All of the evidence [regarding mass surveillance] highlights the implicit bargain that is offered to citizens: pose no challenge and you have nothing to worry about. Mind your own business, and support or at least tolerate what [the government does], and you’ll be fine. Put differently, you must refrain from provoking the authority that wields surveillance powers if you wish to be deemed free of wrongdoing. This is a deal that invites passivity, obedience, and conformity. The safest course, the way to ensure being ‘left alone,’ is to remain quiet, unthreatening, and compliant.
It is hard to imagine having a government more secretive than the United States. Virtually everything that government does, of any significance, is conducted behind an extreme wall of secrecy. The very few leaks that we’ve had over the last decade are basically the only ways that we’ve had to learn what our government is doing.
There’s this new dynamic where journalists now sit on the same venue with one another all day long, which is twitter. They’re constantly monitoring how they’re being judged and assessed by their peers. There’s immediate feedback to whatever they do. So if they publish something that their peers dislike they get attacked and they get denounced and they get condemned– which nobody likes. And if they do something that is popular they get rewarded and praised and retweeted–and their social media following grows. It is, I think, the most powerful tool of generating groupthink that I’ve seen in my life time. And there’s nothing worse in journalism than groupthink because journalists ought to be the ones pushing back against orthodoxies and conventions.
All good journalism entails risk, by definition, because all good journalism makes someone powerful angry. It’s important to be rationally aware of those risks and take reasonable precautions, but not fixate on them or, under any circumstances, allow them to deter you in doing what you thin should be done. Fearlessness can be its own form of power.
There have been Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians of course (while far more Palestinian civilians have died at the hands of the Israeli army), but in these specific cases, these Palestinians are attacking purely military targets, not civilians. Those military targets are soldiers deployed to their soil as part of an illegal occupying army. In what conceivable sense can that be ‘terrorism’? If fighting an occupying army is now ‘terrorism’ simply because the army belongs to Israel and the attackers are Palestinian, is it not incredibly obvious how this term is exploited?