Department of Justice Could Go After Glenn Greenwald Over NSA Leak; What About Leon Panetta?

Panetta highly unlikely to face prosecution


some people are more equal than others
The Guardian/DOD

Glenn Greenwald broke the news of a secret court order allowing the NSA to collect millions of telephone records. Now, the New York Times reports, Greenwald could face legal consequences:

The article, which included a link to the order, is expected to attract an investigation from the Justice Department, which has aggressively pursued leakers.

On Thursday night, he followed up with an article written with a Guardian reporter, Ewen MacAskill, that exposed an N.S.A. program, Prism, that has gathered information from the nation's largest Internet companies going back nearly six years.

"The N.S.A. is kind of the crown jewel in government secrecy. I expect them to react even more extremely," Mr. Greenwald said in a telephone interview. He said that he had been advised by lawyer friends that "he should be worried," but he had decided that "what I am doing is exactly what the Constitution is about and I am not worried about it."

The Obama Administration has already prosecuted more alleged leakers (six) than all previous administrations combined. What about former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who's been fingered as the likely source for leaks obtained by Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers? No word at all yet about any kind of prosecution or consequences for the leak, which did not embarrass the administration the way leaks about their civil liberties violations have.

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  1. But but but, wasn’t it just yesterday or the day before that Eric Holder said they wouldn’t prosecute journalists for doing their jobs?!?

    1. That’s not their job. The job of the press is to worship the Chosen One.

    2. He’s not a journalist, he’s a blogger. The NYT says so. And Lindsey Graham said he wasn’t sure if bloggers are entitled to first amendment protections. Obviously it’s a question the DOJ is asking as well!

  2. The most transparent administration evah!

    1. I bet he puts his “Most Transparent President” mug on the shelf right next to his peace prize.

  3. It’s time for all good party hacks to turn on Greenwald.

    1. That happened years ago. Several progressives/liberals have said on numerous occasions, and with strong conviction, that Greenwald is an evil Libertarian.

      I respect Greenwald a lot, but the man is not a Libertarian. He’s principled enough to call the fuckers out for their horse shit, no matter what team they represent.

      1. I respect Greenwald a lot, but the man is not a Libertarian.

        This. Which is to say that the subset known as Civil Libertarians shouldn’t be confused for libertarians. His views on things like SS and medicare are as abhorrent as Tony’s. But on civil liberties and the surveillance state, he’s as legit as they come.

        Greenwald has some crossover on some areas with libertarians, but he ain’t no libertarian.

        1. And I wish more modern progressives, liberals, the enlightened, whatever… were like him. It would make debate and public discourse much more civil and fruitful.

          I was a freshman in college when 9/11 happened. I never really tried to “pick a side” when it came to identity politics before that. Over the next 18-24 months I saw all the civil liberties/constitution abuse from the Bush admin and wanted to DO SOMETHING! I went to 2-3 Young Democrats meetings on campus(they were the ones holding protests on campus), and yeah that was enough for me. Fucking Marxism with a pretty paint job is all it was.

  4. “what I am doing is exactly what the Constitution is about and I am not worried about it.”

    Let’s just see what all these lawyers, justices, and Constitutional scholars say about *that*.

  5. Greenwald treats the Mighty Zero the same as BOOOOOSH? Traitorous bastard!


  6. Holy shit, these fuckin’ guys are just going completely off the rails. If you told me a year ago that this administration was going to start prosecuting journalists, I’d have laughed at you.

    Sorry Glenn, but I hope these asshats come after you full force. The only thing those people love more than Obama is themselves. Watching the media finally turn on Obama is going to b hilarious.

    1. They’re not turning on Obama if DOJ goes after Greenwald. They’ll do as they’re told, for access.

      1. You think? Narcissism usually wins in the end.

    2. ” If you told me a year ago that this administration was going to start prosecuting journalists, I’d have laughed at you.”

      Really? At no point did Obama ever pretend to be anything but a socialist asshat. They are all the same. Jackboot tactics interspersed with pretty speeches.

      There are no surprises here.

      1. no surprises, just illusions. People hear what they want to believe. They chose to believe that Obama is something that, even in his own words, he is not.

