BFP Roundtable Video 2– Glenn Greenwald & Checkbook Journalism

Welcome to the second pilot edition of BFP Roundtable. In this episode James, Guillermo and I discuss the controversy surrounding the Glenn Greenwald, Omidyar-PayPal and NSA connections. We talk about the glacial pace at which the Snowden  documents are being released, Greenwald's book and video deals, the  new news venture with eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar, the things that  Greenwald doesn't report on, and the public's tendency to put people  on pedestals. Don't miss this controversial edition of the BFP Roundtable.

Additional Notes

On November 23, 2009, I wrote and published an article on how State Secrets Privilege cases were being censored by a certain columnist. At the time, especially after receiving ugly comments and responses from that journalist, I had decided not to name him. I didn’t want further public mudslinging, considering the ugly and vicious attacks this columnist was famous for. Of course, everyone got it (Please checkout comments section)-they knew exactly who this puppet was. Here is my article published at Boiling Frogs Post in November 2009:

State Secrets Privilege: The Puppets & Puppet Masters

Did I and others, including attorneys, seek comments from Greenwald on why he would erase history and censor cases on SSP cases? You bet.

Is it surprising that the person who engaged in the following public name-calling would use ugly attacks and comments such as ‘Shut Up, bitch. Go away!’? I don’t think so. You?

I have also mentioned how Greenwald, sticking to his ambulance-chasing attorney pattern of behavior, always threatens those who question or expose him with lawsuits. Here is another consistent response from Greenwald:

As for Russell Tice being censored by Mr. Greenwald? I was told by Mr. Tice that all his attempts to communicate with Greenwald were via e-mail. I believe he would be more than happy to go on record and establish that with 100% certainty.

And finally, please don’t forget, we invited Glenn Greenwald repeatedly to participate in our Roundtable Discussion and have equal airtime to counter facts and points presented during the show. He did not accept our invitation.

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Comments

  1. tonywicher says:

    This is a report on Infowars about this subject that is worth a listen:
    http://www.infowars.com/is-paypals-nsa-involvement-being-covered-up

  2. roadlink2u says:

    great interview . keep up the good work .

  3. Please make sure to visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9K5I8SIwoM

    Some good responses/discussions there as well.

  4. I can’t recall the attribution but paraphrasing the operative quote “In order for disinformation to work 90% of it has to be true.” So, we plow through the evidence and work toward the truth.

    Echoing Mark Green’s comment, I too was not aware of Greenwald’s truncated history of ‘State’s Secret Privilege’. Thanks for that, Sibel.

    Great chemistry, great talk.

  5. I love having these sessions with my partners; all of them! It is impossible not to smile and laugh (in a good way)- even when it stretches and hurts the stitches! Truly enjoyed the session.

  6. It’s a pleasure to watch and listen to you guys bat the issues around, Sibel. Everyone did a great job, and I took particular interest in Greenwald’s background in avoiding cases where the State Secrets Privilege was invoked against Americans. That and the details on his putting materials out for bid amongst his fellow journalists. Looking forward to hearing Pepe’s take!

    Also telling that he uses the word “truther”, like practically everybody, as an insult. Rather be a truther than a liar mi amigo!

  7. Edward Rutland says:

    Amen to the positive comments above. This is an absolutely perfect format.
    Thank you all.

  8. BennyB-DoubleD says:

    I was looking forward to this conversation. It’s worth mentioning that I’d had fair amount of respect for the merits of Glenn Greenwald’s work prior to this point, so I was by no means someone who would’ve jumped at any opportunity to trash him without reason. That said, based on my feelings about him at this point, the fact that I came away from this roundtable discussion with a substantially Lower opinion of him is actually impressive. I don’t think it’s going to matter how compelling an argument you make for the club Greenwald congregation, but perhaps for the more casual worshipers they’ll reconsider pardoning your blasphemy 🙂

    Sibel, you have a great way of ripping the fluff out of a discussion and getting tough on issues in a way where I always find myself smiling or getting a laugh. That’s something I definitely appreciate. Keep up the great work =]

  9. Now HERE’s something interesting, or am I getting TOO paranoid? Check it out and try it yourself.

    I was searching around for Greenwald pieces on states secret privilege, trying to get a sense of his coverage. I’ll summarize my findings in my NEXT message, but here’s what stopped me cold. Compare the results for the following three searches:

    +greenwald +”richard horn” (note that the “+” sign makes the following search term mandatory) gets:
    No results found for +greenwald +”richard horn”
    But a long list of matches follows for richard horn without Greenwald. OK? So far so good.

