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Sen. Feinstein wants Glenn Greenwald prosecuted

[ 83 ] June 9, 2013 |

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.

See also.

Comments (83)

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  1. DocAmazing says:

    Unfortunately, DiFi has an evil angel on her shoulder. Dems who seek to primary her get sidetracked; even having her campaign manager lose her campaign chest failed to slow her down.

    The national Dem party loves her. California, less so.

    • Aidian says:

      I get seriously worked up over the malapportionment in the U.S. Senate. It disenfranchises me as a Californian. It makes us second class citizens. It is tyranny that must be ended.

      And then just about the time I get all Malcolm X on it and bust out with “by any means necessary,” someone inevitably mentions “but with the senators you’ve already got you elect Dianne Feinstein, why would anyone trust you with more?”

      And I mean, what can you say to that, really?

  2. Josh G. says:

    Feinstein is the worst Democrat in the Senate. There are others who have voting records as bad, but most of those come from conservative states where we might not be able to do any better. But California? There’s absolutely no excuse for this. She needs to be kicked out of office in the next primary. It should have happened years ago.

    • Gregor Sansa says:

      There are a lot of people who have believed that for at least 10 years, probably more. But California is a big place, and running for senate there is not cheap. She’s just rich enough and Democratic enough to keep pulling it off. But on the bright side, she can’t stick around forever.

    • DrS says:

      She’ll be 85 when she would be up for election again, which won’t be til 2018.

      Hopefully she will be retiring.

    • Snuff curry says:

      But California?

      Excluding affluent coastal-y places, America’s most European city, and (surprisingly, given how much meth abounds) parts of the low desert, California is a pretty shit (and comparatively conservative) state and no one should be surprised what evil retrograde-ass shit we get up to.

      • FMguru says:

        You get more than 25 miles from a body of water, and California basically becomes politically indistinguishable from Kentucky. Fresno, Santa Clarita, Stockton, Modesto, Fontana, El Cajon, Bakersfield – they’re all as much a part of the state as Berkeley and Santa Monica and West Hollywood and Marin.

    • anon says:

      You won’t have to wait for that…information has been gathered on her by the FBI and NSA to embarrass her out of office and will be released soon….

    • Murc says:

      Fuck pardons, dude deserves a goddamn medal.

      I don’t see Greenwald being prosecuted over this, the DOJ is dumb, but they’re not DUMB, you know? But Snowden, hoo boy.

      I wish I had his kind of courage.

      • ema says:

        Ha, pretty sure the Chinese have already prepared one for him, provided he survives debriefing that is.

        • sapient says:

          Absolutely! He’s a hero to the Chinese hacker repressers of speech. Wonder what he thinks of the dead pigs in rivers.

          • ema says:

            Please, he’s seeking refuge there *because* of the pigs.

          • elm says:

            Yeah, that’s the part I don’t get: he chose Hong Kong because “they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent.” Really? Compared to the rest of China, perhaps, but, really?

            • wengler says:

              Hong Kong is a politically ambiguous zone where he is likely to be protected from both the US government and the PRC.

              • elm says:

                Sure, that may be the case, but does it have a spirited commitment to free speach and political dissent? There are reasons to choose Hong Kong as your safe haven. His stated reason is not one of them.

    • timb says:

      It’s annoying they ask for email address and password. Don’t they already have those?

  3. Brady says:

    Note the glaring contradiction: Greenwald is an idiot who knows nothing; he’s released enough information to put peope in serious danger. Not generally a fan of Greenwald, but he’s done us a service here.

    • YankeeFrank says:

      How can you not be a fan of Greenwald yet approve of this? This is what he does. There’s nothing different in this story from what he usually writes about, except now he has an informant to bring concrete evidence forward.

      • R. Johnston says:

        Greenwald is a libertarian Rand and Ron Paul apologist who generally seeks to throw elections to Republicans by claiming both sides are the same and trying to convince lefty anti-war types to throw their support to the racist misogynistic classist filth who happen to anti-war due to being isolationist crackpots. He also utterly fails to recognize that on civil liberties both the Pauls are far worse than Obama.

        Sometimes Greenwald gets a civil liberties matter right, mostly on those rare occasions where the Democrats really are as bad as the Republicans. But usually his schtick is simply “vote for the racist classist theocratic economic illiterate from Texas because voting for the lesser evil is bad.”

