Naomi Klein's creeping concern and a Respectful Reply
Respectful Reply by Revolution News Network is below Naomi Klein's post
by Naomi Klein
I hate to do this but I feel obligated to share, as the story unfolds, my creeping concern that the NSA leaker is not who he purports to be, and that the motivations involved in the story may be more complex than they appear to be. This is in no way to detract from the great courage of Glenn Greenwald in reporting the story, and the gutsiness of the Guardian in showcasing this kind of reporting, which is a service to America that US media is not performing at all. It is just to raise some cautions as the story unfolds, and to raise some questions about how it is unfolding, based on my experience with high-level political messaging.
Some of Snowden’s emphases seem to serve an intelligence/police state objective, rather than to challenge them.
a) He is super-organized, for a whistleblower, in terms of what candidates, the White House, the State Dept. et al call ‘message discipline.’ He insisted on publishing a power point in the newspapers that ran his initial revelations. I gather that he arranged for a talented filmmaker to shoot the Greenwald interview. These two steps — which are evidence of great media training, really ‘PR 101″ — are virtually never done (to my great distress) by other whistleblowers, or by progressive activists involved in breaking news, or by real courageous people who are under stress and getting the word out. They are always done, though, by high-level political surrogates.
b) In the Greenwald video interview, I was concerned about the way Snowden conveys his message. He is not struggling for words, or thinking hard, as even bright, articulate whistleblowers under stress will do. Rather he appears to be transmitting whole paragraphs smoothly, without stumbling. To me this reads as someone who has learned his talking points — again the way that political campaigns train surrogates to transmit talking points.
c) He keeps saying things like, “If you are a journalist and they think you are the transmission point of this info, they will certainly kill you.” Or: “I fully expect to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.” He also keeps stressing what he will lose: his $200,000 salary, his girlfriend, his house in Hawaii. These are the kinds of messages that the police state would LIKE journalists to take away; a real whistleblower also does not put out potential legal penalties as options, and almost always by this point has a lawyer by his/her side who would PROHIBIT him/her from saying, ‘come get me under the Espionage Act.” Finally in my experience, real whistleblowers are completely focused on their act of public service and trying to manage the jeopardy to themselves and their loved ones; they don’t tend ever to call attention to their own self-sacrifice. That is why they are heroes, among other reasons. But a police state would like us all to think about everything we would lose by standing up against it.
d) It is actually in the Police State’s interest to let everyone know that everything you write or say everywhere is being surveilled, and that awful things happen to people who challenge this. Which is why I am not surprised that now he is on UK no-fly lists – I assume the end of this story is that we will all have a lesson in terrible things that happen to whistleblowers. That could be because he is a real guy who gets in trouble; but it would be as useful to the police state if he is a fake guy who gets in ‘trouble.’
e) In stories that intelligence services are advancing (I would call the prostitutes-with-the-secret-service such a story), there are great sexy or sex-related mediagenic visuals that keep being dropped in, to keep media focus on the issue. That very pretty pole-dancing Facebooking girlfriend who appeared for, well, no reason in the media coverage…and who keeps leaking commentary, so her picture can be recycled in the press…really, she happens to pole-dance? Dan Ellsberg’s wife was and is very beautiful and doubtless a good dancer but somehow she took a statelier role as his news story unfolded…
f) Snowden is in Hong Kong, which has close ties to the UK, which has done the US’s bidding with other famous leakers such as Assange. So really there are MANY other countries that he would be less likely to be handed over from…
g) Media reports said he had vanished at one point to ‘an undisclosed location’ or ‘a safe house.’ Come on. There is no such thing. Unless you are with the one organization that can still get off the surveillance grid, because that org created it.
h) I was at dinner last night to celebrate the brave and heroic Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Several of Assange’s also brave and talented legal team were there, and I remembered them from when I had met with Assange. These attorneys are present at every moment when Assange meets the press — when I met with him off the record last Fall in the Ecuadoran embassy, his counsel was present the whole time, listening and stepping in when necessary.
Seeing these diligent attentive free-speech attorneys for another whisleblower reinforced my growing anxiety: WHERE IS SNOWDEN’S LAWYER as the world’s media meet with him? A whistleblower talking to media has his/her counsel advising him/her at all times, if not actually being present at the interview, because anything he/she says can affect the legal danger the whistleblower may be in . It is very, very odd to me that a lawyer has not appeared, to my knowledge, to stand at Snowden’s side and keep him from further jeopardy in interviews.
Again I hate to cast any skepticism on what seems to be a great story of a brave spy coming in from the cold in the service of American freedom. And I would never raise such questions in public if I had not been told by a very senior official in the intelligence world that indeed, there are some news stories that they create and drive — even in America (where propagandizing Americans is now legal). But do consider that in Eastern Germany, for instance, it was the fear of a machine of surveillance that people believed watched them at all times — rather than the machine itself — that drove compliance and passivity. From the standpoint of the police state and its interests — why have a giant Big Brother apparatus spying on us at all times — unless we know about it?
A respectful reply to Naomi Wolf's "My creeping concern that the NSA leaker is not who he purports to be ...
This Isn't About Snowden: It's About the Other Traitors Still In the Room
by Revolution News Network
So let's review the narrative as it stands regarding Edward Snowden and see if we can find the missing elephant in the room.
Let's assume that the most vile of human beings --one that is not only a traitor, but also thief and a liar and a burglar, a kidnapper, an arsonist and a rapist --proves to you and the world that the following has happened to you and your family:
--A group of people are stalking you, collecting photos, listening to, monitoring, recording and saving your telephone conversations, surfing habits, and building a database and chart with everyone you know, interact with, whether your family, work, or acquaintances. In addition, your political and religious beliefs, where you shop, what you buy and even what you like to eat and what music you listen to and the books you read.