    Next, same thing but with richard barlow:
    No results found for +greenwald +”richard barlow”
    But followed by a long list of links for richard barlow without Greenwald. Still with me?

    Here’s where it gets weird. Next I tried +greenwald +”sibel edmonds” right? And I figured, well, I KNOW this one will have some results because of all the recent articles.

    Wrong.

    Slightly different results message:
    Your search – +greenwald +”sibel edmonds” – did not match any documents.

    Followed by NO LINKS AT ALL. Completely BLANK PAGE.

    Suppression? That’s weird, right?

  10. The “no links” for Sibel + Greenwald is way weirder and more interesting than what I found out about Greenwald writing about state secrets privilege (SSP). But I’ll share my results anyway in case anybody’s as interested in this as I seem to be.

    Summary: I can’t find any articles where Greenwald claims to give a comprehensive modern history of the SSP. Therefore, there are no articles where he claims to provide the whole Bush-Obama era picture naming every invocation of SSP, ergo no articles where he makes that claim and then leaves out Sibel, Horn, and Barlow.

    However, it’s true he doesn’t ever mention Sibel, Horn, or Barlow. In his defense, that seems to be mainly because he focuses on current events. He focuses a lot on El Masri and Binyam Mohamed because they were in the news a lot in 2006 and 2009 respectively. Barlow’s case (hit with SSP in March 2000) and Sibel’s were both finished I believe by the time he started writing about this in 2006. On the other hand, Horn’s case, although originally from 1994, was reinstated in 2010, so that would have counted as a current event, which Greenwald did not cover. That case was disposed of when Horn accepted a few million dollars. Whether that makes it more or less newsworthy is probably debatable.

    If anyone’s curious or wants to double check me or can add anything important I’ve missed, here’s an annotated list of the articles I checked out, in chronological order:

    http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.co.uk/2006/04/building-secrecy-wall-higher-and.html (April 2006)
    — mentions origins of Act, Bush abuse in general, no specific cases; no claim to be overall history

    http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.co.uk/2006/05/snapshots-of-us-under-bush.html (May 2006)
    — notes Bush’s increasing use of SSP and then-recent El Masri case; no history claim

    http://inthesetimes.com/article/2730/rechecking_the_balance_of_powers (July 2006)
    — Notes that Hamdan vs Rumsfeld decision rebukes Bush administration claims of radical executive power; mentions again recent El Masri case; no history claim

    http://www.salon.com/2009/02/09/state_secrets/ (Feb 2009)
    — Notes failure of Obama to keep promises; announcement that day of Obama continuing Bush position on Mohamed et al v Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc

    http://www.salon.com/2009/02/10/obama_88/ (Feb 2009)
    — criticism of Obama for hypocrisy, campaign lies, continuation/expansion of SSP; no cases; no claim to history

    http://www.salon.com/2009/04/06/obama_91/ (April 2009)
    — notes how fully Obama continues and expands Bush’s SSP and total executive power policies

    http://www.salon.com/2009/04/07/smith_14/ (April 2009)
    — interview with Binyam Mohammed lawyer

    http://www.salon.com/2009/04/09/tpm/ (April 2009)
    — just staying on Obama’s case based on then-current DOJ ruling, and cites this: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/expert-consensus-obama-mimics-bush-on-state-secrets?ref=fp1 as “comprehensive” but not sure in what sense; is not a full review of modern usage of SSP

    http://www.salon.com/2009/04/13/obama_94/ (April 2009)
    — decries the Obama DOJ shielding Bush’s illegal spying programs from judicial review by invoking SSP; again current news, no claim to history

    http://www.salon.com/2010/09/08/obama_138/ (September 2010)
    — outrage at 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to uphold Obama’s use of state secrets in the Binyam Mohamed vs Boeing subsidiary case

