Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Journalism in the Age of Snowden

Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Intelligence, was on CNN deploring Edward Snowden’s decision to flee abroad with his revelations of the NSA’s massive spying program; she said he should have come to the US Congress with the information.

I wonder if she thinks anyone other than junior high-school kids will agree, and perhaps not even them, for most have probably seen the Will Smith Gene Hackman starrer Enemy of the State, in which the NSA bad guy not only lies to Congress but murders one of its members. There are also the Bourne series of movies in which lying to Congress is standard procedure for the CIA bad guys.   

The current Head of the NSA has been caught lying to Congress and there have been no repercussions as yet. That is par for the course. The history of the post-WW II era -- especially the Iran-Contra affair -- has made it clear that the constitutional structures of the United States have been powerless to control those pursuing the interests of the military-industrial complex.(Video of President Eisenhower's famous speech.)

As far as I can see, Snowden took the only honorable option he had as someone sworn to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States.

Feinstein at 80 is the oldest member of Congress, and a Liberal Democrat from California; she would have risked nothing by calling for public hearings and getting the NSA to clean house.   

Instead, she has framed a bill to “reform” the NSA that the Electronic Frontier Foundation says will merely codify the worst abuses and extend the mass surveillance of Americans. Typically, Feinstein’s Committee negotiated the bill behind closed doors and has not responded to critics.

All this indicates the strength of the body of lies that has come to be accepted as reality over the past 60 years; but as I have been reporting, its underpinnings are now disintegrating..

How the current situation develops will depend on where the American media Establishment locates its loyalties. If it acknowledges that the unconstitutional power nexus created in Washington by the Ismay-Churchill coup is coming apart at the seams, we could be looking at a transatlantic version of Soviet de-Stalinization.

If United States media begin telling the truth about the British role in subverting American democracy, the effect across the Atlantic will be profound. The British elite will be forced to abandon its elaborate self-aggrandizing fictions and admit that its criminal policies have driven the country into an unprecedented crisis.

As strong pressure from German and American bank regulators has made the international movement of illicit money increasingly difficult, the elite British custodians of the global black market have been obliged to guarantee the trillions under their management by offering up concrete national assets. Unbeknownst to the British people, large chunks of their country have passed into the hands of foreign owners, many of them drug lords and mafiosi masquerading as nebulous corporations.

That process is set to become much more obtrusive under recently announced initiatives ostensibly aimed at facilitating Chinese and Arab investment in Britain. As The Guardian reported on 17 October, Britain faces the prospect that under a recently announced agreement with Beijing, “Chinese entities will hold important stakes in water in the UK, airports, IT infrastructure and now nuclear power generation, all without a serious national debate on any potential risks such involvement might bring.”

Ironically, the paper did not note the reason why this is happening, for silence about Britain’s criminal involvement in the international economy continues to be the cost of survival in the British journalistic Establishment.

Truth telling will also revolutionize American politics.

If American journalists examine how Britain undermined constitutional rule in the world's most powerful country they will bring into the light the treachery of many who chose to promote their own interests over those of their country. The "religious Right," a long-standing pawn of and supporter of the military-industrial nexus, will lose much energy. The Bush wing of the Republican Party could be decimated.

The logistics of such change remain to be worked out, but the atmospherics indicate that it is only a matter of time. Consider what Adam Gopnik had to say in The New Yorker last week about the forthcoming 50th anniversary of Jack Kennedy’s assassination.

The murder marked the beginning of “the postmodern suspicion that the more we see, the less we know;” it highlighted an overlay of two truths. “The first truth is that the evidence that the American security services gathered, within the first hours and weeks and months, to persuade the world of the sole guilt of Lee Harvey Oswald remains formidable: ballistics evidence, eyewitness evidence, ear-witness evidence, fingerprint evidence, firearms evidence, circumstantial evidence, fibre evidence. The second truth of the assassination, just as inarguable, is that the security services collecting that evidence were themselves up to their armpits in sinister behavior, even conspiring with some of the worst people in the world to kill the Presidents of other countries. The accepted division of American life into two orders—an official one of rectitude, a seedy lower order of crime—collapses under scrutiny, like the alibi in a classic film noir.”

No comments: