Found Satire


From Twitter today, this is just fucking priceless:

The Google Glass in his avatar is almost overkill. (Update: he’s swapped in a new avatar, which is also amusing. Cap of originals here.)

Thoughts, Honeytrappers?


Fuck These Google Guys

Mass Surveillance and No NSA. It Happens!

In Conclusion

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134 Responses to Found Satire

  1. Jeff Nguyen says:

    Well, at least Google has better amenities for their employees. If you can’t beat them, you might as well join the one with the better logo.

  2. robertmstahl says:

    Is there a Pied Piper about?

  3. b-psycho says:

    I can’t get my head around even the first of the two, to be honest. How exactly does someone consider joining the NSA of all things and then “wait, what? You mean they spy on everybody?” like it’s a goddamn revelation?

    It’s like going to a brothel and being surprised fucking is taking place there.

  4. Well, warheads and foreheads and such. Also, I read somewhere that the corporate motto of Google was “Don’t be evil” or something like that. Ask yourself: Does NSA have such a motto?

    This sort of thing is making me suspect that there may be an undiagnosed wavelength on the autism spectrum. A form of autism that allows those affected to understand and manipulate the minute complexity of computer algorithms, but not understand the very basics of authority, power, and coercion. Or maybe they just read Ayn Rand in a formative year in their life.

    Anyway, with folk like these at the vanguard, I think our rather ambiguous techno-utiopian future is looking a bit more bleak.

    • nimbus says:

      I see your point: how could Alec refuse the offer from the company with better marketing? There’s a woman here who sports a “Jesus Christ” button, made to resemble the Coca Cola logo. One wonders, do muslims prefer Pepsi? Should a staunch atheist only drink home-brew?

      It’s unfair, though, to blame that type of behavior on autism. Have you read Cordelia Fine’s “A Mind of its Own” or someone else’s “Why We Lie?” (something like Jonathan Parker Smith or John James Doe). In a nutshell, both argue convincingly that we are hard-wired to deceive ourselves. Not an excuse, but a challenge.

      • No, I don’t really think the kid is autistic, but the dichotomy between the tech savviness (which I’m assuming since he’ll be working at Google) and the wide eyed naivete related to NSA/Google put me in mind of savant syndrome. I think it’s probably mostly due to the libertarian techno-utopianism that many techies seem to buy into, but I wouldn’t doubt that self deception, as you mention, has something to do with it. Knowing where your (relatively large) paycheck is coming from is a powerful thing.

        What’s frustrating and galling is that after what, almost a year of NSA drips, the upshot for this guy is that he chooses Google over the NSA as an employer and gets to feel like a hero about it. Mission accomplished, indeed.

      • nimbus says:

        100% in agreement.

    • Goldfish Training Institute says:

      “I didn’t know any better” sounds like the shit Greenwald spewed after he got called on voting for Bush, or cheering for Bush, or baking cakes for Bush, or whatever the fuck Greenwald was doing when he was supporting the destruction of Iraq. “I only ever read the New Yorker and defended Neo-Nazis I didn’t know any better.” “They throw a lot of money at you I didn’t know any better.”

      Ignorant class collaborationism, utter lack of class consciousness, self-serving opportunism. Probably all three.

  5. mspbwatch says:

    This might be somewhat off-topic but it’s Glenn-related. I used to read his columns starting about 4 years ago until this NSA debacle. I remember a Q+A he had on the Guardian where someone asked him about activism and how he persists in the face of setbacks and the deck being stacked against activists. He said something about it being a game of inches and sometimes you catch a break. And now look how he reacted in the face of the Snowden lottery ticket.

    GG is a lost cause (I know, I know Tarzie, he was never not a lost cause, we just didn’t know it) but it will be interesting to see how many of his enablers and supporters in the so-called alternative media realize what it is that they helped create.

    • Tarzie says:

      Spoiler Alert: 0

    • nimbus says:

      I’ll second, triple and quadruple that 0, which still makes 0. Those who have supported GG for this long, despite the blatant hypocrisy he manifests, are either: (a) working for The Man; (b) too heavily ego-invested to back down now; or (c) clinically brain-dead.

  6. What gets me about this situation is how it encapsulates — or, I guess, recapitulates at an individual scale — the entire Greenwald/Snowden spectacle in all its unpleasant uselessness. Here’s a privileged white tech guy who was always going to work in that industry advertising a switch in loyalty that…isn’t. If he *had* paid attention to what little Greenwald has shared (and many others knew and surmised already), he’d understand that the NSA and Google are nodes in the same system, working on the same goals from very slightly different angles. He’s “switched” for nothing except personal gain, something with which Glenn “Cato Institute paycheque years before Omidyar’s” Greenwald is very, very familiar, and the chance to perform a little smug self-satisfaction for accolades from others dumbasses (also the kind of gesture at which Glenn excels).

    All these tweets, all these announcements, all these interchangeable dicks, signifying absolutely nothing.

    • Tarzie says:


      If he *had* paid attention to what little Greenwald has shared (and many others knew and surmised already), he’d understand that the NSA and Google are nodes in the same system

      Oh but he has. From his live tweet of the NYC book event:

      Between the careerism and The Spectacle, poor boy can’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.

    • nimbus says:

      I would go even farther and suggest that, in the big picture, the NSA works for Google, not in partnership or the other way around.

      • diane says:

        With a favored meeting place somewhere on or in the vicinity of Airport Blvd. , which is a few minutes’ walk from the San Jose Airport, would be my guess. I’ve worked in the area and it thoroughly creeped me out, … the DC like abundance of flowering cherry trees did not help one bit.

        On a related note, the fact that The San Jose Mercury News (, it also still delivers hardcopy editions) is never called out for acting like a small town rag when it’s located in one of the prime power spots of the world and it’s editorial staff and tech/biz writers ultimately ADORE Sly Con Valley’s Megalomaniacal, Public-Private Partnership For The Common Good, tech moguls, never ceases to disgust or amaze me.

        Come to think of it, the viral, oxymoronic Public-Private Partnerships For The Common Good never cease to amaze and disgust me, in that: the public is never informed; their opinion and consent are never requested; they generally cannot afford those particular Common Goods; and they certainly are not generally considered hirable (despite proven intelligence and skill) to benefit from that Common Good.

  7. Happy Jack says:

    He should use his talents to get in on a ground floor opportunity with a new company that’s involved in the burgeoning and lucrative field of developing secure encryption technology for woefully ignorant journalists.

  8. Janex says:

    It took me less than 30 seconds to pull up a picture of his house using Google. Now that’s surveillance for you.

  9. diane says:

    Briefly visiting (it’s all I could stand) @alectivism’s main twit cloud – particularly after being served there a nauseating pic (with an equally nauseating I, Me, Mine attached twit) of him and Greenwald …jeesh Glenn, talk about the cat that ate that canary… -…. Adrian Lamo came vaguely to mind.

