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Sen. Feinstein wants Glenn Greenwald prosecuted

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It’s unclear if the indictment is supposed to be brought under the Alien and Sedition Acts or the General Provisions Regarding Anti-Soviet American Slander.

Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House intelligence committee, spoke with barely disguised anger about Glenn Greenwald, whose articles in The Guardian newspaper last week described the surveillance programs. He also said that the public needed to know that “the National Security Agency does not listen to Americans’ phone calls, and it is not reading Americans’ e-mails. None of these programs allow that.”

Mr. Greenwald “says that he’s got it all and now is an expert on the program,” Mr. Rogers said on the ABC program “This Week.” “He doesn’t have a clue how this thing works. Neither did the person” – presumably in government – “who released just enough information to literally be dangerous.”

He added, “I absolutely think they should be prosecuted.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, said on the same program that she agreed.

Mr. Greenwald, who appeared earlier on the program, was asked about the criminal report that officials say has been filed in this case by the National Security Agency. Asked whether law enforcement officials had contacted him, he said: “No. And any time they would like to speak to me, I would be more than happy to speak to them, and I will tell them there is this thing called the Constitution.”

Asked about suggestions that the disclosures were reckless, Mr. Greenwald responded, “The only thing we’ve endangered is the reputation of the people in power who are building this massive spying apparatus absent any accountability.”

Ms. Feinstein, a Democrat of California who defends the surveillance programs, cited two declassified cases in which electronic surveillance data had been used – that of David C. Headley, an American who conducted several missions to Mumbai, India, in preparation for a deadly terror attack there, and that of Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan-American who was convicted of seeking to set off backpacks full of explosives in the New York subway. The Mumbai attack was carried out and killed more than 160 people; the subway attack was foiled.

Ms. Feinstein said that she would consider holding hearings about them. “I’m open to doing a hearing every month, if that’s necessary,” she said.

But, she added: “Here’s the rub: The instances where this has produced good – has disrupted plots, prevented terrorist attacks, is all classified, that’s what’s so hard about this.”

I guess we’ll just have to take Sen. Feinstein’s word for that, because otherwise the terrorists will have won . . . or something.

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