Accuracy in Media

In a 2011 article in the socialist publication In These Times, anti-NSA journalist Glenn Greenwald said “the only thing that can truly strengthen America’s national security is a weakening of America.” He also declared that al-Qaeda’s 9/11 terrorist attacks on America were “very minimal in scope compared to the level of deaths that the United States has been bringing to the world for decades—from Vietnam to illegal wars in Central America…”

Blogger Trevor Loudon, who first reported the controversial comments, notes that, in the speech that is the basis for the article, Greenwald  described senior al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, who planned terrorist operations, as “someone who the U.S. government hates because he speaks effectively to the Muslim world about the violence that the United States commits regionally, and the responsibility of Muslims to stand up to that violence.”

Greenwald’s history of anti-American bias and rhetoric has been ignored by most media outlets, even by commentators on the right. But they are highly relevant to the fact that he has emerged as the mouthpiece for former NSA contract employee Edward Snowden, who released classified information about the activities of the spy agency, and is now hiding out in Chinese Hong Kong.

In his first public comments on Snowden, FBI director Robert Mueller said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday that the disclosures about the terrorist surveillance programs have caused “significant harm to the nation” and that Snowden “is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation.”

The “In These Times” article was adapted, with Greenwald’s permission, from a speech he gave to the “Socialism 2011” conference, co-sponsored by a Marxist-Leninist group, the International Socialist Organization. AIM has reported that Greenwald has been attending these conferences on an annual basis.

In his speech, Greenwald declared the U.S. to be a “declining empire,” and announced that its “leaders” seek to remain in power through “militarism and civil liberties assaults.” He added, “If they can continue to scare the population enough with threats of foreign evil and foreign villains, they will overlook the raping and pillaging taking place domestically that these leaders are engaged in and get behind these leaders.”

Getting into his discussion of 9/11, which killed nearly 3,000 Americans, Greenwald said, “They [al Qaeda] knew that a single attack on US soil, very minimal in scope compared to the level of violence that we bring to the world and have been bringing to the world for decades, would trigger these bankruptcy-inducing policies. And that is what we’re seeing. Ironically, the only thing that could stop this kind of growing assault on civil liberties, the militarism that accompanies it, is a weakening of the U.S. to the point where they’re no longer sustainable and the weakening is happening precisely because of these very policies. And oftentimes if you’re in the United States and you talk about a weakening of the United States, it’s considered to be a thing that we want to avoid like it’s a very bad thing. But, I think it’s a very good thing.”

The communists greeted his remarks with applause.

Greenwald, a slavish disciple of Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, defended Assange going to work for Moscow-funded Russia Today (RT) television. He quoted another commentator as saying that while the channel is “biased,” it also produces “segments that provide necessary and sharp critiques of the U.S. government that typically do not appear on mainstream U.S. networks.” Assange is now in hiding (in plain sight) in the London embassy of Marxist Ecuador because he doesn’t want to face sex crimes charges in Sweden.

Greenwald himself appeared on RT, in order to defend Assange.

Greenwald has also appeared on Al Jazeera, but has lately expressed concern that the channel may be altering its content in order to gain entry and acceptance in the U.S. media market. “It’s certainly possible that Al Jazeera America can provide unique and important journalism: networks owned by governments can and do produce real journalism,” he said. But he went on to say that this will only happen “if it remains independent of the Qatari regime’s foreign policy aims and is free to risk offending and alienating powerful people: the hallmark of good journalism.”

Qatar funds and controls al Jazeera, in the same way Moscow funds and controls RT.

There is no evidence whatsoever that Al Jazeera and RT are independent of their respective governments in any way.

But Greenwald seems to believe they are preferable to America’s “corporate media.”

As we have previously reported, Greenwald was the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award, named in honor of the left-wing journalist identified as an agent of influence for Soviet intelligence. At the awards ceremony, Greenwald said that Soviet agent Stone “pioneered what modern journalism ought to be.”

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