    His twit bio (or whatever it’s called), was particularly sickening in it’s proclaimed selfless mission (despite clear evidence of being way, way too impressed and concernced with himself), not to mention totally unclear. For one, did he work at Google formerly and is now returning:

    Founder of Student @Net_Alliance. On my digital hustle to protect your rights. Formerly #NYU @WhiteHouse @NYCDigital @Google

    New York, NY

    Hustling to protect our rights indeed.

    • Tarzie says:

      I had a feeling you’d find Alec particularly amusing, Diane.

      • diane says:

        Kisses for the deserved ridicule and outrage platform, honey. You deserve much love for it.

      • diane says:

        Truly, … and now my mind has wondered to that photo-op venue: is that a bodyguard by that exit sign … and ..the last time I viewed that sort of Mr. Clean flooring (no near bankruptcy teeny bookstore there) neath the most special footsies of our Thought Leaders was in this piccie

        (Photo link kisses to Marisa)

      • diane says:

        Thank you for the dance hall sweet heart ….


  10. Reilly says:

    The fun never ends. Greenwald — successfully hated:

    “I’d much rather have positive results and be hated by a good number of people than the other way around,” he said, “to be loved by everybody and fail.”
    Perhaps the best part is Greenwald reconstructing his malignant, combative personality as conscious strategy in reply to Chris Hayes telling him he alienates people. “I had to find a way to be heard.” Throw misuse of past tense on top of that steaming pile.

    • Tarzie says:

      I dunno, I could deal with Greenwald’s ‘malignant, combative personality’ if it didn’t come with so much lying, stonewalling and troll incitement. This conversation with Hayes just fortifies the myth that he’s lobbing grenades at the powerful from the outside, when, in fact, for every ‘potential ally’ he alienates, there are ten in line to hang on his nutsack. He’s the official insider-anointed outsider. The famous bellicosity is part of the scam.

      I certainly have no room to object to belligerence. I object because in Greenwald’s case it’s bullshit theatre to conceal what a subservient tool he is. A banal, liberal/libertarian hybrid frothing and fuming as if he’s something far more disruptive and unwelcome than he actually is.

      • Reilly says:

        I don’t particularly care about his tone either, except as a reflection of his totality. Unfortunately the combative personality and the lying and stonewalling are all of a piece. Everything with Greenwald stinks of individualism, except the parts that stink of outright authoritarianism. Thinking people who see the problem of the world as competition and individualism can’t trust him, not because of his shitty tone as idiosyncrasy, but because his entire person screams me, individual while pretending to fight the fight for the good of all. I seriously can’t think of many people, outside of the far right, that I would trust less with any formal power. And not just because he sounds like an asshole, but because of just the kind of asshole he really is. Greenwald give us clues to who he is with everything he does. You’re right about the ratio, though. I’d be out-voted 10 to 1.

      • Tarzie says:

        That’s a really thought-provoking answer.

        I seriously can’t think of many people, outside of the far right, that I would trust less with any formal power.

        I feel exactly the same way. I hope he’s gone as far as he’s going to go.

      • nimbus says:

        While I agree with you about Greenwald, I think that perhaps “egoism” would be a better term for his defect than “individualism”. The latter overlooks the complement to the authoritarian leader; to wit, those self-abnegating masses he or she attracts. I would argue that it’s necessary to maintain one’s individuality, to think for oneself, and to avoid conformity at all costs. That, however, is not incompatible with caring about and for others.

        I doubt that we think differently about the situation, but the words I would choose are empathy and autonomy (both of which take courage), standing in opposition to conformity and autoritarianism. “Individualism” can be good or bad, depending on context.

      • Tarzie says:

        I’m really liking this thread, Nimbus and Reilly.

        Nimbus, your remarks on egoism vs. individualism help clarify for me why I have always been on uneasy terms with the disparaging use of individualism on the left and why I have always been uneasy with it as a term to describe American culture. As you suggest, in other contexts it connotes non-conformity and autonomy, and, as you also suggest, these qualities are not incompatible with ‘caring about and for others.’

        The more I think about it, the more loath I am to credit a chameleon as banal and suited to his time as Greenwald to individualism. I don’t think egoism has the same strained relationship with conformity and authoritarianism that real individualism does, and so I find it a more satisfactory term for what Greenwald both embodies and represents in the way of political practice.

        It may seem like hair-splitting, since we are all in general agreement about what’s going on. But the left has inherited language use from authoritarian elements with which it has long been associated, so it’s practical to step back and look at these terms from time to time. My thoughts are only half-congealed here, but this conversation makes me think of Chomsky’s smears against Aaron Swartz on the basis of his individualism — the social pathology of our time, as Chomsky put it — when clearly the ideas motivating Swartz’s intervention could not have been more communal, nor Chomsky’s disparagement more self-serving. There is a similar paradox in Greenwald’s self-dealing, which has been accompanied by extraordinary discipline and cooperation on the part of his followers to keep naysayers in line. Certainly one of the problems for the left historically has been that the so-called ‘individualists’ are so much more highly organized and cooperative with each other than are the more philosophically communal sorts who long for their demise. Greenwald represents a particularly striking example of this, because, as someone in my Twitter feed recently observed, he is the first left icon who isn’t even remotely socialist. The egoism that the left has variously seen as the lubricant/pathology of capitalism seems to have planted its flag on it.

      • Reilly says:

        First off, I’ll be the third to say we’re all seeing more or less the same thing and simply describing it a bit differently. I actually hesitated using the term “individualism” because the connotations can be so slippery. I’m not wedded to it and I wouldn’t bother arguing in defense of the term itself, but I would like to explain what I was trying to get across by its use.
        I meant individualism, not as a quality of character — individuality, but as the belief in the primacy of the individual in relation to society. It sounds appealing and uncontroversial, but it’s never, of course, the primacy of the individual, but only of certain individuals. How do we know these individuals? By way of their rise up the hierarchy. Hierarchy rewards individualism, and individualism becomes hierarchy. In any event, individualism gives us the obscenely paid CEO, the professional politician, and the celebrity journalist, all of whom are seen as great examples of individual effort. And whether that happens to be true or not, it has its basis in social competition and reinforces competition as the societal norm. This is what I was driving at about Greenwald. Whether he blazes his own trail up Hierarchy Ridge or not he still means to get to the top and he still stinks of individualism. That’s his orientation, individual effort not collective effort, and no number of speeches at socialism conferences can hide that.
        I do want to disagree with this, nimbus:

        The latter (individualism) overlooks the complement to the authoritarian leader; to wit, those self-abnegating masses he or she attracts.

        I think the “great man theory” of history is a hallmark of individualism and is rife with self-abnegating masses.
        I would wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment “that it’s necessary to maintain one’s individuality, to think for oneself, and to avoid conformity at all costs.” But just to illustrate how difficult it is to separate the reality from the mythology of these terms let’s apply that quote to the Red States, the region that commonly regards itself as being comprised of rugged individualists, with their religious zealotry, their inherited cultural norms, and their stereotypical gender roles. (I’m unfairly generalizing but I hope you see my point.) Individualism is, to some extent, authoritarianism, as it uses the masses to maintain the imbalances of society while affording them the self-mythology to make it all palatable.
        Having reread this I’m not sure I’ve clarified anything and I certainly can see why both of you have some problem embracing the term. In the end, words that cause more confusion aren’t of much use. Anyway thank you both for the conversation.

