Glenn Greenwald: ‘There has been a complete breakdown in partisan or ideological divisions over how people reacted to this story’

On Tuesday's episode of The Independents, civil-liberties journalist Glenn Greenwald came on for a two-part interview to discuss his new book No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State. In the first part, he talks about the harrowing first few weeks of trying to process one of the most significant government leaks in U.S. history:

In Part II, Greenwald talks about Snowden's background and motivations for leaking, and about the new cross-ideological coalition of Americans who have joined in opposition to the surveillance state:

Reason on Greenwald here, and Snowden here. Past Independents segments can be viewed at this link.

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  • Libertymike||

    Ah, first!

  • Libertymike||

    Glenn is a hero.

  • ||

    Of course reactions break down on partisan lines. That's what partisans do. They have no principles, no integrity, no intellectual honesty. There is only TEAM. Our entire political establishment is composed of and supported by people who do not think, they just support their side no matter what. I'm not quite sure where this is going to lead but it isn't good.

  • Brett L||

    Eh. The Republic always decays once the Elected realize that FREE SHIT can buy them a life-time lock on power. I suggest that anyone who wants to hold office may do so for no more than 10 years, must go into exile for a period equal to the time they held office, and never be allowed to work for the government again. Let's discourage the parasites from inhabiting the halls of government.

  • ||

    Except that the people in power will never allow your rules to be put in place. That's the flaw with minarchists; they think they can somehow control the government if they just put the right rules in place. Minarchists in their way are like progressives, but instead of thinking TOP MEN can solve things, they think TOP RULES can.

    It's the rules that the power hungry hide behind and use to pretend legitimacy. Just don't have a pretense of rules and that fake legitimacy goes away.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I don't personally put too much more faith in rules than I do in men. If you really want liberty to thrive, you need a people that places primary value on liberty.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Having said that, rules aren't useless.

    1) At least in theory, they provide you with an unambiguous way of identifying behavior that is "alllowed" vs "not allowed". This enables people to make informed choices.

    2) They represent one possible ideal of how people should act. When that ideology is articulated, it provides something concrete for people to hold in reverence, so to speak, which in and of itself reinforces the desired behavior.

    They are sort of like saints --- reality differs from the ideal, but they at least provide something for people to aspire to, and that does have value within any given ideology or philosophy. TOP MEN (in the here and now, not the sanitized historical myths) don't command that same level of respect, unless they successfully build a cult of personality.

    Now, whether the underlying ideology is good or bad is a separate question.

  • Brett L||

    Oh, I understand it won't work. I'm a Heinleinian, not an Asimovian. There's no TOP. MEN. who can fix the underlying problem. It is the nature of people to organize into units that lets a large number of people feel safe and not have to think. That is why anarchic collectives never last long. It has little to do with my preference. I'm just trying to suggest ways that can slow down the inevitable slide into a ruling class who get to live by different laws than the ruled should we ever get another opportunity like the founding of our current nation where people honestly try to set up a limited government.

  • GamerFromJump||

    That's why you need a Second Amendment or something like it. To give teeth to the rules.

  • John||

    No. Greenwald saying the opposite. He is saying the partisan divide has completely broken down meaning people from both sides have both disagreed and agreed with him.

    There is a partisan divide here. But it is not team red versus team blue. It is team totally unprincipled asshole government lover and team everyone else.

  • poloniusium||

    How many people on team 'everyone else' are going to vote out the team 'totally unprincipled asshole government lover' on this issue alone?

    They agree on plenty besides this.

    I like the new TEAMS.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Or Team "I've Got Nothing To Hide" vs Team "That's Not The Point", which is another way of saying Team Naive vs Team Aware.

  • John||

    Or Team Moron versus Team Aware.

  • MWG||

    "There is a partisan divide here. But it is not team red versus team blue. It is team totally unprincipled asshole government lover and team everyone else."

    This.

