blackflag operations, by brian carroll electromagnetize at gmail.com
Wed Dec 25 16:29:59 EST 2013 to the cypherpunk mailing list
// proposed relevant to cypherpunks considerations…
at a certain point in my independent research it was
realized that the US flag itself represented the existing
problem encountered with ideology and rule-following
that automatically functions against core principles,
such that ‘the stars’ were of false constellations and
‘the stripes’ were more those of prison bars, to hold
the population captive inside a hierarchical top-down
structure, which i equate with a conceptualization in
Networks of Power, of system, order, and control 
as it determines economic, social, political dynamics.
thus the US flag, its symbolism, is part of the problem
in terms of its rigid adherence, especially in a realm of
patriotism and xenophobia, such that it appears to deign
reasonable the US as world empire without questioning
its own failures or correcting for them, only extending it
further outward, which then serves policies the hidden
US dictatorship perfectly, as long as silence is upheld
and no communication is possible about these issues.
(that is, in terms of reasoning of empirical truth as this
would be observed by the law as the basis for power,
versus making the constitution a relativistic document
interpreted via power determining what the signs mean)
in this way, so too the powerplant and grid of development
that underlines present-day civilization, a centralized and
hidden realm of top-down power and control governed by
private interests said to function on behalf of the public,
yet with little evidence of this within ruins of the planet.
in other words: power delivery is related to governance.
and how power flows in one-direction and ‘represents’
certain goals and ideals that do not map into the local
issues or shared values beyond a certain framework or
mindset that makes monetary profit is greatest truth.
and yet truth does not work this way. which is to say,
it is not invalidated by ignoring or censoring it out of
existence within these domains, it still exists though
is isolated, disconnected, and thus loses its power
via a false-worldview that takes its place via lies and
deception, a shared illusion that is ungrounded yet
sustained in a bubble, antihuman in word and deed.
in terms of consciousness, much of this is known
and experienced day to day, life to life, yet remains
uncommunicable due to the loss of language, the
absence of connection in realistic terms, about this
inhuman condition, the center of civilization becoming
that of nothingness, of lost souls at the core of it, this
essential vacancy of meaning, devaluing of knowledge
beyond what interests and benefits those in authority,
and thus a seemingly irrational situation exists and is
mediated, one by one, that does not add up nor does
it make any sense, part to whole, because all is left
is fragmented and misaligned, dumbed down, warped
and skewed such that a hall of fun-house mirrors is
the limit to daily reflection in status quo relations, as
nothing more can be said than some finite limit where
the basic situation cannot even be acknowledged, so
hostile is the background and near-field effects, that
any error or wrong thought could jeopardize survival
and force a person into exile or worse, via all-seeing
accountants for conformity, verifying and making sure
the brain washing is effective, all remain followers of
the ideological framework, staying within its confines
and so knowing is disconnected for saying or even
thinking, people detached from themselves and others
and then to awake and find oneself situated in this way;
essentially without being, without access to their own
true nature or capacity or abilities, instead neutered
by what is now convention, via subversion, deception
electromagnetism as the context for the US flag then
recontextualizes some questions of vexillology , in
that evaluating the symbolic structure of the flag in its
relation to electrical infrastructure as a system of power
that extends beyond electricity into issues of politics of
the state, including waging of war for natural resources,
and likewise systems based on this ordering, visualized
in urban and rural artifacts of transmission pylons and
distribution poles, then provides further context for the
issues of control – including ‘surveillance’ in this same
top-down structure, which serves the hierarchy firstly,
to retain its existing historical organization, however
hollowed out and corrupted, used as a false-flag op
in thinking through issues of endless war in the
Middle East and the nonsensical War of Error as it
relates to failure of ideas to govern state actions and
instead submission to faith in leadership and hidden
policies and political agendas, antihuman in ideology
and nature, due to their inaccuracy, loss of capacity
in thinking and language that then functions against
citizens and life, instead of on behalf of these — this
situation then becoming ‘source code’ and program
based on flawed and wrong-minded processing of
actions, using, relying upon, exploiting loopholes
in the US constitution as basis for what is possible,
