Những Trò Tiểu Xảo Hạ Cấp Đê Tiện của Đám Khoa Bảng, Báo Chí Chính Qui
Người Tầu và Việt vẫn thường dí dỏm với thành ngữ “Nhắc Tào Tháo, Tào Tháo đến ngay”. Của đáng tội, Tào Tháo có đến thì cơ may chuyện tốt vẫn có khả năng xảy ra. Chứ nhắc đến bọn đĩ điếm báo chi tay sai… thì chỉ toàn chuyện xấu, bực mình. Nhưng hiện trạng xã hội hôm nay, tránh bọn dơ bẩn này làm sao được. Tốt nhất cứ phải đốp chát với chúng nó!
“Riêng đám báo chí chính qui và bọn khoa bảng chính qui phò chính thống đang căm tức Snowden và Wikileaks. Chỉ vì những “đám thanh niên” không khoa bảng này, đã gây chấn động bão tố cả thế giới, và được quần chúng khắp nơi quan tâm; trong khi chúng nó một gợn sóng lăn tăn cũng không tạo nổi.”
Chỉ cần nói đến một chuyện nho nhỏ “chính đáng” của những ứng liệu tầm thường phổ thông như Teamviewer thôi, người dùng cũng đã nhìn, nghe “sống” được tất cả những gì người bên kia đang dùng máy- và hãy “giả thiết” rằng đám chuyên gia NSA với máy móc cơ liệu, tín liệu một trăm lần (một trăm thôi, chứ chưa nói 1 tỉ lần) mạnh hơn, chuyên biệt hơn, và với quyền lực “phi pháp” vô hạn định hơn, chúng sẽ làm được những gì? Những ai biết “sơ sơ” qua những phần lý thuyết của kỹ thuật khoa học này đều biết rằng những gì Snowden tuyên bố không chỉ thật 100% mà còn chưa đủ hết! Còn nữa và nhiều nữa!
About the Reuters article
- guardian.co.uk, Sunday 14 July 2013 05.53 AEST
When you give many interviews in different countries and say essentially the same thing over and over, as I do, media outlets often attempt to re-package what you’ve said to make their interview seem new and newsworthy, even when it isn’t. Such is the case with this Reuters article today, that purports to summarize an interview I gave to the daily newspaper La Nacion of Argentina.
Like everything in the matter of these NSA leaks, this interview is being wildly distorted to attract attention away from the revelations themselves. It’s particularly being seized on to attack Edward Snowden and, secondarily, me, for supposedly “blackmailing” and “threatening” the US government. That is just absurd.
That Snowden has created some sort of “dead man’s switch” – whereby documents get released in the event that he is killed by the US government – was previously reported weeks ago, and Snowden himself has strongly implied much the same thing. That doesn’t mean he thinks the US government is attempting to kill him – he doesn’t – just that he’s taken precautions against all eventualities, including that one (just incidentally, the notion that a government that has spent the last decade invading, bombing, torturing, rendering, kidnapping, imprisoning without charges, droning, partnering with the worst dictators and murderers, and targeting its own citizens for assassination would be above such conduct is charmingly quaint).
I made three points in this La Nacion interview, all of which are true and none of which has anything remotely to do with threats:
1) The oft-repeated claim that Snowden’s intent is to harm the US is completely negated by the reality that he has all sorts of documents that could quickly and seriously harm the US if disclosed, yet he has published none of those. When he gave us the documents he provided, he repeatedly insisted that we exercise rigorous journalistic judgment in deciding which documents should be published in the public interest and which ones should be concealed on the ground that the harm of publication outweighs the public value. If his intent were to harm the US, he could have sold all the documents he had for a great deal of money, or indiscriminately published them, or passed them to a foreign adversary. He did none of that.
He carefully vetted every document he gave us, and then on top of that, asked that we only publish those which ought to be disclosed and would not cause gratuitous harm: the same analytical judgment that all media outlets and whistleblowers make all the time. The overwhelming majority of his disclosures were to blow the whistle on US government deceit and radical, hidden domestic surveillance.