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/10/15/glenn-greenwald-what-obama-could-do-now/ (Oct 2010)
    — Give list of 7 things Obama could do immediately without Congressional approval, including end abuse of SSP

    • Are you saying you didn’t come across Reynold’s case? That would be amazing-since I know Reynold’s case have been repeatedly used as showing history/timeline by Greenwald. Oh, here are only two:
      http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/04/building-secrecy-wall-higher-and.html

      http://www.salon.com/2009/02/10/obama_88/

      I can understand and tolerate and accept ‘density’ up to a point, but after that, it becomes something uglier than that, and I will not tolerate that here.

      We have had only two cases (Xicha, correct me if I’m wrong, since you’ve been with us since the day 1) where we had to (after long patience) eliminate ‘trolling’. I would like not to have another one.

      • Mark Green says:

        john, your problem is that you are limiting your search parameters.
        You need to broaden your horizons a bit and look beyond the all-encompassing censoring behemoth named Google.

        +greenwald +”sibel edmonds”
        31,800 results using Bing search engine
        32,300 results using Yahoo search engine

      • BennyB-DoubleD says:

        I guess I’m not forum savvy. Can someone explain ‘density’ for me in this context. I’m usually being sarcastic, but I’m this time I’m not, I don’t know… I’d rather look dumb, than not know to look cool

        Thanks~B

      • Yes, I think one or two at the most. Sibel has been tolerant and BFP has been lucky, especially since having the membership requirement for comments, which I appreciate for that reason. But, we do watch out for patterns of purposeful diversion, division, and dissuasion.

        • BennyB-DoubleD says:

          Okay Xicha, I think you confirmed what I was thinking, although I could be wrong. I don’t know if “links” is a dirty word, but if I combine Mark’s definition with your “one or two”; given the fact that my previous two comments were the most obtuse of those I’ve made at BFP, I’m digging a shallow grave for my reputation here at three; possibly four, if abstract self-depreciating humor qualifies as a purposeful diversion. Hopefully not…

          Thanks~B

          • Relax BennyB, it’s not your posts that Sibel and Xicha were commenting about.
            It was John’s.

          • BennyB-DoubleD says:

            Cool, thanks Mark =]

          • The one or two I mentioned was people who Sibel booted out of here.

            If you aren’t purposefully writing things in order to spoil the posts/threads here, there’s no reason to worry.

            Can I quote you, BTW?

            I’d rather look dumb, than not know to look cool

            🙂

            Reminds me of a line from my favorite movie, Ishtar:

            I’d rather have nothing, than settle for less.

        • BennyB-DoubleD says:

          Thanks for the clarification Xicha. I guess I could say: for getting it wrong so many times, I’m happy to at least be in the right…

          Regarding the quote: I was going to put it in my forthcoming fictitious book, but I’d consider giving you the rights for an exclusive for a couple thousand dollars. 😉

          Of course you can quote me, I’m actually quite flattered (I don’t know what the blushing emoticon is on here); speaking of which, is there a reference for formatting and symbols somewhere? Is it just inline html? (i.e.

          you can quote me

          seriously

          you can quote me

          something tells me no, but hey I guess I’m about to find out…

          • BennyB-DoubleD says:

            Hmm… I guess it works, something tells me these boards would be a mess if people were actually using open and closing tags. I won’t waste any more space testing it here though. Weird, the smiley came out the way I would’ve expected it… I better quit while I’m behind 😉

  11. jackdonovan says:

    Sibel, it’s great hearing from you, Corbett and Guillermo. I feel the tone needs to be a bit less “friendly”, though, which means inviting people who disagree with you (or any of the other hosts).

