Checkbook Journalism & Leaking to the Highest Bidders

The NSA Whistleblowing Case: Something is Awfully Rotten in the State of …?

nullImagine a major government whistleblower who leaks his evidence and obtained documents to the highest bidders in the mainstream media and mega corporations. Does that sound awful, disgraceful and despicable? Okay. Now, imagine a pseudo journalist who obtains over 50,000 documents from a government whistleblower, and then takes some of this information and puts it out for bid, reserves a certain portion for a lucrative book deal, and saves the rest for a mega corporation that has a record of screwing whistleblowers. How does that sound? This is what I mean by the title of this commentary: Checkbook Journalism & Leaking to the Highest Bidders.

For the past twelve years I have been known as one of the most notorious government whistleblowers, even given the title of The Most Classified Person in the History of the United States by a civil liberties organization. I am the founder and director of a whistleblower organization that includes over 150 national security whistleblowers. I have known and represented over 150 national security whistleblowing cases in Congress and the media. And let me tell you this, I have never seen a case that even comes close to this bizarrely unethical and despicable case.

A government whistleblower obtains over 50,000 pages of documents that implicate the government in severely illegal and unconstitutional practices. This whistleblower risks everything, including fleeing the country, in order to leak these documents and let the public know how its government has been breaking the nation’s laws and violating their rights. So he goes to another country and then entrusts all this evidence to a few reporters and wanna-be journalists. Why does he do that? He does it so that these reporters will present all this information to the public: not only those in the United States, but everyone all over the world. Think about it. Why else would someone risk everything, including his own life, to obtain and leak such documents? Are you thinking? Because what would be the point to all this, to taking all these risks, if 99% of these documents remain secret and hidden from the public? Ludicrous, right?

Now, here is what happens next: The whistleblower hands over these documents, and goes through a surreal escape journey. So surreal that even Hollywood could not have matched it. Of the handful of reporters who were entrusted with 50,000 documents, a few do nothing. By that I mean absolutely nothing. A couple from this entrusted group does a little bit more. They meet with a few mainstream media outlets, they spend many hours around the table with their mega companies’ mega attorneys and U.S. government mega representatives (the same government that is implicated in these documents). Then what happens? Here is what happens:

During the six-month period since they received the documents and the whistleblower’s story broke, the supposed-journalists released 1% (One Percent) of these documents:

Out of reported 50,000 pages (or files, not clear which), about 514 pages (>1%) have been released over 5 months beginning June 5, 2013. At this rate, 100 pages per month, it will take 42 years for full release. Snowden will be 72 years old, his reporters hoarding secrets all dead.

That’s right. A whistleblower breaks the law to obtain 50,000 documents, he flees the country to escape prosecution and jail time, he hands over these 50,000 pages to a handful of individuals in return for their promise to present these documents to the public, six months pass, and the public gets 1% of these documents. But please, wait. This is not all. Far more interesting and troubling things happen meanwhile.

The main wanna-be reporter begins his relentless pursuit of high dollars in return for … for what? In return for exclusive interviews where he would discuss some of this material. In return for a very lucrative book deal where he would expose a few extra pages of these 50,000-page documents. In return for a partnership with and extremely high salary from a Mega Corporation (think 1%) where he would … hmmmm, well, it is not very clear: maybe in return for sitting on and never releasing some of these documents, or, releasing a few select pages?

That’s right. The culprit is able to use his role in the whistleblower case, and his de facto ownership of the whistleblower’s 50,000-page evidence, to gain huge sums of money, fame, a mega corporate position, book and movie deals … yet, making sure that the public would never see more than a few percent of the incriminating evidence.

Of course, secondhand checkbook profiteers tend to be very savvy, able to blow smoke, muddy water, and obscure their real deeds and true personhoods. This particular one is famous for spending years as an ambulance-chasing style attorney, where all he had to do was to write dozens of pages to make cases that were never cases, or make real cases appear as if they never were.

Sensible people always advise against using personal background information to expose other non-personal cases of subjects. I agree with these sensible people. I think it is disgraceful to bring in irrelevant personal information to make a case on a non-personal issue. However, sometimes personal information becomes part of the picture and very relevant. Allow me to provide you with an example in our case. What if the personal facts paint a figure that does anything and everything for money and fame? What if a checkbook leaker (or a checkbook censorship agent) is the type of person who has engaged in the following:

· Has represented corrupt mega banks and financial institutions as an attorney to make mega bucks, yet claims to be a Marxist Leninist Socialist who supports the Occupy movement.

· Has left short-lived civil liberties activities to set up an exploitive pornography business with names such as Hairy Studs and Hairy Jock… All for money and profit.

· Has been known as an individual who has always used anything and everything to bring frivolous lawsuits (many of them) to get rich quick.

· Has been representing himself as a Marxist-Socialist, Liberal and Libertarian, simultaneously, and based on circumstances, never having to reconcile the discrepancies between those positions and his partnership with corporate billionaires, his luxurious lifestyle, putting on a Marxist front, representing himself as a Libertarian … and the list goes on. Which one is he? Really?

You see, when you add these qualities and personal history to the fact that a whistleblower and 50,000-pages of documents are being used to make mega money and mega fame, while simultaneously the public at large is being kept in the dark and 99% of these documents are censored, what do you get?

A few days ago the checkbook wanna-be journalist released a very long argument in defense of his indefensible actions and practices. I am going to address a couple of those, but I want you to keep in mind that the argument is coming from a person known as an ambulance-chaser attorney and litigious money grabber, thus is brilliant at obscuring facts and realities with mud and distortions.

Consider how a partnership with a mega billionaire corporate man is being characterized and fudged here:

It has the backing and is being built by someone whom I am absolutely convinced is dedicated to this model of independent, adversarial journalism.

This is not the first time this supposed pro-whistleblowers and civil liberties oriented wanna-be journalist has described his new Billionaire owner. The new owner has been characterized by him several times as a solid owner with a solid track record on whistleblowers issues, First Amendment, Freedom of the Press, etc.

We have been searching and researching the new owner’s record. There is not much to be found to qualify this man as someone with a good record on the significant areas mentioned above. None … except:

Paypal suspended online payments to WikiLeaks in December of 2010 after, its managers said, they read a letter by the State Department indicating WikiLeaks was breaking American laws. In retaliation, a group of Anonymous hacktivists brought down the payment site with DDoS attacks two days later. The hacktivists who were apprehended, known as the PayPal 14, were in court today and accepted plea bargains in order to avoid felony charges.

Omidyar has been ‘the director and Chairman of the Board since eBay’s incorporation in May 1996,’ and noted that “eBay owns PayPal.”

