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Truthdigger of the Week: Glenn Greenwald

Posted on Mar 23, 2012

We tip our hats this week to journalist and Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald for having the guts and the smarts to point out certain jarring inconsistencies in the Obama administration’s treatment of alleged WikiLeaker Bradley Manning versus accused Afghanistan shooter Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, among other “ironies” in our justice system Greenwald noted Tuesday.

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In a relatively short space, Greenwald, who Salon’s bio reminds us was previously a constitutional and civil rights litigator, ran down a list of problematic policies and stances that the administration and its supporters have adopted in recent months, touching on the National Defense Authorization Act and the White House’s license to kill American citizens; calling out Obama’s cheerleaders for supporting actions they’d condemn if and when Bush did them; and zeroing in on the hypocrisy, as he saw it, in the contrast between the government’s treatment of Manning and Bales. Both are being held in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where Manning was transferred after 10 months of solitary confinement.

Glenn Greenwald in Salon:

Think about that: if you expose to the world previously unknown evidence of widespread wanton killing of civilians (as Manning allegedly did), then you will end up in the same place as someone who actually engages in the mass wanton killing of civilians (as Bales allegedly did), except that the one who committed atrocities will receive better treatment than the one who exposed them. That’s a nice reflection of our government’s value system (similar to the way that high government officials who commit egregious crimes are immunized, while those who expose them are aggressively prosecuted). If the chat logs are to be believed, Manning decided to leak those documents because they revealed heinous war crimes that he could no longer in good conscience allow to be concealed, and he will now find himself next to a soldier who is accused of committing heinous war crimes.

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Good points, all. And on Thursday, Greenwald was busily bucking mainstream media trends by simultaneously displaying a nuanced understanding of international relations and a memory that extends further back than the last commercial break in his critique of last year’s NATO-led war in Libya:

Glenn Greenwald in Salon:

As I wrote repeatedly during the debate over that war, whether it is actually a “success” from a humanitarian perspective will be determined not merely by whether Gadaffi’s life can be ended, but by what replaces him (in exactly the same way that the Iraq War was determined not by Saddam’s death, but by what came after). Despite the widespread insistence that this intervention was a “success,” it is far from clear whether the situation will improve for Libyans or for anyone else as a result of that war. Wars and militaries are designed to destroy, and that’s almost always what they do above all else.

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Greenwald also devoted some useful column inches to criticizing President Obama and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey for declaring Manning guilty before he even went to trial, noting, “For Obama and Dempsey to proclaim Manning’s guilt makes it impossible to imagine how he could receive a fair trial.” And for Greenwald to make these points and stay on the administration’s case, he’s our Truthdigger of the Week.

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By Archie1954, March 28, 2012 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course violence will continue, as long as those outside interests who supply the rebels with guns and ammunition, continue to do so because they could care less whether the wielders of their weapons live or die.

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By heterochromatic, March 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

PH- i think we can do better than either of them. there are a million attorneys in
the country and thousands of them would be better than Holder or Greenwald.

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By PatrickHenry, March 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment


“but he sure as hell couldn’t be much worse than Holder.”

My point.

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By heterochromatic, March 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

loco—- look up the meaning of murder. he was killed, surely and definitely….but
murder is something else.

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By LocalHero, March 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

I don’t have a clue why anyone would debate such an unabashed idiot as psycho-chromatic.

I (or anybody else) do not need to be a lawyer to know that—

A) al Awlaki was an American citizen.
B) He was murdered.

Therefor, the US is guilty of murdering an American citizen. It’s no more difficult than that.

Personally, I could care less if he’s an American citizen. As a human being, he has a God-given right to due process and was not afforded such right. The US is no better than a Mob assassin.

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By heterochromatic, March 27, 2012 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

PH—- Greenwald makes many good points, but he’s not really the type of person
who would be a good choice to lead an enormous staff of opinionated attorneys,
all wanting to pursue different interests and most with far more professional
experience and learning than Greenwald.

maybe a staff position advising an AG…. but he sure as hell couldn’t be much
worse than Holder.