      • Tarzie says:

        This is great. While egoism covers a lot of what we agree is pernicious about individualism, as you show, it doesn’t get at ‘the belief in the primacy of the individual’, that’s embraced by practically everyone in our culture, sheep and shepherd alike. It’s in the realm of religion.

      • nimbus says:

        Just to clarify, I think the term individualism applies in all the aforementioned contexts. There’s the healthy type, and the unhealthy type. It’s a good word, just open to abuse.
        Also, I was wanting to say (less coherently and far too cavalierly) pretty much the same thing as you, Reilly, about the “great man” malady. My point, if I remember correctly, was that the type of individualism that leads to power for the few, always has a concomitant Borg population; thus, those who celebrate that type of individualism are denying that it really depends on those willing not to think for themselves.
        But I am trying to forget that I speak English, in order to assimilate other languages. This is far too confusing for me! Thanks for the discussion, though. Always glad to learn.

    • stormforgovernor says:

      I know it’s not “timely” or current to introduce good ol’ non-comformist Henry Thoreau into this (or perhaps John Brown might be as pertinent) but in “Resistance/Disobedience” he addresses all of these issues. Thoreau is the individualist who is NOT a loner (as so many people misrepresent him) and who is concerned with each person’s individuality, each person’s freedom, each person’s conscience–ie, he says, before Karl and Groucho, that he will belong to no party–we “club” together to be against another party. There is no love of power in Thoreau and there is no way to do “good” inside a corruption; he notes Daniel Webster in particular–an insider who cannot see “outside” his frame; and he asserts that the Constitution itself is the primary problem–it is “the wooden gun”:

      This American government–what is it but a tradition,
      though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself
      unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its
      integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single
      living man; for a single man can bend it to his will. It is
      a sort of wooden gun to the people themselves. But it is
      not the less necessary for this; for the people must have
      some complicated machinery or other, and hear its din, to
      satisfy that idea of government which they have.
      Governments show thus how successfully men can be imposed
      upon, even impose on themselves, for their own advantage.

      • Tarzie says:

        Thanks for the quote. Not crazy about the last bits about the people’s need for government if it’s anything but a rhetorical device.

        I am not really crazy about this idea of good individualism and bad individualism just from the standpoint of clarity, and the blurring of the two actually seems to serve power. I think there is probably a relationship between Thoreau and the Great Man theory of history. I am tempted to go with Reilly’s use and if the ‘good’ individualism is tainted by it, so be it.

        To me, everyone really is, for better or worse, the product of collective effort by simple virtue of being human. We can sing the praises of autonomy and non-conformity without sacrificing a critique of what really amounts to religious faith.

      • stormforgovernor says:

        I’m not really sure what “last bits” you mean. And I don’t think what you’ve said is in line with what Thoreau says throughout his work. HE is an example of a collective voice. What would he be without his brother, his neighbors, without his books, without the pond, the mountains, the Cape, etc.? This section is, for me, the hardest to come to terms with:

        As for adopting the ways of the State has provided for
        remedying the evil, I know not of such ways. They take too
        much time, and a man’s life will be gone. I have other
        affairs to attend to. I came into this world, not chiefly
        to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it,
        be it good or bad. A man has not everything to do, but
        something; and because he cannot do _everything_, it is
        not necessary that he should be doing _something_ wrong. It is
        not my business to be petitioning the Governor
        or the Legislature any more than it is theirs to petition me;
        and if they should not hear my petition, what should I do then?

        “and a man’s life will be gone…”

        It seems to me that our grossest errors are errors of action. We might say that these errors spring from thought, that is that action is preceded by decision but this is very demonstrably an error. We often “act” without considering all that there is to be considered. A man without a conscience is a man without knowledge of himself. Thoreau asks us not to “club” ever. (Emerson might call us all “infinitely repellent orbs” but we exist in relationship to each other no matter that we cannot bond.)

      • Tarzie says:

        I’m not really sure what “last bits” you mean.

        I should have been clearer: from ‘but it is not less necessary for this.’

        And I don’t think what you’ve said is in line with what Thoreau says throughout his work. HE is an example of a collective voice.

        Undoubtedly, but I think the good individualism of people like Thoreau has been vulgarized and leads to things like Great Man theory. My ambivalence isn’t about Thoreau, its about a term that by virtue of applying to someone like Thoreau and also someone like Greenwald is effectively useless.

      • stormforgovernor says:

        I think this simply shows that there is only a kind of “frame-thinking” going on when we even speak about “government”–all hail democracy and such–that is, “to
        satisfy that idea of government which they have.”

        And again, I think you’re only saying what Thoreau is saying. Thoreau is never a Carlyle–which Emerson is at times; he’s not DH Lawrence or Ezra Pound either. He is more closely an emissary of the Native American tribe as a “collective” of right action.

        Nowhere would Thoreau agree to a “great man” theory as this is a reading backwards of history. Who are all these “great men” anyway? Thoreau calls out the false adulation of the murderers who are historically “great” just as Melville does in his conflating the whale abattoir with the great military conquerors.

        And I don’t see where anyone applied any particular term to Thoreau (be it “individual” or “great man”)–unless by this you mean “non-conformist.”

      • Tarzie says:

        Nowhere in this conversation have I credited Thoreau with Great Man theory or any of the other toxic features of what is commonly implied by individualism. I have said — over the course of many comments now — that a term that encompasses both Thoreau and Greenwald is problematic at best.

      • nimbus says:

        Actually, after having had my fun with semantics, it occurred to me that I was using individualism as synonymous with independence. It isn’t. Pretty much any word that ends with -ism is suspect, as far as that goes.

      • Tarzie says:

        Pretty much any word that ends with -ism is suspect, as far as that goes.

        Ha ha. I have kind of come full circle on this. I think Reilly’s use of individualism to describe an ideology about the person in relation to society is the most satisfying use.

        I usually hate hairsplitting over words, but you and Reilly really enriched my understanding, not just of the word, but all the related phenomena.

      • nimbus says:

        Glad to have contributed something small in return for the pleasure I’ve gotten from reading these posts. What I meant by -isms was more that whatever they describe is likely to be pernicious. Like fanaticism, nationalism, and (I’ll buy it) individualism.

    • stormforgovernor says:

      Well I guess I’ll be done now as I have no idea what point your making exactly. I think all of us here agree with you re: Greenwald and so what does that mean to us? I bring up Thoreau because he (and many other 19th century authors) had already asked and attempted to answer these questions. Greenwald is irrelevant (Greenwald serves Greenwald) when we ask the first question–what do we do?

