Glenn Greenwald and the anti-American conspiratorial tradition

Here are a few paragraphs from my essay published today at PJ Media:

Glenn Greenwald is a former blogger at and currently a columnist on civil liberties and U.S. national security issues for the Guardian. His political orientation embraces a brand of “anti-imperialism” — common within the UK far-left — informed by a palpable loathing of America, a nation characterized as a dangerous force in the world. Greenwald’s anti-Americanism is so intense that he once compared the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq to the Nazi conquest of Europe.

As is the case with many Guardian-brand commentators, Greenwald’s anti-imperialist ideological package includes a strong hostility to Israel, and a corresponding belief in the injurious influence of organized U.S. Jewry on American foreign policy in the Middle East. Indeed, Greenwald has not infrequently advanced explicitly antisemitic narratives, darkly warning of the Israel lobby’s total “stranglehold” on American policy which, he’s argued, represents a control over political debate in the U.S. so complete that it’s even eroded free speech protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution. Greenwald claims that the “real goal” of the Israel lobby is to ensure “suffocating control” on U.S. foreign policy, so that Americans aren’t even allowed to debate their country’s “indescribably self-destructive, blind support for Israeli action.”

Greenwald also often imputes the darkest, most ignoble motives to his political opponents, once, for instance, accusing conservative Jewish columnist Charles Krauthammer of possessing a “psychopathic indifference to the slaughter of innocent people in pursuit of shadowy, unstated political goals.”

Understanding Greenwald’s imputations of bad faith and conspiratorial (often bigoted) narratives is vital in contextualizing the story which he broke at the Guardian last week about the NSA collection of phone records of Verizon users, and allegations that big tech companies granted the government access to private user information via an operation called PRISM. While significant allegations included in Greenwald’s “scoop” — such as the claim that the NSA had attained “direct access” to company servers, and the casual suggestion that the NSA has been acting illegally — don’t seem to hold up to critical scrutiny, he has also engaged in characteristically risible hyperbole in attempting to frame the issues.

Read the rest of the essay, here.

17 replies »

  1. The problem with Glenn is that he is bitter and twisted even with his own country as he is not allowed to live in America with his gay Brazilian lover. He must feel very oppressed and frustrated. Unlike Israel, a democratic country.

      • I don’t think he is commenting on his personal life except in regards to why Glen is anti-american.

          • I got you too Marc, but in all honesty your comment spilled into details which are not important to the point you were making.
            What’s his partner to do with him not being able to live in the US?
            What’s his partner’s nationality to do with anything?
            Why mention hthe fact his partner is gay?

            • His partner is foreign, so can’t get a visa, so GG can’t live in the USA. The other bit allows GG to decide that it is ‘persecution’ rather than not giving a visa.
              I think that covers things nicely.

      • Yes. I have read GG stating at being very upset about his partner not getting a visa to the US. That is why GG is mostly in Brazil. This certainly is not the main point of his discontent but may well simply reenforce his bizarre relationship with the worlds greatest democracy. He claimed to see a homophobic conspiracy by the US and its conservatives. It is about as rational as the rest of his published thoughts.

  2. I would like to point out that in the article it states ‘common within the UK far-left’. While this applies to why the Guardian as a UK left paper is in love with him, it does not actually explain GG himself, as he is an American lefty.

    • If you read the article or articles – I no longer remember if it was one or many – he wrote praising the conspiratorial version of US history put together by Oliver Stone for Showtime with the help of conspiratorial associate professor Kusnick from American University, you will see the resemblance to the loony left ravings of the British ultra-left.

      Every that happens is the result of secret agendas, heavy hands behind the scenes doing exactly the opposite to what we are told ,etc, etc., and everything that happens in the world is the results of malign and deliberate American perfidy (and Greenwald is always happy to add to that a soupcon of Jewish influence in the name of Israel). Muslims are being systematically targeted, arrested, and killed by the US just because they are Muslims. Nothing is ever the fault of other nations, specially the Soviet Union, as it was then,

      Drone strikes are the ultimate evil, specially when they kill and American terrorist like Awlaki, which is unconstitutional. The unconstitutionality of killing a terrorist with a drone instead of risking lives to capture them an read them their rights, and put them on trial, is a view of the constitution of the US is similar to a religious person’s reverence for their religious text (does not necessarily apply to non-Americans, apparently – they are infidels not protected by the Constitution).

      • AKUS, I have to disagree with some parts of what you write. In the UK it is the far right that is mainly behind the conspiracies, except regarding the one of America being behind every foreign conflict (sadly it has been behind quite a few in the past, but it is normally quite open about it). The left in Britain is characterised either by requiring obsessive levels of righteousness on the ‘wests’ part, and a deep hatred for most Jewish self-identification, while at the same time being fairly pro-Jews who keep their own cultural identity to a bare minimum. By allowing fellow travelers, the left has also attracted a large following of open anti-semites (in the traditional sense), who interact with the left but tend to be far-right or ‘libertarian’. Glenn is mainly driven by an obsession to prove America wrong, but seemingly unbacked up by much of what drives the UK left- a romantisising of ‘other’ cultures (excepting Jewish!) And a twisted sense of supporting the underdog to the point of illogic.

  3. I agree with Mr. Greenwald and ‘The Guardian’

    Access to private user information is a terrible breach of my human rights. A good example is a statement such as this;
    “Please note that we reserve the right to access and disclose personal data to comply with applicable laws and lawful government requests, to operate our systems properly and to protect both ourselves and our users. ”

    Now where did I read that?
    Oh yes, it is the privacy policy of……’The Guardian’
    I love the smell of hypocrisy and bulls**t in the morning!

  4. My suggestion concerning the treatment of Greenwald`s publications is to point to the hypocrisy he is practising as I mentioned earlier.

    The free and democratic society he pretends to defend here against the “bad imperial state” doesn`t fit to his defence of cultural relativism, of authoritarian Muslim states, to the downplaying of terrorism, to the one sided defence of one religion while harshly judging others as he constantly displays in other articles and comments. While this is clearly his right to free speech, he is consciously undermining this right by advocating terror-affiliated persons, organisations and states who hate the free speech, and by turning labelling critics of Islamism, terrorism, Iran, Hamas, etc. as at least bias, if not guilty of hate crime what immediately can lead to litigations. And to less free speech.

    Now, who is advocating the more totalitarian approach? The NSA, limited by the law to eavesdropping within defined borders and without any executive power, or Greenwald, who denounces criticism as hate crime implicitly calling for litigations and advocating limitations of free speech?

    • I find aspects of this quite amusing. When people complain that a spy agency is spying we really have to start wondering what is wrong with these lunatics. It is like these people who object to cctv in public spaces.

      • They object to cctv mainly because it makes their dope dealings a lot harder to achieve.

  5. The NSA leaker just spilled the beans on the US spying on China through the internet. So now we have the “human rights” hacktivist Snowdon siding with a totalitarian Communist dictatorship against the USA ? Snowdon may well turn out to be a turn coat in the new cold war. Selling out the US against China. He does not wish to live in the USA, but China is all good right now…..go figure.

    • so goes greenwald’s argument that snowden did nothing to harm the usa’s national security

      greenwald is not a journalist…he is an advocate

      wanna know why he isnt being brought in and questioned

    • If true then he would definitely count as a traitor and not an idealist at all. Never mind, the left will still stay in love with him. See also- Vanunu