Glenn Greenwald | Lawrence O'Donnell | News | NSA

Lawrence O'Donnell Interviews Glenn Greenwald on the NSA and the U.S. Surveillance State: VIDEO


Last night we reported on the bombshell news that the NSA had engaged with nine leading U.S. internet companies in surveillance of U.S. citizens. Glenn Greenwald, who broke an earlier story about NSA surveillance and Verizon, spoke with Lawrence O'Donnell about the cases.

Says Greenwald:

"There is this massive surveillance state that the United States government has built up that has extraordinary implications for how we live as human beings on the earth and as Americans in our country, and we have the right to know what it is that that government and that agency is doing. I intend to continue to shine light on that, and Dianne Feinstein can beat her chest all she wants and call for investigations and none of that is going to stop and none of it is going to change.”


The NYT is running a profile on Greenwald today, saying he's now in the cross hairs of federal prosecutors:

“The N.S.A. is kind of the crown jewel in government secrecy. I expect them to react even more extremely,” Mr. Greenwald said in a telephone interview. He said that he had been advised by lawyer friends that “he should be worried,” but he had decided that “what I am doing is exactly what the Constitution is about and I am not worried about it.”

Being at the center of a debate is a comfortable place for Mr. Greenwald, 46, who came to mainstream journalism through his own blog, which he started in 2005. Before that he was a lawyer, including working 18 months at the high-powered New York firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where he represented large corporate clients.

“I approach my journalism as a litigator,” he said. “People say things, you assume they are lying, and dig for documents to prove it.”

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  1. Google knows more about you than the government.

    Posted by: Gus | Jun 7, 2013 10:41:24 AM

  2. The NSA has been watching the American people for years. Just because the press has found a pair of pearls to clutch about it now, doesn't mean that the NSA is going to stop.

    Posted by: Polyboy | Jun 7, 2013 10:43:37 AM

  3. ...especially when bombs go off on American soil.

    Posted by: Polyboy | Jun 7, 2013 10:43:56 AM

  4. This is not new? It's The Patriot Act. Some patriot. . .

    Posted by: Monrocsol | Jun 7, 2013 11:08:48 AM

  5. Well, now there is some proof to support what people assumed was happening, which is an important distinction.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 7, 2013 11:11:12 AM

  6. We voluntarily post every facet of our life on social media, and then we cry foul when we realize someone is aggregating the information?


    Posted by: Mikey | Jun 7, 2013 11:12:03 AM

  7. I have only two words of warning for Mr. Greenwald: predator drone.

    Following the 9/11 attack, Americans became frightened and hysterical and true to the form so wonderfully explained by Naomi Klein in her book "Shock Doctrine", GW Bush and the Congress were able to push through the American equivalent of pre-war Germany's "Enabling Acts." We call that bill allowing a trampling of Constitutional rights and guarantees "The Patriot Act". Many congress critters voting for the act never fully read it at the time, some probably still haven't. Once these powers are granted to politicians, they are seldom willing to relinquish them. Bush didn't and Obama won't and in all probability neither will future presidents. So as America becomes less free, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

    Posted by: Bob R | Jun 7, 2013 11:35:38 AM

  8. @ anon


    For anyone who took time to watch the video, Polyboy and Monrocsol are merely parrotting the right-wing talking points of our politicians.

    Posted by: from Mexico | Jun 7, 2013 12:52:23 PM

  9. And Julian Assange collecting information and diseminating it as a form of transparency is considered illegal while our own government building a massive surveillance state is lawful.

    Is there any way we lawabiding citizens can wiretap the NSA and FBI in order to make sure they are not trangressing the laws? THEY are not being sufficiently monitered to ensure THEY are not overstepping their bounds. There are insuffiecient checks and balances.

    Posted by: will | Jun 7, 2013 1:06:10 PM

  10. I'm a little underwhelmed by people's reaction to this news. There is now very real proof that the US government is massively spying on everyone, internet, phones, whatever, and that it has a massive database of everywhere all Americans have been (phone location data) for some time, and there are still people who can't see the problem there. All the government and their media allies have to do is say the "T" word (you know the one), and people just accept whatever they are doing out of fear, it's absurd. I caught a lot of this on the news this morning, and it's all about needing to have a "debate", the president says it's good to have this debate. But there is no debate, and I don't want to have a debate, they have no right to spy on us like that, and there used to be a time when even the government knew that.

    Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 7, 2013 1:44:29 PM

  11. @ Anonymous at Jun 7, 2013 1:44:29 PM

    MARTIN LUTHER KING: "What we are witnessing today in so many northern communities is a sort of quasi liberalism which is based on the principle of looking sympathetically at all sides. It is a liberalism so bent of seeing all sides that it fails to become committed to either side. It is a liberalism that is so objectively analytical that it is not subjectively committed. It is a liberalism which is neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm.

    "When nonviolent protests were countered by local authorities with harassment, intimidation, and brutality, the federal government has always first asked the Negro to desist and leave the streets, rather than bring pressure to bear on those who commit the criminal acts. We have always been compelled to reject vigorously such federal requests and have rather relied on our allies, the millions of Americans across the nation, to bring pressure on the federal government for protective action in our behalf. Our position has always been that there is a wrong and a right side to the question of full freedom and equality for millions of Negro Americans and that the federal government does not belong in the middle on this issue."

    Posted by: from Mexico | Jun 7, 2013 2:13:43 PM

  12. The Guardian UK shuts down comments when they don't like what is being said. They shut off all the comments on a Greenwald column the other day.

    Why do so-called "Progressives" always want to control what other people say?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Jun 7, 2013 2:53:21 PM

  13. things are not what they seem

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Jun 7, 2013 7:25:49 PM

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