      As far as I can see HDT only has one answer that is an ACTION we might understand and it is not an “inside the system” choice: rather, it is a stand against the lubrication of power. DO NOT PAY YOUR TAXES. If only you do this then you will be thrown in jail. If “Concord” does this, then the Government MUST take notice. This is one of the reason that all of our activities celebrate a kind of dispersal and detachment. NO, you will not make a difference “online.” You must “club” with your neighbors to stand against the tyrant.

      • nimbus says:

        That is a point on which I have always agreed with Thoreau. Unfortunately, it takes a willingness to be incarcerated and given the reality of life in US prisons, that means having a lot more courage than I have.

        I read bits of some reviews of the insidiously-titled No Place to Hide. Is it really just a reality-thriller about meeting Snowden? That is *all* anyone has mentioned in reviews. If so, WTF??? I recall Greenwald excusing his lack of articles with “but the real revelations will be in the book!”

      • Tarzie says:

        Is it really just a reality-thriller about meeting Snowden? That is *all* anyone has mentioned in reviews. If so, WTF???

        Apparently that’s what a third of it is, and naturally too; Sony surely has no interest in a movie version of the PRISM slide deck. But there are a few new leak-based disclosures and GG has published the related Snowden documents on a web site set up by his publisher for this purpose. I think the focus of critics on the glammy back story attests to that being the mainstream’s main focus from the beginning and also that the new stories likely tell us nothing really new. I mean, how many ways can you say the NSA is bulk-collecting data and keep it interesting? I think we passed whatever that number is a while ago.

        Still Glenn has promised us a fireworks finale. Don’t be so impatient.

  11. parink says:

    Lesser Evilism in the work place not just the voting booth.

  12. mspbwatch says:

    By the way, the lies and hagiography don’t stop with Greenwald. Here’s Snowden’s attorney, Jesselyn Radack from the Government Accountability Project, pretending to be the underdog:

    • mspbwatch says:

      Their exploitation of whistleblowers is coming under broader scrutiny:

      • Tarzie says:

        This is just delightful seeing the Leak Industry finally called to account, though making common cause with people who trolled relentlessly on Greenwald’s behalf half a year ago takes some of the joy out of it. Glad the anon and WL enthusiasts that gave me so much shit for so long have rediscovered their own self-interest by way of the PayPal 14. Wish they’d felt the same loyalty to Manning when Snowden and GG threw her under the bus, but then they’ve been mostly silent on the PayPal 14 until now, also. Better late than never, I guess.

      • mspbwatch says:

        I didn’t know they were the same but it’s good to see this nonetheless.

      • Tarzie says:

        They’re not everyone but there’s overlap. One of the people in your thread there is what provoked the comment. But yes, good to see it. I just wish people didn’t need/seek permission to be analytical. Nothing has changed except a few big anon accts have greenlighted thinking critically while GG does his tour. There is a great disciplinary effort to keep it within certain parameters. The flyers they’re telling people to pass out at the book events don’t even mention Omidyar explicitly. ‘Greenwald and Omidyar are profiting from our culture’ is a whitewash and not really true. When the right accounts tell everyone to stop thinking, they’ll oblige. On and on…

    • poppsikle says:

      I suspected something was going on, there has been this click of “whistleblowing advocates” that has shut out anyone not on their “list”, its been ridiculously one-sided and smacks of propaganda. Real NSA whistleblowers, early ones such as myself, are being completely ignored by this cartel.

      Tarzie, can you unblock me on Twitter? sometimes I want to reply/RT your posts and cannot.

      • mspbwatch says:

        It is very much a cartel, with propaganda, empty symbolism, thuggery, regulatory capture, pathological secrecy, lack of accountability, psyops, and complete absence of self awareness or sense of irony.

  13. Mallam says:

    Am I going to regret going to his twitter feed? I think I’ll give it a pass. Anyway, I’m not one to criticize one’s career choices (within reason, of course; everyone has lines they draw somewhere), and I can even see someone arguing one way is better than the other (NSA is worse than Google, yadayada).

    But to credit GG’s reporting as the reason for making your decision? What an insufferable douche. I like your word choice of “goofball.” It keeps out any ableist language I may have been tempted to use without thinking.

    • Tarzie says:

      I can even see someone arguing one way is better than the other (NSA is worse than Google, yadayada).

      No, that is specifically what I’m ridiculing. I don’t think there is anything but a ridiculous argument to be made along those lines. Furthermore, the day of his historic meeting with Greenwald, the man himself had said much the same thing, and fanboy Alec had livetweeted it.

      • Mallam says:

        I agree it’s a ridiculous argument, and it’s worthy of ridicule (if we take the corporation/government entities as a whole). But is it different to be some programmer at Google working on something completely unrelated to surveillance (who knows what that is, maybe it’s related to encryption; do the do those things?) and a (probable) hacker for the NSA? I think you can make the argument in good faith that it is, even if you’re part of that cog for the system itself. It comes back to “is my job immoral simply for existing in capitalism” kind of way.

        In this specific case, I agree with your position, especially related to this kid and Saint GG Showing Him The Way. But I can also see other specific instances where taking a job at one place is “better” than the other.

        Corporate spying and government spying, yeah it’s all bullshit.

      • Tarzie says:

        Yes we are all fucked under capitalism.

        it’s just that Alec’s formulation comes across as particularly ridiculous, but also helpfully encapsulates the intended lesson of the Snowden Spectacle. Despite candid moments like that remark about the NSA and the tech companies all being part of the same machine, GG and the Leak Clique would like us to believe that our tech overlords will get us out of this.

        But is it different to be some programmer at Google working on something completely unrelated?

        Since you asked, no, it’s not. The business of Google is spying too. Not a sideline. It’s the bread and butter. Anything else Alec would work on is simply honey for the spied-upon bees.

      • Mallam says:

        Yes, that’s been obvious from the start. If we are generous and GG’s actions in good faith (haha), it all comes back to his lawyerisms and But The Constitution! forms of argument.

        He’s got a hard on for privacy (so he says), gay rights, drugs and the other -isms, but gives zero shits about the money.

        Those people are the worst, and they continue to demonstrate as much every day.

  14. Romancing the Loan says:

    Have you seen the latest?

    GG is withholding the name of a country the NSA is listening to with full content capture out of fear for the company doing the spying:

    Wikileaks has promised to reveal it themselves, though if they already know I’m not sure why they’re giving a 72 hr window. Enough time for company employees to leave the country, maybe?:

    Either way, I would give a lot of money to see a good cage fight between Greenwald and Assange.

    • Tarzie says:

      Yeah I just saw this myself and you and I have made the same guess about the 72 hour window.

      I am enjoying this. Comes at an inopportune time for GG since the PayPal14 thing has already softened him up a bit.

    • Goldfish Training Institute says:

      Don’t just name the country, name the fucking company. Who gave Greenwald the directive to sit on that information? Talk about an abuse of power, he’s running a protection racket.

      • Dissent Now says:

        Well yes, of course he’s running a protection racket, and this little operation, in whichever country it is, is likely one of the smaller of his contracts.

