Secrecy is the linchpin of abuse of power, . . . its enabling force. Transparency is the only real antidote.

— Glenn Greenwald

The most colorful Glenn Greenwald quotes that are free to learn and impress others

Transparency is for those who carry out public duties and exercise public power.

Privacy is for everyone else.

88

The ultimate test of a society's freedom is not how it treats its good, obedient, compliant citizens; it's how it treats its dissidents.

59

What I do know is that Charlie Hebdo cartoonists have been converted into the closest thing the West has to religious-like martyrs in the war against radical Islam, which means that anything short of pure reverence for them generates tribal rage and vilification.

37

The term propaganda rings melodramatic and exaggerated, but a press that—whether from fear, careerism, or conviction—uncritically recites false government claims and reports them as fact, or treats elected officials with a reverence reserved for royalty, cannot be accurately described as engaged in any other function.

34

History shows that the mere existence of a mass surveillance apparatus, regardless of how it is used, is in itself sufficient to stifle dissent. A citizenry that is aware of always being watched quickly becomes a compliant and fearful one.

25

It is hard to imagine having a government more secretive than the United States.

Virtually everything that government does, of any significance, is conducted behind an extreme wall of secrecy. The very few leaks that we’ve had over the last decade are basically the only ways that we’ve had to learn what our government is doing.

24

The way things are supposed to work is that we're supposed to know virtually everything about what they [the government] do: that's why they're called public servants. They're supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that's why we're called private individuals.

23

When you cheer for the erosion of Dzhokhar Tsarnaevs rights, you're cheering for the erosion of your own.

22

The definition of an extreme authoritarian is one who is willing blindly to assume that government accusations are true without any evidence presented or opportunity to contest those accusations.

21

An elite class that is free to operate without limits - whether limits imposed by the rule of law or fear of the responses from those harmed by their behavior - is an elite class that will plunder, degrade, and cheat at will, and act endlessly to fortify its own power.

20

When people in power can operate in the dark, inevitably they abuse that power.

So, you need outside forces to bring light and transparency to what they're doing. And, one of the ways you do that is through journalism, and through guaranteeing a free press. That is its purpose, to provide a check on those who wield power.

13

There is thus little or no ability for an internet user to know when they are being covertly propagandized by their government, which is precisely what makes it so appealing to intelligence agencies, so powerful, and so dangerous.

11

About Glenn Greenwald

Quotes 85 sayings
Profession Journalist
Birthday March 6, 1967

Only In America can a renowned and devoted terrorism supporter like Peter King be the arbiter of national security and treason.

10

Nobody has the right to shield any idea as so sacred it can’t be challenged.

... Almost all human progress is driven by people who stood up and said ‘I disagree’ with this idea that society at the time considered to be the most precious.’

8

The single most remarkable (and revealing) fact of the Obama presidency may very well be the lack of a single prosecution of Wall Street executives for the massive fraud that precipitated the 2008 financial crisis.

8

As always with any discussion of elite immunity, it's crucial to note that what makes this development such a particularly warped travesty is that the very same elites who enjoy this immunity have created the world's largest, and the Western world's most oppressive and merciless, penal state for ordinary citizens.

7

Whether a country is actually free is determined not by how well-rewarded its convention-affirming media elites are and how ignored its passive citizens are but by how it treats its dissidents, those posing authentic challenges to what the government does.

7

As a journalist, I think the only question that you ask yourself - once you've determined that the material is authentic - is what is in the public interest to know. And then you go about and report it.

6

The fact that war is the word we use for almost everything—on terrorism, drugs, even poverty—has certainly helped to desensitize us to its invocation; if we wage wars on everything, how bad can they be?

5

There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal, and that is to destroy privacy and anonymity, not just in the United States but around the world.

5

I personally think honestly disclosing rather than hiding ones subjective values makes for more honest and trustworthy journalism. But no journalism - from the most stylistically objective to the most brazenly opinionated - has any real value unless it is grounded in facts, evidence, and verifiable data.

