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Glenn Greenwald Retweets “If Obama Were Consistent He’d Bomb Israel,” Then Deletes It

Hiding evidence of raging bias
Weird • Views: 25,573

If you’ve followed Glenn Greenwald’s work at all (and you aren’t one of the acolytes who rush to excuse anything he says or does), you’re probably aware that his criticism of the United States is relentless, at times bordering on pathological, and today at the Intercept he’s published another one of his trademark “everything the US does is wrong” pieces: U.S. “Humanitarian” Bombing of Iraq: A Redundant Presidential Ritual - the Intercept.

The purpose of his screed is to attack the Obama administration’s limited airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq. These airstrikes are intended to degrade ISIS’s ability to attack American advisers, and also give cover for humanitarian airdrops for the Yazidi people, who are under quite explicit threat of genocide from the Islamist militants.

Greenwald, however, alleges that the Obama administration has hidden motivations for this military action, and that it simply cannot be for humanitarian purposes because the US “does not oppose tyranny and violent oppression in the Middle East.”

So what would Greenwald suggest instead of airstrikes against ISIS and humanitarian support for the Yazidi people? Well… nothing. He makes absolutely no constructive suggestions to deal with this serious problem. As far as I can tell, his solution to the threat of genocide against the Yazidi is to simply let it happen, because the US is unreservedly evil and driven by unspecified conspiratorial motives.

But as unhinged and unhelpful as Greenwald’s criticism of the United States may be, there’s one other nation on Earth that arouses even more ire in him: Israel.

And he inadvertently provided an excellent example of this raging antipathy today, when, right after denouncing America’s limited bombing plans, he retweeted this twisted comment (hat tip to Tommy Christopher for pointing it out):

A screenshot, in case it goes missing:

That’s right; the guy who says bombing and military action cannot possibly solve anything and should always be condemned, retweeted a comment that Obama should bomb… Israel. A jaw-dropper, indeed.

And interestingly, Greenwald then immediately used the “Undo Retweet” function to delete his retweet, within minutes. Did he realize he was uncovering something ugly about himself by echoing this comment, and delete it to hide it? We can only speculate, but the fact is he did try to hide it.

Tommy Christopher was the one who actually noticed that Greenwald’s retweet had disappeared, but by digging into the replies for that comment about bombing Israel I discovered proof that Greenwald had indeed retweeted it.

First, people replied to Greenwald’s retweet, which caused his handle to be included in the reply along with the original tweeter’s handle. For example:

And shortly after that, someone else tried to retweet Greenwald’s RT of the original, and got an error — because it had been deleted at that point.

It’s a very revealing moment in Greenwald’s non-stop crusades against the United States and Israel. His bias utterly blinded him to the implications of what he was doing — and when he did realize those implications, he tried to conceal that he’d echoed this awful comment.

UPDATE at 8/8/14 5:49:22 pm by Charles Johnson

Greenwald is definitely aware of this discussion. He favorited this tweet by Tommy Christopher 3 hours ago:

Glenn Greenwald Uses a Holocaust Denier as a Source, Then Defends It

Yes, he really did
Weird • Views: 26,110

This morning when I looked in on Twitter, I noticed a tweet by author Jeremy Duns highlighting a comment made by Glenn Greenwald in February of this year:

Duns was actually pointing out Greenwald’s cozy relationship with another shady individual, but when I clicked on the tweet to see what Greenwald had written I was astonished to see it was a link to the website of infamous British Holocaust denier David Irving:

I’ve encountered this vile website many times over the years; Irving often copies entire news articles and posts them here, possibly to get people to link to his site without knowing what kind of site it is.

So it might be possible to call this an honest mistake… except for what happened next. Because when someone then challenged Greenwald about linking to a Holocaust denial site, he didn’t admit an error. Instead, he attacked and mocked the person pointing it out, then claimed he couldn’t find the article anywhere else — implying that he knew all along he was linking to a highly questionable source.

Well. When I saw that last tweet, challenging the object of Greenwald’s derision to find a link at The Independent, I quickly Googled the first sentence of the article, and look what popped up right away, at the Irish Independent: the very same article. Court Endorses Use of Torture to Obtain Terror Evidence - Independent.ie.

What was Greenwald’s response when this was pointed out to him? He just dropped it. No apology, no acknowledgment that he used a disreputable source, nothing.

So apparently, Greenwald quickly searched to find something that backed up his narrative, and didn’t really care what kind of source he found. His own tweets seem to indicate he knew he was sending people to David Irving’s site, but didn’t consider that important. Duns points out that this is a long-running pattern of the Mighty Greenwald’s:

And lest we forget, yours truly has also been a target of this sloppy unprofessional sourcing by Greenwald, when he attacked me by linking to a fake graphic at an extreme right wing site run by crazed stalkers.

