Glenn Greenwald Biography | Inspiration Quotations | Motivation Quotes

Glenn Greenwald
Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald Motivational Quotations:

  • “Very few people use landline phones for much of anything. So when you talk about things like online chat and social media messages and emails, what you're really talking about is the full extent of human communication.”

  •  “It shouldn't take extreme courage and a willingness to go to prison for decades or even life to blow the whistle on bad government acts done in secret. But it does. And that is an immense problem for democracy, one that all journalists should be united in fighting.”

  •  “An elite class that is free to operate without limits - whether limits imposed by the rule of law or fear of the responses from those harmed by their behavior - is an elite class that will plunder, degrade, and cheat at will, and act endlessly to fortify its own power.”

  •  “Ultimately, the reason privacy is so vital is it's the realm in which we can do all the things that are valuable as human beings. It's the place that uniquely enables us to explore limits, to test boundaries, to engage in novel and creative ways of thinking and being.”

  •  “Many of the benefits from keeping terrorism fear levels high are obvious. Private corporations suck up massive amounts of Homeland Security cash as long as that fear persists, while government officials in the National Security and Surveillance State can claim unlimited powers and operate with unlimited secrecy and no accountability”

  •  “The definition of an extreme authoritarian is one who is willing blindly to assume that government accusations are true without any evidence presented or opportunity to contest those accusations.”

Glenn Greenwald

  • “Surveillance breeds conformity.”
  • “You can't cheer when political officials punish the expression of views you dislike and then expect to be taken seriously when you wrap yourself in the banner of free speech in order to protest state punishment of views you like and share.”

  •  “There's a huge dichotomy between people who grow up with alienation, which, for me, was invaluable, and people who grow up so completely privileged that it breeds this complacency and lack of desire to question or challenge or do anything significant. Those are the types of people who become partners at the corporate law firms.”

  •  “As for the claim that drone 'pilots' are not engaged in the extinguishing of human life via video games, the military's own term for its drone kills - 'bug splat,' which happens to be the name of a children's video game - and other evidence negates that.”

  •  “The most important thing my grandfather taught me was that the most noble way to use your skills, intellect and energy is to defend the marginalized against those with the greatest power - and that the resulting animosity from those in power is a badge of honor.”

  •  “The American Right has an amazing ability to lionize leaders whose lives are the precise antithesis of the political values that define their image.”

  •  “It is true that the Internet can be used to disseminate falsehoods quickly, but it just as quickly roots them out and exposes them in a way that the traditional model of journalism and its closed, insular, one-way form of communication could never do.”

  • “I personally think honestly disclosing rather than hiding one's subjective values makes for more honest and trustworthy journalism. But no journalism - from the most stylistically 'objective' to the most brazenly opinionated - has any real value unless it is grounded in facts, evidence, and verifiable data.”

  •  “Even when influential political and media figures vehemently complained about the criticisms I wrote, Salon's editors unfailingly stood behind my work.”

  •  “It is true that the Internet can be used to disseminate falsehoods quickly, but it just as quickly roots them out and exposes them in a way that the traditional model of journalism and its closed, insular, one-way form of communication could never do.”

  •  “Obama supporters pretended that his 2008 campaign was some sort of populist uprising even as Wall Street overwhelmingly supported his candidacy.”

  •  “The single most remarkable (and revealing) fact of the Obama presidency may very well be the lack of a single prosecution of Wall Street executives for the massive fraud that precipitated the 2008 financial crisis.”

  •  “Somehow, when the authoritarians on the Right search for icons of manly warrior power to venerate, they find only those who like to melodramatically play-act as such, but who ran away when it came time to actually perform.”

  •  “It isn't those of us who oppose American aggression in the Muslim world who need manipulative, exploitative reminders about 9/11; it's those who cheer for these policies who are making a follow-up attack ever more likely.”

  •  “The highest compliment one can give a writer is not to say that one wholeheartedly agrees with his observations, but that he provoked - really, forced - difficult thinking about consequential matters and internal questioning of one's own assumptions, often without quick or clear resolution.”