        1. Maybe I should clarify: I knew Obama was a socialist thug from day one. However, I seriously overestimated his ability to obfuscate this from your average Joe Retard. The media has been bailing him out in that regard for the past 5 years.

          But now he’s going balls-out on the institution most willing to lie for him.

          1. John sure has high hopes for the liberals to disown him, but look at shreek; he simply spends more time coming up with wilder excuses and new ways of blaming Bush.

  7. What about former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who’s been fingered as the likely source for leaks obtained by Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers?

    Leaking in the service of the king is the highest form of patriotism.

    1. What About Leon Panetta?

      What About him?

      1. Yeah, what about him?
        He’s a two-bit piece of political crap who has never held a job.

    2. Especially if you leak to the Main Stream Media, either in its news or entertainment forms.

      Give the story to some independent blogger and its off with their heads.

  8. I don’t see anything in the oaths of Federal office about protecting Americans’ safety. I do see a solemn committment to uphold the Constitution, which has a few things to say about government power.

    1. I don’t see anything in the oaths of Federal office about protecting Americans’ safety.

      Well, there is the part about “providing for the common defense” in the Constitution. It’s just too bad these guys think they have to violate the Bill of Rights to accomplish that.

  9. The press is free to ask permission and take orders just like anyone else.

  10. All this shit and two teenage Chechens still manage to kill people at a public event.

    1. Turns out that was due to a computer glitch: “Chechen” was interpreted as “chicken”.

      However, to be fair, you didn’t hear about two teenage chickens killing people at a public event.

      1. not hearing about it is not the same as it not happening.

    2. You don’t know that.

    3. There is almost certainly nothing that can be done (and certainly nothing that I would like to see done) that could prevent two determined people from doing something like that if they are careful and reasonably clever.

      1. Wait….there was something about liberty and security…I forget, how does it go?

        1. I think it goes “Give up all your liberty so you can be smothered by the security blanket of mother government.”

      2. Right, so what good is snooping on people?

      3. Bullshit.

        They could’ve listened to the fucking Russsians about the them being Islamic extremists.

        1. nah; that would be too much like intelligence. Much better to just spy on everyone rather than to listen to credible information about specific individuals.

        2. Do we know how many people the Russians tell them are Islamic extremists? For all I know, they could be telling them that every Chechen is one.

          But I might amend my earlier assertions a bit. Odds are good that two determined and reasonably clever people would be able to pull off a bomb plot in spite of any amount of government snooping. Where there is actual, specific intelligence, perhaps their odds would be a bit better. But even then, in anything approaching a free society, there is no guarantee that some more investigation would necessarily stop a bombing if the subjects of the investigation are careful.

      4. Exactly! That’s it in a nutshell. Every aspect of life carries at least a few risks. You do what you can to take some reasonable precautions, but that’s all you can do.

        It’s simply idiotic to give up all rights and freedoms just to (MAYBE) slightly improve the chances you won’t fall victim of something that is statistically a lot less likely to happen to you than dying in a car crash or by falling down a flight of stairs.

        That’s what gets me about the gun debate, too. Why gut the 2nd Amendment in a vain attempt to stop something that happens extremely rarely, when people are still dying everyday from drunk driving? I don’t see those same statist people calling to bring back Prohibition.

    4. This was my first thought. And the Islamist Army Major.

    5. All this shit and two teenage Chechens still manage to kill people at a public event.

      That’s because Chechen terrorists aren’t a threat to the regime, hell they inadvertently advance it’s interests.

      Gotta have your priorities straight.

        1. I’m not sure they aided its interests very much. When it was found they were actually living on welfare and getting free tuition, it ended up being an embarrassment, at least for Massachusetts.

  11. Glenn Greenwald is just a better human being than the following are or were:

    (1) Obama

    (2) The Bushes, Prescott, GHWB, Babs, Dubya and Jeb.

    (3) John McCain, one of the most vile, nasty, filthy human beings of all time.

    (4) Lindsey G.

    (5) Mike Dukakis

    (6) Stormin’ Norman Stormtrooper Schwartzcough

    (7) Ronnie Stukatch Reagan – yeah what mother fucking idiot would get all teary eyed thinking about this snitch?

