Cliffs Notes for a Pile-On

So there is something of a stir in the part of left Twitterland that I generally don’t have much to do with, and since happy mobs, like Tolstoy’s happy families, are all alike and not worth writing about, I’m not going to devote much energy to the non-argumentative or social aspects of  it here.

I am a little stunned though, that so many people are so worked up over something so many of them clearly haven’t read. It is easy to tell who these people are. If, after someone navigates the weighty calculus of virtues and accomplishments qualifying one to have an opinion on the ownership of secrets affecting everyone on Earth, they then characterize The Argument as ‘Doing what the Guardian is Doing’ vs. ‘Dumping Everything’, it’s almost certain that all they know about my post came from some place other than my post, most likely Glenn Greenwald’s comments about it, where Glenn, too predictably, mischaracterized it.

Now I don’t care what the pile-on chronics think about all this, but for the lovable and sexy independent thinkers, I wish a clear understanding of what this argument is about, at least as it concerns the distribution of leaks. I would also like them to seriously consider the nutritional merits of luminaries that mischaracterize critics and the fanserfs who do beatdowns over shit they obviously haven’t read. Therefore,  I’m going to quote the last part of the contentious post where I explicitly walked back dumping from my first post on the topic and posed four reasonable questions, implicit in which are the outline of what I consider desirable:

So I am going to concede that for reasons of Snowden’s safety among other things, we’re stuck with a paternalistic system we have, but  I am not going to concede that its current form is the only shape it can take.  I feel that people should continue to put pressure on Greenwald and co to do things differently, and when they refuse, to press them on why.

To put this on more concrete footing, I am offering the following questions.

1. Considering what’s happening in Brazil and Germany right now, is there a sound strategic reason why Greenwald and Poitras have tasked themselves with writing the stories for non-UK/US markets, rather than distributing leaks to partners in other countries for more efficient propagation? I understand that Greenwald is now branching out into India and Poitras is also working in another country. That’s great, but considering that by Greenwald/Poitras’s own account, the NSA has 150 listening posts around the world,  a drip drip strategy seems particularly ill-advised and, at first glance at least, unethical.

2. When choosing partners in the US, why did the Guardian choose the New York Times, with its abysmal record on Wikileaks and on truth-telling generally? If, for some reason, Snowden wants to keep this under the auspices of establishment journalism, could he be encouraged to open it up to less dubious institutions, like say, McClatchey? Are there any plans to seek out additional partners?

3. Considering that a lot of people in the security field are starting to resent the withholding of technical information that would assist them in building tools to circumvent the NSA, are there any plans to distribute the leaks to engineers so that technical measures for resisting the NSA can be improved and so that more specialized stories are available to technicians?

4. To what extent, if any, are commercial considerations affecting the timing and placement of the leaks? What financial dealings, if any, have potential to cause conflicts of interest?

So for the eleventieth time, to the extent that this multi-post discussion is about leaking methods at all, it’s not about dumping, no matter how much some asshole says it is. It’s also not about some asshole.

With that out of the way, I also want to note that,  as a recent commenter pointed out, the conversation has moved on.

Now carry on, brave warriors.

Related

Dr. Rosen and The Snowden Effect

My reply to Glenn Greenwald’s Comments on Take Your Drip and Stick It

Fuck The Guardian: Take Your Drip and Stick It

Fuck The Guardian Part 2

Fuck The Guardian Part 1

 

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78 Responses to Cliffs Notes for a Pile-On

  1. Apparently they haven’t noticed that the conversation here has moved on – from “What’s up with this method of ‘slow leaking’?” to “What’s it mean that Greenwald has been allowed into (the outer edges of) MSM conversations?” (At least, that’s what I’ve been taking away from the posts and comments here.)

    In any case, I might note that – as a Canadian (and, er… member of the human race) – I’m always a bit taken a-back when people say Snowden is leaking carefully because he doesn’t want harm US interests. Why the hell not? Hasn’t he been paying attention?

    Thanks for these posts. Whether you’re right or wrong, you’ve got me asking questions I wouldn’t have gotten around to on my own. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Fuck The Guardian: Take Your Drip and Stick It | The Rancid Honeytrap

  3. Dill says:

    Why in the world partner with such an obviously abysmal paper. They must not truly care. The only reason to partner with the NYT is to get wider circulation not principle. $$ & celebrity has got to be a driver.

  4. Morag Eyrie says:

    Support you in general but surprised that you are genuinely questioning why the scumbag Guardian is partnering with the scumbag New York Times. They are of a piece (well, in the Guardian’s dreams they are, circulation-wise). Just thought I would point that out for your non-UK readers. Noone here (in the UK) is the slightest bit surprised. Keep on keeping on, and do not, under any circumstances, let the bastards grind you down.

    • Tarzie says:

      I am not really questioning it. I think they’re both scumbags, but as your reply suggests, US readers are a lot less aware of that than they are of the New York Times.

      Also, it’s never clear the extent to which Snowden is running the show — Greenwald is fond of insisting that Snowden is just pleased as punch with everything Greenwald and the Guardian do, which may be true — so the question was as much about his compliance as the Guardian’s. I believe Greenwald claims the decision about the Times was made without him (Greenwald) and, as we know, he’s faultless.

