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First Amendment display at newseum
Newseum, Washington DC
Prominent pundit:
[Reporters] took classified information, secret information, published it in their newspapers, against the wishes of the president, against the request of the president and others, that they not release it. They not only released it, they publicized it -- they put it on the front page, and it damaged us, it hurt us. [...]How do we know it damaged us? Well, it revealed the existence of the surveillance program, so people are going to stop making calls. Since they are now aware of this, they're going to adjust their behavior . . . .on the secret sites, the CIA sites, we embarrassed our allies....So it hurt us there.

As a result are they punished, are they in shame, are they embarrassed, are they arrested? No, they win Pulitzer prizes - they win Pulitzer prizes. I don't think what they did was worthy of an award - I think what they did is worthy of jail, and I think this investigation needs to go forward. [...] these people who reveal our secrets, who hurt our war effort, who hurt the effortsof our CIA, who hurt efforts of the president's people--they shouldn't be given prizes and awards for this, they should be looked into--the Espionage Act, the investigation of these leaks[.]

Whew! At least he did not call for the government to have the power to decide what journalists could publish—unlike this pundit:
The question is who decides [if a journalist can publish classified information]? It seems clear, at least to me, that the private companies that own newspapers, and their employees, should not have the final say over the release of government secrets, and a free pass to make them public with no legal consequences. In a democracy [...] that decision must ultimately be made by the government. No doubt the government will usually be overprotective of its secrets, and so the process of decision-making — whatever it turns out to be — should openly tilt in favor of publication with minimal delay. But ultimately you can’t square this circle. Someone gets to decide, and that someone cannot be [the journalist.] [Emphasis supplied.]
By now I imagine the readers have figured out who the second pundit is: "even the liberal" Michael Kinsley. The first pundit is William Bennett, railing against James Risen and Eric Lichtblau regarding their December 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning story on the Bush administration's NSA warrantless wiretapping program, and the Washington Post's Dana Priest for her Pulitzer winning reporting on secret CIA prisons.

It is an amazing screed by Kinsley, purportedly a journalist. Ironically, it was published in the New York Times, "the private compan[y] that owns [a] newspaper[]" that also happened to publish the Pentagon Papers after winning a case at the U.S. Supreme Court, the Pentagon Papers case. Apparently, Kinsley disagrees with that court's admonition that:

Any system of prior restraints of expression comes to this Court bearing a heavy presumption against its constitutional validity.
Remarkably, Kinsley is more extreme on the issue of prior restraint than even William Bennett. Apparently, so too are some noted "journalists " of our time like Jonathan Chait who strongly endorsed Kinsley's piece in these terms: "Michael Kinsley deftly fillets [the reporter] (or, as [the reporter] would put it, is a corrupt tool of the state)." Well, if the shoe fits ....

I have more to say on the flip.  

In a devastating takedown of Kinsley, Barry Eisler wrote:

How can the government have ultimate decision-making power consistent with the First Amendment with regard to the publication of leaks? As Kinsley himself goes on to say, "You can't square this circle." Indeed. Unless you believe the government should be able to impose prior restraint on the publication of anything it deems secret. Unless you want to argue that the Constitution should be amended accordingly. Unless you believe the government should have been able to prevent the publication of, say, the Pentagon Papers (it certainly tried).
In discussions about Kinsley's piece on Twitter, folks replied to my similar reading as inferring things Kinsley did not intend. While that is possible, it seems highly improbable. As Eisler notes:
[T]hough it may be that the de facto end of the First Amendment's guarantee of a free press, and the advent of a new system of prior restraint, might not have been Kinsley's point, it's certainly his unavoidable implication. You'd think a guy who tosses around references to James and Frayn and Marcuse and all that would understand the difference. That he doesn’t isn’t comic at all. It’s sad.
Indeed it is. In his takedown of Kinsley, Eric Wemple writes about Kinsley's musings that a reporter be subject to prosecution for publication of classified information:
Kinsley moves on to the David Gregory issue. Last June, not long after the Snowden-Greenwald connection plastered itself all over the front pages of national newspapers, Greenwald appeared on “Meet the Press,” where host David Gregory asked him, “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?” Greenwald all but spat the inquiry back at Gregory.
Wemple recounts Kinsley's take:
And what was so outrageous? Well, for starters, Greenwald says, the “to the extent” formulation could be used to justify any baseless insinuation, like “To the extent that Mr. Gregory has murdered his neighbors. . . .” But Greenwald does not deny that he has “aided and abetted Snowden.” So this particular question was not baseless. Furthermore, it was a question, not an assertion — a perfectly reasonable question that many people were asking, and Gregory was giving Greenwald a chance to answer it: If the leaker can go to prison, why should the leakee be exempt? But Greenwald seems to feel he is beyond having to defend himself. Even asking the question, he said, amounts to “an extraordinary assertion” that “journalists could and should be prosecuted for doing journalism.” [Armando's emphasis]
Wemple responds:
We’ve been here before. Gregory’s question wasn’t, in fact, just a question. It was an accusation masquerading as a question, and an accusation that has never found any factual basis. Snowden did his highly technical work in harvesting top-secret documents from the government by himself. Just how was journalist Glenn Greenwald going to aid and abet that operation?
Wemple then considers Kinsley's inexplicable argument that a working journalist is truly no different than a leaker. Wemple writes:
Kinsley says the following question is reasonable and important: “If the leaker can go to prison, why should the leakee be exempt?” This legal distinction is a building block of an open society. We addressed the matter last year when discussing what it would take to prosecute Greenwald under the Espionage Act for his actions. A federal judge in a 2005 Espionage Act case distinguished between leaker and leakee:
The first class consists of persons who have access to the information by virtue of their official position. These people are most often government employees or military personnel with access to classified information, or defense contractors with access to classified information, and are often bound by contractual agreements whereby they agree not to disclose classified information. As such, they are in a position of trust with the government. The second class of persons are those who have no employment or contractual relationship with the government, and therefore have not exploited a relationship of trust to obtain the national defense information they are charged with disclosing, but instead generally obtained the information from one who has violated such a trust.
How’s that for an explanation?
It's an incredibly simple and obvious explanation and it is shameful that it would be required for anyone who claims to be a journalist. But these days, there are plenty of "journalists" who have no moral right to the claim.

