone downhill on this issue. It is like 1984 to read this blog and then compare to journalists of any stripe out there. Can’t anyone read facts anymore?

  3. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    Why does anyone read anything Greenwald regurgitates?! And why is he allowed near a keyboard? We are so fucked…

    • sanford sklansky says:

      Greenwald was on they Young Turks last night. Cenq agreed with a lot of what Greenwald had to say. Uguer thinks it was financial collusion more than anything. I don’t think he is cuddling up to Barr. Greenwald thinks it would be perfectly fine to investigate Trump on financial crimes. It would probably be a good thing to know who the people are that are critical of Barr. Timothy O’Brien wrote this article about the reporting of the Barr summary and the media. He especially goes after Taibbi. He also goes after Sean Davis of the Washington Post . O’Brien is no fan of Trump. I am sure you were aware that Trump sued him.

  4. paulpfixion says:

    If Glenn Greenwald never enters my twitter feed again I will be overjoyed. Reading him now is like being in the twilight zone. Thank you for laser focusing your rhetorical analysis skillz on his bat shit hypocrisy.

    (update) insert “except when being deconstructed into piles of wheezing soundbites by the emptywheel,” after “again.”

  5. viget says:

    Why is it that this whole mess comes back to the stupid decisions we made 30-50 years ago? I mean literally, every single component is due to that. And what’s even more ridiculous is that we bring back some of the same players? It’s like we haven’t learned anything in the last half decade.

    Talk about “sins of the fathers…” A Song of Ice and Fire has nothing on this story..

    • LeeNLP says:

      It’s like when Isildur failed to throw the One Ring in the fires of Orodruin when he had the chance. (Tolkien fan here..)

      So much evil could have been prevented had the Iran/Contra affair been fully investigated and the players held fully accountable. Cheney commented that his one takeaway was the importance of the Vice President’s office in working on the dark side.

      • ben says:

        but even that arguably was an outgrowth of the earlier hostage deal between the reagan administration and iran. blurg to it all.

        (which i guess is like bringing sauron to numenor as a prisoner to profit off him instead of destroying him? idk my tolkien is rusty.)

        [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a more unique version of your username to differentiate yourself as we do have multiple Ben/Bennet/Benet/Benjamin here. Thanks. /~Rayne]

        • viget says:

          You’re right. And even that goes back further, to the takedown of Nixon and the fallout of the Vietnam war.

          And of course that goes back and so on, and so on.

          I find it interesting that Sam Esmail chose to put a portrait of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand in E Corp’s CEO’s office and have him comment on it being the genesis of so many of the troubles in the world during an episode of Mr. Robot.

      • timbo says:

        Agreed. But that’s ‘water under the bridge that we’re in right now’. If we only had a raft to go up stream?

      • Sharon says:

        “Cheney commented that his one takeaway was the importance of the Vice President’s office in working on the dark side.”

        I take some odd comfort from that statement because I seriously doubt Pence is as smart and shrewd as Cheney was in the same role.

        • harpie says:

          The people who put Pence in his place do NOT need, nor want, him to be smart and shrewd.
          Last week, Wendy Siegelman flagged this disturbing article:

          4:31 PM – 27 Mar 2019
          [quote] Revealed: Trump-linked US Christian ‘fundamentalists’ pour millions of dark money into Europe, boosting far right – over a dozen groups (w/links to Jay Sekelow, Bannon, DeVos, Kochs) have spent $50 mil+ in Europe in last decade […] [end quote]
          From the article:
          [quote] […] In the first analysis of its kind, openDemocracy has examined a decade of US Christian organisations’ financial accounts and found that several of them appear to have significantly increased their spending in Europe over the past five years.
          Our findings come as far-right parties aim for big wins in the upcoming European Parliament elections in May, and show how large amounts of foreign money have supported the spread of their ‘traditional values’ messages. […]
          Franklin Graham, who has supported Trump as someone who “defends the faith”, was in Russia earlier this month meeting Kremlin officials who are under US sanctions, on a trip that he said was personally signed off by Vice President Michael Pence. […] [end quote]

          • P J Evans says:

            Pence, like DeVos, is a known Dominionist – they want power, because they believe, and they teach their kids this, that they’re destined-by-god to be rulers of the world. That there’s nothing in the bible they claim to read that says any such thing, and all their religious “authority” is assumed, not granted by the bible or by law, is never ever mentioned by anyone. They’re very definitely dangerous to everyone outside their white-male-supremacist group.

            • orionATL says:

              not that it’s my passion, but in the little Appalachian town where I went to third grade, I was in a contest to memorize hundreds of bible verses (well it sure was a LOT), a couple dozen or so to be spoken out loud at each weekly school get-together. on succeeding, my prize was a tiny new testament with a deep red “leather” cover with my name engraved in gold at the bottom left. boy, was i proud of that little book. religion then suffused the whole sub-culture; no one thought the more of that. on reflection religion seemed gentle and benign then, never oppressive as it can be now:

              “Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth”— (Gen 1:26)

              • orionATL says:

                I really love the king James version, probably because it was what I read and memorized. it may have been all that was published in those days. and it does have a wonderful english-language swing to it when you read. there is a not so subtle difference in the two quotes:

                 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. “

              • P J Evans says:

                It’s still like that in a lot of places in the South – not so much in the public schools, but all those private church-run schools that started up after the Civil Rights Act. (The region isn’t called the “Bible Belt” for nothing.)

                (A lot of the people in west Texas would have been shocked to discover that I, a non-churchgoer, have at three bibles. None are KJV.)

                • orionATL says:

                  well, if your families are like mine there can be a whole lot of basic family history in the “notes” pages of those bibles :)

              • Mooser says:

                I dishonestly won a Scripture Knowledge Prize (a Dore’ Bible) only by dint of inscribing a list of the Kings of Judah on my shirt-cuffs.

                • orionATL says:

                  god has already forgiven you.

                  it’s a new feature of protestant religion and it’s called instantaneous absolution – just ask the evangelicals led by the reverend Falwell’s jr.

                  if it applies to Donald Trump in each of the hundreds of sinful episodes in his sin-filled life and they feel it does, then it surely applies to you. after all, you ain’t no barrabas.

                  • Mooser says:

                    “after all, you ain’t no barrabas.”
                    True, people who live in wood houses shouldn’t throw matches.

                  • P J Evans says:

                    They also seem to think that it absolves all future sins – which isn’t how absolution works, ever.

              • Greg Hunter says:

                Thank goodness I did not get the bible teaching at school, but I did study the book a great deal being reared a southern baptist.

                While god gives man dominion, he also requires that man ensure that all species are fruitful and multiply, not just man. Christians only seem to embrace the parts of the bible that suit them.

                The idea that this country was founded as a christian nation gets constantly pushed from the right (Limbaugh to Shapiro) with very little push back from the left. We need to push harder against this lie.

  6. Bay State Librul says:

    How about a limerick

    The Democratic Nemesis

    There was an Old Man named Barr
    Who went out to sell his legal ta-ta’s
    When he’d finished his nineteen page dribble, he said with a quibble,
    “It is time I return, ha-ha.”

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Scooter Libby connection is amazing. Libby covered up Cheney’s likely crimes, was convicted for his obstruction, but had his sentence commuted by Cheney’s putative boss, George W. Bush. (Smart move, since a pardon would have removed any jeopardy and taken away his excuse for not talking.) Having avoided prison time, Libby had even less incentive to spill the beans.

    Fast forward a decade to Trump. Mindful of his own predicament and always caring more for the white-collar criminal than for his victims, Trump needlessly asserted himself into that history by pardoning Libby.

    Presumably, that was intended as another signal from Trump to his once and future conspirators: If you protect Trump, he will protect you. Trump would have needed to reinforce such signals, given his well-deserved reputation for lying and reneging on promises large and small.

    As EW points out, the connection between George H.W. Bush’s AG Bill Barr and Trump flows through Dick Cheney. During the Iran-Contra investigation, Cheney was the lone representative from Wyoming (his daughter/clone, Liz, now holds that seat). He wrote a scathing minority report to the congressional report on Iran-Contra. He argued, in essence, the Nixonian claim that if the president did it, it can’t be wrong.

    Cheney further lambasted Nixon for having resigned over Watergate. (Ironic, given that Nixon’s resignation made Ford president; Cheney became his deputy then chief of staff, which launched his career into high office.) In Cheney’s hard right view, Nixon should have stuck to his six-guns and told Congress to commit a physically impossible act of self-pleasure. That would have endeared him to Poppy Bush and to Bill Barr. Barr has now returned to perform the road show version of his earlier Broadway success.

  8. Joseph S says:

    This is admittedly a dumb question but I struggle to understand how we know for sure Manafort’s lies got in the way of a foolproof conspiracy in chief charge. If the government knows he lied, then why not charge the conspiracy?

    • Rick says:

      The investigators have many ways of obtaining information. Many of those use methods that either will not be allowed in a court, would not hold up in court, or compromise sources and methods that are extremely important for other reasons.

      • Mooser says:

        As the old clock repair technician told told the fellow who brought in an antique clock which, he claimed, only went ‘tick-tick-tick’: “Don’t worry, we have ways of making them tock!

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The denialist left seems intent on seeing no there there. One of GG’s and his peers’ arguments is that focusing on Russia, apart from there being nothing to see, distracts from a) other major problems unrelated to Trump, such as the GOP’s massive voter suppression programs, and b) Trump’s other major policies, which hurt millions, starting with the immigrants he has turned into props for his Two Minutes of Hate speeches.

    My view is that Russian interference is its own special crime that deserves critical attention. It is not going away, and its features will be adopted and tweaked by domestic actors, which will make some of the most crucial aspects of that interference legal because it is not foreign.

    The other issue is that Trump’s relationship with Russia enables his many other crimes, starting with helping him into the Oval Office. That schematic, too, would be willingly followed by other, equally scrupulous aspirants to the Oval Office.

    As for what Congress should be doing instead, I think the answer is nothing. As Schiff and Nadler have been saying, we need to investigate and document Trump’s wrongs, and any crimes including therein, even if not prosecutable. We need to work to avoid a repeat of Trump and we can’t do that without learning the lessons of Trump. Any productive legislation to implement that learning will have to wait until the Dems have the Senate and WH.

    • BobCon says:

      The distraction argument is infuriating nonsense. Democratic voters are focused on issues like health care and inequality. Democratic politicians are focused on those issues too. The press falls down, but it’s not by checking in on Russia, it’s by overlooking health care and inequality while focusing on Trump’s tweet of the day.

      If they didn’t have Trump-Russia, there is no way they would be focusing on the GOP embrace of anti Semites or climate change — it would only be more coverage of Smollett, asylum seekers being branded as criminals, and the Trump base sighing about NYC elites.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Fully investigating and documenting the public record is what Ford’s pardon of Nixon prevented. It saved Nixon and it saved the Republican Party.

