Eric Holder Doesn't See Any Basis To Prosecute Glenn Greenwald... For Now

from the probably dept

It's not a complete promise, but in an interview with the Washington Post, Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that, while he disagrees with some of what Glenn Greenwald is doing, he still thinks it's legitimate journalism and he's not looking to prosecute him for anything related to the Ed Snowden NSA leaks:
Holder indicated that the Justice Department is not planning to prosecute former Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, one of the journalists who received documents from Snowden and has written a series of stories based on the leaked material. Greenwald, an American citizen who lives in Brazil, has said he is reluctant to come to the U.S. because he fears detention and possible prosecution.

“Unless information that has not come to my attention is presented to me, what I have indicated in my testimony before Congress is that any journalist who’s engaged in true journalistic activities is not going to be prosecuted by this Justice Department,” Holder said.

“I certainly don’t agree with what Greenwald has done,” Holder said. “In some ways, he blurs the line between advocate and journalist. But on the basis of what I know now, I’m not sure there is a basis for prosecution of Greenwald.”
That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of freedom of the press, nor is it probably enough to make Greenwald feel comfortable. There are enough caveats in those statements that I probably wouldn't trust it if I were Greenwald. As he noted in response to Holder's comments, just the fact that the question is out there shows how little the US government respects press freedom these days. Furthermore, he notes that Holder's statements are hardly reassuring as they're "caveat-riddled oral assertions."

Elsewhere in the interview, Holder notes that they're still looking to inform more defendants in criminal cases if warrantless data was used to arrest and prosecute them, and that he's still trying to get Snowden back from Russia -- something that seems unlikely to happen.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 15th, 2013 @ 6:39pm

    And he will maintain that position...

    ... right until Greenwald(should he be so foolish as to do so) sets foot on american soil and it ceases to be a hypothetical question, after which all bets are off.

     

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  2. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 8:43pm

    So expect Greenwald to be indicted any second now!

    Or not, as if the limited hangout view is right, Greenwald is serving NSA's purpose.

    Hey, remember the "tons", or just today "200,000" pages, of really juicy stuff Snowden is said to have gotten out? Where am that? For a while we had surveillance on this country or that dribbled out -- I was promised dirt on Canada* six days ago! -- but that, yet again, is clearly implied once the overall scale is known, and where's any new even on that line? -- Why aren't the gatekeepers in a race with each other to push out more? Where did the competitive urge to publish first go? Why must we wait for Greenwald's book? How did his swell deal with Bezos just drop into his lap? -- Why are they even gate-keeping? Why not just dump all and let the public sort it out? How do they select material or know what might supposedly harm a gov't agent? And why would We The People care about the latter point? -- Where's the reaction from Congress? How much is cut from NSA budget or strictures applied? Who's been indicted for the known crimes? -- AND SO ON. More I look, the more questions arise.

    I hate to be suspicious -- we all long for heroes who are fighting the Surveillance State -- but there's STILL nothing to this "leak" that's new to me. -- Google engineers claim they didn't know of NSA taps, but I did!

    So I gotta conclude this is:

    Masnicking: daily spurts of short and trivial traffic-generating items.

    16:41:38[r-682-2]


    [ * We all know the Canadians are up to something! I bet they're spying on our hockey teams and maple syrup industry!

    NSA leaks on Canadian surveillance coming, Greenwald says

    Last Updated: Nov 09, 2013 10:48 PM ET

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/nsa-leaks-on-canadian-surveillance-coming-greenwald-says-1.2421405
    ]

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 9:03pm

    Re: So expect Greenwald to be indicted any second now!

    That's a lot of questions for someone who has no interest in any of the answers.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 9:22pm

    In some ways, he blurs the line between advocate and journalist

    Will someone please explain to me why a journalist can't ever be an advocate in order for there to even be a "line" to blur?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 9:55pm

    what about...

    detaining, questioning, or confiscating electronics at the airport?
    Miranda hasn't been prosecuted either, but he wasn't exactly free to travel across borders.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    roarshock44, Nov 15th, 2013 @ 10:06pm

    you know, when the twin towers went down, i had a hard time understanding what good that would do the terrorists beyond simple fear and probably enhanced recruiting for them. man, are we seeing what the terrorists did to us, and we are just beginning to pay. the land of the free and the home of the brave no longer exists. it's now the land of the free watchers and the home of the brave watchers.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 12:03am

    Re:

    I know, stuff is bad I'm seriously thinking about joining a gang for protection.

