"GLENN GREENWALD Calls Out AOC's Fake Progressiveness."
The Jimmy Dore Show (November 21, 2020)
Jimmy Dore: ". . . he recently resigned over censorship from the online news publication The Intercept, an organization he helped found. Please welcome Glenn Greenwald and his dogs. Hi, Glenn. How are you?"
Glenn Greenwald: "Hey, Jimmy. Great to be with you. Your pineapples look fantastic."
Jimmy Dore: "Now, Glenn, ever since the hysteria over Russia-gate, there's been a culture developing that calls for Internet censorship. We even see figures on the corporate left calling for censorship, pleading for the unaccountabile authority of faceless Silicon Valley empolyees to protect us from our own thoughts and the thoughts of others. Can you tell me, how did we get here?"
[1:01] Glenn Greenwald: "What's so interesting, Jimmy, is that Facebook and Google and Twitter never wanted the power and the responsibility to regulate our discourse or censor, not because they're good, benevolent people who believe in freedom, but because it wasn't in their interest to take on this responsibility. The model they wanted to implement was the one that AT&T has, which is, we're just a content neutral platform. We have no responsibility for the information or the ideas that go over our wire. Nobody, for example, expects that if Alex Jones calls Milo Yanopoulos and they have a conference call and AT&T is going to intervene and cut off their service, because AT&T is a content-neutral platform. That's what Facebook and Google and Twitter wanted to be. Because that way they would make more money and they wouldn't have this responsibility."
[1:53] "The reason they started having to censor is because journalists -- journalists -- began demanding that they do so>. They have employees at the New York Times and CNN and NBC whose only job is to troll the Internet lookging for people who violate the rules. They're like little middle-school tattletail hall monitors and they say why if Facebook giving voice to this person. Why is twitter not yet banning this person? And they've created this public demand that has foisted upon these companies not just the duty to censor. And just last week that had a bunch of tech executives like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Alphabet, the parent company of Google in before a Senate committee and Ed Markey, the Democrat from Massa chusetts who the Left -- the actual, like, Left -- like the little Sunrise Movement kids and all those like got behind to defeat Joe Kennedy III said to Mark Zuckerberg: Our problem with you is not that you're censoring too much. It is that you're enough censoring enough."
[2:57] "Here's a post we think you should take off the Internet. And here's another one we think you should ban. This is what they're going to do in power. They're going to pressure these social media companies even more. And if people on the left think that this is only going to be aimed at the right, you're fucking stupid. The whole idea of censorship is to eliminate any dissenting voices that challenge institutions of power. And they hate the Left every bit as much as they hate the right.."
[3:24] "They convince people to support this on the Left by saying, Oh, look. We're only going to do it against Alex Jones. And it's already starting against the Left and it's only going to get worse."
Jimmy Dore: "It's amazing that the people on the Left, still to this day, I just had a confrontation on Twitter with a lefty journalist who still stands by calling for censorship, with no adversarial process, just letting Mark Zuckerberg censor someone without anything. And even to this day, as they're being censored, they'll still stand by their call to censor someone else. Like the problem is: Do they really not understand, Glenn, that you don't get to choose, pick and choose who gets censored once you start censoring? It's out of your hands and that it's going to come back on you, especially if you're on the Left and you challenge the status quo. That's who they're going to use censorship against. How is it that people on the Left don't understand this?
[4:21] Glenn Greenwald: "You know, that's always the amazing thing to me about censorship advocates is this idea tht they're going to have this imaginary world where institutions of authority are going to censor benevolently in order to defend the marginalized. It's such a radical misunderstanding of how power operates. Say to a leftist: What do you think of the U.S. government? And they'll say, Oh, the US government is authoritarian and fascist. And if you ask: What do you think of the federal judiciary? And they'll say, Oh, it's filled with right-wing, law-and-order judges, because that's who Reagan and Bush and Trump appointed, which is true. And then it's like, What do you think of tech executives, billionaires in Silicaon Valley? And they'll say they're hideous, they're horrible, they're right wing oligarchs, which is true. And then you say, like, Are you in favor of giving those institutions, the ones you just condemned and denounced as fascist authoritarian oligarchs, the power to control the Internet and regulate? -- 'Oh, yes. Absolutely. We need to protect the marginalized.' Why would you think that that is how they are going to do it?"
