Quantcast
Connect with us

Greenwald trashes CNN contributors for ‘extreme misinformation’ on WikiLeaks

Published

on

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald tore into two CNN personalities Monday for their framing of a discussion about secrets outlet WikiLeaks.

First, Greenwald blasted CNN’s Jessica Yellin for suggesting that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was profiting from the disclosure of classified information. Assange has said that he agreed to a $1.3 million book deal to help defray legal costs.

ADVERTISEMENT

Then he tore into CNN contributor and former Bush Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend, calling out her lie that WikiLeaks had dumped 250,000 US State Department cables without redacting sensitive information.

It was all downhill for CNN, right from the interview’s start.

“Any qualm about the fact that he is essentially profiting from classified information and do you see any irony in the fact he is making money off of a corporate publisher?” Yellin asked.

“I would contest the premise of your question,” Greenwald replied. “He is not profiting at all off classified information. The legal fees that he is facing already amount to $200,000. It is certain that his legal fees continue to sky rocket. He is clearly the leading target of governments around the world.”

“There is no question that even with his $1.3 million book contract, at the end of the day, his legal fees are going to be vastly more than that. What this is a way for him to survive the legal onslaught that governments are launching,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden where is he wanted for questioning in connection to alleged sexual assaults. He was free on bail in London at the time of this story’s publication. The WikiLeaks founder has also said that he expects the US to charge him with espionage or conspiracy.

“He should also be prepared to go to jail for what he’s done, as other revolutionaries have. No?” Yellin asked.

“Well, see, you’re a journalist, so you should understand better than anybody that publishing classified information about what governments do is not actually a crime,” Greenwald replied. “The New York Times exposed the Bush administration’s top secret eavesdropping program, the CIA black site program. Wikileaks has never exposed a top secret. This is all secret, marked secret, a lower level designation and in the United States, again, journalists should know this better than anybody.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Yellin then asked Townsend if she agreed with Vice President Joe Biden’s assertion that Assange is a “high-tech terrorist.”

“There is no question,” Townsend said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Your initial question was is he profiting from the commission of a crime and the answer to that is yes,” she added. “This is a guy who committed a crime. He did not do what your standard journalists do and by the way, when your other guest refers to New York Times, even the New York Times, when they have very sensitive classified information, would come to the government and redact it.”

“Fran Townsend can talk all she wants about how he has committed a crime,” Greenwald shot back. “Many people believe that her [former boss President George W. Bush] has committed lots of crimes, but he hasn’t been convicted of anything.”

“[Assange] has not been charged with a crime and he has not been convicted of a crime in connection with these leaks and that’s because you can say it all you want, but as a lawyer, I will tell you, and you ask any lawyer if this is true, it is not a crime in the United States to leak classified information if you don’t work for the government.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“He didn’t take any steps to understand the information,” Townsend countered. “It was so vast, of what was public, whether or not it would be useful or not, he made no distinctions about the harm he might be doing to foreign governments, to the US government, to diplomats and soldiers around the world. He just wholesale threw this out there.”

“That’s totally false. That’s just a lie,” Greenwald said. “He has published less than 1 percent of the 250,000 diplomatic cables that he came into possession of, less than 2,000 of the 250,000.”

Indeed, many of the cables released by WikiLeaks itself have been redacted to protect the identities of confidential sources.

“It’s extraordinary how — even a full month into the uproar over the diplomatic cable release — extreme misinformation still pervades these discussions, usually without challenge,” Greenwald wrote in his Tuesday column.

ADVERTISEMENT

“[T]here was Fran Townsend spouting the cannot-be-killed lie that WikiLeaks indiscriminately dumped all the cables. And I’m absolutely certain that had I not objected, that absolute falsehood would have been unchallenged by Yellin and allowed to be transmitted to CNN viewers as Truth,” he continued.

“Do you think Jessica Yellin would ever dare speak as scornfully and derisively about George Bush or his top officials as she does about Assange? Of course not,” he wrote. “Instead, CNN quickly hires Bush’s Homeland Security Adviser who then becomes Yellin’s colleague and partner in demonizing Assange as a ‘terrorist.'”

This video is from CNN’s John King, USA, broadcast Dec. 27, 2010 and uploaded by MoxNews.com.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s lies and deception are catching up to all of us as the stock market posts ‘worst point drop ever on record’

Published

on

In a muddled, dishonest, rambling news conference from the White House press briefing room, President Donald Trump for over an hour talked to reporters Wednesday evening about coronavirus in an attempt to stave off three days of market near-collapse. He lied. He twisted the truth. He displayed little grasp of basic facts. He didn’t let the experts run the show.

He instilled no confidence Wednesday night. In fact, the DOW futures dropped as Trump began speaking:

Dow Futures dropped when Trump said the market fell 2k points because of the Dem debate pic.twitter.com/cvbviB2l9a

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response

Published

on

President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.

"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election

Published

on

As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image