More wild Israel-lobby ‘trutherism’ at ‘Comment is Free’

Last year, ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Stephen Kinzer, much like fellow contributors Glenn Greenwald and Michael Cohen, was angry at the opponents of Chuck Hagel.  Hagel, you may recall, is the former (conservative Republicansenator from Nebraska who, despite being hostile to abortion rights, gay rights and civil rights, became a progressive cause celeb among the Guardian-style left upon being nominated for US Defense Secretary.

Kinzer, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, made the following argument in his Dec. 31, 2012 ‘CiF’ op-ed, adding to the chorus of voices from the Guardian Left who are convinced of the pro-Israel lobby’s sinister grip on politics, accusing the lobby and their supporters of agitating for a US war with Iran.

“What do Nebraska and Iran have in common? Not much – but enough to cause big trouble for former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, whose possible nomination to be secretary of defense is being challenged by the powerful bomb-Iran-yesterday lobby.”

Militarists in Washington, taking their cue from pro-Israel lobbyists, are trying to derail the appointment because Hagel doubts the wisdom of starting another war in the Middle East.

More recently, in a ‘CiF’ op-ed (‘Are Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions clouding her morals?‘, Jan. 29) criticizing former U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s apparent failure to take a position on a bill which would increase sanctions against Iran in the event negotiations with the six world powers (P5+1) fail to produce an agreement, Kinzer wrote the following:

Here lies the dilemma. A strong statement by Clinton in favor of reconciliation would be a game-changer in Washington. She would be giving a centrist, establishment endorsement of her former boss’s most important foreign policy initiative. That would provide political cover for moderate Democrats terrified of antagonizing the Netanyahu government and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is leading the anti-reconciliation campaign in Washington.

Such a statement, however, would risk outraging pro-Netanyahu groups and individuals who have been among Clinton’s key supporters since her days as a Senator from New York. Having spent years painstakingly laying the ground for a presidential campaign, she does not want to risk a misstep that would alienate major campaign contributors.

Whilst his fear mongering over the alleged toxic influence of the pro-Israel lobby (and money from “pro-Netanyahu groups and individuals”) is predictable, Kinzer takes his agitprop to the next level in suggesting that U.S. Senators are not only fearful of AIPAC, but in fact are “terrified” of the prime minister of the Jewish state. 

While it’s less than clear what form of retribution the prime minister of Israel can exact on American legislators, Kinzer and his band of Israel lobby truthers never seem interested in exploring a simpler and less conspiratorial explanation for why US politicians are disinclined to support recent US overtures toward Iran: most Americans dislike Iran and don’t believe that they can be trusted to abide by any nuclear agreement.

Finally, an interesting fact about American public opinion routinely ignored by ideologically obtuse critics of Israel and the ‘Israeli lobby’ was revealed in a recent survey on U.S. attitudes toward American Jews commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League. When asked to identify which of five well-known lobby groups wields “the most influence on American government policy,” only 4% chose the pro-Israel lobby. Americans evidently consider the pro-Israel lobby to be far less powerful than the gun, oil and drug lobbies.

Here’s a chart of the data:

Screen-Shot-2013-10-31-at-4.00.50-PMWhat such dark anti-Israel conspiracists fail to acknowledge is that whatever influence the pro-Israel lobby in Washington does have is largely merely a reflection of the popularity of Israel among the American people.

But, as this blog continues to demonstrate, when it comes to Israel related commentary at the Guardian and ‘Comment is Free’, facts, logic and empirical evidence take a back seat to ideology almost every time.  

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Tyranny of the weak: Why the Guardian will support the next Palestinian Intifada

There are quite a few factors which lead us to believe that many Guardian reporters and editors will likely lend moral support to the Palestinians in the event they launch another deadly intifada.  

Specifically, the paper has shown a clear tendency in the past to license extremist commentators who reject peace and reconciliation with Israel and legitimize (if not justify) Palestinian terrorism.  Additionally, their binary moral paradigm in which Palestinians are seen as immutable victims of Israeli oppression further necessitates at least tacit support for the Palestinians’ recourse to violence. 

First, their promotion of extremism:

In 2011, the Guardian published the leaked ‘Palestine Papers’ and, in an official editorial contextualizing the thousands of pages of “confidential” Palestinian records covering years of negotiations with Israel, harshly criticized Palestinian leaders for showing some alleged reasonableness during negotiations, suggesting that they ‘sold out‘ on Palestinian “rights” such as ‘the right of return’ – characterizing such putative flexibility as “craven”.

The Guardian:

“It is hard to tell who appears worst: the Palestinian leaders, who are weak, craven and eager to shower their counterparts with compliments; 

A well-researched report by Just Journalism in 2011 demonstrated the consistent promotion of voices at ‘Comment is Free’ that reject peace negotiations and even Israel’s very right to exist:

Just Journalism:

The Guardian published more op-eds by Palestinians than by Israelis during  the first half of 2011, with eleven comment pieces by nine Palestinian contributors in comparison with six by four Israelis Three of the Palestinians who contributed op-eds during this period were  either members of Hamas or strongly affiliated with it, and have endorsed  terrorist attacks.  Four further Palestinians were secular nationalists who also reject Israel’s legitimacy and endorse policies that would turn it into an Arab majority state…

Here’s one example demonstrating that the Guardian continued to license even terrorists committed to murdering Jews.

Musa Abumarzuq is deputy head of Hamas's political bureau

Musa Abumarzuq is deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau

Editors also published a letter in 2011 by a philosophy professor which explicitly defended the right of Palestinians to murder Israeli civilians (including, presumably, children) in terror attacks – an editorial decision which was actually defended by their readers’ editor following the uproar which ensued.

Here’s the letter:

Also in 2011, the Guardian editorialized about the ‘Arab Spring’, and actually praised the Palestinians for launching intifadas. 

The Guardian:

The leaders of Fatah and Hamas were obliged to reconcile by the forces stirring the Palestinian street. The negotiators of Fatah had stopped negotiating, and the fighters of Hamas had stopped fighting. Both had to respond to a simple idea: if one million Egyptians can fill Tahrir Square demanding Palestinian rights, why can’t Palestinians, who taught the Arab world how to mount insurrections, and mounted two intifadas of their own.

In 2012, during the war in Gaza (Operation Pillar of Defense) Associate Editor Seumas Milne wrote an op-ed defending the right of Hamas terrorists to launch terror attacks against Israelis, and argued that Israel has no such moral right to defend itself. 

Seumas Milne:

“So Gazans are an occupied people and have the right to resist, including by armed force (though not to target civilians), while Israel is an occupying power that has an obligation to withdraw – not a right to defend territories it controls or is colonising by dint of military power.

Even if Israel had genuinely ended its occupation in 2005, Gaza’s people are Palestinians, and their territory part of the 22% of historic Palestine earmarked for a Palestinian state that depends on Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem. Across their land, Palestinians have the right to defend and arm themselves, whether they choose to exercise it or not.”

Emboldened by the wave of change and growing support across the region, Hamas has also regained credibility as a resistance force, which had faded since 2009, and strengthened its hand against an increasingly discredited Palestinian Authority leadership in Ramallah in Ramallah. The deployment of longer-range rockets that have now been shown to reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is also beginning to shift what has been an overwhelmingly one-sided balance of deterrence

Oppressor vs. Oppressed Paradigm: 

In addition to what seems to be an almost fetishization of Palestinian political violence, the binary, oppressor-oppressed political framework in which they see the conflict seems to necessitate that they suspend moral judgment when dealing with what they see as the ‘weaker party’.  This moral tick betrayed itself in their 2011 editorial on the Palestine Papers noted above, where they opined about the notes released from the 2008 negotiations between Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas:

Guardian:

It is hard to tell who appears worst: the Palestinian leaders, who are weak, craven and eager to shower their counterparts with compliments; the Israelis, who are polite in word but contemptuous in deed; or the Americans, whose neutrality consists of bullying the weak and holding the hand of the strong

More recently, an official Guardian editorial on the current peace process (Israeli-Palestinian talks: perpetual motion, Jan. 1, 2014), began thus:

The secret of perpetual motion eludes scientists but sometimes seems close to being grasped by those involved in the so-called Israeli-Palestinian peace process. That process has too often been about avoiding peace rather than about achieving it. Movement with no other purpose except to suggest something useful is being done mocks the Palestinians, who have been waiting for more than a generation for a measure of justice.

It is important that the responsibility for this failure is assigned correctly, with the greatest part belonging to Israel, the next largest share to the United States and only the smallest portion to the Palestinians. They have been difficult and sometimes slippery negotiators, and they may – it is arguable – have missed some serious opportunities in the past. But there are two points that must always be borne in mind with the Palestinians: they are the aggrieved party; and they are by far the weakest party.

Indeed much of the Guardian’s world view seems dictated by such platitudes about the virtues of the putatively powerless.

As Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson said in defense of his notorious cartoon (during the Mavi Marmara row) which used biblical imagery in depicting murderous Israeli troops killing the dove of peace, while another soldier aimed his weapon at two unicorns:

 I do my level best to stick to the protocols of alternative comedy of the early 1980s, as well as to HL Mencken’s useful nostrum about afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted. In other words, I only attack people more powerful than me

Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian’s star reporter until late last summer, said at a conference of socialists recently that if you are pleasing the people in power…your job is not journalism.

Much of the Guardian’s shift editorially from the Zionist sympathies under its long time editor and owner CP Scott to their current pro-Palestinianism can arguably be traced to the way in which many on the left began to accept previously marginal theories on the necessity of understanding political affairs in the context of the relationship between the powerful and the powerless.  

Such elites soured on the Jewish State once (in the years following the Six Day War) they were no longer viewed as the underdog besieged on all sides by more powerful foes but, instead, as the confident, successful and militarily dominant modern state.  The Jewish people’s greatest sin, argued Pascal Bruckner, was “having emerged from their immemorial weakness” and, by “fearlessly resorting to force”, betrayed the role of victim that had always been assigned to them.