      Reagan and Bush repeated the scenario about a decade later when they stonewalled Lawrence Walsh’s independent counsel’s investigation into Iran-Contra. For seven years. The final nail in that investigation’s coffin was placed by Poppy Bush when he issued pardons to six of the Iran-Contra scandals key players shortly before leaving the WH. Bill Barr helped to save Bush and his GOP from another bet-the-company scandal, and Dick Cheney gave him a rationale to do it.

      Two decades after that, we had Scooter Libby’s trial over his cover-up of what may have been crimes involving Vice President Dick Cheney and possibly President George W. Bush. Libby’s obstruction prevented further investigation into possible crimes by one or both of the top two executive officers of the United States Government.

      And now Bill Barr returns, like Christopher Lee, to protect his party and to help another president cover up his possible crimes. Paging Professor Van Helsing.

      • milton wiltmellow says:

        The denialist left seems intent on seeing no there there. One of GG’s and his peers’ arguments is that focusing on Russia, apart from there being nothing to see, distracts from a) other major problems unrelated to Trump, such as the GOP’s massive voter suppression programs, and b) Trump’s other major policies, which hurt millions, starting with the immigrants he has turned into props for his Two Minutes of Hate speeches.

        As a veteran of TI comments, I made exactly this argument: that GG and the rest were ignoring these more important issues — historic voter suppression, Trump's monster rallies, and cruelty towards immigrants, etc.

        When I commented pointing out the neglect of these issues, Glenn's followers engaged in relentless, specious, and often vicious attacks.

        If GG had denied RU for more important themes, that would have been fine with me. (Some TI writers do.)

        But Greenwald persisted with articles that had little bearing on these mainstream issues — Joy Reid, Rachel Maddow, defending ACLU defending Charlottesville march, MSNBC fake news — I recall a dig at Paul Krugman somewhere!

        If Greenwald only pushed the denial of Russian interference, I could overlooked that like a flaw in a friend. Part of life.

        There is a distinct FOX-like advocacy at the Intercept with is deceitful, intolerant, faux-liberal, and (with some exceptions) dismissive neglect of Trump and Republicans … all in keeping with Greenwald's polemics.

        • Ruthie says:

          “When I commented pointing out the neglect of these issues, Glenn’s followers engaged in relentless, specious, and often vicious attacks.”

          As I wrote upthread, for select blogs (among them being EW), I value the comment thread nearly as much as the blog itself. For me, it can bring different perspectives that serve to round out a story. Although I’ve recently begun commenting here, I’ve been mostly a lurker online. I purposely have NO social media presence.

          I followed Glenn for probably five years, and I really enjoyed his comment section. Like EW, he would read and engage in the comments on occasion as well. But at The Intercept, the comment threads became so contentious I couldn’t handle it. They reinforced my growing discomfort with the direction of Glenn’s work, and I had to bail.

          • bmaz says:

            I understand the frustration with Glenn, but don’t boycott The Intercept, there are some truly fantastic people, and great work, there. I have some very good friends there that are great journalists. Liliana Segura, Ali Gharib, Ryan Devereaux, Ryan Grim, David Dayen, ….all I know personally off the net, and pretty sure Marcy does too (Marcy may not know Ryan). Fantastic people who do great work. Don’t be afraid to read there. That is without even getting to Glenn and Jeremy. I take issue with a LOT of what Glenn has to say lately, but get along with both him and Jeremy quite well, and long have. No we all do not always agree, but it will be okay.

          • RMD says:

            Glenn actively encourages the savage ad hominem practiced and sanctioned by crapflooders like one entity beginning with M…who, without exaggeration, would post 90 comments on one article.

            This was tactical, sanctioned, and deliberate.

            f that noise.

            I agree with bmaz… about many of the other writers doing important stories….. but it is a shame to be associated with such as gg.

            • Ruthie says:

              Would that be…Mona?

              To be honest, I avoid The Intercept overall in part because the layout is visually chaotic – they really need a better editor. I agree that Dave Dayen and Ryan Grim, at least, are worth following.

              • bmaz says:

                Mona Holland has nothing to do with The Intercept. And two of the people I mentioned, Liliana and Ali, are editors, as is another friend I did not mention, Andrea Jones. They are, all three, fantastic. All three of those are good friends of this blog.

                • NorskieFlamethrower says:

                  I believe that if these friends of yours are really the honest, professional journalists in search of the truth you claim that they are then they would be like stink on bad stuff all over Greenwald’s obvious corruption. No, they may be good folks who believe in truth justice etc but until they go after Greenwald’s bullshit I won’t have anything to do with the Intercept.

                    • NorskieFlamethrower says:

                      Please convince me bamaz, with information and evidence not character references. It seems to me that the Intercept has a real responsibility and not to say interest in addressing Greenwald’s apparent compromised circumstance. To me, the Intercept has found itself threatened by Greenwald’s presence and I REALLY want to believe them but I can’t until they use their professional skills to scrape the shit off one of their contributors.

                • RMD says:

                  Mona Holland is a constant, daily, obsessive Glennologist and geek chorus at The Intercept.
                  To those acquainted, she repeats like an invocation of a cult member, that, “as Glenn’s former partner” and apparatchick, she has free reign there. She is never sanctioned, corralled, or controlled from her trolling and sadistic practices in the comment sections.
                  Anyone claiming that she isn’t a part of Glenn’s act, is not being straight with you.

                  • bmaz says:

                    Well, I am being straight with you. She may be a commenter there. But she is no more an official part of The Intercept than you are of the Emptywheel blog. Keep some perspective.

                    • RMD says:

                      you are entitled to your opinion.
                      I am a long time observer, familiar with overt declarations by Glenn and Mona… should you care to pursue this, I will provide ample substantiation for my opinion.

                    • RMD says:

                      too late to edit my reply…
                      so, a following note.

                      You’re familiar with the phrase, “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature”?

                      that’s my thesis in a nutshell.
                      with footnotes and exerpts, to satisfy the dubious brothers™

                    • milton wiltmellow says:

                      RMD is correct imo.

                      The site is monitored. That she’s allowed such freedom in the comments section is not from neglect.

                      She is not the only voice of intolerance there, She does set a tone, but many others join in the :”geek chorus” with her.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Milton and RMD, you can certainly keep up this bullshit I suppose, but it is indeed bullshit. I am done explaining it to you. And, again, no I don’t want your crappy “examples”. She is a commenter there, and nothing else. Don’t make our readers here dumber with bullshit that is demonstrably false.

      • P J Evans says:

        It’s worth noting how many of the minor players in Watergate show up in Iran-Contra and in the Bush administrations. And in Tr*mp’s, too.

        • Silence Hand says:

          *ding ding ding*
          Yes, PJ, Nixon’s cadre has never left us. The whole stinking lot of ’em. Easy to forget. Almost like we need a deck of cards with their pictures, or something…

          • timbo says:

            lol. *blows the dust off an old box* *looks at old cards* *thinks how to convert them to MtG game mechanics…*

            • Tech Support says:

              Spawn of Nixon – 1BR

              Creature – Human Zombie Politician

              1T: Tap any White or Green Creature

              If Spawn of Nixon is placed in the graveyard from the battlefield and there is another Spawn of Nixon in the graveyard, return one Spawn of Nixon to your hand.

              Discard Spawn of Nixon to counter any spell or ability which reveals cards in your hand or your library.

              “You must never be satisfied with losing. You must get angry, terribly angry, about losing.”


        • NorskieFlamethrower says:

          We can go back further than that: Manafort, Stone, Cheney, HW Bush, Rumsfeld and the list gets longer the more you look and the one person that brings the entire coup up to the present is Barr.

          • Silence Hand says:

            Nixon attracted all the young loathesomes, who are, lich-like, still in there with their warped, authoritarian vision. I mean, G. Gordon Liddy is still around, fercrissakes!

            Now, of course, we’re gonna get a whole new class of ’em. The torch is passed…

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        An essential piece of history is this Christmas Day 1992 NYT article by David Johnston: “Bush Pardons 6 in Iran Affair, Aborting a Weinberger Trial; Prosecutor Assails Cover-Up.” [] Compared to today’s editorial choices, the title for this article is so accurate it seems quaint.

        Johnston summarizes the events surrounding George H.W. Bush’s pardoning of six of the Iran-Contra participants, including former SecDef Caspar Weinberger. It includes the text of Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh’s “bitter objections” to Bush’s pardons, which effectively ended his investigation.

        Bush issued the pardons – in order to “put bitterness behind us” – less than two weeks before the start of Weinberger’s trial on charges of lying to Congress about the Iran-Contra affair. Ten days before that, Walsh had announced that he had discovered that Bush himself had failed to turn over, “highly relevant contemporaneous notes, despite repeated requests for such documents,” a matter he intended to make part of Weinberger’s trial.

        “[The] case…was expected to focus on Mr. Weinberger’s private notes that contain references to Mr. Bush’s endorsement of the secret [illegal] shipments to Iran.”

        Walsh also planned to argue that Weinberger’s obstruction “forestalled impeachment proceedings against President Reagan.”

        Out of these events came Poppy Bush’s quip that the Independent Counsel’s investigation was “the criminalization of policy differences.” Bush also used another now familiar justification for treating white-collar criminals leniently: these loyal public servants, “had already paid a heavy price for their involvement in the affair in damaged careers, hurt families and depleted savings.”

        Throughout Mr. Bush’s long deliberations over whether to issue these pardons, he consulted with Attorney General William P. Barr. Some advisers thought that only Weinberger needed to be pardoned. Mr. Barr argued for all six. They included a former National Security Adviser, the former heads of the CIA’s clandestine service and its European Division, a third former CIA employee, and Elliot Abrams, whom Mr. Trump recently sent to Venezuela to help bring peace by overthrowing its elected leftist government. Plus ca change:

        “[I]n a single stroke, Mr. Bush [and Mr. Barr] swept away one conviction, three guilty pleas and two pending cases, virtually decapitating what was left of Mr. Walsh’s [six-year] effort….[and destroying his] last chance to explore the role in the affair of senior Reagan officials, including Mr. Bush’s actions as Vice President.”

        • harpie says:

          …and then 8 years later, GHWB’s son is [S]elected to the highest position in the land under murky circumstances, and ultimately BY SCOTUS. [Brett Kavanaugh was there, among others.]

  10. Rapier says:

    Greenwood has bigger fish to fry. I believe he is acting out in a very well thought out tactical way to advance a much larger strategic vision. As I see it his main thrust is that the old parties of the center left and left of the world have failed to address the core reasons for the problems of the age. A failure due in large part to the institutional corruption of those parties and their leaders absolute refusal to surrender power to a new generation with new ideas. Those would be those no longer willing to compromise if not work directly work with with the corporate neoliberal and wealthy who have centralized so much power. He’s 100% on the AOC team after all.

