Monday, April 22, 2013

We're All Glenn Greenwald Now

...there is no doubt that, like all human beings their acts were, as my shrink often unhelpfully puts it, “multi-determined.” And there is a huge amount to learn from the stoner kid who got caught up in his brother’s religious fanaticism. But Glenn Greenwald veers into left-liberal self-parody this morning:
The overarching principle here should be that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is entitled to a presumption of innocence until he is actually proven guilty. As so many cases have proven – from accused (but exonerated) anthrax attacker Stephen Hatfill to accused (but exonerated) Atlanta Olympic bomber Richard Jewell to dozens if not hundreds of Guantanamo detainees accused of being the “worst of the worst” but who were guilty of nothing – people who appear to be guilty based on government accusations and trials-by-media are often completely innocent. Media-presented evidence is no substitute for due process and an adversarial trial.
But beyond that issue, even those assuming the guilt of the Tsarnaev brothers seem to have no basis at all for claiming that this was an act of “terrorism” in a way that would meaningfully distinguish it from Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tuscon and Columbine. All we really know about them in this regard is that they identified as Muslim, and that the older brother allegedly watched extremist YouTube videos and was suspected by the Russian government of religious extremism (by contrast, virtually every person who knew the younger brother has emphatically said that he never evinced political or religious extremism).
Legally, the case for the presumption of innocence is absolutely right. But come on
One reason the Miranda rights issue is not that salient is that the evidence that this dude bombed innocents, played a role in shooting a cop, shutting down a city, and terrorizing people for a week is overwhelming and on tape. And yes, of course, this decision to commit horrific crimes may be due in part to “some combination of mental illness, societal alienation, or other form of internal instability and rage that is apolitical in nature.” But to dismiss the overwhelming evidence that this was also religiously motivated – a trail that now includes a rant against his own imam for honoring Martin Luther King Jr. because he was not a Muslim – is to be blind to an almost text-book case of Jihadist radicalization...
For someone just catching up on this story, the idea that there is no basis for claiming the Boston Marathon bombing "...was an act of “terrorism” in a way that would meaningfully distinguish it from Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tuscon and Columbine" may seem odd until you understand that Mr  Greenwald does not believe terrorism qua terrorism exists at all outside of his own, personal definition:
'Terrorist', noun:  
1. Someone my government tells me is a terrorist; 
2. Someone my President decides to kill.
As always, for the comprehension-impaired, let me reiterate that there are many subjects on which I agree with Mr. Greenwald (and, for that matter, Mr. Sullivan) and that I am delighted to live in a culture where his every vagrant thought is published widely and without censorship.

As for the dear compatriot who chided me in an earlier post about "friendly fire" being unhelpful, 1) You make a valid point, 2) I am a fleck of plankton in a vast, cold sea and the idea that anything I say or do in any way disrupts the various, ongoing pie fights in the executive suites of the Great Liberal Conspiracy is hilarious, and 3) May I assume you sent an identical missive to Mr. Greenwald? Or is it only "friendly fire" when I fire back? :-)

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, bombing suspect, charged in a sealed complaint in federal court

By John R. Ellement and Martin Finucane, Globe Staff

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged in a sealed complaint, and his initial court appearance was conducted today by a federal magistrate judge in his hospital room, a federal court official says.

The announcement by Gary H. Wente, circuit executive for the US courts for the First Circuit , came after a White House spokesman said earlier today that Tsarnaev, who is in serious condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, would be tried in the federal court system.

Speaking at a media briefing in Washington, spokesman Jay Carney said Tsarnaev would not be tried as an enemy combatant.

“He will not be treated as an enemy combatant. We will process this terrorist through our system of justice,” he said.

Pointing to other terrorists who have been tried and convicted in federal court, he said, “The system has repeatedly proven that it can successfully handle the threat that we continue to face.”

He also said that US citizens cannot be tried before military commissions. Tsarnaev is a naturalized US citizen. He was sworn in as a citizen in September.
We now return to our regularly scheduled concerns:


Lumpy Lang said...

Droneglass now sides with/echoes the very same, despicable Andrew Sullivan he'd so eloquently scorned.

Looking into the mirror each morning he sees a closer and closer resemblance to David Brooks. Only instead of conjuring up a rational, reasonable version of the GOP, DG crafts and imaginary rational, reasonable face for U.S. imperialism.

Grung_e_Gene said...

It's ludicrous.

Miranda and the 5th Amendment protect oneself from the right of self-incrimination. I don't care to talk to him one whit about his offenses I want to know if there is anyone else out there.

And this is all irrelevant know anyway. Because Obama, who Greenwald support of the Iraq War claims is worse than Dick Cheney, made sure Tsarnaev was read his Miranda Rights.

I fully endorsed the idea of isolating and interrogating sans Miranda of Dzhokar for as long as necessary.

After a week or so, his information would be out-of-date, but in those first few days he would have been kept incommunicado from possible cohorts.

At which time any hot leads would have grown cold.

In the meantime, the DOJ, FBI and evidence teams would have been able to dissect his and his brothers' phones, computers, social media accounts, emails and apartments for other physical evidence and connection to additional plans.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

wow, that's paranoid.

