A Pathetic Slap from a Lying Bully
August 23, 2013
by Joshua Foust
Today Glenn Greenwald twitter-linked linked to a blogpost claiming to raise “troubling questions” about my past as a defense contractor. (Naturally it was mirrored by Wikileaks, since Greenwald is the only human they follow on Twitter). The clear implication is that this past is why I fact-check the many falsehoods, omissions, and half-truths being printed as fact in our ever-widening debate about surveillance, national security, and privacy. Worse still: the rumor is that I not only have these financial interests, I don’t disclose them to my readers when writing about national security. In this formulation, I am therefore either a hypocrite, an unreliable source for analysis, or a lying monster (it has varied).
Co-conspirator Sam Knight
Let’s ignore the obviously ad hominem nature of this criticism and settle the facts first: none of that is true. To be more blunt: it is a lie. Since leaving my think tank in February, I have tried to generate income by writing freelance — this has often taken the form of writing articles for various publications; it has sometimes taken the form of doing research for various think tanks and organizations around Washington, DC (you can see one such paper, an analysis of the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel white paper on the targeted killing of American citizens, here). I had hopes that I might be able to secure some subcontractual jobs doing identical work for the U.S. government, but alas — I never did. Such is the life when you are in business for yourself: you have to behave like a business and seek paying work to remain solvent.
Even so, the single line on my LinkedIn profile (since removed) that I am available to consult for “government entities” prompted several people on twitter to suggest that everything I write is due to having a financial stake in the so-called “national security state.” It is a familiar slur, one Glenn Greenwald in particular is fond of promulgating against those with whom he disagrees (there are many examples of him doing so at the Daily Banter). In the logical universe Greenwald has constructed for his fanbase, any disagreement is evidence of mendacity — an issue many who have disagreed with his analysis have come to realize, often to their lasting regret.
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