By: Cliff Kincaid
Shedding new light on the controversy over the NSA terrorist surveillance program, the journalist who has served as the mouthpiece for former NSA contract employee Edward Snowden has addressed several Marxist-Leninist conferences over the last few years.
New Zealand writer and researcher Trevor Loudon reports that Glenn Greenwald spoke to the Socialism 2011 conference and ended the evening of July 3, 2011, as part of a plenary entitled “Revolution and imperialism in the Middle East.” Prior to Glenn Greenwald’s talk to the group, on civil liberties under President Obama, people in attendance chanted “Palestine will be free” and “Wars of occupation will never bring liberation.”
Greenwald is also a featured speaker at the Socialism 2013 conference in Chicago this month.
“That Greenwald was willing to address a gathering of some of the most revolutionary, anti-American elements in the country speaks volumes about his personal views,” noted Loudon. “So Glenn Greenwald, the man who leaked America’s vital national security secrets on a massive scale, may not be the objective, impartial journalist he portrays himself to be.”
Indeed, the emerging evidence is that Greenwald, who writes for the British Guardian newspaper, works hand-in-glove with the International Marxist movement against the United States and its allies. This would help explain why China, Russia and other American adversaries and enemies stand to benefit from his disclosures.
As we have reported, Greenwald proudly accepted an award named in honor of Soviet agent and left-wing journalist I.F. Stone. He has encouraged people to donate money to WikiLeaks, the organization started by Julian Assange that disclosed classified information about U.S. counter-terrorism programs. Assange worked for Moscow-funded Russia Today (RT) before being granted asylum in the London embassy of the Marxist government of Ecuador.
Greenwald’s source in the NSA controversy, a former NSA contractor named Edward Snowden, is hiding out in Chinese Hong Kong and has been offered asylum in Russia.
Greenwald has attended the socialism conferences since at least 2011, saying, “As someone who speaks at all sorts of political gatherings every year, I can say with certainty that no event assembles more passionate activism, genuine expertise, and provocative insights than the Socialism Conference. This will be my third straight year attending, and what keeps me coming back is how invigorating and inspiring it is to be in the midst of such diverse and impressive activists.”
The Socialist Worker website, associated with this year’s conference, features the headline, “A world to win,” paying homage to Marx and Engels, and The Communist Manifesto.
The conferences are officially sponsored by the Center for Economic Research and Social Change (publisher of International Socialist Review and Haymarket Books), and co-sponsored by The International Socialist Organization (publisher of Socialist Worker).
The International Socialist Organization (ISO) is one of America’s main Trotskyist/ Marxist-Leninist parties. It says, “We stand in the Marxist tradition, founded by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, and continued by V.I. Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky.”
It is not clear if Greenwald is an actual member of the group or simply gives them aid and comfort. But a video of Greenwald’s 2011 remarks, posted by the International Socialist Organization, shows him speaking in front of a big conference banner proclaiming socialism. In the talk, he defends WikiLeaks and Julian Assange against charges they illegally released classified information from Bradley Manning, the Army analyst on trial for espionage and aiding the enemy. He also denounced the Tea Party for opposing Obamacare.
According to one account from the 2011 conference, Egyptian activist and organizer Bessan Kassab “spoke about US imperialism in Egypt” and “concluded by saying that the Egyptian revolutionaries are committed to a real revolutionary future in Egypt, to fighting imperialism, Zionism and are in support of armed resistance.”
Greenwald will be speaking to the ISO’s annual conference this year, at the end of this month, in Chicago. Greenwald, along with Jeremy Scahill, will conduct an “urgent discussion about the attack on civil liberties, U.S. imperialism, and how we can fight back.”
This year’s sessions include:
Trotsky on the united front
Lenin on self-determination
Frederick Engels, the family, and social reproduction
The relevance of the Communist Manifesto today
Harry Braverman’s Labor and Monopoly Capital
Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution
Under the category of “Struggle in the Middle East,” we find the following sessions:
U.S. imperialism in the Middle East after the Arab Spring
The new movement against Israeli apartheid
The struggle for Palestine
Israel, Zionism, and imperialism
What happened to the Egyptian Revolution?
Greenwald is a hero to the Marxists for challenging the NSA and “the surveillance state.” One account says, “During a speech at the Socialism 2012 conference, Greenwald called the creeping surveillance state—with the expansive NSA hoarding complex at its center—an impediment to any efforts to meaningfully challenge the political status quo.”
It appears to be the case that Greenwald—and apparently his “source,” Edward Snowden—see the NSA, the spy agency created in 1948, as standing in the way of the worldwide victory of “anti-imperialist” forces.
On Wednesday, at a hearing on Capitol Hill, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, said the terrorist surveillance programs helped thwart dozens of terrorist attacks on the United States and its allies.
The evidence of Greenwald’s involvement with the international Marxist movement puts his attacks on the NSA’s terrorist surveillance programs in a new light.
But will those who jumped on the Snowden bandwagon reevaluate their support for him now that the involvement of Marxist groups and hostile forces in Snowden’s cause has become impossible to ignore?