Glenn Greenwald: Who is the Journalist Behind the Edward Snowden Leaks?


Glenn Greenwald is the latest journalist to become a household name in America. His notoriety has increased significantly as he runs the media gauntlet, giving interviews to dozens of news networks concerning his latest story, which involves former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaking secret information on warrantless surveillance to Greenwald. Greenwald, who currently writes as a journalist for the Guardian and had previously written for Salon, was personally chosen by Snowden to break the story.   Given his personal history. He was the perfect candidate for the assignment.

After attending law school at New York University and practicing as a litigation attorney for over a decade, Greenwald made the choice to leave the firm he co-founded in order to pursue a career in political writing. In 2006 he launched his blog Unclaimed Territory, which he used to discuss issues such as the NSA's warrantless surveillance, the Scooter Libby scandal, and another CIA leak, the Valerie Plame Affair. Outraged by the George W. Bush administration's abuse of executive power, he wrote the New York Times bestseller How Would a Patriot Act? He also wrote a profile of Bush's presidency, A Tragic Legacy, which maintained his criticism of the policies enacted by the administration. 

The majority of Greenwald's work has been critical of the George W. Bush administration, notably bipartisan-supported policies such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Greenwald's criticism of DOMA stems from the fact his marriage to his partner is not recognized under American law. As a result, he has taken residence in his partner's home city of Rio De Janiero, Brazil. Greenwald views warrantless surveillance policies as a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. His latest book With Liberty and Justice for Some is "an indictment of America's two-tiered justice system."

With a strong background in protecting Americans' civil liberties after a career as a constitutional lawyer and a body of work critical of the NSA and CIA's warrantless surveillance, it is clear to see why Greenwald was chosen by Snowden. Already a vocal opponent of the extraordinary executive powers exercised by the Bush and Obama administrations, Greenwald found himself at the center of this ongoing story. During a recent interview with CNN, he said that "There is this massive surveillance state that the United States government has built up that has extraordinary implications for how we live as human beings on the earth and as Americans in our country, and we have the right to know what it is that that government and that agency is doing."

So far, Greenwald has not backed down in the face of criticism, taking interviews from virtually any media outlet that has requested one. As outrage from Americans grows as the full details of the NSA and CIA's surveillance is reveled, Greenwald's notoriety will continue to increase. After being an opponent of this surveillance for nearly a decade, he is finally receiving some of the recognition he deserves.