Monday, January 20, 2014

Bickering over Prism continues to ignore ECHELON and minimize disclosure!

After more than six months of sporadic news about the Prism program leaked by Edward Snowden the traditional media has stopped paying much attention to it at all; and when it does come up it often involves more bickering than any real reforms or new disclosures. This is also the case with some of the highest profile alternative media outlets.

As I pointed out previously in Is “Prism” news? or is it ECHELON? the program that Edward Snowden claimed to be exposing wasn't really news at all. It has all the same characteristics as ECHELON, which was disclosed widely no less than thirteen years earlier, before the attacks on 9/11 even happened and it was first exposed in 1989 although at that time it didn't receive nearly as much attention. Very few news outlets, including most alternative news outlets seem to have acknowledged this problem at all yet ECHELON was reported on Sixty Minutes and several other high profile and reputable news outlets including the National Geographic and the characteristics clearly are the same.

It wasn't long before conspiracy theories began appearing and some of the contributors began arguing with each other and I followed it up with Are Naomi Wolf, Edward Snowden, Prism, and ECHELON, dividing us? The bickering has only escalated although there hasn't always been much coverage of it in the traditional news.

Unfortunately some of the good reporters that have exposed a lot of news worthy stories have begun arguing with each other and in some cases some of them have even adopted the same deceptive tactics that the traditional commercial news routinely use as indicated in the following article.

Greenwald Responds to Critics, Rejects Conspiracism

The story of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has dominated the mainstream news for the last seven months. During that time, questions about Snowden and his disclosures have framed the national discussion about domestic surveillance. Those disclosures have not resulted in any changes to U.S. domestic surveillance practices to date. Instead, the U.S. Justice Department has re-certified the programs in question as Americans discuss media talking points like—Is Snowden a traitor or a hero? A growing number of people are looking behind that media-generated framework, however, and are beginning to wonder if the right questions are even being asked. ......

The biggest hurdle to understanding the Snowden story has been the emotional reaction to asking questions about it. Those who have dared to question the story have been met with ridicule and misplaced condemnation.

Author Naomi Wolf asked some straightforward questions about Snowden’s slick introduction in comparison to other whistleblower stories. Her questions elicited derision from pundits, some even suggesting that if Wolf didn’t buy into Snowden then she must be an NSA operative.

Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds’ questions were met with ad hominem attacks from Greenwald. Writing that Edmonds was “too stupid and/or crazy to know,“ Greenwald summarily excused the founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition from further dialogue on the issue. ......

Now, however, Greenwald labels those who question why the documents are being held back as “conspiracy theorists.” In Greenwald’s response, he rants about “people who cook up conspiracy theories” and how “deranged those theories are.” These comments reflect the position of Greenwald’s new media partner Jeremy Scahill with regard to questions about the official account for the 9/11 attacks. Scahill has publicly said that he believes questions about 9/11 are “insulting to the people who died on 9/11.” Scahill claims to be educated on such questions but apparently still doesn’t know that it was the 9/11 victims’ families who initiated such questioning and who continue to lead the search for answers. Complete article including related links

It wasn't that long ago that David Gregory tried to read Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian out of the journalism club; Gloria Allred claimed he wasn't being neutral when releasing information and Alan Dershowitz said Glenn Greenwald: "did this because he hates America." These claims didn't hold up to the most obvious scrutiny and they did more to discredit those making them than they did Glen Greenwald, assuming the people listening thought things through. If one relatively small group of journalists decides who is or is not eligible to be a journalist without reviewing all the facts especially ones that they might not like that is more biased than those being excluded. The claim that Glenn Greenwald might not be entirely unbiased might actually be true but neither are those that blindly go along with the program. In many cases the establishment media perception of neutrality isn't actually neutral at all; instead they often portray those that agree with the establishment neutral and those that disagree as biased.

Alan Dershowitz's claim that Glenn Greenwald "did this because he hates America," is even more absurd assuming the disclosure that he is making are legitimate which he didn't seem to challenge. The best interest of America involves allowing them to have all the information they need to participate in the decision making process and it doesn't involve covering up bad decisions based on false claims of "national security." For a long time I had the impression that Alan Dershowitz was a credible civil rights activist; however when I heard about his carefully staged torture hypothesis and started looking closer it became clear that the more I knew about him the less credible he actually was.

If anything they seemed to do more to add to Glenn Greenwald's credibility than to smear him, assuming the public took the time to think things through. A significant portion of the public has been falling for this propaganda for a long time but with the quality of it deteriorating that percentage almost certainly is decreasing. the bigger problem is that he didn't reveal enough or put it in its proper context by acknowledging the fact that ECHELON was much older than Prism.

Sibel Edmonds and Glenn Greenwald Twitter conversation (or a slightly different version of Sibel Edmonds and Glenn Greenwald Twitter conversation) did far more to damage Glenn Greenwald's credibility than either David Gregory or Alan Dershowitz; and it wasn't primarily because of what Sibel Edmonds had to say; instead it was how Glenn Greenwald responded by using ridicule without addressing her concerns properly which might indicate that he might not have been able to do so.

Jeremy Scahill also did more to raise doubts about himself than his critics could have when he attempted to use appeal to emotions by saying that questioning the official version of events on 9/11 is “insulting to the people who died on 9/11,” when some of the people who raised questions were relatives of those people and there are major overreactions even if the official story is true and additional questions about whether or not the activities of the U.S. government might have incited these attacks even if they were taken by surprise.

