Once the government is able to monitor everything we do and say, we will be unable to fight back.
July 4, 2012 |
Editor's note: The following is a transcript of a speech delivered by Glenn Greenwald at this month's Socialism 2012 conference, on the massive growth of government and corporate surveillance and their chilling effects on Americans' rights.
Last year was my maiden trip to the Socialism 2012 world. I started off by standing up and saying -- I was actually surprised by this, pleasantly surprised, because I didn’t know what to expect -- how amazingly inspirational I actually found this conference to be. The energy of activism and the sophisticated level of the conversation and the commitment that people displayed and the diversity of the attendees, really is unlike any other conference. And so when I was asked back this year, I was super excited to come back and accept. Not only because of that, but also because the conference organizers asked if I could speak about challenging the Surveillance State.
The reason that I was so eager to come and do that is because I really think that this topic is central to all of the other activism that’s being discussed here this weekend.
The Surveillance State hovers over any attacks that meaningfully challenge state-appropriated power. It doesn’t just hover over it. It impedes it, it deters it and kills it. That’s its intent. It does that by design.
And so, understanding what the Surveillance State, how it operates -- most importantly, figuring out how to challenge it and undermine it, and subvert it -- really is, I think, an absolute prerequisite to any sort of meaningful activism, to developing strategies and tactics for how to challenge state and corporate power.
In one of the least surprising developments imaginable, President Obama – after spending months threatening to veto the Levin/McCain detention bill – yesterday announced that he would instead sign it into law (this is the same individual, of course, who unequivocally vowed when seeking the Democratic nomination to support a filibuster of “any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecom[s],” only to turn around – once he had the nomination secure — and not only vote against such a filibuster, but to vote in favor of the underlying bill itself, so this is perfectly consistent with his past conduct). As a result, the final version of the Levin/McCain bill will be enshrined as law this week as part of the the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). I wrote about the primary provisions and implications of this bill last week, and won’t repeat those points here.
The ACLU said last night that the bill contains “harmful provisions that some legislators have said could authorize the U.S. military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians, including American citizens, anywhere in the world” and added: “if President Obama signs this bill, it will damage his legacy.” Human Rights Watch said that Obama’s decision “does enormous damage to the rule of law both in the US and abroad” and that “President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.”
Posted on 08.30.11
By David Edwards
The former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell pledged Tuesday to testify against former Vice President Dick Cheney if he is ever tried for war crimes.
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson told Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman that he would participate in a trial even if it meant personal repercussions.
“I, unfortunately — and I’ve admitted to this a number of times, publicly and privately — was the person who put together Colin Powell’s presentation at the United Nations Security Council on 5 February, 2003,” Wilkerson said. “It was probably the biggest mistake of my life. I regret it to this day. I regret not having resigned over it.”
In an interview that aired on NBC Monday, Cheney told Jamie Gangel that unlike President George W. Bush, he did not have a “sickening feeling” when they discovered there were no weapons of mass destruction after the invasion of Iraq.
“I think we did the right thing,” Cheney said.
The decade's biggest scam By Glenn Greenwald
The Los Angeles Times examines the staggering sums of money expended on patently absurd domestic "homeland security" projects: $75 billion per year for things such as a Zodiac boat with side-scan sonar to respond to a potential attack on a lake in tiny Keith County, Nebraska, and hundreds of "9-ton BearCat armored vehicles, complete with turret" to guard against things like an attack on DreamWorks in Los Angeles. All of that -- which is independent of the exponentially greater sums spent on foreign wars, occupations, bombings, and the vast array of weaponry and private contractors to support it all -- is in response to this mammoth, existential, the-single-greatest-challenge-of-our-generation threat:
"The number of people worldwide who are killed by Muslim-type terrorists, Al Qaeda wannabes, is maybe a few hundred outside of war zones. It's basically the same number of people who die drowning in the bathtub each year," said John Mueller, an Ohio State University professor who has written extensively about the balance between threat and expenditures in fighting terrorism.
By Glenn Greenwald
Monday, May 2, 2011
The killing of Osama bin Laden is one of those events which, especially in the immediate aftermath, is not susceptible to reasoned discussion. It's already a Litmus Test event: all Decent People -- by definition -- express unadulterated ecstacy at his death, and all Good Americans chant "USA! USA!" in a celebration of this proof of our national greatness and Goodness (and that of our President). Nothing that deviates from that emotional script will be heard, other than by those on the lookout for heretics to hold up and punish. Prematurely interrupting a national emotional consensus with unwanted rational truths accomplishes nothing but harming the heretic (ask Bill Maher about how that works).
