In his ongoing crusade to insure that Very Tight Focus is kept on the substance of NSA domestic surveillance and the flaccidity of the FISA court and not on distracting side issues, Mr. Glenn Greenwald -- the principal reporter and curator of this very important and consequential story -- has given yet another interview to yet another major news outlet.
This time Mr. Greenwald was interviewed (Exclusively!) by Chinese state television.
That interview focused almost entirely on:
- Edward Snowden's superhuman tranquility.
- The fact that America spies on Brazil.
- Apparent confirmation (or at least no denial) that among the thousands of classified documents Mr. Snowden stole (and copies of which are now in Mr. Greenwald's possession) are lists of the names and identities of undercover CIA agents.
- Apparent confirmation that Mr. Greenwald carries these thousands of highly classified documents on his person at all times, but that they are all perfectly safe because he has stashed the encryption keys where no one can find them.
- Mr. Greenwald's assurance that every story published is the product of rigorous assessment of that story's public interest value.
- Unnamed but "very prominent political figures and journalists" who have called for Mr. Greenwald's arrest. Which sounds pretty ominous. So ominous, in fact, that Mr. Greenwald tells Chinese state television (Exclusively!) that he would be "irrational in the extreme...to ignore those risks". Mr. Greenwald does not mention that, in America, "journalists" can't arrest anyone. Mr. Greenwald also fails to mention his list of "very prominent" journalists who have done anything remotely like calling for his arrest boils down to Andrew Ross Sorkin (who later profusely apologized), David Gregory (who is a buffoon who asked a stupid and incompetently-framed question) and a handful of bloggers.Mr. Greenwald also fails to mention to the reporter from Chinese state television that the
onlyleading* "very prominent" political figure who has called for Mr. Greenwald's arrest has been Peter King, who does not have any actual police power and has been, for as long as anyone can remember, one of D.C.'s most reliable go-to guys when you want an elected Republican nutjob to say something inflammatory on the record. Of course, a story told this way -- "A couple of reporters and one well-known fringe lunatic Congressman made some asinine remarks" -- would not make nearly so interesting a tale of sinister American perfidy to spin on Chinese state television. Exclusively!
- This glimpse of how Mr. Greenwald believes realpolitik works in the real world -"Governments can get away with doing only that which the populations of the world let them do. We see examples of that all the time, where formidable and powerful power centers end up being restricted or even subverted and harmed and ended as a result of backlash from the population that first becomes aware of what they are doing to them then sufficiently angry about it and draws a line."-- as explained by Mr. Greenwald utterly without irony to the reporter from Chinese state television.
- Mr. Greenwald's revelation that part of his agenda is to sufficiently embarrass the US government by exposing details of its spying on other governments that the public relations "cost" from "around the world" will too high for them to continue doing it.
Two items which were conspicuous by their absence from Mr. Greenwald's exclusive interview on Chinese state television?
NSA domestic surveillance and the flaccidity of the FISA court.
*UPDATE: Correction. It has been widely reported that there are two other prominent politicians who appear to have said very stupid things about prosecuting Mr. Greenwald.
However, if you look at the actual transcript from the June 9, 2013 "This Week" exchange between George Stephanopoulos, Rep. Stone and Sen. Feinstein on which this widely-repeated assertion is based, it is very clear that neither Sen. Feinstein nor Rep. Stone ever called for Mr. Greenwald to be prosecuted.
And I will present such a case later on as chores, work and various errands and personal matters permit...