Greenwald's No Place to Hide

Today is the release date of Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State. Like him (and Snowden) or not, the book is going to be a hot seller and is going to tell us a lot that we already are concerned about.

This is not a review of the book (I will write one once I have read the book if no one else does) but it is a review of Greenwald's approach to full disclosure. He promised to release the source documents that support the book and he has. You can download them as a PDF. He also has released the index of the book, an excerpt, notes and more.

All this information and more is available on his website. There has also been a reasonable amount of TV coverage.

From his web page:

Going beyond NSA specifics, Greenwald also takes on the establishment media, excoriating their habitual avoidance of adversarial reporting on the government and their failure to serve the interests of the people. Finally, he asks what it means both for individuals and for a nation’s political health when a government pries so invasively into the private lives of its citizens—and considers what safeguards and forms of oversight are necessary to protect democracy in the digital age. Coming at a landmark moment in American history, No Place to Hide is a fearless, incisive, and essential contribution to our understanding of the U.S. surveillance state.

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'Journalist' Argues In NY Times That Publishing Decisions ...

The full article title is 'Journalist' Argues In NY Times That Publishing Decisions Should Ultimately Be Made By Government.

For those who think that both Snowden and Greenwald should be in jail, you have a friend in Michael Kinsley. The link is not to Kinsley's original book review but to the Freedom of the Press foundations analysis of what he said.

More about Kinsley's ideas

An article in The Atlantic offers a bit more input.

No Place To Hide

is # 5 on NYT combined print and E-book non fiction list, beating out Glenn Beck by two, and O'Reilly by several. Of course, O'Reilly's book has been there forever.

Do I owe someone an apology?

I would like to point out that the NYT bump is probably due to booksellers ordering the book to have in stock.

No Place . . fell to 32 on Amazon, from 25,, which might be more of an accurate indicator of actual sales to readers.

10 Day Smoothie Cleanse rose to #22 . .

Um, no

Any number of people in real publishing will tell you that Amazon makes up rankings more often than not.

Rebecca Brown

Someone must be reading it.

John McMurtrie ‏@McMurtrieSF 32m

"No Place to Hide," by @ggreenwald, debuts at No. 2 on the S.F. Chronicle's bestseller list. Our review:

Could You Point

me to the book on the NYT bestseller list? "Debuts at No 2 sounds a little contrived . . ."

I may be looking in the wrong place (non fiction). O'Reilly has a book there, was #10 last week, has been on the NYT list 33 weeks.

I'll keep looking for Greenwald, maybe there is a special NYT "debuts" page that I am unaware of.

He's 25 on the Amazon list, right behind the >> .. 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse ... Maybe they put .. No Place To Hide (from the Green Smoothie Cleanse) in the wrong category :)

Why the book matters

And Snowden. The following tweet offers a clue. Even with so much out in the open, politicians that were supposed to be in charge seem to claim, um, insanity?

Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald 1m

Dianne Feinstein on NSA interdiction program: "“does not sound familiar" #GreatOversight … v.

I have finished reading

The other reviews tell you, from various perspectives, what the book is about. I don't need to repeat what they say but I will say you, for any value of you, should read the book. Much like Ellsberg's Secrets, it will tell you something you need to know.

The NSA overreach story is not over. Without reading this book you are going to be at a severe handicap as the story continues to play out. I am not suggesting that you agree with Greenwald's position (though many of you will) but you need to see the facts he has to offer. It's a great counterbalance to government lies.

I find it amusing that as I write this, the quote box is displaying the following from Jean Luc Picard:

The grass may seem greener on the other side, but sometimes it's because of all the fertilizer.

It just seems so appropriate right now.

Australian interview

One of the best interviews with Glenn Greenwald I have heard was done by Australian ABC. It's a 15 minute interview titled Journalist Glenn Greenwald says there is zero evidence supporting claims Edward Snowden jeopardised lives.

What makes it particularly good is that the interviewer let's Greenwald explore the legal issues -- which he does well because he is a lawyer.

No Harm . . . .

depends on who you ask.

Greenwald has a big dog in this fight, and it's his turn for the fifteen minutes. He'll say what he needs to say. Others are not so sure:

At what point does complicity turn into conspiracy? I doubt that Greenwald wants to live in Manhatan: that knock on the door would come eventually. He's a lot safer in Brazil.

