Benghazi to Boston: Glenn Greenwald’s hypocrisy in condemning ‘rush to judgement’ over marathon attack

In response to the bomb attack at the Boston Marathon on Monday which killed three people and injured more than 175, Glenn Greenwald did what he does best: vilifying America and warning about racist-inspired assumptions regarding the religious identity of terrorist perpetrators.  

In his CiF commentary, ‘The Boston bombing produces familiar and revealing reactions’, April 16, Greenwald lectures Americans outraged by the assault that they are in no position to make judgements in light of the “horrific, civilian-slaughtering attacks that the US has been bringing to countries in the Muslim world over and over and over again for the last decade

Greenwald is of course largely referring to the US military’s drone campaign against Islamist terrorists – in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere – who plot attacks against innocent American civilians.  (The use of such unmanned aerial assaults against enemy combatants is supported by most Americans, but has become something of a negative obsession for Greenwald and other Guardian commentators.)

Additionally, Greenwald spends a large percentage of his column condemning those on Twitter and elsewhere in the traditional and social media for their alleged ‘rush to judgment’ over the suspected perpetrator(s) of the Boston attack:

The rush, one might say the eagerness, to conclude that the attackers were Muslim was palpable and unseemly, even without any real evidence. The New York Post quickly claimed that the prime suspect was a Saudi national (while also inaccurately reporting that 12 people had been confirmed dead). The Post’s insinuation of responsibility was also suggested on CNN by Former Bush Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend (“We know that there is one Saudi national who was wounded in the leg who is being spoken to”). Former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman went on CNN to grossly speculate that Muslim groups were behind the attack. 

Wild, unverified accusations with “zero evidence” singling out a minority group for responsibility over a deadly act of violence?  That sounds familiar.

Indeed, the day after the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, Greenwald, in a post titled The tragic consulate killings in Lybia and America’s hierarchy of human life‘, wrote the following:

Protesters attacked the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Tuesday night and killed four Americans, including the US ambassador, Chris Stevens. The attacks were triggered by rage over an amateurish and deeply hateful film about Islam that depicted the Prophet Muhammad as, among other things, a child molester advocate, a bloodthirsty goon, a bumbling idiot, and a promiscuous, philandering leech. A 13-minute trailer was uploaded to YouTube and then quickly circulated in the Muslim world, sparking widespread anger (the US embassy in Cairo was also attacked).

Further, Greenwald repeated completely unverified (and ultimately false) claims that the film-maker (Sam Bacile) was “an Israeli real estate developer living in California” and that he had made the film with “the help of 100 Jewish donors.”

Greenwald’s wild speculation about the cause of the attack, and the putative Israeli and Jewish connection (also parroted by the Guardian’s Julian Borger and Caroline Davies), however, was completely unfounded.

  • On Sept. 12, reports already began to appear contradicting claims that Bacile was an Israeli Jew.  And, a day later it was confirmed that he was an Egyptian Christian. 
  • The Guardian was forced to correct Greenwald’s false claim about the Jewish identity of the film-maker

Reports regarding the importance of an obscure, low-budget anti-Muslim film represented merely a ruse, designed to divert the attention of those in the media already ideologically inclined to blame Jews, Israel and the West for deadly Islamist terror attacks. 

Greenwald’s ‘shock’ over the ‘racist’ rush to judgement of those who disseminated unconfirmed reports that the terrorist attack in Boston was committed by al-Qaeda (or other Islamist terror groups) again demonstrates the Guardian contributor’s stunning moral hypocrisy.

Written By
More from Adam Levick

CiF, Henning Mankell, and the audacity of evil

Henning Mankell is a best-selling Swedish author.  He’s also a Hamas flotilla activist who...
Read More