Thank you for not listening

Category: Politics

The End of an Era

What follows is a simple statement on Glenn Greenwald’s resignation from The Intercept and what it means to me.

The arc of Greenwald’s career describes an era. I began reading his work when he was an unknown blogger in the days of the open internet. He soon attracted a large following and began a period of moving more and more into the mainstream; first, with Salon, and later with the Guardian, from where he delivered the Snowden files, at a time when Wikileaks was the darling of all the major liberal news media.

In 2013, he left the Guardian, at a time when the newspaper’s relationship with Julian Assange/Wikileaks was beginning to break down and started The Intercept, which delivered on its promise of fearless journalism by breaking more Snowden stories and with its coverage of the Vault 7 leaks of CIA hacking tools, before slowly sliding away from its mission with some atrocious hires (Mehdi Hasan being the worst) and smear pieces (of Julian Assange/Wikileaks, both of which have always served as the canary in the coal mine); the last few years have witnessed The Intercept’s transformation into an outfit indistinguishable from The Nation, Mother Jones, etc.

So here we are, it’s 2020, and Julian Assange is going through the paradoxical spectacle of a show trial held behind closed doors, Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour Party, and Greenwald has resigned from The Intercept because his editors refuse to countenance any criticism of Joe Biden. We have come full circle, and Greenwald has gone back to blogging, but in an era of a closed rather than an open internet, and when those he attacked during the Bush/Cheney years are front and center once again, setting the news agenda sometimes literally, with countless former CIA officers now acting as pundits on the cable news networks and with neocons now partnering a Democratic Party that shares their wish for a new Cold War.

Looking back, older, wiser, and sadder, those days of the mid-2000s hardly seem as hellish now, days when one couldn’t, in one’s innocence, imagine that anything worse than a Bush/Cheney presidency was possible.

Thank you for not listening.

USG finger-wagging on China/HK

This post went viral on Facebook, so I leave it here as a reminder:

The USG claims universal jurisdiction, the right to prosecute anyone, anywhere in the world, who breaks a US law, whether US citizen or not, even if the activity is not a crime in that particular country, and that host governments should hand over the individuals, even if they are citizens of that country, for extradition and eventual prosecution in US courts.

That same USG is today frantically finger-wagging at China’s plans to hold its own nationals to account for actions, no matter where they occur, that violate Chinese laws. The same USG that kidnapped taxi drivers and hotel receptionists off the streets of the Middle East, tortured them in CIA black sites, and is still holding hundreds of men, decades later, in legal limbo at Gitmo, is today speaking with great moral seriousness, and without trace of irony, of China’s terrible human rights record.

China is pursuing a clear policy of exacting a high price for those of its nationals who, disaffected, look enviously at Alexei Navalny and dream of making bank as a NED/CIA/State Dept agitator for hire. And rightly so, as no nation is obliged to host color revolutionists or let them move freely in and out of the country, stirring up trouble at the behest of a foreign power.

The US culture of disliking traitors is so highly developed that the label is frequently applied, again without irony, to Julian Assange, who is not even a US citizen! That China might possess a similar dislike of traitors and act to curtail their activities constitutes, for the USG, a grave blow against freedom and liberty, but in truth, only to the freedom and liberty of Langley to run its network of Joshua Wongs et al, useful idiots in the developing war that must necessarily mark the passing of the US from global hegemon to a state of economic and financial ruin, its dreams of full spectrum dominance finally crushed.

An aerial view of the grounds and headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency, now known as the George Bush Center for Intelligence. (Photo by Greg Mathieson/Mai/Mai/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

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