Category Archives: Intelligence

Why Is Glenn Greenwald In Brazil, In The First Place? Don’t Ask The Washington Examiner

Critique, English, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Journalism, Media

Truly ghastly writing from Washington Examiner editorial staff, most of them still in short-pants, is nothing new.

This appallingly written, dog’s breakfast of a column,The arrest of Glenn Greenwald reminds us what actual press persecution looks like,” repeatedly states the obvious: American journalists know not what it is to work under duress, bereft of freedom of the press.

Conversely, Glenn Greenwald, an American journalist based in Brazil, does.

But the worst infraction of journalism committed by the writer is the man’s lack of intellectual curiosity and shallow knowledge about the object of his justified defense, Glenn Greenwald.

In trying to make a point about the freedoms the American press enjoys, as opposed to the lack thereof in Brazil, the author, a “deputy contributors editor and commentary writer,” appears to be blissfully ignorant of the fact that, after helping Edward Snowden expose the U.S. National Security Agency, “the world’s largest surveillance organization,” Mr. Greenwald came under the scrutiny of the U.S. government, and is likely “a target of U.S. surveillance.”

It is still unclear whether Greenwald may return to the U.S. without risking arrest in the homeland.

How’s that for irony? This journalistic void renders ridiculous the outrage evinced by the writer (of “The arrest of Glenn Greenwald reminds us what actual press persecution looks like”) against Brazil’s authoritarian president, considering that Greenwald might be arrested on return to the U.S.

Via the Committee to Protect Journalists:

Glenn Greenwald would like to go home to the United States, at least for a visit. But the Guardian journalist and blogger is afraid to do so. He still has material and unpublished stories from his contacts with fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden that he believes U.S. authorities would love to get their hands on. The nine-hour detention and interrogation of Greenwald’s Brazilian partner David Miranda by British security services at London’s Heathrow airport in August has only compounded his fears.
“I have been told by pretty much everybody I have asked, including lawyers for the Guardian, my personal lawyer, lawyers I trust, political people who are well connected that it would be very ill-advised for me to travel back to the United States right now because the chances that I would be arrested are something more than trivial,” Greenwald told CPJ in Rio de Janeiro.

To the Daily Beast, Greenwald said this:

“I’ve had lots of prominent [American] political and media figures calling for my arrest and prosecution and strongly suggesting, if not outright stating, that what I am doing is criminal.”

****

Other than from the title of the column, “The arrest of Glenn Greenwald reminds us what actual press persecution looks like,” and the embedded hyperlinks meant to be followed by the reader—the latter is none the wiser about the fate that befell poor Mr. Greenwald.

The rules of writing are that you tell readers in your lede paragraph about the thing upon which you’ve based your column. “The Five Ws” of journalism are:

What happened?
Who did that?
When did it take place?
Where did it take place?
Why did that happen?

Then there are what I call the “really-really” qualifications.

Greenwald is said to be “coming from a far-left perspective.” What a deeply silly statement. It’s like writing, “very-very left wing.” Who does that?

Bad journos who are subconsciously trying to set themselves in a camp other than the “far-left” do that.

Bad journos who are trying to emphasize their fair-mindedness do that.

Greenwald is a fair-minded liberal. That’s it. He is certainly not a far-left journalist.

There’s more white noise, but I’m tired of documenting shit.

 

* Glenn Greenwald courtesy REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

UPDATED (1/16): NEW COLUMN: Should The U.S. Be The Globe’s Judge, Jury & Executioner?

Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Ron Paul, War

NEW COLUMN is: “Should The U.S. Be The Globe’s Judge, Jury & Executioner?” It’s currently on The Unz Review, WND and “The Ludwig von Mises Centre for Property & Freedom.”

An excerpt:

Qassim Soleimani, an Iranian major general, was assassinated by a U.S. drone air strike, at the Baghdad International Airport (BIAP). Soleimani was traveling with one Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Al-Muhandis was an Iraqi, born and bred. He was even elected to the Iraqi Parliament, in 2005, until the U.S. intervened. (Yes, we intervene in other nations’ elections.)

Iraq’s caretaker prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, was furious, denouncing “What happened [as] a political assassination.” Unanimously, Iraqi lawmakers “responded to the Soleimani assassination by passing a nonbinding resolution calling on the government to end foreign-troop presence in Iraq.”

Yes, it’s a complicated region. And America, sad to say, still doesn’t know Shia from Shinola.

The consensus in our country is that “Soleimani deserved to die.” That’s the party-line on Fox News—and beyond. It’s how assorted commentators on all networks prefaced their “positions” on the Jan. 3 killing of this Iraqi-born, Iranian general.

Even Tucker Carlson—the only mainstream hope for Old Right, anti-war, America-First columns like this one—framed the taking out of Soleimani as the killing of a bad guy by good guys:

“There are an awful lot of bad people in this world. We can’t kill them all, it’s not our job.”

However you finesse it, the premise of Tucker’s assertion is that the American government, and the smart set who live in symbiosis with it, gets to adjudicate who’s bad and who’s good in the world.