My point in this interview was clear, one I’ve repeated over and over: had he wanted to harm the US government, he easily could have, but hasn’t, as evidenced by the fact that – as I said – he has all sorts of documents that could inflict serious harm to the US government’s programs. That demonstrates how irrational is the claim that his intent is to harm the US. His intent is to shine a light on these programs so they can be democratically debated. That’s why none of the disclosures we’ve published can be remotely described as harming US national security: all they’ve harmed are the reputation and credibility of US officials who did these things and then lied about them.
2) The US government has acted with wild irrationality. The current criticism of Snowden is that he’s in Russia. But the reason he’s in Russia isn’t that he chose to be there. It’s because the US blocked him from leaving: first by revoking his passport (with no due process or trial), then by pressuring its allies to deny airspace rights to any plane they thought might be carrying him to asylum (even one carrying the democratically elected president of a sovereign state), then by bullying small countries out of letting him land for re-fueling.
Given the extraordinary amount of documents he has and their sensitivity, I pointed out in the interview that it is incredibly foolish for the US government to force him to remain in Russia. From the perspective of the US government and the purported concerns about him being in Russia, that makes zero sense given the documents he has.
3) I was asked whether I thought the US government would take physical action against him if he tried to go to Latin America or even force his plane down. That’s when I said that doing so would be completely counter-productive given that – as has been reported before – such an attack could easily result in far more disclosures than allowing us as journalists to vet and responsibly report them, as we’ve doing. As a result of the documents he has, I said in the interview, the US government should be praying for his safety, not threatening or harming it.
That has nothing to do with me: I don’t have access to those “insurance” documents and have no role in whatever dead man switch he’s arranged. I’m reporting what documents he says he has and what precautions he says he has taken to protect himself from what he perceives to be the threat to his well-being. That’s not a threat. Those are facts. I’m sorry if some people find them to be unpleasant. But they’re still facts.
Before Snowden’s identity was revealed as the whistleblower here, I wrote:
“Ever since the Nixon administration broke into the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychoanalyst’s office, the tactic of the US government has been to attack and demonize whistleblowers as a means of distracting attention from their own exposed wrongdoing and destroying the credibility of the messenger so that everyone tunes out the message. That attempt will undoubtedly be made here.”
That’s what all of this is. And it’s all it is: an ongoing effort to distract attention away from the substance of the revelations. (This morning, MSNBC show host Melissa Harris-Parry blamed Snowden for the fact that there is so much media attention on him and so little on the NSA revelations: as though she doesn’t have a twice-weekly TV show where she’s free to focus as much as she wants on the NSA revelations she claims to find so important).
Compare the attention paid to Snowden’s asylum drama and alleged personality traits to the attention paid to the disclosures about mass, indiscriminate NSA spying. Or compare the media calls that Snowden (and others who worked to expose mass NSA surveillance) be treated like a criminal to the virtually non-existent calls that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper be treated like a criminal for lying to Congress.
This “threat” fiction is just today’s concoction to focus on anything but the revelations about US government lying to Congress and constitutionally and legally dubious NSA spying. Yesterday, it was something else, and tomorrow it will be something else again. As I said in an interview with Falguni Sheth published today by Salon, this only happens in the US: everywhere else, the media attention and political focus is on NSA surveillance, while US media figures are singularly obsessed with focusing on everything but that.
There are all sorts of ways that Snowden could have chosen to make these documents be public. He chose the most responsible way possible: coming to media outlets and journalists he trusted and asking that they be reported on responsibly. The effort to depict him as some sort of malicious traitor is completely negated by the facts. That was the point of the interview. If you’re looking for people who have actually harmed the US with criminal behavior, look here and here and here – not to those who took risks to blow the whistle on all of that. As always, none of this will detain us even for a moment in continuing to report on the many NSA stories that remain.
