Monday, December 09, 2013

The Imaginary Violence Inherent in the System

There are a lot of things broken about our American democracy.

Chucking journalists into supermax hellholes to rot incommunicado forever is not currently one of those things.

Which is why it is so weird that the Most Famous Reporter in the World keeps asserting over and over again that he lives a life that is perpetually thiiiiiiiiiiis close to getting Buttled

into gulagic oblivion  by the Obama Administration (from TPM) -- 
The Brazil-based American journalist who has reported extensively on top secret surveillance programs revealed through documents leaked by Edward Snowden said he refuses to be kept out of his native country simply for doing his job.

"I do feel a bit on exile but I don’t mean to stay away from the US," Greenwald told the website Telerama. "I wanna force the issue at some point. I refuse to be kept out of my own country for doing journalism."

Greenwald originally moved to Brazil as a result of a U.S. law that denied immigration benefits to his gay partner, but that law has since been struck down.
-- despite the fact that, as one horrid little Obot once explained, the alleged threats to Mr. Greenwald's liberty now basically consist of nothing more than:
...Peter King shooting off his pie-hole which, if you hadn't noticed, is pretty much all Peter King does.  But saying that "Well-known American crackpot Peter King thinks I should be arrested" is so much less terrifying and grandiose and self-promoting than "prominent journalists and politicians in the United States" so that is the story Mr. Greenwald is sticking to.
Also it is kind of astonishing that Mr. Greenwald made it all the way through both law school and the out precincts of the porn industry without learning what the word "exile" actually means. 

Funny old world.


prof_fate said...

Funny thing, but I thought if I stayed away for a good while, by now you might have gotten over this insanely personal thing you have against Greenwald. Foolish me.

He didn't say he was an exile, but that he felt a bit of an exile. So, anyone who's been away from their country for a while and says he feels kind of like an exile is somehow implying he expects to be disappeared to security prison the moment he sets foot on his native soil?

Greenwald makes it quite plain that he intends to return to the U.S. and he doesn't say one fucking thing about expecting to be put in prison. Obviously, he has concerns about what the authorities will do -- he'd be a complete idiot if he didn't!

He also said the USG wanted someone's head on a pike. Why not write a post mocking Greenwald's groundless fear of beheading? It would make just about as much sense as this bilious mess. Someone here seems to be having problems with these things called simile and metaphor, and it ain't Greenwald ...

But are you really expecting us to believe that the government he's helped cause major embarrassment to at home and abroad won't seriously fuck with him if they get the chance? Do you think we're ignorant of just how relentlessly and viciously this administration's gone after whistleblowers and journalists connected with them?

What's your point? That, short of sending him to the gulag forever, whatever they do will be fine? I'd call that setting the bar pretty low.

Tell you what: when you've demonstrated the balls it takes to publicly and thoroughly piss off some very powerful people with a well-established reputation for vindictive behavior, and then willingly put yourself in their power, you might have some standing here. Until then, please have the grace to stop ... just ... stop.

Whether he does return or not, we'll see. If I were in Greenwald's place, I'd definitely think twice before risking it. At the very least, they can bankrupt you even if they don't win in court, and ending up in prison for years if not decades is hardly beyond the realm of the possible.

I'd certainly want something a bit more definitive than Eric Holder's statement. Far from being an iron-clad promise not to prosecute him, he left a hole big enough to fly a 747 through. If you think all's forgiven and only that silly Peter King still has a raging hard-on for making an example of him, I can only marvel at your touching, childlike faith in these people.

the Most Famous Reporter in the World

Oh, fergawdsake, driftglass, what are you, twelve years old? Are you incapable of detecting the reek of malice and envy from remarks like that? It's pathetic and stomach-turning.

This is all your post boils down to: "Greenwald is a big, stuck-up drama queen, and he hates America!"

This isn't something I say lightly, but I just can't believe Steve Gilliard would be very proud of stuff like this. Ask yourself: do you really think he would have considered Greenwald's dickishness more important than the NSA story?

Besides the shabby strawmen you've slapped together out of non sequiturs, the smears and nasty innuendo you've peddled here have proved false: Snowden did in fact know what he was talking about; he isn't an attention whore; the revelations were emphatically not "old news"; Greenwald has been anything but exclusive about this story, when it came to sharing it with other journalists and news organizations.

You and I go back a long way, driftlass. At first, watching you act like this was just disappointing, but now it's become genuinely disturbing. I don't understand how someone I respected and thought I knew pretty well could become such a shameless apologist for the surveillance state.

Monster from the Id said...

"I don't understand how [Driftglass] could become such a shameless apologist for the surveillance state."--Prof. Fate

Professor, please permit me to remind you of Occam's Razor.

The surveillance state's current Big Brother sports a (D), rather than an (R), after his name.


n1ck said...

Uh oh!

Driftglass went and criticized the hero and personal savior of a couple of ultraPures!

Bad Driftglass...bad!

How dare you point out that Glenn Greenwald exaggerates and lies?

Don't you know that by pointing out such inconvenient facts that you're vociferously supporting the surveillance state!

Driftglass, by even acknowledging that Greenwald is a fucking exaggerating liar, you're now a Fascist Octopus who wants Big Brother to choke you to sleep every night!



zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Here's what Saint Glenn said:

"I wanna force the issue at some point. I refuse to be kept out of my own country for doing journalism."

He's not saying he feels like an exile in that quote. He says he is being kept out of America, by Them I suppose.

Besides, I was always under the impression that his exils, such as it is, is self-imposed because his partner is not allowed into the country. That isn't exile; that's a choice, even if I disagree with the odious regulations that inspire it.

And none of it has anything to do with the Snowden affair/documents, although Greenwald certainly is bending over backwards to make it seem that way. Which, of course, only serves to serve the Greenwald Effort. And also serves to distract from any actual utility or impact that the Snowden revelations might have.

Personally, I think the revelations that the NSA have spied on World of Warcraft are likely to have a bigger impact, in that it will make the geeks get irate. Imagine the disruption if they shut down the porn sites!

Anonymous said...

Greenwald has some legitimate concerns. The Obama Administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than the Bush regime did, including the infamously fraudulent prosecution of Chelsea Manning. Greenwald was threatened by a member of Congress, which resulted in a blizzard of calls for his prosecution by the rightist blogosphere.

His partner was illegally detained by British authorities on behalf of the Obama Administration in an act of retaliation and intimidation. This act of terrorism was ironically justified on the basis of "anti terrorism" laws. The plane with Bolivia's president was forced to land on behalf of the Obama administration merely on the rumor that Snowden might be on it.

I don't regularly read his column, but Greenwald was expressing legitimate concerns during the linked interview, and he always is perfectly sensible on Democracy Now.

Obama has been governing disturbingly far to the right on most issues, and has done more to follow the policies of the even worse Bush Regime than to move away from them. This is especially the case in regards to anything labeled "national security." Obama and the Democrats are the lesser of two evils, but when you remember how awful the GOP is, that really isn't saying much.