this becoming morality and ethics and its own truth,
the danger of action being untethered from grounded
reasoning and instead FAITH-BASED in ideology of
rightness, with no remaining checks and balances
after the orchestrated power grab, post-coup (41)
in which the state is opposed to truth that does not
serve and submit to this hidden agenda as highest
what have you then, as a citizen in this situation,
do you benefit or are your days numbered as you
wait, channeled into the correct chutes for awaiting
cattle cars, death panels and Obamacare first steps
enough is enough, sanity must regain its place, and
reason based in grounded truth must be secured for
anything other than this automatic decline to continue
into a realm of pure hate and unrestrained evil, driven
by the state in its godless construction and operation
in this way, US Blackflag operations were called for
to regain control over the state and its actions via
an emergency measure built into the constitution that
allows a constitutional convention to be called if or when
the state goes off course due to legal guidelines once written
yet which function against the very principles they stand for
and thus, to raise the Blackflag as the symbol and sign of
this human citizen, to reclaim control over the shared state
and its governance, and remove the existing US flag from its
role as oppressor of its own and other populations, in that
the truth of the US Constitution has become decoupled from
its accounting in logic, beyond that of shared opinion within
language (sign=sign based pattern matching), such that the
views ‘believed’ are ideological, based and reliant upon ever
shifting relativism that maps to motives of power & authority
over this process of interpretation, as institutionalized, this
the very structure of society, politics, economics, yet within
a bubble view that cannot be falsified, contested, debated
even (see: closed, onesided mass media), and this as the
authority, the ‘mind’ at the top of the machinery, that sees
and observes everything in this warped, unreal self-serving
viewpoint, that what is good for it is the best for everybody,
any number of rationalizations reinforcing this viewpoint,
and yet no error correction anywhere allowed, especially
in a legal context, because truth itself has been outlawed
thus the ability to critique or correct the malfunctioning of
the state is an impossibility, given the loss of reasoning
that no longer relies upon empirical truth for verification
and validation of processes, and instead ‘shared belief’
and a ‘superior knowing’ takes this place, without anchor
to truth outside a binary simplism, yet beyond correction
for its errors, because they can be ignored, denied, and
the other side destroyed, as is necessitated ideologically;
one side must lose for the other side to win, these “rules”
blackflag would counter this coup and takeover of the state
by a hostile invading population by regaining legal control
over its decision-making and accounting for events in terms
of accountable truth, not allowing secrecy and privilege to
stand-in for assurances of ‘good intentions’ underneath it all,
at the same time those opposed to institutionalized criminality
are being weeded out of civilization one by one, via surveillance
and attacks against basic existence and subsistence, those
of the traitorous state having been empowered by the takeover
to go the next step, the purging of dissenters and dissidents,
of any who threaten their agenda, privatizing the public realm
and denying services to those not of their shared demographic
in this way, so too, US taxes serving this group primarily as
others go without or are attacked by these same services,
health care becoming administering of disease and death,
social services to increase helplessness and incapacitation,
maximizing profits while engineering conditions impossible
to survive, thus crushing the life out of those at the bottom
and making each year more difficult than the last, death as
if a gift, it cannot arrive early enough, genocide as if mercy
my first attempt at conveying these ideas was to recolor the
US flag as all black while retaining its stars and stripes as
the structure. the problem with this was that it revealed
the ideological formatting of the state, in its rigid lines and
ordering that are the manifestation of this corruption of the
historic compact between individuals & larger organization,
and how governance at the top requires imprisoning those
below, as part of the warped structural dynamics relied upon
and thus injustice built-into the system, its foundation, this
notably in ‘mankind’ as the shared identity, this privatized
viewpoint scaled to the public allowing any individual to act
in pure selfishness without regard or responsibility to others-
this enshrined in law, outdated as viewpoint, ‘the public’ does
not exist in this state beyond an 18 century notion, and this
is exactly how this corruption is allowed operate today, by
not acknowledging this condition and correcting it in law-
which requires logic, 3-value and N-value logic, to prove
the binarist viewpoint wrong though also immoral, illegal,
unethical, and yet this very ‘reasoning’ is forbidden today.
