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Um, wow.  This was something.

“To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?” Gregory asked the columnist in a Sunday interview.
Whether you like or agree with Greenwald, I have to say his response was EPIC.

“I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themself a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies,” Greenwald shot back. “The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence, David — the idea that I’ve aided and abetted him in any way.”
More over the flip...

Greenwald continues:

“If you want to embrace that theory it means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources, who receives classified information is a criminal,” he continued. “And it’s precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States.”
He went on the name examples such as Daniel Ellsberg and others who have revealed classified information to journalist involving actions that were a betrayal of the American people.  Historically many of those whistle-blowers have been validated and vindicated.  Not so much recently.

But you could really tell that Greenwald hit a nerve when Gregory shot back with this.

“Well, the question of who’s a journalist may be up to debate with regard of what you are doing,” Gregory opined. “And of course, anybody who’s watching this understands I was asking a question, that question has been raised by lawmakers as well.”
Oh fuck dude, really?  This is a story that has gone through a fully legitimate set of papers, the Washington Post and the Guardian  - and you're going to excuse your accusing another journalist of being a criminal by turning around and questioning whether he Is a Journalist?

And your justification is that your just asking a question that "Lawmakers have asked"?  

That doesn't make it a legitimate question, which it wasn't.  It was an Attack pure and simple.  It was an attempt to de-legitimize the messenger.  It was an accusation, based on nothing, that Greenwald has been helping Snowden Flee and/or Evade Capture, when an arrest warrant hadn't even been issued for Snowden in Hong Kong yet.  How exactly could Greenwald be prosecuted for being Snowden's "Travel Agent" through China and Russia?  What makes anyone think Greenwald could help with that, particularly since it's already been reported that a set of Wikileaks Attorney's are traveling with him?

What are they accusing Greenwald of doing? Providing the in-flight meal?  Paying for his Upgrade to First Class?  What are we talking about here?

Basically as he pointed out, Greenwald is being smeared as a co-conspirator by other journalists with NO EVIDENCE what so ever.  I just finished a diary which included Fox News attacking Eric Holder for authorizing a warrant on Reporter James Rosen as a "co-conspirator" in the CIA Leak, cuz Reporters are "Heroes" for leaking on the Obama Administration, unless they're Liberal Journalist like Glenn Greenwald, then they should possibly be prosecuted, exactly the way James Rosen hasn't been - yet.  The irony ratio here is quite high. So is the crazy ratio.

And it wasn't just Gregory, later in the show Chuck Todd reiterated the charge in a attempt to rehabilitate the question and further discredit Greenwald.  

Todd: "He rejected the premise of the question, he didn't answer it".
No, he didn't answer it because we've NEVER DONE THAT. We've never prosecuted journalists for reporting information that was given to them by insiders and leakers. It was never even contemplated or asked whether Judith Miller or Robert Novak Should have been Prosecuted for Revealing Valerie Plame's Status with the CIA.

There was a point in time when the most radical on the right-wing thought New York Times Editor Bill Keller should have been tried for Treason when this story was first revealed back in 2006 - but nobody, nobody took that seriously.  Well, nobody that should have been anybody.

For a meeting without historical precedent, the president of the United States had called the Times to the White House to personally try to prevent a state secret from appearing in print—an exposé of the National Security Agency’s efforts to monitor phone calls without court-approved warrants that the Times had held back on for over a year. Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. sat in a wing chair facing Bush, while Keller and Washington bureau chief Philip Taubman sat across from Bush’s lawyer, Harriet Miers, and national-security adviser Stephen Hadley. General Michael Hayden, the then-director of the National Security Agency, sat alongside Bush with a thick briefing book in his lap.

After stiff pleasantries, Bush issued an emphatic warning: If they revealed the secret program to the public and there was another terrorist attack on American soil, the Paper of Record would be implicated. “The basic message,” recalls Keller, “was, ‘You’ll have blood on your hands.’

The Times held the story, for awhile, then eventually published it. No charges were filed. Even in this White House meeting, that possibility wasn't even brought up because there Are No Grounds For It.

If you think there was a statute that could have allowed George Bush to Prosecute the New York Times way back then - don't you think he would have tried?