    That said, I was thinking about ways of putting the power back into the hands of the people. There is no better motivation than self-motivation; people need to be active citizens, do their own due dilligence and basically educate themselves, because chances are pretty slim that “truth” is gong to be handed over to them. So I was thinking about a kind of campaign, and since everything must become a hashtag, I thought of “#YesYouCanFOIA”.

    The idea is to educate the people on HOW TO initiate a FOIA request, how to word it accurately, present some succesful cases, etc. etc. The government produces a huge amount of documents which are paid for by ourselves; they really are our property, even tough the government can withhold it through classification (which spiked tremendously under Obama, by the way). Initiating a FOIA request will involve the people on “the other side”, that is, the government workers themselves. A big enough movement could overwhelm them, and make them think twice before trying to throw some document under the rug. Basically, it would be a kind of popular surveillance of the government, through legal means. Since the media in general doesn’t do it, we can try to do it ourselves…

    Thank you for your wonderful work, I’m a huge fan!

  12. carolcrumlish says:

    Sibel, thank you for putting yourself out there. Your integrity is refreshing, to put it mildly. To Jack Donovan: I think Sibel and James DO invite people with different views to participate. If they choose not to do so, that is on them. I was lifted out of my chair when it was revealed that Greenwald censors the historical facts in some of his essays. Being a retired but none-the-less still an old battle axe teacher, I find this sort of manipulation appalling and totally unacceptable. Please continue to shine your bright light on this pond scum wherever it exists. Gore Vidal noted that, “Wherever there are lies, there can be no reality.” I believe that this is in his “Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace” collection of essays. Of course, the implied value here is that reality is something to be sought after and cherished. You hit a home run over the left field fence with the bases loaded in this round table. Keep on keepin’ on! A ginormous salute to you all.

  13. carolcrumlish says:

    Just for the record, I “googled” Greenwald+Sibel Edmonds and got oooooodles of pages in response.

  14. I don’t know what to say. I’m in shock.

    My ‘google’ comment seems to have been misinterpreted, so let me clarify that first. My suggestion was that giant corporate Google might be intentionally blocking Sibel’s discussion of NSA/Greenwald. Which would be bad. (Carol, if you put the “+” in front of both Greenwald and “sibel edmonds” in quotes, that’s when I got zero results…same exact technique yields results for the other states secret victims, and provides confirmation of Sibel’s point that Greenwald has not covered them.) So that was kind of a pro-Sibel comment, fuel for her fire so to speak. I thought I might have discovered something of interest there. Perhaps not.

    In my other comment, I mean, I presented results of an inquiry, which yielded a sort of mixed bag. Confirmed Sibel’s contention that Greenwald didn’t cover the whole state secrets privilege (SSP) history, but also as I read through the stuff it seemed there was a context. The context seemed to be that his articles responded to current events, and provided limited background to SSP.

    Yes, he mentioned the Reynolds case. No, I’m not saying I didn’t come across it.

    He certainly could have added more into his treatment. I wasn’t trying to prove or disprove anything, but I spent a couple hours reading his stuff, and found his contributions limited, but good. He didn’t, as far as I could tell, ever claim to be providing anything like a complete history, despite mentioning Reynolds. It was news, with minimal context. Seems to me various interpretations might be permitted.

    I like to do my own thinking and bounce ideas off people I respect. I thought this could be an interesting discussion. I thought critical thinking was valued here. I don’t think I’ve done anything disrespectfully, in fact quite the contrary. I’ve been a longtime supporter of this site, both verbally and financially. I never would have imagined that we couldn’t engage in friendly, respectful, polite challenges to each other here. I thought that’s what discussions were kind of all about. I never would have imagined that deviating from simple affirmations would get a person called a troll.

    Xicha identifies the undesirable behavior as “patterns of purposeful diversion, division, and dissuasion”. The three D’s. Must we add discussion, disagreement, and decorous dissent?

    If I have been impolite, I sincerely apologize. It was never my intention. If I’m dense, well, I’m trying my best to educate myself. My method for self-education is to try to think critically about everything, especially my own assumptions. And those of my friends and respected mentors. But if it’s really the case that critical thinking is not welcome here when it’s applied to each other — a conclusion I am still optimistically resisting — then permit me to politely say that I find it a bit crushing.