However, more sober minds would surely understand that Israel’s virtue is not dependent upon either its power relationship with its foes, but, rather, by the inherent justness of its cause: its exceptional tolerance towards religious, ethnic and sexual minorities; the strength, vitality and endurance of its democracy; the dynamism of its economy and disproportionate quantity of scientific advances, and the fact that it continues to faithfully carry out one of its primary missions, to serve as a refuge and safe haven for Jews everywhere – a role Theodore Herzl characterized as “the Guardian of the Jews”.  

Similarly, any intellectually credible assessment of the Palestinian people – one not compromised by the bigotry of low expectations – must avoid the temptation of seeing Palestinians as abstractions, and instead view them as complex political actors who are morally accountable for their decisions.  Those who suggest that Palestinians have no choice but to walk into pizza parlors and ignite suicide vests, sending thousands of pieces of shrapnel coursing through the limbs and organs of innocent men, women and children – all of whom are ‘powerless’ to resist the tyranny of such wanton violence – are not only negating the humanity of the Israeli victim, but denying the moral agency of the Palestinian perpetrator.

If negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians do break down, the Palestinians will still retain the power to freely decide whether to continue pursuing their interests through the political arena, or to return to the path of violence and destruction.  If they choose the latter, then Palestinians, and Palestinians alone, will bear moral responsibility for the unimaginable consequences.

And, if the worst does indeed happen, and Israelis are forced once again to bear the burden of a malicious campaign of terror, then the chances are good that Guardian editorials will fly off the presses ‘contextualizing’ the violence as understandable (if regrettable) last resort of the ‘downtrodden’, while all but ignoring their ‘more powerful’ victims.

Genuinely liberal voices, of course, would never countenance such a facile ethical response to a nihilistic, malevolent course of action, and would certainly never succumb to the fool’s moral calculus which equates weakness with virtue.

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Has Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger exposed names of thousands of GCHQ personnel?

Cross posted by former MP Louise Mensch

rusbridger

Alan Rusbridger

Journalists have asked me on Twitter if I really want to see Alan Rusbridger arrested. Yes, I do; and here’s why.

It was always incredibly bad that he had exposed British intelligence agents to foreigners, willfully, having admitted that doing so would expose them. My prior blog below shows how he redacted all their names from the files he FedExed to ProPublica but then decided he couldn’t be arsed on the 25,000 files he sent unredacted to the NYT and Glenn Greenwald.

A comment was left on that last blog that I have to reproduce. It shows that every agent exposed by Rusbridger has had their career ruined for the duration of it; none of them can ever work in the field again. Furthermore, the writer makes the compelling case that the NSA-GCHQ wiki, which the New York Times published extracts from, and the directories of staff interests like gay and lesbian clubs, ghost hunting clubs etc, mean that Rusbridger has actually sent abroad not just a handful of names, as he claimed to Parliament “there were names on power points” but actually thousands of GCHQ names.

It is possible he has exposed the names of every person working at the agency. I checked this comment with Prof John Schindler, @20Committee on Twitter. Schindler is former NSA Top Secret plus cleared, a senior NSA officer, and currently a Professor at the Naval War college in Boston.

He says that my commenter is “very probably” right on the wiki and its directories. Here’s the comment:

As a total security imbecile, Rusbridger fails (or refuses) to grasp this basic concept: Any intelligence operative whose name is exposed to journalists, or put in a position where the likelihood of their identities being publically exposed is at greater risk, CAN NEVER BE DEPLOYED COVERTLY.
The issue here is not that ‘no names have been published’, it is that a) copying and trafficking them in a way that gives poor assurance over their long-term control and b) allowing such vast visibility of their names to unvetted journalists has had significant implications for those staff safety, deployability and careers. This also puts the Agencies operational effectiveness in peril – operational staff are difficult to recruit, train, retain and protect. To have even tens of staff blown could cause entire business areas to grind to a halt and lead to further attrocities on the streets of the UK.

Let’s take an example: we necessarily have a sizeable security presence in Northern Ireland. Therefore there were almost certainly named staff within those files who work in Northern Ireland or would have been required to do so at some point in their careers. If names were to hit wikileaks then there is a real and tangible prospect of those staff in such high risk environments being hunted down and killed. In this situation they would have to leave their homes within minutes of publication. With documents shipped extensively internationally, with hundreds of journalists given access does Rusbridger seriously think it would now be viable for such staff to remain in environments like Northern Ireland, does he think such staff who were already deployed there could remain regardless of whether the Guardian actually published the names? Is this a risk HMG can take? Of course not. This is why it is a criminal offence to communicate names and this is why HE HAS CAUSED GREAT DAMAGE.

Those staff may have been employed for another 40 years, can Rusbridger give any long-term assurances over control of those documents he shipped? Of course not.

It seems apparent that the information exchange wiki betrayed by the Guardian did not just include the odd name – the Guardian’s own descriptions imply that it included entire staff directories; which is logical as after all, this is exactly the sort of information GCWIKI would have been set up to share. We might be talking about many thousands of names. This could be a security disaster of unparalleled proportions.

In his Witness statement, Oliver Robbins stated that:

‘I am advised that information already obtained has had a direct impact on decisions taken in regards to staff deployments and is therefore impacting operational effectiveness’

So it sounds like this damage is already happening.

Lives and careers put at risk and families uprooted for Mr Rusbridger’s convenience? It is difficult to conceive of a more treacherous, reckless act.

Do I think that Rusbridger would have sent the files over if he had realised the wikis contained directories with thousands of names? No – I don’t think him as bad as that. Or that he deliberately scorched the careers of every intel officer named in the files? Again, no. I can’t think so ill of the man as that. But it’s the smugness of thinking he knows better, that he is, as he has said many times, above the law – didn’t want “judges” getting hold of the story – and the determination to secure for his financially failing paper some online traffic that led him to do this wicked thing. Time and again Rusbridger has been shown not to understand the basics of intel. He kept the files in a “secure room” with floor to ceiling windows covered with blinds, ideal for laser mikes. They could pick up any detail of conversations about those files in that room. This had to be pointed out to him by civil servants and was one reason he agreed to destroy his hard copy of the files (and this is by his own account).

He has cited this wholly false, fake figure of 850k people having access to the GCHQ documents – which is the total number of US personnel cleared Top Secret. Intelligence doesn’t work like that, there is compartmentalisation, it’s on a need to know basis only. As Prof Schindler has said he was given the topmost NSA security clearance and he did not see, have access to or know about these files.

Rusbridger is a journalist; he doesn’t know what’s safe and what’s not, or how intel works. As my commenter says (and my commenter is not using his real name) this is precisely why it is a criminal offence to communicate names. I will be writing today to Commander Cressida Dick at the Metropolitan Police to put in a complaint of a criminal offence based on this, as she has said anyone can do yesterday in Parliament. It is to be hoped that other journalists will hold Rusbridger to account on what he has done, but there is a massive amount of establishment clubbery going on. We must rely on the police not to be intimidated by a very powerful press axis. A free press under the law means just that, and it’s why hacking trials are now proceeding.

Praise for Max Blumenthal’s ‘I hate Israel handbook’ from David Duke and the usual suspects

Cross posted by Petra Marquardt-Bigman 

Coinciding with last weekend’s 75th anniversary of the “Kristallnacht” pogrom by the Nazis, several institutions in Berlin, including the Jewish Museum, organized an “International Conference on Current Phenomena of Antisemitism in Europe.” Given that the focus of the conference was supposedly on “current” manifestations of antisemitism in Europe, it was not at all promising that the keynote speaker – Oxford University philosopher Brian Klug – has made a name for himself by arguing that the demonization of the Jewish state is not “necessarily anti-semitic.” And while Klug has spent much energy opposing the notion that there is a “new antisemitism” that targets Israel, he seems eager to embrace the relatively new concept of “Islamophobia.” 

When critics of Klug published a dossier detailing their objections to his views, the Oxford professor immediately hinted that he might take legal action, because his “attorney…confirmed that the dossier is defamatory.” That left me wondering if Klug (and his attorney, of course!) feels there is anything “defamatory” about the fact that he is being enthusiastically defended and cheered on by a site like Mondoweiss, which has often been accused of publishing antisemitic material.

In recent weeks, one of the biggest stories at Mondoweiss was the publication of a new book by Max Blumenthal, one of the site’s heroes. As one critical reviewer elsewhere noted, Blumenthal’s “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel” is really a “I Hate Israel Handbook” brimming with implicit equations of Israel with Nazis, which “could have been published by the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club (if it existed) without a single word change once it’s translated into Arabic.”

Unsurprisingly for those of us who are less sophisticated about antisemitism than Brian Klug, there is a big market for a new “I Hate Israel Handbook.” The Israel-haters at the Electronic Intifada jubilantly announced that the book was at one point “the number one seller on Amazon.com in the category of Israeli history.” So perhaps we can imagine that just as Brian Klug shared his thoughts on “Current Phenomena of Antisemitism” with his audience at the Berlin conference, some Mondoweiss (and Brian Klug) fans and other Israel-haters were savoring Blumenthal’s screed – and perhaps they even happened to read the chapters on the Israeli-run concentration camp and the Israeli-perpetrated Kristallnacht?

Blumenthal Goliath

It is arguably no coincidence that a site like Mondoweiss would champion both Oxford philosopher Brian Klug and anti-Israel propagandist Max Blumenthal. Indeed, the fairly impressive endorsements Blumenthal has been able to get for his screed could be seen as the fruit of Klug’s endlessly repeated mantra that there should be precious few red lines when it comes to criticizing Israel. In one of his first articles on this subject Klug wrote some ten years ago:

“In his book, The Case for Israel, Alan Dershowitz argues that when criticism of Israel ‘crosses the line from fair to foul’ it goes ‘from acceptable to anti-semitic’.

