Thursday, April 17, 2014

WaPo Neocons Despise the Pulitzer Prize and Snowden's Role - Can You Believe It?

Ordinarily in the realm of human affairs and especially journalistic achievement, a media source or newspaper would have all its denizens aboard giving resounding accolades for its win. Such was supposed to be the case earlier this week as the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded to the Washington Post and the Guardian newspaper for disclosing the NSA transgressions of the Fourth Amendment.  Alas, not all the little scribes of the WaPo are on board with the award. Some have rebelled and even "staged their own demonstrations" against the award, if you can believe it.

One such malcontent is Post columnist Marc Thiessen who on Wednesday, pitched a hissy fit about the Post getting the award and Snowden being responsible. Thiessen, who writes a weekly online column for The Post, hosted an event at the American Enterprise Institute devoted in large part to denouncing the Guardian, The Post and the Pulitzer committee for their actions.

All you need to know here is that Thiessen is also an AEI "fellow". And we know AEI is a rat's nest for neocons as well as for liars about climate change. Recall that AEI sponsored a propaganda program a few years back whereby any "researchers" would be awarded $10,000 each for writing anti-climate change articles and getting them into major newspapers. I counted at least 12 who got success in this dubious outcome, once more causing delays for action. 

Anyway, in terms of the recent Pulitzers, this little rat Thiessen said journalists at The Post — “my newspaper,” as he put it — "should not have published the articles and had done something incredibly damaging to national security."

Thiessen had previously written that The Post’s actions "broke the law"  (if you regard the existing law that legalized the Bushie illegal wiretaps as a proper law), . Meanwhile, Thiessen’s guest, British member of Parliament Liam Fox, went further.

What sort of world do we live in where that gets a Pulitzer Prize for public service?”

he asked the AEI audience.

An award for public service for possibly the greatest betrayal of our national secrets of all time strikes me as quite bizarre. ... I do think that there is a real danger of a very cozy media world patting itself on the back without fully understanding the consequences.”

Of course this is irredeemable rubbish. The so-called "national secrets" were in fact illegal mass searches that violated the much more fundamental law of the land embodied in the U.S. Constitution. The heart of which is putatively the 4th amendment with its proscription on the use of mass warrants and mass searches without cause. That this Brit doesn't get that is perhaps understandable, as he's not an American, but then the AEI ought not have had him bloviate about national secrets and bogus laws. But then Fox himself doesn't seem to be able to tell dog shit from chocolate.  Fox didn’t seem to know much about the Snowden dispute on this side of the Atlantic — at one point he actually  confused The Washington Post and the New York Times — and, in any event, he was much more aggrieved by what Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian had done than anything else. Clearly, the dope probably never even read the words of the Fourth Amendment - so why should he give two shits about preserving its basis?

The two miscreants then kicked around the idea that journalists "might be to blame" for future terrorist attacks. Thiessen actually asked:

If there is another 9/11, another London subway bombing, how is this debate going to look in retrospect?”

His nincompoop Brit pal  Fox then babbled:

The next time you get a bomb going off in the subway or a marathon, when someone’ s child is abducted by a pedophile ring, you might want to thank those who made it easier for those people to do those things.”

Oh please! Put a freakin' sock in it! The sober realist could retort here that we have tens of thousands of deaths by gun each year and basically snooze about it, and maybe we prevented 50 deaths from terrorists - if that- and yet we go batshit crazy and extirpate all our 4th amendment rights on the possibility of an attack that may take barely a tenth of the lives?

These wimps - Fox and Thiessen - need to get a life, and a pair of balls! If we can tolerate thousands of gun deaths each year and do squatto about it, I say we can tolerate huge risks to preserve our precious liberties. Journalist Robert Scheer in a blog last summer (‘The Terror Con’) has referred to “threat inflation” by which the security state keeps weak-kneed "citizens" panting for more protection like screaming school girls petrified of spiders. They will dangle any kind of threat out to try to scare the bejeezus out of wimpy Americans, the better to make them give up their 4th amendment rights.

