Whistleblowers and Warrantless Wiretaps

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From Glenn Greenwald…

Most of what the U.S. Government does of any significance — literally — occurs behind a vast wall of secrecy, completely unknown to the citizenry.  While a small portion of that is legitimately classified, these whistle blower prosecutions and other disclosure controversies demonstrate that the vast majority of this secrecy is devoted to avoiding embarrassment and accountability.  It has nothing to do with “national security” — one of the all-justifying terms (along with Terrorism) for what the Government does.  Secrecy is the religion of the political class, and the prime enabler of its corruption.  That’s why whistle blowers are among the most hated heretics.  They’re one of the very few classes of people able to shed a small amount of light on what actually takes place.

The great irony is that there is a perfect inverse relationship between the secrecy powers of the Government (which rapidly increase) and the privacy rights of citizens (which erode just as rapidly). The citizenry meekly acquiesces to the notion that it must sacrifice more and more privacy to the Government in order to deter and expose criminality, corruption and other dangerous acts of private citizens, yet refuses to apply that same rationale to demand greater transparency from the Government itself.  The Government (and its private corporate partners) know more and more about citizens, while citizens know less and less about the actions of the government-corporate axis which governs them.

Glenn Greenwald posted this pearl in the pigpen of American political discourse on Bastille Day, July 14th, and isn’t all the relevant evidence excruciatingly familiar to all of us in the progressive blogosphere, and didn’t we totally overlook the simple and now obvious “inverse relationship between the secrecy powers of the Government and the privacy rights of citizens?”

So let’s take a moment to thank our (not very) lucky stars for bloggers like Glenn Greenwald and Paul Krugman and Dean Baker, and ask ourselves why all of them are blogging, instead of running the show.  


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  1. What these leaks have actually accomplished is to “embarrass” the Government by revealing what the intelligence analyst quoted by the BBC calls “the unvarnished truth” about the illegal, corrupt, and embarrassing acts it undertakes.   In all of these cases where the Obama DOJ is persecuting whistle blowers, they’re punishing the greatest sin there is — exposure of high-level government wrongdoing — not harm to national security.

    • RUKind on July 16, 2010 at 05:37

    Who is the BP employee who just reported malfeasance up the chain and got fired 12 hours later? What was his data? What happened to it? Does he have a defense fund? Is there a public whistleblower defense fund? Or blog site?

    These people are our modern day heroes. Why the fuck is Obama prosecuting them? That’s exactly what Bush-Cheney did.

    In this day and age, progressive bloggers, whistleblowers, wikileaks and the net pass for the free press of the 1700s. Our MSM now is just a corporate propaganda tool owned primarily by large defense contractors.

    How about a weekly/monthly/quarterly and annual Whistleblower Award? We could even do categories – energy, finance, manufacturing, pollution and politics.

    If we let these people get hung out to spin in the wind by the MSM then we are part of the problem and not the solution.

    • RUKind on July 17, 2010 at 05:45


    The planet seems to be moving in the right direction. But it’s sooo slow.

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