As soon as the news broke about the threats of an Al Qaeda terror attack, Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald began a barrage of comments on Twitter “asking questions” about the timing of the announcement, and broadly hinting around that the Obama administration was faking the threat to justify NSA surveillance activities.
Well, in this interview with Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, Greenwald goes all the way into egomaniacal Alex Jones conspiracy territory and says the administration cooked up this threat to silence him.
“Here we are in the midst of one the most intense debates and sustain debates that we’ve had in a very long time in this country over the dangers of excess surveillance, and suddenly an administration that has spent two claiming that it has decimated Al-Qaeda decides that there is this massive threat that involves the closing of embassies and consulates throughout the world,” Greenwald explained. “And within literally an amount of hours, the likes of Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham join with the White House and Democrats in Congress — who, remember, are the leading defenders of the NSA at this point — to exploit that terrorist threat, and to insist that it shows that the NSA and these programs are necessary.”
Greenwald says he’s been “threatened with imprisonment,” because some people have expressed the opinion that he might be held legally liable in the Snowden case. (Not a single administration official has even hinted that Greenwald should be prosecuted, of course.)
He also repeats his now-debunked claims about the XKeyscore search tool, saying that it proves Edward Snowden’s claim that analysts can “wiretap” anyone, even the president, with no oversight. (Even though the XKeyscore program does not allow “wiretapping” of anyone; it only searches metadata already collected by other means, the vast majority of it being the metadata of non-US citizens.)
And notice that in this interview, Greenwald uses the same deceptive tactic he frequently employs in his written articles: burying important information beneath a load of exaggerated rhetoric. In this case, he rants and rants about how the NSA is eavesdropping on everything “you” do, reading all “your” email, copying “your” MS Word documents, etc. … then quickly slips in a note about the NSA needing a specific warrant to target a US citizen. Then he carries on ranting about the NSA spying on everything “you” do.
UPDATE at 8/5/13 2:41:22 pm
To show the incredible lengths to which the Obama administration will go to silence Glenn Greenwald, here’s the list of embassies that will remain closed this week: Temporary Post Closures and Worldwide Travel Alert.
U.S. Embassy Antananarivo, Madagascar
U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
U.S. Embassy Amman, Jordan
U.S. Embassy Bujumbura, Burundi
U.S. Embassy Cairo, Egypt
U.S. Consulate Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
U.S. Embassy Djibouti, Djibouti
U.S. Embassy Doha, Qatar
U.S. Consulate Dubai, United Arab Emirates
U.S. Consulate Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
U.S. Embassy Khartoum, Sudan
U.S. Embassy Kigali, Rwanda
U.S. Embassy Kuwait City, Kuwait
U.S. Embassy Manama, Bahrain
U.S. Embassy Muscat, Oman
U.S. Embassy Port Louis, Mauritius
U.S. Embassy Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
U.S. Embassy Sana’a, Yemen
U.S. Embassy Tripoli, Libya