Glenn Greenwald at Marxism Conference: Defends Anwar Al-Awaki, calls 9/11 attacks “minimal in scope”

As was revealed in the blogosphere yesterday, Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who helped Edward Snowden launch the NSA leaks scandal, has addressed the International Socialist Organization’s  annual conference in 2011 and 2012 – and is set to address the radical group again later this year in Chicago.

The International Socialist Organization (ISO) is one of America’s main Marxist ‘revolutionary’ parties, and represents the “Marxist tradition, founded by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, and continued by V.I. Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky.”

The upcoming ISO event – which features, among other radical speakers, Ali Abunimah, as well as an anti-Zionist Jew named Sherry Wolf, who has justified Hamas terrorism, and characterized Zion­ist Jews as “white suprema­cist racists” – is sponsored by the Center for Economic Research and Social Change (CERSC).  CERSC is the publisher of International Socialist Review and Haymarket Books (which has published books by Abunimah, and sponsors the anti-Zionist blog Mondoweiss) and the publisher of Socialist Worker.

Here’s the official trailer for the 2013 event.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsFOHo690h4?feature=player_embedded]

What follows are clips of Greenwald at the ISO Conference in 2011 speaking about Anwar al-Awlaki, and other related issues.  Al-Awlaki was an American and Yemeni Imam, and the al-Qaeda regional commander (killed by U.S. forces after Greenwald’s 2011 speech) who was a senior ‘talent recruiter’ for the group, and who likely influenced the jihadist rampage of the Fort Hood shooter and the attempted attack by the ‘Underwear Bomber‘.  

Greenwald can be heard during the video characterizing al-Awlaki as someone whose only crimes were “speak[ing] effectively to the Muslim world about violence that the U.S. commits in [Yemen] and the responsibility of Muslims to stand up to this violence.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN5NlZbiV3c]

Here’s a clip of Greenwald later in the same speech where he expresses his hope for a weakening of the United States and its malign “imperialism”, and characterizes the 9/11 attacks by Al-Qaeda as very “minimal in scope”.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ukBphlRr3k]

(Here’s his full 2011 speech. And, here is his speech to the ISO in 2012.)

As I argued recently, Greenwald is not a mere civil libertarian or a ‘progressive’ commentator but, rather, a radical, anti-American activist, who aids our enemies by amplifying their toxic rhetoric.   

Whatever may come from the debate currently underway about NSA surveillance techniques, we can not let those, like Greenwald, inspired by a palpable loathing of America frame the debate concerning how best to defend the country against reactionary Islamists extremists openly committed to the murder of our citizens. 

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