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Greenwald Will Return to US to 'Force Issue' of Press Freedom

In exclusive interview with Salon, Greenwald says 'just the fucking principle is enough'

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Journalist Glenn Greenwald says he plans to brave government threats and intimidation and return to the United States to "force the issue" of press freedom.

In an exclusive interview with Salon reporter Brian Beutler published Thursday, Greenwald said he'll return "as soon as [his] schedule permits and there’s a reason to do so.”

He stated, “I’m going to go back to the U.S. for many reasons, but just the fucking principle is enough … On principle I’m going to force the issue.”

Greenwald says he plans to take this stand despite what he perceives as the growing risk of detention at the hands of the U.S. that he and his reporting partner Laura Poitras face—indicated by increasingly inflamed rhetoric of U.S. officials. Greenwald says they are being singled out despite the fact that NSA documents revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden have been broadly reported in mainstream media outlets.

“As the story kind of went on I thought the prospect of something happening to the journalists would dissipate to zero. I actually think that the risk is higher than it’s ever been,” Greenwald told Beutler.

The interview comes on the heels of high-profile attacks on Greenwald and Snowden from U.S. officials, including this week's charge from Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House intelligence committee, that Greenwald is a “thief” who is selling his "access to information" for "personal gain." In late January, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper referred to journalists who work closely with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as "accomplices."

Greenwald, who has struck a defiant tone throughout the many accusations hurled at him, has repeatedly charged that threats against him, Snowden, and others who have exposed NSA spying, constitute dangerous attacks on whistleblowing and journalism.

In a recent blog post, Greenwald asked, "Is it now the official view of the Obama administration that these journalists and media outlets are "accomplices" in what they regard as Snowden's crimes? If so, that is a rather stunning and extremist statement."


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