  •  “'Terrorism' itself is not an objective term or legitimate object of study, but was conceived of as a highly politicized instrument and has been used that way ever since.”

  •  “It's always easy to get people to condemn threats to free speech when the speech being threatened is speech that they like. It's much more difficult to induce support for free speech rights when the speech being punished is speech they find repellent.”

  •  “We know that U.S. voters, and world leaders, allow Obama extraordinary leeway when it comes to deadly drone strikes, precisely because of his politics, character and background. (We are talking about a man, after all, who won the Nobel Peace Prize while ordering the automated killing of suspected Muslim terrorists around the world).”

  •  “We know with certainty that the Obama administration has re-defined 'militants' to include any military-age males they kill regardless of whether they were actually doing anything wrong. We know with certainty that the U.S. Government has detained and publicly branded as 'terrorists' people they knew at the time were innocent.”

  •  “Free speech rights  means that government officials are barred from creating lists of approved and disapproved political ideas and then using the power of the state to enforce those preferences.”

  •  “There are few things more dangerous in a democracy than allowing a President to wage secret wars without the knowledge of the country.”

  •  “Whatever one thinks of the justifiability of drone attacks, it's one of the least 'brave' or courageous modes of warfare ever invented. It's one thing to call it just, but to pretend it's 'brave' is Orwellian in the extreme.”

  •  “A common criticism of establishment journalists entails comparing them to stenographers, on the ground that most of them do little more than mindlessly write down and uncritically repeat what government officials say.”

  •  “The virtue of gay equality has become increasingly recognized in the U.S. because people have been persuaded of its merits, not because state officials, acting like Inquisitors, forced people to accept it by punishing them for their refusal.”

  •  “If establishment journalists were to replicate actual stenography, it would be an improvement on most of the work they produce.”

  •  “It is beyond dispute that President Obama and his aides have an extreme, even unprecedented obsession with concealing embarrassing information, controlling the flow of information, and punishing anyone who stands in the way. But, at least theoretically speaking, it is the job of journalists to impede that effort, not to serve and enable it.”

  •  “I have nothing but the highest regard for 'Salon' and its commitment to independent and provocative journalism.”

  •  “What made Guantanamo such a travesty - and what still makes it such - is that it is a system of indefinite detention whereby human beings are put in cages for years and years without ever being charged with a crime.”

  •  “I've praised Obama's record on same-sex equality as enthusiastically as anyone: it's one area where his record has been impressive. I understand, and have expressed, the emotional importance for LGBT Americans of his marriage announcement as well as its political significance.”

  •  “Long before, and fully independent of, anything Congress did, President Obama made clear that he was going to preserve the indefinite detention system at Guantanamo even once he closed the camp. President Obama fully embraced indefinite detention - the defining injustice of Guantanamo - as his own policy.”

  •  “Who cares if virtually the entire world views Obama's drone attacks as unjustified and wrong? Who cares if the Muslim world continues to seethe with anti-American animus as a result of this aggression? Empires do what they want.”

  •  “Many American pundits and foreign policy experts love to depict themselves as crusaders for human rights, but it almost always takes the form of condemning other governments, never their own.”

  •  “I've always said that my favorite aspect of online political writing is how interactive and collaborative it is with one's readers: that has always been, and always will be, crucial in so many ways to what I do.”

  •  “I absolutely believe that another 9/11 is possible.”

  •  “Virtually every time the U.S. fires a missile from a drone and ends the lives of Muslims, American media outlets dutifully trumpet in headlines that the dead were 'militants' - even though those media outlets literally do not have the slightest idea of who was actually killed.”

  •  “Virtually every one of the most far-right neocon Bush officials - including Dick Cheney himself - has spent years now praising Obama for continuing their terrorism policies which Obama the Senator and Presidential Candidate once so harshly denounced.”

  •  “To me, it's a heroic attribute to be so committed to a principle that you apply it, not when it's easy, not when it supports your position, not when it protects people you like, but when it defends and protects people that you hate.”

