As I mentioned back in July, I waged that the Snowden scandal is the biggest political scandal that I will witness in my life time. Only time will tell if that’s right!

Here is one of the big questions that linger: What will happen to the alleged 200,000 documents Snowden copied and what information do they contain?

Meanwhile, the UK government is moving to take persecutory action against The Guardian newspaper. In response to this, the New York Times wrote an editorial in support of the Guardian, and the Guardian wrote an article highlighting the fact. It also highlights that Britain has no constitutional guarantee of press freedom. That this profound deficiency doesn’t bother the British comes as a bit surprising to me, but like many European cultures, they don’t like to face that there are particular (and very serious) problems with their legal systems (or any other system). Most usually end up defending whatever shoddy system they have, because it’s what they have, it’s what they’ve always had, it’s what they’ve been told is good, and that’s what they identify with.

The recent Guardian article, however, prompted some interesting comments.

===============

mirageseekr – 15 November 2013 4:07pm

As an American I find it amusing that the article is touting on about American “freedom” of press. The NSA story has very much been stifled here and Americans are coming to The Guardian and Der Speigal for information. Our “freedoms” are but words, our “reporters” are insiders for the government. And our congress is working hard to define what a reporter is in an effort to prosecute anyone who is not part of the club. Oh the Irony, once again people buy into what they are told (over and over again) when the truth is quit different.

===============

leemulcahy mirageseekr – 15 November 2013 4:19pm

I completely agree. Senator Diane Feinstein is busy trying to define “journalists…” She’s such a fraud.

As GLenn Greenwald pointed out recently [in the NYT] that the Times refused to call torture “torture” ….

===============

Rocco Campanella mirageseekr – 17 November 2013 2:49pm

I agree with you…and I’m one of those Americans who came to the Guardian (from HP) seeking information. I hate what has happened to my country and the lies continue and the people will eat it up. All three branches of our government are corrupt……and the goal of each branch appears to be removal of the US constitution. Of what value is economic equity when all are simply slaves of a Plutocracy?

===============

LancerRed – 15 November 2013 4:17pm

From a German perspective it is utterly disturbing how the majority of the Anglo-Saxon world, especially media and politicans, still downplay or downright ignore the scale of the violation of basic human rights (especially privacy rights) by western spy agencies.
This makes the Guardians efforts even more honorable, and it is very important that other media outlets defend their colleagues here instead of attacking them as a lot of British newspapers seem to do.

===============

Mark701 – 15 November 2013 4:43pm

I’ve gone beyond alarm and concern about the NSA’s activities to pure disgust. I also find it ironic that all of this BS is being justified because of 9/11 when 9/11 itself was likely the work of rogue forces within the US government. (Don’t take the issue up with me but with over 2000 professional architects and engineers who have come to this conclusion.http://www.ae911truth.org/)

It’s also ironic that an organization like the NSA feels it has to violate the US Constitution in order to protect the few remaining shreds of democracy we have left. Former Soviet Union officials must be laughing their asses of at us for spending trillions to defeat them in the Cold War only to turn around and do EXACTLY what they were doing even better then they did.

One final note. All the outrage and concerning the NSA activities coming out of the telecoms is CRAP. They were actively assisting them until they found out their stock prices could suffer when the public found out.

===============

Anonymot – 15 November 2013 5:28pm

As a writer/researcher on how Germany slipped into the hands of Hitler and having traveled in Communist Eastern Europe, it’s interesting to hear the futile words of outrage and anger from Americans today. The process is similar and we’re further down that road than you think.

===============

LancerRed Anonymot – 15 November 2013 6:31pm

Which makes the whole story even more mindboggling to us Germans. You saved us from a dictatorship of our own making less than a century ago, while today the situation seems to be reversed (except that modern Germany would not be able to militarily deal with an evil dictatorship of its own size, much less one of the US’s size should that ever come to pass).

===============

ID8665572 – 15 November 2013 6:34pm

Well… that’s big of them. The fact is the NYT has been woefully behind the curve on this story – ever since Snowden weighed up his choices and decided NOT to approach it in the first place, His rationale – they had sat on stories of NSA excess under Bush – so he took the decision to go elsewhere. Good news for The Guardian which has now established itself as the “market leader” in investigative journalism for a whole new generation. This is what will guarantee its future.

The NYT’s business strategy under the woefully unfit for purpose Mark Thompson seems to favour lifestyle features over really hard hitting reporting. Hardly surprising given the amount he has to hide. Shame really….

