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View Diary: I'm Through With the "Traitor" Snowden!! (198 comments)

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  •  Recing for 'tragic figure' and for your (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou

    magnanimous perspective ("his [Snowden's] abilities were wasted by a bankrupt ideology"). That comment could and should serve as an epitaph for an entire generation.

    Just out of curiosity, why do you loathe Greenwald? I don't have a dog in this fight but I think he's done more real journalism in a week than the rest of the American press corps combined in the past 25-odd years (since Iran-Contra).

    •  "I saw the best minds of my generation (0+ / 0-)

      destroyed by madness."

    •  Loathe is perhaps a strong word. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tfill, mallyroyal

      My feeling about Greenwald is somewhere between loathing and keen dislike.

      I don't have a dog in this fight but I think he's done more real journalism in a week than the rest of the American press corps combined in the past 25-odd years (since Iran-Contra).
      I would agree with this statement if this story hadn't already been broken by the New York Times in 2005/6. The FISA court has existed since 1978, and the Greenwald should certainly be credited with starting a debate, but I don't think he should be credited with revealing something that we knew of already.

      What I find really objectionable about Greenwald's so-called reporting is his extreme, and evident ideological bias. Real journalists back in the day maintained at least a semblance of journalistic objectivity. They didn't completely transfer onto their subjects as Greenwald did Snowden. Greenwald's transference is a ridiculous as it is appalling. He actually went on teevee, as a journalist mind you, and said, in effect (and I'm paraphrasing, of course):

      I'm revealing national secrets not because of any wrong doing, but because I don't like the NSA. Nevermind the fact that the NSA is a product of a freely elected government, I'll take the unilateral step of revealing classified information because the NSA employs thousands of people with access to classified information, and that kind of widespread access will inevitably lead to abuse.
      Well, if we shouldn't have the NSA because widespread access to sensitive information will inevitably lead to abuse, we may as well not have a government. I was shocked that an argument so facile could be the basis of a decision to disclose classified information. As a society, we have decided to permit our government to control dangerous weapons, and all manner of information and materiel that could be abused by a rouge administration. The fact that we posses a capability is not, in and of itself, dangerous, and I think that it's reckless to disclose classified information because of what might happen. That's like arresting someone because of what he might do.

      That's the long-winded explanation of why I don't like Glen Greenwald. Of course he's absolutely right that the law does not and cannot prevent its abuse. He's absolutely right that we should have a debate, but I don't understand how the disclosure of classified information that will inevitably lead to less transparency serves the interests of greater transparency. He would have done well to use Snowden's documents as the basis of research that could lead to a more comprehensive picture of our intelligence operations, or that could have revealed actual abuses. But he's full of himself, and every outrageous thing that Snowden says from now on (and trust me, that boy is full of crazy. He's just getting started.) will diminish his credibility.

      •  Excellent explanation (and thanks). I had not paid (1+ / 0-)
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        fou

        much attention to Greenwald himself and his motivations. I have heard people here speak highly of him but also criticize him strongly. So your fleshing out the latter side of the equation is good reading and thought provoking.

        Maybe in addition to the national debate we need over the proper scope of governmental surveillance and snooping on its citizenry, we need a corresponding debate over the proper role of the press and journalists in serving the public interest.

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