Just another day in the life of the Ultimate Alpha, ushering in a brave new era of journalism.

In Which the Ultimate Alpha Gets His Scoop Stolen

Shrieks of rage ring out from the ultimate alpha’s mountaintop fortress
Weird • Views: 25,171

I’m trying to decide which is more hilarious: that the National Counterterrorism Center tipped off the Associated Press, or that the Greenwaldians flew into a rage about it: Spy Agency Stole Scoop From Media Outlet and Handed It to the AP.

WASHINGTON — The Associated Press dropped a significant scoop on Tuesday afternoon, reporting that in the last several years the U.S. government’s terrorism watch list has doubled.

A few minutes after the AP story, then consisting of three paragraphs, was posted at 12:32 p.m., The Intercept published a much more comprehensive article.

[…]

The government, it turned out, had “spoiled the scoop,” an informally forbidden practice in the world of journalism. To spoil a scoop, the subject of a story, when asked for comment, tips off a different, typically friendlier outlet in the hopes of diminishing the attention the first outlet would have received. Tuesday’s AP story was much friendlier to the government’s position, explaining the surge of individuals added to the watch list as an ongoing response to a foiled terror plot.

The practice of spoiling a scoop is frowned upon because it destroys trust between the journalist and the subject. In the future, the journalist is much less willing to share the contents of his or her reporting with that subject, which means the subject is given less time, or no time at all, to respond with concerns about the reporting.

Come on, now; is that some kind of joke? “Trust” between the US government and… Glenn Greenwald? Seriously? How can you destroy something that doesn’t exist?

Meanwhile, The Intercept’s editor John Cook is now threatening to give the agency only 30 minutes to respond.

Cook told the official that in the future the agency would have only 30 minutes to respond to questions before publication.

And Glenn Greenwald, who’s been raging about having his scoop stolen all afternoon on Twitter, cuts that time to just 15 minutes:

Greenwald has been promising that The Intercept is going to break all the established rules of journalism — apparently, unless they benefit him.

Awful: Reason Magazine’s 1976 Holocaust Denial “Special Issue”

Libertarianism poisons everything
Weird • Views: 23,575

Wow. I rarely begin a post that way, but here’s something I never knew about Reason Magazine, the flagship journal of American libertarianism, and it’s really, really awful. Mark Ames at Pando Daily has dug the whole thing up: As Reason’s Editor Defends Its Racist History, Here’s a Copy of Its Holocaust Denial “Special Issue”.

Astonishingly, in February 1976, Reason dedicated an entire “special issue” to promoting Holocaust deniers, under the guise of so-called “historical revisionism.” How horrifying is it? You can judge for yourself — the whole thing is embedded below.

PandoDaily contacted noted Holocaust historian and Holocaust Museum expert Deborah Lipstadt to ask her opinion. In 2000, Lipstadt won a much-publicized libel trial in Britain against a leading Holocaust denier, David Irving. When we shared with her the list of Reason’s “special issue” contributors and authors positively cited in the issue, Lipstadt described it as “the Who’s Who of early American Holocaust deniers.”

Authors who contributed articles Reason magazine’s “special issue” included one of the most notorious American pro-Nazi activists of the postwar era, Austin J. App, author of the 1973 tract, “The Six Million Swindle: Blackmailing the German People for Hard Marks and Fabricated Corpses” and contributing editor to the rabidly anti-Semitic magazine, the American Mercury. Two more authors hired to write for Reason’s “special issue” included James J. Martin, a regular contributor to the same neo-Nazi American Mercury magazine; and Percy Greaves, a founding board member at the anti-Jewish hate group, the Liberty Lobby.

Both Martin and Greaves were deeply involved in leading anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denier outfits before, during and after Reason hired them as contributors; and shortly after they appeared in Reason’s “special issue,” both Martin and Greaves served as editorial directors in David Irving’s favorite neo-Nazi outfit, the Institute for Historical Review, described as “the world’s single most important outlet for Holocaust-denial propaganda” by the Anti-Defamation League.

Here’s the whole disgusting thing.

Scribd

Your Cognitive Dissonance Whiplash Moment of Zen, Brought to You by the Guardian

Weird • Views: 20,856

I don’t think the Guardian’s editors fully appreciated the bizarre disconnect between these two pieces on today’s front page.

Glenn Greenwald Smears Elizabeth Warren Using a Right Wing Attack Video

Nobody is pure enough for the Mighty G
Weird • Views: 31,827

Sometimes Glenn Greenwald does something that really brings out his true agenda — and it’s not at all related to helping advance progressive causes. The most important thing to Greenwald often seems to be simple sabotage of the democratic process, with smear tactics and ugly personal attacks the order of the day.