[5:21] "Censorship is always aimed, always aimed, at the marginalized. Not the powerful. That's the nature of it. It's a minoritarian right, free speech, because it's always people with minority views who are aimed at by censorship. We reported to me, Jimmy, at the end of 2017, I did actually, not we, that Facebook, when they get requests from the Israeli government to censor or remove pages of Palestinian journalists, Palestinian activists, or just ordinary citizens in Palestine, the West Bank and Gaza on the grounds that they're inciting violence or advocating terrorism in something like 98 and a half percent of the cases, Facebook complies with the Israeli government's request. Why? Because the Israeli government is powerful and the Palestinians aren't. They never take down Israeli pages when Palestinians ask because Palestinians have no power.. These censorship powers are going to be exercised on behalf of the powerful, which right now means the neo-liberal order of the Democratic party, the CIA, the NSA, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and the New York Times, The Atlantic, NBC, CNN axis. That's who's in power. That's the ruling coalition. And anybody who is against them, you, or me, on the Left, the right, it makes no difference, will be subject to these kinds of constraints, these kinds of speech constraints."
[6:40] Jimmy Dore: "And, so, what do you say to someone, Glenn, because this is what they say to me, they go; Well, of course, Twitter and Facebook shouldn't have to wait for a court order to get rid of Alex Jones because the people he was harrassing, right, the people at Sandy Hook. And I've had a journalist say to me that Of course, you shouldn't have to wait for a court before you step in and do something. So what do you say to that?"
[7:09] Glenn Greenwald: "Well, I'm sure you guys remember the debates over torture that took place in the second half of the Bush/Cheney years and into the Obama years, the 2008 election. It was one in which I participated very vigorously. One of the reasons I started writing about politics was in opposition to the world-wide torture regime that the Bush administration had implemented in the name of fighting and stopping terrorism. And so, in order to defend torture, what they would do is they would concoct a hypothetical, like the best example of their case, say, imagine that we have a terrorist in our custody who has set off a nuclear bomb that if it detonates is going to kill two and a half million people in the middle of New York or Los Angeles or wherever, and the only way you can find out where that bomb is and defuse it is if you torture that person. Do you torture that person or not? That's a hard case, right? You don't just say no, let the two million people die. Torture's always wrong. But the reason why it's such a scumbag way of debating is because you are purposely creating the most extreme hypothetical case and then demanding that a generalized rule be extracted from it. That's never how torture is used. That's like a once every 10th every 10,000 year scenario, at best, that you don't use to base rules on."
[8:34] "It's the same thing, what they'll do, when the government wants to censor, they'll pick out Fred Phelps who goes to, you know, the funerals of veterans killed in wars or gay people and marches like God Hates All -- like the most hateful odious person, or Alex Jones who says Sandy Hooks is a hoax or whatever. And they lure you in, just like those people who were torture advocates tried to do, saying, Yeah, I'm so angry at the particular person to whom you're going to apply this power, that I endorse this precedent. I hope you're going to just use it Alex Jones and not start expanding it outward. But I'm so emotionally charged by the person you've gotten me to hate that I'm willing to stand behind and cheer for authority: the CIA, the DOJ, Twitter, Google, Facebook. And, of course, the next day, they start expanding it outwards, from Alex Jones to a more mainstream person until it's basically anybody who, you know: people get suspended all the time now. They get demonetized on YouTube. They get suspended for a week and they don't even know why. There's no appeal. It's just an invisible Silicon Valley overlord on whom we now rely to determine if we have the right to be heard. Who would support that?