On twitter, I said:

No better evidence of @ggreenwald 's point that today's journalists are cowed than bouquets thrown to Kinsley's call for prior restraint
What a sad state of affairs that people like Kinsley, David Gregory and Jon Chait are perceived to be at the top the journalism heap.
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Comment Preferences

    •  Color Me 10 Shades of Jades (7+ / 0-)

      Amazing how few journalists penetrate anywhere near the mainstream.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:58:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's unsurprising (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psnyder, RBStanfield

      There is some obvious tension between more traditional journalists, who often went to j-school and bloggers who didn't.  I'd compare it to the tension you might find between traditional teachers who went through college with the intention of becoming a teacher and those who didn't.  

      Kinsley and his ilk see Greenwald and his ilk as the charter schools of journalism and look for opportunities to tear them down.  He won't come out and say it, but he probably believes that "professional" journalists such as himself had better judgement about what should and shouldn't be leaked and the influx of Greenwald and his imitators means that the rules need to be rewritten to better regulate practitioners of "cowboy" journalism.

      •  At least back in the 1970s, those who went to (17+ / 0-)

        J-school were all about full and unrestrained freedom of the press. Those were the days of the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, Nixon's resignation and so many government heavy-handed attempts at suppressing The People's Right to Know.

        Kinsley is performing a role as a paid puppet.  He's not a thinker nor a journalist. He's a columnist and that's a whole different thing. He's paid by someone and that someone has some vested interests.

        There are literally no secrets our government holds which would endanger the USA, existentially, as a nation.  A number of analyses have been done and there simply isn't a nation on earth capable of invading and occupying our country.  

        Destruction of the USA by nuclear means means everyone on earth dies, so that one is well known.  Who really gets the upper hand in global nuclear winter?  The cockroaches?

        Therefore, every "secret" held simply protects a craven bureaucrat, corporate commercial interests, political wrong-doing, outright murder, or similar situations.

        Democracy doesn't exist when there is a secret shadow government. It has already been shown the USA is no longer a democracy due to the oligarchs. Secrets simply protect their machinations from public view.

        The problem today isn't one of "journalists" vs bloggers (I don't feel), but one of paid corporate hacks vs journalists (which hardly exist at all) and the people of the country, including bloggers.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:23:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's very surprising (15+ / 0-)

        This is not some tough journalistic ethics issue.

        Kinsley's argument is extreme and incredible.

        Prior restraint? Criminalizing journalists publishing classified info?

        No way is that even colorably a respectable opinion..

        •  It's unsurprising (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RBStanfield

          Because it's starting with the premise that Greenwald is bad and throwing out arguments that sound fancy to make Greenwald look bad.

          Most people come up with their position first and their reasoning second.  Kinsley, I suspect, is no different.  In his mind, he probably sees a distinction between the Pentagon Papers and Snowden/Greenwald where others see no difference. (I don't.)

          Other people who don't like Greenwald will find ways to support Kinsey.  While his supporters and critics may espouse views that they would naturally support anyways, the intensity of those opinions are based on Greenwald rox/sux emotionalism.

          •  Gawd I hope you are wrong (0+ / 0-)

            Certainly you don;t describe yourself that way do you?

            •  I don't describe myself that way (5+ / 0-)

              But I don't find most liberals to be intellectual superiors to most conservatives.  People usually believe what they want to be believe and find ways to justify their beliefs.  Of course, I may just be trying to justify a belief that I am smarter than everyone else.

              I've come to believe that "educating the public" will often not cause the massive sea change in public opinion that some desperately hope will happen.  More good can come from successfully manipulating the emotions of the people than trying to make them agree with your exact line of reasoning.

          •  It's not a choice between Greenwald and Kinsley (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shawn87

            It's not an either-or, and I refuse to choose one or the other.

            There are other alternatives besides the Greenwald/Assange "governments have no right to keep any secrets and unlimited theft of secrets should be allowed with no penalties" and Kinsley's "let the NSA decide what should be published about the NSA".

            Please help to fight hunger in the U.S. by making a donation to Feeding America.

            by MJB on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:48:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How about (0+ / 0-)

              "Let the Supreme Court decide what should be published about the NSA."

              •  How about journalists do that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                420 forever
                •  Because (0+ / 0-)

                  individuals shouldn't be the ultimate authority in a dispute.  I am not in favor of a journalistic stand your ground law, where he can decide what is and isn't legal and when he is justified.  He can have a strong opinion about it that relies on legal precedent, but it should still be up to the government in the form of the judicial branch to establish that precedent which may make it trivially easy to determine who is in the right.

                  •  Who gets to go ask the courts to stop it? (0+ / 0-)

                    I mean, if you want a "troop movements"/ nuclear codes" exception fine.

                    Let the government go to court and ask for an injunction.

                    Understanding of course that they very heavy burden on them will be almost insurmountable.

                    That's not at all what Kinsley is talking about.

                •  That doesn't do enough to protect privacy. (0+ / 0-)

                  Suppose, hypothetically, that some hacker went into every medical database in the U.S. and compiled the names, addresses, and medical records of every person with HIV or AIDS, oh what the heck, let's go big and make it the name/address/medical records of everyone who has received medical treatment in the United States.  

                  Then suppose that hacker, errr, journalist, publishes every last bit of that information on his/her "news" website.  Wikileaks for medical records, if you like.

                  Is that ok, if your medical history and mine and everyone else's becomes wholly public just because one person wants to make it so?  Does this journalist get to be the sole arbiter of what stays confidential and what doesn't?

                  Please help to fight hunger in the U.S. by making a donation to Feeding America.

                  by MJB on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:04:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Secrecy (0+ / 0-)

                The SCOTUS has not crowned itself in glory recently. I have seen both governmental as well as industrial secrecy up close. It most frequently covers up incompetence and malfeasance.

                I was deposed years ago as an expert with respect to a Koch Bros law suite against an engineer on technology he brought with him from his MS thesis. It smelled clearly of a SLAP suite against the young engineer.

                I was party to uranium separation technology in the early 1970s. The aluminum tubes displayed a proof of Chaney's WMD were obviously perjury with malice-a-forethought.

                Then we had the Wall Street blowups largely due to secrecy.

                There are occasional reasons for secrecy, such as short term in war. However, overwhelmingly, secrecy is bad for society, most particularly in government.

            •  Rejecting Kinsley's argument (4+ / 0-)

              does not mean you have to love Greenwald.

