Greenwald shreds Rep. Rogers’ spying defense: He’s ‘exactly the reason’ we need transparency

By Stephen C. Webster
Sunday, June 9, 2013 18:52 EDT
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Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. Photo: Screenshot via CNN.
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Appearing on CNN with host Howard Kurtz on Sunday, Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald responded to Rep. Mike Rogers’ (R-MI) allegation that he doesn’t really “have a clue” about what’s going on with the National Security Agency’s massive spying programs, saying that people like Rogers are “exactly the reason” why this whole process requires transparency.

“First of all, to the extent that politicians like Republican Mike Rigers are running around boating that only they know, but not the rest of us know, about what the U.S. government is doing in terms of spying on its own citizens, that to me is exactly the reason why transparency is so vital here,” he said. “We shouldn’t have a massive spying aparatus being constructed completely beyond democratic accountability and beyond the knowledge of the citizens on whom it is spying… That’s exactly why, as a journalist, I think it’s so vital to shine light on what it is that the government is doing.”

Greenwald also responded to Rogers’ other claim: that he’d done real damage to U.S. national security by helping reveal the widespread nature of the NSA’s spying dragnet.

“Every terrorist on the planet already knows, and has known for a long time, that the United States is trying to surveil their communications, eavesdrop on their telephone calls, read their emails. Any terrorist who isn’t already aware of that is a terrorist incapable of tying their shoes, let alone detonating a bomb successfully in the United States. That isn’t anything about what we disclosed.”

“What we disclosed is that the American government is surveilling its own citizens, people who are suspected of no wrongdoing,” he went on. “The only thing that has been damaged here is not national security. What has been damaged is the reputation and credibility of the political officials who want to hide behind top secret designations to conceal their own wrongdoing, and that’s really what they’re angry about.”

This video is from CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” aired Sunday, June 9, 2013.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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