Government exploits attacks on military to push security agenda, Greenwald says

The federal government is “shamelessly” exploiting last week’s extremist attacks to dismantle liberties and core principles of justice, says journalist Glenn Greenwald.

The Pulitzer-Prize winning U.S. reporter warned that the Conservative government, aided by docile news media, is purposely fuelling alarmist speculation about the domestic threat of Islamic terrorism to ram through legislation giving the state extraordinary new powers over citizens.

It remained unclear whether last Monday’s and Wednesday’s assaults were individual deranged acts of religious-inspired violence, or somehow the work of Islamic terror groups.

Yet, “we’ve allowed this word terrorism to take on such profound meaning that right before our eyes governments dismantle the protections and defining attributes of western justice in order to keep us safer,” Greenwald told an audience of more than 1,000 people in downtown on Saturday night.

Greenwald, who last year broke international stories on whistleblower Edward Snowden’s stunning revelations about mass electronic surveillance of citizens by western governments, directed his criticism at Prime Minister .

On Thursday, the day after gunman Micheal Zehaf-Bibeau killed National War Memorial sentry Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and then stormed Centre Block, Harper told the Commons new laws giving police more powers to surveil, detain and arrest suspected extremists are, “already underway and will be expedited.”