Greenwald’s latest story is that the NSA spied on Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras. A long day of intense meetings in Geneva, so I’ll be brief in my analysis.
Typical BS Greenwald story. Starts out with an alleged fact based on a Snowden document. (No one ever mentions that one can deceive by telling only part of the truth, but I’ll pass over that.) Then proceeds with paragraph after paragraph of speculation of what the NSA could be doing. In this case, the speculation is that NSA is engaged in commercial espionage for the benefit of US corporations.
Evidence for this? Bupkus.
Then, at the very end, Greenwald quotes a US denial, in this case by Clapper. Clapper says that, duh, the US has an interest in economic matters, and that NSA does not engage in commercial espionage.
Does Greenwald have any evidence to dispute NSA does not engage in commercial espionage? No. But on his Twitter tl, he says that Clapper is lying. Because, of course, the only reason that the US could be interested in Petrobras is for commercial purposes. That is, he asserts and assumes that spying on a national oil company is for the purpose of benefitting US companies.
Um, not really. Note two other very salient reasons. First, the US Export-Import Bank lent Petrobras $2 billion. Second, Petrobras has been the frequent subject of corruption allegations, including an accusation of money laundering made by a . . . wait for it . . . whistleblower. Some allegations involve Dilma herself.
Gee, I thought Glenn was all about lionizing whistleblowers.
I guess that’s selective. Go figure.
But enough expecting some sort of intellectual consistency. Let’s just recognize that (a) the US government, and most governments, take an interest in major economic developments, especially in energy, and employ all elements of their national power to obtain information on this, (b) this does not imply that the governments use this information to advantage their domestic companies, though many do-notably China and France, (perhaps the US is an exception that proves the rule) (c) Greenwald provides no evidence, but merely asserts, that the NSA used information on Petrobras to advantage US companies, in one of his by now tiresome “can therefore does” exercises in illogic, and (d) most importantly, the US had a direct economic stake in Petrobras, and a strong reason to know whether the company was corrupt, and whether government officials involved with the company were corrupt.
Funny that Greenwald never mentions the ExIm Bank deal or the corruption allegations involving Petrobras and Brazilian public officials. After all, that might provide some context, and we can have THAT interfering with our narrative, can we?