        • EH says:

          Have another cocktail, rummy.

        • DocAmazing says:

          Greenwald is indeed a libertarian, and has taken Koch money. By the same token, Radley Balko is a libertarian who has worked for the Koch-funded Reason magazine, and Balko is a leading voice calling out police brutality and repression.

          Gotta give credit where credit’s due. Stopped clock, twice a day, et cetera.

          • Corey says:

            “Greenwald is indeed a libertarian”

            No, he isn’t.

            • DocAmazing says:

              He’s a frequent Cato Institute speaker who has made no secret of his being a libertarian.

              • OpiumCapsule says:

                If “no secret” means “vehement denials”, then yes. Your buddies want to characterize his progressive advocacy (whose existence they don’t deny) as an act, while you just invent for him a fictional self-identification. Even Loomis backed off the Libertarian smear, a long time ago. Can you even read? The rebuttals to your ridiculous claim are in writing, as is a body of pro-Occupy, pro-labor, anti-inequality, pro-public-campaign-finance advocacy (or, in one of those cases, documentation of direct political activity) that exposes your assertion as ignorant nonsense. There are things called facts. Acquaint yourself with them.

        • Cody says:

          Yes, he wrote an article saying that he doesn’t endorse a candidate.

          And then goes around telling everyone that electing Obama is the same thing as Romney.

      • Murc says:

        How can you not be a fan of Greenwald yet approve of this?

        … the same way I’m not a fan of Bob Woodward in general, but approve of his Watergate reporting?

        • joe from Lowell says:

          Note the implication that one is supposed to suspend all judgment about the actual facts of the case and make up one’s mind purely based on one’s pre-existing opinion about Glenn Greenwald personally.

          Fuck that shit. Sometimes a crackhead pulls someone from a burning building, and sometimes a great humanitarian rear-ends you at a stop light.

      • sharculese says:

        Because Glenn Greenwald is a boringross writer who maunders on about the most trivial things forever and ever, and sees being pissy about people who don’t think he shits rainbows as being his most important job.

        Beyond that, he often manages to write/report important things, and when he breaks through his normal haze of tedious moralizing, he is to be praised.

        • Heron says:

          Yeah! Damn him for having principles he takes seriously and gets worked up about!! What a nerd!!!

          As to his exhaustive writing style, it’s really no different from Noam Chompsky’s, or the philosophy/law/social scholar writing tradition in general. He’s anticipating objections and addressing them in each essay; do people not get that? Honestly, what he’s doing is pretty obvious and old-hat to anyone who’s read any political philosophy, sociology, linguistics, ect ect ect written since, jeez, Plato? If you think it’s self-important, self-righteous, or arrogant that’s probably because you experience with such writing is limited. Hell, compared to Hume and Mills, he’s practically Cormac McCarthy.

          • Heron says:

            bah your :/

          • joe from Lowell says:

            maunders on about the most trivial things forever and ever, and sees being pissy about people who don’t think he shits rainbows as being his most important job

            having principles he takes seriously and gets worked up about!!

            Thinking these are the same thing is the problem.

    • IM says:

      Greenwald is an idiot who knows nothing

      A popular viewpoint on this blog; perhaps the prosecution should demand a jury drawn from LGM commentators.

  4. Brandon says:

    How does Feinstein keep her seat election after election?

    • zombie rotten mcdonald says:

      Same way as always, Pinky. Massive amounts of cash and judicious use of ratfucking.

    • YankeeFrank says:

      The same way all these rich fucktards do: a supine public and lots of money.

    • Scott S. says:

      America’s incumbency problem. :/

    • UserGoogol says:

      For what it’s worth, with Frank Lautenberg’s death, Dianne Feinstein is now the oldest Senator in office, so one has to assume she’s contemplating retiring at some point. But her term is until 2018, so she’s probably not feeling much pressure to hurry up.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

      Even very evil lesser evils get a lot of support from people who ought to know better.

  5. zombie rotten mcdonald says:

    Dick move, Feinstein.

  6. Another Anonymous says:

    So now we DO prosecute journalists? Sorry I have trouble keeping up.

  7. Scott S. says:

    Greenwald is an idiot. But being an idiot isn’t prosecutable, or half the damn country would be in the hoosegow.

    And I don’t recall if Feinstein ever wanted to see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, or any of the war cheerleaders thrown in jail for vastly worse crimes. I suspect she didn’t.