    • Hi John,

      If you aren’t purposefully writing things in order to spoil the posts/threads here, there’s no reason to worry.

      I have been in heated disagreement with Sibel before, and there’s no need to be a sycophant. Your three D’s are welcome. Communication is key.

      But, we do keep an eye out for the 3 D’s I mentioned.

  15. AVIONBLANC says:

    I thought Peter B. might be a part of this conversation. I believe he doesn’t necessarily agree with the position presented here.

    Sibel makes an excellent argument. I’ve had my doubts about Greenwald AND Snowden. Many of Sibel’s “friends” who are heralded as great heroes are clearly part of the establishment elite who desire more government more of the time. That results in totalitarian collectivism.

    Dan Ellsberg is an example as is Ray McGovern. As Sibel shows they speak out against Obama’s totalitarian, Constitution killing policies in the first term then support him for yet another term. Odd.

    I supported a third party candidate as did Peter B. It isn’t about winning (especially when winning is fascism, totalitarian collectivism) it is about taking a stand and saying No More!

    Mr. Jimenez, Mr. Corbett, and Ms. Edmonds are folks I listen to and watch as major sources of information. The hyper-links, the references to primary sources, are very helpful.

    As always, excellent work!

  16. By the way, density was not meant to insult-a person. It was to characterize the stand on a topic when one wishes so very badly for something, thus disregard all contradictory facts.

    I am so grateful to have such a great group of members-supporters here @ BFP. When I go to other sites (including YouTube), and see how people throwing garbage around, engage in name calling, use crude language … I get to see & realize how wonderful this forum is, and has been: civil, intelligent, articulate and very respectful. One advantage of not having the comment section open to the outside nastiness.

    That said: Thankful to all of you, for all the responses and analyses, whether in agreement or not. Thank you all!!!

  17. Okay, I was going to put this on the thread from a year ago, as a follow-up to the not so “Real” News Network piece. Here’s Paul Jay, continuing to try to justify and rationalize least-worse voting. He’s talking to Nader, who schools him yet again, probably to no avail.

    But then, they get into the controversy about Omidyar and his new venture, and Jay mentions a possible conflict of interest. Nader starts promoting Omidyar as a billionaire who can save us, a la his book Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us.

    Even though I highly respect Mr. Nader and voted for him every time he ran, I have to disagree with this line of thinking. He didn’t get into it too much, but it seems like he only faulted Washington for that conflict of interest. As if the Super-Rich were not the ones in control of the Deep State.

    Do you think that BFP could invite Mr. Nader for an upcoming Boiling Frogs Show interview? I’d love to hear a discussion about the Super-Rich and the Deep State, and Omidyar, not to mention some inquiries into his awareness of Gladio Plan B type issues, such as NATO running heroin or the funding of al qaeda in Syria – as a pattern that reaches back to pre-9/11.

    (With apologies for bringing Paul Jay into the room, here’s the clip.)

    • DenStendigeResen says:

      I know I am way behind the curve here, but couldn’t resist pitching in on this one – only a year and a bit too late! I met Nader a few times when I was with the Green Party (as in, had lunch with him once, talked no more than 15 minutes otherwise). So obviously I don’t know him well… but my instinctive sense of him is that he is such an honest person himself, and perhaps somewhat naïve due to shyness, that he takes at face value those who are friendly toward him.
      I respect him immensely, but was apalled by his “Only the Super-Rich” plaidoirie. Perhaps I am just trying to rationalize, so that I can go on admiring him.
      Naw… He has done too much good in the world, ever to lose the right to be respected. Besides, when I told him that my family had been involved in a low-speed auto accident in which our Corvair* was demolished (several decades ago, mind you), he became so concerned that I almost felt I should have kept my mouth shut til after lunch. I really believe he is a fundamentally good and honest person.

      *Corvairs were the subject of Nader’s first consumer-protection crusade, for the younger readers in the crowd.

