"NSA whistleblower" Edward Snowden, like Julian Assange, Daniel Ellsberg and others, is being widely hailed among leftists as a hero. We feel vindicated when someone airs the dirty laundry of the establishment, and rush to the defense of the individual without considering the wider context.
As George Bush almost said, “fool me twice, shame on me.” Some prominent commentators are not buying the mainstream media’s account of the Snowden story, and are asking tough questions about whether these “leaks,” which haven’t revealed anything we didn’t know 10 years ago, serve a nefarious purpose.
Naomi Wolf suspects much of what Webster Tarpley concludes – that the purpose and effect of Snowden is to weaken President Obama, especially in his opposition to a war in Syria, which seems more and more like a fait accompli.
If the Snowden operation can help coerce the vacillating and reluctant Obama to attack Syria, our new autistic hero may claim credit for starting a general war in the Middle East, and perhaps even more. If Snowden can further poison relations between United States and China, the world historical significance of his provocations will be doubly assured. But none of this can occur unless he finds vast legions of eager dupes ready to fall for his act. We hope he won’t.
Any time an Assange or Snowden gets paraded out in the media spotlight, ask why little or no coverage is given to the many courageous whistleblowers and journalists – like Pentagon/CIA exposer Michael Hastings, who died this week when (we are expected to believe) his car exploded upon crashing into a tree in a suburban neighborhood, tech genius Aaron Swartz, who allegedly hung himself while deeply engaged in the fight for internet freedom, or Pulitzer Prize winner and exposer of CIA drug-running Gary Webb, whose death by multiple gunshot wounds was ruled a suicide.
Yes, the intelligence agencies engage in unlimited snooping on personal communications. But we must not let our disgust at this known fact act open the door to what the establishment really wants – austerity and war.