Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald

infobox writer
name = Glenn Greenwald

imagesize = 200px
birth_date = 1967
birth_place = New York City, NY
occupation = Author, columnist, blogger, and attorney
nationality = American
website =

Glenn Greenwald (born 1967 in New York City) is a former American attorney and current political and legal blogger, and columnist at Salon Magazine. He is the author of "How Would a Patriot Act?" and "A Tragic Legacy", both New York Times bestsellers. He was named by "New York Magazine" as one of the 40 most popular political pundits in America. [ [ Conventional Wisdom] , New York Magazine, August 24, 2008]

Greenwald frequently criticizes the policies of the George W. Bush administration and those who support or enable it, because he thinks the American news media is complicit in excusing policies and echoing administration talking points rather than asking hard questions.


Greenwald is a graduate of George Washington University and received a J.D. from New York University Law School. He worked at the New York law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz both before and briefly after he joined the New York bar in 1995. He left to co-found the law firm of Greenwald Christoph & Holland, now Greenwald Christoph, where he litigated cases concerning issues of U.S. constitutional law. [cite book | last = Greenwald | first = Glenn | title = A Tragic Legacy | publisher = Crown Publishers | year = 2007 | isbn = 978-0-307-35419-8 | pages = Jacket]

One of Greenwald's more notable First Amendment clients was neo-Nazi Matthew Hale. Hale was eventually jailed and tried for solicitation of murder against Joan Lefkow, who had been the federal judge in the trademark case. Although Greenwald was not involved in his criminal defense, between Hale's conviction and sentencing, Hale attempted to use Greenwald to convey a coded message, but Greenwald refused. [ [ Attorney: Hale Tried To Deliver Encoded Message From Jail] , news, March 9, 2005] At the time, Hale was suspected of complicity in the recent double murder of Lefkow's husband and mother, but he was eventually cleared. He remains jailed for the earlier conviction.

Greenwald splits his time between Brazil and New York City because Brazil recognizes his same-sex relationship with his Brazilian partner, while the United States does not. [cite web | url = | title = Response to right-wing personal attacks | first = Glenn | last = Greenwald | date = 20 July 2006 | accessdate = 2007-02-02 | publisher = Unclaimed Territory ]

"Unclaimed Territory" blog

Greenwald started a blog, "Unclaimed Territory", in October 2005, focusing initially on the Valerie Plame affair and the investigation of Scooter Libby. When the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy became known two months later, he shifted primary attention to that. He has written for The American Conservative magazine [ [] ] and appeared as a guest on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal", Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, Air America's "Rachel Maddow Show" and "Majority Report" and Public Radio International's "To the Point". His reporting and analysis have been cited in the "The New York Times", "The Washington Post", "The Los Angeles Times", and several Congressional reports on executive power. In April 2006, he was given a 2005 Koufax Award for Best New Blog.

Greenwald attracted national media attention in January 2006 when he announced on his blog his finding that U.S. Senator Mike DeWine had proposed an easier standard for domestic eavesdropping by federal agents in 2002, but the administration had declined any interest in the legislation and advised him that it would probably be unconstitutional, a direct contradiction of much of the later rationale for the NSA warrantless domestic spying program once it was known. This discovery became widely covered by the national media, which often credited Greenwald for breaking the story. For example, The Washington Post reported: [ [ White House Dismissed '02 Surveillance Proposal] , Dan Eggen, Washington Post, Thursday, January 26, 2006 (page A04).]

The Bush administration rejected a 2002 Senate proposal that would have made it easier for FBI agents to obtain surveillance warrants in terrorism cases, concluding that the system was working well and that it would likely be unconstitutional to lower the legal standard. ...

Democrats and national security law experts who oppose the NSA program say the Justice Department's opposition to the DeWine legislation seriously undermines arguments by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and others, who have said the NSA spying is constitutional and that surveillance warrants are often too cumbersome to obtain.