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By PatrickHenry, March 27, 2012 at 3:29 am Link to this comment

Greenwald is an excellent choice and makes many fine points on the the treatment of Manning (a patriot for exposing crime) and Bales (a criminal trying to cover up a capital crime).

Greenwald needs to be in AG Holder’s chair.

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By heterochromatic, March 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

bernie—- if there was any truth amongst your bullshit, then we are all prisoners
held without benefit of law.

and it’s simply illogical and stupid to call for the freeing of manning.

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By berniem, March 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

No matter the party or purported ideological stance, the ruling elite and their kleptocratic keepers are totally corrupt and beyond our ability to affect or control via conventional processes such as elections, initiatives, or referendi. The rule of law is a meaningless rhetorical concept subject to the fiat and Catch-22 interpretation of those in control of the dialogue and mechanisms of enforcement which are themselves committed and tasked to the preservation of those possessing wealth and power against those from whom it is unjustly taken. As it is so well understood that no agency of control yields such voluntarily, it is only a matter of time before the crushing wheel of autocracy rolls over us all or the braking power of public outrage brings the insanity to a halt! FREE BRADLEY MANNING!!!!!

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By heterochromatic, March 26, 2012 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

race—- yes, and the congress authorized the president to use military force.

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By racetoinfinity, March 26, 2012 at 1:00 am Link to this comment

@heterochromatic - Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution deals with The Legislative Branch - Powers of Congress, not the Administrative Branch (The President).  From your first post on, you don’t know what you’re talking about obviously.  What a waste of time.

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By Textynn, March 25, 2012 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am so glad that someone stood up to the phony, say one thing and do the opposite, Obama Administration.  Obama works for the interest of the financial industry aka Wall Street and the wars are all about installing their control worldwide. He lied to the American people on every issue and now he struts around like his s*** doesn’t stink while he serves up the American people to the greed of a few families that think we are cattle.

So done with two the party lie!!

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By heterochromatic, March 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

the president has been authorized to use military force against certain persons,
not anyone he wishes to….

thanks for the giggles, steve….. the Constitutional amendments have not nullified
Article ! Sec 8…....



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By oakland steve, March 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment


You seem to have missed a few things in your dispassionate search for larger truths.  You apparently think that the burden of supporting your position is an overly onerous one, and on that I agree.  It sounds as if you start with the notion that the president has the right to order the death of anyone he wishes; if one objects, it’s his obligation to find an exception to the chief executive’s power of life and death.

That’s not the way the law in this country is supposed to work.

You ought to try reading about the US Constitution and the rule of law.  I would draw your attention especially to the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 14th amendments.

You must enjoy using the internet to get the attention of people who wouldn’t waste 30 seconds on you, in person.

Happy trolling!

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By heterochromatic, March 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

steve…... the burden is not on me… you make your case and then if there’s
anything worth rebutting, I’ll oblige.

or you could simply do as Greenwald did, and read the rebuttal from far better
attorneys and back off the bullshit about illegality, settle for saying that the killing
was extra-judicial

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By oakland steve, March 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

...and why is it not criminal?

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By heterochromatic, March 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

the part that characterizes the killing as criminal.

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By oakland steve, March 25, 2012 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment


“Greenwald can’t make the case for murder,” you state.

If you have a disagreement with his position, I would assume that you know and understand the bases for his characterization of the killing as a murder.  With which elements of his argument do you disagree, and why?

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By heterochromatic, March 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Greenwald can’t make the case for murder. why don’t you try to do so,
steve….show us what you learned in law school.

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By oakland steve, March 25, 2012 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

This is the most inane exchange that I’ve ever seen on TruthDig. 

Heterochromatic, a non sequitur is not an argument, and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. 

As a “seeker of truth,” your conviction that Greenwald is wrong to try to “...pass off the assassination of al Awlaki as a case of the US ‘murdering’ one of its citizens…” must be based on something “truthy” because Greenwald’s analysis is based on the Law.  You know, the thing that lawyers learn about in 3 years of law school? 