Torture-- I'm sorry, ENHANCED INTERROGATION -- does not work like in movies. It leads to erroneous information. Untrustworthy, how else when under pain a person is willing to say ANYTHING he thinks you want in order to make it stop.

If using the Justice system was appropriate for people Like McVeigh, who killed 168 people, why not this kid?

Why do you think the American Justice System is so frail that it can't deal with one kid?

And just what, other than sheer fear and paranoia fostered by right wing memes, gives any indication that they had the support of some shadowy network of International Evil Villains, as if comic books are real life?

Anonymous said...

"May I assume you sent an identical missive to Mr. Greenwald? Or is it only 'friendly fire' when I fire back? :-)"

Reminds me of earlier discussion here of excessive devotion to purity.

C'mon. That terrorist definition is sarcasm designed to make a point about sloppy usage crowding out legal rigor.

mahakal said...

I didn't send any missives to Mr Greenwald because I haven't the patience to read his turgid prose despite my agreement with his positions in many cases. Don't take my comment as an offense directed towards you, but as friendly admiration of a powerful writer whose effects are far greater than he may realize.

One could very easily write personally directed criticisms of many liberal and progressive bloggers, perhaps even driftglass, but I wouldn't. I'd rather argue over subject matter than take down an ally. It's a stylistic thing. Feel free to disagree with Glenn if you do and when you do as you should. I'm not aware of him writing an anti-driftglass piece, but if he did so, I will dutifully read it and consider making a response to Mr Greenwald if it seems similarly like friendly fire.

driftglass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
driftglass said...


Mr. Greenwald does not bother with little critters like me :-) He saves time by just taking out the entire constellation of those who do not agree with him 100% (to quote Joi Reid:)

+ + + +
If you read his timeline, he really doesn’t seem to get that saying people who support the president would condone him raping a nun in front of them, or if you include his self-defense, would support any act of depravity or violence the Evil Barack Obama of Greenwald’s invention could commit, is patently offensive and well… crazy. It’s crazy like the libertarian belief that slavery and Jim Crow would have cured themselves via the free market. But that’s a whole different post.

Greenwald is clearly an ideologue, and I’m sure he sincerely believes that the government’s use of drones and waging of covert wars and the drug war are the most pressing problems facing the planet. Or at least he believes that now. But his most consistent pattern seems to be a rapier’s edge applied to anyone who disagrees with him. And unlike, say, the late Christopher Hitchens, Greenwald applies the sword without the ballet of swordsmanship. His attacks are more like serial killings than swashbuckling. One has to be, in Greenwaldian terms, literally evil to not agree with his point of view. And he’s not afraid to say so. Anyone who fails to loathe Obama as he does is an “Obama lover” (just chew on that, if you’re African-American) or a “cultist.” It isn’t possible that Obama could do anything that isn’t vile and insipid and worthy of continual, emphatic condemnation.

+ + + +

Like you, I spent decades being VERY LOUDLY slandered by the Right as an America-hating Commie traitor because, as a Liberal, I did not measure up to their ridiculous standards of 100% patriotic purity. This has left me disinclined to sit quietly by as many of us on the left are now VERY LOUDLY slandered by Mr. Greenwald as babykilling fascist hypocrites for not measuring up 100% to his standards of moral rectitude.

Perhaps this is a character defect on my part. If so, it wouldn't be my first.

A Fine Time Was Had By All said...

You don't have a character defect. You're fun. But Greenwald is doing important work. And you're the contemporary Dennis Miller of the Left.

nosce te ipsum

Anonymous said...

Bullshit. Grow up, for Christ's sake. Greenwald uses invective and fairly ordinary lawyer speak to make his points. He doesn't slander hypocrites as babykillers or fascists, although some such comparisons are fair, taking into account their rhetorical charge. He calls them on their hypocrisy. Deal with it. Greenwald rarely talks morality. I have no idea what his "standards of moral rectitude" might entail, but he's about as clear as anybody can get about legal standards to which he adheres.

Lumpy Lang said...

Hey, cut Droneglass some slack!

I'm sure he'll will revert to common standards of human decency once the Whitehouse is occupied by somebody with an 'R' after his name.

This is where 'lesser evil' politics gets you every time.

Lumpy Lang said...

Cut Droneglass some slack!

He's sure to revert to common standards of human decency once the Whitehouse is again occupied by somebody with an 'R' after his name.

This is where 'lesser evil' politics gets you every time.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Rand realized he upset the Gravy Train of his deluded followers who fund him. And Nothing so alarms a Grifter, like Rand Paul, as when his Grift is threatened:

"My comments last night left the mistaken impression that my position on drones had changed. Let me be clear: it has not."

Please consider sending $25 to Help Rand Fight the DroneZ!

someofparts said...

Love this part from lil' Andy -

"When will some understand how dangerous religious fundamentalism truly is?"

Um, I dunno, maybe when they gun down doctors?

and this from American Spectator -

"Cardinal Sean O’Malley not only talked about guns but the role of abortion in what O’Malley called a “Culture of Death.” But did Gabby Giffords want to talk about abortion as a contributing factor?"

with Edroso's comment -

In case you're wondering if you imagined it: yes, he did just ask why a woman who was shot in the head is more interested in gun control than abortion.

But most of all, how did I miss that "Day the World Ended" movie? What a hoot! Must get and watch.