“Q: Beyond the revelations about the spying system performance in general, what extra information has Snowden?
“A: Snowden has enough information to cause more damage to the US government in a minute alone than anyone else has ever had in the history of the United States. But that’s not his goal. [His] objective is to expose software that people around the world use without knowing what they are exposing themselves without consciously agreeing to surrender their rights to privacy. [He] has a huge number of documents that would be very harmful to the US government if they were made public.”
And exactly as I said, the answer about the dead man’s switch came in response to my being asked: “Are you afraid that someone will try to kill him?” That’s when I explained that I thought it was so unlikely because his claimed dead man’s switch meant that it would produce more harm than good from the perspective of the US government. The only people who would claim any of this was a “threat” or “blackmail” are people with serious problems of reading comprehension or honesty, or both.
For those who say that they wish there was more attention paid to the substance of the NSA stories than Snowden: here is the list of the NSA revelations we’ve published over the last month. Feel free to focus on them any time.
Why didn’t Edward Snowden agree to be jailed, abused, silenced, and quite possibly tortured? This is what Melissa Harris-Perry wants to know.
Harris-Perry is one of MSNBC’s minor weekend anchors, a professor currently at Tulane University who started out retailing her academic pretensions as a sometime guest on the Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes shows: her job was to inject fancy words like “discourse” and “paradigm” into the standard lefty-“progressive” boilerplate propaganda we’ve come to expect from that venue. With a magisterial tone bordering on the parodic, and complete protection from having to defend her views against any contrary opinions, Harris-Perry soon carved out a niche for herself as a dogged defender of the Obama administration, no matter what the circumstances. So when Snowden emerged as the biggest whistleblower in American history, exposing the existence of a secret surveillance apparatus that snakes into every aspect of American life, she sprang to the Dear Leader’s defense and delivered an “open letter” to Snowden that underscores why no one needs to take her seriously:
“It’s me, Melissa.
“I hear you’re looking for a country. Well, wouldn’t you know, I have an idea for you! How about…this one?
“Come on back to the U.S.A., Ed. I know you’re not super pleased with the government these days–and I feel you. The information you revealed about surveillance raises serious issues about the behaviors of our leaders and how they justify and hide those practices from the public. But, here is the deal: it’s time to come home and face the consequences of the actions for which you are so proud.”
Isn’t that cute? For an alleged “feminist” to write such a girlish letter really is quite an accomplishment. Think of what she had to endure in order to do it: first she had to revert back to her old, pre-feminist, pre-Women’s Studies self, and find her “It’s me, Melissa” voice. Then she had to forget all those fancy words she learned in Professor Phony’s “Gendered Discourse as the Paradigmatic Exemplar of Our Racist Society” course, and reconnect with her girlish infatuation with exclamation points. And it wasn’t over yet! Then she had to unlearn proper English grammar before she could write a sentence like “I feel you” – instead of, you know, I feel for you.
Whew! After all that, I’m surprised she had the energy to continue all the way to the end, but our girl Melissa is no shrinking violet. What she lacks in credibility she more than makes up for with all that energy.
Okay, so why should Snowden throw himself on the mercy of the Big O and “face the consequences”? After all, he’s a whistleblower, not a suicide bomber: why should he give up what remains of his freedom?
“I know you must feel you’ve already given up a lot to reveal government secrets,” avers Harris-Perry, “your well-paid job, your life in Hawaii, your passport.
“And maybe your intentions were completely altruistic–it’s not that you wanted attention, but that you wanted us, the public, to know just how much information our government has about us. That is something worth talking about. But by engaging in this Tom Hanks-worthy, border-jumping drama through some of the world’s most totalitarian states, you’re making yourself the story.”
