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.
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.
… To urge that the CIA–the intelligence community–empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity! That is a prescription for destroying democracy over night in the name of saving it. And yet that’s what so many not just neocons but the neocons allies in the democratic party are cheering and it’s incredibly warped and dangerous…
Look at the Chick-fil-A example, where Rahm Emanuel and a couple of other mayors in cities where gay rights are favored decided that they were going to punish businesses who didn’t believe in the now conventional view on gay issues which is essentially to treat gay people equally. The owner of Chick-fil-A, as I remember, donated money to anti-gay causes, actually believed in the right of businesses to discriminate –and so people cheered when Rahm Emanuel said ‘As the mayor, I’m going to bar businesses that have views that I dislike from operating.’
And the reason why it’s just so appalling to see people cheering something like that is because maybe that’ll lead to a good result for you in Chicago but how about in Birmingham, Alabama? Or Salt Lake City, Utah? Or other places where people still believe that homosexuality is immoral and that gay people are going to hell and don’t deserve equal rights. There are still a lot of places in the United States where those ideas prevail. So imagine a mayor of one of those places using the power that you’ve just now said that mayors get to use saying ‘You know what? I’m going to bar businesses from operating in my city whose owners give money to pro gay causes. Or who have anti-discrimination policies that treat LGBT employees equally with others.’ I don’t see how you have any basis for objecting to mayors who do that, who punish businesses that have ideas that the mayors dislike and that the majority or population of the city dislike– if you cheer what Rahm Emanuel does.
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.
Greenwald: Stop Defending The CIA Simply Because You Hate Trump
Published on Mar 15, 2017
the wake of WikiLeaks’ recent release of documents purporting to be
from the CIA revealing much of the agency’s spying and hacking methods,
The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald — who won a Pulitzer Prize for
his reporting on Edward Snowden — appeared on CNN’s Smerconish to
discuss these latest leaks…
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?
In an interview last night with Stephen Colbert, Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept said that he’s working on a story that will have the “biggest impact” of his various pieces on the modern U.S. surveillance state. “I genuinely believe that the story that’s the biggest one, that will make the biggest impact and will shape how the events of the last 10 months will be viewed by history is the story on which we’re currently working that hopefully will be ready in four to eight weeks,” Greenwald told Colbert.
And just what would that be?
The targets of spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) in America, said Greenwald. “Who are they targeting, for what purposes? Who are these people that they are declaring to be sufficient threats that it warrants reading their e-mails? And what is the pattern of people that they’ve targeted? Are these political dissidents, are they critics of U.S. foreign policy, are they actual terrorists? And that’s the reporting that needs to be done?”
Featuring Glenn Greenwald, William Binney, Lavabit’s Ladar Levison, Julian Assange, and more.
Great, unbiased, fair, and informative reporting. Excellently minimalistic soundtrack.
From Hong Kong to the offices of Der Spiegel and the Guardian.
Instead of pretend realism, see this for what’s really happening, in our world and lifetime, today. This should be in mainstream cinemas. It is relevant to everyone.
Thank you Laura Poitras for this amazing documentary.
Laura had to move to Berlin after her first movie on the Iraq War to essentially stop the US govt from watching her.
The meaning and sentiment towards privacy and democracy have become warped. We need to fight to make it right. You don’t just dump a system like democracy onto people and go “oh well, the majority of people are stupid, therefore stupid decisions will be made through this system”. How about educating the people so that informed, educated, and smart decisions will be the outcome. It can work. Things become warped, but they can be fixed.
People are trying. Everyone needs to try. Awareness is a step.
“The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know
virtually everything about what they [the government] do: that’s why
they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals.”
~ Glenn Greenwald ~
It’s the opposite of surprising to see large numbers of westerners celebrating anti-Muslim cartoons - not on free speech grounds but due to approval of the content. Defending free speech is always easy when you like the content of the ideas being targeted, or aren’t part of (or actively dislike) the group being maligned.