In our next BFP Roundtable video session I will talk more about this, and other eye-brow raising items in Omidyar’s record, including his connections and associations with Iranian lobby groups for “Regime Change” in Iran. But for now, let’s shoot down this muddying counter-argument presented by someone with true expertise in muddying and fudging facts as an ambulance-chaser litigious attorney who has gotten away in life by threatening everyone he could with a lawsuit and libel suits.

Now back to lies, contradictions and then muddying it all a la the litigious attorney. For the last few months, whenever pressured about the 99% unreleased documents, the answers have been swinging between two or three more years to we are done with releasing. You see, this was not the case initially, not during the first couple of months prior to signing deals with mega corporate new sugar daddies and mega publishers for the book deals. Here is the triple-talking, mud-making and fudge-creating wanna-be journalist on June 26, 2013, the month the public saga began:

When they met, Snowden supplied Greenwald with a “volume of documents so great that I haven’t actually gone through them all.” Snowden was meticulous — Greenwald described the files as beautifully organized, “almost to a scary degree.” Stories based on the leaked documents will continue for another few months, Greenwald said, but not, he hopes, beyond that. “I get bored with myself,” he said. “If I’m still working on these stories a year from now, I’ll probably be in an asylum somewhere.”

So what happened since the greasy checkbook reporter made those statements? Please don’t tell me that at that point he was not aware how deep things went or how thick those documents were. Because he knew exactly how deep and how thick, and that they were all meticulously and beautifully organized: Meaning the whistleblower had done all the work for the reporters in advance. This was not a thick pile of hodgepodge documents – they were already analyzed, organized, categorized, sub-categorized, and sub-sub-categorized.  As for what happened since June 26, 2013? A lot.

A new very lucrative book deal was struck. He is being very secretive and tight-lipped on how many millions of dollars he received from this US mega publisher, however, he had to deal a whistleblower’s document to secure this deal:

According to the publisher, it will “contain new revelations exposing the extraordinary cooperation of private industry and the far-reaching consequences of the government’s program, both domestically and abroad.”

So there – one reason why a checkbook wanna-be journalist is not providing the public with the information they have the right to know. How is that for integrity?

Further, no one is asking the crucial question: With the mega publishing corporations’ record, how is it that they are willing to publish classified government documents? Do you know what these same publishers said about my own book? Here is what they said:

“without the approval by the FBI-DOJ prepublication review board we will not publish your book. The government will come after us.”

So, isn’t it amazing that an American mega publisher, a mainstream American publisher, is giving millions to publish a book that will reveal US government classified material? I can tell you from experience and with one hundred percent certainty: the publisher has the government’s consent. How does that bear with the claims that this checkbook reporter is under arrest and even death threats by the U.S. government? Let me tell you something: it does not. What it tells you is this: A Dog & Pony Show put on by the U.S. government and its agents.

The checkbook wanna-be reporter is also securing a million dollar movie deal with Hollywood.

You had to know this was coming. There’s a bidding war heating up between Hollywood studios over the rights to bring Glenn Greenwald’s forthcoming tell-all book about the Edward Snowden affair to the big screen.

Well, as we all know, the CIA blesses these movie deals with mainstream Hollywood. Don’t we? Without the handlers’ blessing no such deal could have been made. When the pretender shows up at the Oscar Gala, ask yourself this: Weren’t they supposed to arrest and maybe even drone the hell out of this guy? So what happened, dude?

The exact same questions should be posed for a new mega corporate sugar daddy tucking checkbook journalists under his wing in return for…? Your guess is definitely as good as mine. The billionaire who stomped upon a whistleblower’s account with his PayPal Corporation has suddenly found a heart? I didn’t think so either ;-)

In her first interview since leaving Moscow for Berlin last month, Harrison told German news weekly Stern: “How can you take something seriously when the person behind this platform went along with the financial boycott against WikiLeaks?” Harrison was referring to the decision in December 2010 by PayPal, which is owned by eBay, to suspend WikiLeaks’ donation account and freeze its assets after pressure from the US government. The company’s boycott, combined with similar action taken by Visa and Mastercard, left WikiLeaks facing a funding crisis.

“His excuse is probably that there is nothing he could have done at the time,” Harrison continued. “Well, he is on the board of directors. He can’t shake off responsibility that easily. He didn’t even comment on it. He could have said something like: ‘we were forced to do this, but I am against it’.”

In our coming BFP Roundtable we will have first-hand accounts from reporters who have witnessed how our checkbook journalist has been asking for money in return for interviews and documents.

I started this commentary by introducing my credentials as a whistleblower and someone who has known and represented many government whistleblowers from the intelligence and law enforcement agencies- hundreds of whistleblowers, honorable people such as NSA’s Russ Tice, DEA’s Sandalio Gonzalez and FBI’s John Cole. In this case of a checkbook wanna-be journalist and a whistleblower, I have nothing but many questions when it comes to the whistleblower in question. I do consider the selfless act of releasing this incriminating information on our government’s illegality heroic; however, I have numerous unanswered questions for the whistleblower in question:

Did he give his full consent to the mainstream and checkbook reporters so that they could sit on 99% of these documents if they chose to?

Is he perfectly okay with this disgraceful and opportunist person using these documents to secure millions of dollars in book and movie deals?

Does he consider the censorship of 99% of his documents justified and okay? If so, what kind of image does he hope to maintain when the leaking is selective and based on bidding in dollars?

Does he have an arrangement where he gets a cut from the opportunist’s mega millions obtained via documents he entrusted him with? If so, wouldn’t that make him tainted and a culprit in this?

Why is he in Russia (in exile), when the checkbook opportunist is in the belly of the beast making deals in millions of dollars, and is about to head a $250 Million news corporation set up by his billionaire sugar daddy?

And finally, a bit crudely,

What the fu.. is wrong with this picture?! Because as a whistleblower and an expert on whistleblowers I see thousands of wrong things with this picture!

Please do not get me wrong here. I have no questions but answers when it comes to the checkbook opportunist in question. I have known about him for years, long before this NSA episode. What I don’t have is an answer when it comes to the NSA whistleblower in question. I have been sitting on the fence on this one. Unlike my own whistleblower members, I do not know this guy. I don’t. I have never corresponded with him, and he has never reached out to me or my organization. I keep going from silently cheering and supporting him, to doubting what he is all about. I have never seen a case like this. I don’t think anyone has. However, in light of the case of our checkbook journalist, Mainstream Publishers’ mega million book deals, Mainstream Hollywood’s mega studio deals, Mainstream Media backing and showcasing, and Mega Corporation’s mega millions getting involved … and in all this, zero retaliation or interference from our mega government known for being ruthless on whistleblowers, I just don’t get this case.