      • Thanks Den. Yours was also a refreshing comment. I also appreciate that you are now looking at older posts and not letting them sit forever dormant. So many of us are only waiting for something new, for the next big story or drama to come along. Surely, BFP is a very rich site, with so much content waiting for another critical thought to be added, that we all might heed your example and use the search box once in a while.

        Thanks!

        • BFP is a very Rich site..Thank You.
          And
          I am like..living in a very small place
          of our world.
          on a island Bornholm in Denmark..
          I will have to do some copy and paste..sorry.
          You Said..
          ( continuing to try to justify and rationalize least-worse voting)..
          Yes..!
          Hmmm..?
          Coalition governments..!
          Even in my little contry Denmark..
          whit a lot of parties..
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Folketing
          This cancer is going on and on…
          Kind Regards
          Jens.

  18. tonywicher says:

    I think what Nader has to say here is very reasonable and in line with the rejection of the “Democrat/Republican” or “liberal/conservative” dichotomy here at BFP, but I am surprised to hear Nader call Omidyar a “real progressive”. I suppose being a billionaire does not automatically mean you are a reactionary. Paul Jay candidly admits that Real News Network is getting support from some well-to-do contributors. I suppose if some wealthy contributor decided to donate a million to BFP with no strings attached, Sibel would not turn it down. At least it’s conceivable. I usually like Paul Jay and the Real News Network. They seem more like real progressives such as Nader than phony Wall Street Democrats like Obama. They recently did a good interview with Bob Graham on 9/11: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=11103

  19. metrobusman says:

    Great analysis by SE.
    This whole thing is a psy-op: Snowden, Greenwald, Greenwald’s partner and his plane difficulties. What we hear from the bourgeois press is what the bourgeoisie wants to press. If Snowden were what he claims, he’d be in Gitmo by now.

    • This reminds me of my first impression of the 007 saga played out in the first days of Snowden Drama on news media. How is this person able to just sit around in a building for weeks and not be snatched up by some contractor hired by any country. If he were indeed so dangerous to the powers that be, then where were the powers that be?
      They just let him sit there all that time? Yes. Our hero gets away with it? Yes, and we hear about it for weeks on end. Hollywood can’t get one on screen this good, so we love it.

      The issue of not much being released to date IS the giveaway? This silly aftermath of money being made by Mr Greenwald is unfortunate in one sense. There is zero push back from his end, other than a brief lapse on the fringe text netherworld.

      As much as I looked forward to this Roundtable, it nets no new information on the subject beyond SE’s initial article.
      If it keeps the conversation alive, fine. Something tells me it’s knocking on a door of an empty room. No one will answer.

      • As much as I looked forward to this Roundtable, it nets no new information on the subject beyond SE’s initial article. If it keeps the conversation alive, fine. Something tells me it’s knocking on a door of an empty room. No one will answer.

        Only one empty room in this analysis, Eric 😉 What is your standard for new info, anyway?

        • A little push back from the players (puppets as Sibel calls them)

          • And finally, please don’t forget, we invited Glenn Greenwald repeatedly to participate in our Roundtable Discussion and have equal airtime to counter facts and points presented during the show. He did not accept our invitation.

  20. As many have pointed out, several things just don’t add up with the Snowden affair.

    I’m going to talk about just one for now.
    Ownership of the 50,000+ docs.

    The focus has been on Greenwald as the sole proprietor of the docs.

    But in just a small sampling of articles I have read recently on the topic I count no less than five people and likely many more who now are in possession of the docs.

    Greenwald, Poitras, Miranda, Gellman (Washington Post), Rusbridger (Guardian).
    Rusbridger admitted he sent copies of the docs to other news organizations abroad and in the U.S. He mentioned going through 58,000 documents.

    It would be difficult to imagine that Snowden hasn’t stashed away at least one encrypted copy of the docs somewhere in the internet cloud.
    That would make six plus individuals.

    Now here’s where I’m going with this.
    We can leave aside Poitras and Miranda, as they are on the Greenwald team.

    The others have no particular allegiance to Greenwald.
    They can see what Greenwald has in store for himself financially, with his recent deals.

