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Snowden’s Ride, Part 6: Why Did Glenn Greenwald Represent Neo-Nazis Pro Bono?


Matthew Hale, Glenn Green­wald’s Client

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [2] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: We’ve cov­ered Eddie “The Friend­ly Spook” Snow­den’s exploits in numer­ous pre­vi­ous posts: Part I [3]Part II [4]Part III [5]Part IV [6]Part V [7]Part VI [8]Part VII [9], Part VIII [10]Part IX [11]Part X [12], Part XI [13], Part XII [14].) Users of this web­site are emphat­i­cal­ly encour­aged to exam­ine these posts in detail, as it is impos­si­ble to do jus­tice to the argu­ments in those arti­cles in the scope of this post.

Suf­fice it to say, for our pur­pos­es here, that Snow­den’s activ­i­ties are–quite obviously–an intel­li­gence oper­a­tion direct­ed at Barack Oba­ma’s admin­is­tra­tion at one lev­el and the Unit­ed States and U.K. at anoth­er.

We note that the indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions involved with Snow­den, as well as Fast Eddie him­self, track back to the far right, Nazi, white suprema­cists, Holo­caust deniers and ele­ments and indi­vid­u­als involved with the Under­ground Reich. [15] Again, PLEASE exam­ine the pre­vi­ous posts on the sub­ject, as there is no way to flesh out this line of inquiry in this post. 

In past dis­cus­sion of Eddie the Friend­ly Spook’s leak­er of choice, Guardian jour­nal­ist Glenn Green­wald, we not­ed that he has pro­fes­sion­al­ly net­worked with the Koch broth­ers fund­ed Cato Insti­tute [16]. Green­wald’s pro­fes­sion­al asso­ci­a­tions include far more odi­ous rela­tion­ships.

Green­wald launched his own legal busi­ness, rep­re­sent­ing “unpop­u­lar clients,” includ­ing neo-Nazis. For five years, Green­wald defend­ed Matthew Hale, head of the World Church of the Cre­ator, cur­rent­ly serv­ing a 40-year prison term [17] for plot­ting against the life of a judge. (See text excerpt below.)

(We’ve spo­ken of the World Church of the Cre­ator in FTR #‘s 168 [18], 222 [19], 633 [20].)

We high­light a num­ber of con­sid­er­a­tions in light of Green­wald’s efforts on behalf of Nazi blood­let­ters:

“Van­field” post­ed an inter­est­ing com­ment [25], not­ing that Stephen Walt, whose anti-Israel Lob­by tome appears to be a man­i­fes­ta­tion of doc­tri­naire anti-Semi­tism and prob­a­ble Mus­lim Broth­er­hood influ­ence has laud­ed Snow­den [26] as anoth­er “Edward R. Mur­row” [22]–as grotesque a mis­nomer as one could think of.

 “How Glenn Green­wald Became Glenn Green­wald” by Jes­si­ca Tes­ta; buzzfeed.com; 6/26/2013. [27]

EXCERPT: . . . . Green­wald also spent rough­ly FIVE YEARS defend­ing the First Amend­ment rights of neo-Nazis, includ­ing Matthew Hale, the “Pon­tif­ex Max­imus” of the Illi­nois church for­mer­ly known as the World Church of the Cre­ator [20], one of whose dis­ci­ples went on a mur­der­ous spree in 1999 [18].

“I almost always did it pro bono,” Green­wald said. “I was inter­est­ed in defend­ing polit­i­cal prin­ci­ples that I believed in. I didn’t even care about mak­ing mon­ey any­more.” . . .

“Glenn Green­wald: Life Beyond Bor­ders” by Fred Bern­stein; out.com; 4/18/2011. [24]

EXCERPT: . . . . By the third year of law school, he was work­ing for a large law firm. But real­iz­ing that rep­re­sent­ing Gold­man Sachs would have destroyed him psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly, he set up his own firm, which rep­re­sent­ed sev­er­al neo-Nazis and oth­er unpop­u­lar clients.

When he and his for­mer boyfriend, Wern­er Achatz, an Aus­tri­an-born lawyer, tried to lease an apart­ment, they were told they could­n’t aggre­gate their incomes. “They said they only do that for mar­ried cou­ples,” Green­wald recalls. “We said we were a mar­ried cou­ple.” When that did­n’t fly, Green­wald became his own lawyer, suing the land­lord for sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion and mar­i­tal sta­tus dis­crim­i­na­tion.

By 2004 he had tired of lit­i­gat­ing, and was also at the end of an 11-year rela­tion­ship with Achatz. He rent­ed an apart­ment in Rio de Janeiro, expect­ing to remain there for two months. Emo­tion­al­ly drained, he says, “The last thing I was look­ing for was anoth­er rela­tion­ship. Espe­cial­ly in Rio.” But on his first day on the beach, he met Miran­da. . . .

