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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mad Libs
     I've long held that listening to the self-censoring corporate mainstream media and Obama's smiling fascist government is like trying to follow a novel with all the consonants and half the punctuation missing. Or, perhaps more accurately, it's like trying to grope one's way toward the denouement of an espionage thriller using a Mad Libs book. Insert any noun, verb, adverb or adjective of your choice and your story is as good and as accurate as the next guy's.
     And libs are indeed going slowly mad over this NSA wiretapping scandal that should come as no surprise to anyone that cheered on Bush and the USA PATRIOT Act, such as Edward Snowden's Boswell, the self-serving, hypocritical, Cato-loving tool Glenn Greenwald, hereafter referred to as "the other John Aravosis." They're torn between throwing under their short buses the President they've been inexplicably cheering on since 2008 and actually siding with Rand Paul and the Teabaggers who are raising some serious questions as to the surveillance state we've been living under since the tip of that first plane's nose touched the World Trade Center's north tower. There's a slowly growing but a growing consensus nonetheless that perhaps Snowden's motives are not pure, that perhaps he was lying about the NSA and local cops visiting his girlfriend at their house in Hawaii from which they'd apparently vacated last May 1st when the owner wanted to sell. Now we're hearing revelations that he's been in touch with Chinese authorities and informing them of tens of thousands of ongoing hacks we've been aiming at that regime, as if it's a huge surprise to them we're doing unto them what they've been doing unto us for decades.
     So, yes, let us cease to seriously listen to the utterly worthless corporate mainstream media and our equally utterly worthless corporate government that lies to us hundreds if not thousands of times daily but let us also distrust tools such as Glenn Greenwald, who'd become almost as infamous and notorious this past week as Snowden himself. Greenwald, though he may have pretensions as a serious journalist that's further egged on by paying gigs at Salon.com and the Guardian.co.uk, has forgotten the cardinal sin of journalism: Don't become the story. When you do that, we have to endure little territorial squabbles (over a guy who has no loyalty to either) made further ridiculous and minimized on a social networking site called "Twitter" between Greenwald and the WaPo's Barton Gellman, who was allegedly first contacted by Snowden then backed out when Gellman refused to commit to a 72 hour turnaround time on the exposé (Greenwald tweets back like an irritated parakeet that no, he'd been secretly working with Snowden since last February.).
     As massive unearthed conspiracies generally do, it's become as much if not more about the leaker, his character and that of Greenwald, with the media frenzy turned like a rabid dog snapping at shadows and its own tail while completely forgetting about the central story, the one to which we all ought to be paying attention: That the government is spying on us and the Obama administration and Obama himself lying to our faces by saying we're not the targets, after all, and that this NSA warrantless wiretapping program is aimed only at non-Americans, comrades.
     That's the real story. Not him.
     Yet, if you were to do a Google search on Snowden's full name, you would find much more often than not the story is about him, this year's Bradley Manning, even though the kangaroo court presiding over Bradley Manning's trial has just convened. We just can't seem to make up our minds about Edward Snowden. The New Yorker says he's a hero. The New Yorker says he's not a hero (although anyone who seriously entertains for a nanosecond what Jeffery Toobin writes ought to be flogged with a cat-o-nine tails laced with Tabasco sauce). The erstwhile liberal rag Slate even openly asks if Snowden is a traitor while others under that same masthead straddle the fence and ask if he's a hero or a villain. In fact, the usually stuffy and conservative magazine Forbes has gone all Tiger Beat and actually tells us what Edward Snowden was like as a teeenager.
     Eyes on the prize, peeps, or what passes for a brass ring these days.
     This massive surveillance state, which again should come as no surprise to anyone who can remember back to October 26th 2001 when the USA PATRIOT Act was "ratified" after Republicans slipped into the bill in the dead of night and pulling a switcheroo after making the US Printing Office pull an allnighter language that dramatically altered the already fascist content. And no one, especially Greenwald, who openly championed the USA PATRIOT Act in books, the media, the Congressional Record or even on their blog has the right to any degree of outrage that this is happening today.
     The New York Times dropped the bombshell back on December 16, 2005 that warrantless wiretapping and the circumvention of Jimmy Carter's FISA courts had been going on since 9/11 if not before. The Bush administration then sheepishly admitted that, yeah, we were spying on just a few of you through the telephone companies that's gouging you every month in your home and cell phone bills. Then we found out it was more like tens if not hundreds of thousands. George W. Bush was even kind enough to tell us, once the shit hit the fan, exactly how the spying program worked and that he'd reauthorized through Executive Orders the same thing 45 more times.