    I am going to go out on a limb and say his attack on the Trump investigation has two goals. One to simply attack the go along leadership of in this case the Democratic party in hopes of gaining some cred with the mass of Trump supporters so that perhaps later he can pry them away from their move towards fascism. The other is to directly attack the leaders of those parties and their legions of ‘centrist’ commentators whose main messages always boil down to ‘identity politics’, in lieu of real challenges to the economic status quo.

    As someone who has been horrified by the Clinton’s and ultimately Obama I am sympathetic to his frustrations. The absurd and pathetic British Labor parties failures speak for themselves. The continents old social democratic parties have been sidetracked into mostly supporting the uber bureaucratic ECU thus alienating their old worker bases.

    Unlike Greenwald but a couple of decades older, somewhere over the years I dropped any hopes that the left or liberals much less the Democratic Party would or could possibly effect real change in the US. Probably around the time that 70% of poll respondents supported John Calley’s pardon and supported the Ohio National Guard at Kent State. Not to mention that 70% that voted for Nixon over McGovern. I resigned that my political life such as it is will be devoted to fighting rear guard actions against fascism. To be clear I believe Americans are naturally fascist. That is what American exceptionalism is. A blood and soil and God cult, to put a loaded term to it.

    Not that anyone should give a shit because I am way off the normal trails of American partisan politics but I align to the Chris Hedges conception that the function of Liberals in America is not to win power because they can’t but to serve as a conscience to blunt the worst that the right offers. It’s his contention that Liberals abandoned this fight in the 70’s. Mostly to cash in on neoliberalism. I agree but that’s another tale.

    I even agree on some basic level that the Democratic Parties Russiaphobia is and has been a very real and disastrous thing. I even agree that Russiaphobia bled seamlessly into this whole election tampering story. However to discount it all as simply the result of a phobia is a monumental mistake. To double and triple down on it and play footsie with Barr and Fox News and pick fights with Marcy is a tactical and strategic error. The only choice is to always and completely oppose fascism at every turn. Every time.

    Greenwalds grand strategic plan if that is what it is, is doomed to failure. Slaying Hillary at this point is a fools errand.

    I won’t go on.

    • Sandwichman says:

      So your theory is that Greenwald is following the KPD strategy from the 1930s: “After Hitler, the revolution!” I wonder if he realizes how that panned out last time.

      • milton wiltmellow says:

        What does a communist have to do to be targeted by fascists?

        BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro said “there is no doubt” that Nazism was a leftist movement, just after visiting Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum.

        This is the sort of ahistorical crap that Greenwald promotes with his accusations of “McCarthyism”.

        McCarthyism was a bloom of US fascism/anti-communist nurtured by the Republican party since the 1920s. Anti-labor, authoritarian, uber-capitalist. You can still hear echoes from the 1930s as Republicans and Fox News attempt to resurrect the anti-communist theme when they call the Green New Deal a socialist plot to destroy capitalism.

        Obama, for instance, in 2009 had to remind the country of who sponsored attacks on FDR as a communist and as a socialist.

        “What’s happened is that whenever a president tries to bring about significant changes, particularly during times of economic unease, then there is a certain segment of the population that gets very riled up,” Obama said. “FDR was called a socialist and a communist.”

        Indeed, Roosevelt was called a socialist or a communist many times. Most of that criticism came in the 1930s, when he was enacting programs intended to pull the country out of the Great Depression.

        Greenwald should at least read a book on US political history before he starts lumping Democrats with McCarthy, Hoover, and the core values espoused by the far right in US political history.

    • Rayne says:

      All very well and good until we get to the part where corruption is the means by which some humans are suppressed into second, lesser class. Pardon me if I don’t want to take any guidance from a white man who so easily turn a blind eye to this in his own backyard while throwing rocks at someone else’s yard.

    • Njrun says:

      Rapier, that really is ridiculous. The left can’t implement change? You mean like getting tens of millions of people onto healthcare? And they could do more if they had more members elected.

      You hate the “Clinton’s” what?

      Chris Hedges is almost as deranged as Greenwald. Both profess to be liberal but they spend virtually every last word attacking liberals. The effect is to promote the right. If we can’t find perfect candidates, throw up our hands and give the country to the right, which has come to be controlled by Russia.

      • Rapier says:

        Yes, I hate the Clinton’s Third Way neoliberalism. Not to mention it’s easy Russiaphobia which resurrected the neocons. which has lead us to where we are now in so many areas.

        The health care for more is better but the US spends something like twice as much as any other country. The reason being is that medical care is a racket. ACA was not a liberal plan. It was a Heritage Foundation plan. Classically neoliberal where in the market would fix the problems caused by the market. ACA barely promised reduced costs of health care and have delivered none. Admittedly as percent of GDP health care has stabilized.

        ACA was not nothing but it was far from optimal. No ‘market’ reform is going to fix health care. We need humanistic solutions. The ‘market’ is antithetical to humanism. Where health care aides are paid more than $9 an hour while the regional hospital builds a shiny new monument filled with robot surgeons run by doctors make $700K a year.

        • Tech Support says:


          Could I be afraid of the kleptocratic convergence of organized crime and the state as exemplified by Putin and his wannabe minions without being afraid of Russians per se?

          I don’t feel super aligned to the neocons doing that. They seemed to be more interested in pursuing a grossly overconfident US hegemony that continues to bite us in the ass long after the glow of “winning the Cold War” has worn off.

        • P J Evans says:

          Bill may have been something of a “neo-liberal” – but “Third Way” isn’t that. (Note that it’s sponsored, every time it shows up, by billionaires.)

        • orionATL says:

          by Orion of orkney who can’t typevor edit-check worth a damn!

          president Clinton was the last politically experienced and competent president this country has had. that will be 20 years in 2020 without a competent president. that is a dangerously long time for the world’s economic engine and greatest military power to go with steadily decline politically competent leadership.

          if the mainstream media have their way again with bungled and click-seeking coverage, as in 2016, it may be 24, whether trump or one of the dem hoard is elected.

    • Willis Warren says:

      Nope. There’s no strategy. Greenwald has always been mad at Obama for the drone stuff, and used it to justify betraying the country. Cozying up to Trump is just trolling the left who didn’t buy his self righteousness in the Snowden affair. He’s so far in now that he can’t be wrong.

      • Reader 21 says:

        Rapier—your lengthy screed seems built on a creaky foundation—it presumes that Greenwald operates in good faith—a premise for which there is scant evidence

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I find this comment from Harry Sandick persuasive. [] It seems to fit Barr’s approach, the NYT’s backstage access-pass style of journalism, and its willingness to grab a story – and be used – if it can slip a scoop in ahead of the WaPo:

    It seems as if [Bill Barr’s] DoJ heard about the WaPo story and went to the Times first. The Times piece suggests that the Mueller summaries were not releasable to the public but WaPo says they were. How to resolve this? Release the report.

    Elizabeth de la Vega [], who worked with Bob Mueller for three years, makes two further points. One, Bob Mueller is the most decisive boss she’s ever worked for. He would not have left a hard decision dangling and punted it to Barr. His reasons for not indicting but not exonerating Trump, with attachments, he would have fully laid out in his report.

    Two, Mueller had the A-team working for him: great lawyers, great writers, experienced in the ways of Beltway life. They would have crafted their report and summaries of it specifically for different classes of readers: releasable summaries for the public, fuller versions for Congress, and the complete report for certain congressional committees would be authorized to see it. Barr is covering up and all of DC knows it. But he’s been there before. It’s why he’s there now.

    De la Vega also usefully re-ups her primer on the elements of conspiracy law. []

    • BobCon says:

      I read that article as senior NY Times editors kneecapping reporting that emerged outside of the White House beat.

      Nick Fandos, the lead reporter, is almost certainly the guy who got the Mueller-side sources to talk — if you look at his other bylines, he is not a captive Haberman-Schmidt style reporter, and his beat is outside of he White House.

      Schmidt, who got the second byline, is almost certainly the guy who quoted the DOJ-friendly sources, and is of course captive to the WH spin team.

      My sense is that this is similar to the infamous 2016 “No Direct Link” article where the lead reporter, Eric Lichtblau, saw his much less friendly reporting chewed up by the DC editors and Dean Baquet, and the awful headline added without his input (Lichtblau later resigned in large part becuse of this incident).

      The NY Times is capable of solid, honest reporting on Trump, but it must come from outside of the turf of the politics editors. This piece was in their control and needed their sign off, and they made sure to get their man Schmidt added and used his work to neutralize it.

      • Vicks says:

        I would (respectfully) suggest considering what if no one “got the Mueller sources to talk” and instead this was a gentle whistle from Mueller’s team reminding them that it could be blown even harder if the “save the Trump” team continues to misbehave?
        On a semi-related note.
        Where is the copy of Mueller’s kept for safekeeping?

    • Silence Hand says:

      OH YES. Some sources are coordinating odious access-journalism based spinning. All this meta is an important story unto itself – just maybe it’s the main story.

      Marshall McLuhan would be in his element here.

    • viget says:

      Totally plausible, EoH. Thus, Philip Bump’s (WaPo correspondent) shade headline on his Twitter: In investigating Trump, Mueller Team sees no clear link to to exoneration.

    • timbo says:

      Thanks for those links.

      I think that the issue with conspiracy charges is that the defendants can ask for a jury trial. In a jury trial, most reasonable people aren’t going to buy into tenuous links to other “co-conspirators” if they’re trying to be fair to the defendant(s) on trial? Basically, you might be able to charge a conspiracy but attempting to get a conviction might be incredibly difficult if reasonable counter-arguments as to why someone was not part of a true conspiracy can be made. This is an area where Freedom of Speech and “beyond a reasonable doubt” come in to play in our legal system. If you think about it long enough, perhaps this is why many of us are (so far) not currently in jail for simply voicing opinions or making snarky comments, pointed comments, sarcastic jabs, self-deprecating grand allusions, etc? Or, if the fix is in, one can ask for a summary judgment from a friendly/sympathetic judge/judicial panel. So, while it’s nice to know how a conspiracy indictment might be made, it’s not as helpful in the actual prosecution of alleged conspiracies while the Constitution is still the law of the land.

      All that aside though, I do hope that they hit Trump and his dupes with conspiracy to obstruct charges. There’s very likely been active attempts to impede important counterintelligence investigations, attempts to quash investigations into various criminally fraudulent schemes, etc, etc, etc.

    • orionATL says:

      earl of h –

      thanks. good detail in the quote. it supports my impression of Mueller and strengthens my confidence in him (already high).

  12. Saul Tannenbaum says:

    During one of Greenwald’s anti-Hillary twitter threads, he managed to tweet that one of the lessons of all this is “Don’t nominate a candidate under FBI investigation.”

    For a right wing law and order guy, that’d be a perfectly vanilla, uncontroversial tweet.

    But Greenwald understands perfectly that the FBI is the nation’s political police and historically has been used to quash dissent. And here he was, advocating they have an effective veto over a party’s nominee. That’s when my feelings about Greenwald went from “mixed” to “negative.”