. . . . One of his hopes for 2012 is that can­di­dates will emerge to take on the red and the blue teams — he is keep­ing an eye on Gary John­son, a two-term Repub­li­can gov­er­nor of New Mex­i­co, who is pro-gay and anti­war, and who could run with a Demo­c­rat like for­mer Wis­con­sin sen­a­tor Russ Fein­gold. He would also be hap­py to see a bil­lion­aire run with­out the help of either par­ty, to dis­rupt the two-par­ty stran­gle­hold. . . .

“Glenn Green­wald Uneth­i­cal­ly Taped Wit­ness­es While Work­ing for Matt Hale, White Suprema­cist; Demo­c­ra­t­ic Under­ground. [17]

EXCERPT: . . . .Case in point:

Glenn Green­wald made a choice to defend Matthew Hale in a series of civ­il law­suits that Hale faced after he encour­aged shoot­er Ben­jamin Smith to go on a two-state shoot­ing ram­page.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Nathaniel_Smith [28]

If you don’t know who Hale is, well, he’s a pret­ty famous white suprema­cist who is cur­rent­ly serv­ing 40 years for solic­it­ing the mur­der of a fed­er­al judge who ruled against him in a trade­mark case. Who put him away? Patrick Fitzger­ald. (Yes. And Mr. Green­wald got an FBI vis­it regard­ing the pass­ing of cod­ed mes­sages by Hale while under SAMS restric­tions.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_F._Hale [29]

Mr. Hale, for his role in the shoot­ings, was sued by a num­ber of sur­vivors. This includ­ed a case filed by two teenage Ortho­dox Jew­ish boys. And anoth­er case filed by a Black min­is­ter. These peo­ple were select­ed by Ben­jamin Smith because they looked like the religious/ethnic minori­ties they are.

And Glenn Green­wald called them ‘odi­ous and repug­nant’ for suing his client–

Indeed the Cen­ter’s suit appears to link Hale’s rejec­tion into the bar to Smith’s “ram­page.” In late June, the state bar’s Com­mit­tee on Char­ac­ter and Fit­ness again denied Hale’s peti­tion to join the bar. Smith, who had tes­ti­fied as a char­ac­ter wit­ness for Hale that April, began shoot­ing two days lat­er. “Imme­di­ate­ly after the Illi­nois State Bar’s deci­sion and as part of the World Church of the Cre­ator’s war, Smith ... began a ram­page of geno­ci­dal vio­lence,” the law­suit states.

And while Hale him­self has linked the shoot­ings to his bar appli­ca­tion in the past, he said Tues­day that it’s ridicu­lous to think he had any con­trol over Smith.


Fur­ther, Green­wald said, “I find that the peo­ple behind these law­suits are tru­ly so odi­ous and repug­nant, that cre­ates its own moti­va­tion for me.”

The first suit, filed in state court by Chica­go attor­ney Michael Ian Ben­der on behalf of two Ortho­dox Jew­ish teens shot at in Rogers Park, is pend­ing, though a cir­cuit judge in Chica­go threw out alle­ga­tions that Smith’s par­ents were some­how respon­si­ble for the shoot­ings.

http://www.rickross.com/reference/hale/hale33.html [30]

It was­n’t enough that Glenn took the case, which was his right to do. No–he had to insult the Plaintiffs–shooting vic­tims. And then, he uneth­i­cal­ly taped the wit­ness­es he sub­poe­naed, even direct­ing their state­ments. A court found that he vio­lat­ed TWO sep­a­rate rules–

“The mag­is­trate judge grant­ed both motions, find­ing defense coun­sel’s con­duct uneth­i­cal under two sep­a­rate rules: Local Rule 83.58.4(a)(4), pro­hibit­ing “dis­hon­esty, fraud, deceit or mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion;” and Local Rule 83.54.4, stat­ing “a lawyer shall not ... use meth­ods of obtain­ing evi­dence that vio­late the legal rights of person.”“ANDERSON v. HALE 159 F.Supp.2d 1116 (2001)

http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=20011275159FSupp2d1116_11178.xml [31]

He also attempt­ed to manip­u­late the wit­ness state­ments, per the mag­is­trate’s find­ings of fact-

“A 52-page tran­script of one con­ver­sa­tion showed defen­dants’ coun­sel steered the con­ver­sa­tion by elic­it­ing par­tic­u­lar respons­es to detailed ques­tions, lead­ing to more detailed ques­tions, to lure the wit­ness into damn­ing state­ments for lat­er use.” Ander­son v. Hale, 202 F.R.D. 548 (N.D.Ill. 2001),

That’s right–Glenn Green­wald, self-pro­claimed civ­il rights lawyer, vio­lat­ed the civ­il right of wit­ness­es. The New York Bar lat­er wrote a clar­i­fy­ing opin­ion on the ethics of said tap­ing, ref­er­enc­ing this case–

http://www2.nycbar.org/Publications/reports/show_html.php?rid=122 [32]

And of course, Glenn Green­wald thinks Matthew Hale is wrong­ly impris­oned by Pros­e­cu­tor Fitzger­ald.