  5. Pingback: Dr. Rosen and The Snowden Effect | The Rancid Honeytrap

  6. poppsikle says:

    McClatchy isn’t less dubious. Along with Gannet and the Tribune, they are partial owners of Topix which I exposed as sharing their user’s data with the NSA three years ago. The Gannet, McClatchy, Tribune news corp, set up a wall of silence that kept the atrocities happening on Topix out of the press – its no exaggeration, thousands of lives and businesses have been severely affected from the site, there is illegal drug dealing on it, loads of criminality – along with their NSA dealings, which could have seen exposure 3 years ago if the news corp wasn’t more concerned with raking in Internet ad profits, which they share. Its why I was so heavily attacked, hacked, openly mocked of NSA empowerment and NSA terror tactics, not a single press source would step in.
    http://open.salon.com/blog/virginia888/2013/06/17/terrorism_on_topix_of_nsa_whistleblowers

    I know McClatchy has a good reputation from their past investigative reporting but they made a very, very bad business decision that they allowed to affect their reporting, sorry to say.

    I really don’t see the Guardian as scumbags, even though I am losing some of my patience as they also are keeping Topix’s involvement hidden. I have seen over past 3 years since I learned of what the NSA was doing, how some press will publish one article on something close to what is important, then back off and never mention the topic again. Crimes stay hidden that way. The only way to expose them is to run article after article, to continue the investigation and to spread awareness.

    Snowden remains a hero of mine, I read his own words and find them heartfelt, honest and dead-on. I just hope that his actions result in the change that is needed to happen, I plan on helping that along as much as I can.

    • Tarzie says:

      Sure, all of them are implicated at some level in shit. Thought of McClatchey simply because of their higher standard on war reporting. As should be clear, I am for much more radical transparancy on the leaks. Am attempting to make recommendations within the context we have.

      I don’t share your regard for The Guardian, obviously, for reasons all over this blog and others.

      • poppsikle says:

        Its hard to completely trust any media source, that is not an individual who speaks solely from their conscience and experience, and then when someone like this exists, the wider public does not trust what they say because they are not a media organization, and media is the only way they can digest things, its a Catch-22.

        What model would you suggest for exposure? If you’ve already posted this, forgive me for asking a question you’ve already answered.

      • Tarzie says:

        It’s good that it’s hard to ‘completely trust any media source’ because one never should. Surely you realize that this is one of the planks underlying my whole discussion here about the leaks.

        Also, I don’t share the managerial class left’s enthusiasm for The Media and ‘The Debate’ as the engine of change, particularly with respect to a massive, global surveillance apparatus. But to the extent that The Media matters at all, involving multiple and varied sources in the disclosing of secrets is better than complete dependence on one small cabal of far-too-admired liberal journalists calling all the shots. This is something that I would have thought is blindingly obvious to people calling themselves radicals. Clearly, it’s not, and more’s the pity.

      • poppsikle says:

        I agree. I have seen this tyrant say News is a Weapon, there sure are those around who use it that way, one has to be intelligent, wary, not gullible.

  7. Trish says:

    My understanding which Glenn repeated in his recent tweets is that he has to use the drip drip method because manu esteemed lawyers told him that if he did not work on every story he might fall foul of the espionage laws. Glenn in those tweets went on to say he was not sure if that was true but nonetheless he had to proceed this way.

    Seems Glenn is not prepared to risk being charged under espionage act, and who can blame him. So he will continue to be involved in every story along with Laura, and thus drip, drip will be the method.

    Given the amount of time he spends on twitter, i do wonder how he is spending 16 hours a day working on stories, unless of course he is able to write for one minute, tweet for several minutes, write again for 10 minutes, and so on.

    • Tarzie says:

      I didn’t post this to resuscitate an argument I made three or four posts ago and long ago lost interest in. I wrote it because a lot of people are very vexed with me for writing something I didn’t actually write. Put another way, a lot of dumb, credulous people are letting Greenwald and his fans interpret things for them, which is a problem that keeps asserting itself. Please see this post for details!

      I appreciate how nicely you explain how everything works to me, but it’s certainly curious that not a single thing you’ve written here contradicts anything I wrote in the earlier post that has caused so much fuss. Yet you phrase it as though it does. In my original post I said that slowness is built into the process — even mentioning those lawyers you talk about — and was taking issue with the idea that there is some deeply clever, NSA-destroying ‘method’ behind it. So we completely agree on that.

      And, no, I don’t fault Greenwald for not wanting to be charged under the espionage act and never suggested that he should do something that would put him at risk. So we agree on that too!

      To the extent that I am analyzing tactics, my concern has been on the problem of all the risk/time/decision-making etc being on the backs of a handful of self-selected, risk-averse establishment liberals, like Glenn. I am happy having Glenn at the party, but I want other people there too. He doesn’t, for reasons that have been exhaustively but unsatisfactorily explained to me. (thanks in advance for not attempting it). That’s what we’ve been arguing about.

      People keep saying I am talking about this stuff too much while at the same time very insistently not getting it. That this cluelessness always comes packaged as an adult sitting me on their lap to explain things I have already said myself gets seriously old very quickly.

