Monday, June 17, 2013

c'mon naomi....,

facebook | I am updating my post from Friday ( that raised questions — just questions, which citizens in a functioning democracy should always be expecting to raise at all times about everything — in this case, about some aspects of Snowden’s presentation that I find worth further inquiry. Please remember that these are questions not assertions. Sources in the whistleblower community have confirmed that the more serious of my questions — which relate to the odd absence of US counsel at Snowden’s side, given that the laws he will be accused of violating, if he is charged, are US laws — does bear further investigation.

On the bigger picture, I do find a great deal of media/blog discussion about serious questions such as those I raised, question that relate to querying some sources of news stories, and their potential relationship to intelligence agencies or to other agendas that may not coincide with the overt narrative, to be extraordinarily ill-informed and naive.

There is no bright line that separates ‘real events’ from the world of intelligence, surveillance, and potential intervention in outcomes. There is not ‘reality’ and ‘spy novels’ any more, with no interpenetration. On the contrary — the surveillance/security world and ‘the real world’ are bring more closely knit all the time, and both reporters and commentators need to lose their naivete about this interpenetration.

There is no longer a bright line between ‘us’, transparent reality in which everything is as it appears, and ‘them’ — the spooks, the shadow side, what used to be the material of John le Carre novels.

The security state and its apparatus is a now a massive part of our economy; billions and billions of dollars — the number is not transparent — are transmitted via DHS, the NSA and other entities into the hiring of vast numbers of people whose job is to do what they do while not appearing to do what they do, in terms of surveillance and other forms of domestic scrutiny of dissent; other billions are funnelled into the technology that indeed watches everything we do and say. Some of the jobs go to people inside the NSA — but more and more of these tasks are being done by people contracted to engage in security or surveiilance-related tasks, in mainstream corporate America.


Joyce M said...

The reporting on this issue like most issues lately, has been woefully inaccurate. The basic story is not news, because most people already knew that a spy's job is to spy. Especially, in a post 9-11 world, people expected more surveillance. Social networks collect and sell way more information. Criminals collect and auction off our credit card numbers and other personal information to identity thieves. I have had my identity stolen and our bank account hacked. But, going back to a Wall Street journal story in 2009, the Department of Justice admitted some out of compliance problems. Yet, in the UK, home of the Guardian, there are CCTV cameras everywhere using face recognition software, secret courts (even for family matters), unaccountable government groups managing the assets of people and the welfare department checking people's cable bills, etc. It would take forever to talk about China, Russia and Switzerland's surveillance of it's citizens--although Snowden wanted them to know some "secrets" he was privy to.

Facebook released a statement. and immediately main stream media sources misquoted it. What is their agenda, because we know who their paymasters are. Chuck Todd is online complaining about journalist not respecting an embargo of the Charlies Rose-President Obama interview. Why has it been all about them. Instead of actually going outside the studio and doing real investigative journalism, they parrot whatever the AP writes. There is news on the Medicare front, which the press neglected. Medicare now covers flu shots, cholesterol checks, and mammograms free of charge. I watched the First Family in Northern Ireland today on the BBC website.

I have seen problems like this with the national media before. What they have really done is give the People's Republic of China cover for imposing more restrictive internet usage rules. Read the Chinese papers online.

Again, with these so called scandals the real scandal is the media doing their usual dirty work of trying to mislead people into thinking things are worse than they really are, especially when a black person is involved. Nobody who questions the media is missing the big picture. Hitler fanned the flames against religious minorities and other groups with the help of the media. Questioning the media, it's motives and whether or not they are telling the truth is a worthwhile exercise. The advertisers determine who works in the media. If advertisers determine that people of color have become more powerful, popular and widely accepted, many of the white people employed by the national media will eventually be rotated out of their highly paid positions. We have been seeing this at the local level for years. Meanwhile, modern day slavery still exists in the U.S.