There are a growing number of claims that some of the leading alternative media outlets are "gate keepers," which might address some of the most important issues but then decline to go as far as they could or should in many cases. whether this is intentional or not there is ample evidence to indicate that there might be something to it. Some of these claims have surrounded the funding of many of these alternative media outlets, which may raise some legitimate concerns but in many cases the strongest evidence that something like this might be going on is that many of the best issues aren't being addressed by either the alternative media or the mainstream press. The inadequate coverage of ECHELON and Prism is a strong indicator that there might be something to this. Some of the people that are addressing these issues might not always seem as rational or credible, at least to some people but until more reputable sources start doing a better job addressing all the issues then it might be worth looking at some of the so called fringe sources once in a while.

If there is a single source that can be trusted for everything all the time I haven't found it; and occasionally I have found that some of the most absurd sources get somethings right, or perhaps close, when the more reliable ones are ignoring or misrepresenting them.

Unfortunately at least to some degree whether the intention was to confuse the issue and make most if not all people involved in this bickering and distract people from more important issues or not it seems to have accomplished that. To minimize this no one should try to imply that we should completely stop listening to one source or another or dismiss everything they say without consideration although in many cases it is necessary to chose priorities and Glen Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill have both lowered their own credibility with their own actions even though they have been among the best sources for a lot of information in the past. In all fairness I also have some doubts about some of the issues that Naomi Wolf has raised as well but that is part of the process of sorting through all this contradictory information.

Some of the most important issues isn't even related to the ECHELON or Prism program so even though some effort needs to be made to sort through this it shouldn't be allowed to distract people from more important issues including environmental damage and wars based on lies. In many cases there are more reliable sources about how they have lied about all wars going back decades and many people still haven't paid enough attention to it, and they might be the ones tat would be most easily distracted by this bickering. If many members of the public don't remember ECHELON properly they might also not remember the Pentagon Papers and the fact that they clearly indicate that the war in Vietnam was based on lies and had absolutely nothing to defend freedom or democracy; or they might not remember the Iran contra scandal and the Contra drug connection or the October surprise story that was not addressed properly by the political establishment in the first place.

If more people understood what our government has been doing then they might be much more outraged and that is almost certainly why there may be so much effort by so many people to keep them distracted.

If the most important things that Edward Snowden released wasn't news at all then why did they hype it up so much? Is he really a whistle blower at all or is this a massive social research project of some sort that reveals bits and pieces of the truth under a controlled basis mixed in with disinformation so that they have a minimum impact? These assumption seem absurd but the actions of our government are also absurd and some of the evidence to support the belief that something major is wrong with the way they're presenting it is enormous and obvious, so obvious that some people might think that they wouldn't do something so foolish, yet they appear to be doing just that.

As I finish writing this Obama has been promising to reel in the NSA's activities; there are a couple of problems with that. The NSA began these activities long before they're willing to acknowledge and they continue to misrepresent it repeatedly. When they discussed the possibility that they would establish "Total Information Awareness" or TIA they already had ECHELON up and running doing the same thing and when the public was outraged and they agreed not to start TIA, ECHELON was still running doing the same thing. It is just one of many broken promises and they have still done little or nothing to disclose the vast majority of their activities, except when they've been leaked and then they threaten the leakers even when they don't seem to be leaking anything new like Edward Snowden.

And of course we now know how Barack Obama keeps his campaign promises.

“When I'm president, one of the first things I'm going to do is call in my attorney general and say to him or her, I want you to review every executive order that was issued by George Bush, whether it relates to warrantless wiretaps or detaining people or reading e- mails, or whatever it is. I want you to go through every single one of them and if they are unconstitutional, if they're encroaching on civil liberties unnecessarily, we are going to overturn them. We're going to change them.” Candidate Obama in 2007

The following are some related articles; whether they're worth sorting through, instead of other stories about environmental destruction, war based on lies or how credible some of the sources might be is up to you to figure out.

Transcript of President Obama’s Jan. 17 speech on NSA reforms Transcript of President Obama’s Jan. 17 speech on NSA reforms

Glenn Greenwald—of all people!—lashes out against “conspiracy theories”

Legal Insurrection Beware Glenn Greenwald bearing leaks

ECHELON Today: The Evolution of an NSA Black Program Before PRISM there was ECHELON

Contradictory & Highly Troubling Questions on Guardian’s Snowden Coverage

Mr. Snowden, It’s Time to Come Out and Take a Stand Publicly as to Your Intentions

BFP Roundtable Video 2– Glenn Greenwald & Checkbook Journalism

Greenwald-Omidyar Joint Venture: The Blurring Lines Between Being A Source & Being A Journalist

NSA’s ECHELON: The Predecessor of PRISM

5 Reasons that Both Mainstream Media – and Gatekeeper “Alternative” Websites – Are Pro-War

Why I Can No Longer Defend Glenn Greenwald as Merely a Dupe in the Snowden Psyop

Manufactured Hero Edward Snowden: Losing my religion

Manufactered Hero Edward Snowden: Paving the Way for New CISPA

Echelon Spy Network Secrets To Be Revealed in Megaupload Copyright Case

Kim Dotcom claims US spied on him through Echelon

Project Echelon And Edward Snowden

How Did A Guy With A GED End Up With Top Secret Clearance At The NSA?

Is Glenn Greenwald’s Alternative Media Network Another CIA Mockingbird Operation?

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