Now let's assume that you take the side of the people who call this person a traitor, a thief and a liar and a burglar, and a kidnapper, and an arsonist and a rapist and that you agree with them, and further that this person should be tried and punished.
Good enough. That's one criminal down. Now what about the other one?
What other one?
Remember the other criminal that you now know is stalking you, collecting your photos, listening to calls and record your internet, social, shopping, political, and religious connections?
Yeah what about that criminal?
Because what's being overlooked quite purposefully in the media, on the Senate floor, and in the Oval Office is that there are two traitors in the room.
Always remember that one traitor has outed the other.
And that other traitor? He (or they are) is desperately trying to airbrush themselves out of the room before anyone notices.
On that note, it can be said that only the mind of someone like that of a violent rapist or of a sexual predator (a sociopath or psychopath) would characterize and compare the physical and mental violation the most intimate parts and recesses of a person mind and body as a balancing act between actual rape or molestation to a medical procedure that is intended to detect and diagnose disease in his or her victim, and where the resulting emotional and physical scarring inflicted is nothing compared to the favor they did you.
Or the favor they claim to be doing for millions of victims so raped and molested, if in the process, they do detect and discover some disease, and in so doing clothe themselves as worthy of pity, and all of us worthy of guilt and shame and perhaps punishment, for the thankless job we've forced them to perform over our bruised, bloodied and violated bodies and souls.
The ungrateful worms that we are. We're supposed to lay back and enjoy it and thank them for it -- not ruin their special moment nor make them feel guilty.
And so it is with the rape of our most intimate and private thoughts and words. We consider it as such not because there is something to hide, but because they are priceless and must be protected from harm or misuse.
We would feel wrong to share them with anyone other than those we deeply trust and further, that we have found that they have not, nor would not take advantage, of our most vulnerable moments to gain something at our expense, which it ultimately is at our expense, in the instant that our words and thoughts are extracted against our will, without our knowledge and surely without our consent and used against us, to blackmail, coerce, ruin, or jail us, or to be used against those we love.
And as we survey the landscape dotted with the characters who have now revealed themselves to have raped the products of our hearts and minds, are we even able to retroactively absolve them of a crime because they haven't taken advantage of us in any other way?
Would they have been worthy of our consideration for our most intimate thoughts and to have and hold the things we hold dear?
Would the rapist had been our friend under other circumstances if he or she had only courted us instead and won our trust and respect?
Or is our outrage justified because in addition, they've rifled through and spent all of our money? Because they've opened trillions in credit accounts in our names and hung us with the balance? Because they've audited and harassed people for their political beliefs? Arranged laws so that anyone can be detained without charge or trial?
Hadn't they already proven themselves to be abusive spouses or crooked business partners or lying, thieving employees, before they became leering, scheming eavesdroppers and peeping toms?
Hadn't they already failed the bare minimum tests you would have imposed on anyone you would remotely think of having sex with, or making love to, or sharing to deepest secrets with?
Then what makes them think this will be forgotten or forgiven?
What makes them think that any and all attorney's reading this won't be compelled to sue for records to prove that attorney client privilege has been in fact violated?
What makes them think that any and all physicians won't be compelled to sue for records to prove that doctor patient confidentiality has been in fact violated?
What makes them think that companies will not sue for having their trade secrets and business plans stolen from them?
What makes them think they can claim they know all of our secrets, even some "crimes", but not be aware of their own "crimes" in the process of admitting to knowledge of ours?
How can they claim to know all about everyone to the exclusion of themselves?
How? By thinking like rapists and predators and denouncing you as an ungrateful victim for the favor they did you. That's how.
By believing their crimes to be gifts while demanding you be an accomplice to them by demanding your silence .In the meantime, their claim of knowing all convicts them of all, or do they think they would be immune to same rod being put to their backs that they have fashioned for ours?
They are now accomplices to everything including the real possibility that all this spying provides an ancillary benefit a something of a gateway drug: To the harder drug of blackmail.
You see, one chief advantage of the Executive being able to spy on everyone, including Senators, Congressmen, Governors, Generals, CEO's, of any party affiliation, etc., is that it's easy to blackmail them into submission and obedience or get rid of them whenever you want.
As you think about just how much spying was and is reportedly going on, think back over the last 10 years or so and recall just how many high profile people in the Federal (and State) government suddenly lost their jobs, decided to step down, or not run for office again, and had their reputations destroyed over "leaked" personal information that was embarrassing, or made them vulnerable, or got them ostracized.
It may help explain the behavior of those who are mysteriously (or maybe not so mysteriously?) currently and to your astonishment, defending the very system that they know for sure already spies on them, and most likely know has them blackmailed as well. It's said that in organized crime circles, the point is made to extract your obedience through complicity - which is to simply make you an accomplice to the crimes they commit- so that if they go down, you go down with them.
As a gateway drug then, spying opens a door to blackmail which has the power to silence anyone, and moreover to compel those under it's influence to defend it.
So to us it doesn’t matter who Snowden works for, or whether he’s coached or not, or whether someday even more heinous things about him are said. Hang him for it.
Because what matters Naomi is who this traitor or puppet, or whatever he is, exposed--- a room full of other traitors, who by the way nearly all Americans have come to see as puppets anyway.
And we can’t help but notice how little attention is being paid to paint them with that brush at all, except perhaps with a vanishing airbrush so they match the background of outrage directed at just Snowden (instead of including them) and disappearing in plain sight.
May you speak up about this false dichotomy and narrative before the conflation, discrediting and obfuscation take firm root in the public mind to the point where they no longer see a room full of traitors outed by another.
It’s not about Snowden.
It’s about who and what Snowden exposed, and the power it has to silence anyone and extract their cooperation, regardless of their station or office.It's about the other traitors still in the room.