[9:52] Jimmy Dore: "I just got into an argument on Twitter who's a 'journalist' who would support that. That's who. Most of the people in journalism who consider themselves on the Left would support that. Unfortunately. Most of the people on YouTube who I know are Lefties support that. That's who supports that, Glenn, that's what I'm talking about. It's not like we have a group of people who see through this bullshit. It's just like a handful of people who see through it and everyone else is for this kind of censorship which is why our country is going into a dark age right now. We have McCarthyism. I saw McCarthyism and censorship come from the Left. That's to me the most mind-blowing thing. The Left is supposed to be pushing back against that stuff, not pushing it. Yes, it is amazing, Jimmy. All right . . ."
[10:42] Glenn Greenwald: "This is such an important point. Let me just add to this point about the Left. In 2016, the Left scared the shit out of neoliberals when Bernie almost beat the invincible Clinton machine. He almost won. Had the DNC not cheated, in documents revealed by Wikileaks -- which is why Julian Assange is now in prison -- he would have beaten Hillary Clinton. An old Brooklyn jew who wasn't even a Democrat who calls himself a socialist would have taken down the Clinton machine. Because in the 2008 financial crisis and afterwards, huge numbers of people are identifying as socialists because their towns are boarded up. They have nothing but opioids and shitty jobs at Amazon and Walmart, at best. They get out of college or even a master's degree with $150,000 in debt and can only get a job for $13 an hour. They have no future. So, of course they're starting to identify -- in the most capitalist and richest country in the world -- as socialists. So the neoliberals are thinking: 'Holy shit. We better do something to co-opt the Left to get rid of this left-wing movement.' And what do they do? They invented a fascist monster. Fascism is taking over the United States. So you get behind us may hate us, the neoliberals, but if you want to fight fascism, you need to cheer the FBI and Bill Kristol and Silicon Valley because we're the only things that could protect you from fascism. And I hear these tough-guy liberals say all the time, saying what's the point of defeating neoliberalism, if we lose to fascism."
[12: 17] Glenn Greenwald: “So they convince people that Trump is actually Hitler. And once you think Trump is Hitler and that the Proud Boys aren’t just a tiny band of like fat, white guy losers in their 50s who just cosplay, but it’s like some kind of serious insurrectionary fascist movement, like if you get convinced of that, of course you’re going to march behind Neera Tanden and the New York Times and Rachel Maddow and fucking Joe Biden because they convinced you that your only alternative to aligning with them is to succumb to fascism. And it’s completely cucked the left. They’re total authoritarians now, because they believe they’re fighting Nazi-ism.”
[13:08] Jimmy Dore: “Proud Boy rallies. It’s a joke. There are way more cops and spectators than there are people participating in their stupid rally. And then it’s just really, anyway, yes.” . . . You know the most amazing thing is they kept saying, you know, Trump is a dictator, Trump is a dictator. Trump is a dictator. And every time he had a chance to consolidate his power, he didn't. Someone else pointed this out that when the pandemic happened, that would be a time when a dictator would actually consolidate his power. Trump did the exact opposite. Trump said 'I'm not handling this and I'm giving it all over to every state governor. So, if you're a governor of a state, you handle it."
[13:49] Glenn Greenwald: “Trump is a fat, slothful clown. Exactly. He had the perfect pretext with the pandemic. Victor Oberon in Hungary is a fascist. What did he do? He instituted martial law in the name of fighting the pandemic. That’s what fascists do. With Trump, the democrats were complaining he wasn’t doing enough. They wanted him to invoke laws that let him seize the means of production in order to produce masks and ventilators. And he didn’t do anything. He never has. He tweets shitty things. That’s the full extent of it.”