===============

Steveattufnell – 16 November 2013 3:09am

“The New York Times backs The Guardian………”

In other news The Guardian reports “no left wing bias at The BBC……”

===============

SeeNOevilHearNOevil – 16 November 2013 10:25am

All news media is guilty of focusing on following their government defence strategy for any leaks, by focusing way too much on the individual who leaked the information, reporting the baseless rants, propaganda and accusations levelled at the individual by those caught red handed rather than the actual leaks and the violations displayed by these institutions.
News media is supposed to be something the Government fears as it keep abuses in check and brings accountability for the inevitable abuses that always happen by every government, not the other way around.

===============

Julietteb148 – 16 November 2013 3:23pm

The NYT finally notices problems with press freedom in the UK? It’s like they are just discovering government control of the BBC.

===============

ACPAL22 – 17 November 2013 4:41am

I too have spent years reading/analyzing sources and have come to the conclusion that the US is not moving toward a dictatorship but has, instead, already been converted to a plutocracy with the US government a disfunctional façade. The president is but a figurehead and congress/Supreme Court have been bought and sold. I’m surprised that the NYT, which is owned by a corporation, is even willing to go as far as it does, though it withholds an enormous amount of information unflattering (at best) to the US and its controllers. Perhaps it’s an attempt to give an air of respectability to the paper and divert people’s attention away from other, more critical sources.

Media control is international, insidious, and pervasive. The US president will never become a dictator, just a puppet. The US military and security agencies have long since been taken over. But if you “follow the money” the trail always leads to the rich and most of the US government’s international activities are geared to increase the wealth and power of those few at the expense of other people’s blood and treasure.

“The truth is out there” but you won’t find it in the mainstream media and you won’t find it without digging, crosschecking, and analyzing.

===============

Julietteb148 – 18 November 2013 4:03am

NYT backs The guardian

Wonders never cease

===============
And from: The NSA’s Global Threat to Free Speech – by Kenneth Roth

mbrenner

The niceties of legality and sovereignty have cavalierly overlooked in an atmosphere pervaded by the anxieties and insecurities generated by 9/11 and subsequently institutionalized in the GWOT. There is a sense of overarching mission that provides a convenient justification for doing anything and everything that adds to the amount of information at the disposal of the American government about what is going on everywhere in the world. Differentiations among countries, among specific targets, among threat assessments are elided in the compulsion to know all. “American security above all else” is the motto etched on the psyches of government leaders, intelligence officials and operators. The resulting omnibus approach to information gathering has been publicly proclaimed and justified by Director of NSA General Keith Alexander and his brother in defense of the realm James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence. They can provide no evidence of its paying dividends – the much ballyhooed 56 grave terrorist plots foiled is now shrunk to “one or two.” And these undocumented plots were of the underwear bomber variety. This 98% drop goes unremarked by the supposedly watchdog Congressional committees or the media.

No one who holds a responsible or influential position in the American security establishment questions that mythology. Only a few brave souls in Congress have seriously challenged it. The foreign policy community is overwhelmingly in favor of PRISM et al. it. Any attempt at a major alteration in the multiple collection programs being conducted around the world and at home would be blocked by this powerful systemic inertia.

The “war on terror” is now more imaginary than real, and has been for at least a decade. We live with the dread belief that Americans are under siege by an army of evil-doers probing relentlessly for chinks in our armor so as to strike us a grievous blow. The images and emotions of 9/11 fill our minds and rule our actions. Events like the Boston bombings provide just enough impetus to perpetuate the fantasy. To live for years in a fantasy world of fear and dread is unnatural and unhealthful. Disturbed children do that – not the elites of a great nation.

===============

Petrus C. van Duyne

Good exposé, but no really shocking news. The world has become aware the US administration thinks in “us” and the rest of the world = “them”. No relevation [revelation] either, but good to highlight it again. Most important is the awareness raising that internet has become a tool of institutional power games without ethics and that we have become “glass persons” when using internet.

=================
Added on 25 November 2013

Another comment along the same lines, nicely written (from a thread at Patterico’s):

Yes, Stashiu3, which is why I added the bit about allies. But I was, for almost all of my life, about as pro-American an ally (and mostly conservative) as you could find.

I remember being at a peace march for the Iraq war, for example, where — as near as I could figure — there was about 5,000 of them, one of me. I’m still surprised I didn’t get my ass kicked.

But … at some point, my eyes opened to the fact that America and even my native land, following your lead, wasn’t like it was when I was a child. So I pretty much had to bite the bullet and side more with people like Ron Paul and the like, despite mocking him for ages. In a lot of ways, I disagree with him. I have a military background, partly in practice, much more in study and interest … and understand the point of a national defense, law and order, and the like.

But Jeeze Louise. Society has gone off the deep end toward hyperstatism control-freakism. In what sense did the west win the Cold War if this is the result?

And why the heck spread this liberty around the world, when it is in fact the perpetual diminishment of liberty?

Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 11/24/2013

Advertisements