Greenwald’s Latest Article Distorts the Truth Again

Just search for “warrant” and you’ll find what Greenwald is trying to conceal under reams of rhetoric
World • Views: 24,920

A couple of weeks ago when Glenn Greenwald posted an attack on Microsoft, I pointed out:

I’ve learned that when a new Greenwald bombshell comes out, you can cut right to the chase by searching the document for the word “warrant.”

And sure enough, in today’s new “bombshell” story by Greenwald, searching for “warrant” immediately brings up the most important point, buried in the tenth paragraph under tons of exaggeration and hyperbole:

Under US law, the NSA is required to obtain an individualized Fisa warrant only if the target of their surveillance is a ‘US person’, though no such warrant is required for intercepting the communications of Americans with foreign targets. But XKeyscore provides the technological capability, if not the legal authority, to target even US persons for extensive electronic surveillance without a warrant provided that some identifying information, such as their email or IP address, is known to the analyst.

That’s right — once again, Greenwald is not documenting any actual wrongdoing. It’s a very deliberate rhetorical trick he uses over and over — conflating the ability to do something with actually doing it, and glossing over the fact that there are very serious legal consequences in store for anyone who actually does abuse these systems.

Greenwald’s purpose with this latest article is to try to shore up Edward Snowden’s absurd claim that he could “wiretap anyone, even the President,” without any oversight. Here’s how he frames this defense:

The files shed light on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements, made in his first video interview published by the Guardian on June 10.

“I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.

US officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden’s assertion: “He’s lying. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”

But training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.

Read this section carefully — because what Greenwald is detailing does not support Snowden’s claim at all. Greenwald is describing searching a database for information on non-US citizens. How is this the same thing as “wiretapping the President?” Of course, it’s not. He’s not describing any kind of “wiretapping” at all.

This is not “journalism.” It’s deliberately deceptive demagoguery, in the service of absolutist libertarianism.

UPDATE at 7/31/13 12:37:12 pm

By the way, also note this line, tossed off near the end of the article:

The NSA documents assert that by 2008, 300 terrorists had been captured using intelligence from XKeyscore.

On several occasions, Greenwald has mocked NSA claims that their surveillance programs worked to catch terrorists. But the statement that XKeyscore had been successful in capturing 300 terrorists comes from a secret document. The NSA would have no reason to lie about this in a document not intended for the public to read.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - 201011The weather held out just long enough that we could start painting the deck. It is tedious work and still quite tiring in the heat.Just one line in the notes says 'paint deck' but it's gonna translate into many, many ...
dangerman
3 days, 4 hours ago
Views: 383 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 8
Tweets: 0 •
For What It’s Worth - Buffalo Springfield (Cover by Del McCoury Band and Friends) Now Available Digitally:rainmaker.lnk.to See the new release from this jam session of "One Kind Favor" (See That My Grave Is Kept Clean) - Blind Lemon Jeffeson.YouTube A few months ago, a bunch of friends got together to play music ...
Thanos
4 days, 7 hours ago
Views: 567 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 •
Trevor Noah: A Primer on 21st Century “Militias” [VIDEO] A toxic mix of racism and paranoid conspiracy fantasies has propagated the worst among us to arm themselves to the teeth in anticipation for the slaughter of their fellow citizens. Militias have been a part of America since it ...
teleskiguy
4 days, 16 hours ago
Views: 672 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 •
(49) Mandolin Orange - Unknown Legend (Neil Young Cover)Echo Mountain stream. July 24th, 2020.
Thanos
4 days, 19 hours ago
Views: 642 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 3 •
The Expanse - Season 5 Official Trailer The future of The Belt has begun as Marco Inaros wages Armageddon against the Inners for a lifetime of oppression and injustice. » Watch the new season of The Expanse now exclusively with your Prime Membership: bit.ly» SUBSCRIBE: bit.ly ...
Thanos
4 days, 19 hours ago
Views: 625 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 3 •
Cellist Plays to Mourn Cathedral Shelled in Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict A historic cathedral has been shelled amid the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh, or Artsakh, region, where hundreds have been killed and tens of thousands displaced after two weeks of new fighting. On the evening of Thursday 8 ...
garzooma
5 days, 8 hours ago
Views: 574 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 •
Future Islands - Born in a War (Official Video) 'Born In A War' by Future Islands Wayne White - Director and Production DesignerWoodrow White - Editor, Co-Director, Co-Production Designer Future Islands’ new album 'As Long As You Are', out now on 4AD. Listen, stream and buy album here: ...
Thanos
5 days, 8 hours ago
Views: 632 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 •
St. Vincent - New York Ft. Yoshiki (Audio)FOLLOW ST. VINCENTilovestvincent.comFacebook: found.eeTwitter: found.eeInstagram: found.ee FOLLOW YOSHIKIyoshiki.netfacebook.com@yoshikiofficialinstagram.com #StVincent #Yoshiki
Thanos
1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 923 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 4 •
#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - 201004Saturday was filled with intermittent rain so no deck painting. A year ago(!) we had the two fellas dump the first 10 yards of sand into the pool.The front loader damaged a bunch of deck tiles. We anticipated it and ...
dangerman
1 week, 6 days ago
Views: 955 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 4
Tweets: 0 •
#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - 200927Saturday and Sunday were not quite so stressful and intensive as usual. Still quite hot.- built some sawhorses- did some serious weed whacking - got rained on - finished sealing the deck - planted a few plants around the pond ...
dangerman
2 weeks, 4 days ago
Views: 1,386 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 8
Tweets: 0 •