Glenn Greenwald's Justice

Monday, July 02, 2012

Glenn Greenwald, columnist, former constitutional law and civil rights litigator, and author of With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful, discusses his book, now out in paperback, and other news of the day.


Glenn Greenwald

Comments [28]

Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn, NY

Hi, I mostly care about mortgage fraud, predatory lending and foreclosure because all 3 happened to me.Unfortunately, I can safely saying that they have made my life Hell. Eugenia Renskoff

Jul. 03 2012 02:20 PM
Giovanni Vitacolonna

On today's show you both got the AZ Immigration ruling wrong. Section 2B is not the noxious show your papers provision. It has to do with people who are detained for other reasons and the authorities then have the right to find out if their papers are in order.

Jul. 02 2012 04:29 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

When can Glen Greenwald visit the LGBT center in the Islamic Republic of Iran and report on the conditions there?

Jul. 02 2012 12:05 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

When can Glen Greenwald visit the LGBT center in the Islamic Republic of Iran and report on the conditions there?

Jul. 02 2012 12:04 PM

Wouldn't it be great if Congress would leave the politics out of it's inquiries. That way, it would not look like a witch hunt. Rep Issa's pledge, at the beginning of the Obama administration, to embarass the President every chance he got, really comes into play when going after the A.G. Makes the merits of Issa's claim suspect.

Jul. 02 2012 11:51 AM
Carl from NJ from new jersey

we have 'lords & ladies' that can do what they want vs the rest of us 'commoners'. Let's just recognize this and sell knighthoods like we do taxi medallions. that way we at least get some revenue.

Jul. 02 2012 11:42 AM
Michael from Manhattan

There's a great shakespeare quotation from Hamlet on this:

In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft 'tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law

Jul. 02 2012 11:37 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Do we really need another duplicate book/guest on the same obvious topic? Can we instead get a book/ guest opining on how to move us past the bitching stage on this, to actual transformative action?

Jul. 02 2012 11:35 AM
john from office

Wow this guy must be a real bummer at parties.

Jul. 02 2012 11:35 AM

Let's see: The very idea of not criminalizing "policy differences" means that when a policy and its resulting actions are illegal then no illegality by a politician can be prosecuted.

Hey, sounds like a winner to me! NOT!

Do we really want, much less benefit from, politicians who systematically make illegal actions exempt from prosecution, even investigation?

What does that say about us a people, our nation as a society?

Jul. 02 2012 11:34 AM
amy from brooklyn

How much does a pardon cost now a days?

Jul. 02 2012 11:34 AM
John from office

Can we have a trial of Mr. Reagan for his "crimes" may as well bring up all past events.

Jul. 02 2012 11:32 AM
gary from queens

Scooter Libby was not prosecuted for knowingly disclosing the name of a CIA person.
He was prosecuted for providing an inconsistent story to an FBI agent vs grand jury testimony.
He was careless. what a CRIME!

And waterboarding in the manner we perform it----on our own military, and on those three terrorists-----is not torture. the way it was performed by the nazis, Japan and other despotic regimes is very much torture. learn the differences

Jul. 02 2012 11:31 AM
Nick from UWS

BRAVO for Mr Greenwald in writing such a book. Discussion, and action, on this subject is about as important a thing that can happen in America. I wish Mr Greenwald all success with it, I wish there was a copy of this in every home in the country. It's unbelievable the level of sheer criminality we have had to suffer in this new century.

Jul. 02 2012 11:31 AM
john from office

Wow, so any new administration will go after the former administration. Give it up, the Bush years are done with. Where is his book on Putin and his crimes, or Mao or Castro. The left is fixated on the Bush years.

Jul. 02 2012 11:29 AM
james from nyc

Obama likes having the torturing policy, assasinasion policy,

its great stuff to have

Jul. 02 2012 11:29 AM
MC from Manhattan

Like Richard Prior said "Justice means Just US" The practice is in the pronunciation

Jul. 02 2012 11:25 AM
james from nyc

what do they say,

Money talks everything else walks....

Jul. 02 2012 11:24 AM
gary from queens

Hazel: "Why are Senators reading from scriptures on the Senate floor? What does the bible have anything at all to do with science or our laws?"

Hazel, part of me understands your complaint. I'm 60 and I've always been an atheist. I oppose teaching creationism and intelligent design in science class, for example.