Scheer also referenced a June 11, 2013 column by Thomas Friedman  with similar fear overtones to the shtick of Fox and Thiessen. Friedman warned that if there was a second 9/11-type attack, "we would lose all of our civil liberties, so we should be grateful for this trade-off".

WHY lose our civil liberties? Because a bunch of zealots take out maybe thousands of lives? Fucking LESS than lost each year to gun violence! Shit, we who lived through the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis – minutes from nuclear annihilation - find this preposterous! That a nation priding itself on freedom could give up all rights like a bunch of screaming sissies just because of a limited attack! NY Times columnist Bill Keller also seemed to support the “Screaming sissy” hypothesis as when he writes:

“Tom’s important point was that the gravest threat to our civil liberties is not the NSA but another 9/11-scale catastrophe that could leave a panicky public willing to ratchet up the security state, even beyond the war-on-terror excesses that followed the last big attack.”

A panicky public? How about a bunch of pusillanimous pussies that don’t deserve freedom? A bunch that really wants their asses kicked to wake them from their scarified terrorist-bogeyman coma....which has repercussions on the rest of us (real citizens - not consumers) who value liberty over security! But maybe Fox and Thiessen - like Keller and Friedman - are on to something as when Friedman wrote on June 11:

I believe that if there is one more 9/11—or worse, an attack involving nuclear material—it could lead to the end of the open society as we know it,”

Yeah, so the deep politics citizen must ask: What isn’t he saying Maybe that he knows COG (continuity of government)  will come into play and under its mandates, martial law will be permanent and we’ ll inhabit a full Nazified police state. How quickly that freedom went! Barely lasting 230- odd years!

As Scheer puts it:

No nation in history has ever possessed such an imbalance of military superiority and the ability to ward off foreign threats without sacrificing its core values. Never has this country been as vulnerable to foreign attacks as when the founders approved our Constitution with its Fourth Amendment and other protections of individual sovereignty against an intrusive government. They did so out of the conviction that individual freedom makes us stronger rather than weaker as a nation. In short, they trusted in the essential wisdom of the people as opposed to the pundits who deride it.”

But evidently, as soon as too many citizens became mostly consumers they devolved into crying infants and fucking babies who needed the Pappy Spy State’s protections.

"WAAAAHHHHH! Please Gen. Alexander, hold me widdo hands! I don't wanna die from dem dere  t'errists!"

More important to get that new X-box, Ipad or Notebook than to tend to one’s liberties, after all. Gotta make the country safe for shopping! In this case it may be too late, and the nonchalance evident now amongst the 48 percent will mutate into memory loss of the seventy percent in another few months, evoking Bradley Manning’s and Edward Snowden’s greatest fears: that their leaks won’t have made a difference at all.

Fortunately for us, most other sensible WaPo columnists believe Thiessen is an asshole, which he is. But then anyone ensconced at a place like the American Enterprise Institute has to be at least part asshole.

Then there is Thiessen's female counterpart, a harridan and Neolib tool and fool named Ruth Marcus who I've raked over the coals before, e.g.

 Evidently, she's none too pleased about the attention Snowden has received, and had to spout off in one of her columns about it, writing:

" Time has not deflated Edward Snowden’s messianic sense of self-importance. Nor has living in an actual police state given the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower any greater appreciation of the actual freedoms that Americans enjoy.

Insufferable is the first adjective evoked by Snowden’s recent interview with Barton Gellman in The Post, but it has numerous cousins: smug, self-righteous, egotistical, disingenuous, megalomaniacal, overwrought.

The Snowden of Gellman’s interview is seized with infuriating certitude about the righteousness of his cause. Not for Snowden any anxiety about the implications for national security of his theft of government secrets, any regrets about his violations of a duty of secrecy."