  8. cyntax says:

    Ahh… DiFi. I remember one election when the Repub running against her was anti-death penalty. She is–of course–pro-death penalty. Only time I’ve voted R. But she’ll never lose and she’ll have to be carried out of the Senate cause where would the rest of us peons be without her? More than many other senators she is convinced she knows what’s best for us.

    • Green Caboose says:

      Now, the funny part is that while the wingnuts love to see San Francisco as to-the-left-of-the-USSR, their mayors (like Feinstein) have been pretty middle of the road. Yep, very socially liberal, but may of those double-income-no-kid couples are otherwise surprisingly conservative.

    • nixnutz says:

      I voted for Tom Campbell in 2000 also, it wasn’t just the death penalty, he actually had a better ACLU rating overall that year.

      The sad thing is he didn’t do any better than any of the guys who have run since. I certainly wouldn’t have voted for him for Boxer’s seat or for governor but he’d be a damn sight better than Feinstein.

  9. JoyfulA says:

    Can’t he be called “Rep. Rogers” or “Congressman Rogers”? “Mr. Rogers” is just wrong.

  10. stranger reader says:

    Didn’t Headly’s wife go to the FBI with suspicions about him being involved in some sort of plot many years before the Mumbai attack? She’s counting him as a “get” for the PRISM system? Or am I just misunderstanding her point?

  11. joe from Lowell says:

    Is there even the slightest evidence that Greenwald conspired in some way with the leaker, or did anything more than open an envelope (or email attachment) that was dropped in his lap and then write about it?

  12. EH says:

    None of these programs allow for that. Unquote.

  13. jpe says:

    there are plenty of reasons not to like Feinstein without having to make shit up.

  14. Chuchundra says:

    Neither Feinstein nor Rogers were calling for Greenwald to be prosecuted. The “they” in that sentence referred to people who may have leaked the intel, not Greenwald and Snowden.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/06/intelligence-committee-leaders-defend-nsa-surveillance/

  15. montag2 says:

    If it’s a choice between Feinstein’s word and credibility, and Greenwald’s, well, adios, Diane.

    I don’t think Greenwald’s got nearly the financial interest in bamboozling the public that Feinstein has.

    The Senate, the Dems and the country are better off without her in a position of influence.

  16. Royko says:

    The information you’ve been given about the program is wrong, although secrecy of the program prevents us from saying in what way. Shame on you for judging without having all the facts that we are withholding.

    We welcome the debate we cannot have because it would endanger lives.

    Thank you for playing. Have a nice day.

    • Kurzleg says:

      This. And it’s not unique to Feinstein and Rogers, either. This is and has always been the trouble with the security state. It boils down to our elected officials saying, “Trust us.” This is a scenario that I doubt the Founders ever considered and a real challenge for representative government.

  17. wengler says:

    It’s time like these that I realize that the 9 percent Congressional approval rating has nowhere to go but down.

  18. [...] Sen. Feinstein wants Glenn Greenwald prosecuted [...]

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  20. Ted Levy says:

    It would certainly be fun to watch Greenwald, who is more than capable, get all Cruz-y on Feinstein. I recall she responded to Cruz by saying “I’m not a sixth grader,” at which point most sixth graders heaved a sigh of relief while some initiated slander suits.

  21. Michelle says:

    Besides the fact that I think Greenwald is smug and so arrogant I couldn’t watch him on tv this morning, where was he 12 years ago? Didn’t we all give tacit consent to compromise our civil liberties when we let The Patriot Act become law with virtually no opposition?

    I hope we can find a way to prosecute him along with the equally sniveling Snowdon.

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  23. [...] rather than just as a hypothetical revenge fantasy. Rep. Mike Rogers and Sen. Dianne Feinstein have both suggested they’d like to see Greenwald prosecuted, as well as Snowden, though it’s not entirely clear on [...]

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  25. [...] and/or had our prosecution advocated by the likes of Alan Dershowitz, Peter King, David Gregory, Dianne Feinstein, Marc Thiessen, Andrew Ross Sorkin (who later apologized), and many others. The UK government is [...]

  26. [...] and/or had our prosecution advocated by the likes of Alan Dershowitz, Peter King, David Gregory, Dianne Feinstein, Marc Thiessen, Andrew Ross Sorkin (who later apologized), and many others. The UK government is [...]

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