    • Ruthie says:

      Not to mention the fact that Trump was under investigation, too! Even if we didn’t know it during the election itself, I bet we *did* know it by the time he sent that tweet.

  13. Charles says:

    Marcy says, “That’s because Glenn’s more recent opposition to abuse of power comes in the form of shepherding Edward Snowden’s leaks.”

    Were those the leaks that Laura Poitras barely succeeded in keeping Greenwald from sabotaging by his non-existent OpSec? Suggested use of the metaphor: “…comes in the form of being shepherded using a baseball bat by Laura Poitras to not screw up the release of Edward Snowden’s leaks”

    I do have a lot of respect for Greenwald for staying in Brazil to continue to report on the rising dictatorship. The rest of his career is pretty mixed.

  14. Molly Pitcher says:

    Glenn Greenwald, for me, is firmly in the same category as Alan Dershowitz in my pantheon of the ‘disgraced by their own hubris’.

    • BobCon says:

      There’s a toxic nihilism to both men that you can easily see being fed by a combination of personal security and lack of empathy.

    • jaango says:

      My Tip of the Hat to you!

      Greenwald and etcetera, have fallen into the Latino Category that personifies Trump, as well, for “El Trumpudo–All Mouth and No Brains.”

  15. Ray Ray says:

    It’s dificult to take Greenwald seriously as an arbiter of truth when he thought the Iraq war made good sense up until 2006. I’m honestly surprised that GG isn’t a frequent guest of Joe Rogan. They really deserve each other.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please be sure to use the same username each time you comment so community members get to know you. This is your second username. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  16. Nick Pellicciotto says:

    The simple fact is Greenwald’s legitimacy is tied up with Assange, who we now know kowtowed to Trump and Co. in the hopes of getting a pardon (or being appointed ambassador to/from Australia…or something). At this point, Greenwald cannot acknowledge that Assange willfully or unwittingly became a pawn in this game because Greenwald built his current career on the Snowden thing. He also seems INSANELY bitter about being blacklisted by CNN and MSNBC.

      • NorskieFlamethrower says:

        ROFLMAO Yes, there is that!! Why can’t Greenwald follow the path of David Brock whose experience with the fascists and his continuing work for redemption make him much more believable. Greenwald could save the Intercept if he could crawl out of the swamp he has made of his own head.

  17. AB says:

    It’s not crazy to think that he’s compromised in some way, right? It feels like a situation where the simplest explanation is the correct one,

  18. Don says:

    I just wonder if Glen Greenwald is doing this to somehow protect Mr. Snowden.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please be sure to use the same username each time you comment so community members get to know you. This is the fourth variant of username. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • Rayne says:

      Whatever his motivation, the amount of disinformation generated undermining the investigation(s) by SCO and by Marcy here really can’t go completely unanswered. Without pushback they could become conventional wisdom which is dangerous given the magnitude of this administration’s criminality and ethical norm breaking both before and after it took office.

    • viget says:

      Or perhaps Assange has some blackmail on him?

      Beginning to think Assange has a lot of blackmail on everyone. I still find it strange that all signs pointed to bad news coming up for Trump the weekend of March 15th (Remember the Ides of March), including the epic tweetstorm and the apologist oped from Kushner Sr, AND THEN the report gets Barr’d one week later.

      Also, don’t forget the DOJ plane was in London during this time period with rumors of a possible Assange grab.

      Was EDVA planning to unseal the indictment concurrently with the Mueller report reveal? Would have been a powerful 1-2 punch, especially if Assange indictment showed conspiracy with Russian State actors and/or Roger Stone.

      But then, who knows?

  19. jayedcoins says:

    For Scahill and Taibbi, I think they are generally arguing in good faith and skepticism always has a place. I will always have a lot of respect for the way Taibbi reported out the financial crisis and wealth inequality. Michael Tracey and Aaron Mate are just out of their depth, to be quite frank. Not sure either of them is worth more than a few jokes about Maxine kicking the shit out of Tracey.

    Greenwald is an interesting case. I will bite a bit and say that I still find him to be an important skeptical voice to listen to on most any matter because he is generally fearless in staking out a position and arguing strongly for it. I do even think that, on this particular issue, he’s mostly operating in good faith. I just think that he’s so blinded by his underlying motivation — criticism of the major news media landscape — that he’s tied himself in fucking knots to avoid coming off his shit for even one minute to acknowledge the plain and public facts of the SCO (and spun-off) investigation for what they are (because what they are is abhorrent). Basically, I don’t know the man, but we’ve all seen someone (and been that someone, ourselves) get too myopic on something that they can’t put their ego aside and step back away from it. And that’s what Glenn looks like, right now.

    I can’t recall the exact phrasing, but his Intercept colleague Mehdi Hasan had one of the most succinct and biting commentaries about the left-denialists on Twitter… which was presumably a sub-tweet of Greenwald:

    “Imagine, just imagine, if Mueller had been silent for past 2 years, held everything back, & then on Fri evening, announced 37 (!) indictments, including of Trump’s lawyer, national security adviser & campaign manager. We’d be in shock. The White House would be in chaos & crisis.”

    I’m probably reading too much into it to say it’s a subtweet, but you could easily call it an unintentional subtweet, because it swats away most Greenwald-esque critiques with an efficient flick of the wrist.

    • Chuffy says:

      I used to read Greenwald’s blog back in the day, even before he moved his “operation” to Salon, and thought similar thoughts about him as you’ve laid out here. I have evolved, however, after Snowden. I think the radical-don’t-trust-the-media-leftist-warrior gig is overplayed, and I find it difficult to buy into his self-serving conspiracy schtick. Especially considering how complex the whole spy/agent angle is these days. There’s a reason Snowden landed safely in Russia, and whatever good he might have done to shine the light on our own IC abuses, he has also sold us out to a hostile foreign power. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2016 cyber attacks on our election was part of the Snowden Effect…although I don’t have any evidence to back the idea up. I stopped trusting Greenwald several years ago, I don’t know what his motivations are, but he has lost most of his credibility with me and I don’t mind saying so.

      • P J Evans says:

        Snowden was in transit through Moscow airport when his passport was pulled – he couldn’t go any farther without one. I don’t think he intended to stay there, but I don’t know where he was going.

      • Susan Schneider says:

        You “wouldn’t be surprised” but you “don’t have any evidence to back this idea up.” Got to wonder what sort of meaning a sentence like this is supposed to have. Are the three little dots (“…”) intended to add something?

        • Chuffy says:

          I know that Snowden had data on his person, but I don’t know what that data was. He leaked information about the NSA, and it is entirely possible that this information was used to hack the DNC (and possibly others, again, I don’t know). I am curious about the timing. My curiosity doesn’t rise to the level of definitive proof, and I haven’t formulated a conspiracy theory. So, no, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a connection between Snowden and our current cyber security situation surrounding elections. I added the qualifier to make it clear that I wasn’t declaring my suspicions as facts. Isn’t that a good thing?

          • P J Evans says:

            How do you know that Snowden “had data on his person”? All the reports at the time said he didn’t have any data with him. (He’d offloaded all of it, in Hong Kong or earlier.)
            EW covered that mess at the time.

            • bmaz says:

              He had personal computers, but made it quite clear that none of the NSA material was with him. Frankly, I believe that.

              • Chuffy says:

                I am inclined to agree, but after seeing events unfold over the years (and my memory isn’t as good as it used to be as I get older), I have become more skeptical. The simplest explanation for things is usually the right one, but squaring the simplest explanations with actual events is becoming more difficult. I’m glad to be corrected here, bmaz and P J. Thanks for pointing out the specifics.

      • Stacey says:

        Every field has its version of what I discovered in the animal rescue world: the salt of the earth people were attracted to that world and, and also the craziest, most self-involved, God-put-me-here-to-save-X people you’d ever hope not to meet! That latter group was batshit crazy. These are the folks that run some dog breed rescue group and will allow you to adopt one of their rescue dogs after you’ve passed an FBI background check, drug test, submit to their dropping in on occasion for the rest of the dog’s life to check on him, and you put up this go-pro camera in your house pointed at the dog’s food bowl or something.

        You can’t tell these people that they’re doing their cause more harm than good once they’ve believed themselves to be this appointed by God savior of whatever they think God put them here to save, and that belief challenges the correct aim of resources all day, every day from that point forward.

        Journalists today have about the worst sticky-wicket of any profession to navigate through. I mean their whole job is duplicitous from the get go: their readers demand hard-hitting, hold the politicians/government’s feet to the fire–so they have to appear to be doing that–and their editors/pay masters want them to ‘live to fight another day’–so they tamp that down so they don’t lose their access. And now you’ve got Trump dialing the right wing’s ‘anti-bias’ schtick up to 11 so they’re bending over backwards on that ‘fair and balanced’ high wire and they don’t realize they are now walking on the underside of it rather than on top of it so any movement toward the left actually helps the right, which was the plan all along. Journalists have forgotten who they ‘were put on this earth to save’ by this point. Up is down and down is up.

        And in Greenwald’s case, having said all of that for the general landscape inside the journalist’s ego-work-space, it would be very hard for almost anyone to recover from the ego-heroine that the Snowden affair must have given him!!! And I’m not letting him off any hook by saying any of that. Understanding how someone gets themselves into a hole they shouldn’t be in in no way forgives them for jumping/falling into it. My point is only that I think Journalists fall prey to the animal rescuer pit falls easier than a lot of professions, and the landscape has been shifting under their feet extensively for the last many years. Greenwald’s just chasing the highest high he’s ever had and will never feel again!

  20. Willis Warren says:

    In my mind I still get Michael Tracey and Max Blumenthal confused. Both are incoherent as far as their worldview.

    Taibbi is a guy who spent six years in Russia and has some idea that we need to be friends. He’d probably benefit from reading those papers by Piketty on how Putin has stolen half of Russia. Taibbi’s heart is in the right place, mostly, but he’s being a doofus about the Russia stuff.

    Greenwald is just a guy who had a huge scoop and has molded his worldview to justify selling out the intelligence community. Obama droned a wedding, therefore it’s ok that NSA materials are in the hands of the Chinese thanks to me.

    What’s interesting about all of this, for me, is that the left has so much diversity of opinion… that we don’t really need Republicans. Sure, Republicans are taxes and babies, but that’s a dumb union. On the left, we have so many different opinions, it’s like five parties.

    • Ruthie says:

      Glenn’s criticisms of the IC are, IMO, more than justified. However, it’s a leap too far, for me, to assert that because both parties are on the whole complicit in accepting and condoning the extra-legal actions of the IC it’s logical to rail against a lesser of two evils strategy during Presidential election cycles. I’d be the first to criticize Democrats for failing to protect civil liberties, but at least in our current context a lesser of two evils strategy is disastrous. That, for me, is where he lost credibility.