People who take this view say the line is crossed when critics single Israel out unfairly; when they apply a double standard and judge Israel by harsher criteria than they use for other states; when they misrepresent the facts so as to put Israel in a bad light; when they vilify the Jewish state; and so on. All of which undoubtedly is foul. But is it necessarily anti-semitic?

No, it is not.”

Let’s imagine for a moment how Professor Klug would feel about this version:

“when critics single Islam out unfairly; when they apply a double standard and judge Islam by harsher criteria than they use for other religions; when they misrepresent the facts so as to put Islam in a bad light; when they vilify the Muslim religion…[this] undoubtedly is foul. But is it necessarily Islamophobic?

No, it is not.”

Of course, one could try this with Blacks, Roma, gays, or whatever other group or entity one would like to vilify while claiming the authority of Oxford philosopher Brian Klug to argue that none of this means that one is “necessarily” bigoted.

However, as we all know, the Klug-definition for bigotry is considered acceptable only when it comes to Israel. So Max Blumenthal and many others can apply double standards and judge Israel by harsher criteria than any other state; they can misrepresent the facts so as to put Israel in a bad light; and they can freely vilify the Jewish state without risking to be denounced as “necessarily anti-semitic.”

Now let’s have a look at some of those who were happy to endorse Blumenthal’s “I Hate Israel Handbook.”

The top editorial endorsement featured on the book’s Amazon page is unsurprisingly from ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Antony Loewenstein: “Goliath…shows in forensic detail the reality of the Israeli mainstream’s embrace [of] blatant racism against Arabs and Africans.” It is noteworthy that the ‘CiF’ contributor is saying here that the vast majority of Israelis are blatantly racist: the rightwing is racist by definition (certainly by The Guardian’s definition), and since the mainstream is also racist, only a small minority of far-left Israelis are perhaps not racist. It’s also safe to assume that Loewenstein is only talking about Jewish Israelis here – so at least Arab Israelis may not be racist…

Ironically enough, another warm endorsement for Blumenthal’s screed comes from The American Conservative (TAC), nicely illustrating that when it comes to the evils of Israel, a supposedly “progressive” publication like ‘Comment is Free’ and a paleoconservative publication like TAC can see eye to eye.

Then there is an endorsement from Stephen Walt – with his full institutional affiliation: Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Walt praises Blumenthal’s “[b]rave reporting,” adding: “Makes me wish he wrote for the New York Times.” Given that earlier this year, Walt served as guest contributor for the Hamas mouthpiece MEMO, it is arguably not surprising that he would happily endorse a book that “could have been published by the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club.”

Another high-profile academic endorsement for Blumenthal’s screed comes from Rashid Khalidi, though the Columbia professor apparently didn’t want his institutional affiliation displayed. Khalidi praises the book because he feels it “lifts the carefully maintained veil concealing the reality of Israel as it actually is today” and he deplores that this reality “is elided in most reportage from the region.” Obviously Khalidi has a point: with all the bad press Israel is getting, the ‘unveiling’ of its concentration camps and Kristallnachts is still something that is usually found only on the lunatic Jew-hating fringes.

Needless to say, Blumenthal also made sure to collect endorsements from some well-known Jews. Charles H. Manekin, Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Center of Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland, likes to describe himself as a “cultural Zionist” – that is to say, a “Zionist” who cares about Jewish culture but not about a Jewish state (– and non-philosophers might think that makes him an anti-Zionist…). His enthusiasm about Blumenthal’s “I Hate Israel Handbook” was such that he professed: “I would like to send a copy…to every Jew I know.”

In addition to these endorsements from academics, there is much praise from writers who work or worked for influential publications: Glenn Greenwald, who has just left The Guardian, apparently found it “stunningly insightful” to read about Israel’s concentration camps and Kristallnachts; David Hirst, also affiliated with The Guardian, worries that Israel will be destroyed by the “virulence of a cancer, both institutional and popular, which [is….] essentially of its own racist and colonialist making;” award-winning former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges considers Blumenthal’s screed one of the most “fearless and honest books ever written about Israel;” and long-time Ha’aretz columnist Akiva Eldar also couldn’t help feeling impressed by Blumenthal’s relentless demonization of Israel.

Naturally, Blumenthal’s “I Hate Israel Handbook” was also warmly praised by his trusted comrades from Mondoweiss and The Electronic Intifada. And unsurprisingly, Blumenthal’s work is also much appreciated by Gilad Atzmon and David Duke.

Here’s a passage of praise from Duke’s site:

“Blumenthal’s writings and videos are extremely valuable in the study of Jewish extremism, as he is not shy about using his Jewish name and looks to gain access to Jewish extremists in order to document the ugliest side of Zionism…as it pertains to Israel.”

While this is an endorsement Max Blumenthal chose not to quote on his Amazon page, I think that this is exactly the company the people who praised Blumenthal’s screed deserve. But I have no illusions that any of them would feel embarrassed by the fact that a propaganda tract they endorse is also praised by far-right antisemites. Moreover, even those who have prestigious academic positions know that, thanks in part to efforts like those of Oxford philosopher Brian Klug, there is no price to pay for cheering the vilification of the Jewish state – and therefore inevitably the Jews who sustain it – in ways that would be completely unacceptable if any other group with a long history of persecution and discrimination was the target.

Jewish Daily Forward ‘Top 50′ list includes “journalist” who promotes antisemitism

The Jewish Daily Forward 2013 ‘Top 50‘ represents their annual survey of the 50 men and women who’ve made “a significant impact on the Jewish story” over the past year, and is informed by “rules require that every one is an American citizen whose actions speak with a Jewish inflection”.  Their 2013 list includes such prolific Jewish voices as Philip Roth and Ruth Wisse – as well as a former Guardian columnist we’ve commented on quite frequently: 

gg

Their selection of Glenn Greenwald is explained thusly:

The biggest story of 2013, and possibly the decade, has been the exposure of the National Security Agency’s domestic and international surveillance program, including the extent of intelligence-sharing between America and Israel. At the center of this story — its conduit — is Glenn Greenwald.

As a columnist for the Guardian, Greenwald came into contact with the NSA security contractor Edward Snowden in May. Snowden was ready to reveal the extent of the agency’s spying, and Greenwald’s first story ran on June 6. At that point, Greenwald became the world’s most important journalist — though some question whether he is a journalist or an advocate.

Greenwald, 46, is based in Brazil, where he lives with his partner, but he grew up in New York and Florida and worked as a constitutional and civil rights lawyer before he started a blog in 2005 and saw his career take off.

Though his fame over the past year has been due to the NSA revelations, Greenwald’s columns, at Salon and the Guardian, frequently dealt with Israel in a critical way

Whilst the far-left orientation of the paper, which once ran a glowing profile of a prolific opponent of Israel’s continued existence known as Ali Abunimah, at least partly explains the honor they bestowed to Greenwald, their characterization of his politics as ‘critical of Israel’ represents a simply egregious deception.  

As we’ve demonstrated continually, it is not at all an exaggeration to characterize Greenwald’s hostility to Israel (and the U.S.) as similar to the hate rhetoric of Islamist extremists – a fact which may in part explain Greenwald’s defense of Hamas, Hezbollah and even, on at least one occasion, an American Al Qaeda operative.

Additionally, to get a sense of The Jewish Daily Forward’s ideological airbrush of Greenwald – employing the Guardian tactic of characterizing commentators who engage in antisemitism as merely “critical of Israel” – here is a collection passages from his columns which ‘deal with Jews in a critical way‘.

  • Large and extremely influential Jewish donor groups are the ones agitating for a US war against Iran, and that is the case because those groups are devoted to promoting Israel’s interests.” – Feb. 3, 2007, Unclaimed Territory
  • “The dominant narrative among neocons and the media is that, deep down in his heart, [Obama] may be insufficiently devoted to Israel to be president of the United States. Has there ever been another country to which American politicians were required to pledge their uncritical, absolute loyalty the way they are, now, with Israel?” - May 13, 2008 Salon
  • If you don’t…pledge your loyalty to our policies toward Israel and to Israel, what will happen to you is what just happened to Charles Freeman. You’ll be demonized and have your career ended.” – Jan. 8, 2009, interview on Hugh Hewitt  Show
  • “Those [American Jews] who favor the attack on Gaza are certainly guilty…of such overwhelming emotional and cultural attachment to Israel and Israelis that they long ago ceased viewing this conflict with any remnant of objectivity.” – Jan. 4, 2009 Salon
  • “So absolute has the Israel-centric stranglehold on American policy been that the U.S. Government has made it illegal to broadcast Hezbollah television stations and has even devoted its resources to criminally prosecuting and imprisoning satellite providers merely for including Hezbollah’s Al Manar channel in their cable package.  Not even our Constitution’s First Amendment has been a match for the endless exploitation of American policy, law and resources to target and punish Israel’s enemies.” – March 9, 2009, Salon
  • The real goal [of the Israel lobby], as always, was to ensure that there is no debate over America’s indescribably self-destructive, blind support for Israeli actions. [Charles] Freeman’s critics may have scored a short-term victory in that regard, but the more obvious it becomes what is really driving these scandals, the more difficult it will be to maintain this suffocating control over American debates and American policy.” – March 11, 2009 Salon
  • “The point is that the power the [Israel lobby] exercises [is] harmful in the extreme. They use it to squelch debate, destroy the careers and reputations of those who deviate from their orthodoxies, and compel both political parties to maintain strict adherence to an agenda that is held by a minority of Americans; that is principally concerned with the interests of a foreign country; and that results in serious cost and harm to the United States. In doing so, they insure not only that our policies towards Israel remain firmly in place no matter the outcome of our elections, but also that those policies remain beyond the realm of what can be questioned or debated by those who want to have a political future.” – March 11, 2009 Salon
  • “[Charles] Freeman is being dragged through the mud by the standard cast of accusatory Israel-centric neocons (Marty Peretz, Jon Chait, Jeffrey Goldberg, Commentary, The Weekly Standard’s Michael Goldfarb, etc. etc., etc.).” –March 9, 2009 Salon
  • “Meanwhile, one of the many Israel-Firsters in the U.S. Congress — Rep. Anthony Weiner, last seen lambasting President Obama for daring to publicly mention a difference between the U.S. and Israel — today not only defended Israel’s attack. – June 1, 2010 Salon
  • This is a truly disgusting spectacle…commentators — all of whom are writing well within the range of mainstream opinion on Israel — are being publicly smeared early in their careers as anti-Semites as part of a coordinated, ongoing campaign planned by Josh Block and carried out by numerous journalists with large media platforms, and aided and abetted by Jewish groups trading on their credibility to suppress debate. – Jan 19, 2012 Salon

On The Jewish Daily Forward’s history page, we are told that the paper (which originally launched as a Yiddish-language daily in 1897) has fought, over the years, for social justice, and has been “among the nation’s most eloquent defenders of democracy and Jewish rights.”