[14:25] Jimmy Dore: "And, Glenn, what do you say... We predicted on this show -- when I say 'we' I mean 'I' predicted -- that the day Trump was elected that he would deport more hispanics than Barack Obama. And my theory was that he puts an ugly face on the horrible stuff our government has been doing all along and now people are going to be aware of our horrible immigration policy, even though I had been reporting it at this show. The general public had no idea what a monster Barack Obama's administration was when it came to immigrants in the United States and that he was the deporter-in-chief and he deported more hispanics that all the presidents combined since 1890. They had no idea of any of this stuff. So I was able to make that prediction pretty confidently and Jacob Silveras reporting from MSNBC just confirmed my prediction that Trump isn't going to come anywhere near close to the deportations that Barack Obama and Joe Biden made in their first term. So, what do you say about that? What are... This lesser-of-two evil voting. I've made the case. Thomas Frank has made the case that Bill Clinton was not the lesser of two evils. And I make the case that Barack Obama was not the lesser of two evils because the country would not have let Barack Obama take over from George Bush, make his tax cuts permanent, take us from two wars to seven, and then make the banks bigger as he kicked 5.1 [million people out of their homes]. They would have never let John McCain do that. but they let Barack Obama do it because he was a black guy with a Muslim name. "So I don't even know what my question is, but do you want to say anything to this?"
[15:58] Glenn Greenwald: "Yeah. I know what your question is even if you don't. No, let me tell you this story. This is a real interesting story. And it's exactly relevant to what you asked without knowing that you asked. The first time I ever wrote about Wikileaks was 2008. And I wrote about them because they had published a document that was a document from the Pentagon that was top-secret or classified. And Wikileaks got a hold of it and published it. And what the document said was -- it was during 2008 in the summer -- when Barack Obama was running against Mcain. And what the Pentagon was worried about was that there was that there was growing anti-war sentiment in Western Europe. Two or three different goverments, I think one in the Netherlands, one in Portugal, had lost in the election because they were participating in the war in Afghanistan which the Western European populations were turning against. And the Pentagon was petrified that they were going to lose all their allies and be left to rule Afghanistan alone. It was going to be expensive and very difficult." . . .
[17:09] “And what they said was, our only hope – you know what their only hope, Jimmy was, for reversing the growing trend of anti-war sentiment in Western Europe, their best hope? The election of Barack Obama. That’s what the Pentagon said. Because that will put a much more cosmopolitan, elegant and pleasant face on this war that up until now had been represented by this, like, Texan evangelical, Christian evangelical that was kind of anathema to cosmopolitan secular europeans. Whereas Barack Obama, this like Harvard-educated African American, human rights lawyer, he would become the new face of the war on terror, and they would then come to see it as benevolent. And that’s exactly what happened. He got in. He continued all those policies. He continued the war in Afghanistan. It became popular again in Western Europe to this very day. The reason they hate Trump is not because he’s a horrible person. He is a horrible person. But that doesn’t determine what you can do as president, the damage you can do. The reason they hate Trump is because Trump lacks both the willingness and the ability to put that pretty face on American imperialism and corporatism and to deceive both the domestic population and the international population about what the United States really is.”
[18:30] “I remember one of the things they hated the most, was when he went on Bill O’Reilly and Bill O’Reilly asked him about Putin killing people and why he’s not more upset by that. And remember? And Trump said: “Oh, you think we’re so innocent? We have our own killers. Which is like basic, standard truth on the left. Like, if you don’t know that about the United States, you don’t know anything. And they were horrified because the president is not supposed to say that truth about the United States. The president is there to lie. Through his face, through his behavior, through his comportment. Nothing really changes. Wall Street and the CIA keep running everything. The president is there to kind of manipulate and massage public opinion, and Trump has no ability to do that. That’s why they hate him.”
