Daniel Ellsberg: Journalists Who Attack Glenn Greenwald Are 'Tools' Who Do 'the Work of the Government'

America’s most famous whistleblower criticized the journalists attacking Glenn Greenwald in an interview with the New York Times. Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1969, slammed journalists Jeffrey Toobin and Michael Grunwald during a conversation with the Times’ media columnist David Carr.


With Snowden in particular, you have a split between truly independent journalists and those who are tools — and I mean that in every sense of the term — of the government. Toobin and Grunwald are doing the work of the government to maintain relationships and access,” Ellsberg said.

Ellsberg was reacting to recent comments made by both CNN’s Toobin and TIME magazine’s Grunwald about Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange. Toobin recently said that Snowden belongs in prison and that David Miranda, Greenwald’s husband, was the equivalent of a “drug mule” for transporting documents between Berlin and Greenwald. Miranda was arrested by British authorities in Heathrow airport and held for nine hours.

Grunwald recently said on Twitter that he couldn’t “wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange.”

Carr also interviewed Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, who likewise criticized journalists taking on Greenwald. “I think the people in our business who are suspicious of Glenn Greenwald and critical of David Miranda are not really thinking this through,” said Rusbridger. “The governments are conflating journalism with terrorism and using national security to engage in mass surveillance. The implications just in terms of how journalism is practiced are enormous.”

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