We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's not enough to accept any government's explanations for censorship or unlawful detention. We have to consider what compels government to do what it does, in general. That is, the pursuit of power.
The promise to "fight terrorism" may provide a fig leaf, but barely that. "Terrorism" is whatever a government chooses it to be, and this definition will be used by those in power to pursue more power.
my view will be informed by these points:
1. Governments lieabout the scope of their surveillance measures against us.
3. When governments say that they are using their powers to fight terrorists, government are lying. Government actually use their expanded powers to pursue whatever they want, including copyright infringement and the War of Drugs. Therefore it would not surprise me in the least if a nominally anti-terrorist measure were stretched here to accommodate a leak investigation.
I'm just not sure that Miranda and Greenwald's hands are clean. After this incident Greenwald stated he had a lot more classified information and in retalliation for his partner being questioned he was going to release it. The informtaion was stolen!! It belongs to the British and U.S. government. And he has it and won't give it back. How is he any different from anyone who trafficks in stolen goods. And worse it isn't simply stolen goods it's national security information. I think these men are being foolish and are getting caught up in the spy game. If you are going to play spy vs spy what do you expect?
Whistleblowers steal info regularly, and laws protect them. NDAs don't apply if you are exposing a crime.
Considering the scale and scope of the NSA's crimes, it's very hard to use your POV as support for shoveling this under the rug and going after Greenwald. That will embolden the powers that be.
There are a few ways to look at this, but two of the best are:
We figured this was going on and now we have proof(and tacit admission of guilt since Obama is reviewing everything). If all he did was confirm what we guessed, what's the crime he committed?
The other way to view it is to accept what the NSA is doing is criminal (it is unconstitutional therefore many public servants are in violation of oaths every day) and a favor was provided us.
There are other ways to view this, of course, but make little sense if you support the Constitution. We are not safer because of the NSA, that's a given.
Government actually use their expanded powers to pursue whatever they want, including copyright infringement and the War of Drugs. Therefore it would not surprise me in the least if a nominally anti-terrorist measure were stretched here to accommodate a leak investigation.
No surprise; you can only count on power to occupy the maximum scope it is allowed, and exert steady pressure to expand that scope. Supposedly this is what Liberal critics were complaining about under Bush, that Congress granted the executive too much power via the Patriot Act et al., and Bush himself pushed the scope of his executive power beyond its proper area. Greenwald was one of those critics, and though I thought he was an ass who hyperventilated and cried "Wolf" as often as not, he at least didn't stop criticizing the Gov't after Obama was elected. Given what has happened, maybe I was too hard on him back then.*
Most of those Bush's most vocal critics shut up once Obama got in; he has (of course) occupied to its limits the power available to him and pushed at that margin. I guess their concerns about power were contingent on who wielded it.
*Greenwald, like a lot of media opiniators, can come off as such a pompous overheated jackass, I tended to discount what he said out of hand. I guess in the big picture he ended up being a poor advocate for civil rights even when he was right.