      • Trish says:

        You lost me.

        Your first question asks if there is a sound strategic reason why Glenn, and co have to be involved in every story rather than distribute them to other journalists in non UK/US markets. The answer Glenn gave, which i posted was he has been advised that he needs to be involved in every story, and can not distribute to other journalists, because to do so means be might fall foul of the espionage act.

        I am not sure i fully buy Glenn’s reasons, and agree with you that a small select group get to make all the risk etc decisions, but even if the risk is minimal, Glenn can hide behind it and his decisions will be supported.

        So while I do not like how slow the process has been, Glenn is in the starship seat, and it seems he has no intention of changing course

      • Tarzie says:

        Yes. You are lost.

        Quoting from my post: ‘I also want to note that, as a recent commenter pointed out, the conversation has moved on.’
        Repeating from my comment to you: ‘I didn’t post this to resuscitate an argument I made three or four posts ago’

        Glenn is in the starship seat, and it seems he has no intention of changing course

        NSA director Keith Alexander is in the super duper starship seat, as Glenn pointed out with his trademark bathos. So? Also, see where I said I have moved on from this question. I don’t care about Glenn’s methods or his multifarious explanations or his little starship seat. I care that I am being misrepresented all over Twitter. I believe I have said this directly to you at least three times now and you reply as if I have not, for reasons that completely escape me.

        How very silly Glenn seems to make people. That his personal brand is fierce intellectual independence and rigor makes this stuff especially amusing in a grim sort of way.

      • poppsikle says:

        “NSA director Keith Alexander is in the super duper starship seat, as Glenn pointed out with his trademark bathos. So?”

        So? He is a super-villain. don’t want him in charge.

      • Tarzie says:

        Yeah, we all agree on that. My point was simply you don’t stop criticizing just because the guy is in the starship seat.

  8. Laurence Lange says:

    My understanding which Glenn repeated in his recent tweets is that he has to use the drip drip method because manu esteemed lawyers told him that if he did not work on every story he might fall foul of the espionage laws.

    Strange. Mr Greenwald holds himself out as a highly skilled lawyer with an impressive background in litigation. Such a person would not need to consult other lawyers for the Q of whether he “falls foul (sic) of the espionage laws,” especially a person who is such a highly skilled lawyer and who isn’t working 80 hrs/week serving private clients. He has the time, and the resources, to understand the “espionage laws” and determine whether he is running “foul” (sic) of them.

    Any decently skilled lawyer would know this. But perhaps this entire discussion is befouled by non-lawyers pretending that they know the law, and giving far too much deference to the reputation Greenwald built for himself.

    Aside from that, he’s supposedly helping distribute the “leaked” information. So why consult someone else on “espionage laws,” especially when it would go without saying that those “espionage laws” experts are going to tell him to zip his lips, given their affiliations.

    The whole story has the noisome stench of fable. Incremental semi-truths, unspoken lies, and awkward realities obscured.

  9. nigh says:

    Sorry, im aware the discussion moved on. But this moved me to write. I realized just now that there is being constructed an antithesis which in fact is not existent, or was prior to the greenwald/snowden sequence not existent. Concrete, the argument “wikileaks = dumping” vs. “greenwald et al = planned narrative (and educational maybe) publication modus” is being constructed by exactly the latter. It is logical, that the second re-interprets the first. The true contradiction is not “wikileaks dumping vs. greenwald-not-dumping”. The real contradiction is “offensive use of information with maximum impact” (which is basically the definition of “leaks”) vs. “controlled use of information for educational aim” (which is basically the definition of “how can we avoid impact of leaks”).
    Also i think, if there is a wider function of the Snowden handling by those who do handle and drive the story, it is, that it produces a contrast – re modus, aim and legal perspective – , on which wikileaks – as a paradigm of maximum impact of leaks – will be reflected and probably judged. I will not continue my speculation. I hope – or better: i ask you kindly – not to answer too aggressive, if at all 🙂 (also i apologize for my bad english.)

    • Tarzie says:

      ‘Bad English?” That was a great reply. One of the best in the whole discussion.

      I am just antsy because everybody is making it all about this one thing that I am finding less and less interesting and I also don’t want to be credited by implication with saying the very thing I keep saying I didn’t say.

      Also i think, if there is a wider function of the Snowden handling by those who do handle and drive the story, it is, that it produces a contrast – re modus, aim and legal perspective – , on which wikileaks – as a paradigm of maximum impact of leaks – will be reflected and probably judged.

      Yeah, I think we’re on the same page here. This is why I keep harping on the ‘Not Manning’ thing. From the beginning this whole thing has been shaped as a lesson in proper leaking, with a gamed set of mostly bogus benchmarks: penetration of news cycle, mentions by establishment figures. Like, we’re supposed to think it’s just an obvious win that James Clapper said, yes, we should have a debate. Radicals were all abuzz today, because Walter Mondale, some ancient Democratic hack who once ran for president, thinks journalists should keep writing about the NSA. Radicals. Cheering. Because some near-dead oligarch shares their concerns.

      So people don’t credit Wikileaks as a maximum damage method because it doesn’t measure up against these benchmarks.

