Glenn Greenwald -- the journalist who broke the news that the U.S. government is monitoring vast quantities of American phone records -- is claiming the U.S. is building a "massive" snooping apparatus committed to destroying privacy worldwide, the Politico website reports today (June 9, 2013).
"There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal, and that is to destroy privacy and anonymity, not just in the United States but around the world," charged Greenwald, a reporter for the British newspaper "The Guardian," speaking on CNN. He added, "That is not a hyperbole. That is their objective."
Greenwald -- speaking with CNN's Piers Morgan -- appeared during a week in which Americans learned that according to reports, the National Security Agency (NSA) and other parts of the government have been monitoring the phone records of Verizon users and accessing Internet information as part of intelligence-gathering procedures. Some Republicans and Democrats have defended the phone records strategy, including the highest-ranking members of the Senate Intelligence Committee -- Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R- Ga.). But Greenwald dismissed those arguments.
Greenwald also told CNN that the Obama administration has taken a "warped and distorted" view of the PATRIOT Act -- the legislation that authorized certain kinds of surveillance for security reasons as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. "What the Obama administration is doing in interpreting the PATRIOT Act is so warped and distorted and it vests themselves with such extremist surveillance powers over the United States and American citizens that Americans, in their words, would be stunned to learn what the Obama administration is doing," he said on CNN's "The Lead."