With Greenwald leaving the Guardian to head up a new project backed by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar, I’m not sure I see much use for the Shorter Greenwald blog any longer. In any case, I’ll be putting this project on hold until further notice.
Greenwald: 768 words. Here: 152.
A column by Chris Blackhurst in “The Independent” lays bare the authoritarian mindset of western establishment journalism:
If the security services insist something is contrary to the public interest, and might harm their operations, who am I (despite my grounding from Watergate onwards) to disbelieve them?
This mentality condemns the publishing of the most valuable journalism of the past several decades, including the Pentagon Papers, the My Lai massacre, the CIA black sites, the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program, the documents negating claims of Iraqi WMDs, and even The Independent’s own Duncan Campbell’s exposing the existence of the GCHQ in the 1970’s for which he was prosecuted.
The only surprise here is that a journalist would freely admit to harboring “such subservient, obsequious sentiments,” belying the role establishment journalists claim to fill.
Greenwald is leaving the Guardian to launch a new venture backed by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar.
Greenwald: 871 words. Here: 174.
A new report for the Committee to Protect Journalists by former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie, Jr. powerfully underscores the extreme threat to journalism posed by the Obama Administration’s widely acknowledged “War on Whistleblowers.” Downie says, “The 30 experienced Washington journalists at a variety of news organizations whom I interviewed for this report could not remember any precedent.” From the New York Times, Scott Shane is quoted as saying that sources are “scared to death,” David Sanger says that “this is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered,” and Margaret Sullivan says “it’s turning out to be the administration of unprecedented secrecy and unprecedented attacks on a free press.”
Whereas Greenwald and liberals were generally appalled at the mere threats against journalism by the Bush administration, the Obama administration is actually carrying out the threats.
Related: Snowden won a whistleblower award.
Coleen Rowley (FBI), Thomas Drake (NSA), Jesselyn Raddack (DoJ), Edward Snowden (NSA), Sarah Harrison, and Ray McGovern (CIA) on October 9, 2013 in Moscow, Russia.
Greenwald, Bruce Schneier, and James Ball: 1994 words. Here: 158.
Despite being 60% funded by the US government, the anonymity tool “Tor” has been targeted by NSA and GCHQ. Used “by journalists, activists and campaigners in the US and Europe as well as in China, Iran and Syria, to maintain the privacy of their communications and avoid reprisals from government,” documents revealed by Snowden show that the NSA is concerned that “The Onion Router” may be used by “naughty” people like terrorists. They say “Tor Stinks” because it is so difficult to undermine; attacks focus not on Tor itself but on now-fixed Firefox browser weaknesses. The FBI has also built exploits against Firefox in their attempt to combat child pornography. Tor hides the nationality of its users, so all of these attacks can be assumed to be used against Americans and foreigners alike.
Schneier: Importance of making NSA’s Tor attack public.
Schneier: Technical details.
Leaked NSA documents.
Greenwald: 195 words. Here: 52.
On BBC’s “Newsnight” interview with Greenwald, Kirsty Wark reveals her view of her role as a journalist when she takes government claims at face value. The above video confirms predictions that the NSA reporting would do “as much to expose corrupt journalism as to expose government spying.”
Greenwald: 1266 words. Here: 166.
Iran has a strong record of denying any interest in acquiring nuclear weapons. In 2005, Ayatollah Khamenei issued a fatwa against pursuing such weapons, and they favor Middle East-wide nuclear disarmament (unlike Israel, who already has a vast arsenal but defies UN demands for inspections and refuses to join the NPT). This stance against nuclear weapons has been a consistent position up to the present day. Moreover, even US and Israeli intelligence secretly confirm that Iran probably does not seek nuclear weapons.
Despite this, NBC News anchor Brian Williams yesterday characterized Iran as “suddenly claiming they don’t want nuclear weapons.” Perhaps that is what he truly believes – if he consumes of American media, it’s likely that he was never exposed to Iran’s true record on nuclear arms. Or perhaps Williams and NBC news simply knew that they could get away with sowing doubts about Iran’s intentions because they can rest assured that their audience is ignorant of the contradictory facts.