5

Those [American Jews] who favor the [Israeli] attack on Gaza are certainly guilty of such overwhelming emotional and cultural attachment to Israel and Israelis, that they long ago ceased viewing this conflict with any remnant of objectivity.

4

Fearlessness can be its own form of power.

3

American political culture quickly and always outpaces any attempt to satirize it.

3

When journalists are 'accused' of being 'advocates', that means: challenging and deviating from DC orthodoxies.

3

The many pro-surveillance advocates I have debated since Snowden blew the whistle have been quick to echo [Google CEO] Eric Schmidt's view that privacy is for people who have something to hide. But none of them would willingly give me the passwords to their email accounts, or allow video cameras in their homes.

3

Snowden has enough [sic] information to cause harm to the U.

S. government in a single minute than any other person has ever had. The U.S. government should be on its knees every day begging that nothing happen to Snowden, because if something does happen to him, all the information will be revealed and it could be its worst nightmare.

2

Significant and seemingly impossible social and political change happens more often than we think, and it happens more rapidly than we realize. Even the most momentous change is always possible if one finds the right way to make it happen.

2

We should not be comfortable or content in a society where the only way to remain free of surveillance and repression is if we make ourselves as unthreatning, passive, and compliant as possible.

2

A citizenry that is aware of always being watched quickly becomes a compliant and fearful one.

2

Why is one view permissible and the other criminally barred - other than because the force of law is being used to control political discourse and one form of terrorism (violence in the Muslim world) is done by, rather than to, the west?

2

To permit surveillance to take root on the Internet would mean subjecting virtually all forms of human interaction, planning, and even thought itself to comprehensive state examination.

1

What state surveillance actually is is best understood by the NSA's own documents and own words, which I think as you know I happen to have a lot of.

1

Arming domestic police forces with paramilitary weaponry will ensure their systematic use even in the absence of a terrorist attack on US soil; they will simply find other, increasingly permissive uses for those weapons.

1

Beyond all the other reasons not to do it, free speech assaults always backfire: they transform bigots into martyrs.

1

The War on Terror has been and continues to be, above all, a war on the most basic liberties and political safeguards that we're all taught are what distinguishes the US and keeps it free.

1

I'd like to vote for the candidate similar to the one the Right absurdly claims Obama is.

0

I don't have a 'side'—I'm responsible for what I say and nothing else.

0

[I]f you want instant, reflexive support for the US government's police and military powers, MSNBC is the place to turn these days.

0

The genius of America's endless war machine is that, learning from the unpleasantness of the Vietnam war protests, it has rendered the costs of war largely invisible.

0

You can't have a pristine house with ten dogs, and I'd rather have the ten dogs.

0

It's common to go from 'crashing the gate' to guarding it.

0

But when Warren has spoken on national security, she has invariably spouted warmed-over, banal Democratic hawk tripe of the kind that she just recited about Israel and Gaza. During her Senate campaign, for instance, she issued wildly militaristic – and in some cases clearly false – statements about Iran and its nuclear program that would have been comfortable on the pages of The Weekly Standard.

0

It’s just simply the fact that the NSA does not think anybody should be able to communicate anywhere on the Earth without them being able to invade it.

0

As always, imagine how great the press corps would be if it devoted 1/1000th the energy to dissecting non-sex political wrongdoing

0

A key purpose of journalism is to provide an adversarial check on those who wield the greatest power by shining a light on what they do in the dark, and informing the public about those acts.

0

He's the President—it's the responsibility of every citizen to criticize aggressively when they think it's warranted.

0

[N]othing is less reliable than unchecked claims from political officials that their secret conduct is justified by National Security Threats and the desire to Keep Us Safe.

0

The mythology of the Reagan presidency is that he induced the collapse of the Soviet Union by luring it into unsustainable military spending and wars: should there come a point when we think about applying that lesson to ourselves?

0