My experienced gut says something is awfully rotten in the state of … this NSA whistleblower-Checkbook Opportunist Drama Set. I get half of the rotten state, but am still wondering about the other half.

 

# # # #

Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman’s Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

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Comments

  1. avatar devries.d says:

    FYI: typo at “have been released over 5 months beginning June 5, 2012″, should be 2013

  2. Thanks for that, devries; corrected it. I have to notify Cryptome’s John Young as well. Good catch.

    • avatar devries.d says:

      Thank you for writing this. I’ve been closely following the NSA releases over the last few months and I’m more disappointed months later with GG’s coverage than with the actual leaks. I fear the man is a raving narcissist who will put profit/legacy before actual journalism, he craves to be in the spotlight.
      I despise how he has become another layer of opaqueness as the self-proclaimed ‘leak-keeper’- spoon feeding us like little babies. When he was so pro-manning/wikileaks, he would argue that the (eventual) data dump online of all the cables and war logs put no one in danger. But now, he is arguing the exact opposite when it comes to releasing Snowden’s files.
      (also, check out GG’s sock-puppetry antics back in 2006, rather pathetic)

  3. avatar CuChulainn says:

    a curious story indeed
    in the absence of a forum, I post these links re. Adinolfi’s new book _Orchestre rouge_ (without endorsement) because of its pertinence to the Gladio theme; maybe netter or others have pertinent comments re. his criticisms of Ganser
    http://www.egaliteetreconciliation.fr/Entretien-avec-Gabriele-Adinolfi-sur-son-livre-Orchestre-rouge-21841.html
    http://faitsetdocuments.com/audio/

  4. avatar Mark Green says:

    Good article Sibel.

    I have a question for you. It may be a little tough though.
    If you were in Snowden’s shoes, what mechanism would you have used (after fleeing the U.S.)
    to ensure that all the 50,000 pages of documents were released to the public?

  5. avatar Imants Virsnieks says:

    I am crushed and saddened by this sad and tawdry tale. You asked some important questions. I am looking forward to the round-table discussion and maybe some answers or do I mean confirmation? Please keep up the good work we need you now more than ever.

  6. A simple gmail account could have been created and the documents dumped on there. I don’t see the challenge of posting documents online. Here’s an example, I made an open records request for the McKinsey documents. These show how McKinsey consulting tore through Allstate’s claims department and turned into a profit-center. I uploaded the zip file to my gmail account, it’s 4gb, over 1,100 documents:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_fiduyhj4PFdUpNcnVGWUtSeTA/edit?usp=sharing

    I’m just doing some quick math, but Snowden’s release was 10 times this amount, not an insurmountable feat. If it were 100 times or 1,000 times the data, but even then, u just dump it on hard drive. Any high school hacker can figure this out.

  7. Thank you for this article, Sibel

    After a certain Mr. Scahill revealed himself to be a Left-gatekeeper recently, his association with your subject in question here has made me rethink my attitudes towards him as well.

    • Notice the gatekeepers still call for blood. Scahill wants Assad removed. This sort of interventionism is the backdrop for the military industrial complex. Now the military industry is looking for a new foe, and they need their pitbull journalists to keep the war drums beating, to find someone or something to fight. same script over and over again.

  8. Funny, I didn’t know the data was pre-sorted. I assumed (naively) that there was “heavy sifting” to do. I even tweeted Greenwald about it:
    https://twitter.com/rahulvarshney/status/385067570052620289
    No response, and now it’s not surprising. They don’t want to release the info to we the people, because then we the people won’t go along with their political script. I can already see how this plays out in the next presidential election. To shift the polls to the left or right, certain revelations will come out. #beentheredonethat

  9. avatar metrobusman says:

    Great work. Thx.

  10. Thanks Sibel.
    I for one am thankful for your “experienced gut”.
    Keep up the fight!
    Chuck

  11. Great analysis as usual Sibel! Keep going with this please. Thanks!

  12. Provocative commentary, Sibel!
    This goes to how tenuous real journalism is. You ‘go to war’ with the state holding a pen and it can get rough.
    Michael Hastings, in one of his last interviews, actually used the phrase ‘going to war’ and ended up dying in a very mysterious single car crash. Strains credulity, in my view.
    Real journalism takes real courage.
    Thanks

  13. Well, the line above the comments box now says “Speak Your Mind” so I guess I will, even though it’s pretty clear my opinion will be in the minority here and I’m about to make myself unpopular.

    Sibel, I have the greatest respect for your courage, your experience, the way you’ve handled yourself, the decisions you’ve made, the course you’ve chosen, your spurning of foundation support, and not least of all your “nose for news” and your analytical skills. I can see as plain as day that you are a person of the utmost integrity. And beyond all that I just like you. You speak your mind but you’re also gracious and charming and funny.

    And I think this particular article is unworthy of you. It is patently and grotesquely unfair.

    Let’s distill your criticism of Glenn Greenwald into its essential components:

    1. He has released only a tiny portion of the documents in his possession.
    2. He has been paid for doing his job.
    3. His new employer is a billionaire who is implicated in the shameful PayPal prohibition against payments to Wikileaks.

    From these three points you proceed to engage in some pretty dire speculation and toss around a few nasty insults. Let’s have a closer look, taking them in reverse order.

    #3. This is the only one I can agree with you on, the new employer. This new venture is worth keeping a close and skeptical eye on. The PayPal incident clearly warrants suspicion here. Let’s go to #2.

    You really want to criticize a professional journalist for getting paid? Or for writing a book? As you’ve noted here at BFP many times, it is absurd to think that people can devote themselves to work in any meaningful way without getting paid, and it is absurd to think everything on the Internet should be free. I happen to like books. I bought yours. I think it’s the best way to compile and absorb complex information. I’m glad you wrote one and I’m glad he’s writing one. Both are worth money to me.

    I also fail to see why he deserves the insult of being called a “pseudo” or “wannabe” or “checkbook” journalist. “Disgraceful”? “Opportunist”? And then after casually agreeing that it’s terrible to bring up irrelevant personal matters, you proceed to do exactly that? Because he had previous attempts at business ventures that included — gasp — porn? Are you a moral police officer now as well? This all just strikes me as shockingly petty and utterly out of place here.

    Hate him if you like, but he’s been a major journalist for quite a few years now, and one of the precious few who have focused long and hard on police state and civil liberties issues. I admire your high standards, but jeez, woe unto the poor journalist who merely does a thousand times better than 99% of his colleagues. Perhaps your standards are impossibly high. If anyone from a mainstream news source does worthwhile reporting, sorry, it’s invalidated because he got paid by corporate money. He’s a disgraceful opportunist wannabe pseudo porn guy.

