Glenn Greenwald on Bill Maher, who calls Edward Snowden "totally batsh*t"


Knight to E4 is playing games. Pointing out that you are arguing intent without the benefit of evidence is not.


We are not doing philosophy here. We are having a conversation. Your use of fancy phrases to attempt to intimidate me is further proof you are posturing.


I have no idea what you are talking about. This is dead-simple: You can’t prove anything you say. At least not to a standard I find acceptable. Therefore what you say is of limited worth to me. Maybe not to everyone, but certainly to me. Also don’t tell me what I’m doing. You do what you want. I’ll do what I want. Learn to live with it.

Mod edit: removed flametastic cussing


What am I demonstrating exactly?


Yes, because the functional abilities of the NSA that we’ve come to learn are so plain-jane and easy to reproduce that Snowden’s revelations really weren’t a shock in the least little bit.

Well of course they don’t, because they could never do that. They could never work through an air gap to hack remote systems, either. They could never break the cryptography of a VPN. They could never collect and store [insert number here] amounts of online communications. And on and on. Frankly, I think Snowden’s revelations have been the ultimate wet dream for conspiracy theorists the world 'round.
Just gonna leave this here for you:


I also found it depressing to read the following language in the Presidential Policy Directive linked from the article:

In addition, our signals intelligence activities must take into account that all persons should be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their nationality or wherever they might reside, and that all persons have legitimate privacy interests in the handling of their personal information.
Well, they should, shouldn't they...except they're not, because 'Merica, fuck yeah.


I guess one could argue he has a vastly different definition of dignity and respect. Further, he never said that people had a right to privacy, only that they had legitimate interests in how that data is handled, not that the data shouldn’t have been collected in the first place, nor any explanation about why it was, nor that it shouldn’t be collected going forward.

Words words words, patronizing comforting words of understanding, but nothing really will change. Hopey changey all over again.


Bill Maher would hear something , and build his argument on it
be it right , wrong , misquote , bad information , he doesn’t care
he just has an opinion and go on it


Bill Maher is also someone who believes that vaccines are dangerous. It’s really funny how condescending he is about things like religion when he believes in toxic nonsense like that. And now he wants to say that Ed Snowden says crazy shit? Please.


Vaccines can be dangerous depending on the health of the people vaccinated or [with live vaccines] accidentally exposed. I somehow got eczema vaccinotum back in 2002. I had been protesting against the upcoming war, and cops including undercovers/agents-provocateurs were being vaccinated, although I’m still not sure how I got infected. The combination of live vaccines, no quarantines of those vaccinated, no public health warnings, and no working public health system, risked people;s lives, and the last also undercounted the number of infections. Not good at all.


MarjaE, where was that? Were they getting smallpox vaccines? Did you already have eczema or immune issues? How did you know they had been recently given the vaccines?


… I’m not exactly clear what you’re asking here. I attended two major protests, one in dc, in the two weeks before I noticed any symptoms. Of course I already had eczema. I also thought the infection was just another change in the rash, until it had spread across most of my body. I heard about the vaccinations after that. Since then, I’ve sometimes checked on pubmed. I think they had some articles mentioning the vaccinations, but undercounting the complications, of 2002.


MarjaE, don’t take offense. I was just interested.


Maher is more like a celebrity libertarian (ala Carolla, Rogan et GROSS al). Selfishness above all. “Yo! Weed, atheism, and sluts bro!” Garbage. NOT a progressive by any means.


Being anti-intellectual and being unthinking are vastly different.


Hi Xeni,

Thanks for that entry on Bill Maher. It really opened my eyes on his douchebagery. Where is the old, composed, thoughtful, subtly intelligent social and political commentator Bill Maher? Sad times.

While I’m at it, and since you and Greenwald both sit on the FPF’s board, let me say how much I’m looking forwards to your next blog entry on Glenn Greenwald’s hard-hitting report on eBay founder and chairman Pierre Omydiar’s (Glenn’s current business partner) involvement in the over-the-top prosecution of the PayPal 14.
I’m of course talking about the 14 people who protested PayPal’s financial blockade of Wikileaks (as much a media organization as the one Omydiar and your new BFF Glenn are currently setting up) by launching a DDoS protest on the PayPal servers. Why did PayPal, under Omydiar’s wise and enlightened chairmanship, use all legal means against the 14 (indicating, in court documents, damages of as great as $5.5 million, when its own spokeperson admitted that PayPal’s servers had never been taken off-line by the DdoS protest (
That’s going to be such a great Greenwald report!
Actually, I wonder if you could mention that there’s a fund in place to help those 14 people pay their restituation money to PayPal

I was also wondering if you were going to let us know why Edward Snowden, in past comments, suggested that Chelsea Manning’s disclosures of diplomatic cables were indiscriminate info-dumps, when we know they were not, since Wikileaks had been un touch with the State Department prior to releasing the cables (

Speaking of Manning, will the Freedom of the Press Foundation offer her a board seat in asbstentia?

Thanks for the hard work.



Maher is demonstrating what I think of as “bad news fatigue”, where people will consider new information so long as it does not disrupt their worldview too much. The idea that his life has not been private for years is apparently too much for him, as being told something by both a former employee of the NSA and an intelligent journalist/researcher who has seen far more secret info than Maher has, was not enough to convince him it was real. I suspect that much of the climate denialism comes from a similar resistance to worldview disruption.
Nobody wants to know that the world as they think they know it is already ending.


Or that it’s been over for a long time.


Hmm. I disagree.


And therefore that it never was what you thought it was …that all the things the people you respected told you while you were growing up… was bullshit… that everything you think and read now… is bullshit… that your friends, family, and people you casually talk to at work are full of shit. It’s a lot to take.

Like someone, somewhere, revealing the existence of a secret, trillions-of-dollars, decades-long study program that found out that we have the colors red and green reversed. What we had always thought for centuries was red was actually green, and not even just “something else,” but a huge unseen reversal: red is actually green and green is red. How do you rectify that in your mind?

The answer is that you don’t. You REJECT it. Vehemently.

You deny, and if that doesn’t work, you justify. You rename red red and green green, as you currently know them, and move on as if nothing has changed. Even though there is a new doubt in the back of your mind. You burn it and burn the people who tried to tell you your world didn’t make sense. You make it make sense.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident.” This is a tenet of our culture. That the King had it wrong, and that people are inherently free. And now we are discovering that despite our best efforts to overthrow the King’s dominion, we have done it again to ourselves! How outrageous is that? Of course people are rejecting this.