What’s your truth?

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By heterochromatic, March 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

gerard——I could never imagine that any tender regard
for you would be a waste.

beyond that small allotment of conditionally offered
pity, you also have a fair amount of my respect…...

despite making the mistake of thinking that I offered
myself as one of those dispassionate seekers after
truth… I’m far too much the curmudgeon.

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By gerard, March 25, 2012 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

Hetero:  Help me remember that you are a “seeker after truth.”

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By gerard, March 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

hetero:  Don’t play dumb!  You know what I mean when I said I’d never met a
“dispassionate seeker of larger truths.”  Your original statement (just previously
quoted back to you) sounded (and still sounds) pompous.  “Seeker of truth” brings
it down to size where I can deal with it in terms of my experience, as I’ve known
many of that type,  Kindly don’t deign to waste any of your precious pity on me.

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By heterochromatic, March 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

he’s just another lawyer,el, no longer practicing.

did he have any great success as a litigator? is he
especially esteemed by the members of the profession?

look up Matthew Hale/ Judge Lefkow and Greenwald.

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By elisalouisa, March 25, 2012 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

Ah, but not just another “lawyer.”  Glenn Greenwald gave up the law profession in favor of journalism, an ex-lawyer if you will. The fact that Mr. Greenwald is knowledgeable in law would make his well aware of the legal ramifications concerning his subject matter be it Robert Bales or others.

The brief bio that appears in Salon:

“Glenn Greenwald (email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) is a former Constitutional and civil rights litigator and is the author of two New York Times Bestselling books on the Bush administration’s executive power and foreign policy abuses. His just-released book, With Liberty and Justice for Some, is an indictment of America’s two-tiered system of justice, which vests political and financial elites with immunity even for egregious crimes while subjecting ordinary Americans to the world’s largest and most merciless penal state. Greenwald was named by The Atlantic as one of the 25 most influential political commentators in the nation. He is the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and is the winner of the 2010 Online Journalism Association Award for his investigative work on the arrest and oppressive detention of Bradley Manning.”

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By heterochromatic, March 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

gerard——the wisdom of it is far easier to question
than is the legality…..

absent some urgent need, I doubt the wisdom while
asserting the legality.

I’m taught to believe that there are seekers after
truth….and I’ve certainly met some people I would
nominate as same.

I’m sorry for you if you never have met anyone such.

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By gerard, March 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

Hetero:  Tall order—“dispassionate seeker of larger truths”  Don’t think I ever
saw one, and most certainly would rather see than be one—especially in this day
and age at this time and place. Being a passionate seeker of even a very small
truth would help us more than anything right now.  As tp Alwaki:  More than a few
“typical lawyers” have serious questions about the wisdom and probity, if not the
legality of this case, pending as it does upon so many other questionable
possibilities.  Better to question it now than to let it become a habituated
procedure—that is, if we wish to remain a country of laws rather than of tyranny?

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By heterochromatic, March 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

that he opines and advocates for a cause and that he’s not a dispassionate seeker
of larger truths.

when he attempted to pass off the assassination of al Awlaki as a case of the US
“murdering” one of its citizens, he demonstrated as much.

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By gerard, March 25, 2012 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

hetero:  Inviting you to dance again, just what might “just another lawyer” imply
when you say it?

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By heterochromatic, March 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

Greenwald is a fine advocate and an impassioned defender of thing s as he thinks
they should be…and sometimes he’s correct and sometimes he’s merely zealous in
defense of his position despite it being wobbly.

He serves a function, but he’s, at bottom, just another lawyer.

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By elisalouisa, March 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Glenn Greenwald, a rare journalist deserving of the title “Truthdigger of the week.” Most of the main stream media stays within the orbit of the Pentagon and White House rather than independently seeking the truth as Glenn Greenwald has a habit of doing.

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By Rosemary Molloy, March 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t knw why this didn’t show up when I submitted it before; I am registered.  But here goes again: vector 56 or anybody, could you please tell me if the Crazy Horse 18 killers were disciplined in any way? Do you know if, indeed, they simply resumed their normal lives or if the case is pending?  Were any charges brought against them?  If noone here knows, can you tell me how to get that information?
Thank you.