    Who do you think would be better the LAPD or the NYPD?

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 1:30am

    In other words: Don't go home, Greenwald. It's a trap!

    The "true journalistic" stuff is more legal speak that probably gives him space later to say that what Greenwald did wasn't "truly journalistic", so he can arrest him then. Just like Feinstein tried to pass a law that said only certain journalists are "true journalists", and only they deserve the protection of the Constitution.

     

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  9.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Nov 16th, 2013 @ 3:12am

    fixed that for ya, eric...

    Guerrilla indicated that the 99% are not planning to tar-and-feather current administrators, like Eric Holder, one of the Defenders of the Constitution (sic) who received marching orders from banksters and has written a series of secret laws based on fascist authoritarianism. Holder, an American traitor who skulks in Washintoon, has said he is reluctant to show his face because he fears truth, justice and the American way.

    “Unless secret information that has not come to my attention is leaked to me, what I have indicated in my testimony before the world is that any politician who’s engaged in true traitorous activities is not going to be strung up by the 99%,” Guerrilla said.

    “I certainly don’t agree with what Empire has done,” Guerrilla said. “In some ways, he blurs the line between human and psychopath. But on the basis of what I know now, I’m sure there is a basis for stringing up Holder.”

    fucker...

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 6:11am

    Re:

    There are many journalists who advocate the government point of view, are they not blurring a line?

    I guess it depends upon whose pov you advocate.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 6:20am

    Re: what about...

    Yes ... and New Mexico likes body cavity searches - so don't go there.

    Miranda was stopped in the UK, Eric is the US AG, and the two countries have different laws.

    Speaking of Eric, the House nut jobs what to impeach him, lol

     

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  12.  
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    Ezekial, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 6:21am

    OF course he doesnnt. Eric Holder hasnt seen fit to prosecute ANYONE yet unless they are a conservative. He hasnt prosecuted the black panthers that blocked the polls in philadelphia, he hasnt prosecuted anyone in fast and furious, Benghazi,the IRS for targting certain people, the NSA for their hacking into journalists emails etc...

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 6:30am

    Re:

    Not saying things haven't taken a turn for the worse, but things were not all peaches and cream.

    For a long time there have been people wanting to rule the world, this is nothing new, recently they have been making progress. If they were as smart as they like to claim, they would not fear that which they do not control. Money may equal speech, but power does not equal intelligence.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 6:36am

    Re:

    Brought to you by Fox News ... fair and balanced ... we report, you decide.

    lol - nut jobs

     

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  15.  
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    Web_Rat (profile), Nov 16th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    “In some ways, he blurs the line between advocate and journalist....."

    And your point Mr. Holder? At least someone has stepped up to be an "advocate" for American citizens since our duly elected members of Congress and the White House have completely abdicated their responsibilities to the Constitution and their constituents!

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    Next lie please.

     

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  17.  
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    Jerrymiah, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 8:50am

    Eric Holder

    This guy is a carbon copy of Cyrus Vance (remember Nixon's AG). I would not trust one word that comes out the mouth of this asshole. The guy's got no clue of what the constitution is all about.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 9:05am

    Re: Eric Holder

    Cyrus Vance (remember Nixon's AG)

    From Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia: Cyrus Vance
    Cyrus Roberts Vance (March 27, 1917 – January 12, 2002) was an American lawyer and United States Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1980. . . .

    Some other Cyrus Vance?

     

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  19.  
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    Justice In Name Only, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 9:09am

    Resign, Holder!!

    Under Holder, it's the Department of Injustice. No justice for Aaron Swartz. No justice for Kim Dotcom. Stephen Heymann and Carmen Ortiz still employed by Holder despite White House petitions to fire them both & despite Aaron Swartz's blood still dripping from their hands. Don't even get me started on Joe "MPAA" Biden and Barack "NSA" Obama... yikes!!