      • nigh says:

        Think i understood your interpretation from the beginning, although do not have enough competence in the matter itself – i mean security staff etc. Realized the statement of GG comparing Manning with Snowden and DEFINING nuances of savoir leaking – for the first time actually – , only after reading on this blog – im not following everything gg says or does.
        And i agree with your interpretation. Only i do not believe that “this whole thing has been shaped”. I will explain: Leaking is the thing upon which the fight rises. That is logical because the technology is ripe for exactly that. Wikileaks symbolizes nothing else than technology which is falling into its opposite: produced to control (long distance misssiles) – becoming able to subvert this same immanent possibility (not control = communicate).
        What i want to say, is: This whole thing HAS NOT BEEN shaped, but it IS BEING shaped. The difference is important. It contains the possibility to influence it.

      • Tarzie says:

        this whole thing HAS NOT BEEN shaped, but it IS BEING shaped. The difference is important. It contains the possibility to influence it.

        Right, but unless I am misreading you I think we may be close to splitting hairs over language. If I didn’t think there was potential for it to take another shape, I might have written in a less advocating spirit, though advocacy wasn’t my main reason for writing. I just find it all very interesting. Completely shocked by the tiny shitstorm of highly motivated trolls.

      • nigh says:

        I agree, gg for sure did. But we dont know if snowden did and we dont know if others/ how others are involved. – I actually proposed to continue the pressure on all sides equal what they say.

      • Tarzie says:

        That’s a good distinction. Greenwald as much as said to me in a DM that the shaping of that first story about Snowden as contrast to Manning was not Snowden’s doing.

      • Tarzie says:

        To me, the cult-like deference to Greenwald from the people who would be most likely to apply pressure if, say, Bill Keller and the New York Times were driving, is a near-insurmountable tactical problem for anyone attempting to make this take another shape. The only way it’s going to be reshaped is if the leaks (or others) get really leaked.

      • nigh says:

        Absolutely agree with that “The only way it’s going to be reshaped is if the leaks (or others) get really leaked.” Im helpless with that. Have no influence, as – actually – most of the people. But I remember a story, which happened long ago in italy, when the workers of fiat, who were striking for long, entered the kk party congress and robbed out the participants. this was not a proposal.

  10. goodkurtz says:

    The Guardian staff can’t even get the basement laptop sorted.
    The Readers Editor Chris Elliott in reply to my inquiries kept referring to the one Mac book and hard drive single, whereas on Amy Goodman’s show Alan Rusbridger referred to a few computers getting destroyed. (he didn’t give a specific number)

  11. goodkurtz says:

    Chris Elliott’s column Open Door is up on the Guardian website now

    • Tarzie says:

      Engaging with them is a complete waste of time. So hard to tell where the gross incompetent ends and the liar begins in all of them. I think the main problem is that they are tasked with playing a part — disruptive journalists — for which they are entirely ill-suited.

  12. goodkurtz says:

    I also think I saw the first signs of a crack in relations between Rusbridger and Greenwald yesterday. Its bound to happen sooner or later. And when the final falling apart happens it’ll bring out the worst in each of them.

    In the DemocracyNow interview, explaining Greenwald, Rusbridger said Greenwald had been writing on security matters for a few years at Salon, “some would say obsessively so.”

    Nasty and cowardly remark, as we all know when some one says “some would say…” they actually mean themselves.

    • Tarzie says:

      That’s a very revealing remark, as if one can actually be too concerned with the issues Glenn writes about, and so cowardly put, just as you say. What a creep.

    • MickStep says:

      Glad you listened to that with such vigilance, I grew bored too quickly and just barely listened to it in the background.

      That quote is telling.

  13. nigh says:

    Haha, agree with that goodkurtz, there seem to be some remains of post-colonialist controversy between the wagnerian piano expert and the under the ecuador dog fetishist:)

    • Tarzie says:

      Maybe so, but Greenwald is showing himself to be quite the company man. I can’t see that rift getting more public than what goodkurtz just described. There is too much at stake for both of them. Very stupid of Rusbridger not to keep a lid on it. Just can’t help himself.

  14. Trish says:

    I give up. I am not sure what your issues are but your responses are both nasty and oh so superior. Must be so hard for you to deal with the feeble minded.

    Your arrogance means you misread my intent. The “starship” reference was a dig, not a homage to Glenn. Highlighting his excuse for drip drip was also in what i wrote filled with a big question mark, and not quote buying it. But it was also tempered by the fact that even though i don’t really buy the reason, Glenn can conveniently use it to defend holding on to all the documents,

    As for the guardian and its editor regardless of them publishing this stuff they are pretty much a govt mouthpiece, old boy network. So when Glenn says that so far he has had no problems with AR as to what to publish,and what not because of Nat SEC, color me skeptical. If Glenn and the Guardian are agreeing on what is Nat SEC docs in can only mean that the doc in question is so obviously Nat Sec, ie: it has the codes for the bomb, or agents name, or the docs they have are not Nat Sec. I say this because if there are docs that fall in the gray area, and as Glenn say he and AR have had no problems deciding what to publish and what to withhold then either Glenn has fully embraced the status quo BS, or he is in way over his head and is being outsmarted by the “old boys network”

    Given london is my homeland, and having first hand knowledge of AR types, combined with having lived in the states, I suspect that Glenn is being outmaneuvered, and doesn’t even know it. It takes a while to understand the nuances of another culture, and Glenn has had no time to figure out how the brits especially AR ilk work

    • Tarzie says:

      Got it. I misunderstood you. It seemed as if you were continuing to press on methods and reasons, which was not the point of my post and I am quite exhausted by that issue. Apologies.