But as I got older, I realized that on certain public policy issues, I found myself on the side of the moral ethic, opposing the utilitarian ethic. And in those situations, I found religionists as welcome allies. perhaps you'll experience the same some day.

I do not like to see legislators read from scripture in Congress. Not because I'm anti religious, but because I favor separation of church and state.

But the religious bias of some legislators ended up providing a foundation upon which they sought to justify their religious-based dissent with science-based dissent. I was forced to realize that without that religious bias, many more legislators would have been swept up by the consensus science, which I happen to believe is too frequently wrong in the field of medicine and health.

Jul. 02 2012 11:17 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Wow, looks like 'someone' needs to write a book.

Jul. 02 2012 11:12 AM

Why are Senators reading from scriptures on the Senate floor? What does the bible have anything at all to do with science or our laws? And if your case is that Republican Senators "showed a remarkable grasp of the science—reading, for example, from medical journals..." all that demonstrates is that some Senators have a remarkable ability to read aloud.

And The New Leviathan by David Horowitz? Oh please. I know you'll dismiss this but for anyone else who's interested:

Jul. 02 2012 10:34 AM
BL Moderator

We haven't removed any comments, but please remember the WNYC posting guidelines, which ask you to be brief and keep the comments relevant to the conversation taking place on the air. The segment begins at 11:25am today.

-BL Producer-

Jul. 02 2012 10:29 AM
gary from queens

And since the repeated shattering of the credibility of the global warming alarmists, we have seen a reduction in the MSM coverage of THAT issue as well. Coincidental?!

So discredited is it, that MSM can't even call the issue "Global Warming." Now it's "Climate Change."

As early as 2003, science fiction writer Michael Crichton was condemned for alleging there was a tyranny of consensus science in this field, successfully suppressing responsible dissent. He also challenged the theory itself, arguing that computer models cannot predict complex systems like climate.

How prescient he was! What he didn't predict was that the issue would magically ebb when dissenters to the liberal mainstream gained more credibility.

Jul. 02 2012 10:11 AM
gary from queens

And Greenwald neglects the power of the liberal mainstream media in the US. (and UK via BBC), merely in deciding what is news, let alone what news to cover.

For example, is it no longer news that EMBRYONIC stem cell (ESC) research has reached a dead end----even according to the chief political demagogue on the left who touted its efficacy, actor Michael J Fox? The big hope in ESC research had abandoned the field last Nov. Perhaps it's no longer "news" today because the left should rightly be embarrassed now?

Admittedly, Republicans began with the pro-life (re abortion) predisposition-or the moral ethic. But by building on that existing construct or bias, they ended up opposing the utilitarian ethic that appeared to be backed by “consensus science” (i.e. Embronic SC research). By opposing that perceived consensus, Republicans lost in 2006 and 2008.

I watched the long 2-day floor debate in the Senate. Unfortunately, the public never saw Republicans making scientific arguments in that senate debate, because nightly news programs found it more convenient to sound-bite only the moral and religious remarks that were made. That was much easier than having to explain the complicated scientific ones. Several Republican senators showed a remarkable grasp of the science—reading, for example, from medical journals on the promise of adult stem cell pluripotency. But thanks to the MSM, the public was left with the false impression that it was all about religion, by just showing clips of some senators reading from scriptures. Yet technological breakthroughs occurred in adult stem cell pluripotency not long after those floor debates.

The embryonic stem cell method required cell cloning, which in turn lacks the prerequisite bioethical laws in any possible applications that stem from it. Democrats hadn’t a clue. They weren’t prepared to debate the science. They were expecting religious arguments. They made the mistake of believing their own press releases. But then, why bother to study the science when you have the demagoguery?

The Republican concern was that the demand for aborted fetuses for their stem cells would fuel a burgeoning industry in the research—and if successful—the growing and harvesting of cells and organs. All this would occur PRIOR to we, as a people and society, would have had the opportunity to consider the ethical and moral implications of where all this may end up. These bio technologies have galloped well ahead of codified legal and ethical rules for their application.

Science writer Michael Fummento wrote: "The reason private investment dried up for ESC research is because it’s a dead-end scientifically. Foreign protein rejection hasn’t been solved in over a century. Even the magic of OBAMA won’t change the fact that he threw your tax money down a rat hole, for the sake of placating the far left who bought into the election year demagoguery of the religious right standing in the way of scientific progress"

Jul. 02 2012 09:54 AM
gary from queens

Thank you Martin.

