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: 23,101

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
Trump’s Nixon-Style Enemies List So many Parallels - how much longer will the public put up with this? Reacting to The New York Times’ story that White House Counsel Don McGahn has been speaking with Robert Mueller’s team, President Donald Trump tweeted out ...
Thanos
15 hours, 56 minutes ago
Views: 86 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Calexico - End of the World With You (Live on KEXP) kexp.org presents Calexico performing "End Of The World With You" live in the KEXP studio. Recorded June 19, 2018. Host: MorganAudio Engineers: Martin H. Gonzalez & Julian MartlewCameras: Jim Beckmann, Alaia D'Alessandro, Scott Holpainen & Justin WilmoreEditor: Jim Beckmann ...
Thanos
6 days, 20 hours ago
Views: 175 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
LSD - Thunderclouds (Official Audio) Ft. Sia, Diplo, Labrinth Labrinth, Sia & Diplo present LSD - Thunderclouds (Official Audio) Stream "Thunderclouds" now: smarturl.itSpotify: smarturl.itiTunes: smarturl.itApple Music: smarturl.itAmazon Music: smarturl.it Learn more about LSD and sign up for the official mailing list: droppinglsd.com Lyrics: All I need is oneOne ...
Thanos
6 days, 20 hours ago
Views: 227 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Half•alive - Still Feel. [Music VIDEO] half•alive’s music video for ‘still feel.’ Save on Spotify : spoti.fi Apple Music : apple.coSoundcloud : SoundCloud find half•alive on… Instagram: instagr.amTwitter: @halfalivecoSpotify: spoti.fiSoundcloud: SoundCloudSite: halfalive.co Directed / Edited / Colored by : Josh TaylorDirector of Photography : Ryan ...
Thanos
6 days, 20 hours ago
Views: 266 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Bands and Artists I LoveSuperorganism. Your text to link...
The Artist Formerly Known as Irenicum
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 211 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Dave Grohl - Play (Official Video) PLAY more at play.roswellfilms.com Pre-order limited edition vinyl bundles and stream the song: smarturl.it “PLAY” by Dave Grohl celebrates the rewards and challenges of dedicating one’s life to playing and mastering a musical instrument. Part one opens with narrated ...
Thanos
1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 214 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Seshen - Distant Heart (Live on KEXP) kexp.org presents The Seshen performing "Distant Heart" live at The Little London Plane during Upstream Music Fest. Recorded June 1, 2018. Host: Kevin ColeAudio Engineer: Kevin SuggsCameras: Jim Beckmann, Alaia D'Alessandro & Justin WilmoreDirector: Scott HolpainenEditor: Alaia D'Alessandro kexp.orgtheseshen.comupstreammusicfest.com ...
Thanos
2 weeks ago
Views: 1,004 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Retrograde PresidentProfit at any cost. American dream. President Trump. Blind destruction. BBC News: The Trump administration has overturned bans on the use of pesticides linked to declining bee populations and the cultivation of genetically modified crops in US national wildlife refuges. ...
Dom
2 weeks, 2 days ago
Views: 764 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
David Crosby and Jason Isbell ‘Ohio’----Newport
Thanos
2 weeks, 2 days ago
Views: 1,154 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Activist Publishes 11,000 Private DMs Between Wikileaks and Its Supporters The DMs concern a particular group chat between the official Wikileaks account and several supporters. In the chat—dubbed “Wikileaks +10” due to number of participants—Wikileaks would coordinate smear campaigns against the group’s rivals, including journalists, according to the DMs. ...
Thanos
2 weeks, 6 days ago
Views: 1,674 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0