    OK, it’s good to be suspicious of spin, or of what’s being left out, when corporate money is involved, of course. But that does not absolve us of the responsibility to have a look at the work itself before we make blanket criticisms full of assumptions and speculation. So let’s turn to the last and perhaps most important point: He’s only released 1% of the documents we think he has.

    Do you have any idea what’s in the other 50,000 documents? Nope! Me neither! Could some of it be intimate details of individual people suspected of terrorism, or porn-watching? Yep! It could! Should that be unceremonious dumped online for all to see, or do you think that might just ruin some innocent people’s lives? Do you think a case could be made that it’s probably a good idea to sift through it carefully and DECIDE what you want to print, for GOOD reasons? I do!

    If he had received a trillion documents, that percentage of stuff released would be even smaller! Would that then be cause for even greater outrage? Should we call him an even greater villain? In six months the man has published more NSA secrets than in the rest of history combined. He’s also honoring his agreement with Snowden, who is perfectly capable of complaining about the process, and who has not chosen to do so. The agreement was to sift through and make careful decisions.

    You note that he has responded to these charges in an article you seem to criticize by calling it “long” in an apparently dismissive way. Well I encourage everyone here to go and read what Greenwald has to say about these charges. See if you feel like piling on and dumping on the guy.

    Look, I can’t blame you of all people, Sibel, for being skeptical and suspicious. You’re right, there hasn’t ever been a case quite like this one. But you’ve gone well beyond skepticism and suspicion here. You’ve drawn conclusions based on some fairly flimsy leaps of logic, you’ve joined in with the national security state people who criticize him for — gasp again — getting paid to do his job, and you’ve gotten into some pretty nasty, petty insults. I’ve always thought of you as way above that sort of thing.

    I’ll go curl up under my umbrella now and dodge all the rotten tomatoes I sense may be coming my way shortly.

    So I’ll end with: Still love you though!

    • avatar Mark Green says:

      John you are going to be surprised that the first to respond after your post is in agreement with you.

      Last night as I went to sleep I thought about the “last and perhaps most important point” you made today.

      The 50,000 documents.
      Enough was leaked of them that we know the U.S. government was/is spying on its own citizens via e-mail, phone records.

      Questions.
      Would it not be hypocritical of Snowden (or any of his allies) to publish documents that revealed personal matters of U.S. citizens?
      Isn’t that what his whole raison d’etre is?
      He is fighting to make sure personal data isn’t spied on and used by anyone.

      Revealing the 50,000 documents (assuming they contain personal data) would be a betrayal of his own beliefs.

    • avatar arealjeffersonian says:

      John & Mark:

      It seems to me you both are really are missing the point, or points, being made here. John, you start off but listing three points, one of which is that “He has been paid for doing his job”. No one, certainly not Sibel in this article, questions that a reporter needs to be paid for his work – as a reporter. However, being paid for his work does not in my book include withholding information from the public – information obtained from a whistleblower who as far as we know ran extreme risks so that the information could be made public – and then using it to promote his own book. That is pure opportunism, not journalism.

      Then you support his not releasing additional information by stating “Do you think a case could be made that it’s probably a good idea to sift through it carefully and DECIDE what you want to print, for GOOD reasons? I do!”. The problem with your argument is that he is going to release “some” of that withheld information in his book. If he has already DECIDED that its OK to print in his book, then why isn’t it OK to release now to the public?

      • Jeffersonian: Also, don’t forget, he was getting paid, very handsomely by Guardian, for reporting. Then, why go to this shady billionaire, and say ‘because I need to get paid for journalism’ ? The difference: $200,000+ from Guardian versus 1 million + from PayPal Corporation.

        Now, add to that: I have not heard of a single legit journalist who asks for $$$ to give interviews (to raise public awareness). We will have Pepe Escobar and others on the show who will tell people, through first hand experience, how Greenwald was demanding large sums from media outlets to give interviews about Snowden’s documents. Wow. Hersh would never do that. Even Woodward of the CIA/Post has never done that.
        Did you check his interview in July 2013? He said: all the documents should be released within a few months. Only after the book dead and PayPal deal he changed the tune…

        All this, in addition to so many cases from the past…

        More later.

    • avatar Susan Raikes-Sugar says:

      How much? That’s the issue that begs to be answered. Maybe Greenwald does have a defense; I will certainly read whatever statements he has made about this, but Sibel’s intuitive summation that he is withholding release of these documents for personal gain is an issue that needs to be raised and must be answered. How Greenwald answers matters. Matters a lot.

  14. I felt something was off about this leak from the get-go. I can’t speak to the bona fides of the leaker or the journalist but the thought has occurred on several occasions that the NSA et al want the world to know they have the omnipotent point of view. You gain the most control not by watching everyone in every room in every building in every street in every town in every country, but by making people *believe* they are being watched in every room, in every house…

    If you can’t destroy the well, then poison it and people will volunteer to die of thirst. Hasn’t that always been the control freaks m.o.? The thing they get the biggest thrill out of? Getting people to hand over their civil rights and freedoms? Because deep-down we simpletons want the control freaks in charge telling us what to do and think…..we want them on that wall….apparently….

    The concept of full spectrum surveillance has now been introduced in a controlled manner and judging by the way 98% of the media has reported it – it is now officialy normal for everyone to be being spying on everyone because ‘everyone has been doing it for ages’. No biggie. Nothing to see here…go back to your lives reassured that we’re keeping you safe.

    We invented the problem, and now we’ve invented the solution. Total control complete. Have a nice day.

  15. avatar andrei_tudor says:

    The fact that the story has been fully covered and kept alive for a long time by the mainstream media stinks to high heaven. Given what we know about who owns and controls the media, I simply cannot escape the conclusion that, if these revelations were really what they are purported to be, the media would have tried to hush the whole thing up, not cover it like the Super Bowl. Referring to your case, Sibel, my understanding from from reading your book is that they shut you out completely, whereas this was, and still is, a full Broadway show. Snowden’s “leak” must have some powerful backers, but I cannot speculate on who they are and what their intentions might be – the possibilities are endless.

    • avatar Mark Green says:

      Andrei, I think you are reading way too much into this.
      I think it is all a lot simpler.

      First of all, the timing just was not right for Sibel. The public was still shell-shocked by 9/11 and not ready to hear from whistleblowers.

      With Snowden, the public now in general are a lot more skeptical about what their governments are doing and telling them. Snowden delivered his ‘surprise’ in a planned, but dramatic fashion.
      I don’t see anything disingenuous from the mainstream media abut this story.

      • I have to say, you are so Wrong. Russ Tice and several other NSA whistleblowers have been trying for the past 8-10 months: no coverage whatsoever.