i began to sew, having a black nylon technical fabric,
the goal being to generate a more accurate structure for
the flag that would reflect or in some way represent the
actual dynamics of truth within society, these ideals and
principles of the US constitution in a shared human context,
where both men and women are equal as citizens, and that
people operate in different conditions yet function together
as part of a larger dynamic, an ecosystem that becomes
the state via a decentralized and distributed organization,
scaling from local to national if global contexts, conditions,
situations, aligned via shared dimensions, truth as value
the flag that resulted  has a slightly different symbology.
there are many stars, points of light, though some of these
become larger stars via their connected patterning (that is,
points connect or scale up into larger star structures, and
some may be separated at any moment & other combined)
the goal was to demonstrate that constellations of people
or ideas can form, amongst points of individuals, organize
into patterned structures that form a basis for shared order,
and while in the photograph of the flag it is not visible, there
are various regions or boundaries for these relations/events,
where some of these points and stars exist within the same
limits and others exist beyond or outside a given threshold.
(there were additional close-up photos though i do not have
most any of my work archived, though the language of the
zigzag stitching defined these various regional boundaries,
that then translates into near or far within larger ecosystem)
add to this then the linking or networking of these ‘stars’,
that for me are based on the butterfly paper clamp and also
on the star as a high-voltage transmission pylon or tower, in
this way, structural interconnections can be conceptualized
as -p-o-w-e-r-l-i-n-e-s- and also as the invisible lines that link
together constellations invisibility mapping out the night sky
as stars and structures relate, and capture or model meaning,
to include helping with navigation, awareness, and worldview
in this sense pattern recognition is structural, foundational,
and connections and relations between people in shared truth
is this larger empirical awareness, emerging from relativistic
scenarios, as truth is aligned amongst people and related to
and through, in changing dynamics, shared state as circuitry
and information processor, logical reasoning and organization,
this _ground-up leveling of awareness, ideas, intent, action,
virtue, truth, justice, development, higher purpose, ideals
in this way, so too, power delivery, locally to regionally and
how it scales based upon its shared relation with truth and
those who serve it, as this contrasts with the US flag and
its institutionalization where such dynamics are disallowed,
and people are silenced in these relations, truth vanquished,
something else taking hold, terrorizing citizens in its place
this call for the blackflag to rise and replace the corrupt
US government by legal means, regaining control of the
failed state via constitutional right, then is a challenge to
the reigning falsity that rules and politically ‘governs’, using
its power against citizens to secure its power indefinitely,
relying on illegal means and methods beyond accountability
due to secrecy and privacy that only applies to oppressors,
while such protections are removed for enemies and used
to exploit and force the downfall of those who live here
the language then may become shared, that yes, such
high insanity must be acknowledged and thus the charade
can be further extended to allow continuing control as these
subversive others continue to attempt to control the reins of
state action, at any cost. and thus mimicry could exist that
seeks to ‘represent’ this cause via a traditional mindset that
is corrupted by ideology and “believes” something other than
what is said, serves some unacknowledged agenda or view,
that is only camouflaged by the flag, and thus is assumed
to retain control, whatever the shifting dynamics by relying
on the same structures to persist, whatever the new color
in this way, the blackflag yet another false flag for these
traitors who would exist alongside those involved, grounded
within this structural awareness of truth, its transparent and
logical accounting beyond skewed binary onesidedness. a
realm of imposters, mimics, cheats and frauds thus would
continue and yet to juxtapose, compare and contrast these
dynamics, it should be clear that ‘the rationale’ is entirely
different for these two flags , they are not the same idea,
and do not sustain the same beliefs, principles, or ordering
they are actually set against one another in this very moment,
as changes begin to be wrought and pressures exist that still
constrain such actions, based upon resistance, power and
authority based on forbidding what is best for human citizenry
the ideological grid of the present is a cage, a prison camp
purpose-built for human holocaust whereby truth is denied
and eventually outlawed, nonexistence as the present day,
people trapped and existing inside an illusion, not living, only
trying to sustain themselves, keep breathing in the cemetery
