Given the swamp of apologetics and obscurantism into which the Guardian newspaper has turned itself during the last decade, it may seem unfair to pick out one particular contributor to this ongoing journalistic enterprise as especially egregious. Over the years there have been so many voices to choose from in that regard: the Buntings, the Milnes, the Steeles, the Gopals; and then also all those occasionals who, just like the regulars, can’t wait to put togther some soft piece of advocacy to the effect that we, the Western democracies, are just plain no good – though, having nothing better to offer for the time being themselves, these commentators make what effort they can to excuse regimes and movements for which no compelling case could be made by anyone of mature moral sensibility.
It has to be said nonetheless that the swamp has now acquired its own special low point, the name of which is Glenn Greenwald. When it was announced last summer that he’d be joining the Guardian I said I thought that Greenwald would fit right in there. And, my, but hasn’t he done that? No week passes without his letting us know, always most punctually, that however bad anyone else is we are the worst. The man is an almost bottomless pit of the genre.