I look forward to the day when Snowden, Assange and Manning (now that he's being transferred from military custody to a federal prison) share adjoining Super-Max cells.

Who writes this crap?

I recognize that the Daily Mail is all about headlines but the bullet points at the top of the article just make me laugh. "Congress heard", "Senator claims" ... Yeah, real investigative journalism.

Let's take the most obvious "He fled to Russia ...". This is clearly one of those keep repeating it and eventually someone will believe it statements. Snowden did not flee to Russia, he got stuck there because the US canceled his passport. He had a flight out but could not take it. In retrospect, the US may have done this on purpose (that is, at this specific time) as it would get a lot more propaganda value (like this point) by suggesting he was fleeing to Russia.

Wikipedia will show you Greenwald is way beyond his 15 minutes with previous books and lots more. Snowden picked Greenwald precisely because of his track record.

What you look forward to is your personal issue (I am much more interested in Bush, Cheney, ... being in the slammer). The reality is that NSA was totally out of control. At least now the overseers have gone from defending NSA actions to admitting there is a problem. Maybe, just maybe, some the abuses will get addressed.

Complicity to conspiracy? I question complicity. Snowden, as he has admitted, violated the law. He explains what he did (and why) but points out that he is not nor does he want to be a journalist. Greenwald, Poitres, The New York Times, The Guardian and other journalists and publications, have documented "what happened". At no time were they complicit in Snowden's acts. The obvious historical reference is Daniel Ellsberg and The Pentagon Papers. Not surprisingly, Ellsberg is a big Snowden supporter.

If Snowden had intended harm (to the US) he could have just released all the documents to the public. He did not specifically because he did not intend harm. This is discussed in No Place to Hide.

I used to read the Mail,

but that was almost 30 years ago (I last lived in the UK in 87)

It's gone downhill. Has some strange anti-police views too.

Very different review

From The Daily Dot titled 5 key takeaways from Glenn Greenwald's new book about the NSA. Actually, it is not a review at all, just a list of five things to appreciate.

It's pretty clear to me now that I am not going to need to write a review. By the time I have read the book, there will be hundreds of them out there. There already are nine on Amazon -- itself an interesting set. Six give the book five stars with a reasonable explanation of why. Or the other three, two are complaints that the documents and index are not in the book itself and one I honestly cannot understand.

Having been in the publishing business, I am sure the index not being included was important to facilitate the quick release of the book. While it would seem easy to automate index generation, the reality is that to be decent, human intervention is needed. As for the source documents, there are over 100 pages of them, all available for free (even if you don't buy the book). I personally don't see the advantage of inclusion in the book -- which would have also delayed publication.

I have read the introduction and, from that, it is rather compelling that I read the book.

Review in Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail offers a review of the book titled No Place to Hide: Monumentally important book shines a spotlight on the surveillance state. The review does a good job of explaining what the book is really about -- how there is an uncontrolled spy ring with no effective oversight operating well beyond the law -- rather than getting bogged down in the mechanics of what lead to us knowing the truth.

A constitutional lawyer by trade, Greenwald argues first against the broad illegality of the NSA’s warrantless domestic spying program. Using the bogeyman of “terrorism,” the U.S. government routinely violates the Fourth Amendment, which constitutionally enshrines “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” With nothing more than an e-mail address, a junior subcontractor like Snowden – “just another guy,” as he has described himself – could amass data about any American citizen: e-mails, browser searchers, websites visited, and so on. In one exchange from 2011, an NSA operator confesses to having “screwed up” by accidentally targeting a U.S. citizen instead of a foreigner. The NSA’s oversight office responded with a line that typifies the lax, workaday attitude toward such slip-ups: “It’s nothing to worry about.”

Book review in Slate

Slate offers a book review titled Why Are You So Fearful, O Ye of Little Faith?.