in this condition, this separation into many, the individual parts
begin communicating, realize connections in grounded truth
that establish this empirical framework needed, and it involves
taking down the walls built by the state, its prison bar stripes
and false-stars and false-constellations based on emulation,
the state as hollywood movie production, leaders as actors
playing a role on the world stage, versus addressing issues
that exist and being held accountable for such ‘representation’
driven by taxation that grows this machinery while seeking to
extinguish citizens inside who do not obey or are the enemy
of those with power. that is what can be seen within various
signs and symbols, language, calculus, patterns & geometry
the difference between these flags is the difference between
ideas and ideology, shared truth versus shared falsity and lies,
freedom versus imprisonment, responsibility versus greed and
unfettered selfishness, duty in opposition to vanity and frivolity,
the network versus the grid, being vs. nothingness, humanity
versus antihumans, individuals vs. institutions, democracy of
human citizens versus corporate democracy, empirical reality
versus relativistic madness, and philosophy versus psychiatry
the existing US flag is the embodiment of politics that replace
the truth with its antithesis which becomes a basis for power,
the blackflag is all about governance, between people who
create and compose the larger state via empirical reasoning
that is based in truth, accounted for and error corrected by
logic, and held accountable and required to change, improve
its functioning, not given the right to ignore its obligations to
people, life, nature, and the larger order it is situated within
the delivery of power will one day arrive, deliverance from this
corrupted condition, within a organized coherent agenda that
regains control over this automated machinery serving wrong
principles and wrong ideas and wrong thinking and beliefs.
there are two orders, represented by these flags. one of
them is aligned with falsity and serves it for its own benefit.
the other serves truth, firstly and wholeheartedly. it is about
how the constitution of a person aligns with those around them
and how this scales and relates and is represented by the state.
the false have their flag. recoloring it is not going to change
anything structural, which is required for the oppression and
exploitation to continue. it can only and must be destroyed as
an institutionalized structure to regain control over the failed state,
as the US constitution outlines and allows. the nature of truth is
conceptualized in the other flag, its blackness has depth and
grounding in principles that reflect those of its people and those
who sacrifice and serve, for greater truth and higher principles
than the base and monetary as if the meaning of life eternal
in other words, no longer will the body govern over the mind,
no longer will the grid determine the network, nor ideology
the truth of ideas. and indeed there is a binary condition
that exists in this situation- between truth and pseudo-truth,
where actual truth grounds to 1 and pseudo-truth to falsity (0).
in this way there is only one value, it is truth. all or nothing.
the US state needs to be brought under constitutional control,
destroy the existing dictatorship, and draft a new constitution
i for one stand against the ongoing criminality of the state
and vote the military take control of its functioning to secure
its actions from those hostile to human citizens and our future
 Networks of Power – Thomas P. Hughes
Alexander Calder 1974 stabile Black Flag
Anonymous sends to cryptome / mirror from here: http://cryptome.org/2013/12/ogr.htm
The fact that Pierre Omidyar chose Glenn Greenwald as a collaborator told me all I needed to know about his new media project. Now Jay Rosen has signed on, promoting the business that Bill Keller called the New Thing.
Whether Keller meant this or not, I read it as a nod to the concept of “new and improved” used to sell products.
So far, the New Thing (a k a NewCo) appears to have a left/libertarian bent. It sounds like it will compete with the Nation, the Guardian, Mother Jones, etc., but with lots more money and the vision of one man.
O/G/R have been touting transparency, with a righteousness that I find laughable, considering how Greenwald plays with facts and attacks anyone who criticizes him.
The New Thing will be transparent in the sense that writers will reveal their background, perspective and opinions, instead of pretending that they don’t have any, Rosen says. In other words, they will behave like many columnists, editorial writers, commentators and mainstream bloggers do today, and as many journalists did before they struggled to be objective.
A bit of history: The concept of objectivity that arose in social sciences in the 19th century influenced journalism as well. Later, as corporations increased their ownership of newspapers and cannibalized competitors, it made business sense to promote journalists as objective. You didn’t need competing media if you could get all the news from one impartial source.