Maybe his intentions were completely altruistic – and maybe not. Harris-Perry isn’t fooled. She knows he gave up his career, his relationships, his family, everything, just to get attention. Why else would he try to escape? Right? And he’s traveling through “some of the world’s most totalitarian states,” which sounds dicey, if not ominous. Never mind that Hong Kong, where many thousands of Americans and other Westerners live and work, is hardly North Korea, but we’ll pass that one by. Because, you see, it’s all Snowden’s fault that “journalists” of Harris-Perry’s ilk choose to focus on everything but what the whistleblower is blowing the whistle on. He is selfishly – even narcissistically – refusing to doom himself to life in prison, and therefore it follows – as the night does the day – that “journalists” like Harris-Perry are justified in completely ignoring why the Obama administration is calling out its Ringwraiths in hot pursuit.
And if you don’t see the “logic” of that, why you’re just not conversant with the kind of academic rigor routinely demanded of a professor who was granted tenure at Princeton. Of course, there’s the odd fact that Princeton’s Center for African American Studies refused to promote her to a full professorship – it is bruited about she was asked in no uncertain terms to leave Princeton – and that colleagues such as Cornell West call her “a fake, a fraud, and a liar,” but never mind all that.
I’m talking about her, instead of her arguments, because Harris-Perry doesn’t make any real arguments: all we get is snark, or, as Prof. West puts it in describing her academic style, “a lot of twittering.” The best she can come up with is the kind of bromide Twitter was made for: “Come home and face the consequences” leaves you with 105 characters to go.
Okay, I’ll admit it: I chose an easy target. Sure, there are plenty of party-lining Regimists around, and I could’ve had my pick. What’s interesting about Harris-Perry’s particular take on what has been the Regimist theme song of the month is how far it goes in characterizing Snowden as an agent of sinister foreign powers, just as the neocons of the Bush years demonized the antiwar movement as agents of terrorism:
“We’re talking about you. I can imagine you’d say, “Well, then stop! Just talk about something else.” But here’s the problem, even if your initial leak didn’t compromise national security, your new cloak-and-dagger game is having real and tangible geopolitical consequences. So, well, we have to talk about…you.
“We’re talking about how maybe now you’re compromising national security by jumping from country to country, causing international incidents and straining U.S. relationships with Russia and China. Really. Important. Relationships. And we’re talking about how you praised countries like Russia and Venezuela for ‘standing against human rights violations’ and ‘refusing to compromise their principles.’”
“I mean, where do you even come up with that kind of garbage, Ed? What are you thinking?”
Here is a statism so single-minded, so obtuse, that the desire to escape its depredations is considered the worst treason of all. Who would argue that escaped slaves in the South were guilty of “compromising national security” by “jumping from country to country” and “causing international incidents” in their efforts to find safe haven in, say, Canada, or one of Britain’s Caribbean possessions? And, no, the analogy is not a bit overdrawn: Snowden is not only fleeing State oppression, he’s doing it because he refuses to be a slave to the government. He is our Spartacus, almost alone in the arena, facing off against the Regime and its talking head gladiators.
In Harris-Perry’s world, to speak is to “compromise national security,” and to escape from the clutches of an all-pervasive Spy State is treason. The subtext of the letter to Snowden is: you must come home and be punished as an example – and a warning – to others. This is the new theme of the Obamaites and their Republican enablers: as this Scott Horton interview with McClatchy’s Jonathan Landay lays out in some detail, the Obama administration is in the midst of a “security” clampdown in its own ranks. Non-classified information ordinarily available to the media is now inaccessible and an internal spying regime has been instituted, which encourages government employees to report on each other for “suspicious” behavior.
