If there was a Nobel Prize for Double Standards, Britain’s chattering classes would win it every year. This year, following their expressions of spittle-flecked outrage over the detention of Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda by anti-terrorism police at Heathrow airport, they’d have to be given a special Lifetime Achievement Award for Double Standards.
For the newspaper editors, politicians and concerned tweeters now getting het up about the state’s interference in journalistic activity, about what they call the state’s ‘war on journalism’, are the very same people – the very same – who over the past two years cheered the state harassment of tabloid journalists; watched approvingly as tabloid journalists were arrested; turned a blind eye when tabloid journalists’ effects were rifled through by the police; said nothing about the placing of tabloid journalists on limbo-like, profession-destroying bail for months on end; said ‘Well, what do you expect?’ when material garnered by tabloid journalists through illegal methods was confiscated; applauded when tabloid journalists were imprisoned for the apparently terrible crime of listening in on the conversations of our hereditary rulers.
For these cheerleaders of the state’s two-year war on redtop journalism now to gnash their teeth over the state’s poking of its nose into the affairs of the Guardianis extraordinary. It suggests that what they lack in moral consistency they more than make up for with brass neck.
Everything that is now being done to the Guardian has already been done to the tabloid press, a hundred times over, and often at the behest of the Guardian.
Posts tagged ‘glenn greenwald’
Glenn Greenwald has shown an admirable willingness to call out "his guy" to frequently criticize Obama's claim to be able to order Americans killed at his say-so, "without a whiff of due process, transparency or oversight". In a recent article, he is flabbergasted that Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz, who is also head of the DNC, does not seem to have heard of the policy.
I am less surprised than he at the ignorance and mendacity of politicians. But I did like the question Wasserman Schulz was asked: did she trust Romney (ie her political bête noire) with such power. This is a question that everyone should always ask at proposed expansions of government, and particularly Executive, power. Choose the politician you least trust and/or disagree with the most. Are you comfortable giving this power to that person?
So many of the Left (Greenwald being one of the few exceptions) have ignored this story, I think because they trust Obama. Fine, but are you really going to trust the next guy in power? Because now that you have established that this power is A-OK with a Democrat-Progressive child of the sixties, it is highly unlikely the next Republican in office is going to eschew it. Wouldn't folks have been a bit more careful about giving this a pass had George Bush claimed the power. (There is a sort of domestic policy parallel in this, in Republicans rolling over for Medicare part D when Bush was in office when they never would have done so for Clinton).
Reading this article by Glenn Greenwald, I note that he has the same kind of skepticism about government motives and actions and fear of government power that I would bring to the same story. But I know that he is a passionate advocate for large increases in government power in other spheres. Ditto for Conservatives, just with the particular subjects reversed.
How is it possible to have almost infantile trust in the goodwill of the Obama Administration to, for example, determine if you can have your next surgery, but simultaneously fear its motives and actions when it comes to, say, torturing foreign nationals? Blows my mind.
defines "rightwing extremism in the United States" as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.
His defense of this report is apologetically that you did it to us, now we are going to do it to you. Or, more succinctly as he put it in the title of his post, that conservatives reap what they sow. Or even more simply, in the language of a student explaining a fight to a teacher, "they started it."
This is just unbelievably cynical. What happened to principled opposition of infringements of individual rights? What about us libertarians, who are singled out equally as terrorism suspects for holding beliefs similar to those of Thomas Jefferson, but who did criticized Bush as well? Jeez, this is just so schoolyard, like a bunch of silly kids shouting that the other guy dissed them first. Do you Democrats and Republicans ever listen to yourselves? I could take Greenwald's rant on whiny Republicans and substitute only the words "republican and conservative" with "democrat and liberal" and get an identical Free Republic post. Do you really think this kind of response really answers the issue?
And really, all this is just window dressing for the real issue, the fact that the DHS is spending millions of man-hours creating virtually content-free publications. I have only skimmed the report, but is there anything here a state or local law enforcement official would find remotely useful?