During today’s interview with Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman asks him to respond to a comment Sen. Chambliss made over the weekend on Meet the Press. Greenwald’s response shouldn’t come as a surprise to T-Room readers –
Amy Goodman: During an appearance on MSNBC’s Meet the Press, he said the NSA surveillance programs had uncovered information about the threats that prompted the U.S. to close 19 embassies in North Africa and Middle East.
SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS: These programs are controversial. We understand that. They’re very sensitive. But they’re also very important, because they are what lead us to have the—or allow us to have the ability to gather this chatter that I referred to. If we did not have these programs, then we simply wouldn’t be able to listen in on the bad guys. And I will say that it’s the 702 program that has allowed us to pick up on this chatter. That’s the program that allows us to listen overseas, not on domestic soil, but overseas.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Senator Chambliss. Glenn Greenwald, your response?
GLENN GREENWALD: You know, it’s so ludicrous. For eight straight years, literally, Democrats, every time there was a terrorist alert or a terrorist advisory issued by the United States government in the middle of a debate over one of the Bush-Cheney civil liberties abuses, would accuse the United States government and the national security state of exaggerating terrorism threats, of manipulating advisories, of hyping the dangers of al-Qaeda, in order to distract attention away from their abuses and to scare the population into submitting to whatever it is they wanted to do. And so, here we are in the midst of, you know, one of the most intense debates and sustained debates that we’ve had in a very long time in this country over the dangers of excess surveillance, and suddenly an administration that has spent two years claiming that it has decimated al-Qaeda decides that there is this massive threat that involves the closing of embassies and consulates throughout the world. And within literally an amount of hours, the likes of Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham join with the White House and Democrats in Congress—who, remember, are the leading defenders of the NSA at this point—to exploit that terrorist threat and to insist that it shows that the NSA and these programs are necessary.
From DemocracyNOW’s transcript
We also found the story and timing of this latest ‘terrorist’ threat a bit odd; especially since it came out of left field with no sense of urgency whatsoever in the State Department’s communications. If you read the transcript from the State Department on the day this threat made headlines you’ll learn how their spokesperson gave no fuel whatsoever to the innuendo currently being reported by the corporate press while given ‘legs’ by the neocons via the talking head theater held on Sunday mornings.
We can only guess Washington needed to desperately change the subject, and we’re thinking the tired old Muslim boogeyman story is no longer resonating with the astute and educated American populous.
Here’s the Greenwald interview –