And with this new understanding from Messrs Horowitz and Laksin of who really holds the wealth, and wields power from it, we can look at Citizens United with a fresh eye.

I thought Kennedy's observation re corruption on citizens united was merely dicta. (I mean, how can bribery NOT occur sometimes?!) Yet the left pounced on it. But now, one can argue that the leftist institutions are far more capable----and according to the book, more willing----to influence pols and judges to their will via campaign contributions.

And if the mere appearance of power and influence will make courts and legislatures swing their way, then that too should be considered. Just look at what Justice John Roberts had done. So concerned was he about his legacy and the Court's credibility-----as characterized by the powerful liberal mainstream media and punditocracy----that he threw the law to the wind rewrote Obamacare law.

The majority in Citizens United held that speech cannot be limited (first amendment) nor unevenly applied (14 amendment - equal protections) to the extent that the statute limited Exxon Oil's politcal speech, but not Sierra clubs speech. Isn't it ironic that we now know why the latter outspends the former, yet the left is still grousing over that decision?

Jul. 02 2012 09:19 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Greenwald’s book (I admit to not reading it), by reading the many reviews, seems to be another stretched, unidirectional polemic that ignores the universal and historical aspect of asymmetric power in civilizations. Anyone familiar with Stalinist Russia, today’s People’s Republic of China or the lives of Algerians in modern France has to chuckle at his anti-conservative American parochialism.

Brian - please ask Greenwald what is so different in the U.S. from any other country? Where can he cite that this doesn’t exist....just change the party or the regime....left or right? Why should I buy his his book ....does it address this or break new ground?

Jul. 02 2012 08:24 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


A bit long, but an excellent summary of just who holds the cards here. The Left (they are NOT liberals) doesn’t realize how it looks from the other side....they have won, and their contortionist dogma now dominates our culture. Yet, they still scream to extinguish any last vestige of dissent. (To wit: the tedious assault on Fox News when they control all the other media, the newspapers, Hollywood, the universities, 90% of non-profits, popular literature, contemporary poetry, current music, etc.)

Jul. 02 2012 08:19 AM
gary from queens

If the powerful are protected by government, then we can blame liberals, because liberals are far more wealthier and politically influential in America.

According to the just published, ‘The New Leviathan’ by David Horowitz, conservatives are heavily outgunned when it comes to money. We are told constantly that money in politics is put there by businesses with conservative aims. The numbers tell a different story. There is a lot of money in politics, but, as Mr. Horowitz and Mr. Laksin write, “progressives are the power,” accountable to no one and deploying vast resources to significantly frame and influence the national debate. This runs counter to conventional wisdom.

A third of the book is a series of appendices and tables that list foundations by assets and activist groups by budgets. Progressive foundations have about $105 billion in assets, a figure 10 times larger than the amount held by conservative foundations. Not one conservative foundation has assets exceeding $1 billion. Fourteen liberal foundations do. The money available to liberal activists dwarfs what conservative groups have access to.

This advantage means liberal groups far outspend conservative ones. On immigration, the 117 progressive groups identified by Mr. Horowitz and Mr. Laksin have 22 times the funding of the nine conservative groups. On environmental issues, the count is 553 liberal groups against 32 conservative ones, and the left has 462 times the funding of the right. A broad range of liberal groups thrive not because they have significant popular support, but because their big-donor funding stream is so massive and reliable.

The authors point out that much of this money is the diverted product of the free-market system progressives are trying to undermine. The left has employed a corps of philanthropic professionals to change the orientation of foundations established by capitalists. Oil tycoon J. Howard Pew, for instance, left a fortune to teach Americans the “values of the free market” and the “paralyzing effects of government controls.” Pew Charitable Trusts is now the largest funder of the Tides Center, a middleman funder of far-left-wing activists.

John D. MacArthur was a conservative who put other conservative Midwestern bankers in charge of his foundation. Now that those conservatives are gone, the foundation’s leadership and grants have become dominated by progressives. The same fate befell the Ford and Rockefeller fortunes and those of many other capitalists, who would be spinning in their graves if they knew what causes their money was now underwriting.

Left-wing activism’s advantage is even greater because all the money isn’t just going directly to causes. Instead, liberal activists use government as a force multiplier. They spend money to influence government not only to carry out policies they prefer, but to fund further liberal activism. Progressive politics has become a self-perpetuating machine funded to a great extent by American taxpayers

Jul. 02 2012 02:42 AM

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