WATCH: Activists and journalists gathered in front of the Brazilian Embassy in DC on Thursday to sound the alarm about the threat to press freedom emanating from the attempt to charge Glenn Greenwald for practicing journalism.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald has been accused in Brazil of taking part in the hacking of text messages that revealed collusion between a judge and prosecutors to jail former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the Car Wash investigation, preventing him from running for a new term in last year’s Brazilian election.
With Lula behind bars Jair Bolsonaro was elected. He promptly appointed the colluding judge, Sergio Moro, as minister of justice. The entire scheme was blown up by Greenwald and his staff at The Intercept Brasil.
It is Moro’s justice ministry that has leveled the criminal complaint against Greenwald in an attempt to have him punished for uncovering Bolsonaro’s corrupt path to the presidency.
The proposed charges are shockingly similar to those unleashed on WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in his first indictment in which he is accused of helping Chelsea Manning hack into a government database that Manning had legal access to as a U.S. intelligence analyst with the highest security clearance. What Assange did was encourage Manning to get more documents and he helped her try to hide her identity.
According to Robert Parry, the late founder of this site, those are essential activities of investigative journalism. In an article published ten years ago, “All Investigative Journalists Do What Julian Assange Did,” Parry went a step further. He said he encouraged his sources to break the law by illegally obtaining documents to prevent or reveal a greater crime of the state.
It is up to a judge to determine if Greenwald will be formally charged. If the judge listens to the Brazilian federal police Greenwald will walk free. That is because the police already investigated Greenwald and determined he broke no laws. They even said he took precautions not to break the law. As in the Assange case, this is an instance of criminalizing routine journalistic activity to punish reporters who have threatened powerful people by revealing their corruption.
Here are scenes of the protest, which include Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin, Sam Husseini from the Institute for Public Accuracy and Joe Lauria, editor-in-chief of Consortium News.
Video by Joe Lauria; Editor: Cathy Vogan
It’s not heartening to see so few people at this protest, but I am so grateful you held it. So many people I admire here- Joe, Medea, Sam, etc. I wish I did not live in Oregon so far away so that I could attend these eastern protests with you. You are heroes to me. Thank you, CN and all the independent, superb journalists and activists out there telling the truth with good hearts and clear minds.
Remember the four Dutch journalists who were murdered by US backed El Salvadorean death squads in 1982.
Anything can happen
I’m waiting to see if the American news media will support Greenwald, or if they will wait for some signal from the White House to do the “politically correct” thing. The American news media should be screaming at this and taking an advantage of screaming for more “free press.”
Were the U$ M$M to support Greenwald, Dennis Rice, then they might, possibly, find themselves in a wee bit of a conundrum; for, if Greenwald were deserving of their support, then how might they excuse their blatant lack of support, over many years, for Assange?
What differences might they point to justifying their support for one but not for the other?
Would they claim that Greenwald only exposed Brazil, a mere lesser nation, even an eager U$ sycophant, and therefore worthy of being held to strict public account, while Assange arrogantly, recklessly and maliciously harmed and disagreeably tarnished the image of the one, special, even indispensable U$A, the true shining beacon of genuine democracy, real freedom, and honest rectitude, which nation is not only the natural leader of the free world, but also the sole hope of mankind?
Would anyone even notice?
Perhaps the media could just pretend that Assange’s “character”, amid bogus claims of rape (satirically addressed by Craig Murray in a recent article describing how innuendo and the need of legally “protecting” the victims means that even unsubstantiated and unproven “claims” may create an “image” which the media is happy to sell, if the signals you mentioned are sent, an “image” which may well prejudice whole societies to accept as truth quite scurrilous assertion) which although fully and finally debunked still permit the media’s continuing character assassination to justify, or “explain”, the horrible mistreatment Assange continues to receive in Jolly Olde (incidentally another nation quite happy to yap and romp at the heels of the New Hegemon).
Remember, the U$ government is claiming that Assange, as a foreign national, does not have (“enjoy”) the protection of the First Amendment, either as an individual OR, specifically, as a publisher. That claim has yet to be advanced by the U$ government as regards Greenwald. However, Brazil could very well regard Greenwald as a “foreigner” with subversive intentions.
Which, legalistically, would amount to the same thing.
Naturally, one may assume that the U$, always willing, as it demonstrates on a daily basis, to respect the sovereignty of other nations, could well bolster any such “legal” claims as Brazil might make regarding Greenwald, with the reasonable expectation that U$ claims regarding Assange are equally legal and just.
Do you imagine that Greenwald expects, or counts on, support from the U$ media?
Realistically, with the U$ M$M focused solely on impeachment, other things, like FISA court follies or journalists poking around sacred government mechanations, especially if sovereign nations claim that such “secrets” are off limits, it is difficult to consider that the media will much vex themselves with sticky wickeds or actual moral compunctions.
There certainly is no money in such things and the corporate owners of the various media fully expect those media to reflect the owners’ interest$ – which generally coincide remarkably well with government interest$.
Merely coincidence, certainly, without doubt.
I suspect only Tucker Carlson will dare discuss it…. And I hate Fox..