      I think The Guardian owns some of the blame for this, but not all. Like so much else, I find this tendency to see something to Glenn exceeding what is right out there on the surface very akin to defenses of Obama.

      I am, however, finding this idea of a culture clash between Greenwald and Rusbridger extremely interesting.

  15. goodkurtz says:

    Greenwald once wrote about how the NYT always disparaged his aritcles. They’d describe him as a “civil rights activist”, a “constitutional extremist” or a “blogger” but never refer to him as a journalist.
    Well at the end of his recent column at The Guardian, Greenwald provides the link to DemocracyNow where Rusbridger himself says about Greenwald, his own recent star hire, that he is a “blogger” who writes on security matters “some would say obsessively”.

    I who am British and as familiar with Rusbridger and his type of m.o agree with Trish on this point.
    I also have to disagree with Tarzie. I do believe a large falling out will happen. In fact right from the word go any conversations between Greenwald and Rusbridger would largely have consisted of diplomatic two steps around each other trying not to allow the vast differences of attitude to interfere with a business relationship in which both parties appeared to benefit ,,, for now.

    But Greenwald’s determination and overweening vanity and Rusbridgers paternalistic attitude to let the kids muck about as long as the Establishment doesn’t come to any harm contain within it all the ingredients of a irreparable breaking of truce that could happen at any time and for which no Bandaid to cover the crack will be found even if both parties wanted one.

    Right from the beginning of the leak stories that looked at first glance to be a scoop of the century, I thought to myself, now lets wait and see how long exactly will it take for The Guardian to fuck it all up leaving them a laughing stock with egg all over their faces?

    I’ll be easy on myself. I’ll give it to Xmas.
    And part of the reason it’ll all blow up is for reasons best known to themselves they lied and made up a story about laptop(s) in the basement.
    Check my posts (goodkurtz) to Elliot the Readers Editor and his waffling replies to me at the link below. One of mine after was scrubbed when I asked Elliot to explain how he had been talking about one laptop while Rusbridger on DN had been talking about multiples of computers being destroyed.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/22/guardian-coverage-of-government-surveillance?commentpage=1

    • Tarzie says:

      But Greenwald’s determination and overweening vanity and Rusbridgers paternalistic attitude to let the kids muck about as long as the Establishment doesn’t come to any harm contain within it all the ingredients of a irreparable breaking of truce that could happen at any time and for which no Bandaid to cover the crack will be found even if both parties wanted one.

      My only problem with this theory is that I don’t think their attitudes toward preserving the establishment are all that different, except that ‘overweening vanity’ you mentioned induces Greenwald to blow a lot more smoke. Greenwald is a starry-eyed reformist with a taste for declinism. Everything will be fixed when a few bad apples are sorted out and incentives are put in place for following the rules. This is what’s required of public lefts in the states: you can describe how rotten everything is with complete accuracy and clarity, but you mustn’t recommend any remedy stronger than ‘debates’, firing the bad apples and putting new policies in place. Greenwald needs no extra inducement from English patricians to play along with this script – The US media system ensures this automatically — though I can imagine a clash over style.

  16. goodkurtz says:

    “though I can imagine a clash over style.”

    Clash over style will do it.
    Rusbridger must have copped a dose of the vapours, when his recent hire, the man he thought he could make his creature, stood their railing at the airport in Rio about how he, Greenwald, was going to embarrass the UK by releasing dope on the English spy system.
    The cock and bollox story of the destroyed laptop then appeared that apparently necessitated a deal with the highly dubious NYT. Whose purpose mainly, I’m coming to think was to diffuse Greenwald’s grip on proceedings.

    I was personally shocked as to how quick Greenwald was to use Snowden leaks for his own personal usage. That I think was ethically dodgy and not a use for which he had been given the material to begin with.

    • Tarzie says:

      Whose purpose mainly, I’m coming to think was to diffuse Greenwald’s grip on proceedings.

      Hmm, that’s an interesting theory, but I also think the official story is credible: that there is less likelihood of goons showing up at the New York Times for a computer smashing party. The press does enjoy stronger protection here. It is kept in line by means other than force, normally. That he chose the New York Times may have been a smack on the wrist.

      I’m not quite understanding all the suspicion around the computer smashing story. Yes there are stories that don’t sync up, but they seem kind of trivial (macs? other computers?) I’m not getting it.

      • goodkurtz says:

        “I’m not quite understanding all the suspicion around the computer smashing story. Yes there are stories that don’t sync up, but they seem kind of trivial (macs? other computers?) I’m not getting it.”