(updated below - Update II)
Few issues highlight Barack Obama's extreme hypocrisy the way that Bagram does. As everyone knows, one of George Bush’s most extreme policies was abducting people from all over the world -- far away from any battlefield -- and then detaining them at Guantanamo with no legal rights of any kind, not even the most minimal right to a habeas review in a federal court. Back in the day, this was called "Bush's legal black hole." In 2006, Congress codified that policy by enacting the Military Commissions Act, but in 2008, the Supreme Court, in Boumediene v. Bush, ruled that provision unconstitutional, holding that the Constitution grants habeas corpus rights even to foreign nationals held at Guantanamo. Since then, detainees havewon 35 out of 48 habeas hearings brought pursuant to Boumediene, on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to justify their detention.
posted in full for posterity; hyperlinks, images and video at source - loose nuke:
The war on WikiLeaks and why it matters
BY GLENN GREENWALD
A newly leaked CIA report prepared earlier this month (.pdf) analyzes how the U.S. Government can best manipulate public opinion in Germany and France -- in order to ensure that those countries continue to fight in Afghanistan. The Report celebrates the fact that the governments of those two nations continue to fight the war in defiance of overwhelming public opinion which opposes it -- so much for all the recent veneration of "consent of the governed" -- and it notes that this is possible due to lack of interest among their citizenry: "Public Apathy Enables Leaders to Ignore Voters," proclaims the title of one section.
Glenn Greenwald: "Obama Confidant's Spine-Chilling Proposal" (cognitive infiltration’ of 9/11 conspiracy groups)
Glenn Greenwald has written a scathing indictedment of Cass Sunstein's odious proposal.
From the article:
"What is most odious and revealing about Sunstein's worldview is his condescending, self-loving belief that "false conspiracy theories" are largely the province of fringe, ignorant Internet masses and the Muslim world. That, he claims, is where these conspiracy theories thrive most vibrantly, and he focuses on various 9/11 theories -- both domestically and in Muslim countries -- as his prime example.
It's certainly true that one can easily find irrational conspiracy theories in those venues, but some of the most destructive "false conspiracy theories" have emanated from the very entity Sunstein wants to endow with covert propaganda power: namely, the U.S. Government itself, along with its elite media defenders. Moreover, "crazy conspiracy theorist" has long been the favorite epithet of those same parties to discredit people trying to expose elite wrongdoing and corruption.
Glenn Greenwald: "Self-righteous innocence" in War on Terror belies mass casualties in Muslim countries
Published on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 by Salon.com
Cause and Effect in the 'Terror War'
by Glenn Greenwald
"In all their alleged allegedness, this Administration has an allergy to the concept of war, and thus to the tools of war, including strategy and war aims" -- Supreme Tough Guy Warrior Mark Steyn, National Review, yesterday.
"The White House has authorized an expansion of the C.I.A.'s drone program in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas, officials said this week, to parallel the president's decision, announced Tuesday, to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan" -- New York Times, December 4, 2009.
"In the midst of two unfinished major wars, the United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against Al Qaeda in Yemen" -- New York Times, yesterday.
See the original for links.
Published on Friday, November 20, 2009 by Salon.com
The Administration Guts Its Own Argument for 9/11 Trials
by Glenn Greenwald
"What I'm absolutely clear about is that I have complete confidence in the American people and our legal traditions and the prosecutors, the tough prosecutors from New York who specialize in terrorism" -- Barack Obama, yesterday.
"Holder said five other Guantanamo detainees would be tried by military tribunals. The five include Abd al-Rahim al Nashiri, who is accused of masterminding the 2000 attack on the USS Cole warship in Yemen; and Canadian Omar Khadr, accused of killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan" -- NPR, yesterday.
An emerging progressive consensus on Obama's executive power and secrecy abuses - Glenn Greenwald
"In the last week alone, the Obama DOJ (a) attempted to shield Bush's illegal spying programs from judicial review by (yet again) invoking the very "state secrets" argument that Democrats spent years condemning and by inventing a brand new "sovereign immunity" claim that not even the Bush administration espoused, and (b) argued that individuals abducted outside of Afghanistan by the U.S. and then "rendered" to and imprisoned in Bagram have no rights of any kind -- not even to have a hearing to contest the accusations against them -- even if they are not Afghans and were captured far away from any "battlefield." These were merely the latest -- and among the most disturbing -- in a string of episodes in which the Obama administration has explicitly claimed to possess the very presidential powers that Bush critics spent years condemning as radical, lawless and authoritarian.
