Whenever the U.S. Government wants to demonize a person or group in order to justify attacks on them, it follows the same playbook: it manufactures falsehoods about them, baselessly warns that they pose Grave Dangers and are severely harming our National Security, peppers all that with personality smears to render the targeted individuals repellent on a personal level, and feeds it all to the establishment American media, which then dutifully amplifies and mindlessly disseminates it all.
It seems to me Greenwald has outlined the pattern of attack very well. As Greenwald points out, this is the pattern the Government has used in everything from the run up to the Iraq War to its recent attacks on Julian Assange and Wikileaks.
I think it could benefit nearly everyone to make a study of the above pattern in the hope that we will thereby be less likely to fall for the BS when it comes down. Understanding how the Government is likely to lie to us might even be considered one of the duties of any good citizen. As the Founders of the Republic anticipated, American freedoms and liberties must constantly be defended against the corruption of the American Government. No one can do that for us. We must do it for ourselves.