Permanent Washington’s reactions to the Guardian’s ongoing revelations about the Obama administration’s unprecedented mass surveillance system have been at once boringly predictable and incredibly revealing. They are so revealing, in fact, that we are left with a troubling question that a civilized society should never even have to ask: Namely, who are the true criminals — those who violate the law, or those, like 29-year-old Edward Snowden, who blow the whistle on the violations?
Before getting to that monumental query, let’s first review officialdom’s reactions to the NSA story that are leading to it.
There was the claim by Obama officials that the NSA spying system has made us safer by thwarting the New York subway bombing plot. Such a talking point is designed to halt the conversation about civil liberties entirely by insisting that any action that makes us safer is laudable, even if it runs roughshod over the Fourth Amendment. In addition to the argument’s generally questionable logic, though, the problem for the White House was that the specific claims were thoroughly debunked by news organizations and Intelligence Committee member Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., within a few days.
There has also been the attempt to marginalize the messengers — and thus marginalize the message — via the cheap smear. We’ve seen this a lot lately, most grotesquely, as Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi points out, in the chumpbait that has defined the coverage of Bradley Manning. In the NSA spying case, it’s much the same thing.
Ватников просят не беспокоиться, кстати. Проблемы свободного мира с рабами, славящими рабство, не обсуждают.