Biden Admin Glenn Greenwald

Biden Appointee Spread Russian Hacker Conspiracy

How can Democrats oppose unhinged conspiracy theories while empowering its worst purveyors?
Neera Tanden, who President-elect Joe Biden nominated to serve as Director of the Office of Management and Budget, speaks at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

By Glenn Greenwald / substack

The announcement that Joe Biden intends to nominate Neera Tanden as his Director of the Office of Management and Budget — a critical position overseeing U.S. economic and regulatory policy — triggered a wide range of mockery, indignation and disgust from both the left and the right. That should not be surprising: though a thoroughly mediocre and ordinary D.C. swamp creature from the perspective of both ideology and competence, Tanden’s uniquely unhinged, venomous, corrupt and pathologically dishonest conduct as a Clinton Family and DNC apparatchik and President of the corporatist-and-despot-funded Center for American Progress (CAP) has earned her a list of enemies far longer and more impressive than her accomplishments.

When news of her appointment broke, many of the journalists and activists she has spent years abusing, slandering, and lying about instantly stepped forward to compile just some of her worst political and behavioral lowlights. And some preliminary signs emerged that she might encounter difficulty in obtaining the Senate confirmation needed for her to assume this position. The Communications Director for GOP Senator John Cornyn of Texas announced that “Tanden stands zero chance of being confirmed” by the Senate.

Former Sanders campaign aide David Sirota hypothesized that “it is not a coincidence that they are putting Neera Tanden — the single biggest, most aggressive Bernie Sanders critic in the United States of America — specifically at OMB while Sanders is Senate Budget Committee ranking/chair.” Sirota’s statement suggests Biden’s nomination of Tanden was intended as yet more humiliation doled out to the Democratic-loyal Sanders left by cucking the Vermont Senator even further by forcing him to shepherd the confirmation of one of his most vicious and amoral attackers (who Sanders himself in 2019 vehemently denounced). But Sirota’s point also raises the prospect that Tanden’s nomination could even encounter trouble from that side of the aisle as well (given Sanders’ compliant and disciplined conduct over the last six months, it’s more likely we will see him roll out a literal red carpet for Tanden to walk on, gently toss red roses on it before she passes, and then serve her a glass of Chardonnay rather than meaningfully obstruct her confirmation).

The list of sociopathic and even monstrous acts from Tanden is too long to list comprehensively. She punched one of her own employees, a reporter for CAP’s now-abolished blog ThinkProgress, after he had the temerity to ask Hillary Clinton in 2008 about her support for the Iraq War (Tanden claimed she “merely” had “pushed,” not punched, her undeferential reporter). In 2011, as the Obama administration was participating in the NATO bombing of Libya, Tanden suggested in internal CAP discussions that the U.S. steal Libya’s oil as a way of reducing the U.S. deficit (a story I was able to report only because Tanden had abused and alienated so many of her employees that they worked together to leak her incriminating emails to me).

During her tenure as CAP’s President, Tanden accepted millions of dollars from the regime of the United Arab Emirates, which built Dubai and Abu Dhabi using slave labor, along with massive donations from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, J.P. Morgan, the Walton Family and Michael Bloomberg, while hiding the identity of some of her think tank’s largest donors. A huge chapter on the NYPD’s abusive policies toward Muslims under Mayor Michael Bloomberg was removed from a CAP report after Boomberg donated more than $1 million to Tanden’s organization, and he continued to donate even more after that courteous gesture.

She ordered the supposedly independent journalists of the ThinkProgress blog, including Muslim writers, to stop writing critically about Israel after key CAP donors, including Barney Frank’s sister Ann Lewis and long-time Clinton advisor Howard Wolfson, complained. She and Wolfson plotted in 2016 how to weaponize female journalists and people of color against Hillary’s critics as well to use their identity to stigmatize and thus stop undesirable coverage from The New York Times. In 2018, she outed a CAP employee at a staff-wide meeting who had filed an anonymous complaint of sexual harassment and retaliation against one of Tanden’s male allies. Secure with her UAE-and-corporate-funded large salary, she has long urged cuts to Social Security. The list goes on and on.

Glenn Greenwald
Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald is a journalist, former constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times bestselling books on politics and law. His most recent book, “No Place to Hide,” is about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. His forthcoming book, to be published in early 2021, is about Brazil and his experiencing in reporting a series of exposés which exposed high-level corruption by powerful officials in the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, which subsequently attempted to prosecute him for that reporting. Foreign Policy magazine named Greenwald one of the top 100 Global Thinkers for 2013.

20 comments

  1. truth dig was an ardent regime media organ that frequently promoted Russophobia. amerikan racism and fascism installed Biden —trump not imperialist enough for fake progressives in USA

    1. Truthdig toward the end did promote Russiagate. That’s one of the reasons the writers went on strike.

  2. “How can Democrats oppose unhinged conspiracy theories”

    They support their own conspiracy theories and oppose everyone else’s. This is standard operating procedure for such organizations.

  3. Not a surprising choice, given Biden’s long record as a conservative Dem Party insider. Consider his choice of VP, another Russiagater, but one who is fashionably opposed to the right of the sole Jewish nation to exist. This clearly represents the “New Democrat Party” that had been installed by the powerful Clintonites in the 1990s, and Biden flies that neoliberal flag proudly.

  4. Russian hacking is not a conspiracy but a fact. Not that Neo Progressive demagogues and propaganda buffs like Greenwald, a celebrity blogger, journalist wannabe and a long time super-spreader of left-ish lies and obfuscations, could tell.

    1. Good to see rightwing Dems followed Robert Scheer to his new site. When you get a chance in your busy day implicitly defending the indefensible, maybe you can find so.e evidence supporting your unsupported claims about “Russian hacking.” Bob Mueller has a little downtime lately, try calling on him.

  5. hiramati actually believes Russia would hack an election in a nation with no democracy…”there is no functioning democracy in America. it is really just an oligarchy where political bribery determines the nominations and selection of all presidents, governors, senators, congress members”. Jimmy Carter

  6. What journalistic or informative purpose do the following hateful, entirely unsubstantiated statements serve:

    “a thoroughly mediocre and ordinary D.C. swamp creature”
    “Tanden’s uniquely unhinged, venomous, corrupt and pathologically dishonest conduct”

    The first statement presenting Greenwald above is “Glenn Greenwald is a journalist”, and the last is “Foreign Policy magazine named Greenwald one of the top 100 Global Thinkers for 2013”. The pile of venomous demagogic propaganda bile above contradicts both.

      1. And, by the way, truth is only vitriol to liars and self delusional f@@ls, though I see that you got the Greenwald style of diversion and denial down right.


  7. The President Is Acting Crazy, so Why Are We Shrugging It Off?

    The painful truth is that the defeat of Schiff’s impeachment effort has not made him any less incisive about the threat that Trump posed then and poses now. “It’s all tragically predictable,” Schiff told me, and, of course, he was right. Washington may have already moved on to the salacious matter of Neera Tanden’s tweets. But, when the President launches a direct attack on the most important traditions of American democracy, I’m not ready to say “Yeah, whatever” just yet.

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-trumps-washington/the-president-is-acting-crazy-so-why-are-we-shrugging-it-off

  8. for the ruling class biden autocracy diversity is populating his administration with primitive ruling class imperialists that serve gates and Bezos—-at least these hypocrites are intelligent enough to reject covid fascism…fauci, Pelosi, newsome and Austin, Chicago, Atlanta, etc mayors

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