      • DMM says:

        The problem with lesser evilism (whether we’re talking the IC or any other facet or politics) is that it weakens turnout for Democrats. People who think about politics strategically will say, “Yes of course one should go vote for the less problematic candidate,” but a great many people do not think about politics strategically, do not have a fixed partisan affiliation, or even necessarily hold an ideologically consistent set of beliefs about major topics/policies. And thus, some non-insignificant portion on the sit home for centrist candidates. If they believe either party will do anything about the things they care about, they just won’t bother.

  21. Phil says:

    Is it likely or possibly that Greenwald is compromised? How do we help people who are compromised escape the stronghold a country like Russia has over them?

    • NorskieFlamethrower says:

      Look up north a bit, I used David Brock as an example of an ambitious person who allowed himself to be used by the fascists and then spent the rest of his life (so far) trying to redeem himself and has moved far beyond the Clintons, neoliberals and the “lesser of two evils” bullshit. In my opinion, there are two reasons Greenwald can’t do the same: his ego and the folks who have compromised him.

      • klynn says:

        My reinforcing the point/question Phil made comes from personal experience. I was detained in the former Soviet Union. Getting out safely was extremely difficult. Being compromised is real.

    • DMM says:

      I’m frankly astonished how I often see this line espoused by who I think to be smart, rational people. The idea that Putin has compromised GG (and many other leftists) is barely worthy of Glen Beck.

      They might be wrong, likely due to seeing things through a certain political prism where it may not always be applicable, but the belief that they are Russian agents or are compromised by Russian intelligence is Louise Mensch kind of thinking.

      • milton wiltmellow says:

        When we see aberrant behavior, we seek explanation whether we consider a pet or a president.

        “What explains this?”

        Here, “compromised” is a difficult word. Would RU expend time and resources to influence a political columnist (a polemicist)?

        I doubt it.

        On the other hand, a mafia-like threat might create some sort of Russophilia condition (see Trump) of self-censorship and apparent advocacy. “Mr. Greenwald, it would be a shame if your friend Snowden slipped on an icy Moscow sidewalk because his friends wouldn’t support him.” Quick, cheap, effective, deniable.

        However, I do not believe GG’s writing is aberrant. He has always been a contrarian, a revisionist, an incendiary, a Randian libertarian and nauseatingly self-righteous.

        He pretends to be a leftist b/c he’s well aware of his brand and his audience, and more recently, his patron.

        I think he’s a definitive example of the tragedy of success.

        RU influence is unknown, probably unknowable, and irrelevant. Like many self-righteous polemicists before him, Greenwald is in the process of discovering that he’s not the messiah he imagined — but has not come to terms with it.

        He has instead become what he most despises. A hypocrite.

        • klynn says:

          The most likely “compromise” is on Ed and GG might feel responsible for that. Additionally, his stance gives him safe cover for any trips to visit Ed. “Compromised” is appropriate to consider and contemplate as a perspective to simply weigh as a possible part of the picture and not Louise M thinking.

  22. Eureka says:

    See EW’s twitter- Ecuadoran Embassy Stake-out redux (follow Mac William Bishop’s thread), and WL issues a fresh response of sorts:

    emptywheel: “An actual stakeout outside the Ecuadorian Embassy this time.… ”

    Mac William Bishop: “Multiple news crews now onsite.… ”

    WikiLeaks: “BREAKING: WikiLeaks now has secondary confirmation from another high level source within the Ecuadorian state.”

    • Eureka says:

      As before, the real treat is in the thread. I’ve excerpted some tweets that summarize the more pedestrian aspects of the story:

      Mac William Bishop: “Hello Twitter. As you may have heard, WikiLeaks is asserting that Julian Assange will be forced to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London within “hours to days.””

      “So I am again outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to see what can be seen.”

      “As I have mentioned in previous threads on this topic: Assange is still wanted by UK authorities for absconding bail.”

      “I have a thermos full of mint tea and I’ll stay here for awhile trying to outline the few facts as we know them.”

      “It has been previously reported that a deal was struck between Ecuador and WikiLeaks that would allow him to leave the embassy and face UK justice in exchange for a promise not to be extradited”

      “We have not independently confirmed that report.”

      “The same report notes that WikiLeaks and Assange’s attorneys rejected such a deal. We have not confirmed that either.”

      “Ecuadorean authorities have told CNN that “we don’t comment on baseless rumors.” We are working to confirm that statement from the Ecuadorean authorities.”

      “A woman pulled up in a red Mini, followed by another car, and parked directly in front of the embassy.… ”

      “We asked who she was. She said “you’ll find out.” And mumbled something about being “an activist.” A cameraman mumbled something about her being “a nutter.””

      “She and other apparent activists are now setting up multiple tents in front of the embassy.… ”

      “Sorry for the delay. I had to call my Newsdesk. Multiple tents now.… ”

      “WikiLeaks is now claiming to have a second source confirming Assange is to be expelled. Again, we have not independently confirmed this with the Ecuadorean government.”

      “@WikiLeaks is replying to me directly. Good evening, WikiLeaks. Has Mr Assange or his lawyers received any direct communication from the Ecuadorean or British governments?”

      WikiLeaks on Twitter: “This is a false report, which the UK subsequently denied. Ecuador has been using a rhetorical slight of hand to build political cover for the expulsion, by suggesting that UK doesn’t extradite for the death penalty, ergo Assange can’t be extradited to US, which is obviously false”

      Edited to replace first tweet- I had pasted the wrong one.

      • bmaz says:

        “It has been previously reported that a deal was struck between Ecuador and WikiLeaks that would allow him to leave the embassy and face UK justice in exchange for a promise not to be extradited”

        This is such total bullshit that it is hilarious. A “deal” between Wikileaks and Ecuador means nothing, not that there would be such a deal. When the time comes, Ecuador will simply eject Assange. The “deal” if there was to ever be one, would have to be with the UK, and they cannot and will not ever – as in NEVER – make such a deal because it would be contrary to international compacts and extradition law, not to mention the US/UK Extradition Treaty of 2003.

        Secondly, Assange and Wikileaks are full of shit yammering about “the death penalty”. Assange did not murder anyone. So that leaves treason, which he cannot be charged with because he owed no allegiance to the US, or section 794 of the Espionage Act, which also does not appear to apply to Assange.

        In short, despite Wikileaks and Assange’s propaganda, there will almost certainly never be a death penalty charge levied against him. And the charges he would be extradited on would have to be specified in the extradition request. This is just more ludicrous nonsense.

        • Eureka says:

          Yep, Assange/WL is pretty much maxed out on the grandiosity of this persecution complex gambit. Not sure where else they can go with it, or who is listening anymore.

          MWB’s last update, about ten-plus hours ago:

          Mac William Bishop: “The situation is the same as it has been since Thursday night: WikiLeaks and its supporters claim Assange’s expulsion is imminent. The Ecuadorian and British governments insist nothing has changed. Despite a bit of rain, the protesters remain. I will not”

          Earlier in the day/thread, he noted:

          “Spoke to a @metpoliceuk officer here, who said they had been informed there would be a public protest with as many as 200 people taking place. I asked him when it was supposed to start. He looked at his watch. “It already has, apparently.” There are about 28 activists here.”

          • Rayne says:

            I would love to know from what he is redirecting attention with these stupid “They’re coming to take me away!” routines.

            Like that bit on the Ecuadoran embassy’s balcony on October 4, 2016 when he was supposed to have a big announcement but it was part of the redirection and signaling related to the impending email leak synced to offset the pussy-grabber tape.

            • Eureka says:

              Exactly. I haven’t figured this out myself, obvi, but have noted that he is hitchhiking on the US weekend news cycle/ Barr-Mueller news coattails. That was making me think he was acting from a spot of weakness rather than strength/coordination, but who knows. Maybe he needs the weekend so protesters can show up.

              Also, because you mentioned that date: Guccifer 2.0 did a/the long-awaited “Clinton Foundation” release on that date/in that vacuum of ‘awaiting/deferring the WL dump saved for Access Hollywood Tape Day.’ They weren’t discovered to be fakes for days. But in real-time, on the 4th, Stone had nothing on his twitter about them (when he had previously talked-up Gu AND Foundation mails, each). (I had looked this up a bit ago and meant to comment on it.) Sounds like more than coordination with just WL to me.

              Hybrid ratfuckers.

              ETA: *unless Stone deleted Oct 4th 2016 tweets before they were archived.

  23. bmaz says:

    RMD – No, I am good. I do not need your baloney, “ample substantiation” or facetiously “trademarked” ™ bunk, to assist me. You are entitled to your opinion, but I do not need your holier than thou assistance at this point. But, sure, thank you for the oh so beneficial offer.

  24. Rapier says:

    Glen Greenwald fancies himself as a political player on the world stage. Thus everything he now does is in the service of some grand political strategy. What that is exactly is impossible to say. I’m starting to envision him as a sort of Lyndon LaRouche Lite.

    What I am wondering is if he has some considerable wealth now and from where it comes? Is the Intercept a going proposition? How is that funded? Marcy may have some insights there. Risen is still there which at least implies some tacit support of Glen. Not everything Intercept does is bad but more and more one is left with the feeling everything is done in the service of some ideology. One that I can’t quite put my finger on. The discussion here about him and, I am guilty, is that it’s like diving into the old Communist ideological struggles of the 20’s and 30’s and 40’s. Whose side is who on, yadda yadda yadda.

    • Ronbo says:

      Was LaRouch also right about the facts?

      Birtherism, Benghazi and Russian collusion… equally documented, equal nonsense.

  25. orionATL says:

    jesus! rarely do I see such a diamond-hard, fact-laced dressing down of a major media figure as ew delivers to Glenn greenwald. it seems entirely appropriate given the facts, and all the more striking given its calmness.

    personally, i don’t follow Greenwald any much more. I find him a really tedious scold, so I can’t learn much from him which makes him just another worthless media wiseman. caput.

    as to his motives, I suspect Greenwald is still hot with anger over the treatment he and his partner received from the u.s. and allies over his very valuable assistance to Edward snowden in getting the message out about the NSA. as a
    side, what Snowden did is strongly analogous to what Bradley manning did with the Iraq war leaks – embarrass the u.s. government, the chief no-no of all no-nos to the offended agency and the DOJ (see excessive punishments sought for NSA whistleblowers).

    Greenwald is a lawyer and still may fear u.s. criminal prosecution. further, he is trained as lawyers are, to be able to state either side of a case he takes.

  26. viget says:

    I feel like Greenwald (and to a lesser degree Poitras) has been had by Russia and Wikileaks over the whole Snowden thing and just doesn’t want to admit it. While his intentions may have been noble in the beginning, he probably cannot square the circle regarding the possibility that he may have aided and abetted unknowingly in a Russian intelligence operation, one that has had lasting real damage on our country (and continues to do so). Cognitive dissonance is a real and dangerous thing.

