Friday, July 5, 2013

Am I wrong about Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald?

Is the goal the elimination of the Military-Industrial-Surveillance State? Or is it something else?

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 Bolling 
So 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?


Dervish Sanders said...

Interesting. I had not heard of the info contained in the article you linked to. It says that "posts went up that strongly suggest the user is Snowden", and it (the article) referred to "The True HOOHA" as "the user who appears to be Snowden". So it isn't proven definitively (I guess?). Maybe someone is trying to smear him? I am very interested in any further developments in this area (Snowden "True HOOHA" or not).

If he is a hypocrite whose motivations are other than what I previously believed them to be... that would certainly change my opinion of him. I (honestly) have been rooting for him to get away (although it appears he didn't think though his escape plan very well). But if he's a hypocrite who became a leaker for other reasons; then I don't care what happens to him.

But that doesn't mean I wish he had been prevented from leaking (Snowden "True HOOHA" or not). The discussion we're having now is one WORTH having, IMO. So I really don't care about who did the leaking or what their motivations were. I hope it does not turn out his motivations were less than pure, as those who support the surveillance state are surely seeking to discredit and smear Snowden... as it would distract from the real discussion we should be having and should continue to have.

Also, is "Greenwald's tacit acceptance of the Bush Era Surveillance and Warmongering" a fact? I'm not saying your characterization of Greenwald is inaccurate, just that I have no knowledge that he did any "tacit accepting" during bush's administration. A link to an article describing Greenwald's hypocrisy (if you can rustle one up), would be appreciated.

Sarge said...

I don't rreally know much about Glenn Greenwald but as to Edward Snowden: He is no different than PFC Bradley Manning. Both of these traitors signed documents acknowledging that unlawful disclosure of the classified material that they were intrusted with could cause extremely grave damage to the United States and both knew full well of the potential penalties for doing such.
I don't see either Manning's or Snowden's motives in this matter the least bit relevant. They fucked America.
Now, we all know that Bush wire-tapped illegally. So what? But, the nigger does it and QUICK call
the Issa asshole. Do I want the NSA listening to my phone calls?
I don't give a damn! I am not doing those 1-900 hot breath things like my damned ignorant brother use to do. And, if they want to read my email or look at the new blog (shameless promotion follows: I don;t give a fuck!

If I was on Mannimg's court martial - 30 years hard labor and a didhonorable discharge. Snowden needs to do life at Florence - the Fed supermax in Colorado.

Or, a bullet behind his asshole ear.


Kulkuri said...

What's interesting is that on one hand there's Obama saying Snowden is no big deal and on the other hand, you have the US pressuring several NATO countries denying Bolivia's president's plane the right to enter their airspace based on some rumor and forced to land and be searched by a Spanish ambassador. So there seems to be more to the story than a simple whistleblower thing.

I disagree with Sarge in that I don't think Manning or Snowden are traitors or what they did was treason. They broke the law, but thought the public should know what the government was doing in their name. But, then again I lost my faith in "My Country, Right Or Wrong" a long time ago with all the bullshit associated with Vietnam!!

Someone needs to keep the government honest especially when almost all the media is nothing more than glorified stenographers!!!

Grung_e_Gene said...


Greenwald has over the years tried to soft-peddle his tacit approval of Bush and his policies, and now regularly invokes the idea that he wasn't a journalist or writer at the time, was too trusting, and Both Sides Do It, and really the fault lies with journalists who didn't point it out. In 2006, Greenwald wrote a preface to his Book, How Would a Patriot Act?,

I had not abandoned my trust in the Bush administration. Between the president’s performance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the swift removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the fact that I wanted the president to succeed, because my loyalty is to my country and he was the leader of my country, I still gave the administration the benefit of the doubt. I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.

Now, Glenn bristles when people point this out and his readers leap to his defense, but Glenn doth protest to much.

In an OUT magazine profile, Greenwald claims to have run for city council at 18 in 1985 so that makes me doubt his protest that he was apathetic about politics 16+ years later. Greenwald is a Right-Leaning Libertarian, a Supporter of both Pauls (Ron & Rand) and secretly wishes for a Billionaire to seize control of American Politics and break the 2 Party System.

One of his hopes for 2012 is that candidates will emerge to take on the red and the blue teams — he is keeping an eye on Gary Johnson, a two-term Republican governor of New Mexico, who is pro-gay and antiwar, and who could run with a Democrat like former Wisconsin senator Russ Feingold. He would also be happy to see a billionaire run without the help of either party, to “disrupt the two-party stranglehold.”

Andrew Acista said...

Gene I have to ask why you allow racist language in some posts? Most people consider the N-word off limits; don't you?

Dervish Sanders said...

Thanks for the info Grung e Gene. This does change my opinion of Greenwald. Russ Feingold running as Gary Johnson's VP? I don't see that happening. Feingold is a true progressive, and therefore (a large portion of his) ideology is completely incompatible with Libertarianism.

I too am offended by Sarge's unnecessary use of the N-word, as well as his comments about Bradly Manning. Bradley Manning is a hero. Yes, I realize he broke various laws, but that did not give our government license to torture him (which they have). He should be immediately freed for that reason.

ran said...

I haven't been following the media bologna over what flight Snowden is on and such too much (analyzing Snowden and Greenwald's motivations is merely a distraction from the media's duty to try to investigate the accuracy of Snowden's claims and, if found true, to start a discussion about what the nation's response should be), but is Greenwald really being portrayed as tacitly approving Bush? I read his old Salon blog during the Bush years and he was one of the most vocal critics of Bush's policies there was.