by Steve Poikonen
The global war on journalists, publishers and whistleblowers accelerated this morning. A 95 page criminal complaint was issued by Brazilian prosecutors charging The Intercept’s co-founder, Glenn Greenwald, with “cyber crimes.” Among the accusations levied against Greenwald is that he played a “clear role in facilitating the commission of a crime.” So, what does “facilitating the commission of a crime” look like in the eyes of the Bolsanaro regime? According to the complaint, it looks like communicating with sources while they were monitoring Telegram chats and/or encouraging sources to delete earlier messages containing information published by The Intercept. Latex body paint isn’t even that thin.
The charges were filed in retribution for a series of articles that ran in The Intercept last year exposing rampant corruption in the far-right Bolsanaro government. Immediate retaliation on the part of the fascist Brazilian government was swift, but flaccid.Their Supreme Court barred the administration from investigating both Greenwald and The Intercept, citing the protections awarded journalists under the Brazilian constitution. At the time, which was all the way back last summer- Greenwald said, “This crucial precedent ensures that not just we, but all Brazilian journalists, can do our jobs, even in the Bolsanaro era, without fear of official retaliation from the state.” So what the hell happened between August 2019 and today? To put it bluntly– nothing. And that’s the problem.
The Trump administration filed 18 charges against Wikileaks publisher and multiple award winning journalist, Julian Assange, in May 2019 to a whimper among major establishment Western outlets. And while independent media organizations have and continue to sound the alarm for press freedom, support for Assange ranks much further behind the 2020 presidential election. Today, these same media outlets, big and small, wholly-owned subsidiaries of the State Department and viewer supported shows such as mine, nearly unilaterally stood with Greenwald and The Intercept. Most of us even made the connection that Greenwald’s charges are cut from the same soiled cloth as Julian’s. At the time of this writing, however, not a single presidential candidate has remarked on Glenn’s charges. And we all know where the candidates stand on Assange.