Greenwald: It Would Be Shocking If the Government WASN'T Spying on You

Claire Bernish
November 10, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) Munich, Germany — Glenn Greenwald spoke to AcTVism Munich’s Zain Raza at a press conference in Munich about the hypocritical denial of amnesty to Edward Snowden by the same governments who benefitted from his disclosures of various programs covertly implemented by the U.S. government.

“The reason you have that [benefit] is because there was one individual who was willing to risk everything in order to protect the privacy rights of German citizens and German political leaders, and they [both] benefited greatly from that,” Greenwald explained. “To watch the very same people who have benefited so much from the sacrifice of Edward Snowden, namely German politicians, be unwilling to risk anything in order to do for him what he did for them — which is to protect his political rights from persecution — has been, I think, not just surprising, but kind of horrible to watch.”

He added, “I actually do not think that the German government would have to risk all that much if it were to give asylum to Snowden — but what we saw even in the investigation that the German Parliament pretended to do was that they weren’t willing to risk anything […] if it meant alienating the United States or angering the United States in any way.”

As acTVism points out, the irony of the U.S. dubbing Germany an “indispensable” and “valuable” NATO ally while simultaneously and surreptitiously collecting more data on German politicians and civilians than any of the 27 other European Union nations, is truly astonishing.

On the subject of the FBI’s infamous COINTEL program and the CIA’s CHAOS operations, Greenwald emphasized that “there have been decades of abuse on the part of all kinds of governments of surveillance power. And that’s why it does surprise me sometimes, when some people are . . . nonchalant about the idea of spying — as though it would almost be surprising if the government was abusing that power. We know from decades of history that actually it’s almost impossible for human beings to avoid abusing surveillance power. It would be shocking if they weren’t abusing it, I think is the lesson of history.”

This interview is the third in a series on Greenwald by acTVism as part of a larger body of exclusive interviews with whistleblowers. Watch the interview below:

You can view the first and second installments by visiting the following links:

Part 1 | Glenn Greenwald on the Corporate Media, Propaganda & Reactions to Snowden’s Revelations

Part 2 | Glenn Greenwald: The Internet, Democracy, New Media Revolution & Citizen Journalism

This article (Greenwald: It Would Be Shocking If the Government WASN’T Spying on You) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email