Today’s example is especially nasty, as Greenwald uses a video shot by a far right hatchet man to attack Senator Elizabeth Warren for not toeing his anti-Israel purity line.

This little eight second clip shows Warren walking to her next appearance at the Netroots Nation conference, when right winger Joe Schoffstall ambushes her to ask about Israel’s invasion of Gaza. Warren, obviously in a hurry, keeps on walking and doesn’t answer — and of course, the wingnuts who staged this hit piece claim she was “running away.”

The really ironic thing here is that Greenwald’s intent and the intent of the wingnut who made the video are exactly opposite. Greenwald’s trying to imply Warren isn’t pro-Palestinian enough, but the wingnut is implying she isn’t pro-Israel enough.

It’s quite amazing to see Greenwald, a purported hero of the progressive movement, attacking one of the most articulate and intelligent female voices for the progressive movement using the sleazy work of rabid right wingers — but it’s certainly not the first time Greenwald has aligned himself with the far right in order to smear and libel one of his many enemies.

(h/t: SpaceCityDemocrat.)

Glenn Greenwald Argues That Private Companies Have No Right to Censor Genocidal Incitement

Yes, he really did
Weird • Views: 24,339

Today, MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow published an opinion piece in the Washington Post calling on companies like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to do more to stop terrorists from inciting violence. To make his case, Farrow cited the incitements to genocide by Rwandan media that led to a horrific bloodbath 20 years ago.

“The graves are only half empty; who will help us fill them?” Twenty years ago, that rallying cry on Rwandan radio helped explode ethnic enmity into one of history’s worst atrocities. In today’s Iraq, another vicious conflict between a formerly-empowered ethnic minority and a long-subjugated majority is causing the deaths of thousands. At its heart is another mass media appeal to bloodlust on radio’s modern-day equivalent: social media. And this time, the world may have a chance to stop what it failed to in Rwanda.

The Sunni Islamic State insurgents, now locked in a deadly struggle with Iraq’s Shiite majority, excel online. They command a plethora of official and unofficial channels on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. “And kill them wherever you find them,” commands one recent propaganda reel of firefights and bound hostages, contorting a passage from the Koran. “Take up arms, take up arms, O soldiers of the Islamic State. And fight, fight!” adds another, featuring a sermon from the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The material is often slickly produced, like “The Clanging of Swords IV,” a glossy, feature-length film replete with slow-motion action scenes. Much of it is available in English, directly targeting the recruits with Western passports that have become one of the organization’s more dangerous assets. And almost all of it appeals to the young: Photoshops of Islamic State fighters and their grizzly massacres with video game-savvy captions like, “This is our Call of Duty.”

But officials at social media companies are leery of adjudicating what should be taken down and what should be left alone. “One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter,” one senior executive tells me on condition of anonymity. Making that call is “not something we’d want to do.”

This is a good argument, and one that I’ve made many times at LGF; private companies like Facebook need to do more to prevent the spread of hate speech by users of their services, especially when it involves incitements to violence or genocide. These kinds of restrictions are the purview of private companies to impose, not governments, and especially not the US government.

But Farrow’s op-ed drew the attention of the all-seeing eye of civil libertarian hero Glenn Greenwald, who immediately attacked Farrow with his usual obsessions: the US and Israel.

Farrow responded:

And it was at this point that Glenn Greenwald tipped over into what can only be described as a right wing authoritarian position:

Consider what Greenwald is advocating here; he’s actually saying that private companies should not be allowed to determine what types of “political ideas” they disseminate.

Leaving aside the absurdity of calling genocidal incitement “political ideas,” this is exactly counter to the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which makes it very clear that only private companies should be able to restrict the types of speech they publish.

So who should decide these issues, if not private companies? Is Greenwald actually arguing that the US government should censor hateful or genocidal incitement? Well, it’s hard to know, because when pressed on the issue he simply decided to attack Farrow again as a mouthpiece for Israel — a very weird argument indeed.

As usual, Greenwald sleazes his way out of directly confronting the issue with non sequitur attacks like this. But his statement that he thinks private companies should have no right to decide what types of speech they promote is very revealing, indeed — because it’s exactly opposite to the usual libertarian line of argument.

In his haste to attack one of his enemies, Greenwald argued himself into an unconstitutional corner, and then tried to deflect the argument rather than defend it.

A classic performance by the Mighty Greenwald.

Glenn Greenwald’s Grand Finale That Wasn’t

The misrepresentation starts with the headline
Weird • Views: 27,728

This May, while Glenn Greenwald was on his book tour of the US surveillance state (during which he wasn’t arrested or tortured, despite months of asserting he would be), he announced he would soon be publishing his grand finale in the series of NSA stories, an exposé of the names of American citizens who were NSA targets.