        Well apart from the fact that you can’t get a straight answer as to how many comps. were destroyed and an accompanying photo not containing even one hard drive there is the matter of the choice not being an even quid pro quo.
        If apparently they didn’t destroy the laptop that all were agreed didn’t anyway contain the only copy of the docs legal action to stop further publication was supposedly threatened.
        But if they did then legal action would not be pursued even though that would still allow the Guardian to carry on publishing. This doesn’t make any sense.
        That’s not even starting in one the business as to why they destroyed a whole laptop instead of just the hard drive, nor why they used the curious means of an angle grinder when a disc wipe program would have been the more effective.
        But a big tell to me that got my bullshit meter in the red was when after the comp. or comps. had been destroyed Rusbridger would have us poor benighted readers actually believing him when he said the man from spook central turned and said, “Right then, we can now call off the men in black helicopters.”

        No one, but no one, from the Security Services ever, ever said such a hackneyed thing to Rusbridger.
        That’s Rusbridger over egging a pudding that may very well never existed. It’s not even good fiction but just bad crap written by someone trying to deceive.

      • Tarzie says:

        You’re smart and insightful as fuck. So much so that you are still going over my head. This might be easier for a dumbass like me if you described what you think actually happened that is being concealed.

    • Tarzie says:

      By the way, as understandable as it was, Greenwald’s tirade at the airport was idiotic and revealed everything wrong with his custodianship. I guess that’s what you are getting at in your last parapraph about ‘personal usage’, but then, for me, Glenn has been looking out for Glenn all along, and we have by no means seen the end of that.

      • nigh says:

        Sorry for interrupting your dialog, just a micro comment on this: “Greenwald’s tirade at the airport was idiotic and revealed everything wrong with his custodianship”
        I analysed – as a film scene – the “airport moment” as we became to view it from most media because i was impressed by the break in the narrative it suggested.
        1. The figures Greenwald and Miranda seem in this scene to be lost for one another, they seem to not have the same srcipt, but the divergence is so obvious that the scene seems over-realized.
        2. The figure Greenwald is being rejected by the figure Miranda. But this rejection does not fill out the scene, it does not convince empirically.
        3. M´s statement/ interview: body language stays in full contradiction to what M speaks out, he never looks into the camera, avoids being proved as expression.
        3. The statement of Greenwald ” i will publish more aggressive now, i have many documents” is shown in front of moving stair, in the middle of an intensity – airport, detention, fear for the other – and central: is the narrative endangered ? Nothing of the latter questions is being expressed in GG´s face.
        4. Contrary to the moment when GG and M first meet and contradictions are between the figures scripts, during the “interview” with GG in front of the moving stairs the contradiction is between the circumstance: danger, and the publicity of his speech. This sequence either was filmed later, or the figure GG was in advance prepared to speak out the text.
        What i want to say is, this scene signalizes a break in the narrative as it was evolving since the first snowden appearance on the media stage. Im not sure what it means, but it was important.

      • Tarzie says:

        Surely you’re not saying this is all being staged, are you? You’re talking about the shaping of things that actually happened, right?

        Miranda looks entirely innocent to me. He looked exactly like someone who had endured exactly what he had just been through. Greenwald looked very convincing as the distraught husband. I see no reason to speculate.

        I have to say I am getting a little uncomfortable with a conversation that is headed toward a lot of speculation tilting toward conspiracism. I don’t discount that conspiracies happen, but if other explanations exist, I prefer them. My biggest problem with conspiracism isn’t simply that it tends to discredit critique; it’s that it fixates on the minor details of how the story began, not on what happened next, which is almost invariably of greater importance.

        My feeling is that the propaganda system is so adroit at shaping the narrative, engineered events are largely unnecessary. For instance, I know that there are people who think Snowden is CIA embarking on a turf war. But I say this doesn’t matter, because the CIA and other security establishment rivals will use these leaks to their advantage whether that’s Snowden’s intent or not. This is the important thing: what the people who shape outcomes want to do with this.

        I would be grateful if, unless there is a super intellectually sound reason to do otherwise, we could critique things without giving anyone additional cause to discredit people who are writing critically about this stuff, specifically me.

      • nigh says:

        You are right, im not speaking of conspiracies 🙂 im actually just trying to bring – media and film science – relevant proof for my hypothesis that the detention of miranda is of more importance to the whole story – NSA – , than that he was detained under terrorism law.

      • Tarzie says:

        The ‘filmed separately’ part is what kind of threw me. I like the idea of analyzing it like film though, because, as I said elsewhere, these people and events are just raw material for the storytellers.

      • nigh says:

        Problem is, there are no storytellers.

      • Tarzie says:

        I disagree completely.

      • nigh says:

        So, you believe gg is the “subject of storytelling” in the NSA affair?

      • Tarzie says:

        Before we continue, let’s just get clear on what, if anything, we’re disagreeing on.