“Mr. Green­wald, who said he believed that Mr. Hale was wrong­ly impris­oned, said he did not recall the exact mes­sage Ms. Hutch­e­son relayed to him, or the per­son it was intend­ed for, but that he had declined to deliv­er it. He called the mes­sage “a car­i­ca­ture of what a cod­ed mes­sage would be.””

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/09/national/09hale.html?pagewanted=print&position= [33]

Let­ter to the Nation Mag­a­zine: Glenn Green­wald Is a Conservative/Libertarian Mole. [23]

After lis­ten­ing to Chris Hayes and read­ing that one of his ref­er­ences to the sto­ry about Oba­ma assas­si­na­tions was Glenn Green­wald, I perused many of Green­wald’s anti-Oba­ma arti­cles clev­er­ly dis­guised as “civ­il lib­er­tar­i­an” and won­der how any­one in the pro­gres­sive move­ment can take Glenn Green­wald seri­ous­ly. Green­wald admits to being a civ­il lib­er­tar­i­an, much in the mold of Ayn Rand, Rand Paul and most lib­er­tar­i­ans on the far right. After doing a stint at a Wall Street cor­po­rate law firm (Wach­tel, Lip­ton) he strikes it out on his own by rep­re­sent­ing white suprema­cist Matthew Hale, who was the leader of the World Church of the Cre­ator, and is now doing forty years in prison for autho­riz­ing a hit on a fed­er­al judge. Green­wald has not writ­ten a sin­gle arti­cle that has been favor­able toward the Oba­ma Admin­is­tra­tion, and he was one of the lead­ing voic­es push­ing this dis­proven idea that Oba­ma is “the same as Bush” to try to under­mine Oba­ma’s sup­port in his pro­gres­sive base. The con­ser­v­a­tive mag­a­zine Forbes indi­cates Green­wald is “one of the 25 most influ­en­tial lib­er­als in the media,” despite his lib­er­tar­i­an views and admis­sion that he is not a lib­er­al.

With this back­drop, it does­n’t take a rock­et sci­en­tist to fig­ure out that Glenn Green­wald is a conservative/libertarian mole with­in the pro­gres­sive move­ment with the sole mis­sion of under­min­ing the move­ment. Specif­i­cal­ly, with respect to autho­rized killing of Al Qae­da oper­a­tives: since when does one need a tri­al when one admits in writ­ing con­tin­u­ous­ly that they are part of Al Qae­da and are found to be engaged in an oper­a­tional role in killing Amer­i­cans? When have we ever asked on the bat­tle­field whether one is autho­rized to defend one­self against the guy with the gun shoot­ing at you, who is dressed in ene­my gear and who has promised to kill you? Should we do as Green­wald sug­gests, and call a “time out” dur­ing the heat of bat­tle and have a civ­il tri­al to deter­mine whether this guy real­ly is what he has demon­strat­ed to be? I am all for due process when it make prac­ti­cal sense, but dur­ing the heat of bat­tle when some­one is active­ly try­ing to kill you, I think defend­ing one­self first in bat­tle and then defend­ing one­self in court lat­er if nec­es­sary appears to be the appro­pri­ate course of action. Maybe we should put Green­wald on the bat­tle­field and see if he real­ly thinks it’s prac­ti­cal to call a time-out and go to court. Only in the wildest fan­ta­sy of an obsessed lawyer would such a thought even be pos­si­ble, and Green­wald appears to be obsessed with sec­ond-guess­ing com­man­ders on the ground, even though he him­self could nev­er real­ly imag­ine what it is like to be on the bat­tle­field of war.

War sucks, and I at least agree with Green­wald that we should avoid war if nec­es­sary, and quick­ly bring to an end any out­stand­ing wars, as long as it is done respon­si­bly so we do not have to go back in after we leave. But Green­wald’s obses­sion with under­min­ing Oba­ma in this effort should make any pro­gres­sive pause, espe­cial­ly giv­en his right-wing back­ground, his inabil­i­ty to write a sin­gle pos­i­tive sto­ry about the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion and his inabil­i­ty to write about any­thing oth­er than civ­il lib­er­ties that pro­gres­sives care about.