Truth Frequency Radio
Nov 17, 2013

eric-holder-glenn-greenwald-nsa-spying-GCHQ-truth-frequency-radio-chris-geo-sheree-geo-alternative-media-news-informationby Mike Masnick, TechDirt

from the probably dept

It’s not a complete promise, but in an interview with the Washington Post, Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that, while he disagrees with some of what Glenn Greenwald is doing, he still thinks it’s legitimate journalism and he’s not looking to prosecute him for anything related to the Ed Snowden NSA leaks:

Holder indicated that the Justice Department is not planning to prosecute former Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, one of the journalists who received documents from Snowden and has written a series of stories based on the leaked material. Greenwald, an American citizen who lives in Brazil, has said he is reluctant to come to the U.S. because he fears detention and possible prosecution.

“Unless information that has not come to my attention is presented to me, what I have indicated in my testimony before Congress is that any journalist who’s engaged in true journalistic activities is not going to be prosecuted by this Justice Department,” Holder said.

“I certainly don’t agree with what Greenwald has done,” Holder said. “In some ways, he blurs the line between advocate and journalist. But on the basis of what I know now, I’m not sure there is a basis for prosecution of Greenwald.”

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of freedom of the press, nor is it probably enough to make Greenwald feel comfortable. There are enough caveats in those statements that I probably wouldn’t trust it if I were Greenwald. As he noted in response to Holder’s comments, just the fact that the question is out there shows how little the US government respects press freedom these days. Furthermore, he notes that Holder’s statements are hardly reassuring as they’re “caveat-riddled oral assertions.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Holder notes that they’re still looking to inform more defendants in criminal cases if warrantless data was used to arrest and prosecute them, and that he’s still trying to get Snowden back from Russia — something that seems unlikely to happen.