  15. trish says:

    Hi Tarzie,

    Hope all is good with you. Been away, so not been following GG saga, but like all good soaps you can pick up where you left off, as Nothing has happened.

  16. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    Wealthy people are apparently ultra-class conscious but spend all their energy discouraging such thoughts in the rest of us.— Murtaza Hussain (@MazMHussain) May 20, 2014

    Works for Pierre.— The Rancid Honeytrap (@RancidTarzie) May 20, 2014

    LMAO. He probably forgot he works for PO since nobody they hired actually does any work.

  17. Hieroglyph says:

    That guy could work for special ops by the looks of him. I swear nerds used to get beat on at school, now they do gym as well as Math; a bad combo. I blame Bill Gates.

    I have a colleague who wants to join Google. Young guy, about to graduate. Good at Math, does weights, has no idea about politics: this seems to be the corporate templete for graduate programs. He admits money is his motivation, which is honest at least. He’s a good lad, some people just like money I guess. I expect I’m a little naive about such things having no interest in being rich, having 3 homes, etc.

    And it looks like it’s the Bahamas that GG was ‘protecting’. Famous for rum, sun, billionaires and tax dodging. I’m unsure, can anyone help me, is this definitely the country that GG wasn’t going to name? It has been named in The Intercept, so has pressure from Wikileaks forced their hand? That’s what it looks like, unless WL is naming another country as well.

    • Tarzie says:

      I’m unsure, can anyone help me, is this definitely the country that GG wasn’t going to name?

      I think you’re confused or I have missed out on some recent news. The Bahamas was one of the countries GG did name. Wikileaks has yet to name the unnamed country, which they said they would name within 72 hours of yesterday. It was the story about the Carribean that provoked the dustup. Here’s the quote:

      Documents show that the NSA has been generating intelligence reports from MYSTIC surveillance in the Bahamas, Mexico, Kenya, the Philippines, and one other country, which The Intercept is not naming in response to specific, credible concerns that doing so could lead to increased violence.

      I don’t blame you for not reading this crap, I guess.

      • Hieroglyph says:

        Ah, cleared up thanks. My mistake, I missed that quote. So, another country it is.

        I look forward to the reveal. Increased violence = Honduras, perhaps. You know, the place where there wasn’t a coup.

      • Tarzie says:

        Could be anywhere, but GG said naming country would probably swallow the whole story and endanger lives. Honduras doesn’t seem to meet the first criterion. I am thinking Pakistan. Can’t imagine why The Philippines is on the list, but I know very little about geopolitics. I reckon WL will name the country, nothing will happen, and life will go on as before, with people breathlessly awaiting their turn on GG’s book tour.

      • Goldfish Training Institute says:

        John Cook is now twittering that they don’t actually know the name of the company.

        Fucking outrageous that these people “control” this information. I’m with Wikileaks on this one, these assholes don’t have the right to determine for the people in any country what to withhold based on “threats” of anything. It’s paternalist and neocolonialist when you get right down to it.

      • Tarzie says:

        Surprised no one has reminded Cook that he was among the few people that actually did publicly admonish Greenwald for not publishing everything at the beginning. From an interview he did with The Poynter Institute:

        “I love Glenn Greenwald,” Cook continued, “but he’s basically keeping the same secrets the NSA was keeping” instead of “laying it all out there so people could look at it for themselves…“ [I] would always err on the side of the data dump.”

        Wikileaks completely stood down on this while Cook trotted out old articles about their own cautiousness with Manning’s leaks, which they have long said they regretted. Just looks like more theatre to me. Friendly rivalry among two paternalistic cabals. Wikileaks has been running interference for GG all along, as if he hadn’t been trashing them and Manning from Day 1.

  18. RUKidding says:

    “That guy could work for special ops by the looks of him. I swear nerds used to get beat on at school, now they do gym as well as Math; a bad combo. I blame Bill Gates. ”
    Riffing from Hieroglyph, above.

    Agree. This particular generation of nerds (forgetting previous for the moment) seem to be quite the apolitical group (from my admittedly limited experience but still know quite a few). And yeah, I see them at the gym a lot. They’ve all been imbued somehow with notion that money is the answer to all things & nothing else matters. I guess they see it, also, as the way to get the best babes, which may be true; I don’t know.

    At any rate, a blog post somewhat recently posited that Silicon Valley types were more ‘liberal” than other mega-rich assholes in other industries, like Wall St, Hedge Funds, Investment Banks. After the coffee shot through my nose, I immediately set about dis-abusing those posting of this nonsense. Silicon Valley & San Francisco are a blight as far as I’m concerned. Filled with super smart people, to be sure, but about as feckless and greedy as they come. Whatever the term “liberal” means anymore, these assholes surely are NOT that!

    They may be “socially liberal,” in that they’re mostly (not all) “down” with gays getting married and women having access to abortion. So there’s that. But that’s just the thin veil over who they really are: rapacious, mega-greedy, self-absorbed know-nothings. Mostly not religious, but somehow they all seem to have read Ayn Rand and bought into the “philosophy” wholesale. It’s all about me, Me, MEEEEEEE, gimme gimme gimme. And anyone who doesn’t have money is a shiftless, lazy, scum-sucker who’s a freeloader. These nerds are like all those assholes videoed at Mitt RMoney’s fund-raiser where they all dissed the 47% as being a huge blight on their fabulous lives. That’s Silicon Valley types but multiply by at least 100. They’re all into not being taxed because they should never have share with anyone ever.

    One other thing, which has been discussed, but it has taken me some time to cotton onto the fact (although I have cottoned onto it some time ago) that most, if not all, of the bigger name technology companies (plus most of the smaller, less well known ones) are nearly all doing something for the other vampire squid of the Alphabets in their many & various dis-guises. So it’s well nigh impossible to get some kind of higher level tech job without working for the Alphabets in some way. That does pose a bit of a dilemma for someone with certain training, education, skill sets, what have you. Where do you work and not be “working for the man,” so to speak.

    Somehow, though, the PTB have managed to dumb down this generation enough to keep them incurious and uncaring and basically willing to do whatever it takes to grab that gold ring at the end of the rainbow or whatever metaphor you like.

    Whathisname’s goofiness about how working for google will be ever so much better than working the NSA is but the tip of the iceberg. Duly noted that GG appears not to have disabused the youngster’s misunderstanding about who his top boss really is. And isn’t that interesting?

    • diane says:

      I’ve been mulling, for nearing a decade now, that it was absolutely no mistake that a predominance of the ultimately worthless (and far worse) DEM/Progressive Blawwwwgs were run by those Thought Leader (such as Markos of the likely CIA/TECH ridden Rancid Orange) who were domiciled in, or on the perimiter of Sly Con Valley; along with Sly Con Valley Adorationists from the Citrus County, HollowWood vicinity.

