In the Arena

Glenn Greenwald

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Twice in the past month, my private communications have been splashed about the internet. That such a thing would happen is unfortunate, and dishonorable, but sadly inevitable, I suppose. I ignored the first case, in which a rather pathetic woman acolyte of Greenwald’s published a hyperbolic account of a conversation I had with her at a beach picnic on Cape Cod. Now, Greenwald himself has published private emails of mine that were part of a conversation taking place on a list-serve. In one of those emails, I say that Greenwald “cares not a whit for America’s national security.”

I’d like to quote here from a subsequent email on that thread, which Greenwald hasn’t published, in which I explain why I have such strong feelings about Greenwald:

 For the past several years, Greenwald has conducted a persistent, malicious campaign to distort who I am and where I stand. He is a mean-spirited, graceless bully. During that time, I have never seen him write a positive sentence about the US military, which has transformed itself dramatically for the better since Rumsfeld’s departure (indeed, he ridiculed me when I reported that the situation in Anbar Province was turning around in 2007). I have never seen him acknowledge that the work of the clandestine service—performed disgracefully by the CIA during the early Bush years—is an absolute necessity in a world where terrorists have the capability to attack us at any time, in almost any place. Nor have I seen [him] acknowledge that such a threat exists, nor make a single positive suggestion about how to confront that threat in ways that might conform to his views. Therefore, I have seen no evidence that he cares one whit about the national security of the United States. It is not hyperbole, it is a fact.

I am not a religious reader of Greenwald–he does go on, and on–and it’s possible that I missed extensive posts in which he praises the Armed Forces or makes positive suggestions about how to track possible communications between terrorists abroad and their confederates here. But I sort of doubt that. What I have seen from him, ad nauseum, are intemperate attacks in which he questions the character of–no, it’s worse than that: he slimes–anyone who has the temerity to disagree with him.

I agree with Greenwald on some things, and appreciate his insights on others. But he is a thoroughly dishonorable person–as he proved by releasing my private emails–and, when it comes to his oft-trumpeted belief in the right to privacy, a stone hypocrite as well.

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