        With all due respect: I am involved with over 200 intelligence & law enforcement whistleblowers and their cases. Thus, when I say something, it is not: 1- personal opinion, 2- based on my personal case. On the other hand, when observers are naked (meaning: they have never ever had first hand experience/education/knowledge), well, they just have to remind themselves that they are just that: the audience. Hope that’s understood. Right?

        Let me put it this way, in an example, if the topic is the Federal Reserve, despite my interest and all the readings I’ve been engaged on this topic, I’d zip (zip zip zip, and I’ll shut up). You know why? I am FAR from being an expert, far from being someone with true expertise, knowledge, education to run opinion and my mouth. So I shut up (I call it zip zip zip).

        On the other hand, if you haven’t bothered to read my bio, and check our organization, then, here is the link: http://nswbc.org

        P.S. Do you know who Russ Tice is? You see, if your answer is no, that should tell you something.

  16. Great post, Sibel. One of your more provocative. But I find myself agreeing with John and Mark as much as you on this, so I guess I’m stepping forward to take a few rotten tomatoes in the face with them.

    The pejorative use of “checkbook” and “pseudo” is unbecoming and simply bad literary style. The man has a name. It’s Glenn Greenwald. Use it. Every good good writer I know (and I know a few) would say that anyone who repeatedly refers to the subject of their analysis with pejorative slang rather than the person’s name, either has an ax to grind or has no real argument, or both. At least that’s what they’ve said to me when I’ve asked them to review some of my prose. IMO it detracts from your more salient points rather than accentuating them, and comes across like bad talk radio. However, you do raise some extremely important points, especially in these Orwellian times. Your watchful eye is an excellent reminder to all of us that with any important story, it’s critical to watch how the aftermath unfolds. More often than not, much can be learned by piecing together what people do after the initial drama than what some may have done before. Thank you for being a watchful eye (that’s a huge part of why I donate here).

    What’s contained in those 50K documents? Who the F##K knows? No, the public does not need to see what’s documented after every comma and semicolon. As John said and alluded, there may be some very personal data that is part of the collection that shouldn’t be made public. I don’t really know, and admittedly neither do you. But, on the other hand, if Snowden is 100% legit and as well placed as everyone claims, then one is justified to assume that he didn’t just grab a handful of “stuff” and run out the door. It’s likely that he picked files carefully. So questioning what’s going to happen to those files and what was/is Snowden’s long-term intent for them is a good question that deserves a real answer. Probably the biggest question you raise is what role does the public play and through what mechanism do these documents get sorted and to whom do they ultimately belong? The inability of the general public come to a meaningful consensus on government spying revelations, vis-a-vis “anything,” including the press, along with the political posturing of Congress around this issue is seriously problematic for freedom and democracy moving forward. In that regard it’s big… like JFK and 9/11-big.

    You say, “Unlike my own whistleblower members, I do not know this guy. I don’t. I have never corresponded with him, and he has never reached out to me or my organization.” Okay……… change that. Six degrees of separation, right? I could hunt him down, I suppose. Might take me awhile. But I’m not an expert on whistleblowers, I’ve never been an insider and I have nothing meaningful to ask or say or process. If you REALLY want answers to your questions, FIND HIM, and then ASK HIM. Yourself. I truly find it hard to believe that Sibel Edmonds can’t get a message to Edward Snowden.

    In many ways, Edward Snowden is as opaque as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, so yes, there is something very strange about this. But in the 21st century world of spies and government intrigue, anything is possible. I once went to a lecture at Harvard that had three speakers billed to speak in solidarity against recent US war crimes and constitutional abuse. They were Ralph Nader, Tony Shaffer (Tony canceled at the last minute for personal reasons) and Bruce Fine. In a world where a leading environmentalist/activist, an Army data-mining spy-turned-whistleblower, and a shill for the government of Turkey are willing, with one voice, to speak against war crimes and constitutional abuse, then IMO, what’s behind Edward Snowden and the NSA story could be anything………

    Can’t wait to hear the roundtable. No offense to James or Peter — love them both — but I’d REALLY love to hear a roundtable where you and Daniel Ellsberg chew on this subject. Now THAT…….. might go viral…………..

    • You know what’s so funny, some of these responses are very similar to what was happening here (at BFP) during the first few months of Obama in WH. I was writing about the man who lies, the man who never intended change or even a man who had ever meant what he’d said … Anyhow. You should go back (archive BFP), and read the comments. A lot of those people, of course, after a couple of years, came back, saying ‘wow, man, was I ever fooled.’

      You see he was: 1- A constitutional Attorney, 2- He spoke well, and could fake passion (so eloquent, so daring, so bold, hallelujah!!!! kind), 3- Man, he wrote well (did you read his book?), … How else do you think he got millions following him, chanting for him, voting for him?

      Appearances can be VERY deceptive. Unfortunately, we have a large majority that always, back-to-back, falls for the appearances. Ex: Amy Goodman (Democracy Now). Ex: Pat Robertson. There is a reason people follow men like Pat: charisma, talks a good talk, writes a good piece…

      Let me ask you this:

      1- Give me one example of a book published by a large US publishing house that contained material considered highly classified and stolen by the U.S. Government? Now, once you find me that book, I will engage in more discussion. If you can’t find it, then you should have the answer. If you don’t get the answer … then, maybe it is hopeless;-)

  17. avatar Mgrdichian says:

    Indeed, Sibel. Henry Holt? It might as well be the US Government Printing Office. Major damage control combined with an ambitious starry-eyed journalist — perfect storm. But 2B fair, the book may (may?) have some journalistic value apart from an exhaustive appendix of documents that won’t be there. We’ll just have to wait and see. Maybe “they” got him?

    • Right. Can you imagine ‘this’ government letting someone publish info and documents and evidence that it considers classified, leaked, stolen, really damaging, explosive? Remember what they did with Tony Shaffer (Able Danger) book? They took away 30,000 copies and burned it. And the material didn’t even come close to this topic as far as sensitivity goes. They want this published. They have given permission to the corporations (publishers/movie studios)…

      Greenwald: They had him all along. It’s Snowden I’m not sure of. Real? Victim? Patsy? … That’s why I haven’t expressed any conclusive opinion/judgment on him (I still don’t know).

      • What happened to Tony Shaffer anyway? He’s become just another “expert” on Mainstream Corporate Media, particularly Fox “News”. The way he’s fallen in line with with the left/right paradigm tells me he’s been compromised.

      • avatar andrei_tudor says:

        The way they quickly whisked him away to Russia makes me believe Snowden is a patsy. They got him out of the picture as soon as his role was fulfilled, and we haven’t heard anything from him since, except for some quotes and pictures, which were probably there just to keep the story going. Everything past the initial interview has been coming from Greenwald. The fact that they don’t want him around might mean that they are afraid he might spill the beans.