[19:13] Jimmy Dore: “You’re exactly a 100% right. Because it certainly isn't about his policies. Nancy Pelosi gleefully passed his entire legislative agenda, including giving him money for his border wall. She didn't have to do that but she did it. You're right. He puts an ugly face on imperialism and they just can't have that.And so that's why they've got to get rid of him. That's why there's a Lincoln Project. That's why that whole thin. And those guys are just as big a grifter. They're worse than Trump. That's why I say somebody like Barack Obama had the ability to be more insidious than Donald Trump because he made you think he was doing the opposite of what he was doing. when Trump does something, you know he’s doing it.”
[20:03] "Dylan Ratigan said on this show that the United States is sliding into being like Brazil. I took that to mean that we're going to be a rich -- we're going to have a handful of rich people and a bunch of poor people and nobody in the middle. Is that how you take that because you're there. What do you say to that?"
[20:28] Glenn Greenwald: "Sure. I don't know the context, what he said for sure but what you, what he probably said is really interesting and true. You know, I've lived in this country for 15 years and there's incredible poverty everywhere. And there always has been, right? That's one of the things that has shaped Brazil's political culture is extreme levels of wealth and income inequality. If you are wealthy or affluent, you get the best of everything. You get the best private schools, the best medical care, the best security, the best transportation. There are great doctors and hospitals in Brazil, great everything. But if you're poor, which is the vast majority of the country, you get the worst fucking shit. Your kids don't have clean drinking water. They barely learn how to speak Portugese. People who go into the emergency room with heart attacks or strokes wait six or seven hours to be treated and often die because the resources are so poor they die in hallways. And I remember in the 2016 and the 2018 presidential election when Bolsonaro won there was a candidate who was a socialist candidate and he said, 'People assume Brazil is a poor country because there is so much poverty here. We're not a poor country. We're a rich country.' And it's true. Brazil is very rich in natural resources and oil. It's the sixth largest economy in the world. It has a bigger economy than Great Britain and many other countries."
[22:05] Glenn Greenwald: “The reason there is so much poverty [in Brazil] is because the distribution of wealth is so lopsided that this huge portion of the population ends up in complete deprivation. The middle class in the United States is disappearing. All those towns that voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, their whole town is boarded up. They have no jobs. They live on opioids to numb the pain. And what did they hear in 2016? You voted for Trump because Russia deceived you. And now you voted for Trump because you’re all racist. Even though, Jimmy, the reason Biden won, isn’t because black people and hispanics and women rose up in anger over how he treated the marginalized. He lost those voting sectors. Trump got more than any Republican in many years. He won, Biden did, because of white, affluent suburbanites who work in the professional managerial class and who migrated to the Democratic party for the first time after voting Republican forever because they know that Democrats are now the party of corporatism. That is the Democratic party.
[23:17] "The centers of of power and money on the coast: Silicon Valley and Wall Street combined with the media and national security state and affluent white suburbanites. And, yes. Black people who have voted for generations who live in Detroit and Philadelphia and Milwaukee, overwhelmingly will still vote for Democrats. If they go to the polls. But increasingly they don’t because they don’t think it’s worth it. So that’s how Biden won. Through affluent white suburbanites."
. . .
[30:34] Glenn Greenwald: "With a two party system, if you stay in the Democratic party your only choice is going to be to succumb to it. You're going to be a fucking good soldier, the way Bernie is, the way AOC is. You know you're going to get behind Biden and Kamala and they're going to let you for a couple of months, like, talk a good game every now and then. But they know that at the end of the day you're going to snap into line. And if you don't, you're not going to get anything. So, Yeah, I don't see how that kind of reform is possible within the party. I really don't. I wish I didn't. For a long time I did but. And AOC was kind of my last hope."
