US reporter says Western media blind to official lies

US reporter says Western media blind to official lies
Sat Dec 28, 2013 22:39:18

American Journalist Glenn Greenwald has strongly condemned major Western media outlets for not challenging repeated lies told by top US and British officials, suggesting that his colleagues were the most loyal servants of spy agencies.

“Obviously we went through the Iraq War, in which those very two same governments specifically and deliberately lied repeatedly to the government, to their people, over the course of two years to justify an aggressive war that destroyed a country of 26 million people. But we’ve seen it continuously over the last six months as well,” Greenwald said in a keynote speech at a German computer conference in Hamburg on Friday.

Thousands of participants at the 30th annual Chaos Communication Congress packed into a hall to watch the 46-year-old lawyer-turned-columnist deliver an address less than seven months after he started working with former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, RT reported Saturday.

Revelations contained in leaked documents supplied by Snowden to Greenwald and other journalists have sparked international outrage and efforts to reform the massive spying operations waged by the NSA and intelligence officials in allied nations.

Speaking via satellite from Brazil this week, however, Greenwald argued that the mainstream media establishment at large is guilty of significantly failing to perform its most crucial role: keeping governments in check.

When Greenwald and his colleagues began working with Snowden, he said they realized that they would have to act in a way that was not on par with how the mainstream media has acted up until now.

“[W]e knew in particular that one of our most formidable adversaries was not simply going to be the intelligence agencies on which we were reporting and who we were trying to expose, but also their most loyal, devoted servants, which calls itself the United States and British media,” he emphasized. 

“It really is the case that the United States and British governments are not only willing but able to engage in any conduct no matter how grotesque,” Greenwald further underlined, adding that journalists tasked with reporting on those issues have all too often been compliant with the blatant lies made by officials from those governments.

Pointing to the sanctity Western reporters hold for remarks made by major Western officials, Greenwald said,“It really is the central view of certainly American and British media stars, that when — especially people with medals on their chest who are called generals, but also high officials in the government — make claims that those claims are presumptively treated as true without evidence. And that it’s almost immoral to call them into question or to question their voracity.”

He then went on to cite the example of US Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, who earlier this year made remarks to Congress that were quickly proved false by documents leaked to Greenwald by Snowden.

The very first National Security Agency document he was shown, Greenwald said, “revealed that the Obama administration had succeeded in convincing court, a secret court, to compel phone companies to turn over to the NSA every single phone record of every single telephone call.”

Clapper, he added, “went to the Senate and lied to their faces...which is at least as serious of a crime as anything Edward Snowden is accused of."

But Clapper aside, Greenwald underlined, the established media continues to reject the notion that government officials spew lies.

Snowden’s NSA documents have exposed those fibs on more than one occasion, he noted, yet reporters around the world continue to take the word of officials as fact rather than dig from the truth.


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