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By oakland steve, March 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

Congratulations on having made a great choice!

Glenn Greenwald has been as dependably consistent a voice for justice and reason as any in the media in the last few years.

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By bobi6, March 24, 2012 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Glenn Greenwald is the Truthdigger of the week every week. I read his
column and watch him on panels sometimes. He is always and without a
doubt the best informed person on these panels. When he makes a
statement correcting some other panel member there is rarely another
retort. He’s that good. A real hero along with Bob Scheer and Chris Hedges
in this publication.

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By sofianitz, March 24, 2012 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

Glenn Greenwald is one hell of a guy, that we all ought to admire a lot.  He has a constitutional lawyer’s discipline, an amazingly accurate sense - and deep respect for - the truth, and more guts than a government mule.  He wears no man’s collar.  My deepest admiration and respect to Glenn Greenwald.

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By gerard, March 24, 2012 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

Best choice yet!

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By Mairead, March 24, 2012 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

To understand what’s going on, all we need do is remember that the US system has been shaped by psychopaths for their own purposes.

If you don’t recall what a psychopath is, it’s an individual that operates at approximately the emotional level of a reptile:  no concern for others, no hesitation to act, no genuine remorse (tho many learn to feign remorse for self-protective reasons).

If that’s still not clear, perhaps this statement will help.  It was made by a psychopath imprisoned for nearly killing someone: 

“He spends a couple of months in the hospital and I rot in here for years.  How fair is that?  If I’d wanted to kill him, I’d have cut his throat.  But I’m a nice guy, I gave him a break.”

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By Jim Yell, March 24, 2012 at 7:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I seldom watch the tv news as after a few rah rah’s to the government and a bit of coverage of a few deaths or news oddities it is off onto breathless reports of the activites of supposed celebrities. I used to like listening to the news, but not for years now, because it just drones on and on.

It is nice to know there is someone who will point out the inconsistencies and gap between what our government says is true and what is in fact true.

The military-industrial complex is destroying the country with their lies and crimes. For my part in the interests of Democracy Free Bradley Manning and how can I vote for Obama or the Republicans when neither of them believe in the Bill of Rights?

Obama is death by a thousand cuts and the Republicans are death by decapitation. Not much choice in either one, besides at 68 I am tired of giving my votes to the one who might be the lest toxic.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, March 24, 2012 at 5:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The most important thing he has accomplished has been to expose the hypocrisy of democrats and Obamaphiles for supporting the policies of this administration that they so thoroughly condemned under Bush.  The attitude that, its ok when our side does it, is the main reason why the world is in such a mess.  These Obama democrats who pride themselves on their moral superiority have no moral standards at all.  For them political realities are about as significant as sporting events.  Root for your team no matter what.  If you don’t love America, leave it.

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By Rosemary Molloy, March 24, 2012 at 4:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

vector 56—or anyone else:
I’ve been trying to discover what ever happened to the Crazy Horse 18 killers.  Do you know for sure they’re free?  Were they ever charged with anything?  Where they cleared or what?  Could you direct me to a site with that information? Would like to know.

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By jaydenwilliams, March 24, 2012 at 4:08 am Link to this comment

No doubts Glenn Greenwald is one of the best journalist and his work is always commendable..

perfume online

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By vector56, March 24, 2012 at 3:12 am Link to this comment

Glenn Greenwald is one of the few out there who still “speak truth to power”; also Alyona Minkovski (the Alyona Show) of RT is doing a heck of a job as well.

Personally, I am not surprised that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales received better treatment than Whistle Blower Bradly Manning. The two pilots (Crazy Horse 18) who gunned down 15 people (two reporters)and maimed 2 small children (“Collateral Murder”) are still free while Manning was incarcerated for exposing their crimes.

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By jimmmmmy, March 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

I agree with your selection.Glenn does a consistantly great job with his reports and articles.

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