[31:08] Jimmy Dore: ""Me, too. So when I saw her vote for the largest upward transfer of wealth in the history of the human race, and Bernie also voted for it and then basically lied to his supporters about it and about what he did. He pretended that he got the unemployment insurance in that bill. He did not. That was Michael Bennett. That was strait-up gaslighting from the left to protect them for doing something corrupt. So when they voted for the CARES Act it's my position that that was corrupt. That was what happened in 2008 when Barack Obama was president. They figured out how to do it. It took months for them to get that, extract wealth upward. [This time] They figured out how to do it in two weeks. And they got it done, man. And not one opposition, not one vote against it. Bernie Sanders could have voted against it. And then people would ask Why did you vote against it? And then people would know why there's 10,000 people in a food line in Texas today. Because of the CARES Act. But now, since Bernie Sanders voted for it and every member of the squad, nobody's going to be held accountable for it. Nobody is going to be held accountable for voting for the largest upward transfer of wealth in the history of the human race. Because they all did it."
[32:27] "Bernie Sanders went from being a passive, spineless, willing tool of the establishment to actually doing evil. When you vote for that thing, which he didn't have to vote for, it would have passed anyway, he's now actually giving the impression to people in the country that this had to be done. It's a good thing. And what the CARES Act really was a piece of cheese inside of a trap. And we took the cheese. And now our head is inside that trap. And that's why there's 10,000 people in food lines in Texas and every other part of the goddamn country, and people are living under every bridge in California, a state that is super-majority Democrat -- Democrat governor -- no one will ever be held accountable for the CARES Act, Glenn. And it's because most of the people in journalism don't even fucking know what it was, what was in it, or what the ramifications are. When they see 10,000 in a food line, they don't make the connection to the CARES Act, Nancy Pelosi, and every member of the federal government voting for this. So, I'll stop talking. You talk."
[33:29] Glenn Greenwald: "Well, I mean, first of all I don't know what broke in the matrix on that day, but you'll remember when Nancy Pelosi was on CNN and Wolf Blitzer was actually asking her in a pretty persistent manner. Like I said, something broke in the matrix or that cassetted that's in Wolf Blitzer's back was malfunctioning. He was asking her real questions about why it was she was holding up this aid for people when they were starving. I remember she was like, she go really sarcastic and she's like, 'Thank you so much for your concern for our kids. We know them. We know.' And then he sid 'Well, no, I actually am concerned because I see them on the street asking for money for food and she said, 'We feed them. Do you feed them? We feed them.' It was such a mask-dropping moment because it's such Marie Antoinette behavior, right? It's like that kind of 'We sit inside the walls of power in our castle, and we ride by the poor people in our golden carriages, and we throw them crumbs occasionally. And that's all they need and they should be happy with that.' That's what the CARES act was."
[34:35] "I think the problem, though, with seeing all of that, I don't know, I don't know in each individual case, which of these two motives was driving them. But I know it was one of the two, and maybe in some cases both. Either they felt like they really were gonna get something for their good behavior. They were going to get a little biscuit. Like Bernie was going to get some kind of cabinet position or some leftist was going to be influential. Like I think they convinced [themselves]. You see these Warren people. they're like 'Oh my god! You're not going to make her Secretary of the Treasury?' Of course he's not going to make Elizabeth Warren -- Did you actually think that? You actually thought that was going to happen? Did you, like, start watching the Democrats last Thursday? So I think that, like, some of these people really believed. I think she stayed in Super Tuesday and fucked Bernie because she thought she was gonna get a position. And, of course, they're not. You see who they're giving their positions to: every lobbyist, every sleazebag corporate -- exactly the people you would expect. Republicans, warmongers."
[35:42] "I think it's that. And I also think it's like what happened to me at the intercept. It's like, inside liberal culture, it's so insular. They only talk to one another. And this idea that Trump was this, like, unprecedented historic evil, that you cannot do anything to endanger or impede the Democrats in every way. Like, all your obligation as a human being to do for the next year, is to just be obedient and stand behind Joe Biden and the Democrats no matter what they tell you to do and not utter a peep. Because if you do, you'll risk re-electing Trump. The cultural pressure of that was so immense, that even if they didn’t think they were going to get biscuits or cookies for their obedience, they were just too scared to step out of line.”