So, perhaps the paper’s editor, Jane Eisner, can explain how they can reconcile their commitment to promoting social justice and defending Jewish rights with their decision to honor an extreme ideologue who trades in explicitly racist narratives about the injurious influence of ‘disloyal’ American Jews on the body politic.

Betrayed: how the Guardian muled the names of GCHQ personnel to American bloggers and papers

This article originally appeared in Louise Mensch’s blog Unfashionista on Nov. 4 and is republished here with permission

The Guardian has lied to the British people. They HAVE passed to foreign papers and blogs the names and identities of GCHQ agents, having lied and stated they did not to avoid prosecution, and to dupe other papers, police and some MPs into thinking that all they did was report on data collection, never giving up the names of British intelligence officers.

nyt

NYT, Nov. 3

From the start of this affair, and the ‘David Miranda is only a journalist’s spouse’ lie, the Guardian has sought to deceive its fellow papers and the public. But I confess that even I did not believe they would just dump out the identities of our intelligence personnel, copying those files and smuggling them to foreigners.

We already know Alan Rusbridger and Janine Gibson have duplicated and muled abroad the Snowden files, handing them to the New York Times and some bloggers at ProPublica.

For some months, I have been asking the Guardian to admit if they betrayed the names, or identifying details, of anybody working at GCHQ to foreign papers in order to boost their online readership while their paper sales are crumbling to insignificance.

It was not surprising that they refused to answer me, because communicating material identifying any person that works at GCHQ, and which could be of use to terrorists, is itself a terrorist offence under British law. Not just publishing the names, mark you – communicating them. To anybody.

I’ve blogged before about how the editors of the Guardian boasted they were above the law, so I won’t reiterate it here. They are also very fond of giving self-congratulatory online interviews and talking to lapdogs at the BBC, as well as giving unwittingly revealing profile access to friendly magazines. Nobody at the Guardian is willing to give even a single interview to a challenging paper.

In a nutshell then in the past month or so we have had:

Alan Rusbridger saying he is above the law: that he decided to ship the files to foreigners because of a “threat” to go to law: that he would not let British judges rule on the files: that he knows better than judges and security experts; and that Sen. Feinstein of the US Senate Security Committee knows less than him about it because she is, and I quote, “an eighty year old woman.”

US editor Janine Gibson boasting of the trafficking they did “By far the hardest challenge has been the secure movement of materials. We’ve had to do a great deal of flying of people around the world.”

And a New Yorker profile that stated that James Ball, formerly of Wikileaks and an Assange devotee, 27, was chosen to be the physical mule that carried the data to New York. Ball was threatened with exposure of emails between himself and the Wikileaks hacker Jacob Appelbaum, by Appelbaum, if he did not publish a story on Tor. Days later his byline appeared on the story that blew up GCHQ’s efforts to decrypt the Tor network on which child pornography, illegal arms and drugs like crack are traded.

 Ball has recently been moved by the Guardian from London to New York in the wake of that New Yorker story, presumably to avoid  arrest if the New Yorker was correct on his role.

Throughout, in between breaks from pouring scorn on the British judiciary and laws, the Guardian have been busily lying to the British public. Saying that what they are doing is only journalism they have squirmed when asked (by me on Twitter, directly to @Arusbridger) and by the MP Julian Smith in Parliament, if they have passed over and sold out the names of British intelligence personnel working at GCHQ.

When the idea that they had revealed not just data collection news but actually given up the names of our intelligence agents surfaced, the paper started to panic. They denied it to the Daily Mail on October 9:

“The newspaper also said that the files it FedExed to America did not contain any names of British spies.”

This was a lie. It didn’t matter if the names of our spies were in the 100 documents the Guardian FedExed to America. Ball had already taken them to New York, and Brazil, at least according to the story the New Yorker:

The idea that the Guardian handed over only 100 documents was yet another lie. There may have been ‘only’ 100 top-secret documents in that FedExed memory stick (Dear God).  But there were over 50,000 GCHQ documents muled abroad by Rusbridger and Gibson.

Think about that for a minute. Fifty. Thousand. Fifty thousand top-secret GCHQ documents, and they are lying to the Daily Mail that none of these contain the names of any of our spies.

Yesterday in New York that lie was exposed, and the breathtaking extent of the Guardian’s disregard for our agents’ lives was laid bare.

 In their front-page story, the New York Times laid it all out. It’s a pretty long story, but I’ve read it so you don’t have to.

“documents taken by Mr. Snowden and shared with The Times, numbering in the thousands and mostly dating from 2007 to 2012, are part of a collection of about 50,000 items that focus mainly on its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters or G.C.H.Q”

“Even with terrorists, N.S.A. units can form a strangely personal relationship. The N.S.A.-G.C.H.Q. wiki, a top secret group blog that Mr. Snowden downloaded, lists 14 specialists scattered in various stations assigned to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani terrorist group that carried out the bloody attack on Mumbai in 2008, with titles including “Pakistan Access Pursuit Team” and “Techniques Discovery Branch.” Under the code name Treaclebeta, N.S.A.’s hackers at Tailored Access Operations also played a role.

In the wiki’s casual atmosphere, American and British eavesdroppers exchange the peculiar shop talk of the secret world. “I don’t normally use Heretic to scan the fax traffic, I use Nucleon,” one user writes, describing technical tools for searching intercepted documents.

But most striking are the one-on-one pairings of spies and militants; Bryan is assigned to listen in on a man named Haroon, and Paul keeps an ear on Fazl.”

Did you get that? The Guardian – Alan Rusbridger, and Janine Gibson, editors, and James Ball, of Wikileaks, gave the New York Times and Pro-Publica the names and identities of GCHQ intelligence personnel in the NSA-GCHQ wiki. A bunch of staff at the New York Times can read their conversations and names, and the names of their targets.

To see how wide and deep the danger to GCHQ personnel really is, we can turn to the Guardian’s first, grossly irresponsible story on just how much of GCHQ personnel’s names and identities they had access to: they printed it on August 1st:

a glimpse into the world of the 6,100 people crammed into the open-plan and underground offices at GCHQ; the fact that there is a sports day at all reveals something about the agency which most people outside their bubble could not appreciate.

Last year, GCHQ organised trips to Disneyland in Paris, and its sailing club took part in an offshore regatta at Cowes. It has a chess club, cake sales, regular pub quiz nights and an internal puzzle newsletter called Kryptos. A member of Stonewall since last year, GCHQ has its own Pride group for staff who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

There is also a paranormal organisation. Describing itself as “GCHQ’s ghost-hunting group”, it is open to staff and their partners “whether they are sceptics or believers” for visits to “reputedly haunted properties”.

Staff date themselves on the internal directory, “GCWiki”, by their “internet age”, a measure of how many years they have been adept on the web.

They make friends during annual family open days, or via messages on the agency’s internal version of MySpace, which they have called SpySpace.

Colleagues are likely to find others cut from the same cloth. The agency’s 2010/11 recruitment guide says GCHQ needs high-calibre technologists and mathematicians familiar with the complex algorithms that power the internet. It has room for a sprinkling of accountants and librarians. Classicists need not apply. Nobody at Cheltenham is particularly well paid, compared with the private sector at least – a junior analyst might earn £25,000. “We can offer a fantastic mission but we can’t compete with [private sector] salaries,” one briefing note lamented.”

The story goes on and on, talking about the wiki, quoting internal comms, describing the fears of one of GCHQ’s “most senior officers”.

All these documents have been muled to the Americans, because Alan Rusbridger doesn’t like British judges. He was paying David Miranda specifically to spread and mule these files on GCHQ – 53,000 of them, the same number cited by the NYT – and now we know just how bad the paper’s betrayal of our GCHQ personnel has been. Worse than even I could ever have imagined.

In his article for the Daily Mail recently, David Davis MP defended the Guardian’s selling of British intelligence secrets. How bloody terrifying to think that but for a public meltdown he could have been Home Secretary. And when Julian Smith challenged the Guardian in a Westminster Hall debate, the Tory MP Dominic Raab said that he was scare-mongering. I wonder what those two of my former colleagues would say now. Would they defend the liars at the Guardian who swore they didn’t give out any GCHQ names? Or do they think it’s OK to mule and traffic to Brazil and American bloggers the NSA-GCHQ wiki? Every pair of eyes that sees those names can pass them on to anybody they like.

They gave out our intelligence agents’ names, Dominic, David. Is that OK with you?

I pray to God it isn’t OK with the Prime Minister, with Theresa May, and with anti-terror police.

Back when Miranda was stopped as he muled, Oliver Robbins, the National Security Adviser, said:

“ ‘A particular concern for HMG is the possibility that the identity of a UK intelligence officer might be revealed.’

But I’m afraid it was a bit more than just one.