    What would stop them from making a pre-emptive strike?
    Releasing more or the rest of the docs before Greenwald has a chance?
    Gellman and Rusbridger have already released some of the docs. So they have already tested the waters. They’re still alive and not in prison.

    • Maybe it is up to those orchestrating it from above. Guardian, WP, Greenwald… we know are puppets. Those who hold the strings are running the show based on their script. The rest: Puppets.

      This reminds me all the dog & pony shows we went through during the 9/11 commission ‘performance.’ Remember how a couple of the commissioners were playing ‘tough/good guys’? Even that part was part of the script. How else could they make it look realistic? I also remember how the MSM sang their praise when the trash called report came out …

      Now we have ‘the’ panel appointed by the WH who has just come out with some ‘tough talking’ assessment …
      Anyhow, what I’m trying to say: it’s a show, and the majority, as always are falling for it. The establishment plans and counts on that: the majority falling for crap.

      • “Now we have ‘the’ panel appointed by the WH who has just come out with some ‘tough talking’ assessment …”

        Looks like a lot of the report by the panel of “experts” (at least a couple of unsavory characters there (Richard Clarke, Michael Morell, Geoffrey Stone, Cass Sunstein and Peter Swire), is pushing for the [further] privatization of data collection.

        • I noticed that too, Andrew. A very desirable result for the deep state. More fascism.

          But then, we do have the choice to not use our infrastructure and live free on a farm (which I’m sure we can each afford) where we barter with our like-minded neighbors. Or there’s Galt’s Gulch in South America. It’s really just a matter of not continuing to be a thieving parasite on the state anymore, right?

          • I’m not really sure I understand what you’re saying. I mean, the sentiment, yes. But the illustrations, so to speak, not so much.

          • Sorry for the left field references, Andrew. I was referring to some of the recent libertarian projects, like the new reality show about going off the grid, called Sovereign Living (highlighted here at BFP) and a bunch of folks who are investigating a place to buy land in South America and have dubbed it Galt’s Gulch. Apparently. I haven’t looked into that because of my distaste for the name. Only heard it mentioned on the same podcast as my first reference, although Guillermo’s not one of the participants, AFAIK.

          • I’m not too into the Galt’s Gulch idea, myself. Only because I don’t really think one can ‘escape’ the issues, in that way. If someone wants to do that, I don’t see a problem with it, just not my thing.

            I can’t really see a problem with what John Bush and his family are doing (Sovereign Living) though. Striving for self-sufficiency, learning useful skill, getting off the fascist food grid and generally decentralizing ones life seems pretty damn wise to me.

          • Nothing wrong with new skills, local living, etc. I don’t agree with the messaging in the show-the context. I see it as dissuading dissidents from attemting to be vigilant in combating the corruption of the system they are “escaping”. This is the same disagreement I have with all supposed anti-state rhetoric. I consider it anti-public, since there will always be a system of laws, in any society. See link for my other comment on this thread, discussing the collectivism-as-scapegoat idea associated with this.

            http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/12/19/bfp-roundtable-video-2-glenn-greenwald-checkbook-journalism/comment-page-1/#comment-12867

          • DenStendigeResen says:

            Xicha, I am with you 100% on this, and very relieved to know that not everyone in the alt-community has gone all Randian. How many libertarian parents let their kids decide their own bedtime, I wonder? (Not that I think that is a bad policy by any means – just think that rules, or guidelines if you will, are ineschewable whenever more than a few of us are gathered together. And that it’s hypocritical to decry “the nanny state” when playing tyrant in the family home.)

    • tonywicher says:

      I just assume the Russians and the Chinese have the Snowden documents, so why are they being “vetted”, unless to keep the American public in the dark? When Snowden was still stuck in the airport, Putin said that he had been debriefed by Russian intelligence, and it was “like shearing a pig – lots of squealing but very little wool”. I love these Russian expressions!

    • Very Funny 😉
      How many Santas would it take to keep up with us all?
      More than they have, yes? I have this argument with a friend who’s very paranoid about being online, and has a silly illusion about being “Off The Grid”
      I keep reminding him he’d need to move out of the country, so how about not being afraid. What a concept in the face of these “Snowden Events” that seem to happen on a regular time schedule, in case we forget. Boo!