      (Funny that, I can’t remember the last time Senator Barbara Boxer even pretended to sponsor a bill to even apply one of those cute circular and worthless (other than that all important ‘cute’ appearance it imparts) bandages, let alone the needed tourniquet to the now profusely life bleeding estimated 30% of the Californian Empire’s population shoved onto Medi-Cal, with no Doctor to be found anywhere.

      That’s not to even mention the stunning amount of homeless (yes, at least double digit thousands in Sly Con Valley alone) in the Empire of California, who are totally ‘UNINSURED’, … not even considered bottom of the bottom Medi-Cal (basically the same thing as Medicaid, but the clever State of California named it after itself) patients.)

      • diane says:

        I’m loving the EFF (Electronic Frontier[!] Foundation) and ACLU (American [Attorney$] Civil Libertie$[!] Union) call outs on the outraged ‘worker ant’ trails …

        And, in other noose, ..oh the Poor Twit CEO, how will he ever profit when some ants are refusing to farm the aphid $ugah? …

  19. Dirty says:

    Appears the greatest sin of past leakers, especially Chelsea Manning, is they didn’t shepherd their leaks into an easily monetized format. Sloppy! Savvy leakers 1) hook up with billionaires, 2) never threaten evil institutions, only strive to make them better, 3) shepherd debate into a space where merely debate suffices because it’s best, and 4) fireworks(Under the rubric of “CASHING IN”). Pierre may have this on powerpoint.

  20. Tarzie says:

    Submitted without comment.

    • AmishRakeFight says:

      I had two reactions to this. First, Glenn must have been a pretty good lawyer. Now more than ever, I can see him running for office in the future. That is some Grade A, Washington-DC-quality bullshit.
      Second, this seems to reveal that he’s a bit vulnerable, and he’s aware of it. As you and others have noted, he often throws a bone to those on his left when he senses that he’s exposed. Trying to smooth things over. Would you agree?

      • Tarzie says:

        In this case I have no idea. The Wikileaks call-out, coming so soon after the brief, easily contained PayPal 14 insurgency, might have given pause, but I doubt if he’s too worried.

      • Goldfish Training Institute says:

        It sounds more patronizing than anything else. Accede to the critics then dig your heels in and continue what you’re doing while shouting “my source my source.”

        It might not be that he’s a good lawyer so much as he’s bad at self-regulating and self-critique. He obviously didn’t see a problem with reporting that they are redacting entire countries based on some arbitrary and ethereal “threat.” He needs to be picked apart and shown for the bourgeous authoritarian that he is.

        There’s a reason he has to spend twitter time playing so much defense – because he’s in over his head, because his politics, no matter how much he thinks he’s “radical”, are still private property/capitalist, and because he’s protecting the bourgeois state, and you can’t hide that shit no matter how hard you try. So everybody should keep making him play defense until he’s out of the fucking game or at least closer to the sidelines.

      • nimbus says:

        My take on it is that he pulled an awkward, but surprisingly successful, bait-and-switch (by twisting the meaning of “the people everywhere have a right to know”). He got the conversation turned from what FirstLook wouldn’t publish (Glenn bad) to how he has advocated for everyone being allowed to read whatever tidbits he writes and/or how everyone’s privacy matters to him (Glenn good, but ambiguous). He must have debate team training. Say nothing that is patently illogical, but reframe the conversation such that the original postulate gets washed out. The last refuge of a scoundrel, but the people who allow it are even more despicable.

  21. dominique says:

    Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
    Neo: What truth?
    Morpheus: [leans in closer to Neo] That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind.
    Morpheus: Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. [Opens a pillbox, empties the contents into his palms, and outstretches his hands] This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill [opens his right hand, to reveal a translucent blue pill], the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill [opens his left hand, revealing a similarly translucent red pill], you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. [Neo reaches for the red pill] Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.

    Alec Foster (along with Glennbots everywhere): “No, anything but NOT the truth, keep telling us lies…. Please!!…. We’ll take the blue pill !”

  22. trish says:

    wow, jet lagged and reading wiki’s tweet. Seems the country is Afghanistan, and the company that made it possible Google. Every reason GG gave for not revealing this countries name is a LIE. from claiming it would be this very “small company” in danger etc. also some great tweets on wiki especially how AR says ton of stuff in snowden docs about iraq/afghanistan they are not going to touch and how only published about 1%

    Tarzie, I hope you write a scathing piece, nailing the lying, arrogant wanker GG and his FL whores. Really, if he hides Afghanistan, then what else is he hiding. He h switched the NSA hiding shit to GG hiding shit

  23. trish says:

    I am so effing angry, and I. wish i had your writing ability. This is the kind of shit GG is redacting, negs the question what else is he withholding. instead of NSA now he is deciding what we see, and then has the balls to hide behind well – guardian NYT etc are withholding. We all know they are co opted, so what a pathetic argument. His other one is his source. Really. I thought his source vetted everything. What were the painstaking reasons GG and his team used to withhold Afghanistan. His standards are obviously very low for what he withholds and to hide behind the guardian etc are withholding more is horse shit. While I am on it, what the eff is going on with FL. he hired all these jounos and their output is a joke. Are they being paid to do NOTHING is that the plan.

    early morning rant, but I am pissed

    • Tarzie says:

      Sorry to disappoint, but my days of being among ten people writing about this shit are starting to wind down. Not sure I’m gonna bother.

      Can you provide a source for Google being the company that GG is protecting. I haven’t seen that anywhere. Doesn’t seem like common knowledge.

      • AmishRakeFight says:

        This is all I’ve seen about Google:

        Google Idea's director Jared Cohen was tasked with getting Afghan telcos to move towers to US bases when at DoS— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 23, 2014

        It’s not definitive based on that that Google is the company GG is protecting, just that Google played a role in initially implementing the capability for the surveillance to occur. At least based on my reading, I could be wrong.

      • Tarzie says:

        Yeah, that’s how it seems to me, too. Still very damning. This is all looking so shady.

      • trish says:

        Yeh, I understand. It is on the @wikileaks twitter feed, a couple of tweets down. they post quite a few links about cohen. You might also look at the link below in the comment by Jay 23. It highlights GG reasons for redaction, which are obviously bollocks. I lived in Afghanistan and violence is part of life there. how GG thinks naming it would lead to violence, in a country riddled with it is beyond me. In fact, if I were to hazard a guess, I suspect the spying has more to do with keeping control of the lucrative drug trade then anything else.

        I see GG has ignored wikileaks naming country X and is instead focused on responding to some twat, who wrote a twat review of his twat book.

        Anyway Tarzie, thank you for all you have done, I do enjoy reading your posts and comments

      • Tarzie says:

        instead focused on responding to some twat, who wrote a twat review of his twat book.

        Yeah, where would Glenn be without the one of every 100 journalists that doesn’t want to gain purchase on his scrotum. People might get the idea he’s just another subservient hack with a shiny brand. What an asshole.

        But I’m curious, what do you think his motives were? I mean I don’t think he really cares about protecting lives, but I think he probably did want to avoid an international incident that might cause his star to fall.