This is important because whistleblowers like Snowden, Bradley Manning, John Kiriakou, Dan Ellsberg, and others too numerous to mention individually deprive our rulers of the one ingredient essential to any despotism, whether it be monarchical or “democratic,” and that is secrecy. After all, if the folks out in the cornfields ever got wind of what their wise leaders were really up to, those proverbial peasants-with-pitchforks would be at the gates in no time. It’s therefore usually necessary to conduct the ugly business of government behind doors more than halfway closed, relying on a compliant media to simply omit or downplay reporting on certain matters. However, in the case of the NSA’s “architecture of oppression,” as Snowden perceptively described it, all this subterfuge about America being the land of the free and an international exemplar of liberal democracy is thrown overboard very quickly, and suddenly it becomes a felony to reveal the decision of a duly constituted court. It becomes a felony to reveal that you’ve received a National Security Letter, or to discuss its contents. And the highest treason of all is trying to escape.
Listening to Harris-Perry’s tirade, I wondered whether I had stumbled on a heretofore unknown episode of The Prisoner, the cult classic 1960s television series written by and starring Patrick McGoohan, in which a former British intelligence agent who has committed some unknown treason finds himself imprisoned in a place known as The Village. McGoohan’s pioneering series presents a prescient portrait of the anesthetizing Prozac-ed out mass culture of America today: the Village, with it’s pastel houses, outfitted with every comfort, are set in a garden-like “controlled community,” where calming voices are carried on the wind and daily medication prevents coherent thought. Everyone is subject to 24-hour surveillance, and cameras are everywhere. Each episode tells the story of one unsuccessful escape attempt after another, while McGoohan – the prisoner – probes ever deeper into the true nature of the Village. We don’t know what crime he’s been imprisoned for, but the clear implication is that it’s something big, almost Snowden-like. I’m surprised no one has brought up the McGoohan connection: the story lines are parallel if not identical. Snowden seems to be fleshing out McGoohan’s scripts in the front page headlines of every newspaper.
In the series, the Village employs its agents, who are constantly trying to entrap McGoohan into confessing to his alleged crimes, and giving up some Big Secret he supposedly possesses, but he resists. Harris-Perry, in her faux concern for the issues raised by Snowden’s exposure of massive government spying on innocent Americans, is straight out of an episode of The Prisoner, in which an agent of the Village tells him to give up his secret because his “level of celebrity” will somehow protect him. Really? Not, I suspect, if Harris-Perry and her fellow Madam Defarges over at MSNBC have anything to say about it.
I agree with Harris-Perry on one point: it is valid to discuss Snowden, his politics, his personal journey from agent of the state to enemy of the state, but unlike her I don’t think this detracts at all from the actual content of the documents he has made available to Glenn Greenwald and the staff of the Guardian newspaper. Greenwald tells a very interesting back story to all this in his talk given at the “Socialism” conference, in which he relates how and under what circumstances he met Snowden, and how that meeting inspired him to think about how real change comes about.
Snowden’s personal example is inspiring, and focusing on him, far from detracting from his message, only serves to draw out the attention span of the public for these things: it underscores rather than trivializes the real meaning of the revelations. Indeed, the very effort to capture Snowden dramatizes, in vivid terms, the kind of global hegemony the US seeks to enforce, and brings home the important point that the NSA’s “architecture of oppression” is just a part of it. The international blockade separating Snowden from his right to asylum is another part of it, another example of the tentacles of the Empire exercising their global reach.
And yet, in spite of all that, Snowden remains out of their clutches – and that’s why, in part, he’s become an international folk hero. This is the source and significance of the “celebrity” that protected him from the Chinese regime, but won’t help him if the American authorities ever get their hands on him. Snowden is so popular in China that the Communists didn’t dare turn him over to the US. The same is true in Russia, where Putin has a real hot potato on his hands. Snowden has continued to elude them all precisely because of his international grassroots support, although it is a mistake to believe that will help him if he listens to Harris-Perry and comes back to the US.
Or would it? After weeks of being subjected to one of the biggest smear campaigns in recent memory – denounced as a traitor by Regime sock puppets “left” and “right” – the polls show Americans overwhelmingly hail Snowden as a whistleblower and a hero. Anyone who thinks that means he’ll get a better deal in Obama’s America than he got in Hong Kong or Russia (so far) is living in a fool’s paradise. It’s later than you think.