Greenwald’s Fireworks Finale Postponed

After a good tarnishing by the non-disclosure of Country X, Greenwald’s billionaire-backed, Pulitzer prize-winning, hagiography-inspiring, “fearless, adversarial” brand is taking another hit.

In May, Greenwald promised his biggest story yet, while at the same time coming clean about being an entertainer as opposed to a journalist:

I like to think of it as a fireworks show: You want to save your best for last. There’s a story that from the beginning I thought would be our biggest, and I’m saving that. The last one is the one where the sky is all covered in spectacular multicolored hues. This will be the finale…

Elsewhere he suggested that this story would impart the names of people targeted by the NSA for surveillance.

Yesterday, with his customary flair for drama,  he promised to publish this story at midnight, and also announced that he and his co-author Maz Hussain would be available today to discuss the story via a Reddit AMA.

But alas, less than three hours before the gray sky of our elite-mediated dissent was to be set ablaze, he tweeted this:

After 3 months working on our story, USG [the United States government] today suddenly began making new last-minute claims which we intend to investigate before publishing

The obvious question is, why not go forward with the story and publish a follow-up? A more transparent sort of transparency advocate might have used the scheduled AMA to answer that question and others, but, unsurprisingly, that was canceled too.

Enter Cryptome — lately reinventing itself as Greenwald’s (pseudo)-nemesis and no slouch itself in the drama department  — to tweet that all Snowden documents would be released on July 27.  Cryptome clarified that it would not be publishing the documents, but would aid and abet their publication. They disclosed their reason:

July is when war begins unless headed off by Snowden full release of crippling intel. After war begins not a chance of release.

A year ago I might have found this all terribly interesting, but I can’t help feeling this is just more silly theatre, or brinksmanship between competing elites whose interests have little in common with my own. Has there ever been a major whistleblowing event with this kind of mainstream traction that wasn’t about elites sparring with other elites? This is not to say that one elite faction’s and my interests can’t coincide, but don’t expect me to get too worked up about it. The war business is worrying, certainly, but the basis for that remains to be seen. Whatever the case, it seems hard to believe that a full document dump could impede anything the imperialist establishment is bent on doing.

As for Greenwald, it’s fashionable to see each of his many concessions to power as something horribly and and disappointingly new, at least for those who don’t laughably argue for the secret savvy that only knowing knowers and Greenwald comprehend. But the fact is, the US and British government have been in the loop from day one, a fact that Greenwald and Snowden have made no secret of. Snowden counts them among ‘the stakeholders’, even insisting that he is still working for the intelligence establishment.

Extract Greenwald’s chest-beating from the whole affair and what you have is a mediocre journalist effectively writing the same story over and over again while tirelessly lecturing on the proper harm-minimizing, elite-blessed and highly profitable way to blow whistles. He and his fellow Leak Keepers have, at most, rather harmlessly inconvenienced one of seventeen Federal agencies in a gigantic surveillance apparatus, while helpfully stealing the spotlight from other crimes.  Set against his clownish self-mythologizing and self-aggrandizement, this latest capitulation in advance of his “finale” should make him a laughingstock. That it hasn’t attests to how desperate people are for a spectacle of dissent and the illusory freedom it implies.


What a Fucking Asshole

In Conclusion

What We Learned from the Snowden Affair

Dr. Rosen and The Snowden Effect

Oligarchs Approve the NSA Debate. I Guess We’re #Winning

Take Your Drip and Stick It

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31 Responses to Greenwald’s Fireworks Finale Postponed

  1. dmantis says:

    3 months?!?!?

    What the fuck has that dickhead been doing all this time?

  2. haptic says:

    Evidently you are not a connoiseur of the NSA striptease, Tarzie.

    • Tarzie says:

      You gathered that, huh?

      Still, I can’t stop posting on this bullshit.

      • haptic says:

        The slower it goes the harder they come. Maybe you are just doing it wrong (let me tell you how to do it).

      • Tarzie says:

        Well I really do try to be of service to my readers, if only to get them chatting. Since people were talking about this in the Graeber thread, and since this is, after all, a new low in blatant subservience, I felt almost duty-bound.

      • haptic says:

        All the same, glad you do.

      • haptic says:

        Ah, I get it, I was just satirizing the splainage you typically get.

      • Tarzie says:

        Oh my God, you said it. I am currently besieged by the world’s most hard-working, obsessive trollsplainer.

      • haptic says:

        Ay, I think I saw a bit of that. I think you’re right to stop engaging on that one. Nothing to be gained.

  3. Why the blockbuster teasers? Marketing. Worse, a marketing interest which one imagines trumping the audience’s interest in publication, if indeed his latest teaser triggered the 11th hour request to withhold publication.

    Worse still, a further demonstration of where his essential loyalties lie. He laughs dismissively at the demand he not publish without approval, then withholds publication at the man’s request.

    I often wondered if Spinal Tap’s central joke wasn’t that we, the audience, were the truly stupid ones.

  4. haptic says:

    Speaking up here for the first version you posted of this, which summarised the Leak Clique towards the end in a single sentence, and which had me giggling.

    Appreciate that you’ve made yourself clearer in the revisions, but sad to see the original language broken up. It was priceless.

  5. Nicecore says:

    Woohoo! Couldn’t wait for a post on this. I’m laughing at myself, too, for having been even the tiniest bit interested to see what the big reveal was. What a thing the power of a spectacle is.