        I don’t really think GG believes in too much of anything. So I think this was just the usual: doing the thing that profits the most, which most of the time is serving imperialism in the guise of seeking its refinement.

      • trish says:

        in addition to link below they also gave this link. You know from the emails of the guys who were working with various parties to smear GG

      • Tarzie says:

        Wow Trish, this is great stuff. Didn’t realize Google had a soft imperialism wing. Really makes all the shilling the B-list leaknoscenti do for Google look exceptionally weird.

      • AmishRakeFight says:

        “I think he probably did want to avoid an international incident that might cause his star to fall.” – This is most likely to convince me as to his motives.
        He revealed the Bahamas. If the people there revolt about it, I think it would have little effect or possibly a positive effect on his standing, brand, etc. But if he were to have revealed Afghanistan and a major disruption or incident occurred, I think he would be very quickly villainized. The media would turn on him and that would be the end of his TV circuit, among other things.

      • Tarzie says:

        Yeah, that’s how I see it.

        An alternative theory is that the Govt put its objections in particularly strong terms. ‘Look we don’t want you to reveal any of this, but WE REALLY DON’T WANT YOU TO REVEAL COUNTRY X’ *fondles gun*

        Either way, it’s more or less the same thing. GGs position at the top of the food chain right now is entirely reliant on making all the right waves and none of the wrong ones. He has shown impeccable instincts so far, which probably owes to some direct encouragement. How long this bullshit can look disruptive to intelligent people is anyone’s guess. In the meantime, his acolytes will busily promote his imperialist logic and come to believe it themselves, if they don’t already.

    • nimbus says:

      my days of being among ten people writing about this shit are starting
      to wind down. Not sure I’m gonna bother.

      I hope that doesn’t mean the writing will stop altogether! I was reading some of your seminal posts – back when the comment threads were too short to floss with – and wished those conversations could be given a new spark of life (hint, hint). Then again, we all need to get back to being more productive in our various positions as cogs in the machine, and should probably be conferencing or teambuilding or jumping off a high cliff or….

  24. Webb Traverse (news anchor) says:

    Today we’re reporting to you live from Rio de Janeiro, home of Glenn Greenwald and his partner.
    Rio is like two different cities with two completely different sides to it….

    On one side you have absolute luxury, elegance and glamour, similar to what you would find in the French Riviera. On the other side there is such extreme poverty it resembles an open concentration camp, like Palestine’s Gaza City.

    The dividing line between the rich section and the poor section has even been named the Gaza Strip.

    On the poor side there are tens of thousands of homeless children living on the streets, sleeping in doorways, begging in front of restaurants, shining shoes outside the train station…

    But guess which side GG and his partner live in? You got it! In the luxurious and elegant side!

    Here in Rio, the government is working overtime to protect the rich. To keep them safe in their luxurious homes, it even sends out elite squads of police to enter the slums and kill the poor.

    More than half of Brazilian children under 6 years old are undernourished, and there are an estimated seven million “abandoned or marginalized”. In Rio, street kids can get killed for almost any reason, or for no reason at all….

    But enough about the poor, let’s talk about the rich….

    Yes, the future has arrived here in Rio where GG and the privileged class move from high rise to high rise, traveling exclusively by helicopter, with the streets abandoned to the poor.

    Let’s not think about all that horrid poverty and misery on the other side of the Gaza Strip….instead listen to fierce, adversarial journalist GG, as he sings praises to the capitalist system, and speaks to us of a “fireworks show…a big missing piece…. where the sky is all covered in spectacular multicolored hues….”

    There’s nothing shallow or superficial about this rich, greedy fuck, oh no….that’s probably why the Glennbots admire him so much…

    • permeable osmotic membrane says:

      Those underfed, uncared-for children are terrific little prizes for The Great One’s porn empire in Brazil.

      • Tarzie says:

        Got a source for that bit about the porn empire in Brazil? I’ve heard that before but haven’t been able to verify. Would think someone would have dug that up by now if it were true.

  25. Hieroglyph says:

    “Wikileaks has been running interference for GG all along, as if he hadn’t been trashing them and Manning from Day 1.”

    Dude, you know that’s wrong. GG initially supported both. Scepticism about his motives, fair enough, but saying WL has been running interference seems a bit reductive, sorry.

    WL, and Assange, are not, of course, beyond reproach. But they aren’t the same as The Intercept, quite obviously. Think Tarzie is being harsh here.

    • Tarzie says:

      Dude, you know that’s wrong

      Dude, prove it.

      Perhaps we’re not clear on what I mean by Day 1. I mean Day 1 of the Snowden Spectacle, which, as I have demonstrated, beyond all doubt I think, began with a campaign of mischaracterizing Manning and Cablegate, the residue of which still permeates the Snowden/Greenwald rhetoric to this day.

      Has Wikileaks condemned this? No, they haven’t. Have they trolled me on Glenn’s behalf? Why yes, they have. Have they happily promoted every talking point of Glenn’s self-mythology? Why yes, they’ve done that too. The occasional little spat only authenticates the overall sycophancy.

      I’m very glad that in this whole dustup over Country X, they’ve rediscovered what Wikileaker/Glennbot troll/Google shill Jacob Appelbro would call their ‘nouns.’ But it’s been a long time coming.

      I’m not being harsh. I am being empirical, which is something you should try if you want to continue in this conversation. Prove something.

      • permeable osmotic membrane says:

        Yes, BraChels (wo)Manning is the fulcrum, the sparkplug, the raison d’etre.

        Remind us what Manning did that hadn’t been done before, would you? Then, remind us what makes Manning the pivot-point for all this.

        You’re sorta like that person who says Baskin-Robbins failed because they switched marshmallow size in their Rocky Road ice cream.

      • Tarzie says:

        Hey Oxy, how’s it goin!

        Long time no hear that broken record.

      • Tarzie says:

        I don’t recommend putting too much work into your next trolls Oxy.

    • Tarzie says:

      Why is this interesting? Ratner is not saying anything that different from what Wikileaks’ statement naming the country said. He’s simply added a layer of assurance that people happy to prevent a country from knowing the extent to which Empire is controlling its affairs are really good people. I don’t agree with that.

      • Jay23 says:

        Sorry – nothing by Ratner in particular but the news itself was interesting to me because I hadn’t heard about the country X dustup. Guess I’m behind.

      • Tarzie says:

        Ah ok. I always commend people for being behind. So congrats on that.

        I really was asking only because I wondered what I was missing. Apparently there are some tangents worth pursuing in the comments.

  26. Bitman says:

    Jared Cohen again. He is the man Assange called Google’s “Director of Regime Change”

    Cohen goes from the State Department from Google, after a career of surreptitiously efforting to influence the emergence of dissent in the Middle East through social media channels, and also using traditional media outlets to keep his activity and that of others hidden. Remember this, written in 2011, shortly after the tribulations of Cohen’s “Google co-worker” Wael Ghonim:

    Cohen’s last significant media appearance was in the summer of 2009. During peak moments in the June Iranian demonstrations a Twitter co-founder was emailed and asked to delay a scheduled maintenance downtime. Who made the request? Jared Cohen, who was then working for the State Department. His major contribution during his tenure there was as co-founder of something called the Alliance of Youth Movements (AYM).