        He reminds me of another US government patsy with a Russian connection, Lee Harvey Oswald. Just like Snowden, he was removed (albeit in a more gruesome way) before he got a chance to say anything.

  18. avatar Mgrdichian says:

    It gets a little tricky comparing Greenwald’s upcoming book to Shaffer’s story or your story for that matter. This isn’t Snowden’s book. If it was the comparisons would be solid. Your point is still germane, but the added layer makes analysis necessarily convoluted. And that might just be by design.

    Yes, they WANT this book to be published. Very different from they are LETTING this be published. Maybe Zelikow’s gonna be the ghost editor?

  19. All I’m saying is yes, there’s plenty of good reason to be guarded; to be skeptical; to be suspicious; to wait and see. If there are good, solid, evidence-based reasons to go beyond this and start drawing conclusions, making accusations, and calling names, well, I’d simply like to see them. So far I haven’t. I’ve seen assumptions and innuendo, peppered with some pretty dubious personal attacks.

    You may not like his notoriety, you may not like his money, you may not like his past business ventures, you may not like his choice of partners, you may not agree with his strategy on releasing documents. Fine. I just think a couple of actual facts makes for a better argument than any amount of innuendo.

    Things must be pretty great in the world if this is the messenger we choose to shoot.

    • avatar arealjeffersonian says:

      John:

      This seems like a “actual fact” to me:

      “Reporter Glenn Greenwald’s book also will “contain new revelations” about the U.S. government’s secret surveillance programs.
      Glenn Greenwald, the investigative reporter who broke the story on NSA leaker Edward Snowden and the U.S. government’s secret surveillance programs, has inked a deal to write a book on the subject.
      Sara Bershtel, publisher of Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt, made the announcement late Wednesday that the as-yet-untitled book will be published in March.
      According to the publisher, it will “contain new revelations exposing the extraordinary cooperation of private industry and the far-reaching consequences of the government’s program, both domestically and abroad.”"

      As to shooting the messenger, if the messenger is lining his pockets rather than delivering the message, then perhaps he should be shot.

      Character matters – especially for those whom we depend on to deliver our news, our information, our understanding of the world we live in. I wouldn’t have trusted PT Barnum to deliver my news, but I did trust Walter Cronkite. So its legitimate, its important, to question, to research, to discover & uncover motives, to understand who it is that we are hearing, reading, following.

  20. Speaking of Russ Tice, he mentioned a couple times in the interviews on BFP and others, that he was vindicated by Snowden’s released documents. It inspired him to come out and tell us more, such as about the fact that all digital content is being recorded.

    Russ Tice’s words gave Snowden’s leaks validity, in my mind. I’m grateful for the documented proof. I’m grateful for Russ Tice’s inspiration to further divulge what he did. The ball moved forward.

  21. I wish all people with information about crimes would divulge everything. I wish they didn’t have concerns about personal safety, job security, or ethical considerations about the privacy of others. I wish that we could prosecute the powerful leaders of this police state oligarchy and get them out of government. I wish we had a court in which to prosecute them. We need overwhelming public pressure. Having this documented proof is better than not having it, and this outweighs the theoretical we-are-your-overlord psyop effects, IMNO (In My Naked Opinion).

    Can you get Tice on the Round Table?

    • I wish all people with information about crimes would divulge everything. I wish they didn’t have concerns about personal safety, job security, or ethical considerations about the privacy of others. I wish that we could prosecute the powerful leaders of this police state oligarchy and get them out of government. I wish we had a court in which to prosecute them.

      Yes And Yes…

      Very Kind Regards

    • Amen to all that.

      The good news: we have a bombshell exclusive news report. I’m still working on it… I will have three NSA ex officials on record;-) I believe, some people, the optimistic and naïve ones, will have their eyes open after that- hopefully they are ‘big’ enough to come and declare it over here:-)

  22. Something is Awfully Rotten in the State of …?

    hmmm….

    I am from Denmark…..
    Ha ha said the clown.

    just follow your heart…..

    • avatar Mark Green says:

      “we have a bombshell exclusive news report.”
      That’s great news Sibel. I’m looking forward to reading about it!

      In response to your earlier reply…

      I did more than read your bio Sibel, I read your entire book (Classified Woman).
      I am a big supporter of your cause and what you are fighting for. I am also a financial supporter of your website.

      Yes I do know who Russ Tice is.

      Sibel I don’t for a minute pretend to be a whistleblower expert.
      Yes I am the ‘audience’ here. But so are most of the members here.
      We should be able to voice our opinions even if they aren’t always in agreement with yours, and not be maligned because of that.

      The main premise of your article is that the journalist who was entrusted to release Snowden’s files (50,000 documents), hasn’t done his duty, by releasing a mere 1% of them and is also trying to cash in on his valuable ‘treasure’.

      In my first two posts I asked a few questions about this.
      I would be interested to hear your thoughts on them.

      1. If you were in Snowden’s shoes, what mechanism would you have used (after fleeing the U.S.)
      to ensure that all the 50,000 pages of documents were released to the public?

      2. Would it not be hypocritical of Snowden (or any of his allies) to publish documents that revealed personal matters of U.S. citizens?

      Revealing the 50,000 documents (assuming they contain personal data) would be a betrayal of his own beliefs.

  23. Thanks for the response, arealjeffersonian. I guess what I meant was: I’d like to see facts that support the conclusion. Yes: it is a fact that Greenwald is writing a book that purports to contain previously unreleased information. To me, it does not then logically follow that he is a scoundrel, a pseudo journalist, a dirty pornographer, or, whatever, a wannabe CIA operative paid to poison our minds and limit our hangouts.

    I mean, seriously? This is the argument? Anyone who writes a book with new information in it now is some dishonorable guy trying to “line his pockets”? Books are bad now? People should only write them for free? They should be sure not to include anything newsworthy? This is the argument you want to make? Take a look around at your favorite non-fiction books and see if that brush tars any of them as well. Me, I *love* books, especially ones that tell me something I didn’t know before. I’m glad there’s some money in writing them so people keep doing it.

    Is it weird that he’s making money off of Snowden’s risk? Yeah, it’s a little weird. But Snowden doesn’t seem to mind, and I don’t know anything about where the proceeds will go, so I’ll tell you what — I think I might just refrain from demonizing him for the time being. That’s just me. I’m wild like that.

    Sibel, I’m really psyched for your new bombshell exclusive. I don’t know if I’m in the “optimistic or naive” club, but I guess I’ve been called worse! (Normally I get called pessimistic and cynical, so it’s a welcome change.) For the record, I don’t see why it’s either optimistic or naive to want to see evidence before a conviction. Maybe your bombshell exclusive will reveal everything that’s been missing so far. I’ll try to be first in line with gratitude and congratulations!