Well, last night this BOMBSHELL article was finally published after delays, and ladies and gentlemen hang on to your horse masks, because now we: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying on.

The problems start this time with the headline; even though it states “the FBI and NSA have been spying on” these people, in fact the article produces no evidence that the surveillance continued past 2008 — in other words, it apparently began and ended during the Bush administration.

How many names of “Muslim-American leaders” does the Mighty Greenwald reveal in this grand finale? Would you believe… five?

And one of them, Hooshang Amirahmadi … well, I’ll let The Intercept tell you:

Amirahmadi, who does not self-identify as a Muslim and describes himself as an atheist, believes that the NSA surveillance was motivated by his diplomatic work, not his religious heritage.

Oddly enough, after this piece appeared and people noticed the obvious discrepancy in calling Amirahmadi a “Muslim” when he’s actually an atheist, suddenly an “update” appeared in the text:

[Update: Although Amirahmadi used the word “atheist” to describe his religious identity to The Intercept, in a HuffPost Live interview on Wednesday, he said he prefers to be called a “secular Muslim.”]

Of course, Mr. Amirahmadi has a right to call himself whatever he wants, but this is very convenient timing; right after people criticized this passage.

As for the evidence that these five men were spied on solely because they were Muslims, as the article insinuates over and over:

Given that the government’s justifications for subjecting Gill and the other U.S. citizens to surveillance remain classified, it is impossible to know why their emails were monitored, or the extent of the surveillance. It is also unclear under what legal authority it was conducted, whether the men were formally targeted under FISA warrants, and what, if anything, authorities found that permitted them to continue spying on the men for prolonged periods of time. But the five individuals share one thing in common: Like many if not most of the people listed in the NSA spreadsheet, they are of Muslim heritage.

That’s a rather astonishing paragraph; what it says is that Greenwald and his co-author Murtaza Hussein don’t know why these men were monitored, they don’t know the extent of the monitoring, they don’t know the legal authority for the monitoring, and they don’t know what was discovered during the monitoring — but then they blithely assert it was probably because of their Muslim heritage. With no evidence whatsoever. The entire basis for this assertion is a single spreadsheet with no details at all about the reasons for the surveillance.

Since there’s really no context at all for these claims, not to mention evidence, it would be pointless to try to rebut them. I’ll just note one more amusing sidenote to this nothing-burger; Greenwald is now denying he ever said this was going to be the finale:

But here’s a direct quote from his book tour interview on May 26:

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who received the trove of documents from Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, told The Sunday Times that Snowden’s legacy would be “shaped in large part” by this “finishing piece” still to come.

[…]

“One of the big questions when it comes to domestic spying is, ‘Who have been the NSA’s specific targets?’,” he said. “Are they political critics and dissidents and activists? Are they genuinely people we’d regard as terrorists?

“What are the metrics and calculations that go into choosing those targets and what is done with the surveillance that is conducted? Those are the kinds of questions that I want to still answer.”

Greenwald said the names would be published via The Intercept, a website funded by Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder and chairman of eBay. Greenwald left The Guardian, which published most of the Snowden revelations, last autumn to work for Omidyar.

“As with a fireworks show, you want to save your best for last,” Greenwald told GQ magazine. “The last one is the one where the sky is all covered in spectacular multicoloured hues.”

Why is Greenwald suddenly backing away from his promise that this would be the best and last piece, covering the sky in spectacular multi-colored hues? Maybe because the fireworks show has fizzled?

I’ll leave you with the Huffington Post’s huge headline, tweeted by Greenwald the instant it appeared:

Click This Link and the NSA Will Spy on You for the Rest of Your Life

Most ridiculous hyperbole yet?
Weird • Views: 22,629

WARNING! Do not click on the link in this tweet, or… well, just read it. You’ll be getting yourself into a nightmare world of eternal deep surveillance, forever and ever, amen.

If you click the link, don’t blame me when you start hearing strange noises on your phone line and the drones show up outside your window.

(h/t: @jeremyduns.)

UPDATE at 7/3/14 10:36:39 am by Charles Johnson

But, uh…

The Vicious Lies of Snowden Booster Jason Leopold

Thin-skinned and nasty
Weird • Views: 27,708

So last night on Twitter, this happened. “Investigative journalist” Jason Leopold, out of the blue, suddenly decided to attack, responding to this post without ever addressing the substance of it.

This Twitter collection is in reverse chronological order; I recommend scrolling all the way to the bottom and reading up, to get the full flavor of how the Snowden boosters roll.

It gets ugly fast.

^ back to top ^

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