I've made no secret of my utter disdain for both Edward Snowden's lawbreaking and for his agent/advocate Glenn Greenwald, both in how they've spun the story, manipulated the press like masterful carnival barkers, and provided as little original sourcing as possible.
All of this, despite the fact that I actually partially agree with them. I, too, have utter contempt for the Patriot Act. I, too, would like to see it overturned and serious oversight/regulations brought back into the FISA court to ensure warrants for any data review.
So why my contempt for these two? Because of bullshit like this, published in today's Reuters:
"Snowden has enough information to cause harm to the U.S. government in a single minute than any other person has ever had," Greenwald said in an interview in Rio de Janeiro with the Argentinean daily La Nacion.The USA should be "on it's knees"? Who talks like this? What is this, the W.W.E.? This is an absolute joke.
"The U.S. government should be on its knees every day begging that nothing happen to Snowden, because if something does happen to him, all the information will be revealed and it could be its worst nightmare."
Is Greenwald a journalist or Snowden's agent? I've seen subtler hype machines for Paris Hilton reality shows.
This type of intellectual hostage taking is compeltely antithetical to everything Snowden, and his agent Greenwald, claim to stand for.
If their goal is helping the United States, and not personal gain and glory, then they would delete any and all information that could damage the United States and only release that information needed to make their case.
The notion that the United States should not arrest someone for leaking classified documents because he is threatening to release more is amateur hour hostage taking and is a fucking disgrace.
Why am I so fucking pissed?
Because I want to see the Patriot Act overturned. I want FISA judges issuing warrants WITH oversight and not through the holy writ of the all powerful John Roberts.
But to make this case in the public sphere, we do not need lawbreaking refugees deciding, on their own, which information should be released, and then threatening to release more if they're arrested.
This is now how to make the case.
This is how to harm the case.
I've been given hell recently on Daily Kos for making the following points:
1. Greenwald and Snowden are libertarian "third way" types, far closer to the Ron/Rand Paul movement in ideology and anti-government temperament than any liberal point of view.
2. Liberals are supposed to believe in government. We believe that government, with proper checks and balances, can do amazing good. That doesn't excuse the abuses of the Patriot Act. It doesn't excuse spying without warrants. But, philosophically, we are not the party that wants to burn down the government to set it "Free." That's the militia movement currently stockpiling guns in rural areas. That's the GOP voting to end food stamps because government can do nothing right.
3. Daily Kos has a mission statement. That mission statement is working within the Democratic Party to get more and better democrats elected. To push the Democratic Party to the left. We are not third way libertarians.
But Glenn Greenwald's US/THEM binary has infected Daily Kos. I've been called a sock puppet. I've been called a hidden right wing plant. I've been accused of being on right wing payrolls, of creating numerous fake profiles, and given HRs for disagreeing with the worship of Snowden and Greenwald.
Yet here I stand with Al Franken, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and most liberals who, while sympathetic to Snowden's argument, do not believe Snowden's methodology is legal, appropriate, or effective.
Then there's Rand Paul and Glenn Beck, cheering Snowden on.
So I ask you, which side do you want to stand on?
Is the Snowden/Greenwald way, now threatening the United States with damaging releases of information if our government arrests Snowden, the way to go?
And if you cheer on this kind of lawlessness, this kind of threat to the government from someone seeking asylum in noted bastions of free speech like Russia and Venezuela, then ask yourself if you might be more comfortable supporting Rand Paul or Ron Paul?
I think a surprising answer awaits you.
I'm sure I'll get flamed again, possibly HR'd by the thought police around here that demand that I adhere to the belief that Snowden is some form of renegade James Bond hero, releasing his information in carefully selected (and often barely sourced) articles written by his publicity agent, Glenn Greenwald.
But I find his actions vile.
And I find this:
"The U.S. government should be on its knees every day begging that nothing happen to Snowden, because if something does happen to him, all the information will be revealed and it could be its worst nightmare."to be reprehensible.
I stand with Barack Obama. I stand with Nancy Pelosi.
This doesn't make me an "authoritarian." It doesn't make me a "tribalist." Or an "Obamabot" or whatever the hell else rage and insults are unleashed by the Greenwald followers.
It makes me a believer in the American government's ability to adjust and to change through the process. Through checks and balances. Through oversight. Through accountibility.
Anyone who's read history knows that the United States has never been some perfect bastion of civil liberties. J. Edgar Hoover, anyone? Hell, if any journalist filmed FDR in his wheelchair, the Secret Service confiscated their photographs. We rounded up and sent Japanese Americans to freaking internment camps, sterilized black people, and ruined careers in Hollywood under suspicion and innuendo.
None of these are proud moments. They're reprehensible moments in our history.
But anyone freaking out over PRISM, have you read a fucking history book?
The digital revolution was radical in its speed and cultural transformation. We went from basic email in 1995 to an explosive internet hyperlink world. The government is rapidly trying to catch up.
Has the system grown rife with abuse? Absolutely.
Is Snowden/Greenwald's way, bringing America "to its knees" really the way to go? I know it is for radical libertarians. I know it is for militia movements.
But is this really the approach to bringing about change that the Daily Kos community wants to embrace?
Okay, flame away.
But know that I am not a fucking "troll," I am a long time Daily Kos member, a proud liberal, and an advocate against the Patriot Act since 2001.