Glenn Greenwald on “Submissive” Media’s Drumbeat for War and “Despicable” Anti-Muslim Scapegoating

December 3, 2015 in Global Conflict, Middle East, News, Religion, Syrian Crisis, U.S. News, World News by RBN Staff


Democracy Now
| NOVEMBER 19, 2015 | WATCH FULL SHOW

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, media coverage has seen familiar patterns: uncritically repeat government claims, defend expansive state power, and blame the Muslim community for the acts of a few. We discuss media fearmongering, anti-Muslim scapegoating, ISIL’s roots, and war profiteering with Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of The Intercept. “Every time there’s a terrorist attack, Western leaders exploit that attack to do more wars,” Greenwald says. “Which in turn means they transfer huge amounts of taxpayer money to these corporations that sell arms. And so investors are fully aware that the main people who are going to benefit from this escalation as a result of Paris are not the American people or the people of the West — and certainly not the people of Syria — it is essentially the military-industrial complex.”


TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. Our guest for the hour is the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, as we turn to comments made by former CIA Director James Woolsey on Sunday. Speaking to NPR, Woolsey said Edward Snowden “has blood on his hands” following the Paris attacks.

JAMES WOOLSEY: I am no fan of the changes that were made after Snowden’s leaks of classified information. I don’t think they have improved our ability to collect and use intelligence, and I think they’ve seriously reduced our abilities. I think Snowden has blood on his hands from these killings in France.

AMY GOODMAN: Your response to the former director of central intelligence, Glenn Greenwald, James Woolsey?

GLENN GREENWALD: First of all, it’s absolutely remarkable that James Woolsey, of all people, is the person who has been plucked to be the authoritative figure on the Paris attacks by leading media outlets such as CNN and MSNBC news, when he is by far one of the most extremist and radical neoconservatives ever to be puked up by the intelligence world. He not only was one of the leading advocates of attacking Iraq, he was one of the leading proponents of all of the lies that led to that invasion, and has been calling for war and other sorts of really extremist policies, and disseminating lies to the American people for decades. And so, to hold him out as some sort of authority figure, some kind of like respected elder intelligence statesman, on these attacks is just exactly the sort of thing we’ve been talking about, which is the state of the American media. Not one person has challenged anything that he said.

I should also note that what this really is about is this really shameless effort on the part of the CIA and other government officials to exploit the emotions that have been generated by watching the carnage in Paris for all sorts of long-standing policies. If you go back to 2013, the very same James Woolsey went on Fox News, and he said—this was two years before the Paris attacks—”Not only do I think Edward Snowden is a traitor, I think he should be hung by the neck until he’s dead.” That’s the mentality of the kinds of people who the media is holding out as our leading experts.

And again, as far as who has blood on their hands, there’s zero evidence that the attackers used encryption or anything else that was revealed as a result of Edward Snowden, but there’s lots of evidence that the CIA utterly failed in their mission and that the U.S. government has done all sorts of things unwittingly to strengthen ISIS. And so, I think if you want to talk about who has blood on their hands, personally, I would look first to ISIS, the people who actually shot those people in the Paris streets. It’s really weird. Usually after a terrorist attack, nobody is allowed to suggest that anybody has blame other than the terrorists themselves. But for some reason, in this case, leading establishment figures and journalists feel free to go around detracting—distracting attention from ISIS and saying, “No, it’s not ISIS that has blood on their hands, it’s Edward Snowden.” For some reason, that’s now allowed. So, if that’s what we’re doing, if that’s the game we’re playing, I would look to the U.S. government first, because they failed to find the plot despite huge amounts of money and unlimited power to do so, and because they’ve done all sorts of things to strengthen the group that apparently bears responsibility for this attack.

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