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Tue Nov 25, 2014, 09:47 PM

Greenwald: Talking to James Risen About “Pay Any Price,” the War on Terror and Press Freedoms

Glenn Greenwald November 25, 2014


James Risen

Jim Risen, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for exposing the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program, has long been one of the nation’s most aggressive and adversarial investigative journalists. Over the past several years, he has received at least as much attention for being threatened with prison by the Obama Justice Department (ostensibly) for refusing to reveal the source of one of his stories, a persecution that, in reality, is almost certainly the vindictive by-product of the U.S. Government’s anger over his NSA reporting.

He has published a new book on the War on Terror entitled “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War.” There have been lots of critiques of the War on Terror on its own terms, but Risen’s is one of the first to offer large amounts of original reporting on what is almost certainly the most overlooked aspect of this war: the role corporate profiteering plays in ensuring its endless continuation, and how the beneficiaries use rank fear-mongering to sustain it.



That alone makes the book very worth reading, but what independently interests me about Risen is how he seems to have become entirely radicalized by what he’s discovered in the last decade of reporting, as well as by the years-long battle he has had to wage with the U.S. Government to stay out of prison. He now so often eschews the modulated, safe, uncontroversial tones of the standard establishment reporter (such as when he called Obama “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation” and said about the administration’s press freedom attacks: “Nice to see the US government is becoming more like the Iranian government”). He at times even channels radical thinkers, sounding almost Chomsky-esque when he delivered a multiple-tweet denunciation – taken from a speech he delivered at Colby College – of how establishment journalists cling to mandated orthodoxies out of fear, arguing:

"It is difficult to recognize the limits a society places on accepted thought at the time it is doing it. When everyone accepts basic assumptions, there don’t seem to be constraints on ideas. That truth often only reveals itself in hindsight. Today, the basic prerequisite to being taken seriously in American politics is to accept the legitimacy of the new national security state. The new basic American assumption is that there really is a need for a global war on terror. Anyone who doesn’t accept that basic assumption is considered dangerous and maybe even a traitor.

The crackdown on leaks by the Obama administration has been designed to suppress the truth about the war on terror. Stay on the interstate highway of conventional wisdom with your journalism, and you will have no problems. Try to get off and challenge basic assumptions, and you will face punishment."


I spent roughly 30 minutes talking to Risen about the book, what he’s endured in his legal case, attacks on press freedoms, and what is and is not new about the War on Terror’s corporate profiteering. The discussion can be heard on the player below, and a transcript is provided. As Risen put it: “I wrote ‘Pay Any Price’ as my answer to the government’s campaign against me.”

GREENWALD: This is Glenn Greenwald with the Intercept and I am speaking today with Jim Risen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times ...

Audio and Transcript of interview:
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/11/25/talking-james-risen-pay-price-war-terror-press-freedoms/




“Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War.” -James Risen
http://www.amazon.com/Pay-Any-Price-Greed-Endless/dp/0544341414/

4.3 out of 5 stars

178 of 188 people found the following review helpful
Better Than His Last One - Imagine What He'll Write From Prison
By David Swanson on October 14, 2014

When New York Times report James Risen published his previous book, State of War, the Times ended its delay of over a year and published his article on warrantless spying rather than be scooped by the book. The Times claimed it hadn't wanted to influence the 2004 presidential election by informing the public of what the President was doing. But this week a Times editor said on 60 Minutes that the White House had warned him that a terrorist attack on the United States would be blamed on the Times if one followed publication -- so it may be that the Times' claim of contempt for democracy was a cover story for fear and patriotism. The Times never did report various other important stories in Risen's book.

One of those stories, found in the last chapter, was that of Operation Merlin -- possibly named because only reliance on magic could have made it work -- in which the CIA gave nuclear weapon plans to Iran with a few obvious changes in them. This was supposedly supposed to somehow slow down Iran's nonexistent efforts to build nuclear weapons. Risen explained Operation Merlin on Democracy Now this week and was interviewed about it by 60 Minutes which managed to leave out any explanation of what it was. The U.S. government is prosecuting Jeffrey Sterling for allegedly being the whistleblower who served as a source for Risen, and subpoenaing Risen to demand that he reveal his source(s)...MORE
http://www.amazon.com/Pay-Any-Price-Greed-Endless/dp/0544341414/

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 10:04 PM

1. Ever hear of Wen Ho Lee? Risen and Gerth through the New York times helped railroad him

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Response to still_one (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 10:13 PM

2. Salon or a Pulitzer Prize winning real journalist?

I'll go with Risen. Salon is a joke.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 10:16 PM

3. What he did to win ho lee was an outrage. You don't have to find it on Salon, look anywhere, it is

NOT Risen's finest momemnt. The judge publicly apologized, and the New York Times because of their shoddy reporting paid a retribution to the victim.

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Response to still_one (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 10:23 PM

4. The biggest ripoff in human history is happening right in front of everyone's eyes

go ahead and worry about something from the '90s.

Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $10.54 million for Total Cost of Wars Since 2001

Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $8.43 million for Homeland Security Since 9/11.

https://www.nationalpriorities.org/cost-of/

$20 million dollars PER HOUR isn't enough to get most Americans up off their couch.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 26, 2014, 09:12 AM

5. It should be enough to upset people, but obviously looking at our elected representatives, it isn't,

and that is the problem

Nothing will change until people start voting good people in

You have no argument from me on the issues being reported here by Risen, it is messed up big time

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Response to still_one (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 12:30 PM

10. What they did was report what they were being told.

 

You can blame the Reporter for participating, or you can blame the system for actually railroading Lee.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Wed Nov 26, 2014, 09:19 AM

6. I'm still too broken up about Ferguson to do my usual Greenwald takedown

So he'll get a reprieve today, not unlike PBO sparing that turkey...

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 12:00 PM

8. The Iron Knight on Fear's Role in War

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

-- Herman Göring at the Nuremberg trials

SOURCE: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/holoprelude/goering.html

Explains Gulf of Tonkin to Kuwait to September 11.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 12:04 PM

9. I tried to find where the 'great' Greenwald gave his opinion on...

the travesty of justice regarding the killing of Michael Brown.....couldn't find any, I wonder why?

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Response to Spazito (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 12:42 PM

11. So Greenwald has to comment on every single subject?

 

I was going to comment on the silliness of that. But after conducting a search I couldn't find anything in which you had commented on Robert Lady, and so I felt that I couldn't possibly be bothered to consider your opinion since you haven't spoken about that.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 01:01 PM

12. I would expect him to make a comment on a national story about injustice...

yet he is silent on this one, very silent.

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