Background on Glenn Greenwald for Guardian readers: ‘sock puppets’ & ‘smart spam’

While the Guardian claimed they cut their ties with Josh Trevino over an ethical breach, the bullying by anti-Zionist extremists such as Ali Abunimah, who objected to Trevino’s unapologetic opposition to Islamist terrorists and their supporters, was clearly the main reason.

Either way, I thought it would be fair to provide an occasional glimpse into the background of Glenn Greenwald, the other U.S. contributor who the Guardian hired along with Trevino.

While we will spend a good deal of time, in subsequent posts, exposing Greenwald’s history of extreme anti-Zionist (and anti-American) commentary, including explicitly antisemitic narratives about the injurious effects of Jewish power on US policy, here’s a glimpse into an almost comical ethical breach by Greenwald which caused quite a stir back in 2006.

(First, a “sock puppet” in internet-speak is a reference to a false identity assumed by a member of an online community who spoke about himself while pretending to be another person.)

Here’s a good summary of the Greenwald ‘sock puppet’ scandal, as reported by the blog, Ace of Spades‘.

Shawn (at the blog, ‘Sky is Red’), started the ball rolling by noting that many of Glenn Greenwald’s on-line defenders seemed to use very similar languagecausing suspicion that these fake internet posters, or “sock-puppets,” were actually Glenn Greenwald himself.

A poster calling himself “Ellison,” defending Greenwald on this site, is found, conclusively, to have the same IP as Glenn Greenwald himself, posting on Patterico’s site. (Note: This article is written humorously, and is very long, because half of it is jokes. A briefer digest is available at Patterico’s, if you just want to get to the point. Read Patterico for the digest, read me for the jokes.)

Then more sock-puppets — “Thomas Ellers,” “Ryan,” and “Wilson” — were discovered on other websites, all somehow using Greenwald’s IP address.

Greenwald denies the charges with a vague insinuation his “magic friend” is obsessively trolling rightwing sites defending him under assumed names.

Another sock-puppet discovered, again obsessively defending Glenn Greenwald, this time under the name “Rick Ellensburg.” Worse yet, “Rick Ellensburg” is shown to use many of the same tics in writing style as Glenn Greenwald. (And of course he shares Greenwald’s IP as well.)

Even worse– the final nail in the coffin. While the previous post demonstrated “Rick Ellensburg” regurgitating Glenn Greenwald’s arguments, in his writing style, a closer examination shows he also PRE-gurgitates Glenn Greenwald’s arguments, writing comments very similar to Glenn Greenwald posts the day before Glenn Greenwald actually writes them on his blog.

Additional similarities in the writing style of Glenn Greenwald and his sock-puppets discovered, further undermining the already-preposterous claim that it is his “Magic Boyfriend” writing these posts.”

You can see a more thorough post on Greenwald’s sock puppetry at the blog, Patternico’s Pontifications.

Image courtesy of Patternico blog

Further, a few years later another incident occurred which raised questions about Greenwald’s relationship with the truth.

In 2010, blogger Adam Holland revealed that Greenwald ‘Liked’ conspiracy monger Alan Hart on his Facebook page.

As Holland noted, Hart believes (among other crazy conspiracy theories) “that, on 9/11, Israeli agents controlled the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center via remote control devices hidden in cell phones”, and  “that Israel stole nuclear weapons from a U.S. military base and intends to use them to destroy an American city.”

Greenwald responded at Holland’s blog, thus:

Holland replied to Greenwald’s bizarre reply by noting the following:

“Greenwald’s Facebook “likes” — the ones that all allegedly resulted from spam — included several anti-Zionists of an unsavory nature (Cynthia McKinney and Lew Rockwell stand out) but no Zionists.

He’s now taken the list from public to private on his profile. Or the Magical Mystery anti-Zionist Facebook spam is attacking again.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had mystery spam click a page ‘Like’ on Facebook which I didn’t approve.

Moreover, in the two incidents covered in this post, Greenwald’s explanations seem, at best, extremely implausible: ‘magical friends obsessively trolling right-wing sites’ and ‘mystery anti-Zionist Facebook spam’!

Stay tuned. It’s likely that the ethically challenged Greenwald may be the gift who keeps on giving. 

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