Of course, £25,000 isn’t a lot of money to risk your life keeping Britain safe. Alan Rusbridger makes a hell of a lot more money than that. But it wasn’t enough for him, Janine Gibson, or James Ball, or any of the other Guardian staff to show some compassion and keep secret the identities of our agents Snowden, Poitras and Greenwald had endangered. Instead, the millionaire Mr. Rusbridger preened for the cameras, lied to other journalists, and threw GCHQ personnel to the wolves.

Mr. Rusbridger says he is above the law. I hope to God the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary – and our anti-terror police, and our judges – have the guts to prove him wrong.

The Terrorism Act 2000 lists various Terrorist Offences. Here is the last of them:

Eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of armed forces etc

(1) A person commits an offence who—

(a) elicits or attempts to elicit information about an individual who is or has been—

(i) a member of Her Majesty’s forces,

(ii) a member of any of the intelligence services, or

(iii) a constable,

which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, or

(b )publishes or communicates any such information.

(2) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that they had a reasonable excuse for their action.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to a fine, or to both;

(b) on summary conviction—

(i) in England and Wales or Scotland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(ii) in Northern Ireland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.

(4) In this section “the intelligence services” means the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service and GCHQ (within the meaning of section 3 of the Intelligence Services Act 1994 (c. 13)).

Emphasis mine. 

Louise Mensch: What The Independent tells us about the Guardian’s crimes

The following was written by Louise Mensch and originally posted at her blog, Unfashionista.  It’s republished here with permission.

Julian Smith MP has filed a complaint to the Metropolitan Police about the Guardian and its potential breaches of the Terrorism Act 2000. Under the Act, it is a terrorist offence to communicate names, or any identifying material, of GCHQ personnel – not just to publish those names, but to communicate them.

The Guardian shipped GCHQ files to American bloggers and the New York Times. In so doing they did a lot more than journalism, ie receiving files and reporting on them. They became traffickers and distributors.

They have refused to answer my questions on Twitter as to whether their trafficked files included names of GCHQ staff, issuing a classic non-denial denial to the Daily Mail that reads like an admission: “We did not include the names of any British spies.” Spies? It’s a terrorist offence to communicate identifying info on any GCHQ personnel.

Well, the Guardian gets all the love and money from this betrayal of our security forces, but there’s another British paper that got to see the Snowden files. The Independent, in August, ran a story about a secret British base in the Middle East.

I believe this story was abominably irresponsible and a betrayal of national security. The excuse was the paper didn’t provide an address and a map. So what? They revealed the existence of the base and put all its operations and operatives in jeopardy.

However, and it is a big however, the Independent here was “committing journalism” as the Guardian likes to put it when trying to avoid the police. They received the files and they reported on them. Irresponsibly and morally wrongly, but that’s all they did,

They didn’t copy the files. They didn’t traffic the files. They didn’t hand the files to foreigner papers and bloggers. They just reported on them.

Once the Telegraph and the Daily Mail – to their eternal credit – started to challenge the Guardian’s muling and commercial trading on our agents’ safety, the Independent published this little-noted editorial. But for the purposes of the police investigation, it is a crucial one, because it tells us just exactly what Guardian editors copied and gave to foreigners in order to get their dying paper more money from online clicks.

In August, we too were given information from the Snowden files. It pertained to the operation of the security services, was highly detailed, and had the capacity to compromise Britain’s security.

I think that’s pretty damned clear.

Yes, it is ludicrous that the Independent thinks publishing a front-page story revealing a secret British Middle Eastern base is not “sensitive” or “damaging”. But they are informing their readers – roughly the same base as the Guardian, the liberal left – just how awful the GCHQ Snowden files are.

Glenn Greenwald, who has now left the Guardian for a French-funded company with his fellow traitor Laura Poitras, was kind enough to tell the world on Twitter that Alan Rusbridger and Janine Gibson were concerned not to expose any NSA spying, but merely to endanger British operations. He told us what the documents they copied and muled to a blog and the NYT were on September 10th

@peterkofod As for NYT, I had no role at all in that – those were 1 set of docs only about UK that G had. They made that choice without me.

Julian Smith MP’s letter does more than ask the police to investigate if GCHQ personnel were identified in these “just about Britain” documents the Guardian trafficked to foreigners. He also asks the police to compel Alan Rusbridger and Janine Gibson to help in decryption efforts. After all, they have the documents, and they are happy to hand them to bloggers. And from the Independent, we know that the documents could not be more dangerous to the security of this nation. If a British commercial media company is sitting on the decryption key, they have to hand it over to our intelligence forces. Instead of helping the police and GCHQ see what damage has been done, which agents’ names are out there, and assisting them in saving lives, Rusbridger has admitted online that he has actively prevented this vital information being accessed:

 Are you taking any precautions to prevent US/UK government tampering/stealing with the documents?

Alan Rusbridger: Yes. And many of them are now with the NYT

Julian Smith MP has taken direct action by referring all of this to anti-terrorist police. But of course, it is a question for the Government too. The Home Office Committee is now investigating the Guardian. I have no doubt they will rightly ask ministers if they asked the Guardian for access to these terrible documents and if denied, whether and when they sought an injunction or subpoena to compel this commercial company to give the security forces access.

Once again, thanks to the Independent’s honesty in its editorial, we know the stakes for our intelligence services could not be higher.

It pertained to the operation of the security services, was highly detailed, and had the capacity to compromise Britain’s security.

I believe that anti-terror police are already actively on to breaches of the Terrorism Act 2000. But the Government, for whom defence of the realm is its first duty, must also play its part and not be cowed by the Guardian-BBC axis. We must never let fear of the press stop us from doing the right thing. The legal tools are there to compel the Guardian to share access to these files not just with commercial papers and bloggers but with the forces that defend us. In the same Q&A Rusbridger also said this:

Would The Guardian have been willing to hand  copy to authorities if there hadn’t been threat of prior restraint? 

Answer:

Alan Rusbridger: We had not yet decided what eventually to do with the original material at the point the Government asked us to return it or destroy it.

Theresa May and the Home Office should help Mr. Rusbridger to make up his mind. ‘Destroying’ it is not an option now the Guardian has distributed and trafficked it. Instead, Rusbridger and Gibson, who have access to it, must share that access with our security forces. As the Indie has told us clearly, national security is at stake.

A victory for Liberalism: Glenn Greenwald leaves the Guardian!

Glenn Greenwald is leaving the Guardian.

Statement of Glenn Greenwald:

“My partnership with the Guardian has been extremely fruitful and fulfilling: I have high regard for the editors and journalists with whom I worked and am incredibly proud of what we achieved.

“The decision to leave was not an easy one, but I was presented with a once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline. 

“Because this news leaked before we were prepared to announce it, I’m not yet able to provide any details of this momentous new venture, but it will be unveiled very shortly;”


Statement of the Guardian’s Jennifer Lindauer:

“Glenn Greenwald is a remarkable journalist and it has been fantastic working with him. Our work together over the last year has demonstrated the crucial role that responsible investigative journalism can play in holding those in power to account. We are of course disappointed by Glenn’s decision to move on, but can appreciate the attraction of the new role he has been offered. We wish him all the best.”

Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who was instrumental in disseminating NSA leaks by Edward Snowden, which highest ranking British intelligence officials claimed represented the worst national security breach in history, said he is leaving to join a “a general media outlet and news site”.  (Reports indicate that the new site is financially backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and that it has sought to hire Laura Poitras, the filmmaker who linked Snowden to Greenwald.)

Official statements by the Guardian and Greenwald aside, it is still unclear what prompted Greenwald’s departure.  Though Greenwald’s far-left, anti-American, and anti-Zionist politics were naturally a good fit ideologically with the Guardian, it remains to be seen whether the chorus of criticism on the extreme harm done to British national security inflicted by the leaks influenced Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger (who had been under pressure from GCHQ officials) to take steps to facilitate Greenwald’s resignation.

Whilst we’ll continue to report on this developing story, we of course take immense pleasure in Greenwald’s departure, whose politics were so viscerally hostile to the West that he, on more than one occasion, found common ground with terrorists, and often amplified the message of Islamist extremists by advancing the toxic narrative suggesting that the West was at ‘war with Islam’. 

We hope that those on the left arduously attempting to save their movement from Greenwald’s Red-Green Alliance style ‘anti-imperialism’ – and other egregious betrayals of everything true “liberalism”, properly understood, has historically stood for – join us in celebrating this victory over faux left political extremism.  

This blog is of course dedicated to fighting antisemitism and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy, but you simply cannot separate the particular struggle against anti-Jewish racism with the broader fight in defense of the West, whose clear moral advantages in the area of democratic elections, religious tolerance, women’s rights, gay rights – and, of course, press freedom! – Greenwald tries so desperately to obfuscate.  

We are committed to the simple idea that even flawed democracies – whether in North America, Europe or the Middle East – are far preferable to their illiberal alternatives, and remain worth fighting for.   

The paper which hates Britain? Guardian leaks ‘worst blow to British intel ever’

The title doesn’t represent the hyperbole of a partisan commentator, but the sober warnings of Sir David Omand, the former head of GCHQ (the UK’s counterpart to the NSA) and homeland security adviser to 10 Downing St. 

The theft and leak of tens of thousands of top-secret NSA files by Edward Snowden, procured by Glenn Greenwald and published by the Guardian, Oman said, “eclipses the Cambridge spy ring as the most catastrophic loss suffered by British intelligence” in history. He added that ‘The Guardian and others in possession of Mr Snowden’s leaked files had gone on to publish information that was invaluable to foreign spies, terrorists and criminal networks’.

But, that’s not all.

Andrew Parker, the head of MI5 argued in a speech on Tuesday that Snowden’s leaks caused huge ‘harm’ to the capability of Britain’s intelligence services, and became a ‘guide books’ for terrorists who could use the information to evade law enforcement and serves as “the gift they need to evade us and strike at will”.  Parker further said that the publication of the leaks by the Guardian had done ‘enormous damage to Britain’s ability to thwart al-Qaeda’.