"It's entirely inconsistent with their current position," said Philip B. Heymann, a deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration who teaches law at Harvard University. "The only reason to do what they've been doing is because they wanted a lower standard than 'probable cause.' A member of Congress offered that to them, but they turned it down." ...

The DeWine amendment — first highlighted this week by Internet blogger Glenn Greenwald and widely publicized yesterday by the Project on Government Secrecy, an arm of the Federation of American Scientists — is the latest point of contention in a fierce political and legal battle over the NSA monitoring program.'

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold quoted Greenwald's blog on the floor of the Senate when he introduced Senate Resolution 398, to censure President Bush. [citenews | author=Staff writer (transcript) | title=Hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee: An Examination of the Call to Censure the President |date=2006-03-31 | publisher=Federal Information Services Corporation | url= | work=Federal News Service |format=subscription required | accessdate = 2008-01-11 Accessed via Lexis-Nexis.] In February, 2008, during debate over the FISA and telecom immunity bill, Sen. Chris Dodd quoted from Greenwald's blog during debate on the Senate floor. [cite web | url =" | title = You Tube video of Sen. Chris Dodd on Senate floor during FISA debate | date=2008-02-08 | publisher=YouTube]

alon Magazine blog

In February 2007, Greenwald moved his blog to Salon Magazine, where he was named a contributing writer. [ cite web | url = | title = Blog News | first = Glenn | last = Greenwald | date = 1 February 2007 | accessdate = 2007-02-02 | publisher = Unclaimed Territory ] citenews |author=Jesse Singal | title=Glenn Greenwald: On terrorism, civil rights, and building a blog |date=2007-09-17 | publisher=Campus Progress | url= | accessdate = 2008-04-05] At Salon, he has touched many of the same themes as in Unclaimed Territory, especially that the media is sympathetic to the GOPKen Silverstein. [ Six Questions for Glenn Greenwald on Campaign Coverage] , February 21, 2008. Retrieved on April 5, 2008] and also fails, owing to reportorial bias or laziness, to challenge Bush administration claims.

In his Salon column, Greenwald exposed factual errors [ cite web | url = |title=Joe Klein: Both factually false and stuck in the 1980s | last = Greenwald | first = Glenn |date=November 21, 2007 | See also: cite news | title = Everything that is rancid and corrupt with modern journalism: The Nutshell | date= November 27, 2007 | url = ] in a Time Magazine column written by Joe Klein. [ cite news | last = Klein | first = Joe | title = The Tone-Deaf Democrats | publisher = TIME | date= November 21, 2007 | url =,8599,1686509,00.html | accessdate = 2007-12-04 ] Time initially published a subsequent comment as follows: "In the original version of this story, Joe Klein wrote that the House Democratic version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) would allow a court review of individual foreign surveillance targets. Republicans believe the bill can be interpreted that way, but Democrats don't." Greenwald noted that the text of the legislation does not require court review of individual targets, and Time's response, only repeating "what each side says," disregarded this fact. [ cite news | last = Singel | first = Ryan | title = Time Correction of Wiretap Story Needs Own Correction | publisher = Wired | date= November 27, 2007 | url = | accessdate = 2007-12-04 See also: cite news |title=What Others are Saying |url=,0,4272704.story |publisher=Chicago Tribune |date=December 11, 2007 |archiveurl= |archivedate =2007-12-12; cite news |first=Howard |last=Kurtz |title=Kindergarten Cops |url= |work=Online Column |publisher=Washington Post |date=December 6, 2007 |archiveurl= |archivedate =2007-12-12; cite web | url = | title = TIME Carries Correction on Hotly Disputed Joe Klein Column -- And So Does 'Chic Tribune' | last = Mitchell | first = Greg | date = November 29, 2007 | publisher = Editor and Publisher ] Time told Senator Russ Feingold that they intend to publish his letter to the editor in a coming issue. [ cite news | last = Greenwald | first = Glenn | title = Various Items | publisher = Salon | date = 2007-12-06 | url = | accessdate = 2007-12-10 ]