    So basically, he’s all in on his version of the narrative, because he’s not the heavy in that story. And anything that threatens that version of the narrative (like continued investigation of Russia’s role in the US Gov’t, and how they’ve made a quantum leap in infiltrating our IC in such a short timespan), is just verboten to him. I think he will literally move mountains to deny there is a huge stinking crater with his name on it.

    Maybe that’s a slightly hot take, but I dunno, that’s just my gut feeling about it all.

    • Mister Sterling says:

      Surely Russia already knew that the NSA spies on everyone. They might not have the spy network they had 30 years ago, but they knew. Snowden didn’t assist anyone except concerned citizens in Europe and North America. He is a hero.

      • viget says:

        I used to believe that too. But Snowden suffered from his own insecurities and jealousies about those who worked around him, and his motivations for leaking likely had just as much to do with that as with the perceived good he thought he was doing for the citizens of the US and the world. He was an easy target for foreign intelligence services.

        That being said, I am glad we learned what we learned, but at the same time, I do think there was a whole lot more than the info that has been made public. I think that has made its way to foreign intelligence services and is likely being weaponized against our country today.

        As Marcy said, there are no heroes in this story.

        • bmaz says:

          What in the world makes you think you know diddly squat about Snowden’s motivations, mental makeup etc? And, without one fucking shred of tangible evidence (and I know you have none) that his data “has made its way to foreign intelligence services and is likely being weaponized against our country today.”

          You are blowing bullshit that you have no clue on. As I said to another commenter earlier, don’t make people here dumber with your own fevered dreamscape.

    • orionATL says:


      I really have to disagree about poitras. she is a fine reporter and film maker, she has her head on straight which Greenwald just does not, has a good bead on Greenwald himself, and can by no means be considered his mere accomplice. she also has exiled herself for fear of u.s. gov retribution.

      • viget says:

        Oh, no orion, I am not lumping Poitras in with Greenwald. I just think they both got totally snowed by Russia (and/or Wikileaks), and possibly Snowden himself, pun intended.

        Poitras probably has realized that by now, and as you say, has exiled herself. Greenwald, even if he has realized it, has doubled down on the narrative of himself as knight in shining armor and is being woefully ignorant about the whole Trump-Russia affair.

        • orionATL says:

          i’m confused. what does it to mean to you to say:

          “I just think they both got totally snowed by Russia (and/or Wikileaks), and possibly Snowden himself, pun intended.”

          the slang “snowed” usually means “fooled”. if that’s what it means to you, fooled in what way? with respect to Russia suborning trump, they think not; is that it?

        • bmaz says:

          This too is such rank speculative and uniformed bullshit as to be totally worthless. Why do you think you understand this complex situation? Did you have a dream or hallucination or something?? You want to comment here? And I sincerely hope you do. Then don’t engage in this kind of defamatory bullshit you have NO facts to support.

          • viget says:

            Whoa…ok, sorry bmaz. You’re right, totally speculative. Sorry to overstep my bounds. Please don’t ban me from this blog, I’d like to think I’ve had positive contributions in the past, and I really do enjoy reading and commenting here.

            • bmaz says:

              No, I would never do that. And, completely agreed as to your positive contributions. You are always welcome here.

          • RMD says:

            comic bullshit from the all-knowing bmaz.

            “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
            I am the great Oz!”

            say hi to Mona.

  27. harpie says:

    I would like to add something to EoH’s comment [and the rest of the thread], as it’s getting quite long, here:
    [quote] earlofhuntingdon says: April 4, 2019 at 1:53 pm
    Fully investigating and documenting the public record is what Ford’s pardon of Nixon prevented. It saved Nixon and it saved the Republican Party. // Reagan and Bush repeated the scenario about a decade later […] [end quote]
    This morning, @nycsouthpaw linked to this article at The Guardian:
    6:14 AM – 5 Apr 2019
    [quote] Barr invited to meet DoJ officials on day he submitted memo critical of Mueller Revealed: The attorney general, then a private lawyer, called the special counsel’s obstruction of justice inquiry into Trump ‘fatally misconceived’
    Fri 5 Apr 2019 02.00 EDT [end quote]
    [Added] From the article:
    [quote] The revelation about the meeting, which was arranged by Steve Engel, the head of the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice, and which has not previously been publicly disclosed, raises new questions about whether the White House’s decision to hire Barr was influenced by private discussions he had about his legal views on Mueller’s investigation. [end quote]
    to which @Krhawkins5 responded:
    6:33 AM – 5 Apr 2019
    [quote] Reminder: the head of OLC, Steven Engel, was Bradbury’s protégée and worked with him on at least one of the worst torture memos [end quote]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Some tell that it was the DoJ’s head of the OLC that invited him back. No coincidences, none at all.

  28. Ronbo says:

    So if GG agrees with Bob Barr that the sun rose today, Is that also “cuddling up”?

    GG accurately explained this DNC-diversion years ago… when it was first introduced to distract from the fact that the DNC cheated, lost and could not bare the truth… that Hillary was a disaster start to finish. A right-wing candidate battling a far-right-wing candidate prevents the public from noticing that the actual left is un-represented. DNC neocon vs RNC neocon.

    Russia collusion, birtherism and Benghazi… Oh My! The DNC/RNC diversions collect a lot (LOT) of conspiracy theorists. The establishment media of, by and for the wealthy do what they are paid to do… distract from reality. (Reality: the rich get richer as the poor get poorer)

    • orionATL says:

      what commonplace tea party drivel. why don’t you try writing again when you’ve learned to think for yourself instead of mouthing the shiboleths of the leftisch tea party types.

      example of simple (bernie-esque) thinking: the problem is the great disparity in incomes in the u.s.

      no! that is not the problem. the problem for the tens of millions of working people is decades of wage suppression and inadequately rising personal incomes. it has little to do with how rich trump et l are. i

      • orionATL says:

        those suppressed wages and incomes for working and lower-middle class (mostly, though not entirely, the high school educated and less) are the direct consequence of the excessive political power middle and large corporations and the hyperrich they support have gained since the middle 1970’s. I’ve come to suspect the stock market has a malign responsibility, but I can’t figure out how it fits in other than thru forcing corporate management decisions, breakups, and spinoffs.

        • orionATL says:

          oh, and could the stock market be responsible for encouraging leveraged buyouts, and the resulting mountain of debt that can paralyze a Corp, but I really don’t know this area. or going private equity, though i presume those are not listed.

        • P J Evans says:

          Those quarterly dividends are a big force in making bad decisions – and so are the contracts with big payouts to executives, even if the company is in bankruptcy. (Bonuses should not be paid if the company is losing money – clearly the people managing it are not competent.)
          And I say this as someone whose income includes those dividends (mutual funds, mostly, and mostly my share of my parents’ savings – which was about 150K in 2005.)

    • cat herder says:

      “So if GG agrees with Bob Barr that the sun rose today, Is that also “cuddling up”?”

      Cool analogy, but you got it backwards.

      Barr and GG agree that the sun *didn’t* come up this morning, even though we all saw it happen. Or, better, they are both arguing that the sun has never come up not even once, ever, and everyone who thinks they saw all those sunrises are delusional.

    • bmaz says:

      Hi “Ronbo”, how have I not noticed you before? Your comment here is junk, and from my review of your comment history, you are batshit.

      Although three of your seven proclamations posted yesterday, and then only four others since 2010. Are you trying to make a play here? Are you just disingenuous and spewing garbage? What are you here trying to pull?

    • BobCon says:

      I think a better metaphor is a merger, rather than a takeover. The GOP-Russia connection works better, I think, when seen as a part of the oligarichization of US. Putin wanted to get in on what Murdoch, the Kochs, Mercers et al were already doing.

      • cfost says:

        You might be right. I’ve been thinking for months that Murdoch and Koch have been conspicuous by their absence from the RU/Brexit/USA chatter. This coordinated power grab by these people (the list is long) is the larger and more worrisome issue, imo. It is organized and criminal.

  29. Mister Sterling says:

    Marcy Wheeler is the perfect journalist to criticize Greenwald, since he can’t accuse her of being part of any establishment, or working with any nameless government sources.

    Greenwald’s descent into madness is sad. He’s supposed to be too intelligent not to realize he is mistaken, but he continues to make mistakes and misjudgments. His warnings about presidential power and his exclusive reporting on the Snowden case should be his legacy. But he has ruined it in his maddening inconsistencies since 2015. Like Assange, it seems like the nomination of Clinton caused them both to snap. Their brains are permanently broken.

    • NorskieFlamethrower says:

      Kompromat is a mother and I’m not certain that he could ever get out from under even if his ego would let him. He has no concept of anything larger than himself outside of the swamp he has made of his “too intelligent mind.”

  30. Pete says:

    I once was a fan of GG. He had some valid points then about govt surveillance and govt secrecy. But what he fails to acknowledge are the dangers of selective leaking, and how not all leaks are good. He has just become a tool for Trump now.

    • OldTulsaDude says:

      I, too, was a fan, especially when he railed against stenographer reporters. Now, I don’t read him at all.

  31. BroD says:

    Ya know? I started reading this and then asked myself, “Do I give a flying fart about GG ?”
    and, realizing that the answer was, “NO.”, stopped.

  32. harpie says:

    MARCY in the Washington Post!
    We already knew Barr’s summary was too easy on Trump. Public records prove it.
    Court filings and congressional testimony show the attorney general left out a lot of Mueller’s findings.
    April 5 at 3:43 PM
    Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist who writes about national security and civil liberties.

    • Reader 21 says:

      Thanks harpie! And congrats Marcy—what a beautiful piece. And perfectly timed. I’ve noticed the comments are terrific too—your stellar work is greatly appreciated, Ms. Wheeler!

  33. fastenbulbous says:

    I find it ironic as hell that Glen was the one that originally pointed me to Marcy when he was blogging for Salon.
    I don’t buy any of this Russian crap wrt him. It has gotten far too popular to use Russian or Nazi descriptors when we disagree with someone.
    I hope it doesn’t get to or past the burning of bridges….

    • bmaz says:

      For what it is worth, everybody in this conversation have known each other for nearly a decade and a half. Don’t confuse discussion with hatred or disdain.

  34. Reader 21 says:

    I’d encourage anyone defending GG—or even positing that’s merely misguided by ego—to listen to his recent interview on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman and David Cay Johnston (an excellent journalist imo—whom Glenn savaged). Whatever that was, it was abundantly clear this was not a person arguing in good faith. Has he ever—once—uttered a critical word about Vladimir Vladimirovitch? Or in support of journalists in Russia, or journalistic freedoms, or opponents of Putin? Just one time?

  35. Rapier says:

    I was hoping someone would take a dive into The Intercept. That is if anyone knows what is going on there. Betsy Reed is listed as editor in chief and that name draws a blank for me. How much editing is there and does Glen really call the shots. Jeremy Scahill is listed as a co editor along with Glen and he’s a respected name. Risen is too. I have no idea if they are leaning in Glen’s direction. Again, whatever the hell that direction is. Risen surely has reason to hate the Obama/Clinton Democrats. He had to fight them for years to stay out of prison lets not forget. And let’s not forget their wider war against leakers.