  24. Oh and arealjeffersonian, one other thing. I can do you one better: I don’t even trust Cronkite! ;-)

  25. If Snowden entrusted Greenwald to maximize the documents’ impact on public opinion, then there are legitimate and innocuous reasons for not releasing all of the documents as soon as possible. Let’s be clear; Greenwald has done an excellent job of getting Snowden’s information into the mainstream media and the broader public’s consciousness. A little PR strategy can go a long way. That said, it is important to keep holding Greenwald’s feet to the fire to ensure that the story keeps churning and more documents get released. If you have evidence that he is equivocating on releasing documents, then I look forward to learning more about that.

    Of all Greenwald’s activities, the most suspicious is his alliance with Omidyar. The guy is a neoliberal hack and his venture wreaks of a limited libertarian hangout for liberals clueless about economics. Omidyar’s commitment to the public good is about as genuine as your run of the mill Ayn Rand acolyte.

  26. Frankly I don’t give a damn if Greenwald was a cynically litigious lawyer, a porn producer, etc. What raises questions for me is the fact that, if he truly wanted to strike it out on his own independently, there is absolutely no need for him to take Omidyar’s millions. Greenwald and for that matter Scahill both have enough mainstream face-time (in the role of bad-boy journalists) and plenty of devoted followers that they could simply take the Boiling Frogs approach and easily raise 250 million or more by subscription. That they let this dubious billionaire take them under his wing instead is what decidedly raises the the alarm bells.

    I have been a regular reader of his columns, fully aware however that he was a limited hangout – he was very persuasive in detailing the descent into the police state, but never addressing the root causes of that descent, i.e. 9/11 and all of the questions surrounding it. I gave him a pass on this, figuring it was purely strategic, in so far as the moment you begin questioning 9/11 you are immediately marginalized and lose your media megaphone. Since he was for a good while the lone progressive voice being highly critical of the Obama administration, his columns were very useful in arguing with my progressive/liberal friends.

    I’m sure he will continue churning out scoops, given what he has, and we will continue citing them, albeit begrudgingly in knowing that much is being left out. Perhaps he can vindicate himself at some point in the future, but I doubt it.

    As for Snowden, now there’s a riddle wrapped within an enigma…

  27. One more thing: As for Sibel’s invective in trashing Greenwald… he’s a “bad boy” right? So he can take it. I don’t think she’s saying ‘don’t read him anymore’ -she’s just saying ‘know where he’s coming from’ – correct me if I’m wrong Sibel.

    On the other hand you have somebody like Jeremy Scahill who did trash a fellow journalist -Alex Jones- in such a way to suggest that nobody should listen to him at all because he’s absolutely crazy. Now that I find despicable. (But I’m not saying you shouldn’t read Scahill because of it). Yes there’s plenty to criticize about Alex Jones -the “craziness” is part of his shtick, and he does get things wrong in the midst of his daily 3 hour motor mouth marathons -I suspect that this is due to a mild case of dyslexia. But Jones and Infowars/PrisonPlanet do put out genuine hard-core scoops on a fairly regular basis, especially on things pertaining to the militarization of police. So when Scahill trashed him in that way I said… “Aha, we see how you are…”

    PS These are my first comments since the new design -it’s looking great Sibel & co!

    • Roro, agreed. I found Jones’ bashing truly disgusting. We may not always like Jones’ style, but he’s been very good on some topics (including police state), he’s been consistent in giving whistleblowers platform … and most importantly: he made it big through his own sheer force (no foundation money, no billionaires, no partisan backing). Now that’s, regardless of passionate style/etc., is a massive accomplishment. The billionaire’s and foundation’s bastards cannot stand that success: it is poking the in the eye. Big time.

  28. Sibel wrote: “Greenwald: They had him all along. It’s Snowden I’m not sure of. Real? Victim? Patsy? … That’s why I haven’t expressed any conclusive opinion/judgment on him (I still don’t know).” That’s a very honest statement, Sibel. We will have to wait and see who benefits. This make take some time. I wonder if there are any historical examples we can draw from in which we ask this same question of Snowden. If we put ourselves in the mindset of the surveillance state then those who openly oppose such actions are tagged within the data-base. Right now at this late hour I can only think of the McCarthy era, though analog.

  29. On Snowden… there seems to be a growing consensus over at Wayne Madsen Report that Snowden is the real deal, but Greenwald is not. Of late there is a story said to be huge in Moscow, aired on a popular TV news-magazine, which Madsen broke on his site last month; that MI-6 is trying to zero in on Snowden’s location and abduct him. I’ll just copy/paste the print version, roughly translated here… http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/articles/20131209_2

    “December 9-10, 2013 — Russia TV Vesti best translation of MI-6/Snowden report

    From News of the Week (Russia’s version of 60 Minutes), 8 December 2013:

    RTR can report some sensational news: British intelligence MI-6 has been tasked to have Edward Snowden captured and delivered to the UK or the USA. If this is the plan, the operation should be entrusted to James Bond in its present format.

    Snowden who is in Moscow is subject to open hunting,-according to Wayne Madsen, who himself, in the past, worked at the NSA, and is now a journalist investigating intelligence services. On November 1 he was contacted by his friend. Madsen keeps her name secret. She had been a Russian language specialist. She now lives in Moscow.

    “My colleague sent a message on Facebook to Ray McGovern- who went to meet Snowden but he never responded to her. Shortly thereafter, however, she was approached by a British diplomat who invited her to come to a party at the British embassy, after which she was been asked: to report any contacts with officials of the Federal Security Service to the British Embassy immediately. And then she was asked to come to the training with representatives of MI-6 “, – said Madsen.

    The location of the women had been tracked on Facebook and her mobile phone, said Madsen and this led to the recruitment effort..

    There is a green dome on the roof at the British embassy in Moscow on the Smolensk waterfront contains an antenna that connects the embassy with those, installed at the large electronic reconnaissance center in Menwith Hill, 300 km from London.

    “The job of searching for Snowden the highest priority of the embassy, overshadowing the closer liaison and “mellowing” of relations between British and Russian intelligence and security agencies.. It is known that in the operation involved an MI-6 who is the number one agent in the embassy, working under diplomatic cover as “the director of regional security”, – Wayne Madsen wrote in an article.

    According to Madsen, MI-6 and NSA could already know Snowden’s schedule by grabbing personal data of four friends of Snowden.

    Among those who came to see him in Moscow in October, was a former senior CIA official, human rights activist Ray McGovern. He prefers not to comment on the situation. The author’s investigation does not exclude that Snowden may be tracked at his job.

    “Smuggling tactics across the border with Finland during the Cold War it was the only safe option.. Today, it’s easier than ever – you see a lot more borders. There are he Baltic states – Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, for example”, – noted Wayne Madsen.