Why should he have regrets?  And how in hell can this overpaid harpy dare say Snowden lacks " any greater appreciation of the actual freedoms that Americans enjoy" ? Obviously, if he leaked files on how American freedoms were being undermined, violated and devalued he had more than ample appreciation!  The other fact to which Miss Marcus is oblivious is that the U.S. was a signatory and primary defender of the Nuremberg Principles (first laid out after the Nuremberg War Crimes trials). The U.S. insisted (given all the Nazis in the dock had "followed orders")  that violating a government order was mandated by Nuremberg Principle VI that clearly states: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to orders of his government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

Note this Principle’s injunction is exactly analogous to what Edward Snowden followed. He had allegedly binding orders and “oaths” by which the government found it expedient to limit his actions, but he saw (as the U.S. military leaders did at Nuremberg) that the option of a higher moral choice dictated he inform the American people – whose liberties were at stake and threatened – of what was being done in their name. As Robert Scheer noted in his June 25, 2013 blog: ‘The Good Germans in Government’):

Read the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and tell me that Edward Snowden is not a hero in the mold of those who founded this republic. Check out the Nuremberg war crime trials and ponder our current contempt for the importance of individual conscience as a civic obligation.

Marcus, the NSA toady, is also oblivious to the fact that Snowden didn't "steal government secrets" but rather exposed Government misdeeds and violations of the 4th amendment. But then, such a narrow-minded little toady wouldn't see that anyway - hence she is the classic "Good German". In the Nazi era she'd have easily been one of the millions who reported on those fellow citizens hiding Jews  and she'd have been the first in line to volunteer on providing the Gestapo any information on her neighbors. Oh, she'd also have been amongst the first to declare she knew nothing about any concentration camps.

She'd also have been among the first to be led by the neck to the scene of the camps, by a U.S. military escort - to have her nose rubbed in it, lest she miss it. 

But Marcus isn't content to provide us with clues that she's the ultimate "Good German" in American guise, she sets out to prove it by writing:

" The whistleblower personality is rarely an attractive one. Whistleblowers tend to be the difficult ones, the sort who tend to feel freer to speak out precisely because they don’t fit in. So perhaps it is not a surprise that the biggest whistleblower of all time has an unpleasant personality to match. And personality would not matter — at least it would not be so grating — if Snowden’s behavior were more upstanding and his actions more justified.

On behavior, if Snowden is such a believer in the Constitution, why didn’t he stick around to test the system the Constitution created and deal with the consequences of his actions? "

Of course, we know and have learned from history - especially the German experience-  that whistle blowers are indeed a special type. But this is understandable to those of us who have personalities that "don't fit in" - because we are enabled the opportunity to perceive things from without, by altering our perspective, which our compatriots seem unable to do. Because we can do this, we are more apt to detect things that are amiss and hence feel obliged to report them. But that doesn't mean Snowden has an "unpleasant personality" as Marcus portrays it, only that she - as a toady 'Good German' type, can't abide it. Can't abide his forthright moral honesty and adherence to higher principles, which she is so prepared to sacrifice (as a paid propagandist) at the drop of a hat.

As for her ridiculous question about Snowden not sticking around to "test the Constitution" - well obviously because given what he unearthed he knew the Constitution had been perverted by a gangster state - prepared to undermine basic principles to achieve its own lawless outcomes.  Hence, he wouldn't be able to properly defend himself or his principles. (At least until the Constitutional principles are restored - which was the purpose of his leaks.)

He would be in an analogous position to a whistle blower German -exposing the Nazi riff raff- brought before the Reich Courts - which also had twisted the (Weimar) laws to fit their agendas.  But recall that in the Nuremberg War Crimes trials, it was those Reich Courts and Reich laws, that were on trial as well.

What we learn from the likes of Ruth Marcus and Marc Thiessen is that the archetype of the Good German lives on in the modern U.S. of A. These people will easily don the garb of patriotism, just like the Nazis of old did, but we know it's all a sham designed to advance their own despicable agendas. After all, patriotism is the "last refuge of scoundrels" in the words of Doctor Samuel  Johnson.


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