Greenwald, Glenn 1967-
Greenwald, Glenn 1967-
Born 1967. Education: Earned J.D.
Attorney, practicing in New York, NY, beginning c. 1996.
How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok, Working Assets Publishing, 2006.
A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, Crown (New York, NY), 2007.
Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics, Crown (New York, NY), 2008.
Also author of the political blog Unclaimed Territory. Contributor to periodicals, including Salon.com, Washington Post, Slate, Los Angeles Times, and American Conservative.
An attorney specializing in constitutional law, Glenn Greenwald has practiced for years in New York City, where he has specialized "in First Amendment challenges, civil rights cases, and corporate and securities fraud matters," according to his blog. He has also been the author of a political blog called Unclaimed Territory. His knowledge of the U.S. Constitution has made the leadership of President George W. Bush particularly irksome to the controversial Greenwald, as he views the president's actions regarding foreign policy and homeland security to be in direct violation of many of the principles established by America's Founding Fathers. His first book, How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok, is a treatise against the Bush administration's actions. While gaining considerable attention on the Internet and becoming a number-one seller on Amazon.com, the book received almost no attention in the mainstream print media. The work "appears to have become something of a (quiet) publishing phenomenon," reported a National Review online author, "outperforming—at least in the early stages—other, higher-profile anti-Bush books, not to mention all the other best-sellers on the list these days."
How Would a Patriot Act? addresses several points where Greenwald believes that President Bush has committed illegal acts, including his alleged circum- vention of the court system to place wiretaps on U.S. citizens' phones. The author also discusses at length what he sees as the Bush administration's blatant disregard for the principle of habeas corpus in imprisoning American citizens who are "enemy combatants" without a trial. Among the cases he details are those of Yaser Hamdi, who was captured in Afghanistan by the U.S. military and allegedly tortured, and José Padilla, who was imprisoned while in the United States. Both are U.S. citizens and both endured years in prison without trial. The Bush administration has justified this, Greenwald relates, because the president and his followers believe that their actions were in the best interest of American security. President Bush, too, had corrupted the concept of the signing statement, according to Greenwald. Historically, a signing statement is a document created by the administrative branch to simply indicate its interpretation of a particular law; President Bush, Greenwald alleges, has used the signing statement as a way to say that he is above the law. "Greenwald easily shows that this bizarre contention directly contradicts the principles of the American Revolution," commented a contributor to the Mises Institute Web site, who concluded: "Greenwald has rendered an inestimable service by his clear and cogent analysis of gross presidential usurpation of power." "Because Greenwald is a specialist in Constitutional law, he knows of what he speaks. He has a clear, persuasive, and compelling writing style," asserted a BuzzFlash critic.
Greenwald followed his debut with another attack on the Bush Administration, A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency. Here he explores the mentality of President Bush and his followers and argues that the president exhibits a black-and-white view of the world. A prime example of this viewpoint is Bush's decision to launch a preemptive attack on Iraq. As the author notes, the United States was never under any real threat from Iraq because America's military might would easily crush a fairly weak military state like Iraq, and that country's president at the time, Saddam Hussein, well understood this. Greenwald argues that Bush, therefore, painted Hussein and his country as pure evil in his successful attempt to justify launching a war without any real evidence that Iraq was a threat. "Here it is important to avoid misunderstanding," remarked another contributor to the Mises Institute Web site. "Greenwald does not argue as a moral skeptic, denying that any distinction can be drawn between good and evil. Rather, what concerns him is the readiness with which the Bush administration views other countries as so dominated by evil that they cannot be expected to act rationally." The author, as this critic continued to relate, holds that Bush's actions are completely counter to America's beloved principles: "Our entire system of government, from its inception, has been based on a very different calculus—that is, that many things matter besides protecting ourselves against threats, and consequently, we are willing to accept risks, even potentially fatal ones, in order to secure those other values. From its founding, America has rejected the worldview of prioritizing physical safety above all else, as such a mentality leads to an impoverished and empty civic life." Booklist reviewer Vanessa Bush called A Tragic Legacy "a compelling examination of how moral beliefs can drive political decisions, with disastrous consequences."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, June 1, 2007, Vanessa Bush, review of A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, p. 23.
PR Week, April 23, 2007, "Media: Journalist Q & A—Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com," p. 10.
Buzzflash,http://www.buzzflash.com/ (February 1, 2008), review of How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok.
Left Coaster,http://www.theleftcoaster.com/ (July 15, 2007), review of A Tragic Legacy.
Mises Institute Web site,http://www.mises.org/ (February 1, 2008), review of How Would a Patriot Act?
National Review Online,http://www.nationalreview.com/ (April 28, 2006), "Out of Nowhere: A Blogger's Best-Seller."