    But this is in theory . Russia to the Western intelligence agencies, say professionals , is ” a country with severe operational mode .” This refers to the active work of the FSB counterintelligence service. To recall the recent case that exposed Third Secretary in the Political Division of the U.S. embassy in Moscow, Ryan Christopher Fogel, he was caught red-handed, in a steam bath, when he was recruiting one of the staff members of the Russian secret services.

    “No case of the exfiltration oft foreigners past Soviet intelligence ever occurred. The traitor Gordievsky was believed brought out in the trunk of the car of a British diplomat through Finland. I ‘m Sure that Snowden is very firmly seated in some apartment or cottage somewhere near Moscow. Maybe with his guard . I’m certain that he is not in danger . his appearance is not the type that makes him immediately recognizable . Nevertheless, some preventive measures must be carried out,” said the deputy editor of the “Russian” newspaper,” special services historian Nikolai Dolgopolov.

    Snowden , which Washington and London are targeting with all the technologies of surveillance , hardly rushed to buy his own smartphone in Moscow – he communicates with friends and family via encrypted channels .

    “I have the opportunity to communicate with Edward through third persons. I’m going to have to go again to go to Moscow. I do not wish to disclose when that will be. I am just happy and grateful, that he is safe and secure”, – said his father Lon Snowden.

    How much more information can be obtained quickly by an NSA agent, where it is stored, and why its quest by the British is so active nobody knows. Perhaps the secret agents of London will kill. Anyway, the British authorities have threatened The Guardian reporters with criminal cases under the Article of “aiding terrorism ” .

    The American NSA chose another tactic – the secret service casually admits that what may soften the blow .

    A new batch of revelations from Edward Snowden was published in the newspaper The Washington Post. The article says that the NSA not only collects data about calls, but monitors the movements of people, using data from cell towers and GPS chips. Simultaneously, it can in real time in the security services can monitor up to 5 billion subscribers worldwide. An anonymous source at the NSA, on condition of anonymity, confirmed this information .

    It is curious that on December 3 chief editor of the British Guardian. Alan Rusbridger said in the local parliament, that the newspaper published only 1% of data from Snowden’s documents . Impressive. But no less impressive is the fact that even during the publication of this one percent, The Guardian, said Rusbridger, more than a hundred times consulted with government agencies, intelligence agencies, including the FBI , with the GCHQ, with the Cabinet Office, and even D-Notice Committee, which assesses the potential damage from press publications. That is, all of the articles in The Guardian on “Snowden dossier ” were carefully censored, and not only by the British authorities, but also Americans.”

  30. I wonder if Lew Rockwell and Omidyar have any connection besides their common Tufts University background. I can see Omidyar as one of the large donors covering the $2.5 million annual gifts for Mises. Those who come under cover of the flag of liberty, who want to privatize our infrastructure.

    How’s that for speculation?

    Still looking to find out where the money comes from. But, somebody with a lot of it wants us to lose interest in a public government. I can see this Omidyar Network as another head of the same hydra.

  31. Which flag would you prefer the mises inst come under? Despotism?

    “Public government”, seriously? Is that a , “fight the system from the inside” point-of-view? Maybe we should ask Sibel how that plays out…

    • Yeah, seriously, Andrew. Public government vs private government. That’s how I would frame our choice.

      As I have said in similar discussions, I am all for fighting from the inside and the outside. The difference is that I see public government as the goal, instead of private. And you can ask me too; Sibel’s not the only one who’s suffered. I know what the results of fighting the system are.

      Is Mises exempt from the mystery-big-money-funded problem, which we see discussed here so often?

  32. Just wanted to throw in my .02 on the Greenwald articles. I very much appreciate the work that Sibel is putting into this, asking the tough questions. I, like several others only regret the style and manner in which it was done. Starting with this article in particular, it’s my opinion that it would’ve been much more powerful without the ad hominem and somewhat tasteless lifestyle attacks.

    I’m a recent subscriber and, as I said, appreciate the work but feel that it should stand on it’s own merits.

    • avatar Imants Virsnieks says:

      Let it go! Definition from Wikipedia: “An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”, short for argumentum ad hominem, is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. ”

      Sibel presented her well founded suspicions in a coherent and logical manner. In this instance it was necessary to also describe the subjects history, past performance, and track record since this is relevant and necessary to illustrate the question/thesis at hand. Is the subject the sort of person who might or would behave as a check-book journalist?What is his CV? His curriculum vitae (CV) provides an overview of a person’s experience, background and other qualifications. That is not an ad hominem attack but a necessary part of Sibel’s argument/thesis.

  33. “Let it go!”
    No.

    “In this instance it was necessary to also describe the subjects history, past performance, and track record SINCE THIS IS RELEVANT and necessary to illustrate the question/thesis at hand.” (my emphasis)

    Really? Let’s see about that.

    “…set up an exploitive pornography business with names such as Hairy Studs and Hairy Jock… All for money and profit.”

    I’m not even really sure what to say about this one. This is relevant? Really? This is like a chose your fallacy adventure.

    No ad hominems eh?

    “PSEUDO-journalist”
    “SUPPOSED-journalist”
    File these under appeal to ridicule if you’d rather. And to that, is Sibel the gatekeeper of what a ‘real’ journalist is? If that’s the case, things are getting pretty Feinstein-y around here.

    “GREASY checkbood reporter”. That’s right, greasy. No ad hominem there.

    [from paragraph 9, above] “This particular one is famous for spending years as an ambulance-chasing style attorney, where all he had to do was to write dozens of pages to make cases that were never cases, or make real cases appear as if they never were. ”

    Based on what? How can I know this? Even if it were true, let me see the evidence if you want to include this as ‘relevant’. Otherwise it just looks like an unfounded smear.

    How many times did we need to read pseudo/supposed/checkbook/blah/blah/blah? I’m not dense. I don’t need to be bludgeoned with information. It would be MY hope, that Sibel would be presenting a case to the widest possible audience, hoping that they would see the presentation for what it is, based on, as I already said, it’s merits.

    I can assure you, based on the reactions I’ve seen, around the web, the tone of this particular story turned people off – they couldn’t even see the valid information within. Imagine how much more powerful it would have been if only Greenwald (“she’s stupid and crazy”) had stooped down to middle school? Unfortunately, he was only firing back.

    if it isn’t patently obvious, at this point, that persuasive rhetoric does not include ad hominem attacks (spin it how you want, greasy is an ad hominem), appeals to ridicule and uncited smears. This Greenwald/Paypal series is providing some very interesting information, solid reporting and asking some very important questions. There is no need to drag the tone down, which is what was done here. Regardless of how you want to spin it.

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