    (8) James Earl Carter

    (9) Nancy Reagan

    (10) Maggie the war monger, big government lover, Thatcher

    (11) Dwight “I was only following orders when I ordered the shooting and murder of the Bonus Marchers” Eisengrupenfurher

    (12) All Roosevelts

    (13) All Kenedy family members

    (14) Dave Wiegel

    1. Can’t really argue with that.

    2. In some ways. But Greenwald is also a committed socialist. Saying Greedwald is a good guy overall is like saying that someone who is a Nazi is a great person because they objected to government surveillance. Good for him to being honest about this stuff. But his views on everything else are really bad.

      1. Orwell was also a socialist. Better an honorable, liberal socialist than a spineless, corrupt libertarian or conservative.

      2. Greenwald is a legit civil libertarian.

      3. I disagree with your overall sentiment.

        Though he is a committed socialist, that shouldn’t stop us from working with the likes of him on matters on which we agree. We don’t need to marry Greenwald, just go out to dinner on the odd occasion.

        Saying that we need to write him off is no better than proggies saying that all proggies should write off Rand Paul as he filibusters for 13 hours because he’s a dirty TeaThuglikkkan.

        Why should we not voluntarily work together when we have a common goal? I don’t have to agree with Greenwald on welfare programs to know that he’s doing god’s work on the surveillance state.

        1. This. Greenwald is solidly consistent in his principles and legit as a civil libertarian. The problem with us as libertarians is that we reject all forms of alliance the minute we find a whiff of Impurity. Fight with Greenwald on the battlegrounds where we agree and against on those where we don’t – for the past decade we would have been fighting with him far more that against.

          And he is extremely good at nasty comebacks.

          1. You are so right and yet most of the posters here could find ample evidence incriminating me on the charge of rejecting alliances the instant I smell even a soupscon of socialism on those with whom we should align.

        2. Totally agree with this. The same is true when you have some Red State republican who is actually 100% serious about stuff like a balanced budget, eliminating the debt, and retiring some entire federal departments. (I think most only SAY they are serious about those things.) The fact that he may also stupidly believe the earth is only 10K years old is of no consequence to me, unless he wants to teach my kid’s Geology 101 class.

    3. Show me on the doll where Nancy Reagan touched you.

    4. “(11) Dwight “I was only following orders when I ordered the shooting and murder of the Bonus Marchers” Eisengrupenfurher”

      Your meds, Lm. Take them.

      1. The problem is, when I take them, I lose interest, not only in polemics, but sex.

        Thus, although the blogs may not necessarily depend upon an engaged Libertymike, my wife has an interest in me laying off the meds.

  12. With all this snooping and it keeping us safe… so why didn’t they catch the Tsarnaev’s and the Islamist Army Major?

    1. The Tsarnev’s and Hasan didn’t mention the tea party in their phone calls and email, so they were cleared.

      1. Could be. ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. They did catch them. They didn’t stop them. Which is how catching bad guys almost always works. First they do the bad thing. Then someone catches or kills them.

  13. Turns out that was due to a computer glitch: “Chechen” was interpreted as “chicken”.

    A Chechen in every pot.

    1. Pressure cooker.

  14. They can always just strip Greenwald of his citizenship and then say that the Constitution doesn’t apply to foreigners.

  15. Greenwald with a nice retort to an attack from Nancy Pelosi’s daughter


    1. Also, she’s making ad hominem attacks against Greenwald, and blocking everyone on twitter who responds (including me). Apple not falling far from the tree there.

      1. Didn’t Piglousi vote for the authorization of war in Iraq?

    2. That’s great.

      You see, that’s one thing I really like about Greenwald – he’s kind of a dick. And once you start in with him, he will a) flame you and b) never forget it, and c) itemize your every statement for years and pillory you every time you contradict yourself.

      In other words, he kind of acts exactly the same way I do on the internet.

      So there’s like a kindred spirit thing going on there.

      Sure, John brings up the sock puppet thing, but I’d also employ sock puppets if I was writing under my own byline somewhere, so I’m all good with that, too.

      1. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Fluffy.

        Almost all of us here have been dicks to one another on this here little corner of the intertubes at one time or another.

