Glenn Greenwald, speaking at marxist meeting, misrepresents Snowden’s goals

On June 27 Glenn Greenwald addressed, via Skype, the U.S. ‘Socialism Conference’, the annual meeting of Marxist-Leninists which he’s addressed since at least 2011

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However, this year the crowd seemed especially buoyed by the ‘CiF’ correspondent’s new celebrity since taking on the role of chief defender of Edward Snowden, reveling at Greenwald’s sophomoric sloganeering – cheering wildly at every contemptuous word directed at the U.S. government, and each smear directed towards his critics.  

While you can see the full video for yourself, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out the following gem by Greenwald at the 31 minute mark of his talk:

Snowden ended up enlisting in the US military because he thought at first that the Iraq War was noble. He then did the same for the CIA and the NSA…because he thought those institutions were noble. 

This seems to be flatly untrue.

According to an interview Snowden gave to the South China Morning Post on June 12th, Snowden admitted he sought out his position at Booz Allen Hamilton (an NSA contractor) with only one goal in mind: to gather and then disseminate classified documents about NSA surveillance programs. 

Here’s the specific quote by Snowden which was widely reported in the media (including at the Guardian), the accuracy of which, as far as we can tell, hasn’t been challenged:

My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked.” “That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.”

Whatever your thoughts about Edward Snowden, there is no reason to believe that the “whistle-blower” ever considered the NSA to be a “noble” institution. 

More broadly, while the issues raised by the NSA story, such as how best to balance national security and individual privacy, are, of course, open to debate, Greenwald, an extreme left ideologue so hostile to his own country that he expressed sympathy for an American al-Qaeda operative, is not someone the media should be taking seriously about such an important conversation.  

This latest misrepresentation concerning the motivation of his ‘client’ represents another example of how absurd it is to refer to the Guardian contributor as a “journalist”. 

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