The Times is in a strange competition with its similarly flawed near-peer, the Post, to be the DC voice for more war, more government, more surveillance, and more prisons. These elite mouthpieces surely sense that most people don’t actually like war, government, surveillance and prisons. They also sense that those folks are not buying their papers, and thus the editors remain heavily focused on the elites crowded inside the beltway. This convergence allows us a great deal of insight into the minds of our would-be rulers, and I thank both papers for their contribution to our study.
The non-review recalls the late Charles Krauthammer’s feelings about Snowden in 2014. A dead neocon is a good neocon, and there’s certainly none better than Krauthammer. He believed then that Russian does not have a constitution, and curiously, that the United States government still honors the one put together by some bright and ambitious folks from the East Coast over two centuries ago. I mention this because the primary motivator for Ed Snowden, and so many American whistleblowers, is the idea and the language of the US Constitution. By setting forth some clear limits of federal power and literally ordering the federal government to protect and guarantee the pre-political natural rights of all persons, parts of the Constitution inspire and motivate.
The Constitution has, of course, no power at all. Its primary purpose may be simply to guide or rationalize those who have some sense of justice, perhaps a desire to live an ethically clean life. Certainly, the evolution of the document, as amended, shows that it is a vehicle for elevating the moral concerns of the day. Be it the 13th Amendment, the 14th, the drama of Prohibition, votes for women, on up to the strangely came-close-but-never-ratified Equal Rights Amendment – the Constitution is a scrapbook of wishful thinking. Neoconservatives, Republicans, conservatives, Democrats, liberals, socialists and greens all want to write their dreams into our great Constitution. Permanent Record Best Price: $8.52 Buy New $9.85 (as of 07:25 EST - Details)
Meanwhile, the federal government steadily rapes and pillages both the economy and the people who happen to live here, often in concert with corporations, institutions, industry lobbies and non-government organizations. Gangs writ large. When some people speak out about this, we get a response like Krauthammer’s and his ilk, grateful benificiaries of political and state power. You whistleblowers, so naughty, why don’t you just sit down, shut up, ask for permission, and did I say shut up already?
Well, there is an exception to this rule – proven by the recent rash of perfectly coiffed, unnamed, lawyered-up, and security-detailed “whistleblowers” relating to an upcoming, if still informal impeachment, of President Trump. This breed of whistleblower is not driven by desire for a pure life, a clear heart, or their reading of the Constitution. These pseudo-whistleblowers – rather than exposing government crimes against the American people – are picking at a political troublemaker at the behest of another political party, aided and abetted by deep state actors seeking to restore their order. As actual CIA whistleblower John Keriakou explains, real whistleblowers never get the red carpet treatment and automatic credibility throughout the Beltway that this kettle of vultures is receiving.
Davis quotes from the House Intelligence Committee’s report on how awful Snowden’s revelations were, just terrible. Who can believe a word coming out of any congressional committee, especially the one purportedly doing “oversight” on the Intelligence Community and the CIA? It is telling that this committee (one of the most compromised committees in Congress) is today headed by Congressmen Adam Schiff, crown prince of ethical wrongdoing and legal misdeeds, shady dealings and skullduggery. Schiff is being accused of helping develop these latest “whistleblower” complaints as part of a rough plan to weaken and hog-tie Trump, a man who needs to be seen by his many supporters as draining the swamp, and soon, if he intends to beat Liz and Hill.
Triumphantly, Davis validates his decision to not read Snowden’s book, because “[the 2016 HIC Report] flat-out states that Mr. Snowden was not a whistleblower, as by law, publicly revealing classified information does not qualify someone as a whistleblower.” Sweet!
These kinds of critiques of Snowden—who would, if in the United States today, be receiving the Julian Assange treatment in a US-controlled interrogation center—are not shared by average Americans. The days when the US government automatically garnered our trust and respect are long gone. Baby boomers came of age with an impeachment-threatened President who resigned after a scandal and famously stated “I am not a crook!” – a year after his Vice President resigned amidst charges of tax evasion and rumors of bribery and corruption. We discovered that 58,000 of our own died on battlefields in Vietnam, 100,000 later destroyed themselves, and tens of thousands died prematurely due to Agent Orange and other chemical exposure, and all of this death and harm was preventable, unconstitutional and was never needed. We noticed that the government investigation into the assassination of JFK (who was waging a small war on the CIA and trying to extricate the US from the growing Vietnam debacle) was, to use Paul Davis’s words, “shady” and “prefabricated” and that at the end of the Cold War, rather than peace, our government pursued more war, endless war, including the use of lies and fabrications to start and continue those wars. Today, most baby boomers and everyone younger instantly doubt whatever the government says, fact check the important stuff, and get their most trusted information from the Babylon Bee, the Onion or late night comedy.
We the people actually appreciate it when some folks share what they know about the incredible evil, stupidity, arrogance and lawlessness of our own government. I don’t know what’s in Snowden’s Permanent Record, but as a patriot and an American I’m very interested in what he has to say, and I prefer to see him alive and well, articulating his thoughts and observations on how we Americans might stay a little more free. I’d like to hear what he thinks about how we might preserve and exercise our pre-political rights over our papers, communications, property, movements, thoughts and souls. I am curious if he believes there are ways to heal or repair our Constitution, and our republic, or for that matter, what it’s like to live in Russia. Oh, and the value of neoconservative opinion these days? Trending negative, in more ways than one.