              I'm sorry, but rejecting Kinsley is not optional if ypu believe in a free press.

        •  It's unsurprising because radical extremism (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          triv33, tardis10, boriskamite, waiono

          of that anti-Constitutional sort is being normalized everywhere.

          Look, our president has a kill list. We have a bipartisan indefinite detention bill. We have a Justice Dept and Attorneys General who are completely out of control re: prosecutorial bullying leading to ridiculous plea bargains. We have peaceful protesters being tracked by the folks who are supposed to be tracking terrorists. We have mass warrantless surveillance. And we're supposed to accept all this as normal because 9/11. Or sometimes, not because of 9/11 but just because "that's the way things are these days, you Luddite dummy."

          There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:28:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's not a tough issue at all. (0+ / 0-)

          So I watch 'Tween comedies and cartoons,

          And I write.

      •  Idiot, then, since what he's actually doing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        triv33

        is selling any journalist, j-school or no, right down the river.

        There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:25:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Odd comparison. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevenaxelrod

        What I find interesting is that the the neo-libs who condemn Snowden/Greenwald and promote the NSA and government survellience are often the same ones who condemn our public schools and promote charters.

        A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

        by slatsg on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:48:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  wow. I don't agree with this at all. When I took (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RBStanfield

        journalism, investigative reporting was revered. Accuracy and objectivity were key -- and by objectivity, I do not mean "fair and balanced," I mean reporting actual facts no matter which side they came down on.
        When I first read your comment, i thought you were saying that people with real training know that their job is to delve beyond the obvious -- that the old school journalists had been taught to stand up to authority, to move beyond the easy stuff spewed out by press relations people and to find out what the underlying story is. But apparently that's the opposite of what you meant.
        Journalism to me was Woodward & Bernstein (of course Woodward did morph into Mister Cypher later on, but in his early years, influenced by Bernstein, he was someone to admire), Seymour Hersh (I had such a crush on him), and the crusading journalists from early in the 20th century.  

        While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

        by Tamar on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:11:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Rec'd And Tipped (0+ / 0-)

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:08:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Translation: "Please don't hit me." (0+ / 0-)

      There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:24:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Amazing to me that Colbert said this back in (55+ / 0-)

    2006:

    By the way, before I get started, if anybody needs anything else at their tables, just speak slowly and clearly into your table numbers. Someone from the NSA will be right over with a cocktail.
    ....
    But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The President makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration? You know, fiction!

    "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

    by Calvino Partigiani on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:08:09 PM PDT

  •  Nice post Armando. (9+ / 0-)

    While I don't see eye-to-eye with Greenwald's or Snowden's view of the "surveillance state" per se, I think Kinsley's op-ed was ridiculous on its face.

  •  Perceived by who? (14+ / 0-)
    What a sad state of affairs that people like Kinsley, David Gregory and Jon Chait are perceived to be at the top the journalism heap.
    I hear ya--and I agree with all this. But who, exactly, are these "tastemakers" who deem that Kinsley, Gregory and Chait are at "the top" of journalism?

    Really, because whoever they are shouldn't be taken seriously by anyone with more than a single-digit IQ. Ever. And that includes the shameful, disgusting shell of the New York Times. They've lost it, completely.  

    "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

    by lunachickie on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:12:55 PM PDT

    •  By the echo chamber of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, expatjourno

      the mainstream media itself, and especially the Beltway Bubble residents.

      Even if smarter people ignore these blowhards, as is the case here for the most part, they do greatly affect public opinion.

      I think Israel (and/or AIPAC) has a large and problematic influence on our foreign policy and legislation as it relates to Iran and the Middle East. Since I've been hidden for saying this, I expect to be hidden every time I post with this sig.

      by Black Mare on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:22:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No (4+ / 0-)

        that echo chamber is the opinion OF the mainstream media and the Beltway Bubble. They shove THEIR opinion down the throats of the public, via our public information systems.

        We ignore them, yet they don't stop. They aren't stopping because they're "affecting" anyone else's opinion. They're not stopping because nobody stops them.

        "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

        by lunachickie on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:45:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've always felt "the beltway bubble" itself is (12+ / 0-)

          a misnomer. That makes it sound like the people there are "isolated" and if they only knew how the rest of the country felt, they might behave differently.

          I think:
          1) They don't give a damn what the rest of the country thinks.
          2) They're job is to natter and kabob around, feeding out propaganda in a Hunger Games-like centralization of perversity, idiocy and mediocrity.

          It is a noise-machine, which gives "reasonable" stamps of importance to utter bullshit generally regarding screwing any and all decent human beings in service of the sociopathic elite.

          Does that sound like hyperbole?  Well, this weekend is Memorial Day. Lip service is being given to "those who fought and died," but fuck those who fought, live and suffer.

          The. Sociopathic. Elite.  
          The same type of people who utter things like "shared sacrifice" as though the poor can be expected to live on less food and medicine per month, let alone heat and clothing. "This will not be bloodless change" were the truest words ever said by someone who went on to be one of the most successful deceivers in my lifetime.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:34:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry about the "they're" - phone autocorrect. n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lunachickie

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:47:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Makes me sick, too (0+ / 0-)
            The same type of people who utter things like "shared sacrifice" as though the poor can be expected to live on less food and medicine per month, let alone heat and clothing.
            I can't note enough how vomitous those two words are. So many of us have sacrificed far more than our share already.

            "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

            by lunachickie on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:18:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Has Kinsley exhibited (5+ / 0-)

    any other symptoms of what appears a massive stroke?

    "the northern lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see. Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee". - Robert Service, Bard of the Yukon

    by Joe Jackson on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:14:34 PM PDT

  •  The foxes are now watching hen house! (12+ / 0-)

    A world where a "journalist" can be taken seriously while asserting that whistle blowers who bring important facts to the public to LIGHT are wrong, and keeping wrong-doing and transgressions of power in the DARK are right, is world that does NOT have a bona fide democracy.

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:15:09 PM PDT

  •  Positively Orwellian (16+ / 0-)

    definition of democracy -

    The question is who decides [if a journalist can publish classified information]? It seems clear, at least to me, that the private companies that own newspapers, and their employees, should not have the final say over the release of government secrets, and a free pass to make them public with no legal consequences. In a democracy [...] that decision must ultimately be made by the government.

