Remember the coalition of big-government supporters who bullied and frightened us into supporting the Iraq War? That war, by the way, crippled both the economy and over 100,000 American troops, and spawned the USA Patriot Act.
Well, they have something else to sell you, so you better listen up:
“Edward Snowden is an enemy of the people. The patriotic peoples of the United States of America are in perfect solidarity with their humble servants in the National Security Agency, who labor day and night to protect them from terrorists.”
Yes, the same chorus that sang the praises of the Iraq War, the Department of Homeland Security, and indefinite detention, is now demanding the head of Edward Snowden.
Here’s everyone’s favorite name-dropper and fear-monger, Thomas Friedman:
“I do wonder if some of those who unequivocally defend this disclosure are behaving as if 9/11 never happened — that the only thing we have to fear is government intrusion in our lives, not the intrusion of those who gather in secret cells in Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan and plot how to topple our tallest buildings or bring down U.S. airliners with bombs planted inside underwear, tennis shoes or computer printers.”
Yes, the li’l ol’ US of A was just sitting there, minding its own business on 9/11 when those dastardly terrorists slipped past the ever-vigilant George W. Bush and attacked the World Trade Center. And if you object to the National Security Agency monitoring your emails and phone conversations, it will happen again, and it will be your fault. So says Thomas Friedman, who is never wrong.
David Brooks, who went down fighting for the Bush-Cheney storyboard even after Bush and Cheney abandoned it, wonders how Americans could take a high school dropout seriously, then finishes Snowden off with this killshot:
“He betrayed the Constitution. The founders did not create the United States so that some solitary 29-year-old could make unilateral decisions about what should be exposed. Snowden self-indulgently short-circuited the democratic structures of accountability, putting his own preferences above everything else.”
Yes, of course. The Founders really wanted an all-powerful central government working in the shadows to give itself the power to monitor, indefinitely imprison, and even assassinate enemies.
Andrew Sullivan, who famously called for fellow homosexuals to cheer on Bush’s wars in the name of the Global War of Homosexual Liberation, now counsels Americans to hush up about the leaked documents and trust their betters in DC.
But remember, it’s not just the DC-embedded elite columnists who create consensus. There’s a role for blue-collar advocates, too. In the runup to the Iraq War, a coalition of progressive and conservative grass-roots bloggers sounded the alarm about Saddam Hussein’s plot to conquer and enslave us all. Of course, when no WMD were found, and the Iraqi insurgents took up W’s challenge to “bring it on,” many of these former war supporters, like their national columnist allies, backed away from the war and started pointing fingers. Even more embarrassing, the right- and left-wing blogs, such as American Power, The Other McCain, and Little Green Footballs, started sniping at each other in what I called the “Little Green Meltdown.”
But Edward Snowden’s leaks have brought them back together. Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has been firing at Snowden’s supporters like a Gatling gun. (See here, and here, for example.) No one can match the biting arrogance of Charles Johnson when he scourges the depravity and ignorance of those who dare disagree with him. He dismisses Edward Snowden by simply quoting from the press release of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. So see here, peasants, attend to the words of your betters, and we shall have no more talk of “illegal” spying.
Not to be outdone, The Other McCain assures his conservative base that Snowden, rather than a hero, is a traitor who deserves the firing squad, hanging, and torture, with the only thing to be debated is the order of those punishments. Says he: “I don’t see any crime at NSA, beyond the negligence that put a high-school dropout in a position to decide what secrets the U.S. government is permitted to keep.”
And this: “Twitter Poll: #Snowden — Guantanamo or Leavenworth?”
These headlines reveal why we’re seeing so much venom aimed at Snowden:
Compare those headlines with this one:
So once again, it all comes down to defending the status quo. Our rulers in DC are a little nervous these days. Their machinery of control – that’s what government surveillance is all about, NOT keeping you safe – is despised more than ever. The regime’s legitimacy is at stake here, and its loyal servants know it. Therefore, it’s time for the presstitutes to once again do what they do best, and that is to shame dissidents, fool the American people, and erase dangerous ideas from public discourse.
Once again, it’s the “patriotic” thing to do.