Reading about all the disclosures again, woven together and in context, I couldn’t decide which was worse: the NSA’s massive, grim overreach, in the hands of Director Michael Hayden—or the complicity of almost every other entity involved, private as well as public. “PRISM is a team sport!” trumpeted one NSA memo. Too true: Other memos and slides show Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Microsoft easing the way toward surveillance of their users. (Twitter was the exception in this case.) When the Guardian and the Washington Post broke that news, the tech companies tried to argue otherwise based on a technicality. But looking back, the documents “give the lie to Silicon Valley’s denials of cooperation,” as Greenwald writes.

Note that I heard a rumor that Google is looking into how to offer encrypted email. Of, course, if it is not end-to-end encrypted then it isn't really secure.

This Is Truly

a scummy pair of people.


" .. .Assange does not have the same attitude towards discretion. When a reporter expressed concern about Wikileaks publishing documents from the State Department that included the names of Afghans who had cooperated with Americans Assange simply reportedly replied, "So, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it."

Assange has enough indictable history that the Aussies and the US authorities no longer need the Swedish rape victims. While his personal admissions may not provide sufficient evidence to convict him of a crime, his fellow hackers have undoubtedly been turned by the prospect of incarceration. One turned almost immediately, resulting in Assange's conviction in an Australian court. This will be enough to incarcerate Assange until Chelsea's memory -motivated by the prospect of less than the 35 years she has facing her- dramatically improves. It may happen sooner: Even Hillary has bigger balls than the current White House occupant.

If Ecuador is faced with a loss of US market access as Correa "does his Ortega", he may reconsider his hospitality to Assange. Then it's: Adios, Julian. Don't let the door of your Super-Max cell hit you in the butt (actually the doors slide, but I like the metaphor).

Snowden? This is sounding more and more like a guy who never liked the US. His reasons are probably complicated: bullied as a boy??, --and the devastating damage he inflicted on the US signals intelligence community -and the US people-- is his revenge. He's Putin's bitch now, and he got his fifteen minutes to boot. Perhaps this is what he's always wanted. .. it may be no accident he picked Greenwald. A birds of a feather thing.

I'll read the book, of course, as I read Assange' "unauthorized" biography. I doubt I'll see it the same way Greenwald does. It's a mean, nasty world, as Boko Haram as proved over the last two months:

By crippling the ability of the US to fight this terror, Snowden is complicit in those boys deaths, and the loss of the Nigerian girls.

Enjoy your time with Vladimir, Edward. Enjoy the land of the ?? free and the brave?? You've made your choice, it's your country now.

Greenwald, not the NYT

As the Slate review pointed out, Greenwald (who is, like your president, a constitutional lawyer) doesn't back down. He got the story and he writes (and speaks) well.

If you are wondering why it is Greenwald and not the NYT that is getting the story, here is an example of the game DHS is playing with NYT folks just trying to do their job. No wonder Poitres and Applebaum live in Germany and Greenwald in Brazil.

Greenwald Lives In Brazil

because that is where his boyfriend lives.

Snowden lives in Russia because that's about the only place he CAN live now.

I hope our next president remembers that it was Ecuador who provided the necessary travel documents for Snowden to carry his stolen treasure, contrary to all the oaths he swore, to Russia.

I did touch on the Muslims, Boko Haram is a Muslim terrorist group. Someone made a telling point on one of the talk shows: most Muslims are indeed NOT terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims. These are the people the NSA is tasked with keeping an eye on.

If I missed Venezuela, well, when THIS president's term is over, the Keystone XL will be built, and we won't need Venezuela -or Ecuador. Time to look for new friends.

This has been a hard six years for the country. This opinion piece sums it up best:

Nice to be living in Nicaagua. . .

Well, sorta

From Out, Glenn Greenwald: Life Beyond Borders.

Given Greenwald's intellectual fecundity and argumentative ferocity, being gay may be the least interesting thing about him. But even Greenwald doesn't claim that his sexual orientation doesn't matter. After all, if he were straight he would be living in Manhattan, his home for most of the last 20 years. Instead, he lives in Rio de Janeiro, barred from moving to the United States with his Brazilian boyfriend, David Michael Miranda.


You left our Venezuela and even Muslims in this post. Otherwise, it reads the same as most of them.

The one thing you seem to forget is that Snowden is in Russia because of the US. It clearly was not on his "intended destination" list -- he just got stuck there when the US (illegally, apparently) pulled his passport.