Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian columnist who first brought international attention to the National Security Agency's monitoring of millions of telephone and Internet logs of individual Americans and major businesses, originally made his way to the national political conversation during the second term of George W. Bush.
Greenwald's blog was picked up by Salon in 2005 and quickly became a haven for civil libertarians shocked by the news of the administration's warrantless phone surveillance. His book attacking this policy by Bush, How Would a Patriot Act?, became a best-seller. After calling attention to the surveillance policy of the Obama administration in a series of articles this month, Greenwald tells Business Insider that he is not surprised that many liberals have not joined him as they did during Bush.
Greenwald told Business Insider late Tuesday night that he thinks some left-leaning members of the media — such as Time magazine's Joe Klein and The New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin — have shifted stances on surveillance and civil liberties for "principle-free, hackish, and opportunistic" reasons.
"I'm not surprised," Greenwald said in an email. "I've been amazed and disappointed for a long time at how the most slavishly partisan media Democrats who pretended to care so much about these issues when doing so helped undermine George Bush are now the loudest apologists and cheerleaders for these very same policies.
"If they started a club called Liberal Pundits to Defend the National Security State, no auditorium in the country would be large enough to accommodate them.
"To call them principle-free, hackish, and opportunistic is to be overly generous."
On Tuesday House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer defended the Obama administration's domestic spying programs as legal, unlike the Bush programs, The Hill reports:
"The difference between this program and the Bush program [is that] the Bush program was not sanctioned by law; this is pursuant to law," Hoyer told reporters in the Capitol. "I think that's a very important distinction that some people don't draw, but they ought to draw."
Former NSA Analyst J. Kirk Wiebe joined "Wilkow!" Wednesday to discuss the NSA's secret domestic spying program, leaker Edward Snowden's motivations, and the growing surveillance state from Bush to Obama.
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