My career started when a metro daily could still devote many column inches to in-depth pieces. This practice diminished as corporations strove for increasing profits. My hopes reawakened with the discussion of unlimited space on the Internet. But the Internet also brought more information than most people wanted to handle. Many sought simple analyses, and blogs were ideal for this. Most posts were relatively short with a distinct viewpoint.
After I left corporate journalism in disgust, I blogged for a few years. But it was disappointing to see bloggers develop a pack mentality similar to those of mainstream political journalists. Few bloggers did original reporting. Posts that were inaccurate or incomplete bothered me, especially when the bloggers went for sensationalism that would attract more followers. Righteous anger felt liberating at first, but seemed to devolve into: “Fuck you!” “No, fuck you!”
Mainstream media competed by adding more columnists as well as their own bloggers. More writers made their opinions clear.
That’s why I find it disingenuous when G/R complain that people have lost trust in mainstream media because news reporters pretend they have no opinions. In more than 18 years in newspaper journalism, I never encountered anyone in the public who thought journalists lacked opinions. The question was whether we tried to be fair when interpreting facts and seeking different views from others.
The New Thing will have the same problem, and O/G/R seem to be selling it in the same way. Omidyar says the New Thing will not be a niche publication, but will have business, sports and entertainment. That seems to suggest readers can get all the news from one source, and this source will be trustworthy.
We already know that people are more likely to trust journalists who have the same opinions that they do. Does Rosen really think that people will have greater trust in writers with whom they disagree, as long as the writers acknowledge their opinions?
Would liberals trust Fox if it declared upfront that it favors conservative views? If I tell you that I’m an anti-porn feminist who first took notice of Greenwald when he was defending Max Hardcore, or that I’m biased against people with little or no journalism experience who become journalism professors, would that make you more trusting of what I write about G/R? Do you think that people who believe that surveillance is crucial to American security trust Greenwald because he has stated his opinion?
In the 1990s, Rosen spoke at my newspaper. I talked to him afterward and came away with the impression that he agreed that objectivity was a myth, but was too invested in paid speeches to confront publishers and executive editors. I’ve been surprised to learn that he thinks people can be objective in their analysis and presentation of facts.
Even if a writer gives you his perspective, he’s not necessarily revealing all of his biases. In studies, for example, people often trust taller, more attractive people even though they may believe those factors don’t influence them. If Julian Assange looked like Wallace Shawn or Coco, do you think he would have the same following?
We can never catalog everything that has influenced us. The opinions of our boss, praise, raises, awards, etc., can influence our thinking on particular issues, even if we don’t realize it. Who do you think Greenwald would trust more: a government employee or someone who leaks information to him?
(This is a trick question because many government leakers/whistleblowers are government employees, as was Chelsea Manning, who may have continued in the military if she had not been caught. Mark Felt had a high rank in the FBI.)
Attempts at objectivity or fairness sometimes lead to writers publishing “both sides” of the story even when they know that one perspective is factually incorrect. G/R abhor this – as do many mainstream journalists. But this isn’t as clear-cut as it seems. A reporter might think that chemical companies have proven their products are harmless, but include quotes from that nut Rachel Carson, just to be fair. Facts are tricky because they can change. What is fact to one person may be opinion to another.
Journalists rarely think that all the facts they know are relevant to the story they are writing. In other words, they decide which facts the readers get, as well as what stories to pursue, which sources to trust, what angle to take, etc. That’s why my friends have joked about working for the Truth Factory. The New Thing will be no different.
According to O/R, the New Thing will hire journalists with great expertise on the topics they cover. You know, like the best beat reporters.
Beat reporters are in danger of becoming less adversarial as they identify with the people and institutions they cover and fear losing access to sources. Rosen has bemoaned this process – as have many editors, who occasionally move people into different beats or put more than one person on a story to get “fresh eyes.”
Doesn’t Greenwald have to protect access to his sources? Would he have written something negative about Snowden before he had gotten all the files? Once all journalists start expressing their opinions fiercely, access won’t be an issue. People with information can choose the journalists most likely to support them.