     That Obama, a man who has quietly and infamously defended the war criminals of the Bush administration sprinted off the campaign trail to cast a vote giving telcoms retroactive immunity for spying on us, thereby putting the kibosh on almost four dozen lawsuits, should actually expand this fascist police state left to him by Bush should come as no surprise to liberals. The man, after all, openly lied to us and informed us while defending the program that this wide net shown to us by Snowden was not aimed at American citizens when that same man ordered the deaths of at least five Americans through his drone strike assassination program.
     I keep saying it until I'm blue in the face and I do not care how many times I'm ignored. But Bob Barr, former Georgia congressman, warned us that if you give government power, it will use it. The current zeitgeist is, If Obama doesn't dismantle this program now, then he will leave this invasive police state to a real tyrant. What people like Lee Camp and the Rude Pundit cannot bring themselves to admit is that Obama is that tyrant of the future.
     And if you're tempted to laugh about that, then go ahead. But while you're struggling to catch your breath and wipe your eyes, let me ask you: How long do you think you'll be able to protest the Obama administration or anything regarding the government if you were to do so before a federal building, or near someone who happens to have Secret Service protection (did you even know that Obama quietly signed the 2013 version into law less than a month ago without even being concerned about indefinitely detaining US citizens or is that still somehow less noxious than Bush's USA PATRIOT Act)? I'd give you less than 60 seconds. Maybe 30.
     You mad libs may condescendingly laugh at charges that your hero is a tyrant with one jackboot out of the closet but the first thing a tyrant thinks while getting up in the morning (aside from pissing not into a toilet but on the heads of the poor and working class) is how to suppress dissent. And this is what the Obama administration has done since Day One. Hence the National Defense Authorization Act. Hence the uninterrupted renewals of Bush's USA PATRIOT Act.
     Hence the other unavoidable fact that, by April last year, the Obama administration had gone after more whistleblowers than the previous 43 administrations combined.
     And what addlepated Teabaggers and liberals don't have the wits to ask as they worry about which side of the gridiron their shifting positions on Snowden, the NSA and Obama will land them is, "Why do we have so many whistleblowers to persecute and prosecute in the hallowed name of national security?"
     Our completely worthless AG Eric Holder pretty much confirmed in so many words what we're already all suspecting: That justice is reserved not for the Wall Street criminals Holder only pretends to investigate, criminals that snuggle up to and worm their way into the Obama administration like so many succubi.
     And the Obama administration has also told us in so many words that justice is not for the war criminals who shot and killed innocent Iraqi civilians in 2007.
     The Obama junta's public record shows that our laws and so-called justice is reserved for people like Bradley Manning who told us of the war crimes being committed in our good names and with our hard-earned tax dollars. It's arrogantly told us in so many words and deeds that "justice" is reserved for Occupy activists (whom Obama can't distinguish from the screaming, racist psychopaths of the Tea Bagger movement) who protested the actions of the same exact people infesting Obama's thoroughly rotten administration like silverfish in a derelict Louisiana bayou fishing shack.
     People, brothers and sisters, fellow Americans on both sides of the Great Ideological Divide, we have met the enemy and it is us. So saith the man who wants to take away your Social Security and Medicare to appease the same cryptofascists who got us into this mess. Obama doesn't want to take away your guns and he has absolutely no interest in you getting affordable health care. He said one thing and did everything the complete opposite the nanosecond he took his greasy paw off Lincoln's Bible on January 20, 2009.
     So, no. Edward Snowden is neither a hero nor a villain any more than Glenn Greenwald's an actual journalist. Snowden was, like Daniel Ellsberg, a man who found himself in the middle of a massive web of lies and crimes that detrimentally affected innocent lives and furthermore found that he was as much a part of the problem as the panicking psychopaths who are now pursuing him over hill and dale. Finding yourself in an intolerable, untenable situation and reacting in a way that'll permit you to sleep at night is not heroism, whatever you sacrifice. It's called survival.
     Let us never cease asking ourselves: "Why do we have so many whistleblowers and what are they trying to tell us that we should know but do not?"
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Blogger The New York Crank said...
I beg to differ with you. You wrote:

"...the first thing a tyrant thinks while getting up in the morning (aside from pissing not into a toilet but on the heads of the poor and working class) is how to suppress dissent. And this is what the Obama administration has done since Day One. "

Well, he hasn't repressed Republican dissent. He hasn't repressed the dissent of the budget ceiling squeezers, the medicare meanies, the Social Security slicers, the food stamp haters, and more.

For that matter, he hasn't even repressed you and me. Not yet, anyway.

Very crnakily yours,
The New York Crank

Blogger BadTux said...
if you give government power, it will use it.

Indeed. The government may not intend to suppress dissent using this massive pile of data. But simply having the ability to suppress dissent with this massive pile of data means it will happen. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, even. But it will happen. Because this massive pile of data is power, and power corrupts. That is the nature of the beast. You put this power into the hands of government, and it will be used.

-- Badtux the "Partyin' like it's 1984" Penguin