Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first published documents leaked by Edward Snowden that revealed the scope of U.S. spying worldwide, said the documents contain additional information about U.S. surveillance of Israel that has not yet been published.
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He also said the continued imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard attests to the hypocrisy of the U.S. administration.
In an interview with Channel 10 television station that aired Monday night, Greenwald said the Snowden documents contain “a huge number of very significant stories” that have not yet been published, and these include stories related to the Middle East in general and Israel in particular. He and the other journalists working on the material will continue releasing stories at about the same pace as hitherto, he added, explaining that they have only had the Snowden documents for seven months, and “given their volume and complexity,” that isn’t a long time.
Channel 10 asked Greenwald about the increasingly popular argument in Israel that given Snowden’s revelations about the scope of U.S. spying on its allies, Washington had no grounds for its continued refusal to free Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for spying on the United States on Israel’s behalf. Inter alia, the documents revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency had monitored the email address of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office in 2009.
Greenwald agreed that the Snowden revelations are relevant to Pollard’s case. “When the U.S. government goes around the world criticizing other countries for spying on allies and prosecuting them,” he said, “are they going to maintain that with a straight face when they’re doing exactly that?”
It’s proper to raise Pollard’s case in the context of U.S. spying on its Israeli ally, he continued, because that underscores the hypocrisy of what the U.S. itself is doing. The U.S. government, Greenwald charged, does exactly what it accuses its enemies of doing, and no country has the right to say other countries shouldn’t do something while it is secretly violating that very same taboo.
Asked about the U.S. government’s claim that the purpose of the eavesdropping is to fight terrorism, he responded by citing the documents’ revelations that the NSA eavesdropped on both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli officials, asking, Does the U.S. government think Angela Merkel is a terrorist? Or that democratically elected Israeli officials are involved in terror?
Greenwald said that Snowden, who has received temporary asylum in Russia, had performed an act of supreme patriotism by leaking the documents, as he thereby defended the values of American democracy. The Snowden revelations, he said, have sparked the first serious debate over individual privacy in the digital age and the dangers of state surveillance.