    We need a world in which we ask "What's happened to you?" more and "What's wrong with you?" less. (From a comment by Kossack nerafinator)

    by ramara on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:15:45 PM PDT

    •  More applicable Orwell... (10+ / 0-)

      "Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations."

      ¡No más no me chingan!

      by dobleremolque on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:26:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is exactly what the framers opposed... (6+ / 0-)

      ...when they wrote the Bill of Rights.

      The Constitution is a document built on the premise that power corrupts. The First Amendment is first for a reason.

      Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

      by expatjourno on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:37:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is why I found myself defending Assange. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boriskamite

        What I knew of him as a person was not at all appealing. And I could understand the concern that he was willing to publish anything handed to him without creating any protection of named people who could get hurt (as in killed).
        But there is no other way to rein in government than to have people leaking the truth about what's going on. And while that may mean that sometimes secrets that should stay secret are exposed, I think it's far more important to worry about government and corporate wrong-doing that should be exposed and isn't.
        I'd rather have Assange (and Snowden, and for that matter the sometimes extremely self-righteous Greenwald) than have courteous, unassuming and pleasant people who never look beyond the obvious.

        While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

        by Tamar on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:22:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Orwell's 1984 (0+ / 0-)

      I re-read it a year or two ago. Prescient. The eye of Big Brother always watching, the lack of privacy --of words, actions, and thoughts. After reading the Greenwald book, I realize we are verging on that condition.

      Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

      by coral on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:12:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  if not for ellsberg... (25+ / 0-)

    we'd be winning the vietnam war by now. if not for seymour hersh, we could torture and massacre whenever necessary. if these unamerican journalists and treasonous leakers don't love our government, they should go live in russia or china!

    oh, wait...

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:20:20 PM PDT

  •  The bigger our (16+ / 0-)

    military and espionage industrial complex becomes, there will be more and more people that have access to this classified information.

    Anyone who has ever watched a conspiracy movie knows that in order to keep a secret, you have to keep as few people from knowing the truth as possible. This is the fatal flaw of this vast network of defense and intelligence; the larger it grows, the more vulnerable it becomes.

    If the government wants to keep secrets, they need to cut it back. Way back.

    5.1 million Americans have security clearances. That’s more than the entire population of Norway. And it's roughly two out of every 100 adult Americans. Imagine 100 people in a room, and two of them know secrets. How long will it take for those secrets to travel around the room?

    The only leak that I can think of in recent history that actually put people in danger wasn't leaked by a worker bee, but by Dick Cheney himself when he outed Valerie Plame. How ironic....

    Other than Judith Miller and Robert Novak, most journalists won't report something that could harm people while not benefiting the American public's right to know.

    You want to stop the leaks? Then cut back on your operation. It's way too big for its own good.

    Mediocrity cannot know excellence ~ Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:23:53 PM PDT

    •  And just a note on security clearances (6+ / 0-)

      The government collects a huge amount of data on someone applying for a clearance. Every detail of your life. Your friends, your family, drug and alcohol use, police records, credit records. All your mistakes, on file forever.

      Maybe fine for the people that get accepted, but how many others are rejected? That information stays on file anyways.

      Imagine a world where the military/intelligence complex is such a huge employer that getting most jobs requires a clearance. Imagine having so many people knowing secrets that they're not secrets anymore, but you can still get thrown in prison for talking about it.

      They have to stop handing out clearances like candy.

      Mediocrity cannot know excellence ~ Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:04:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are no secrets worth holding. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno, La Gitane, 420 forever

      Seriously. What secret endangers the existence of our nation?

      There isn't one.

      There are many which would prove embarrassing, even criminally so. But there are none being held which "protect" us.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:38:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (4+ / 0-)

        but there are secrets that if revealed could put people who are serving our country abroad in real danger, as in the Plame outing. I'm not anti-espionage; I'm not naive, and I understand the need to keep tabs on what our lesser men are up to in the world.

        But the ever-expanding leviathan that we currently have in place is way too enormous. And it is getting too big to be effective.

        Mediocrity cannot know excellence ~ Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:55:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Plame outing. Why does the USA need to know (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          La Gitane

          if Iran is buying yellow-cake or aluminum tubes?  

          The most dangerous countries are already North Korea (although dangerous to who, exactly?) and Pakistan.  Yet we are "allies" with Pakistan.

          Some day, if there were ever another "just war" like WWII again, if there were US military operations abroad actually in defense of democracy rather than corporate interests, maybe those military operational plans might be a legitimate secret.

          Otherwise, why is it that we need to keep tabs on the world? Because Saudi Arabia or Israel doesn't like the idea of Iran having yellow-cake?  That is OUR problem how?  A 'dozen' wacky states already have nuclear weapons... and do we really control any of them?

          It simply isn't our worry.  Our foreign operations and espionage do not matter if it is about the Nation of the United States surviving.  

          As often has been shown, those operations are important in pushing our corporate interests for the interests of the wealthy. My argument is all that should be above board, not below.  

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:03:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is a Political Question first. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zzyzx, scott5js, alice kleeman

    Surely Kinsley understands that. He is one of the brightest writers around, and yet, in this argument he insists on reducing the question to "Who should go to jail?"He does not want to admit that the Empire has stepped into really dangerous territory, again, and forgot that Brandeis warned us about it already, in Olmstead.

     We have been debating the political issue of whistleblower leaks for decades, since we became the Last Empire in 1945. Harry Truman himself may have been an occasional whistleblower during the war, exposing contracting fraud, and was not above informing certain journalists who was reaming the government in the "war effort."

    Of course, this opens Kinsley to the charge that he is merely advancing a strategy. If Kinsley thinks that the Legal Question is the only proper one, he also thinks that the government has the perfect right to do whatever to whomever in the service of maintaining our economic and political clout in the world, by whatever Extra Consitutional means at hand.  Maybe we do, but to avoid the issue of American ExtraLegal Methods is really not a credit to a journalist, even a really good pundit.

    For my money, its time that every journalist bone up a bit on the internal threats to democracy. One can, as many jurists have pointed out, run into a propeller while backing away from an active runway. I fear this is what Mr. Kinsley is doing. He is less coherant than usual when he claims, by omission, that the real issue is only a legal one.

    It is an undecided poltical issue first, which we, so far, dare not discuss. In his younger days, Mr. Kinsley would not have hesitated to start there in his analysis.  

