Glenn Greenwald blasts Hillary Clinton: "The ultimate guardian of bipartisan status quo corruption"

Journalist says Clinton's glide path to Democratic nomination is "depressing"

Published February 23, 2015 8:53PM (EST)

Glenn Greenwald              (AP/Silvia Izquierdo)
Glenn Greenwald (AP/Silvia Izquierdo)

Calling Hillary Clinton "the ultimate guardian" of a broken political system, The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald on Monday lamented that her likely nomination as the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential candidate will prevent a real debate on issues like National Security Agency spying.

Asked during a Reddit Q & A how citizens could ensure that surveillance is front-and-center in next year's elections, Greenwald responded that the key obstacle to a genuine debate on such issues is "bipartisan consensus."

"When the leadership of both parties join together - as they so often do, despite the myths to the contrary - those issues disappear from mainstream public debate," Greenwald wrote, noting that President Obama, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, and House Speaker John Boehner joined forces to block legislation killing the NSA's metadata program after whistleblower Edward Snowden laid bare the scale of the agency's surveillance operations.

That legislation, Greenwald pointed out, was introduced by Tea Party conservative Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and liberal stalwart Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), underscoring that the debate boils down more to "insider v. outsider" than Democrats versus Republicans. What's needed, he argued, is for leaders of one of the major parties to commit to making NSA reform a political issue.

“That’s why the Dem efforts to hand Hillary Clinton the nomination without contest are so depressing,” Greenwald continued. “She’s the ultimate guardian of bipartisan status quo corruption, and no debate will happen if she’s the nominee against some standard Romney/Bush-type GOP candidate. Some genuine dissenting force is crucial.”

In an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross last summer, Clinton criticized the NSA’s surveillance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but criticized Snowden’s leaks, asserting that he could have “expressed his concerns,” possibly “by reaching out to some of the senators or other members of Congress or journalists in order to convey his questions about the implementation of the laws surrounding the collection of information concerning Americans’ calls and emails.” Though she hasn’t backed specific reforms, she did applaud then-Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-CO) work on NSA reform during a campaign-stump appearance last year, calling it “an important and challenging task that he took on.”

As a U.S. senator from New York, Clinton joined 97 other senators in voting for the U.S.A. Patriot Act.

By Luke Brinker

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