It was never seriously on the table because that National Security Statute applies to the person with the Security Clearance, not the people they talk to.  It's doesn't apply to journalists.  There's a reason we don't have a "Sedition Act".

The sad part is that this line of questioning was really a smoke-screen to make Greenwald the issue instead of the NSA. Greenwald, just prior to this, made a series of allegations based on documents leaked by Snowden that EVEN THE FISA COURT THOUGHT THE BREATH AND SCOPE OF NSA SURVEILLANCE WAS BEYOND THE PATRIOT ACT, BEYOND THE LAW AND CONSTITUTION.

He said he had in his position a Secret 80-page decision to that effect.  As far as I know that document has not been released yet.

I admit the bread and circus act of personality conflict can grab our attention far more easily that the truly salient details, in fact I'm hoping that may occur with lede in the very diary, but if that helps more eyeballs get the center of what Greenwald said prior to his tit v tat with Gregory over "Journalism" - so be it.


Gregory >> with regard to that specific fisa opinion, isn't the case based on people that i've talked to, that the fisa opinion based on the government's request is that they said, well, you can get this but you can't get that? that would actually go beyond the scope of what you're allowed to do, which means that the request was changed or denied, which is the whole point the government makes, which is that there is actual judicial review here and not abuse. isn't this the kind of review and opinion that you would want to keep these programs in line?

Greenwald >> i don't know what government officials are whispering to you, david, but i know that the documents that i have in my possession and that i have read from the nsa tell a much different story, which is that there was an 80-page opinion from the fisa court that said that what the nsa is doing in spying on american citizens is a violation of both the fourth amendment and the bounds of the statute. and it specifically said that they are collecting bulk transmissions, multiple conversations from millions of americans, not just people that are believed to be involved in terrorist organizations or working for a foreign agent, and that this is illegal. and the nsa then planned to try and accommodate that ruling. but i think the real issue as journalists and as citizens is, why should we have to this? how can we have a democracy in which a secret court rule that what the government is doing in spying on us is a violation of the constitution and the law and yet we sit here and don't know what that ruling is because it's all been concealed and all been secret? i think we need to have transparency and disclosure, and that's why mr. snowden stepped forward so, that we could have that.

>> there are reports he's ultimately headed to venezuela. is that your understanding?

>> i don't -- i'm not going to talk about where he's headed or what his plans are. i think it's up in the air. i'm not sure where he's headed. he's my source for these stories. i'm not going to talk about where he's going.

Yeah, that's some real Journalismny stuff right there David.  I myself, would like to see those documents where even the FISA Court said what the NSA was doing was illegal, and I'd like to see exactly how the NSA responded to that ruling in a way that allowed them to continue the program to the satisfaction of the court.

This is the crux of this issue, do we have any meaningful "oversight" or are these NSA people running amok in defiance of the Court and the Law?

We're spending far more time debating the Hero/Traitor on the Run questions regarding Eddie Snowden the Celebrity than we are the content of what he's actually released.  For example what are the NSA guidelines that limit collection and retention of U.S. Data?

The top secret documents published today detail the circumstances in which data collected on US persons under the foreign intelligence authority must be destroyed, extensive steps analysts must take to try to check targets are outside the US, and reveals how US call records are used to help remove US citizens and residents from data collection.

However, alongside those provisions, the Fisa court-approved policies allow the NSA to:

• Keep data that could potentially contain details of US persons for up to five years;

• Retain and make use of "inadvertently acquired" domestic communications if they contain usable intelligence, information on criminal activity, threat of harm to people or property, are encrypted, or are believed to contain any information relevant to cybersecurity;

• Preserve "foreign intelligence information" contained within attorney-client communications;

• Access the content of communications gathered from "U.S. based machine[s]" or phone numbers in order to establish if targets are located in the US, for the purposes of ceasing further surveillance.

Is it reasonable to keep this information for up to five years, even if it includes private information on U.S. Citizens? Even if it contains information protected by attorney-client privilege? Even if it the data doesn't have national security, but merely "criminal" implications?

We have this now, are we talking about it? Are the "Journalists"?  Nope. Is Snowden headed to Paraguay? Squirrel!!!!



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