    AYM would be an example of high-level actors using the tools of movement politics in the social media age to try to influence the direction dissent takes. It’s not quite conspiracy, more like “social genetic engineering”. The entire brief article is worth a read.

  27. trish says:

    Well Tarzie, if you do decide to write something you can call it “Dirty Whores” lol

    As for GG motives, I think he needs to be asked that question. He needs to stop hiding behind he has published more than lame street media, is that is how he “measures” his performance? Does he intend to publish the files on iraq/afghanistan that AR of Guardian said they would not touch.?Why has he not published those? In fact, what GG has proven with his redaction is that redactions are used to benefit those in power and never the powerless. Bravo GG, by publishing so few docs you have proven that you serve power.

    Yeh that google post is mind blowing – talk about the merger of govt and corps.

  28. poppsikle says:

    A$$ange has always been all about money and self-promotion, his latest stunt is just that, a stunt, he has always been rivalrous with GG, while wanting to hang onto his coat-tails and the same has been true of GG with Wikileaks. Snowden sure picked a couple of losers to risk his life for… over-the-hill media hounds who crave the limelight and have used his leaks to sell books, tee-shirts and mugs.

    Neither one of them has done any serious investigation into the scandal from the Tech end, which is where it needs investigating. The Tech Co’s feel completely comfortable parading their promoted Tweets which openly advertise their selling and sharing of lifted private data. The scale of what they are doing is enormous and very dangerous. They toss some money into “campaigns” once in awhile to distance themselves from the NSA, then continue on with their Cloud which is based on the very data Snowden revealed the NSA was sharing with them.

    Who gets screwed? Us, the People. Our Future. The Internet. Its way past time to fight back.

  29. diane says:

    Google, its devices, its worldwide manipulations, and Google’s sickeningly self-obsessed adherents, are like digitalized scabies on hormones.

  30. Alec’s belief that a private company like Google will be more moral and socially beneficial than government is a very old conservative talking point. At least, it’s one I’ve heard from conservatives my whole life, and I’m pretty old. What’s new(ish) for me is the unabashed adoption of this view by people who persist in self-identifying as progressive or leftist or liberal or pinko-commie or something….

    Fool that I am, I wasted time skulking through tech news collector sites and op/ed sites that also self-identify as progressive – Common Dreams, Crooks & Liars, whatever – to see what they would say about the latest Intercept vs. Wikileaks dust up. The answer was, nothing. If they mentioned Greenwald, it was to talk about Greenwald vs. Kinsley and shout a lot about the virtues of “progressive Democratic ‘new’ media types” over “conservative Republican old media types.”

    Peregrin Wood over at Irregular Times put up a couple of posts on the recent senate vote to confirm David “the president can legally kill anybody he wants cause he’s the president” Barron as a judge on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. In the second post, he pointed out that two people who a lot of folks hope might run for president – Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – voted to support the confirmation. Wood writes, “Bernard Sanders for President has now joined the ranks of Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo and other crass Democrats who exploit liberal enthusiasm when they need it, but cannot be trusted to enact liberal policy.”

    “Who exploit liberal [or leftist] enthusiasm when they need it, but cannot be trusted to enact liberal [leftist] policy” is a decent job description of heat vampires – whether these be politicians, pundits or companies.

    Which, I suppose, is another way of saying that, at the level of concrete political-economy, nothing much has changed since Snowden arrived in Hong Kong, fireworks or not. Like thesystemoftheworld commented: “What’s frustrating and galling is that after what, almost a year of NSA drips, the upshot for this guy is that he chooses Google over the NSA as an employer and gets to feel like a hero about it. Mission accomplished, indeed.”

    • Tarzie says:

      Really great comment, Wendell. A very solid blog post in its own right. Gonna ratify everything you’ve said except this —

      Which, I suppose, is another way of saying that, at the level of concrete political-economy nothing much has changed since Snowden arrived

      I guess the soundness of this rests on how you define ‘concrete political economy’, but if you define it broadly, it seems to me a lot has changed, just nothing for the better. You allude to it yourself with this:

      What’s new(ish) for me is the unabashed adoption of this view by people who persist in self-identifying as progressive or leftist or liberal or pinko-commie or something

      This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of adoption by the left of conservative doctrine, and, as I have tried to make clear, I don’t find this just mildly interesting or somewhat unfortunate. Outside of presidential elections and lead-ups to military aggression, I have never seen such efficient indoctrination. I think it’s a terrible harbinger.

      • nimbus says:

        A terrible harbinger indeed, of dire times to come. And even more terrifying is that it only applies to the diminishing portion of the population that is in any way politically involved. It seems that said population is (arguably) increasing only in countries where the machinery of repression is adequate to stifle it. In places where economic collapse is less imminent, the propaganda mill is busily rivetting young folks’ eyes to beauty blogs and Batman reviews and otherwise rendering them apolitical. Those brave few who listen to their heart are being safely stowed away in NGO’s and linked to The Intercept (what a brilliantly named site! The double entendre is alive and well and working for an oligarch!). Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed pacifists join the military band instead of the wholly optional military (true story).

        Think I’ll change my username to “littlerayofsunshine” 🙂

  31. teri says:

    I just saw that Greenwald’s “Big Finale” and the end of the documents which will be released to the public will be naming the targets of the NSA illegal spying. Here’s a quote from an article about the Really Big Shew coming up later (date unspecified): “Greenwald’s Finale: Naming Victims of Surveillance. The man who helped bring about the most significant leak in American intelligence history is to reveal names of US citizens targeted by their own government in what he promises will be the “biggest” revelation from nearly 2m classified files.[…]”

    Now, wait, how can that be? I thought one reason he was vetting the documents with the government before releasing them was to protect the identities of targeted individuals. And when taken to task for the slow release of documents, he repeatedly said that it took enormous amounts of time to redact the names and any identifying information about the victims (targets) of NSA’s spying activities. So the Grand Finale will be to provide to the public a list of these same victims’ names??

    To list the names now is completely in contradiction to those previous Greenwald statements. It’s weird and inexplicable given the lengths he supposedly went through to protect these people from the beginning.

    And just what, pray tell, are we going to do with this list? Pore over it and opine on who “deserved” to be on the list based on how much we like or dislike the named person? Join in complicity with the NSA in picking who is a righteous target and who is “innocent”? (We are ALL innocent in this case, duh, the NSA, shouldn’t be spying on any of us. I thought that was part of Snowden’s point in stealing the stuff.)

    I don’t know how people continue to buy this shit.

  32. Peter says:

    Off topic a bit, but here’s a podcast of Douglas Valentine ostensibly discussing the assassination of MLK, though it gets into media issues discussing Omidyar, Greenbucks and The Intercept at about the 35:00 minute mark:

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