Dershowitz weighed in on Glenn Greenwald’s publication of Snowden’s material Monday night on the Piers Morgan show:
Dershowitz: Well it doesn’t border on criminality it’s right in the heartland of criminality. The statute itself does punish the publication of classified material if you know that it’s classified. And so Greenwald in my view clearly has committed a felony and for him to to take umbrage at the question…Now he’s right though that the government doesn’t usually go after the publisher, they don’t go after the New York Times, the Washington Post in the Pentagon papers case, though they could have. They don’t go after other newspapers in the Wikileaks case, though they could have. They’ve made a discretionary decision to go after the leaker not the publisher. But look, Greenwald is a total phony. He is anti-American. He loves tyrannical regimes and he did this because he hates America. This had nothing to do with publicizing information. He would never have written this article if they had published material about one of his favorite countries.
Agree or disagree with Dershowitz’ assessment, it’s interesting that it seems to turn on the question of whether or not Greenwald had other motives for wanting this information out. That’s similar to the objection Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made to a recent question about her stance on late term abortion from a reporter for the Weekly Standard, i.e. if the questioner is enjoying the question it somehow becomes illegitimate.
Not sure I would go down that road with Dershowitz. As a conservative I take it for granted that people in the media often have an agenda I don’t like. That’s one reason an alternative new media is necessary, to allow people to the table who are willing to ask tough questions.
That doesn’t invalidate Dershowitz’ point about the publication of the documents or even his assessment about Greenwald. But Greenwald is what we on the right have long said we wanted from the media, an honest partisan who doesn’t pretend to be neutral.