  •  “It's hardly news that the Obama administration is intensely and, in many respects, unprecedentedly hostile toward the news-gathering process.”

  •  “In essence, I see the value of journalism as resting in a twofold mission: informing the public of accurate and vital information, and its unique ability to provide a truly adversarial check on those in power.”

  •  “The United States government in Washington constantly gives amnesty to its highest officials, even when they commit the most egregious crimes. And yet the idea of amnesty for a whistleblower is considered radical and extreme.”

  •  “The Obama administration does not hate unauthorized leaks of classified information. They are more responsible for such leaks than anyone. What they hate are leaks that embarrass them or expose their wrongdoing. Those are the only kinds of leaks that are prosecuted.”

  •  “My inbox is the enemy.”

  •  “Government and businesses cannot function without enormous amounts of data, and many people have to have access to that data.”

  •  “Whistleblowers are typically rendered incommunicado, either because they're in hiding, or advised by their lawyers to stay silent, or imprisoned. As a result, the public hears only about them, but never from them, which makes their demonization virtually inevitable.”

Glenn Greenwald

  •  “There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal, and that is to destroy privacy and anonymity, not just in the United States, but around the world.”
  •  “A key purpose of journalism is to provide an adversarial check on those who wield the greatest power by shining a light on what they do in the dark, and informing the public about those acts.”

  •  “My nature is that when I see abuses of power, I want to expose those abuses.”

  •  “The purpose of whistleblowing is to expose secret and wrongful acts by those in power in order to enable reform.”

  •  “You can't have a pristine house with ten dogs, and I'd rather have the ten dogs.”

  •  “The Obama administration says we only destroy the privacy of non-Americans. That is not true. The government is spying on Americans.”

  •  “When I was talking to strangers over the Internet in the 1990s, there would be a much more intense connection because they're disembodied, so it's just your brain and your soul interacting with this other person, and it just frees you up in this incredibly empowering way.”

  •  “The American national security state is totally bipartisan. My biggest problem is with the Democrats, like Feinstein and Pelosi, who are defending it because there is a Democrat in the White House, and they are party loyalists and hacks before they are public servants.”

  •  “I've always thought stability was suffocating and deadly. Like, when I read that the kids I went to law school with have stayed at the same firm, I feel like I'm reading an obituary. How much money do you need? Six million, seven million? Put that in the bank and do something else. Get out!”

  •  “I think Dianne Feinstein may be the most Orwellian political official in Washington. It is hard to imagine having a government more secretive than the United States.”

  •  “The core distortion of the War on Terror under both Bush and Obama is the Orwellian practice of equating government accusations of terrorism with proof of guilt. One constantly hears U.S. government defenders referring to 'terrorists' when what they actually  mean is: those accused by the government of terrorism.”

  •  “The point of asylum is not to declare to the world what country you think is the pinnacle of civilization. The point of asylum is to find a country that's both willing and able to protect you from political persecution. In no way is asylum an endorsement of a country's politics, laws, or values.”

  •  “The primary theory embraced by the Bush administration to justify its War on Terror policies was that the 'battlefield' is no longer confined to identifiable geographical areas, but instead, the entire globe is now one big, unlimited 'battlefield.'”

  •  “The most extremist power any political leader can assert is the power to target his own citizens for execution without any charges or due process, far from any battlefield. The Obama administration has not only asserted exactly that power in theory, but has exercised it in practice.”

  •  “Even if we're not doing anything wrong, there are certain things we want to do that we don't think can withstand the scrutinizing eye of other people. And those are often the most important things that we do. The things we do when other people are watching are things that are conformist, obedient, normal, and unnotable.”

  •  “There are different ways that kids who are gay take on the rejection and alienation they feel. The way I dealt with it was to say, 'You know what? You're imposing judgments on me and condemnations, but I don't accept them. I'm going to instead turn the light on you and see what your flaws are and impose the same judgmental standards on you.'”



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