Journalism, so the saying goes, is publishing what someone does not want to see published, all else being no more than PR. That is certainly the case with Glenn Greenwald, nowadays writing for The Intercept, who resides in Brazil, and who has embarrassed Government agencies around the world with his work.
It was Greenwald whose partner David Miranda was stopped and interrogated at London’s Heathrow airport while returning from Berlin to Rio de Janeiro. Miranda had been visiting another journalist, Laura Poitras, in Berlin. Our free and fearless press claimed that he had an encrypted device that contained 58,000 secret documents - but, as the device was encrypted and the spooks couldn’t crack it, how did they know? They didn’t.
The press had gone along with the spooks. The Guardian, which did not, was leaned on and had to demonstrate it had destroyed two hard drives in the presence of security service representatives. Then-editor Alan Rusbridger knows all about the reach of the spooks, and so his latest warning carries additional urgency.
Jair Bolsonaro - Mr Bridger was right
“The charges against [Julian] Assange are framed in a similar way to the charges on [Glenn Greenwald]. Both are seen as some by mavericks. But let these attacks pass and mainstream journalists will absolutely be next”. Greenwald is now the subject of charges laid by the new Government in Brazil. The HuffPost agrees with Rusbridger.
“Brazilian authorities have charged journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes, an alarming sign that Brazil’s increasingly authoritarian government is punishing a journalist for revealing explosive information”. The New York Times has told that “Greenwald was accused of participating in a ‘criminal organization’ that hacked the phones of several Brazilian authorities”. What he did was to expose rampant corruption. There was more.
“Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro began publicly threatening Greenwald after The Intercept, an investigative outlet Greenwald co-founded, began publishing articles in June 2019 that exposed ethical and legal misconduct by Brazil’s justice minister Sérgio Moro and chief anti-corruption prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol. The stories were based on documents, recordings, and private WhatsApp messages leaked anonymously”.
Greenwald said “he and his husband, Brazilian congress member David Miranda, began receiving ‘very graphic, detailed, and thought-out’ threats soon afterward, many of which ‘contained substantial personal and private information about us.’” He also pointed out “Less than two months ago, after examining the same evidence cited today by Brazil’s Public Ministry, the Federal Police stated that not only have I never committed any crimes in my contacts with our source, but also that I exercised extreme caution as a journalist”.
So now that he has been charged instead, eyebrows are being raised and concerns aired. The ACLU has called the Brazilian authorities’ actions for what they are: “Our government must immediately condemn this outrageous assault on the freedom of the press, and recognize that its attacks on press freedoms at home have consequences for American journalists doing their jobs abroad, like Glenn Greenwald”. Quite.
Bolsonaro’s goons need to stop blaming others for their corrupt and improper behaviour, stop the threats, and get their own house in order first. Journalism is still not terrorism.
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