        I think Greenwald, like Snowden, is the raw material for discussions and stories elites are willing, perhaps even eager, to have. For various reasons, many elites are genuinely eager for a discussion about the NSA, but they want it kept within certain limits. So far, Greenwald, with his assiduous gatekeeping, has proven very useful in that regard. Greenwald is not the subject, though his vanity, paternalism and ambition are helpfully keeping it all cinematically focused on individual heroism in a way that is both downright corny but also quite useful to rendering his ostensible disruption harmless. Clearly the rubes are eating it up. The American left — for lack of a better term — has never been less critical of Big Media. The transfer of files to the New York Times caused barely a ripple. Consider that in just a few short months Greenwald has remade intellectual property, UK/US media monopoly, heroic white male paternalism, and the safeguarding of state secrets on grounds of national security as left propositions. If present trends continue, he will be among the Propaganda System’s most brilliant creations, and he will have had almost nothing to do with it, apart from vigilantly protecting his top-billing. That’s all anyone is doing. It runs by itself for the most part.

      • Tarzie says:

        The NSA is the subject of the story.

      • nigh says:

        I agree: the reason why we try to influence the narrative is not because we are “against gg” – it is actually the opposite: we are against the NSA and the Apparatus, and we would like to convince gg to fucking realize what his own – accidental in fact, because the NSA is a machine subject, not a human one – influence in shaping the narrative could be and how he could use it in favor of the working class.

      • Tarzie says:

        Precisely. I have less hope for him than others. But I think we should still agitate because this shit is just wrong and it’s getting more stupid all the time.

  17. goodkurtz says:

    “This might be easier for a dumbass like me if you described what you think actually happened that is being concealed.”

    Well it wouldn’t be for me to say and how could I?
    But it sure doesn’t weaken my position in anyway. Just because upon hearing a patently dodgy story one is able to call bullshit, doesn’t leave it incumbent on the caller to then be obliged to describe what actually happened in place of the bullshit. All I ever got to know was … the bullshit.

    I’m a 9/11Trurther. I know the expanation given defies basic physics and explosives brought down the towers because I SAW it with my own eyes and can again any time of the day or night on youtube.
    But its not or incumbent on me to have to be able to explain how many men it took using how much explosive was used in order to shore up my argument. I wasn’t there and there are no vids of them doing it.

    Same difference with the laptop story.
    But further evidence that it is a bullshit story is one that would be recognized by any detective working in a criminal investigation department.

    The perp Rusbridger comes out with a story. When questioned his story changes. Other accomplices trying to supply him with a false alibi when asked to clarify some details all come out with different ever changing and often contradictory stories of their own when not trying to evade the issue.
    That’s whats been happening at the Guardian. As I say, go look at my posts and the readers editor’s replies to me to get a taste.

    • Tarzie says:

      I think you misread me. I wasn’t saying you are obliged to provide an alternative scenario. I am just saying I might understand things better if you offered one. I see the vague suggestion that perhaps single copies of files were destroyed, but am not sure that’s what you mean. Is Rusbridger a potential saboteur? I’m just not getting what the fishiness might lead to.

      I found Rusbridger’s story weird also, and like you say, it just gets fishier and fishier, but can’t figure out what game he’s playing. Just wanted a few ideas. I have not looked at the 9/11 thing closely myself — I think the way the event was used is more important — but all Truthers have a theory as to why. So I am wondering if there is an underlying theory about Rusbridger.

      • goodkurtz says:

        I’ve no idea what Rusbridger’s game is either.
        But if I might humbly suggest, try doing as I do: keep your eyes peeled, ears pinned back and just watch, noting everything while studiously avoiding struggling to come up with a credible rationale for which none of the disparate information offered so far could give rise.

        We can do nothing more at this stage but wait… and watch.
        Remember, it’s their story not ours. If the story was a truthful one it would hold water and we would not need to be having this conversation.
        But it’s not, its bullshit. So one just waits and watches for them to make some unrecoverable fuck up down stream after acting on it.
        Then we gloat and laugh uproariously.

      • goodkurtz says:

        “I wasn’t saying you are obliged to provide an alternative scenario. I am just saying I might understand things better if you offered one.”

        Sorry my man don’t follow your logic on that one.
        Sounds to me like you’d think the truth and veracity of Rusbridger’s story would be dependent on whether any alternative scenario I offered was a sound one or a crap one.
        But of course it wouldn’t. Whatever the quality of any alternative I came up with would have no effect whatever.
        Rusbridger’s story would still be a crap one.

      • Tarzie says:

        I honestly don’t understand why you’re being so pugnacious about this. Did I not say ‘you’re smart and insightful as fuck’ often enough? I am disclosing my own confusion, nothing more, and seeking remedies by probing you for answers. I understand things better by example. No I don’t think Rusbridger’s veracity is contingent on alternative scenarios. He is lying, most certainly. But I don’t find that enduringly interesting or instructive if I don’t have even one scenario to set it against. It’s a temperament thing. You’re smart and imaginative and it seemed to me like you had ideas. I was simply wondering aloud what they might be. I am particularly curious about the hint of a suggestion that files may have been destroyed for good.

        Jesus fuck.

  18. goodkurtz says:

    I’m not being pugnacious, I just don’t have any alternative scenario.

    Look, Rusbridger will have it that some security bods visited menacing him with legal action if he insisted on keeping the laptop(s) with the files on them whilst at the same time offering him a get out of jail card.
    So he used that card, destroying the laptop containing files that all concerned knew weren’t the only copies that he had access to, after which the Security bods left satisfied yet looking like right chumps having got precisely nothing.
    Well now that story must be bollox. And that my friend is all I know.

