Having attended the Socialism 2013 Conference (June 27-30 at the Crowne Plaza in Rosemont, Illinois) I was able to hear Glenn Greenwald, the Special Guest Speaker on the Friday Night closing Forum. Greenwald received near unamious support and acclaim from the crowd. I reserved my applause and declined to give him a standing ovation.
Of course, Greenwald's appearance was done via Skype as he is persona non grata in the States these days. But, he is also unwelcome by many liberals and Left Bloggers.
But, Jeremy Scahill was fervent in his praise and adulation towards Glenn Greenwald. In one of the sessions, Richard Seymour spoke of Greenwald's "Libertarian Marxism".
I'm conflicted about Greenwald. I aboslutely agree with him on the Subserveince of the Media. Greenwald related several ancedotal stories of David Gregory and the New York Times Editor-in-
Chief proudly proclaiming the Pentagon or some Governmental Spokesperson giving their official stamp of approval to the Reporting being done on them. The Modern Media are no longer journalists in any sense of the word, but are Stenographers for those in Power.
But, 3 days after speaking to group of Out-Right Marxists Glenn appeared on Fox & Friends and was approvingly interviewed by Eric Bolling, about the Obama Administrations intimidation of "whistleblowers".
"We were certainly safe between 2000 and 2008. I don't remember any terrorist attacks on American soil during that period of time." - Eric BollingSo this doesn't necessarily bolster Greenwald's credibility or my impression of the man's motives.
I think Greenwald's analysis of Snowden is for the most part correct. Edward Snowden isn't some egocentric fame-seeker (Glenn used the term Fame Whore) or doing this for monetary reward. But, his revelations aren't exactly ground breaking news if one were say aware of the 1992 movie Sneakers or had been paying attention during the George W. Bush Regime.
And that is what's troubling about Glenn's reporting and Snowden's revelations; Why did it take so long?
All of a sudden after 7 years of being a Sysadmin Spook Snowden chooses to become whistleblower? 13 years after the Patriot Act was signed Greenwald's worried about US Spying Operations?
Snowden and Greenwald were in contact before Snowden got his job with Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH). Snowden explicitly stated he went to work for the NSA-affiliated BAH in order to use their structure to access classified intel collected in part by the NSA and other organizations. His application to BAH isn't like the one page sheet you turn into McDonald's. So when did he hatch his plan to get a job with the contractor knowing their classified doc handling and SCIF security was not up to the same levels as the CIA and NSA. And would Snowden have done the same if Mitt Romney were now President?
Now, the interesting aspect of the NSA/Prism/Greenwald is it's shattering affect of the Left/Right paradigm. Which is always good because the It's Okay if Your a ____, is tedious and shows a lack of fiber for doing what is correct.
One of the recent allegations to be leveled at Snowden is according to Ars Technica, Snowden was a regular commentator since at least 2006, under the handle The True HOOHA.
His alleged online beliefs were firmly in support of spying, 'Those people should be shot in the balls' and against Leakers, 'They’re like wikileaks. You don’t put that shit in the NEWSPAPER.' The True HOOHA also was a firm believer in pushing young IT adept and Server Savvy people into working for the computer/intelligence side of the MIC, "Thank God for wars."
Why did those beliefs change? I don't automatically conclude that Snowden is lying or is simply Hating Obama and I believe a reasoned change of mind and re-evaluation of ones' beliefs is possible. And Snowden is correct (and I envy him for this) that, "Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American." But, is that what is going on here with Snowden and with, by extension, Greenwald?
So, what am I to make of Greenwald's tacit acceptance of the Bush Era Surveillance and Warmongering and his bositeroius ardent hatred of Surveillance and Warmongering now?
And what exactly does everyone want President Obama to have done and do about the NSA? Should he have unillaterally decalred the Executive would not be enforcing the Patriot Act ala DOMA? Should he be pressuring Congress to curtail the budget for the CIA and NSA and elimination of the Drone seciton of the DoD? Should the US not spy on anyone? Is this really about Privacy?