Oliver Robbins, Britain’s deputy national security advisor said Snowden’s revelations, published by the Guardian, could lead “directly to widespread loss of life” and “threaten the internal stability of the UK”.

Even (Liberal Democrat) Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said yesterday that The Guardian has published “technical information”, from Edward Snowden which is likely of “immensely interest” to “people who want to do us harm“. 

Additionally, as anyone following Louise Mensch’s Twitter feed today would know, the Guardian’s hubris was to such a degree that they’ve even “fearlessly report[ed] on the personal sports teams, lives, sexuality and private conversations of British agents working at GCHQ.”  Further, Mensch hasn’t yet gotten a reply to the question she asked the Guardian in an email yesterday responding their request for an interview. Mensch asked if she’d be allowed to ask whether “files identifying our intelligence agents at GCHQ to the New York Times and trafficked them around the world?”

Meanwhile British police are still investigating an attempt by Glenn Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda, to take encrypted files containing an additional 58,000 classified documents out of Britain in August on a flight paid for by the Guardian. Indeed, Greenwald’s response to Miranda’s detention speaks volumes about his motivation for facilitating the intelligence leaks and his lack of concern about the consequences for US and British national security.

“I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now…I have many documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did.”

It’s remarkable that any true journalist who respected his profession, and possessed even an ounce of loyalty to the democracies which afford him such historically exceptional political freedoms, would ever utter such an ugly, vindictive threat.

Of course, anyone who follows our blog would understand that such behavior is part of a larger pattern for Greenwald, a commentator who is evidently so hostile to his own country that he passionately defended the al-Qaeda operative (Anwar al-Awlaki) who incited Islamist sympathizers in the US to murder their fellow Americans.

The focus of this blog is of course to monitor the Guardian for antisemitism and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy, but it’s vital to understand the broader ideology which inspires the anti-Zionism we are constantly documenting.  Glenn Greenwald, as with his fellow political travelers at the Guardian, is not a mere “progressive” commentator (yet alone a “journalist) but, rather, a radical activist inspired by an “anti-imperialist” ideology which holds his own country and its democratic allies in contempt, and advances propaganda which amplifies the message of our enemies.

The Guardian’s editor Alan Rusbridger, typifying the vitriol directed against the West by many within the leftist intelligentsia, in defending his paper’s right to publish classified documents, referred to George Orwell’s book ‘1984’ and argued that US and British intelligence gathering went “beyond Orwell’s imagination”. However, Orwell understood the advantages of even flawed democracies over totalitarian regimes and realized the danger of an intellectual elite which doesn’t understand such stark moral differences.

In 1945, Orwell published “Notes on Nationalism” which argued that within the leftist intelligentsia there is “a derisive and mildly hostile attitude towards Britain [that] is more or less compulsory”, and that that, to such intellectuals, political outrage is inevitably directed not towards truly totalitarian regimes, but “almost entirely against Britain and the United States.” 

The Guardian’s role in nurturing indifference towards its own country’s national security – a political orientation John Stuart Mill characterized as a “decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling” – should rightly be seen as a genuine threat to the Western political values to which true liberals remain loyal.

Guardian editors and contributors may not hate Britain, but their activism certainly serves to aid and abet those who do. 

Jonathan Freedland’s blindspot on antisemitism

Though we’re often in disagreement with his politics on Israel, Jonathan Freedland is one of the few Guardian journalists who takes the issue of antisemitism seriously, and his latest essay at ‘Comment is Free’, ‘Antisemitism does not always come with a Hitler salute does something quite extraordinary. Freedland not only does a competent job discussing the various manifestations of anti-Jewish bigotry but also, at least indirectly, calls out two fellow Guardian contributors for their antisemitic discourse.

freedland

First, Freedland frames the essay:

The Daily Mail’s sustained assault on the late Ralph Miliband, the Marxist scholar it branded “The Man Who Hated Britain”. Some detect a whiff of anti-Jewish prejudice, some swear there is no such thing. When pressed on the point by the BBC, Ed Miliband himself declined to add antisemitism to his list of charges against the paper.

All of which, I imagine, must make it hard for the open-minded outsider, the non-Jew keen to oppose all forms of racism. They know they’re against antisemitism, but how exactly to spot it? When is the line crossed? Where, in fact, is the line? In the spirit of public service, let me attempt an answer.

He then notes the persistence of antisemitism in the Middle East and even links to a report by Tom Gross on antisemitic cartoons in the Arab world.

[Antisemitism] is not a phenomenon safely buried in the past. Just because hatred of Jews reached a murderous climax in the 1940s does not mean it ended with the war in 1945. It is alive and well even in 2013. Whether it’s on Twitter or in the cartoons that routinely appear in much of today’s Middle Eastern press, crude slurs and hideous caricatures of Jews – hook-nosed and money-grabbing – endure.

Later in the essay, Freedland makes reference to two particularly egregious examples of antisemitism at the Guardian:

In the antisemitic imagination, Jews are constantly working for some other, hidden goal. In this, antisemitism stands apart from other racisms, which tend to view the hated as straightforwardly inferior. Antisemitism is instead a conspiracy theory of power, believing that the Jews – always operating as a collective – are bent on some grand plan of world domination. Which is why images of Jews as puppet masters, or of having the world in their financial grips”, as Baroness Jenny Tonge so memorably put it, always hit a nerve.

The “puppet masters” reference links to a piece by Guardian readers’ editor Chris Elliott (Accusations of antisemitism against a political cartoon) criticizing an ugly cartoon by Steve Bell last November which depicted the Israeli prime minister as a puppet master controlling Tony Blair and William Hague.

Freedland continues:

And always on hand for the antisemite is some reference to Jews’ religious practice, real or imagined. For centuries, those who hate Jews would throw the phrase “chosen people” back in their faces, falsely interpreting it as a mandate for Jewish supremacism. 

His “chosen people” reference links to another essay by the Guardian’s readers’ editor (On averting accusations of antisemitism) which called out the shameful antisemitic use of the term “chosen people” by Deborah Orr. 

Freedland continues, rightfully pointing to the persistent tropes which evoke the classic antisemitic narrative of ‘dual loyalty': 

Instead, there are familiar tunes, some centuries old, which are played again and again. An especially hoary trope is the notion of divided allegiances or plain disloyalty, as if, whatever their outward pretence, Jews really serve another master besides their country. Under Stalin, Jews, especially Jewish intellectuals, were condemned as “rootless cosmopolitans” (another euphemism) lacking in sufficient patriotism. The Mail’s insistence that Miliband Sr was not only disloyal but actively hated his country fits comfortably in that tradition.

Freedland didn’t provide a link or cite any concrete examples of commentators employing such racist canards, so we thought it would be helpful to point to a colleague of Freedland’s at the Guardian who has engaged in such tropes on numerous occasions. His name is Glenn Greenwald. 

Here are a few quotes from Greenwald imputing such disloyalty:

  • Large and extremely influential Jewish donor groups are the ones agitating for a US war against Iran, and that is the case because those groups are devoted to promoting Israel’s interests.” – Feb. 3, 2007
  • “Those [American Jews] who favor the attack on Gaza are certainly guilty…of such overwhelming emotional and cultural attachment to Israel and Israelis that they long ago ceased viewing this conflict with any remnant of objectivity.” – Jan. 4, 2009
  • “The point is that the power the [Israel lobby] exercises [is] harmful in the extreme. They use it to squelch debate, destroy the careers and reputations of those who deviate from their orthodoxies, and compel both political parties to maintain strict adherence to an agenda that is held by a minority of Americans; that is principally concerned with the interests of a foreign country.” – March 11, 2009 Salon
  • “[Charles] Freeman is being dragged through the mud by the standard cast of accusatory Israel-centric neocons (Marty Peretz, Jon Chait, Jeffrey Goldberg, Commentary, The Weekly Standard’s Michael Goldfarb, etc. etc., etc.).” –March 9, 2009 
  • “Meanwhile, one of the many Israel-Firsters in the U.S. Congress — Rep. Anthony Weiner, last seen lambasting President Obama for daring to publicly mention a difference between the U.S. and Israel — today not only defended Israel’s attack. – June 1, 2010

We of course don’t know if Freedland has had the pleasure of meeting his new colleague but – insofar as he truly takes antisemitism seriously – we humbly suggest that he at least familiarize himself with Greenwald’s record of anti-imperialist inspired Judeophobia which we continue to document at this blog. 

Glenn Greenwald and the ‘anti-imperialist’ inspired indifference to antisemitism

As Charles Krauthammer argued recently about information from the latest International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran’s nuclear pursuits, in the context of Hassan Rouhani’s “charm offensive”:

It takes about 250 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in August that Iran already has 186 kilograms. That leaves the Iranians on the threshold of going nuclear. They are adding 3,000 new high-speed centrifuges. They need just a bit more talking, stalling, smiling and stringing along of a gullible West.

Of course, the term “gullible”, which suggests a degree of good intentions, doesn’t accurately characterize the politics of Glenn Greenwald.  If Greenwald was born in a previous era, he’d no doubt be parroting Soviet propaganda – not because he would have necessarily been a supporter Soviet communism (any more than he is currently a supporter of Islamism), but because his political orientation demands that he take a position sympathetic to America’s adversaries.

Glenn Greenwald addresses 2013 Socialism Conference via Skype

James Kirchick - whose recent courageous battle against Russia’s institutionalized anti-gay bigotry evidently failed to evoke Greenwood’s sympathy – has argued that the Guardian journalist “subscribes to a modernized version of the old trope attributing all that is wrong in the world to the behavior of the United States.”  And, if you think Kirchick is overstating the case, then all you have to do is look at Greenwald’s support for such odious figures as al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awaki, traitors such as Bradley Manning and, seemingly, any malicious political actor who ever opposed U.S. “hegemony”. 