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:24:00 PM PDT

    •  Moral Question (5+ / 0-)

      The supreme question is whether the corrupt American state should be able to retain its secrecy and propaganda as it violates the stated rights of every American over and over. Harming us every time, rationalized by lies about its necessity to protect us. And whether a journalist should be harmed for divulging the truth to us.

      The practical question of whether the harm to the state and our people is tolerable price to pay for that truth is already answered: We are OK. We were OK when Ellsberg's Pentagon Papers were published.

      Our country claims protection of these rights to privacy and to publish the truth for very good reasons. Not just survival - but for moral superiority enjoyed during the life they enable.

      People like Bennett and Kinsley are parasites.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:42:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  retaliation (13+ / 0-)

    Kinsley's ill-considered comments appear to be nothing more that rhetorical retaliation against Greenwald's fierce and effective criticisms of America's pundit clique.

    Greenwald seems to being out the worst in some people. Good for him.

  •  sour grapes at the NYT (4+ / 0-)

    Snowden showed them the hand, how mean. Poor elitist Beltway fellating babies.

    "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

    by quill on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:27:21 PM PDT

  •  info: public, quasi-public, quasi-private, private (3+ / 0-)

    at what actionable (espionage) moment does public information get to enter the public sphere as political communication and at what moment does it (not) become knowledge as a kind of eminent domain or is it always about command and control of what is "quasi-public" or "quasi-private" property by institutions and editorial staffs rather than individual journalists.

    Leaving decisions to journalists' conscience/ethics/morals might need even greater public accountability since in some cases they may be agents of state disinformation (Judith Miller), simply pathological (Matt Drudge). or institutionally bankrupt (Fox) and prior restraint might need literal rather than figurative restraint(s). But is it ever individual journalists relative to sources or institutional relative to publishers in a digital age where anyone can be a publisher.

    [T]hough it may be that the de facto end of the First Amendment's guarantee of a free press, and the advent of a new system of prior restraint, might not have been Kinsley's point, it's certainly his unavoidable implication. You'd think a guy who tosses around references to James and Frayn and Marcuse and all that would understand the difference. That he doesn’t isn’t comic at all. It’s sad.
    Agreed, it is a heap
    What a sad state of affairs that people like Kinsley, David Gregory and Jon Chait are perceived to be at the top the journalism heap.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:30:31 PM PDT

  •  Yes, I agree with this. (8+ / 0-)

    It seems to me that Kinsley's argument is with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, not with Greenwald.  

    And what he produced was simply not a book review in any fashion.

    "You cannot win improv." Stephen Colbert (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6tiaooiIo0 at 16:24).

    by Publius2008 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:31:19 PM PDT

  •  Our CIA (5+ / 0-)

    Bennett's authoritarianism uses a trick of the English language. These journalists' crime against "our CIA" is not against a CIA that belongs to the people of the USA. Indeed, the people are the property of the CIA - in practice. But the CIA is indeed "ours", if "we" are William Bennet and his BushCo fascist cronies.

    Bennett's guilty of so many crimes against Americans and our legitimate government that he should be in jail for the rest of his life. He certainly shouldn't be able to show his face, or his opinions, in public without getting at least laughed in it.

    But he gets CNN airtime in addition to his own radio show. CNN has suffered no costs whatsoever for its crimes against journalism, our people, our legitimate government and the truth.

    We have institutionalized failure of the most epic and whining stature. If only we had a thousand Greenwalds, or even a dozen, to expose its bottomless corruption.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:33:15 PM PDT

  •  Not secrets (0+ / 0-)

    The reporters who published the information were not publishing secrets.  If it were a secret, they couldn't have known about it.  When they learned about the information it was no longer a secret.

  •  I respectfully disagree with you. nt (0+ / 0-)

    What the Right Wing calls "being politically correct" is what my mama used to teach me was "being polite".

    by Walt starr on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:39:30 PM PDT

  •  There were a lot of people arguing that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, nicteis

    Judith Miller was a traitor because of the Rove leak and that she should have given up the leakers name. As much as I can't stand her for her stenography during the run up to Iraq I actually admired her for going to jail instead of naming him.

    In the same vein I am not a fan of Greenwald but admire him for what he has done with the Snowdon stuff.

    That being said I do think that journalists have a responsibility to hold back a story when it may get people killed. If a reporter has a story about a spy within the Iranian or North Korean government there should be some thought to the value of the story versus the value of the life and or information that spy is getting.

    Even then that responsibility should fall on the reporter and editor of their outlet. The government can make their case as to why the story should not be published but they should not have the final say so.

    Especially when you think about all of the lies that have come from the government in regards to the so called war on terror.

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:46:48 PM PDT

  •  I thought Kinsley's review was for Sunday Times (13+ / 0-)

    review section

    the date on the article is

    By MICHAEL KINSLEYMAY 22, 2014

    but it is not in my printed copy of NY Times book review and it is not on line either.

    this is also from the web on the article

    SUNDAY BOOK REVIEW

    Eyes Everywhere
    ‘No Place to Hide,’ by Glenn Greenwald

    here is a link to it at NYT
    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    here is Glenn's response on The Intercept

    A Response to Michael Kinsley

    But by far the most remarkable part of the review is that Kinsley–in the very newspaper that published Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers and then fought to the Supreme Court for the right to do so (and, though the review doesn’t mention it, also published some Snowden documents)–expressly argues that journalists should only publish that which the government permits them to, and that failure to obey these instructions should be a crime (emphasis mine):
    links to other book reviews in Glenn's article. The final 2 paragraphs
    So let’s recap: The New York Times chose someone to review my book about the Snowden leaks who has a record of suggesting that journalists may be committing crimes when publishing information against the government’s wishes. That journalist then proceeded to strongly suggest that my prosecution could be warranted. Other prominent journalists —including the one who hosts Meet the Press–then heralded that review without noting the slightest objection to Kinsley’s argument.

    Do I need to continue to participate in the debate over whether many U.S. journalists are pitifully obeisant to the U.S. government? Did they not just resolve that debate for me? What better evidence can that argument find than multiple influential American journalists standing up and cheering while a fellow journalist is given space in The New York Times to argue that those who publish information against the government’s wishes are not only acting immorally but criminally?

  •  Oh, I used to take The New Republic when Kinsley (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    expatjourno, Don midwest

    was editor. Even for a while when Sullivan was editor.