I posted a link to my article on Glenn Greenwald's blog on Salon last night, and Greenwald has replied with this comment:
"None of what you wrote or accuse me of has anything to do with what I think. I never said I know who perpetrated the anthrax attacks because . . . I don't know, because . . . I haven't seen the evidence. What I have seen is unconvincing, but I find people like you who just invent theories without facts and then think you've discovered Truth to be exactly the same as those who blindly believe whatever the Government says."
All I want from him is an explanation, as I said here:
On August 3, 2008, Glen Greenwald wrote in Salon:
"It is so vital to emphasize that not a shred of evidence has yet been presented that the now-deceased Bruce Ivins played any role in the anthrax attacks, let alone that he was the sole or even primary culprit."
Now, in his retraction, er, update from yesterday, he writes:
The FBI (Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity, ha!) was tasked by our shadow government overlords with finding a semi-plausible fall guy for the anthrax attacks of 2001. These overlords engineered both the attacks of 9/11, and the anthrax attacks that followed, to create a pretext for a police state in the USA, as well as a semi-plausible pretext for invading Afghanistan and Iraq.
The FBI has pinned it on the late Dr. Bruce Ivins, but almost nobody believes it. For the past two days FBI director Mueller, looking like the cat that ate the canary, has been appearing before the Senate and House to answer questions.
Glenn Greenwald wrote about both events in Salon. Based on his account, I feel certain that the FBI is going to get away with it.
by Glenn Greenwald (Salon) - Saturday Aug. 30, 2008
Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than "fire code violations," and early this morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.
Jane Hamsher and I were at two of those homes this morning -- one which had just been raided and one which was in the process of being raided. Each of the raided houses is known by neighbors as a "hippie house," where 5-10 college-aged individuals live in a communal setting, and everyone we spoke with said that there had never been any problems of any kind in those houses, that they were filled with "peaceful kids" who are politically active but entirely unthreatening and friendly. Posted below is the video of the scene, including various interviews, which convey a very clear sense of what is actually going on here.
In the house that had just been raided, those inside described how a team of roughly 25 officers had barged into their homes with masks and black swat gear, holding large semi-automatic rifles, and ordered them to lie on the floor, where they were handcuffed and ordered not to move. The officers refused to state why they were there and, until the very end, refused to show whether they had a search warrant. They were forced to remain on the floor for 45 minutes while the officers took away the laptops, computers, individual journals, and political materials kept in the house. One of the individuals renting the house, an 18-year-old woman, was extremely shaken as she and others described how the officers were deliberately making intimidating statements such as "Do you have Terminator ready?" as they lay on the floor in handcuffs. The 10 or so individuals in the house all said that though they found the experience very jarring, they still intended to protest against the GOP Convention, and several said that being subjected to raids of that sort made them more emboldened than ever to do so.
Several of those who were arrested are being represented by Bruce Nestor, the President of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers' Guild. Nestor said that last night's raid involved a meeting of a group calling itself the "RNC Welcoming Committee", and that this morning's raids appeared to target members of "Food Not Bombs," which he described as an anti-war, anti-authoritarian protest group. There was not a single act of violence or illegality that has taken place, Nestor said. Instead, the raids were purely anticipatory in nature, and clearly designed to frighten people contemplating taking part in any unauthorized protests...
See original for hyperlinks and referenced graphic. What do you think? Anyone getting different results from the NEWS search engine, not the WEB engine?
Can you believe NONE of Glenn Greenwald's articles in SALON.com come up in the first 3 pages of a Google NEWS (not WEB) search for "anthrax"??? How can that possibly be, when numerous mainstream pundits have been commenting on and linking to his articles??? Anthrax salon pulls one (1)- along with many articles commenting on and linking to his articles. Anthrax Glenn Greenwald got NONE. I’m not using quotes on anything.
A couple of his articles are top hits in WEB searches:
Google WEB: Glenn Greenwald Anthrax
It’s the NEWS searches where they are strangely absent:
Google NEWS Glenn Greenwald Anthrax
See the graphic at the bottom of the page to get an idea of how this affects how many people will see his articles, when searching for NEWS on the Anthrax case.
911 Plotters Bury the Evidence
by Michael Green
Aug. 3, 2008
What strikes me most is that this (probably genuine) suicide is designed to put a lid upon the conspiratorial facts. The August 1, 2008 Wall Street Journal reported and opined:
"The Justice Department hasn't yet decided whether to close the investigation, officials said, meaning it's still not certain whether Dr. Ivins acted alone or had help. One official close to the case said that decision was expected within days. If the case is closed soon, one official said, that will indicate that Dr. Ivins was the lone suspect."
I assure you that the Journal is the ghost of our fascist future talking, with Dr. Ivins playing the role of lone nut so certified by both his social worker therapist and his psychiatrist. But the facts say otherwise.
