Saturday, September 28, 2013

The war on whistleblowers is a war against your conscience

The war on whistleblowers is a war against your conscience

The mainstream media is on a mission: to blur the lines between blowing the whistle and blowing you away. In this despicable ploy, whistleblowers are being aligned with terrorists, mass murderers, traitors and spies. TIME magazine published a lineup entitled “Slipping through the cracks,” where whistleblowers Edward Snowdenand Chelsea Manning were wedged in between two mass murderers, Nidal Hasan (the Fort Hood shooter) and Aaron Alexis (the Navy Yard killer). Washingtonian took it a step further, grouping Snowden and Manning with a large group of “bridge-burning traitors,” foreign spies and moles.

Why is the mainstream media making such ludicrous comparisons? They’re merely reciting the government’s talking points. Former head of the NSA and the CIA, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who is now a CNN Terrorism Analyst and a principal with the infamous Chertoff Group, was foaming at the mouth about Snowden’s disclosures in his recent op-ed. Hayden not only declared Snowden “the most costly leaker of American secrets in the history of the Republic,” but also managed to lump together whistleblowers Ed Snowden, Daniel Ellsberg and Chelsea Manning with notorious spies Benedict Arnold, Klaus Fuchs, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen. Hayden also pontificated that journalists like James Rosen and Glenn Greenwald should be treated not as reporters, but as criminal co-conspirators.

The mainstream media, having seamlessly morphed into the government’s public relations branch, obediently ran with the same deliberately false comparisons. They seized on the unsurprising coincidence that whistleblower Snowden and a mentally disturbed mass murderer Aaron Alexis were vetted by the same company that processes the majority of security checks for government contractors. A flurry of headlines followed, starkly juxtaposing a hero with a villain.

Exceptional America

Exceptional America

The whirling sinkhole of DC’s realpolitik peddlers took umbrage to President Putin’s Op-Ed in the New York Times. Not to be outdone, our resident poker-playing warmonger John McCain (who apparently sees himself and not President Obama as America’s leader) vowed to respond by penning an Op-Ed in Russia’s “Pravda”. McCain’s rhetoric is unlikely to have anywhere near the same impact as President Putin’s impassioned, well-reasoned diplomatic appeal to the American people.

What really gets the goat of our indignant politicos is Putin’s jab at the stance of American exceptionalism. How dare anyone suggest that we’re not special? Let’s examine the way Exceptional America conducted itself during the last few decades.

1944-1945 – The U.S. burns hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians to death with napalm. During the March 9, 1945 Tokyo raid, 339 American bombers flew in at low altitude, dropping 690,000 pounds of napalm within an hour, killing over 100,000 civilians. The U.S. continued to pummel 64 of Japan’s largest cities until its stocks of napalm ran out, incinerating more Japanese than the atom bombs.

Snowed in: Part Deux

Snowed in: Part Deux

While Edward Snowden quietly settled into his new life in Russia, the snowball of his revelations continues to reverberate across the global continental shelf. The Snowden Principle is equally as perplexing to those in positions of power, as it is to the court jesters lobbying for their favor. Mainstream media statists are happily dancing pas de deux with establishment apologists.

The main reasons for this onslaught are quite simple. First, powers that be don’t appreciate being challenged, much less exposed. Secondly, they can’t stand the thought of being a foregone conclusion. Snowden not only managed to blow the whistle on this century’s most nefarious privacy violations, but he also figured out how to remain free.

With the help of Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Wikileaks, Snowden evaded the Venus Flytrap of whistleblowers.

Many moons ago, Mao Tse-tung came up with The Hundred Flowers Campaign, during which the Communist Party of China (CPC) encouraged its citizens to openly criticize the regime. When Mao was satisfied that he had “enticed the snakes out of their caves,” the crackdown began. Dissidents were publicly criticized and condemned to prison.

Borderline: what would happen to David Miranda or Glenn Greenwald in the U.S.

Borderline: what would happen to David Miranda or Glenn Greenwald in the U.S.

Constitution-minded Americans gasped when it was revealed that David Miranda (spouse of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald) was detained for over 9 hours by the U.K. authorities today at the London airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000. Journalists and citizens alike were dismayed at Miranda’s mistreatment, demanding an apology from the British government and pushing for immediate legislative reforms that would prevent a recurrence of such a violation.

The truth is, if Miranda was to travel through one of the U.S. ports of entry, under our draconian laws he would likely be abused in an even more profound way. The border search exception is a doctrine of United States criminal law that allows searches and seizures at international borders, sea ports and airports without a warrant or probable cause. Furthermore, there is little doubt at this point that special “Lookout” alerts have been created in TECS, NCIC and Automated Targeting System (ATS), red-flagging Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, their significant others and anyone else suspected of involvement with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. These lookouts were also shared with Interpol and posted to various international law enforcement databases. The U.S. government and its allies consider these brave individuals, their affiliates and their belongings to be “fair game”.

Farewell to privacy: life in a surveillance state

Farewell to privacy: life in a surveillance state

Love him or hate him, Edward Snowden forever disabused us of the notion that certain things in life are still private. Reaction to his disclosures is directly proportionate to the level of support or disgust over the growing surveillance establishment.

In spite of the fact that the odds of becoming the victim of a terrorist attack in the U.S. are 20 million to 1, the global war on terror continues to be used as the pretext for taking away any remnants of our fragile privacy. It’s been estimated that during the last decade the U.S. spent $7 trillion dollars to fund this endless battle. The fear of a phantom bearded terrorist, waving a pitchfork out of a desert cave in a distant land is also being used to silence any criticism over our extrajudicial drone murders, foreign policy, as well as domestic and international spying.

Snowed in: the mainstream media vs. Edward Snowden

The NSA surveillance octopus

As the government grapples with the fallout from the leaks of top secret documents by Edward Snowden, familiar tactical patterns continue to emerge. Time and time again, whistleblower cases reveal the government’s traditional approach to rendering their disclosures ineffective. This method is often described as “Deny, Discredit and Destroy”. It was created during the Nixon administration and outlined within the infamous Malek Manual.

Continue reading: http://www.examiner.com/article/snowed-the-mainstream-media-vs-edward-snowden