    I also had a moment of rather embarrassing optimism in which I thought, “Maybe this concession after all of the teasers and buildup will actually piss off a lot of casual observers and even some of the lukewarm Glennbots,” but then I looked at the responses to GG’s post about the delay and came back to earth. It was, “you’re brave, you’re doing the right thing, stay safe man” all down the line. A bunch of encouraging slaps on the back.

    I have no clue how to gauge the attitude of all of the reddit users expecting to participate in the AMA, but I’m curious about that too.

    • Tarzie says:

      I thought, “Maybe this concession after all of the teasers…”

      We’ve all been there, though for me it’s a very dim memory. It’s to your credit that you are still generous enough to credit these dolts with any brains or expectations.

      • Nicecore says:

        Haha; hope springs eternal, I guess. But then, I haven’t had to endure the unending waves of credulity as you have as part of your efforts to produce and then respond to these posts.

  6. cojoco says:

    Haha, okay. You’re right, I’m wrong.

  7. Plussed says:

    This shit is getting more effing ridiculous every time they open their mouths.

    So, having “had” to vet and revet and rerevet supposedly leaked information and then – on top of that – have our “heroes” sit – and become rich and famous, naturally – on said information for months and months while the little people – y’know, the ones the “heroes” are supposedly looking out for – still go about their days giving away their data/lives to the NSA, now we learn that beyond holding back on data which supposedly points to the violation of their Constitutional rights etc etc our “heroes” have been sitting on information that involves people actually getting killed a la war and we – i.e., the fucking little people who end dying in said wars – are supposed to be sanguine with the continued and media-hyped non-release of said data?!!

    Wow. Fucking amazing.

    So GG and the rest of his gang of fucks think war – and the killing it entails – is a topic that lends itself to an endless hype-cycle in this case being the non-release of information that could actually save people’s lives.

    Fuck them straight to hell. I don’t even give a shit if the information is reliable/verifiable anymore – as this “gamesmanship” has just been taken to a new level and nobody from GG on down seems to think anything of it all.

    It’s bad enough playing games with the release of information supposedly vital to people’s right to privacy etc. It’s entirely another when said information could be saving lives, preventing maiming, displacement and all the niceties that war provides. Again, fuck them.

    And then with the mysterious caveat – I don’t even know what it fucking means – that they won’t be able to release the information after the war has started? WTF?

    • Tarzie says:

      I dunno. I would sort of take the Cryptome stuff with a grain of salt for the moment.

    • I don’t understand what they’re saying about war… war on GG et al to liberate alleged documents? Being distracted by hot war in Iraq etc?

    • Wilheim Von Rottencrotch says:

      Snowden sure picked a winner in Greenwald.

      But the Cryptome drama is no better. They say they will assist release in July to avoid war – but – they are scheduled to release at the very end of July. WTF? All these peckerheads appear like Larry, Moe and Curly.

      Hey Snowden, how about broadcasting 100% of your data thru verifiable torrents? At least use people serious about putting-a-halt to this lawless regime in Washington.

      • Tarzie says:

        I don’t take any of the players here at face value, including Snowden. I find the idea that he is being exploited or misled quite implausible. When Greenwald says Snowden is pleased with the outcome so far, I have no reason to doubt it.

        The longer this goes on, the more I think the whole thing is effectively bullshit.

  8. I pretty much abandoned the topic of Greenwald for my own sanity and it’s good to see that everything that was written 6-8 months ago was absolutely spot on. I’ve not missed a fucking thing. I’m in far too an optimistic mood but I think the cancelled AMA and this continued bare ankle approach to revelation has finally ruined his stock. The limited hangout meme is definitely stronger than a few days ago.

    • Tarzie says:

      Abandoning the topic was most wise. I had recently gotten better at not looking, but milestones like this pull me back in.

      I’d like to think GG is finished as an avatar of dissent, but I don’t have a strong handle on where the hoi polloi is at from day to day. I hope his movie bombs.

      it’s good to see that everything that was written 6-8 months ago was absolutely spot on.

      Yes, we early naysayers are certainly vindicated whether any of our detractors will admit it or not.

      “bare ankle approach” heh. I had to think about that. Good one.

    • Peter says:

      “…I think the cancelled AMA and this continued bare ankle approach to revelation has finally ruined his stock.”

      Didn’t we all think it was over for Geraldo as we gazed into Capone’s empty “vault”? Let me tell ya about the weeds in my yard….

      • It might be over or nearing the end because Greenwald’s “handlers” say it’s over—the job seems done. He’s delayed and delayed, the public seems to have lost interest, power is largely unchanged. It’s over in another way in that his compliant brand of journalism is undeniable. They said wait and see, but I understand what you say, even Obama got a second term. The real issue is an alternative, in both cases—where does the flock (if they are indeed not all bots) seek refuge?

  9. teri says:

    Heh. “I would blow the whistle on the government, but daggone it, they won’t let me.”

    Best fucking rick-roll in the history of rick-rolling.

    • Peter says:

      There’s really nothing to compare with a rick-roll, properly applied.

    • TheKid says:

      “I would blow the whistle on the government, but daggone it, they won’t let me.”


      The irony is too rich; makes me want to vomit.

  10. Pingback: “Kill your idols”: Chelsea Manning and the reactionary “left” – Leftist Critic

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