My Non-Response to Glenn Greenwald

By Benjamin Wittes
Friday, January 14, 2011, 2:46 PM

Believe it or not, this blog does have a higher purpose than to send Glenn Greenwald into paroxysms of rage--though I confess that such paroxysms are great fun when we happen to provoke them, and they seem to be very good for traffic. That said, enraging Greenwald is not why I write the blog, and neither is engaging him. As Lawfare readers know, I define the universe of people with whom I feel privileged to argue exceptionally broadly. But Greenwald is not part of the same conversation as I am. His pose of moral purity has yielded both a committed simple-mindedness with respect to wrenchingly difficult questions and a very ugly eagerness to attack honorable people in government, in the press, and in public life more generally who are trying to do their jobs or to express views that differ from his. Greenwald seems to like to quote the founders, but his style actually reminds me more of their French contemporaries.

Lawfare readers will thus, I trust, pardon me if I don't treat Greenwald's admittedly amusing howls of rage as arguments warranting response.

To Greenwald's readers who find themselves on Lawfare for the first time: welcome; stick around; you might learn something. We have no purity tests here--just a preference for civility and decency.