    Both were slimy.

    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

    by commonmass on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:09:13 PM PDT

  •  If the government is concerned about damage (14+ / 0-)

    Caused by news reports, maybe it could stop killing foreigners by the thousands, propping up brutal dictators, and plundering other countries' natural resources?

    Just a thought.

    •  That is IT, in a nutshell. The whole point of the (9+ / 0-)

      secrets is to hide our nefarious acts from the American people. The citizens of other nations generally know what we are up to. It is the American press in collusion with our oligarchical government which keeps us in the dark.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:43:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And who benerits? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10, YucatanMan, Don midwest

        The Oligarchs themselves, of course, but to me the most culpable here are the class that assists them, their servants and clients in law, journalism, accounting, management, information technology, science, etc.

        Of course there are people in the intellectual occupations that who fight for us all. They deserve our congratulations and gratitude, but they are few and far between.

        There's the notion that intelligence is a virtue. Like courage and persistence, intelligence is virtuous when used for good, but a huge part our intellectual class is bought and paid for. Without them, the Oligarchs could do nothing.

        That's intelligence in the service of screwing working people for money. This class is the keystone of the oligarchy.

      •  Um, no. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justanothernyer

        It doesn't fit quite as nicely in a nutshell as you would have us believe.  You say:

        The whole point of the secrets is to hide our nefarious acts from the American people.
        Nefarious acts are not the sole domain of the US.  The whole point of secrets is to hide what we are doing from those who would do us harm with their own"nefarious acts."

        There is no President, Republican or Democrat who would not tell you that their first responsibility to the American people is to protect them from harm.

        Granted, there are secrets that should not be secret.  The Bush administration was notorious for labeling everything that he didn't want us to know TOP SECRET.  It was an abuse of the office.

        Hopefully we can get to a better place than glorifying those who steal our secret information, and vilifying the journalists who publish it.

        •  What harm? Who is going to hurt the existence of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Don midwest, quill

          our nation?  I am not talking about promoting commercial profiteering overseas or neoliberal colonial exploitations.

          What existential harm -- damage to our nation's existence?

          That is not the same thing as empire building and exploitation. In fact, most "threats" to the USA come directly from our policies overseas. We do most "threat-increasing" to ourselves.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:24:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  What an extremist position! n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrJayTee, tardis10, Justanothernyer

      Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

      by coral on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:20:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're adorable when you desperately try to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevemb

    shore up your long lost credibility with anyone to the Left of Dianne Feinstein.

    “Poor people have access to American courts in the same sense that Christians thrown to lions had access to the Coliseum.” — Earl Johnson Jr., retired justice,California State Court of Appeal

    by JesseCW on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:26:02 PM PDT

  •  Bennett and Kinsley are un-American. (3+ / 0-)

    Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

    by expatjourno on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:30:11 PM PDT

  •  No. (0+ / 0-)
    "In a democracy [...] that decision must ultimately be made by the government. "
    How about we put it to a VOTE instead?
    That's Democracy.

    I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

    by roninkai on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:42:47 PM PDT

  •  anybody here reading/read Greenwald's book ? (0+ / 0-)

    i wonder why comment if not.

    it's just a book. the fact of publishing the NSA documents goes to the living heart, and the risks taken to accumulate them, safeguard how they were published, and making their publication take place following the wishes of the whistle-blower, are the oxygen that living heart needs.

    it may be that i'm quite far down the brain-chain, but even a bird such as i can see how enormous the reveal is, and how flack was dropped immediately to little effect.

    but now that we know, we cannot swarm properly any longer? we shrink from the complex in favor of the easy?

    it's just the wheezing of a small green bird, don't mind me.

    TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

    by greenbird on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:54:42 PM PDT

  •  It All Comes Back To FDR's Comment... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raboof, Don midwest, Justanothernyer

    I don't think Kinsley and his ilk hate Greenwald because he's a blogger and they're Columbia Journalism School-type grads with an insecure hold on the reigns of journalistic ethics.

    I think, like most conservatives (and I use that word in a more social and cultural than strictly political sense -- ie, those who have established themselves and want to "conserve" the status quo), they're just flat out scared.  You can see it in the very premise of his review.  He's scared that Snowden and Greenwald have made his life "unsafe" by revealing the NSA program because now "they" will know they're being listened to and "they" will somehow be able to alter their behavior and "they" will be more successful in killing us, or, to be more precise, killing Michael Kinsley.  Or David Gregory.

    And so, when you're scared, you're a hell of lot more likely to thoroughly disregard, twist and minimize the First Amendment or the Fourth Amendment or the Fifth Amendment or any other Constitutional principle which stands in the way of your feeling safer.  "Please, daddy, I don't care what you do, but save me from the killers."

    It reminds me of the Matt Lauer interview with then-President Bush, when Lauer meekly asked Bush about the disclosures of the patently unconstitutional efforts of the Bush Administration to monitor communications of American citizens without anything approaching reasonable cause or, god forbid, a freaking warrant, and Bush responded aggressively, sanctimoniously, "Matt, THEY'RE TRYING TO KILL YOUR CHILDREN."  Not even a wink, a nod, a passing reference to the Fourth Amendment or the shredding of the Constitution or anyone's right to privacy.  "For God's sakes, Lauer, what are you saying?  You want your children to die? Don't talk to me about the Fourth Amendment!"

    Kinsley's attitude is pretty much the same.  According to him, if we let these journalists make the call as to whether or not to publish "secrets" like Snowden's disclosed materials (or Ellsberg's or [insert any whistleblower here]), then we risk our safety because these journalists will do it just to make a name for themselves, or to make money for their private corporate masters, and they don't care about keeping us safe and that's so scary.  Way better, way better, Kinsley says, to let our government make the decision because they're here to protect us.  

    It's not new.  Kinsley's fear is not new.  Hell, in the 1940's we were in a World War and we got so freaking scared we rounded up and incarcerated every person on the West Coast with Japanese blood.  Because our military and government leaders told us there were so many Japanese spies, we HAD to do it (turns out they lied to Congress, but it took us awhile to figure that out). We took their belongings.  We put them in camps.  We were scared.  And the Supreme Court said it was ok, even though any rudimentary scholar of Con Law will tell you it was an abject, open and shut violation of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses.