In August 2008, following the suicide of terrorist suspect Bruce Ivins, Greenwald wrote a series of long blog posts, detailing the evidence that there has been a cover-up by individuals in the US government and ABC News in the 2001 anthrax attacks. Greeenwald called for "a full-scale Congressional hearing or even an external Commission of the type that investigated the 9/11 attacks -- endowed with full subpoena power -- to examine all of the unresolved issues here." [ [ The FBI's emerging, leaking case against Ivins] Tuesday Aug. 5, 2008 06:54 EDT] Greenwald is also interested in the identity of the individual who in 2001 falsely told ABC News's Brian Ross that the anthrax contained bentonite, a claim which falsely linked the anthrax attack to Saddam Hussein. The broadcasting of this claim by ABC News, Greenwald argues, was instrumental in guiding the US media and public opinion towards war with Iraq. Brian Ross refuses to divulge the identity of the individual who misled him. [Dan Gillmor, [ Was the US public misled about the anthrax attacks?], Monday August 04 2008 18:00 BST]

Political views

While Greenwald describes himself as neither liberal nor conservative, [ cite book |title= How Would a Patriot Act? | year = 2006 | first = Glenn |last= Greenwald |isbn= 0-9779440-0-x |pages= pg. 1 ] he has frequently criticized the policies of the George W. Bush administration and conservatives who support it, claiming that "Bush followers are not conservatives". [ [ Bush followers are not conservatives] , "Unclaimed Territory" blog posting, January 16, 2006.]


Greenwald wrote the New York Times best selling [cite web | url = | title = The New York Times Book Review | accessdate = 2007-12-12 | date = June 11, 2006 | format = PDF ] book, "How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values From a President Run Amok". Pre-orders placed the book at #1 on in less than 24 hours, where it stayed for several days.Joe Garofoli. [ Book tops charts before it's published] , "San Francisco Chronicle", May 12, 2006. Retrieved on April 5, 2008]

Greenwald's second book, "A Tragic Legacy", is according to Greenwald "an examination of Bush's presidency with an emphasis on his personality traits and beliefs that drove the presidency (along with an emphasis on how and why those personality traits have led to a presidency that has failed to historic proportions)". [cite news |first=Glenn |last=Greenwald |title= (no title)|url= |work=Comments Forum |publisher=HaloScan |date=November 9, 2006 |accessdate=2007-12-12 ] "A Tragic Legacy" was released on June 26, 2007, debuted on The New York Times Best Seller list, and was the #1 book on Amazon's Non-Fiction Best Seller List [cite web |url= |title=Blogs and the establishment media |accessdate= 2008-01-11|author=Glenn Greenwald |date=2007-06-27 |publisher=Salon Media Group, Inc.] . Alan Colmes of Fox News described "A Tragic Legacy" as "the best book about the worst president. Glenn Greenwald is to this administration as they've been to the country: devastating." [cite web |url= |title=The Nonprofit Bookstore |accessdate= 2008-01-11|author=Staff |publisher=Acadiana Educational Endowment (AEE)and its affiliate, the American Public School Endowments (APSE) |work=books XYZ]

Greenwald's third book, published by Random House and released in April 2008, is titled "Great American Hypocrites." [cite web |url= |title= Greenwald's blog |accessdate=2008-03-09"|author=Glenn Greenwald]


External links

* [ Glenn Greenwald] Column at Salon
* [ "Unclaimed Territory"] Greenwald's old blog; no longer updated since the "Salon" column.
* [ Video] - Greenwald debates University of Virginia law professor Robert Turner on C-SPAN, February 2006
* [ Video] - Greenwald speaks at YearlyKos 2007
* [ Video] - Greenwald speaks at The Cato Institute
* [ Video] - Greenwald on Democracy Now re: media coverage
* [ Interview] - Harper's Magazine interviews Greenwald re: media bias
* [ Interview] - CAP Campus interview with Greenwald
* [ Interview] - FAIR interview with Greenwald re: Joe Klein/TIME scandal
* [ Radio] - Greenwald debates Frank Gaffney on the Alan Colmes Show

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