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Catherine Polumbus, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 9:36am

    Glenn GREENWALD

    Watch out - they all lie.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    David, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Resign, Holder!!

    Not to mention: no justice for Eric Holder, no justice for Keith Alexander, no justice for James Clapper.

    Remember: all of those were on record for perjury before congress, Holder himself multiple times.

    They should be serving time in jail for that alone, not to mention leading organized crime syndicates using blackmail and extortion for getting financed by the general public without accountability, responsible for a huge part of the moral and financial collapse of the U.S.A.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    quawonk, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 2:43pm

    "true journalistic activities"

    IE: simply telling the people what the state wants them to believe

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Christenson, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 3:07pm

    A Two-Faced Administration

    Holder works for Obama...
    a man who said the president needed to be more transparent...
    until he became president, then the opposite happened...CIA renditions, drone strikes, Bin Laden assassinated, Guantanamo still open.

    Holder can say whatever he wants...and those words are incredibly weak, too....but his actions and those of his approving boss speak much more loudly. Stay away, Glenn!

    Glenn, if he wasn't going to arrest you, he would be talking about the hero you are. He would be apologizing for wanting to extradite Ed Snownden, delaying Miranda.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 4:22pm

    Re:

    Maybe he has Greenwald confused with Robin Thicke.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 6:33pm

    "any journalist who’s engaged in true journalistic activities"

    That's the key phrase, isn't it?

    I'm guessing the government decides who's a journalist and whether your writing is "true journalism" or "terrorism".

     

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  26.  
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    dcfusor, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 7:02pm

    (Place)Holder

    While AG's are not all that impressive at what they claim to do, most of them have at least pretended better.

    That's the big difference between now and when I was growing up - they no longer even try to hide how corrupt and incompetent they are.

    Check out his "too big to jail" statement re the bankers - this guy's list is quite long - makes most of the other corrupt AG's look like pikers. And oh, "Free Jon Corzine", you know, the guy who made 1.2 billion bucks go poof (with help from Jamie Dimon at JPM) and walked...no one ever even gave a thought to prosecuting someone who was a governor and a campaign bundler for the big zer-O.

    Yes, Corzine stole $1.2 bil from account holders at his brokerage firm (largely farmers), admitted it...and is enjoying drinks on his island somewhere...too big to jail?

    Knows where the bodies are buried, is more like it.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 8:24pm

    I do not see any reason to execute Eric Holder as a traitor... for now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    lfroen (profile), Nov 17th, 2013 @ 1:45am

    Re: So expect Greenwald to be indicted any second now!

    Actually, those are valid questions, even _if_ author is not interested in answers. Did you even heard about concept of "rhetorical question"?

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2013 @ 10:40am

    Curious to know what kind of comments might pass muster with Mike. Is Holder supposed to say that Greenwald can't possibly be prosecuted for anything? What would happen if new information were to come to light showing that Greenwald did something (that we all agree is) criminal? I don't think that's likely, but what is an AG supposed to say?

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2013 @ 12:25pm

    Re:

    Look little fellow, comments pass muster to everyone the same way, first you look at the source, qualities and quantities involved, surely you are not asking others to believe in people who are well known liars and have them have the same weight as others that don't lie are you?

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 17th, 2013 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re: So expect Greenwald to be indicted any second now!

    Is that a rhetorical question?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 17th, 2013 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re: Eric Holder

    Please, I've had enough of the name Cyrus lately.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2013 @ 7:18pm

    Re:

    Are you always this incoherent?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Niall (profile), Nov 18th, 2013 @ 7:08am

    Re:

    Yes, but when you can only say that you *probably* won't prosecute someone who is actually doing their job correctly, which is fairly bad all by itself, but that you actually even have to say it at all - that says a lot of unpleasant things about the U$$A. Couple that with the 'illegal' detention of said journalist's partener at the incredibly likely behest of the U$ Government, and a very disturbing picture starts to build.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 18th, 2013 @ 9:57am

    Re:

    How about: "To the best of our knowledge, Greenwald has not committed any crimes."?

     

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  36.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 19th, 2013 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re:

    For a long time there have been people wanting to rule the world

    Not just some people, if Tears for Fears is to be believed...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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