    At the time of the Pentagon Papers case, we were also in a war and scared then too.  And Daniel Ellsberg was smuggling out CIA docs in his underwear, using his kid.  And handing them over to real journalists who weren't afraid, or were greedy, or wanted fame, or had principles, or, you know, really, I could give a damn about their motivations, because what he revealed was true.  But it was scary.  And no other than supposed liberal lion Justice Harry Blackmun himself wanted to impose prior restraint on the Times.  He said flat out that disclosure of the Pentagon Papers would cause the deaths of our troops in Vietnam and that blood would be on the hands of the Court.

    Thankfully, back then, we had a majority of the Court which was not scared.  Or at least, was willing to do the right thing even though they were scared.  Which was to remember the words of the First Amendment and what they mean. And also, to push back on that fear.  (Turned out, Blackmun was a little bit, uh, what's the word...wrong.)

    Government most certainly does NOT get to decide whether and how even the most greedy, reckless, self-promoting journalist gets to publish government "secrets."  Because the truth -- Kinsley, the freaking 'TRUTH" -- is more important than your knee-rattling concerns (and MY knee-rattling) concerns for our safety.  It's why we have the First Amendment.  

    We have a lot to be scared of.  Terrorists.  Global warming.  Nut jobs with guns in theaters and schools.  Corporate looters trashing our economy.  Donald Sterling.  My daughter's boyfriend.

    But the biggest thing we should be afraid of...the most significant impediment to our progress as a society and a country...the thing that more and more politicians whip out again and again to get elected and to do the bidding of those who want to conserve and maximize their wealth or to impose their rigid ideology on the rest of us...or to silence those who would point out the systematic shredding of our Constitutional rights in the name of security or safety..is fear itself.  And yes I know the irony of that comment coming from FDR at or about the same time he was authorizing the round up of our Japanese-American citizens makes it wobble a bit.

    But it's still so true.  It was true then, and I wished FDR himself had stayed true to that sentiment.  It was true when McCarthy said there were communists in the Army.  It was true when Goldwater and Nixon and Reagan ran on platforms of saving us from the infiltration of our society by Black Panthers, student radicals and communist sympathizers.  It was true when conservatives told us we had to ban gay marriage or my wife would dump me like a sack of wet socks cause "straight" marriage wouldn't mean a damn thing if we let a woman marry a woman.

    And it's true now when Kinsley says we have to criminally prosecute journalists or news outlets which publish the "secrets" of our government because "they" will have an easier time killing us.

    It's Memorial Day weekend.  WTF have my veteran parents and all the veterans fought for if not the Constitution and its principles.  Hold your water, for chrissakes, Kinsley, take a step back and acknowledge that what you have to fear most is your own damn fear.  Ya lil bitch.

    •  Greenwald's sin is forcing the chattering class (4+ / 0-)

      To confront its laziness and complicity with evil.

      To acknowledge what Greenwald says is to be forced into the choice of being a real journalist or accepting that you are a fraud and a tool.

      That's a nasty thing to do to frauds and tools. They are bound to retaliate.

      This principal applies to the general public, too.

  •  We still agree on something. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10

    Skal! Salud! L'chaim!

    There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:24:08 PM PDT

  •  I can't stand GG but he closer to the idea of a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justanothernyer

    journalist (in the First Amendment sense) than at least 98% of all so-called journalists( in the public relations sense).
    I scrutinize most of his (not particularly well-written)articles and glean what I can.
    He certainly raises my blood pressure and piques my curiosity, which are measures of a journalist.

  •  So fucking sick of "Theyr'e going to change their (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Mare, tardis10

    behavior" crap. If this is true - then EVERY TIME WE CAPTURE OR KILL A TERRORIST WE'RE GUILTY OF THE SAME FUCKING THING.

    Fucking thick fucks. So sick of this.

    "Well, it revealed the existence of the surveillance program, so people are going to stop making calls."

    Go play in traffic you dumb fucking gobshite.

  •  Kinsley didn't actually review the book (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    420 forever

    What he wrote was a mix of condescending 'tut-tutting' such as "But it's not that simple, as Greenwald must known."; murky characterization "Greenwald was the 'go-between'; sneering ["full of journalistic derring-do"; "it's a great yarn";  and many others]; character assassination/pop psychological analysis ["Greenwald ... come across as so unpleasant... a self-righteous sourpuss"]; unsourced general statements "Reformers tend to be difficult people."; weird comparisons such as comparing Greenwald to a fictional character from a Henry James novel; unqualified, psychobabble name-calling squared Assange and Greenwald are 'narcissists'; amateur mind-reading "And Greenwald? In his mind...." But enough already what is lacking is any discussion of the book, lots of psychobabble chatty cattiness [Kinsley has always been a weak sister in the argument field, a bit shrill if you will]
    but this sneering review tells us far more about Kinsley's essential lightweightedness [obvious since his days on whatever program it was that he was on that I quit watching after an episode or to because it was neither intelligent enough to be enlightening or stupid enough to be entertaining and was about as much fun to watch as WWF.   If I had a scoop or information Kinsley is near the bottom of the list of those calling themselves journalists that I'd go to it with wheres as both Assange and Greenwald are at the top. All in all this 'non-review' smells mightily of sour grapes.

    DailyKos, the popular political site whose goal is to elect "more and better Democrats", has silenced yet another wonderful strong Palestinian voice, Palestinian Israeli blogger Simone Daud (formerly known as palestinian professor).

    by stevelaudig on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:16:10 PM PDT

  •  That the NY Times would consider Kinsley's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    420 forever

    article a genuine review of Greenwald's book and agree to publish it is a bad omen of the direction or dereliction of the NY Times.

    That a well known journalist, who one would assume values his reputation both among his peers and the general public, would write what is essentially a treatise on the legitimacy of a totalitarian Stalinist state philosophy is very curious.

    It is either an example of trolling, an intentional contrarian screed born out of anger and jealousy of the emerging New Free Press, or it is a sincere omen of the collapse of civil liberty as necessary for a democratic society.The implications could not be more foreboding.

    I tend to think that it was an irrational venting of someone's spleen who for whatever reason ( an ominous creeping feeling of irrelevancy in the face of new frontiers emerging in journalism ie New Look Media and its new generation of non establishment voices and even places like DKos where small voices can find a big audience) simply could not resist the opportunity to expose his disdain and contempt for the principles of freedom of the press (while using the freedom of the press to make a living) no doubt sparked by his intense personal contempt for Greenwald, and his implication that much of the established media shows signs of having been castrated and kept in a virtual kennel.

