Greenwald is mostly clear in his thinking, clearer than Snowden. Greenwald revs up his chainsaw in his latest rip on this most appalling of administrations.
I’ll take it point by point.
1. Refusing to dismiss a charge is not finding Manning guilty of it – and I’m not sure how the military judge in the Manning case could justify that dismissal. She can’t do it by comparing it to Woodward’s book being endorsed by Osama bin Laden. As a lawyer, Greenwald knows that. But, Greenwald is correct – I am sure of the goal of this prosecution. I am quite sure that the intent is to make an example of him, to make Manning the anti-Ellsberg.
Greenwald gets it right on the moebius ironies of the lectures to Russia
are theater of the absurd straight out of Bulgakov’s “Heart of a Dog”
, with the various jackass (or senile) spineless appointees (Napolitano, Kerry, Holder, etc.) in the role of janitors elevated to high status after having dog-hearts transplanted into them. The appalling thing is that the passel of fuckwits in the Obama administration are so goddamed stupid
that they can’t comprehend that they should be embarrassed. It has all the hilarious cringeworthiness of a rant by Donald Trump on gay marriage
2. So the FISA court’s approved collecting phone records. What matters is not whether the data is collected, but how it is used once it is. And I must point out that in this era of ultra-dense data storage, thinking that because the NSA doesn’t collect it, that nobody does within Verizon, (or ATT, or Sprint, or Nextel, or…) is truly naive. The question here is not if it will be collected, stored, or used. The question is who will do it? At least the NSA store has the FISA court to control access to it. The record of private corporations is not good at all.
I will also point out that the value of such information in context of the current century of trans-national asymmetric warfare against the citizens of nation-states is so high that it will be impossible for nation-states not to collect it. Other nations do. We just haven’t had the revelations yet, or those nations don’t give a crap because their law allows it and everybody knows it. So it will happen, by hook or by crook. And if it doesn’t, it will after a nuke or chemical bomb makes 9-11 look like pattycake.
4. I laughed at Greenwald’s quotes from the case involving challenge to Americans killed by drones. There isn’t much that is more likely to provoke a judge more than telling the court it has no jurisdiction – the US government’s strategy. However, there is a venue problem. It has never been established that US citizens can sue for redress of wrongs that occur in a foreign country. In fact, the rulings have gone the other way.
The venue is the soil of the nation on which the act occurred – unless you are a uniformed member of the US armed forces. Greenwald is a lawyer and he should know that. The fact that he does not make it clear he does signals to me that he is doing exactly what he accuses his opposition of doing.
For instance, if you are a US citizen, and a journalist, and you are killed by the US military in a foreign country, you do not have any redress. You have no rights. Too bad, so sad.
To gnash teeth over Abdulrahman Awlaki is ridiculous – unless you bring the same hue and cry over every other collateral damage death (particularly of journalists like Greenwald) in the wars we are pursuing. The boy was the son of an enemy of this country, the son of a man who had gotten US citizens killed for jihad. He fled with his father to Yemen. It wasn’t intentional – enough said. That sort of thing happens. Bottom line for me? Sorry about the kid (maybe – he probably was a jihadist too), fuck his jihadist dad, and fuck his jihadist grandfather.
And I think it should be noted here that this case is brought by the ACLU
. That’s the ACLU operating for soft-jihad. Note that the same ACLU did nothing, and its leaders condemned the free speech rights of the maker of that ridiculous anti-mohammed movie.
5. I do stand strong for free speech and the 4th amendment. But – the ruling in favor of the DOJ that says Risen, the NY Times reporter, has no right not to testify in court is only meet. It is amusing because it provides a test case, and that test case could well drag on to the next election. I am doubly amused because it serves Risen right. The NY Times (including Risen) and the US press corps were not just doormats, they were cheering while the Obama administration went after Julian Assange. Julian and Risen did exactly the same thing. They accepted a leak.
So fuck Jim Risen and fuck the NY Times. Let them lie in their own quisling
shit. The deserve what they got. But hey, the USA’s quisling press corps has deserted more than just the freedom of the press guarantees of the first amendment. They have also attacked the rights of non-journalists to speak out against islamists in America who want to establish islam as the state religion.
The net result will, I think, force the US press corps to pull its head out of its collective ass and fight. Unfortunately, journalism graduates have been culling from the bottom of the barrel in academia for generations now – ever since journalism became a major. They have been inculcated with the most bizarre anti-thought mentality. “Just report. Don’t insert yourself into the story.” Well, now they are the story, and their idiotic cheerleading against the First Amendment
has landed them where they deserve to be.
Won’t be pretty. But I think the DOJ will come to regret this. It’s an overreach, and not a small one. It’s the actuality of, “And then they came for me
.” It’s the sort of idiot overreach that makes a mockery of a free nation.
6. Greenwald rants about the return of Mr. Lady (imagine growing up with that name – no wonder he became a spy) from Panama to protect him from extradition to Italy. Oh, come on! Greenwald! That’s idiotic.
The fault is not that the USA leaned on Panama to return their agent. He’s our guy! That is one of the things the Obama administration did right. We have to protect our agents for exactly the same reasons that Putin must give Snowden asylum
(even after Edward pissed him off royally by bitch-slapping him publicly – that boy has a death wish.) What kind of a message would it send to CIA if, after an officer did his job, he was fed to the wolves? Morale would crash. Can’t do that.
No, that is not the fault. The fault is that the Obama administration continues to appall the rest of the world with its utter hypocrisy and schoolmarm rhetoric. Give me Henry Kissinger any day. At least he wasn’t a moron.
And I remind people every chance I get that extraordinary rendition (shortened now to rendition) was invented by Bill Clinton. Singling out an underling like Officer Lady for the decisions of the past 3 presidents is wrong.
7. I read Hayden’s comments that Greenwald calls unhinged
. I think Greenwald’s characterization of Hayden’s remarks as “unhinged” is itself unhinged. I agree with pretty much everything Hayden said, except
the reference to Greenwald as co-conspirator. But I only reject that because of the necessity to maintain freedom of the press, which is fundamental to our governance and society. Aside from that, it is quite obvious that in any other context, Greenwald would be a co-conspirator. But the USA is not the USSR, so we don’t do that. It bothers me more than a little that Hayden would say that. I find it very disturbing. Hayden knows better – or he should.
The conversation between the reporter and Psaki
about Snowden and Russia is yet another example of the depth of absurdity which this administration inhabits. It’s Bulgakov’s dog-people. Appalling, astonishing, embarrassing stupidity.
It’s as if the generation currently in power had substituted public relations (and absurdist PR at that) for thought, insight and sense.
8. Russ Holt’s a good man. But Greenwald saying that the national security state plagues us because of information collection? That’s as absurd as anything out of the mouth of the Obama administration asking for Snowden back from Russia.
We have had dossiers for ages, for instance about SDS of the 1960’s
(who I might remind everyone got involved in bombing). The FBI and CIA have been involved in spying for a long time. The CIA has been in the assassination business before (ramped up under the sainted JFK
). And we haven’t become Eastern Europe under the Soviets. The CIA has been doing illegal things since it began as the OSS. That’s what spies do. If it was legal to spy, to create fake passports, steal secrets from other nations and assassinate people, it would be a pretty different world.
That said, the Obama administration has shown an appalling lack of knowledge of constitutional protection for the press.
This administration will go down in history as one of the worst ever. They are worse than clowns. I can see why Rahm Emmanuel left the White House crew. Dear god what a bunch of morons.