    Almost exclusively The Intercept punches up against those deserving it. It tends to be a little over the top ‘crusading’, seemingly intent on pushing emotional buttons. Well that’s how you get clicks.

    I guess it ‘s funded by a very deep pocket. Pierre Omidyar an Ebay founder. One can never separate the money from the output in these matters. I have no clue who he is. One can guess he has agendas and works to get them addressed in the output

    Coincidentally or not Marcy has a history with the Intercept and Glen and to the extent it becomes personal it becomes sort of fraught.

    If we think Glen has gone round the bend he doesn’t hold a candle to some other alt figures on the internet. JH Kuntlser or Illargi Meijer of Automatic Earth have gone full native Trumpist, and there are others. It’s a widespread phenomena.

  36. viget says:

    Being against David Cay Johnston is all one needs to know. His books on the inherent unfairness of the tax code and how it promotes wealth transfer to the 0.1% should be required reading for every student in America.

    He is one of the most honest journalists I have read and he is committed to bringing the uncomfortable truths out to Americans. It’s good that he has a beat on Trump as well, and that he is getting air time to counter the “conventional wisdoms”.

  37. earlofhuntingdon says:

    This message from a fifteen-year old Italian boy, Simone, went viral for a reason. He said it spontaneously to an angry crowd of would be fascists protesting minorities living in their Roman suburb. His argument is a counter to the resurgence of the far-right globally, which includes Donald Trump, his subservient Republican Party, and those whose anger he harnesses to avoid accountability and keep himself in power:

    While one of the leaders of the neo-fascist CasaPound party was telling journalists that local people did not want the Roma around, Simone raised his hand and intervened, saying: “I don’t think like you.”

    “What you are doing here in [Roman suburb] Torre Maura is exploiting the anger of the people. You turn this anger into votes, for your interests.

    “This thing of always going against minorities is not OK with me. When you then talk about European funds to invest in the neighbourhood, I think those funds must be spent on everyone. ***No one should be left behind. Neither the Italians, nor the Roma, nor the Africans should be abandoned.***” (emphasis added)


  38. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Former British ambassador Craig Murray gives us a comparative perspective on the Greenwald-Mate-Tracey phobia about rationally addressing Russian interference in the US political system: “Muellergate and the Discreet Lies of the Bourgesoie.” []

    There are literally hundreds of thousands of mainstream media articles and broadcasts…predicated on the complete nonsense that Russia had conspired to install Donald Trump as President of the United States….[S]ince the Mueller report confirmed that $50 million worth of investigation had been unable to uncover any evidence of Russiagate collusion, the media has been astonishingly unrepentant about the absolute rubbish they have been churning out for years.

    Murray goes on to excoriate specific journalists whose work he finds most offensive, especially the Guardian’s superb Carole Cadwalladr (“divorced from reality….deluded by her own fame”). Among the specifics he gets wrong is his claim that the offenses Paul Manafort was convicted of “had no connection to Trump of any kind,” and that the lies Roger Stone is accused of relate to “a non-existent relationship with Wikileaks.” He describes Maria Butina as an “unfortunate political prisoner,” and concludes that the entire “Russiagate” affair is an example of the “western corporate and state media” engaging in Chomsky’s manufacturing of consent.

    Murray, who has deft things to say on other topics, especially Brexit and the Skripals, has gone full Tracey-Mate on the subject of Russian efforts to influence American politics.

  39. viget says:

    What do people think of Seth Abramson around here? I haven’t made up my mind, but he emphasizes some of the same stuff we do. Also comes up as a “suggestion” to follow on Marcy’s Twitter feed.

    Anyway he has been quite insistent that there’s also an EDNY probe ongoing with regards to Trump et al. I have not seen confirmation of this, though I wouldn’t be surprised since Zainab Ahmad comes from there. Anyone else know more?

    • bmaz says:

      There may well be a small element in EDNY.

      Seth Abramson is goofy as hell. He occasionally finds an acorn, but is basically a self promoting nut.

  40. jaango says:

    First, GG is now residing in Brazil, and I’d bet my last bottom-dollar (the greenback dollar) (And if he ‘understands” this IFTA,I’d give him the ‘award’ and that being my second brownback dollar )that he has no inkling of the Indigenous Free Trade Agreement pertaining to this hemisphere, being ‘quietly’ addressed, and which will turn Great Britain’s successful Brexit Effort, into a National Orphanage of Economics, that is sure to follow.

    Secondly, please have BMAZ or Rayne to go on ‘standby’ in order to remove this post, should each feel it necessary. As such, what follows is what I wrote and posted earlier today at the web site for the Chicano Veterans Organization. Thus, enjoy this expansion of the “Latino perspective.”

    [Sorry, this is not your blog, we’re not providing hosting here. You’ve shared a link to your blog in your login, you can simply say you have a new post. I suggest you find other ways to promote your blog, like using a Twitter account./~Rayne]

    • jaango says:

      Rayne, thanks for being “johnnie on the spot” or “Juanita on the spot”.

      Although I was not touting a web site, or per se, I was intending to move the storyline into what should not be occurring today, that being the “unmet need” within the Latino perspective for the elimination of the Patriot Act and the elimination of the FISA Act. For in doing so, the Latino perspective needs to craft a ‘bridge’ for doing so. Thusly, leaving this behavior to today’s Anglo Society, will not occur but can only be accomplished via military vets, and today’s political consort is Vote Vets and where the over 40 members in Congress and whom are military vets themselves, can only be attained accordingly. And as a progressive, my fellow progressives are too far extended to return to the status for adhering to Common Sense. As such, Civil Liberties must be addressed and accomplished by the less than stellar free loaders, otherwise, the Millennials will have no remarkable future.

  41. harpie says:

    On Friday, April 5, 2019, the FBI arrested 55 year old Patrick W Carlineo, and charged him with threatening to kill Rep. Ilhan Omar, [D-Mn].
    Jon Swain has the complaint, here:
    6:55 AM – 6 Apr 2019
    [quote] Trump supporter Patrick Carlineo charged with threatening to kill Rep. Ilhan Omar. Carlineo told the FBI “that he was a patriot, that he loves the President, and that he hates radical Muslims in our government.” [link to complaint] [end quote]
    This is what Carlineo [allegedly] said to Omar’s staffer:
    [quote] Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood?
    Why are you working for her, she’s a fucking terrorist.
    I’ll put a bullet in her fucking skull [end quote]
    Investigators found a shot gun and a .22 caliber rifle at his home.
    In the Swain thread, linked above, are examples of Carlineo’s Facebook posts, “predictably packed with rightwing conspiracy theories”

      • harpie says:

        Andrew Weisburd has a thread, here:
        11:18 AM – 6 Apr 2019
        [quote] And where was Mr. Carlineo radicalized? / […] / In short, anyone who gets involved in violent extremism is likely to be no more than two degrees removed from others involved in violent extremism.
        And who do we find two degrees from Mr. Carlineo thanks to Facebook? Bikers for Trump. / […] /
        Ideally the FBI would talk to these two friends of Carlineo to see if they know anyone else with anger management issues who may pose a threat to public officials.
        But so long as Trump is POTUS and threatens violence the problem will persist. The President is the problem. [end quote]

    • harpie says:

      Trump, 20 minutes ago [!] speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition.
      [via Daniel Dale]:
      11:55 AM – 6 Apr 2019
      [quote] Trump thanks various Republicans, then mockingly thanks Rep. Ilhan Omar, saying he “forgot” that “she doesn’t like Israel.” “I apologize,” he says. [end quote]
      Aaron Rupar has video, here:
      11:56 AM – 6 Apr 2019

      • harpie says:

        Transcript: Trump:
        [quote] A special thanks to Representative Omar of Minnesota
        [jeers, boos]
        …oh…OH!…oooh! I forgot!…
        She doesn’t like Israel…I forgot!…
        I’m so sorry! oooohhh!
        No. She doesn’t like Israel, does she?
        Oh. [end quote]
        This is just so disgusting.

    • Pajaro says:

      Two Trumpers I used to drink beer with have both threatened to shoot at me or kill me; one for exercising 1st amendment rights like flying a US flag upside down. The other looks forward to some up-rising, when he can shoot at liberals, me if he sees me (he was specific). The ‘coming soon’ uprising is a common thread with these people. Somehow they seem to think these actions will be ok, or legal, as they have the approval of the president. Both are white males, no college, ex-military inlisted and vietnam era age class. One works construction, the other a grocery stock-boy, kinda like the MAGA bomber, but I have not seen a van involved.
      The feelings of these comments are beyond just beer talk, they mean it. Dangerous when people think they have social approval for such actions.

  42. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Presumably with AOC in mind, Mr. Obama told an audience recently that he is worried that the Dems in 2020 will be so obsessed with “purity,” they will start defeating themselves in a “circular firing squad,” and thus lose their chance to take the White House. []

    I can see why he might think that. Having had Joe Biden in his White House for eight years – the self-described most progressive candidate not running for president – he must have an odd notion of what’s left of the American center. Actually, most Americans are left of what the Beltway and the MSM call the center. There is, too, Mr. Obama’s disregard of the many progressives who helped him into the WH in 2008 in his rush for a would be non-contentious middle ground.

    What I thought least helpful were Mr. Obama’s tips on negotiating with people who don’t agree with you: “[Y]ou have to recognize that the way we structure democracy…means you’re not going to get 100% of what you want.”

    I agree. But is it effective to be so smart that you can predict the outcome of a negotiation before it starts, and then short-circuit the process by offering that up to the other side as your opening position? That would seem likely to produce a worse outcome. But what do I know.

    • P J Evans says:

      I’ve had the impression, for years, that Mr Obama grew up being the “cute kid’ peacemaker in the household, and never learned what real negotiations involve, even in law school.

    • NorskieFlamethrower says:

      Thank you EOH, Obama’s comment on negotiating with those who disagree with you misses the entire point of democracy in a pluralistic society bound together by the concept of consensus through the rule of law. We reached the point long ago when “the rule of law” ceased to be a concept and became a weapon to be used against the majority on behalf of the powerful minority I would argue that at this moment going forward all of the nuance of communicating in a free and pluralistic environment is gone, meaningless. There are only two sides now and the longer that folks like Obama and other neo-liberal apologists argue otherwise the closer to the “final solution” we get. The lyrics to a song by Pete Seeger which was an anthem in our left wing household, sums up what I would like to offer the brothers and sisters here: “Which side are you on boys…there are no neutrals (t)here you either be a union man or a thug for B.H. Blair.” There is no negotiating with fascists. Namaste people.