    We owe Kinsley a debt of gratitude for disabusing us from the notion that Greenwald may have been too harsh on the establishment media.

    Rather, Kinsley and those who have spoken in support of him, has unwittingly affirmed Greenwald's generally true approximation of the state of thinking among the so called legitimate voices well heard in the mass media. These are not the friends of liberty. They are the defenders of the state.

    The Fierce Urgency of Later

    by Faroutman on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:19:19 PM PDT

  •  If a white hat can compromise a secret (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    equern

    so can a black hat.  The question to make public the discovery of a vulnerability--indeed, even the timing to publish-- should weigh the reparative impact of sunshine and the real cost to the public.  In the case of mass surveillance (in which we were shocked--shocked--to discover our premier SIGINT agency doing SIGINT) and black sites (which compromised our moral standing for dubious gain), it's a no brainer.  If even a few percentage of American citizens and businesses attend to their personal security with greater gusto and the electorate finally sours on torture, it's a win.

  •  Seriously, where do you draw the line? (0+ / 0-)

    As uber-liberal as I am, I have a hard time considering Snowden (in particular) a hero. And I DO see a distinction between releasing the Pentagon Papers/Watergate and what Snowden did.

    The Pentagon Papers/Watergate released documents that exposed that the government was lying to its own people. Snowden published information that exposed the ostensibly routine classified information of the government.

    So my first question is, is it reasonable to expect our government (any government, really) to be able to function completely out in the open in full light of day? Is it reasonable to expect our government to be able to function without the ability to maintain classified information of any sort?

    I personally don't see how it can. Information about NSA spying of our European allies has severely damaged our relationship and standing with them. And for what end?

    Will we stop spying on Merkel? No. Is is a good thing we CAN spy in Merkel? It probably is.

    On the other hand, should the government be able to function in secrecy hiding its actions from the people who it is ostensibly accountable to? I don't believe the answer to that is yes, either.

    In my worldview, the line drawn was always with regard to "national security." If national security was involved, then the government had the right to keep information from the public. If not, it didn't.

    That's not where Snowden drew the line. In fact, from what I have read, he specifically intended to release information related to national security to embarrass the government and exposed activities HE deemed unconstitutional. From what source did he obtain this power?

    To me, if, IF he had simply exposed the existence of the NSA spying program and left it at that, I would have a different opinion. But he seemed to be saying, "you have no secrets from me, and I'll publish anything I want, even if it hurts the government."

    That is not the mindset of my heroes.

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:46:17 PM PDT

    •  You are doing the same thing. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quill

      In your incomplete knowledge of Snowden and Greenwald, you are both passing judgement on both of them and then summarily deciding what should be released (nothing).

      National Security is not defined by what the government says it is and what harms national security is not solely up to the government to define.

      The Fierce Urgency of Later

      by Faroutman on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:24:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  All I am saying is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB

      the government does not get to engage in prior restriant or criminalizing journalism.

      I don'y know why you've dragged in these straw men.

      •  But the government HAS engaged in that activity... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevemb

        almost from the start. John Adams and the XYZ Affair.

        Our nation, from the start engaged in such activity with the Alien and Sedition Acts. Almost up to an including the Korean War, the press has granted the government enormous leeway in defining what was "fit to print." And for many years simply let the government decide.

        That all changed with Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers. From that moment, the government, instead of being an ally of the press, because its antagonist.

        And so from that time on, the government and press have been in a sort of institutional minuet in which the motives and honor of each other are constantly questioned.

        What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

        by equern on Mon May 26, 2014 at 03:48:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, The Government Did Lots Of Bad Things (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BradyB, Armando

          Do I need to actually rattle off a short sample of the long list of old national misdeeds, or is simply pointing out their presence sufficient to refute the argument from precedent?

          On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

          by stevemb on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:47:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Distinction-Attempt FAIL (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB
      The Pentagon Papers/Watergate released documents that exposed that the government was lying to its own people.
      As did Snowden. Remember how Clapper got up in front of Congress and (as we now know thanks to Snowden's disclosures) lied his ass off?
      Information about NSA spying of our European allies has severely damaged our relationship and standing with them.
      Really? Invoking the "the problem isn't what they did; the problem is that they got caught" excuse?
      On the other hand, should the government be able to function in secrecy hiding its actions from the people who it is ostensibly accountable to? I don't believe the answer to that is yes, either.
      If you're not going to support whisteblowers who expose people who violate that rule (see Clapper example above), this is pure magical-rainbows-and-unicorns wishful thinking.

      On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

      by stevemb on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:45:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That anyone calls Kinsley a liberal... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10

    ....is stunning. He's basically the "liberal" journalist who goes out of his way to insist on how not-liberal he is. This is the same guy who wished we could make Margaret Thatcher our President, for god's sakes.

  •  I don't get it. Kinsley is empiricallly correct. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not going to read the source material or get into the weeds of this one said that, and that one responded thusly.

    Also, I'm not arguing for the punishment of Snowden, Greenwald or anyone else.

    But it seems to me, from what you presented, Kinsley's central claims were:

    1. In deciding what can and cannot be published, the publisher (the newspaper) doesn't get to decide on its own; and

    2. Ultimately, it's the government that decides.

    As for 2, how can anyone disagree with that?  

    Especially since you mention the Pentagon Papers to bolster your argument.

    Dude, the Supreme Court is the government.  The courts are the third branch of government.

    No one gets to be a judge in his own case -- and that goes for both the administrative and legislative branches and private actors like newspapers when they are in conflict.  For better or worse, in our system the neutral judge is the system of courts and in our system, the courts are part of the government, although hopefully insulated a little bit from politics.

    Are you saying the courts, and by extension, the legal interpretation of the Constitution, have no role in determining what violations of national security and espionage laws are punishable and which are protected by the First Amendment???????

    •  As for 2 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quill, Indiana Bob, BradyB

      You really are arguing that Kinsley is arguing for courts to decide? When will they decide? When the media outlet asks?

      Do you know how the Pentagon Papers case happened?

      Have you ever heard of another case where the government tried t impose prior restraint?  

      Either you don't understand the process or you're making up a story for yourself.

      You make up this story about what Kinsley was saying so you can embrace the screed against someone you dislike?

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