    • Tarzie says:

      Yeah. When I first read it I thought Rusbridger’s contempt for the stupidity of the GCHQ (ha ha don’t these bozos know files can be copied???) was simply asinine. Wasn’t considering something else was going on.

      Everything about him stinks.

  19. Trish says:

    Here is my take on the AR story. The reason he gave for smashing the material was that it would stop legal action. This makes no sense. The spooks are not stupid and they know the info is in multiple places, so if they wanted to take legal action they would have.

    So maybe the reason was purely intimidation. let AR know who the boss is. It is possible, but unlikey. AR not only knows how the game is played, but is a willing player. Glenn does not, and AR could use this “intimadation” to end run around Glenn and give the controversial stories to the times. Only problem is that it has been over a month and so far limited explosive coverage from the Times. Meanwhile Glenn gets his phyric victories in Brazil, and “intimdation” threat further convinces hime that only laura and he can work on the stories.

    It does all sound convulted, so I think the simple explanation is probably the correct one. the elites, as you have stated are comfortable with some of the stuff coming out. Weakening the US in the eyes of brazil, is for whatever reason a risk they are okay taking. There will be some chest thumping, a few pretend changes, but not much more if the releases to come continue to mirror what has already been released. In the end if the govt can spy on everyone what is the point if nobody knows about it. If at some point the intent is to strike fear into the crowd and cull the herd then everyone needs to know what you can do.

    I don’t know for sure. But i am leaning toward some of this info being released is okay with the elites. Why, i am not sure.

    • Tarzie says:

      That all makes quite a lot of sense, and the observation about the Times sitting on the stories is very interesting.

    • goodkurtz says:

      “Here is my take on the AR story. The reason he gave for smashing the material was that it would stop legal action. This makes no sense. The spooks are not stupid and they know the info is in multiple places, so if they wanted to take legal action they would have.
      So maybe the reason was purely intimidation. let AR know who the boss is.”

      Yes but that would be as daft as someone turning up demanding Rusbridger stopped smoking in the office and demanding that he threw his cigarettes away.
      So getting out an empty packet kept for purpose, Rusbridger crumples the pack up and throws it in the bin and the bods walk away satisfied even though they knew that Rusbridger had other ciggies stashed away in his desk drawer.

  20. goodkurtz says:

    You know sometimes it is wise and proper just to get used to not knowing something and being comfortable with that lack of knowledge for the time being.
    But your requests for me to offer an alternative scenario brought to find for the first time after many years of 9/11Truth studies something interesting.

    I’m not trying to turn this thread into a 9/11 one I promise. Its only my thinking and how to that I wish to bring to your attention.
    You can workout the lie in the comfort of your chair in front of you laptop right now.

    Take WTC7 the third building that fell at 5:20 pm that afternoon.

    You ask yourself some simple questions:
    Q: Have you seen a steel framed building collapse like that before?
    A: Yes.
    Q: When have you seen a steel framed building collapse like that?
    A: When they have been dropped in a controlled explosive job.
    Q: Have you ever seen a steel framed building collapse like that that wasn’t a controlled explosive job?
    A: No.

    (there you’ve cracked it. nearly there just a couple more tests using basic scientific methodology)

    Precedent The all important precedent.
    Q: Have you found a prior precedent for a steel framed building dropping like that without explosives being used?
    A: No.
    Q: Has a steel framed building ever collapsed through fire alone as NIST would have it since 9/11?
    A: No.
    (So now we know by another yardstick they are lying, because natural forces like fire and gravity never act on inanimate material in a one off unprecedented manner. And the final test is “Repeatability”)

    Q: If you used fire and fire alone as NIST would have it could you get another steel framed building to collapse like WTC7 was supposed to have?
    A: No.
    Q: If you used explosives could you then replicate the event?
    A: Yes most definitely.

    And there we have it Tarzie, bish bosh, job done end of.

    But now if you ask me WHY did they drop WTC7? I’d have to say I haven’t a fucking clue and that’s the god’s own truth.

    • Tarzie says:

      I get used to not knowing things all the time. I get diminishing returns from talking about them.

      • goodkurtz says:

        Well exactly.
        Now as it happens not all 9/11Truthers are conspiracy theorists. Far from it.
        In fact my studies have taught me a variant of that old appeal to God, teach me what I can change and what I can’t and give me the knowledge to know the difference.

        Well 9/11studies have taught me what I can and damned well should know, what is impossible to know and the knowledge to know the difference.

  21. Trish says:

    BTW. I wanted to thank you for your posts. I wish Glenn would listen to what you are saying instead of being puffed up by the smoke blowers telling him how great he is.

    • Tarzie says:

      Thanks. I am increasingly finding it all quite laughable. Glenn and his acolytes are becoming increasingly ridiculous, the way people who will hear no criticism always do.

      • Trish says:

        I know Glenn does like yo remind us how snowden thinks he is doing a great job. WTF planet is he on? Did Glenn miss that Apple sold 9 million iphones and that was after he posted the article where the NSA called iphone users muppets. I also find the Nat Sec issue questionable. Apart from the obvious printing names, or given the codes to the bomb, when did Glenn acquire skills to know what is Nat Sec.

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