The debate is only ever over whether the U.S. government should or shouldn’t act on its divine rights as transnational judge, jury and executioner, never over what’s right and what’s wrong.

Stateside, the only inquiry permissible is a cost-benefit calculus. Will the assassination of Soleimani, a military official of a sovereign state, and an avid and effective slayer of Islamic State terrorists—pay strategic dividends for America in the long run?

This is crass pragmatism bereft of principle. It’s currently on display everywhere, even surfacing on BBC News, where a female analyst, an American, was deploying the childish “bad man” meme to outline America’s Disneyfied foreign policy.

This angels-and-demons production always starts with the prototypical evil dictator who was alleged to be messing with his noble people, until the avenging, angelic empire sent a drone to the rescue.

Again, even Tucker, whose antiwar credentials in recent years have been impeccable, conceded that this Soleimani guy probably needed killing, which is the same thing Iraqis old enough to remember America’s destruction of Iraq, circa 2003, would say about President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and Ms. Rice.

So, who’s right? Or, is blind patriotism predicated on accepting that it is up to the U.S. government and its ruling elites to determine who lives and who dies around the world? …

… READ The Rest. The complete column, “Should The U.S. Be The Globe’s Judge, Jury & Executioner?“, is currently on The Unz Review, WND and “The Ludwig von Mises Centre for Property & Freedom.”

UPDATED I (1/16):Mercer has written one of her best and most well balanced …” on Soleimani and US foreign policy.”

UPDATE II: 

“The reverend name is Ibrahim Naseir. His church in Aleppo was destroyed by NATO-sponsored fundamental Jihadists. The same terrorists who almost ethnically cleansed Syrian Christians from their towns and cities. General Soleimani crushed those Jihadists.”

NEW COLUMN: Update II (12/20/019): Conservative Kids Must Learn Before They Lead

Capitalism, China, Conservatism, Critique, Culture, Education, Intelligence, Kids, Left-Liberalism, Reason

NEW COLUMN: “Conservative Kids Must Learn Before They Lead.” Read it on The Unz Review or WND.COM.

An excerpt:

To judge by their writing, the youngsters who’ve been given the run of the conservative op-ed pages, pixelated and printed, know little about how socialism differs from capitalism.

To their credit, they’ve chosen a side—the right side—but are incapable of arguing the morality of capitalism and its efficacy (which stems from its morality).

Discredited are their employers for failing to demand that their young, conservative charges methodically and creatively motivate for the right—and the Right—side.

Endeavoring to explain the oft-repeated banality that, “Colleges are turning young people [into] socialists,” one such prototypical writer says this in her dog’s breakfast of a column, for the Washington Examiner:

“Students are gullible and moldable because they have little conviction and no foundation. Too often, public universities teach students to accept basic, shallow ‘knowledge’ at face value. They are not trained to ask why this knowledge matters or how it influences the rest of their education or how it relates to higher principles.”

The writer at once, and incoherently, condemns “shallow knowledge” (whatever that is), yet laments that students are not taught to relate “shallow knowledge” to higher principles. What does this even mean?!

Such bafflegab is published absent the telltale signs of editorial oversight. Or, perhaps the editors of the Examiner and publications like it think that voicing an opinion is the same as advancing an argument.

However, meandering assertions, circular arguments, non sequiturs and assorted banal utterances don’t belong on editorial pages. Agile argument does.

The piece continues in this puerile vain, conjuring the catchphrase that currently precedes every sentence spoken by a millennial: “I feel like.”

“I feel like” columns and essays are a dime a dozen; their purveyors having procured plum positions in the conservative press.

That “students are not learning” in schools and are thus gravitating to socialism is beyond trite—it’s also a non sequitur. For one would have to argue that lack of learning leads to socialism, and not merely assert it.

In showcasing amateurish, intern-quality material in national forums, conservatives are letting the liberal credo guide them. …

… READ THE REST.  NEW COLUMN: “Conservative Kids Must Learn Before They Lead.” Read it on The Unz Review or WND.COM.

Updated I (11/28/019):

You can’t think critically when there is nothing between your ears: On Critical Thinking: We can only think critically about things about which we have knowledge.”

Update II (12/20/019):

Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Vindman’s REAL Concern, In His Own Words

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Nationhood

“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a US citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the US government’s support of Ukraine.

So said Colonel Vindman in his opening statement before impeachment investigators, during testimony given “privately to three House committees—on Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform.”

The words of Army Lt.-Col. Vindman in the first sentence, “I did not think it was proper,” sound like an afterthought to the second:

“I was worried about the implications for the US government’s support of Ukraine.”

Just saying …

MORE: “The Ukraine affair: A soldier’s word against Donald Trump’s in impeachment inquiry.”

* Image courtesy of MSNBC

UPDATED:

On CNN, former congressman Sean P. Duffy (R-Wis.) suggested that Vindman’s birthplace was important. “It seems very clear that he is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense,” Duffy said. “I don’t know that he’s concerned about American policy, but his main mission was to make sure that Ukraine got those weapons.”