Additionally, whilst murderous despots such as Bashar al-Assad never quite seem to inspire Greenwald’s liberal, “humanitarian” passions, he hasn’t hesitated in unleashing his full fury on Jewish, pro-Israel journalists who run afoul of his political sensibilities.

He has accused Michael Goldfarb of The Weekly Standard and Martin Peretz of The New Republic of “psychopathic derangement” and “sociopathic indifference” and “celebration” over their alleged insensitivity toward civilian deaths in Iraq. Goldfarb and Peretz, he wrote, seem to get a “blood-pumping excitement” from the suffering of the weakest members of society.  Greenwald has also characterized Charles Krauthammer as “bloodthirsty”, and asserted: “It is difficult to find someone with a more psychopathic indifference to the slaughter of innocent people in pursuit of shadowy, unstated political goals than Charles Krauthammer.”

Though his latest Guardian column doesn’t employ such incendiary rhetoric against the journalistic object of his rage, his post (Brian Williams’ Iran Propaganda, Sept. 28), takes aim at the NBC News Anchor for making the ‘audacious’ claim that the new leadership in Iran is “suddenly claiming they don’t want nuclear weapons”, to which Greenwald sarcastically replies:

Yes, Iran’s claim that they don’t want nuclear weapons sure is “sudden” – if you pretend that virtually everything that they’ve said on that question for the past ten years does not exist.

Greenwald then quotes the firm denials of paradigms of honesty and moral clarity such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who, per Greenwald, “issued a 2005 religious edict banning the pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

However, according to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) published in April, there is no evidence that such a fatwa was ever issued. MEMRI demonstrates that the mysterious fatwa – cited by Iran apologists to attest to the “peaceful” designs of their nuclear program – is a fiction. MEMRI’s report included the following:

“An exhaustive search of the various official websites of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei turned up no such fatwa, either on his fatwa website or on his personal website….MEMRI’s investigation reveals that no such fatwa ever existed or was ever issued or published, and that media reports about it are nothing more than a propaganda ruse on the part of the Iranian regime apparatuses – in an attempt to deceive top U.S. administration officials…”

Was Greenwald – whose investigative skills are so highly touted by his supporters – truly unable to locate the MEMRI report contradicting his contention, one which was issued more than five months before his post?

Interestingly, MEMRI’s report also included details on the likely existence of a genuine fatwa issued by the Supreme Leader in 2006 “which states that shari’a does not forbid the use of nuclear weapons.”  

Moreover, as we reported in February, a website with close ties to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reportedly outlined why it would be religiously acceptable to kill all Jews in Israel – a doctrine which details why the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of all its people would be legally and morally justified, and in accordance to Islamic doctrine.  

Whilst a throwaway line by one American journalist inspires Greenwald to outrage, multiple, extremely well-documented examples – mirroring the article cited above – of Iranian leaders engaging in incitement to genocide seem to leave him unmoved. Here are a few illustrations, from an extensive report by the JCPA:

holocaust

general

raf

khatami

Whilst the silence of many leftist intellectuals in the face of such malice represents a stunning indictment on the devolution of a once proudly humanitarian movement, it’s important to stress that – though Greenwald and his fellow travelers certainly aren’t beyond employing antisemitic tropes - it would be inaccurate to infer that silence on the Iranian threat necessarily suggests malice towards Jews as such.  

In reading Greenwald, what most stands out is an adversarial dynamic, exhibited by such ideologues, explained by Anthony Julius:

Truth is to be arrived at by inverting the “us = good” and “other = bad” binarism.” [They] find virtue in opposing [their] own community.”

Or, as James Kirchick wrote about Greenwald in the Commentary essay noted above:

In his capacity as a legally minded pontificator of the far left, Greenwald might be called the Leonard Boudin of the interactive age. Boudin was the go-to lawyer for America’s most prominent Communists, left-wing radicals, and terrorists, not to mention the post-revolutionary Cuban government of Fidel Castro. Like Boudin, Greenwald can always be relied upon to provide a defense for those who wish to do America and its allies harm. Greenwald has ranked his perverse sense of “anti-imperialism” ahead of any and all other considerations, including what many would expect to be his own self-interest. After all, how else could a gay Jew become the world’s most verbose Western apologist for homophobic, anti-Semitic fanatics and murderers?

Greenwald isn’t antisemitic, any more than he’s homophobic. It’s just that his anti-American, anti-Zionist, “anti-imperialist” ideological package demands continued fealty to those who are. 

What makes US-Israeli intelligence co-operation exceptional?

The following is the original (unedited) version of an essay written by Matthew RJ Brodsky and published at ‘Comment is Free’ on Sept. 13. It is published here with the author’s permission. See Brodsky’s bio below.

matthew-rj-brodsky_376

Matthew RJ Brodsky

It didn’t take long for media outlets to single out Israel as a result of the cascade of secret documents released by Edward Snowden. The typical strategy is to conclude Israel’s guilt first and then shape the narrative to support that claim, conveniently leaving out any evidence against the theory while employing clever phraseology that most readers wouldn’t think to challenge. And so it is as The Guardian published another NSA document about a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the NSA and Israel’s SIGNIT agency, (ISNU). The accompanying article by Glenn Greenwald, “NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans’ data with Israel,” takes a selective focus on Israel and obscures the truth rather than enlightens with facts.

The central argument put forth by Greenwald is that the NSA routinely shares raw intelligence data it gathers with Israel, without removing information about U.S. citizens.  While Israel is one of America’s closest allies, it is not a part of the “Five Eyes”—a term used for the core countries involved in surveillance sharing with the U.S.—Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. So what makes this case unique is the fact that the same unminimized raw data might be shared with Israel. This is a problem for Greenwald because “[t]he relationship between the U.S. and Israel has been strained at times, both diplomatically and in terms of intelligence.”

Greenwald writes, “[t]he agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis.” That should not come as a surprise given that a MOU is not a legally binding document. Yet the MOU does not state that it specifically sends intelligence collections on Americans. Furthermore, one cannot tell from the document that if this kind of information is shared, how much, how regularly, and how broadly does it occur?

Absent from Greenwald’s article is the crucial fact that the MOU lays out the terms of the sharing agreement, recognizing the need for more procedures to minimize any information on American citizens. It obligates the NSA to perform routine checks on the program to measure the quality and fidelity of the information being shared and obligates the Israeli Signit National Unit to identify, exclude, and destroy any information it finds about U.S. citizens.

Also missing in the article is a mention of the fact that in June 2013The Guardian reported that the minimization procedures governing information on U.S. citizens were tightened dramatically in July 2009—a few months after Greenwald claims that this intelligence deal was reached in principle in March. We don’t know how these new rules may have changed the terms of this MOU.

Author and editor of “State of Play”, Joshua Foust, writes about how much we don’t know about this intelligence sharing program. According to his evaluation of the MOU, “We do not know:

  • What the final version of this MOU says;
  • Whether it changed after minimization rules strengthened later in 2009;
  • What those ‘additional procedures’ to minimize American citizen information are;
  • How much, if any, American information actually gets passed along;
  • What the periodic, annual reviews have said;
  • What the two biannual program reviews have said;
  • If the program is even ongoing; or
  • What the actual implementation of this program looks like”

Simply put, it takes a rather large journalistic leap to assert that the NSA is routinely sending unminimized information about U.S. citizens to Israel without any protection measures.

The fact remains that the U.S. is engaged in sober and even-handed intelligence gathering. Of course the United States should and does share intelligence with Israel as many of the same people and terrorist groups would target both countries. It is hard to get too concerned up about what Israel might do with any unminimized information that might come its way. They have very real threats along their borders and beyond. It is most likely that their resources are devoted to the terrorist groups and hostile governments in their own neighborhood, rather than the email I just sent my parents.

J.E. Dyer, a retired U.S. Naval officer who blogs as The Optimistic Conservative elaborates:

“It gives me no more heartburn to know that unminimized material may go to Israeli intelligence than to know that it may go to British intelligence.  The concerns I have with the NSA program are 4th amendment concerns as an American citizen. The issue is collecting data in the first place without probable cause.”

And that is the central issue here; not Israel as Greenwald suggests.

(Matthew RJ Brodsky is a Middle East expert and former Director of Policy for the Washington, DC-based think tank, the Jewish Policy Center  and the Editor of the JPC’s journal, inFOCUS Quarterly. Before joining the JPC, Mr. Brodsky was a Legacy Heritage Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council. He has briefed and advised members of Congress, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, Special Operations Command, and the National Security Council.)

Counter-terror idea by Simon Jenkins in response to Nairobi: Stop building malls.

h/t Nick

Kenyan security personnel are still engaged in an operation against terror operatives from al-Shabaab (an Islamist group fighting to make Somalia an Islamist theocracy) two days after they brutally murdered at least 62 people at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi. Meanwhile, the Guardian’s veteran journalist Simon Jenkins reflected on the appropriate response to this latest terrorist atrocity.

simon

Here are the highlights from his Sept. 23 ‘Comment is Free’ capitulation:

It’s our fault:

Sometimes we should stop and ask why terrorists commit outrages like that in a Nairobi shopping mall. The answer is the west always over-reacts to big, sensational gestures of extreme violence.

By deploying violence against a succession of Muslim states, the world’s leading powers have made their business its business and invited retaliation.

We should avoid large gatherings of any kind:

There is nothing anyone can do to prevent suicide bombers hitting civilian populations. The slaughter of Christians in Peshawar this weekend showed that wherever crowds gather they are vulnerable to any group with a brainwashed youth and a bomb. It might be sensible to discourage like-minded crowds from gathering in one place, be they co-religionists or party faithful or merely the wealthy.

Stop building large buildings and shopping malls:

The modern urban obsession with celebrity buildings and high-profile events offers too many publicity-rich targets. A World Trade Centre, a Mumbai hotel, a Boston marathon, a Nairobi shopping mall are all enticing to extremists. Defending them is near impossible. Better at least not to create them. A shopping mall not only wipes out shopping streets, it makes a perfect terrorist fortress, near impossible to assault.

Whilst the passage about the folly of building malls is indeed risible, Jenkins’ surrender manifesto also provides some insight into the Guardian’s failure to empathize with Israel, a state continually targeted by radical Islamists who use terror in an attempt to bring the state to its knees.  

Israel’s large measure of success in allowing its citizens to live normal lives, despite the constant threat of rockets, sniper fire and suicide bombs, is a testament to the collective decision to never bow down to terror’s relentless onslaughts – fortitude and courage in a democracy under siege that Simon Jenkins evidently cannot fathom.  

What patriots would never say: Glenn Greenwald’s Top 5 anti-American rants

As we’ve documented continually, Glenn Greenwald has a history, both at his former blog at Salon.com and ‘Comment is Free’, of advancing antisemitic tropes (including use of the neo-Nazi-derived anti-Semitic slur “Israel-Firster”). He also subscribes to a leftist ideological package which naturally imputes almost comic book-style villainy to the United States.

Recently, when asked to sum up the political significance of his campaign on behalf of Edward Snowden’s theft of thousands of classified NSA documents, he answered thusly:

the US and its closest allies are trying to build a surveillance system that has as its primary objective the elimination of privacy globally, by which I mean that everyone’s communications electronically will be collected, stored, analyzed and monitored by the US government.

Of course, the primary objective of the NSA is not some sinister plot to eliminate privacy globally but, rather, to defeat terrorists and their organizations by collecting and analyzing information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes.

More recently, Greenwald, along with  and , published a new expose based on files obtained by Snowden, titled NSA shares raw intelligence including America’s data with Israel‘, Sept. 11.  Whilst you can read a good fisking of Greenwald’s new ‘revelations’ here, an even more interesting question worth exploring is how someone like Greenwald, with such a palpable loathing towards the U.S., is considered to have any credibility at all on issues of American national security.

For some background on his ideological orientation, here are a few highlights from Greenwald, the ‘civil libertarian’ who authored a book titled ‘How would a patriot act?‘:

1. Greenwald “the patriot” once evoked the Nazi conquest of the Sudetenland in criticizing the US-led mission to topple Saddam Hussein

Greenwald, Salon, June 29, 2010:

Those who perpetrate wars of aggression invariably invent moral justifications to allow themselves and the citizens of the aggressor state to feel good and noble about themselves.  Hence, even an unprovoked attack which literally destroys a country and ruins the lives of millions of innocent people — as the U.S. invasion of Iraq did — is scripted as a morality play with the invaders cast in the role of magnanimous heroes.

And, of course, German citizens were told those invasions were necessary and just in order to liberate the repressed German minorities.

It’s difficult to find an invasion in history that wasn’t supported by at least some faction of the invaded population and where that same self-justifying script wasn’t used.  That’s true even of the most heinous aggressors.  Many Czech and Austrian citizens of Germanic descent, viewing themselves as a repressed minority, welcomed Hitler’s invasion of their countries, while leaders of the independence-seeking Sudeten parties in those countries actively conspired to bring it about.

As the liberal commentator Joe Klein observed

This is obscene. Comparing the Kurds, who had been historically orphaned and then slaughtered with poison gas by Saddam Hussein, with Nazi-loving Sudeten Germans is outrageous. Comparing the United States to Nazi Germany is not merely disgraceful, but revelatory of a twisted, deluded soul

2. Greenwald “the patriot” has hysterically all but accused President Obama of ordering the murder of Muslim civilians:

Greenwald, Guardian, on Nov. 15, 2012:

Extra-judicial assassination – accompanied by the wanton killing of whatever civilians happen to be near the target, often including children – is a staple of the Obama presidency.

Greenwald, Salon.com, June 12, 2012

The Obama policy of attacking rescuers and grieving rituals continues this weekend in Pakistan.

In February, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism documented that after the U.S. kills people with drones in Pakistan, it then targets for death those who show up at the scene to rescue the survivors and retrieve the bodies, as well as those who gather to mourn the dead at funerals.” 

“On Sunday, June 3, the US targeted mourners gathered to grieve those killed in the first strike.”

Killing family members of bombing targets is nothing new for this President.”

“The US is a country which targets rescuers, funeral attendees, and people gathered to mourn…That tactic continues under President Obama, although it is now expanded to include the targeting of grieving rituals.”

As we revealed last November, the source Greenwald provided in support of his allegations that the U.S. intentionally targets Muslim civilians are two articles posted at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, neither of which even minimally back up this extraordinary claim.

3. Greenwald “the patriot” characterized Al Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awaki as a civil rights activist:

Anwar al-Awaki (killed by U.S. forces after Greenwald’s 2011 speech shown below) was a senior ‘talent recruiter’ for Al Qaeda who likely incited the jihadist rampage of the Fort Hood shooter and the attempted attack by the ‘Underwear Bomber‘.  Greenwald can be seen in the following clip (at a Marxism conference) characterizing the violent Islamist extremist as merely someone who speaks up for the civil rights of Muslims.

4. Greenwald “the patriot” argued that even the very word ‘terrorism’, when used by Americans, is inherently racist:

Greenwald, Guardian, April 22, 2013

The word “terrorism” is, at this point, one of the most potent in our political lexicon: it single-handedly ends debates, ratchets up fear levels, and justifies almost anything the government wants to do in its name. It’s hard not to suspect that the only thing distinguishing the Boston attack from Tucson, Aurora, Sandy Hook and Columbine (to say nothing of the US “shock and awe” attack on Baghdad and the mass killings in Fallujah) is that the accused Boston attackers are Muslim and the other perpetrators are not. As usual, what terrorism really means in American discourse – its operational meaning – is: violence by Muslims against Americans and their allies.

Greenwald, Salon.com, July 23, 2011

Terrorism has no objective meaning and, at least in American political discourse, has come functionally to mean: violence committed by Muslims whom the West dislikes, no matter the cause or the target.

Greenwald, Salon.com, Feb. 19, 2010:

The term [terrorism] now has virtually nothing to do with the act itself and everything to do with the identity of the actor, especially his or her religious identity.  It has really come to mean:  ”a Muslim who fights against or even expresses hostility towards the United States, Israel and their allies.

If we’re really going to vest virtually unlimited power in the Government to do anything it wants to people they call “Terrorists”, we ought at least to have a common understanding of what the term means.  But there is none.  It’s just become a malleable, all-justifying term to allow the U.S. Government carte blanche to do whatever it wants to Muslims it does not like or who do not like it (i.e., The Terrorists). 

5. Greenwald “the patriot” praised Bradley Manning as a hero who deserves a medal:

Bradley Manning was recently convicted of multiple counts of espionage for disseminating hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks – information which was then available to the world, including terrorist enemies of the United States.

Greenwald, ‘Comment is Free’, Dec. 14, 2011:

medal

Greenwald’s essay at Comment is Free included the following:

The oppressive treatment of Manning is designed to create a climate of fear, to send a signal to those who in the future discover serious wrongdoing committed in secret by the US: if you’re thinking about exposing what you’ve learned, look at what we did to Manning and think twice. The real crimes exposed by this episode are those committed by the prosecuting parties, not the accused. For what he is alleged to have given the world, Manning deserves gratitude and a medal, not a life in prison.

Conclusion:

In short, real American patriots don’t hysterically evoke comparisons between the US military action in Iraq and the Nazi conquest of Europe; they don’t defend Al Qaeda and other dangerous enemies of the country and amplify the message of terrorists by suggesting that the U.S. is engaged in a war against Islam; and they don’t express support for citizens who engage in treason.  

Whilst it is not surprising that Guardian style leftists support Greenwald, it is troubling that some within the mainstream left, the political center, and even some on the right, continue to treat him as if he was a serious journalist, and thus legitimize his radical, anti-American campaign.

Lord Ahmed or Glenn Greenwald?

Lord Nazir Ahmed, the disgraced member of the House of Lords who resigned from the Labour Party after reports surfaced that he blamed a Jewish conspiracy for his 2009 prison sentence for dangerous driving, offered another penetrating insight into world affairs last week.  Ahmed commented thusly – at PressTV, the crusading Islamist news site known for boldly speaking truth to Jewish power – on international satellite providers’ decision not to include Iranian channels as part of their packages:

“Freedom of speech, and freedom of expression and freedom of media should be universal and it’s very unfortunate that the Zionist lobby does not like Press TV and many of the other outlets of Iran and that’s why, the pressure is so much that they need to be switched off.”

Now, here’s ‘Comment is Free’ correspondent Glenn Greenwald (in 2009 at his former Salon.com blog) on the decision by the U.S. Treasury to designate Hezbollah’s satellite television operation (Al-Manar) as a global terrorist entity, thus making it illegal for American cable providers to offer the channel:

So absolute has the Israel-centric stranglehold on American policy been that the U.S. Government has made it illegal to broadcast Hezbollah television stations and has even devoted its resources to criminally prosecuting and imprisoning satellite providers merely for including Hezbollah’s Al Manar channel in their cable package.  Not even our Constitution’s First Amendment has been a match for the endless exploitation of American policy, law and resources to target and punish Israel’s enemies

Do you see any substantive difference between the two quotes?

Further, as you can see here, this quote by Greenwald was by no means a ‘one-off’.  Greenwald – who fancies himself a “liberal” and, evidently, a “journalist” – seems to share Lord Ahmed’s belief in the inexorable power wielded by Zionism.  Whilst Ahmed has rightly become an object of mockery over his fixation on Jews, it seems fair that Greenwald’s decidedly illiberal fixation on the power of organized Jewry should elicit a similar degree of opprobrium and impute to him the moral illegitimacy typically bestowed upon such bigots and conspiracists.