Glenn Greenwald was a featured speaker at the Socialism 2013 conference in Chicago. Greenwald, who writes for The Guardian, along with Laura Poitras, broke one of the biggest stories of the year: the heretofore unknown scope of National Security Agency spying. Their source, also part of the story, is Edward Snowden, who leaked documents revealing truths about the largest spy agency in the world.
Jeremy Scahill, another world-class investigative journalist, introduced Greenwald:
In a moment when we have a war on journalists at home, a war on journalists abroad, when whistleblowers are being prosecuted in record numbers under the Espionage Act by Mr. Nobel Peace Prize-winning, Democratic, Constitutional Lawyer President, there`s a line that has to be drawn in the sand, and all of us--whether we are journalists, or we`re lawyers, or we`re students, or we`re teachers--have to decide which side of that line we stand on. Either we stand with the whistleblowers and we stand with the journalists who are willing to put their own lives on the line, their own reputations on the line, subject their families and loved ones to this conspiracy between the government and their lapdog stenographers posing as journalists who want to come after them. You have to decide which side of the line you’re on, and I want to say very, very clearly—particularly to the dingbat factory that is constantly attacking Glenn Greenwald, I stand with Glenn Greenwald.
In this powerful address, Greenwald talks about Snowden’s ethics, the value and necessity of whistle-blowing, and the political responsibilities of journalists.