      • tonywicher says:
      • Interesting connection between the NSA and Santa – I wonder how many of this year’s toys will include a bugging device.

        As for being off the grid or finding a place to run and hide, it seems like that’s becoming less and less possible. Also, I’m against the idea of people giving up any claims for use of the common infrastructure, citing claims that such use is the source of our troubles. It seems to me that’s much of what this battle is about. I’d love to see nationalized resources and other infrastructure, such as energy, reclaimed airwaves, and banks.

        My question is, how do we help people differentiate between the so-called government/state, which could be more aptly thought of as arms of the private oligarchic squid, and the real shared development, use, and responsibility of common space, systems, and resources – a public government.

        I think there’s a giant problem with confusion over which one of those gets the blame for the loss of civil liberties. And it seems to me that they are inversely proportional, so the increase of one will decrease the other.

  21. Sibel, as to what you were wondering about what it is with constitutional law scholars like Obama and Greenwald; in law school, the students generally refer to their constitutional law courses as “con-law” -the expression speaks volumes doesn’t it?

  22. Snowden has now given an extensive interview to the Washington Post.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/edward-snowden-after-months-of-nsa-revelations-says-his-missions-accomplished/2013/12/23/49fc36de-6c1c-11e3-a523-fe73f0ff6b8d_story.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/national/behind-the-interview-how-snowden-thinks/2013/12/24/40881f74-6cde-11e3-b405-7e360f7e9fd2_video.html

    Maybe I’m an innocent, but Snowden certainly seems to be on the up-and-up. There are those who have said from the beginning that the whole thing is a psyop, among them Tarpley and Scott Creighton, but I don’t find their arguments convincing. If he is part of a psyop, it’s hard to see what the objective could be, because the raising of public awareness of NSA violations of the Constitution is certainly real. It seems that he turned his documents over to Gellman of the Washington Post as well as Greenwald, and left their publication to their discretion. He hasn’t said anything so far about the Greenwald-Omidyar deal, but maybe from his point of view it’s not a problem. Nader apparently doesn’t think it’s a problem either.

    I await further developments.

  23. tonywicher says:

    @Scott Creighton’s theory is that Snowden is a psyop to get CISPA passed. Here is his series of tweets:

    just like Obama said it right after the “Snowden” story broke: to force “the discussion”… about giving up freedoms for security. CISPA failed last year and it was bound to fail again this year… but 800 corps wanted it badly, so, along comes Eddie and Glenn to massage the country into accepting it…Rockefeller sneaks CISPA lite into NDAA 2014 while the “Freedom Act” is being readied for the vote…and the “discussion” is no longer about over-reaching corporate fascism, now it’s about how the NSA “needs” …

    RT on NDAA 2014
    http://rt.com/usa/rockefeller-cyber-ndaa-commerce-168/

    The USA Freedom Act
    http://www.leahy.senate.gov/download/usa-freedom-act_-introduced-10-29-131

  24. Mark Green says:

    On a lighter note.

    Greenwald should put his Snowden e-mail encryption key up for sale on eBay.
    With the following stipulations:
    -Only NSA agents may bid (confirmed by an encrypted e-mail).
    -Only PayPal payments accepted.
    🙂

  25. Bradley Fuller says:

    I’m a newbie here at BFP. I viewed this round table over at James Corbett site and thought it’s time to subscribe if this is the calibre of reporting being produced, I have to support the effort with what little I have to give in support with so many great websites seeking subscribers.

    Best of the new year to Ms Edmonds and friends…now onward and upward into 2014.

  26. Akihito Mekata says:

    Hi,as I am Japanese and cannot understand all but partially, but I realize what are going underneath which is much different form main stream media or I think in Japan, none of those information are available and I than you all for those information as those give me wider prospect and deeper insight when I see news on media. I will one day like to contribute for Sibel and Corbett and other members, thanks you.

    Aki

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