    3. Nancy Pelosi

      … and, speaking of notorious liars:


      1. Hay, she said rates not premiums.

        Stop distorting her words!

  16. I guess this is what Obama meant when he said “google for government”

  17. The comments on Greenwald here are disturbing.

    John is correct that these people are totalitarian shitholes just waiting for the opportunity to act.

    1. Honestly they sound like Jeff Winger during the civil war episode.

      “Glenn Greenwald’s smugness is worse that the data mining!”

      Someone flavored their Cheerios with salty ham tears this morning! ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. WS ? 2 hours ago ?

        Someone needs to arrest this traitor.

        ssup20 flyonthewall. ? 2 hours ago ?

        When he says he’s not interested in the political fallout, you know he’s lying. He’s wallowing in it like a pig in shit

        usgirl84 DoremusJessup20 ? an hour ago ?

        He is a pig in shit

        Burn the Traitor!!1!!1!1

    2. Derp Underground is also replete with threads lustily celebrating our new Boy-Pharaoh Overlord, and how all the Greenwalds of the world are just racist buzzkills, and big ol’ poopyheads to boot.

    3. Someone needs to arrest this traitor. He obtained this information from a person in the intelligence community who leaked details of a top secret program. His smug attitude about enabling terrorists is worse than the data mining

      And we’re through the looking glass. Is this a hardcore Republican in 2003 now playing the role of 2013 progressive?

      1. I was about to make a comment of the same effect.

        The circle the wagons mentality to protect their vaunted “leader” is eerily reminiscent of those days.

    4. “I don’t have time at the moment to address all of the fallout because – to borrow someone else’s phrase – I’m Looking Forward to future revelations that are coming (and coming shortly), not Looking Backward to ones that have already come,” Greenwald wrote.

      Fuckin LOL. Get ’em, Glenn.

  18. The Cult of Personality will never tolerate this sort of backstabbing heresy.

    I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

  19. On a vaguely related note, I just found out last night that Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister are on Amazon Prime. So, that’s pretty great. Obviously recommended for any all libertarians. The name of the first episode is Open Government. Heh.

    1. Those have been on my wishlist for about a decade now.

  20. Question for those in the know:

    Would Wi-Fi calls be trackable through this method?
    Say you have your phone configured to use SipDroid or GrooveIP or some similar Wi-Fi calling app, that goes directly over your internet connection. Can the feds snoop on those calls?

    What about Skype calls?

    I imagine it should be fairly easy to house a server routing the calls in a foreign country that wouldn’t be subject ot US jurisdiction.

    1. Skype calls are compromised. Back when it was an independent company based in Sweeden, they refused to put in a capability for LEO wire-taps, and the feds got *very* bent out of shape about it.

      After Microsoft bought them out, that changed. I can’t remember where I read it, but it was in one of the IEEE things I read, so its credible.

      The best communications system is text encrypted with gpg sent via Tor. Of course, setting it up is a bear.

      1. Come to think of it anything that is linked to a Google Voice number is probably compromised. Which meads SipDroid and GrooveIP are out.

        Still, it should be theoretically possible to set up a wi-fi calling app that *doesn’t* route through any of the compromised providers. It might only work if both parties are running the same app though.

        1. Thinking … what we really need is a peer-to-peer based voice data routing system. If P2P can do streaming it should be able to do live audio.

  21. The best communications system is text encrypted with gpg sent via Tor.

    The very fact that you know this means you are a threat to national security. Don’t bother reporting; someone will be by to take you into custody.

      1. Of course. He may resist or try to run. It’s not feasible to arrest him. Best to just roast him and be done with it.

        Would that then make him The Late The Late P Brooks?

    1. Dude, at one time and lasting over a year, when a person googled the phrase ‘Armed Rebellion’, an essay I had written on the subject was the first link returned.

      Shortly afterwards, our hosting company contacted us to tell us they thought we were under a DOS attack – when in fact it was the DHS scraping our website pretty thoroughly.

      I *know* I’m on several lists.

  22. Oh Glenn you`ve made the mistake of actually meaning all the stuff you said about civil liberties. Now that you`re no longer useful against BOOOSH it`s time to be unpersoned.

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