TODAY'S DEMOCRACY NOW!:
* Anthrax Mystery: Questions Raised over Whether Government Is Framing Dead
Army Scientist for 2001 Attacks *
The FBI's prime suspect in the October 2001 anthrax letters case died last
week in an apparent suicide. Bruce Ivins was an elite government scientist
at the biodefense research lab in Fort Detrick, Maryland. He was among the
nation's top experts on the military use of anthrax. But many of his
colleagues have expressed deep skepticism over the FBI's claims. We speak to
anthrax expert Dr. Meryl Nass and blogger Glenn Greenwald.
Here's what Greenwald acknowleges in the "mainstream" Salon:
One week after 9/11, a person or persons within the US bioweapons community--referencing "9/11" in the letters--attempted to frame Muslims in a false-flag WMD attack on "opposition" leaders in the US Senate and selected members of the media. This frame-up was aided and abetted by ABC (Disney), whose assets proceeded to "fear-up" the US public in preparation for a war of aggression against Iraq.
But there's more:
Richard Cohen confirms that "a high government official" advised him to take Cipro "soon after Sept 11".
"The attacks were not entirely unexpected. I had been told soon after Sept. 11 to secure Cipro, the antidote to anthrax. The tip had come in a roundabout way from a high government official, and I immediately acted on it. I was carrying Cipro way before most people had ever heard of it."
This corroborates reports that Cheney's staff began taking Cipro on 9/11.
There are several updates in the ongoing fallout from Michael Mukasey's patently false claims made in the speech he delivered several weeks ago in San Francisco regarding FISA and the 9/11 attacks. This week, Mukasey responded to a letter he received from John Conyers and two other Subcommittee Chair in which Mukasey acknowledged (because he was forced to) that the call he claimed originated from an "Afghan safe house" into the U.S. was fictitious, but he nonetheless vaguely asserted that his underlying point -- that FISA unduly restricted pre-9/11 eavesdropping and prevented detection of those attacks -- was somehow still accurate.
The San Francisco Chronicle became one of the few media outlets to report on the multiple false claims about 9/11 and FISA in Michael Mukasey's speech two weeks ago, as they adeptly summarized the key events in this article today. As the article, using the Lee Hamilton and other quotes reported here, put it: "It seemed like a sensational disclosure -- a phone call that, if traced and monitored, could have allowed authorities to thwart the attacks -- but it has proved difficult to verify."
Also, Mukasey appeared yesterday before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee and was questioned on this matter by Pat Leahy:
On his third question, Leahy asked Mukasey to clarify a recent comment he made in San Francisco where he implied that the failure to listen in on a phone call from Afghanistan to the United States prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks had cost 3,000 lives.
"Nobody else seems to know about this. Can you tell me what the circumstances were and why?" Leahy said.
"This isn't just a matter of academic and historical interest about the 9/11 attacks, although it is that. One of two things almost certainly happened here, each of which is of great importance. Either Mukasey is lying about the 9/11 attacks in order to manipulate Americans into believing that FISA's warrant requirements are what prevented discovery of the 9/11 attacks and caused 3,000 American deaths -- a completely disgusting act by the Attorney General which obviously cannot be ignored. Or, Mukasey has just revealed the most damning fact yet about the Bush's administration's ability and failure to have prevented the attacks -- facts that, until now, were apparently concealed from the 9/11 Commission and the public."
Wednesday January 2, 2008 08:12 EST
9/11 Commission: Our investigation was "obstructed"
(*** Updated below - Outside prosecutor appointed
Update II - Update III - Update IV - Update V)
The bi-partisan co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission, Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, jointly published an Op-Ed in today's New York Times which contains some extremely emphatic and serious accusations against the CIA and the White House. The essence:
[T]he recent revelations that the C.I.A. destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives leads us to conclude that the agency failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot. Those who knew about those videotapes -- and did not tell us about them -- obstructed our investigation.
More strikingly still, they explicitly include the White House at the top of their list of guilty parties:
There's an excellent (and lengthy) post by Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com that deals with false reports by ABC's Brian Ross regarding a connection between the 2001 anthrax attacks, Iraq, and 9/11. Excerpts are below, but the entire piece is worth reading.
"At one of the most critical times in American history -- the weeks following the 9/11 and anthrax attacks -- ABC News and Brian Ross published multiple, highly inflammatory reports, aggressively linking Iraq to the anthrax attacks, which turned out to be completely false. Accompanying those false anthrax reports, ABC News frequently linked Saddam to the 9/11 attacks as well -- such as when Cokie Roberts, during an interview with Donald Rumsfeld immediately following one of Ross's Saddam-anthrax stories, referenced "the confirmation that Mohammed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence official."