    • harpie says:

      EoH: What I thought least helpful were Mr. Obama’s tips on negotiating with people who don’t agree with you:
      A.R. Moxon makes a great argument about that in this thread [in this case about gun-control]:
      [quote] […] People on the left would do well to realize that in MOST cases our desired policy ends are already the compromise positions, and the requests for further compromise are simply requests to capitulate entirely.
      Reject that frame. We’re already at the halfway point.
      It’s a negotiation.
      Sweeping gun control legislation at the federal level is the offer.
      It’s an opportunity to avoid a total gun control ban down the road.
      Those who don’t want to work on the former are opting for the latter.
      That’s how this works. […]
      Sweeping national gun control isn’t “getting my way.”
      A total gun ban is getting my way.
      Sweeping gun control is the compromise. […]
      Notice in that scenario who it is that is willing to compromise, and who it is that is not.
      By the way, we should approach pretty much every issue with this understanding of compromise. […] [end quote]

    • harpie says:

      And while Obama undermines AOC, Trump attacks her:
      12:35 PM – 6 Apr 2019 [VIDEO]
      [Transcript] [quote]
      Green New Deal.
      [jeers, boos]
      Proposed by a wonderful, young bartender.
      Twenty-nine years old.
      [jeers] Twenty-nine.
      [clapping] No, I like her. She’s twenty-nine years old.
      We take trains to Europe, Hawaii and Australia.
      That’s a problem.
      [laughter] [end quote]

      • harpie says:

        Here’s AOC talking about being a bartender:
        AOC [quote]: I’m proud to be a bartender. Ain’t nothing wrong that. There’s nothing wrong with working retail, folding clothes for other people to buy … There is nothing wrong with preparing the food that your neighbors will eat. There is nothing wrong with driving the buses that take your family to work. There is nothing wrong with being a working person in the United States of America. And there is everything dignified about it. I, in fact am encouraging people remind the country of my past, not because of anything about my story, but because it communicates that if I could work in a restaurant and become a member of the United States Congress, so can you. So can you. [end quote]

      • harpie says:

        AOC, with regard to the arrest of Carlineo for threatening to kill Ilhan Omar and BEING CLEAR about where THE DANGER LIES:
        7:11 PM – 6 Apr 2019
        [quote] Understand when Jeanine Pirro goes on Fox + rallies people to think hijabs are threatening, it leads to this.
        Folks who imply we’re “bad” for politics, the party, the country, etc. have no idea the threats we deal w/ because of that kind of language.
        Talk policy, not personal. [end quote]

      • Peacerme says:

        I love Obama and we needed his voice, but frankly, this party should have the capacity to cope with polarity. It’s all about how we cope with these polarities and so much less about allowing or controlling them. Polarity exists, now Dems need to f’ing deal with these truths like a boss!! We keep making the same mistake as the republicans. Power and control is not our higher power. We need to stop looking at the republicans as if their power is legit. It’s not. It’s an abuse of power. Speak truth. Stop being afraid to state clearly and directly what is. Stop fearing controversy. Embrace it. Role model for the country what our values are. We do not need to disempower any voice to be powerful. We. Must. Embrace. Our. Differences. Ugh.

    • posaune says:

      I’ll never forget the Obama folks dismantling OFA and all the talent there within minutes of his election. All those young people left dangling, intentionally put out.

      • Rayne says:

        That, combined with Tim Kaine’s role as DNC chair and the subsequent erasure of Howard Dean’s 50 State Strategy, are the biggest political fuck-ups on Obama and the DNC combined. Had the OFA apparatus continued as a means to support Obama’s agenda AND the 50 State Strategy, we may not have Trump today or the highly gerrymandered districts leading up to his election combined with increased voter suppression.

  43. e.a.f. says:

    Read the article. Liked it. Read a number of the comments. Got confused. Re read the article. Re read the last line of the article, several times. Re read, “Bill Barr, the guy Glen, spent 10 days…….of surveillance” line..

    Hadn’t heard of G.G. until a couple of years ago, when I began reading more American blogs. Don’t really have an opinion of him. Don’t know enough about him and his work.

    Perhaps people never knew GG. We saw what we wanted to. Having watched politics in Canada for 60 years, and seeing similar situations, sometimes it is what it comes down to. We were seeing what we wanted to. Sometimes people take positions because that is how they will make the most money. Once that has been accomplished, they move on or back to where they once were with their opinions. It isn’t much different, in my opinion, where some one has worked for one side and then crosses and sits on the other side of the table. Saw it happen within the Labour Movement. Why would GG be any different.

    GG has also aged. As time goes by many people do change their positions on things.

    Perhaps the answer to why GG is being perceived these days, is much like the picture and comments in a Magazine, AdBusters. There is a picture of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar and underneath, “…….in me they’ve always seen what they wanted to see….the Nobel people were gracious in 1991; I was an outstanding example of power of the powerless….I’m less popular these days” an object lesson in the folly of hero-worship, ……” I’m not suggesting there is “hero worship” going on in this case, but some times we just see what we want to. There was something I just never trusted about Augn San Suu Kyi. There have been writers who I once saw and my opinion was very, very wrong.

    In Canada we currently have a situation between P.M. Trudeau and the former A.G., Jody Wilson-Raybould. My conclusion on the whole thing finally was, perhaps neither of them are what we wanted them to be. We just don’t really know what was/is in their “hearts”. Its after all politics.

  44. e.a.f. says:

    after all its politics, yes and in a lot of cases is taken much too seriously. Now of course in some parts of the world it is a matter of life and death and certainly in some cases in Canada. However, a difference of opinion about what is beings said, how its said, is sometimes just those within one group “going at it”.

    The article is about GG, who at one time I take it was taken seriously when discussing politics, but really, he is just one talking head and no one ought to take talking heads too seriously. In Canada they disagreement between the former A.G. and the P.M. is not a case of life and/or death. People just get carried away.

    People carry on about what this or that “idiot” said and really it doesn’t matter. What matters is such things as doing things to solve problems within your community if the government and politicians can’t/ won’t. You can have politicians talking about food security, but its just politics. The person who opens a soup kitchen in their back yard isn’t doing politics, they’re doing something sensible.

  45. Reader 21 says:

    Rayne! Fucking knocked it out of the park—thank you! We—our nation’s most sacred spot, the ballot box, for which much blood has been shed—were attacked, by military.fucking.officers. of our nation’s—and democracy’s—most hostile, murderous foe. Ok, lifelong-repub Mueller, with his hands tied behind his back by Quisling Rosenstein, didn’t feel he had an 85% chance or greater to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, against a man his bosses felt he couldn’t ever charge anyway. What the flying fuck. We have a traitor leading us, one who’s all—too-compromisable venal flaws have opened him up to the absolute worst of the child-trafficking worst. Those who defend him—or attack those who point out, he’s nakeder than a kid-trafficking Russian mafiosi —can go fuck right the hell off.

  46. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump’s increasingly panicked, more extreme, violent and inconsistent rhetoric IS his 2020 campaign. It is not a “precursor” to it. It is also how he governs, since he understands little about the job except how he can profit from and protect himself with it.

    The panic is also a sign that Mueller’s report has more to offer than the milquetoast summary from Bill Barr. He will also be obsessed with what it will mean for him when the increasingly specific oversight from the House begins to pull at the blocks forming the Jenga tower of his business enterprise. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men won’t be able to put Humpty Trumpty back together again. But the job is really to put America back together again, so that’s OK.

  47. e.a.f. says:

    Rayne, my apologies. It was not my intent to convey the message I did. When I write, its just politics, its the talking, yes I know talking kills. My Grandfather was the only surviving member of his family after the holocaust. My Mother raised me better than to say/write things like that. When I was a kid and there were riots in the U.S.A. she’d wake me up to watch on the late news because she thought it was important I know what went on from “talking”.

    When I wrote what I did, was thinking in terms of something which happened in the town I live in, on Vancouver Island. Council, politicians, medical people, police, community groups, just kept talking about a safe injection site, all the while we had the highest death rate in Canada, because of fentanyl use. It was just politics, all the talking. Then one Christmas, when everything around here is closed for 4/5 days, one of the city councillors with some volunteers and registered nurses, opened a safe injection site on City hall property. They took political action, which I’ve always preferred. Yes, I know the U.S.A. is very different and yes what Trump says does kill.

    We in Canada are privileged. We are born in a country with a government health care system, where abortion rights are the same as the right to get a broken leg fixed or a heart transplant. All part of our medical system. Yes, we’re privileged, we don’t need to go to court to fight for our Human Rights, we go to provincial or the federal Commissions where its all handled and at no cost. (I live in B.C. where I was awarded $95K by the H.R. Commission Chair at no cost to me). So again my apologies.

    We in B.C. don’t have the problem with disenfranchisement many Americans have. We bring our voting notice to the polls. If you don’t have that, I.D. can be a variety of things, including in the City of Vancouver, one election, they deemed your prescription bottles were sufficient I.D. (one economically deprived area people didn’t have credit cards, driver’s licenses, etc.)

    Canadians are also privileged in how our Supreme Court works. Its very difficult to stack it. The former P.M. Harper tried, but got caught and that was the end of it. (members must be from specific areas of the country, have specific legal background, etc) Harper also passed through Parliament, 8 pieces of legislation which he knew violated our Constitution. All 8 pieces were struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada, led by Chief Justice Beverly McLaughlin. Then 4 years ago, we booted harper out of office and elected Trudeau. Yes, we’re privileged in a away Americans no longer are.

    The continued Trump agenda in the U.S.A. scares the shit out of me, along with many other Canadians. Not only do we fear for the people who live in the U.S.A., but ourselves, should it spill over to voters here. Racism is also live and well here. We’re also privileged in Canada in that we have strict regulations regarding money in politics. Del Mastro a former Cabinet minister in the Harper government over spent and was sentenced to a month in jail, and fined. He still hasn’t served the time, but he was led out of the court house in ankle and wrist “bracelets” just like anyone else going to jail.

    As the saying here goes, don’t be sorry do it right. I’ll try.

    • bg says:

      Well, there are a lot of Indigenous people north of the US/Canada “border” who might have another opinion about the fabulous benefits of life “in Canada,” tho.

      • e.a.f. says:

        Yes, life is much more difficult if you are Indigenous in Canada and the further north you go the harder life may become. Under the previous Federal Government of Stephen Harper less money was spent on health and education for Indigenous children, who lived on reserves, than for the rest of the population. The current federal government is trying to rectify that problem, but unfortunately not fast enough. Housing and the lack of clean running water in north reserves continue to be a huge problem. One thing Trudeau has done is provide funding for all Canadian children who live around the poverty line, by monthly cash installments to their families. So a family may receive up to $6490 per child under 6 and up $5,480 for children 6 to 17. the money is paid monthly and I’d suggest Indigenous children in Canada still are better off than many in the U.S.A.

  48. AitchD says:

    I’ll take a walk on the Occam side and suggest Greenwald would say almost anything to prevent a Pence as POTUS.

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