  • JWatts||

    "No. Greenwald saying the opposite"

    Yep, I agree with John's interpretation.

  • paranoid android||

    Just the other day our illustrious Commander-in-Chief was informing us that America is not in irreversible national decline now, but it could be if Republicans win elections and Democrats do not remain in power forever.

    I mean, if that's such a certainty, and so many Democrats and liberals are trying to convince me that it is, how can one conscience letting "the law" or "the electoral process" allow such a disaster to happen? If non-left liberal/progressive politics are an actual existential threat to the prosperity of the republic, who could oppose letting some leader--some kind of, I dunno, strong guy, or something--do whatever is necessary to defeat these extremists and save America?

  • poloniusium||

    I've been thinking about similar things. I'm too young to know, but it seems like actual discussion has died and polarization has made honest debate incredibly hard to come by. People view 'opponents' as caricatures who are nothing more than malevolent fools or actors in bad faith. Therefore, discussion with them is a waste and the person can return to their echo chamber, where their accepted views are never challenged.

    Obviously, some people really argue in bad faith or are unthinking zealots. I think it's too cynical to suppose that everyone is though. Most people are simply useful idiots whose faith in their TEAM can be broken.

  • Sevo||

    poloniusium|5.15.14 @ 2:54PM|#
    "I've been thinking about similar things. I'm too young to know, but it seems like actual discussion has died and polarization has made honest debate incredibly hard to come by. People view 'opponents' as caricatures who are nothing more than malevolent fools or actors in bad faith."

    Try the 'debate' among the FDR boot-lickers and those who saw him as all but king.

  • Idle Hands||

    We've been having the same arguments on many things the last 50 years at least. School of choice, affirmative action, foreign entanglements, regulation state. All has gone as people like Hayek, Milton Friedman, Sowell among others had predicted/forewarned. The war of ideas is over, the statist's have been proven wrong historically on nearly every idea they've proposed. All they have left is personal attacks. It's no wonder politics has devolved to this level, its all they have left.

  • JWatts||

    "the statist's have been proven wrong historically on nearly every idea they've proposed"

    No, you are wrong about that. The statist's have been right about two critical issues. One, political power generally trumps every other power in our system. It trumps free speech, money, private guns, religion, etc.

    Furthermore, the branch of statists that have latched onto redistribution have proven it will keep you in power indefinitely as long as you keep the group you are taking from a distinct minority of the process and can create some kind of moral argument for the taking.

    The moral argument doesn't have to be compelling, just good enough that those who are receiving the largesse will buy into it and those who are having their assets taken won't decide to violently resist.

  • LynchPin1477||

    it seems like actual discussion has died and polarization has made honest debate incredibly hard to come by

    I don't think this is anything new. I mean, we fought a freaking war 150 years ago, which isn't really all that long.

    That is why I try (not always successfully) to not get too stressed out or buy into all the doom and gloom. We've survived far worse.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So was Greenwald duped by this SELF-IMPORTANT TRAITOR or is he also a RUSSIAN SPY?

  • poloniusium||

    Does anyone else think it's sort of far-fetched that a Russian spy would begin releasing information before he got to Russia?

    Or that he would release anything to the media at all? I thought the NSA had such bad auditing that they had absolutely no idea what he had stolen. Releasing information might give the US some idea of the range of what he took.

    Maybe it's all a ploy by Russia's crack propaganda teams to split the US before they invade?!?! /sarc

  • MWG||

    Can't tell if serious...

    *eyes squinting*

  • Paul.||

    he talks about the harrowing first few weeks of trying to process one of the most significant government leaks in U.S. history:

    New York Times and Washington Post harrumphing.

  • Ornithorhynchus||

    All I ever get with these Independents clips is just a blank screen.

    I would've really liked to watch this.

  • Marianna||

    The videos (which are really good--though Kennedy gets a bit shouty) are also here:

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-.....ependents/

  • Azathoth!!||

    I think 'joined' may be a bit generous.

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