Greenwald built his writing career on expressing opinions, not digging up facts not yet known to the public. Has he become famous enough that he can now wait for people to give him information, as Snowden did, without ever initiating a conversation with someone in government? Will he never chat up someone in government to get a lay of the land or figure out who might be ready to spill secrets? Does this make him more honest or more biased?
He has said that he doesn’t have to curry favor with sources.
Maybe not government sources. But I’m sure his worship of Assange had some bearing on WikiLeaks’ decision to help Edward Snowden get to Russia.
Because of Greenwald’s attitude on encryption, he might never have gotten the NSA documents, if it had not been for Laura Poitras. She says Snowden contacted her after seeing an article about her in the New York Times. The Washington Post might have had the story if it had accepted Snowden’s requirements for publication.
He differentiates himself from mainstream media who sometimes sit on stories, which he thinks shows “a fundamental sickness of the Western press.”
I’ve both held stories and argued that they should run. Stories are generally held to check information, get more information or debate whether personal information is newsworthy. Is Greenwald holding back any information from Snowden for his book?
Is the Guardian not part of the Western press? Has he not sold stories to the New York Times and others? If the NYT had offered to replace Bill Keller with Greenwald, would Greenwald have declined, for fear of being infected? Are there no problems with journalists in non-Western countries? In Brazil, Greenwald can curry favor for blasting the Western press. Get back to me when he starts writing about how evil the Brazilian government and media are.
Omidyar says he wants to hire writers who already have a lot of online followers. Sounds like a good business model to me, but not the best way to get at the truth. Mainstream media already clings to commentators and columnists who have become self-promoters and whose fans will defend them no matter what. How does this differ from Greenwald?
Omidyar says he wants independent journalists, but they stop being independent as soon as he gives them a paycheck. At least Rosen understands that he is no longer an independent media critic now that he works for the New Thing. “I had relationships and consultancies, which I disclosed, but that still left me independent in some way.”
What does independence mean in a journalist? Is it someone who has no employer, or someone who has free rein to write whatever he wants, with little editing? Is it someone who doesn’t support any political party (but must secretly have an idea of what he wants in an elected official)?
Did Omidyar hire Rosen because he was an independent media critic, or did it have something to do with Rosen’s praise for Greenwald and the New Thing? If Omidyar wanted to support investigative reporting, why does he need to create his own media entity, as opposed to a fund? I’m guessing the reason was control.
One model might be the Fund for Investigative Journalism, which helped Seymour Hersh uncover the massacre of civilians during the Vietnam war.
By the way, Greenwald has changed his opinion about Hersh since he included him among “the preening, hubristic, status-obsessed Washington media elite” in 2005. Greenwald was an outsider; now he needs to identify with Hersh and others.
If Omidyar wanted to support Greenwald’s reporting specifically, why didn’t he help the nonprofit Guardian, which is struggling to survive financially and is now left to fight legal battles on its own? After all, the Guardian gave Greenwald a bigger audience as well as colleagues who had much more experience in investigative journalism. But when he got a better offer, he jumped ship, taking Snowden’s files with him.
Greenwald has tweeted: “If Laura Poitras or Jeremy Scahill or I were ever told ‘you can’t write about this’: how many seconds would elapse before we quit?”
Omidyar has helped avoid that problem by hiring reporters who reflect his views.
Greenwald says the New Thing will hire people whose views differ, including conservatives. But if they focus on the ills of big government, what’s the difference? Would the New Thing hire a conservative who opposes same-sex marriage?
In addition to winding up in bed with government sources, Rosen once criticized adversarial journalists for priding themselves on their ability to attack and anger people; who are relentlessly negative; and who consider themselves outsiders, separate from their communities. Sound like anyone you know?
Now he sees Greenwald as the face of the new-and-improved adversarial journalism. Or, as Greenwald says, he will be “truly adversarial” to powerful people, which I assume means the government and people who disagree with him. G/R sound like politicians who sell themselves as the new-and-improved public servants who will go to Washington as outsiders to truly fight special interests.
Omidyar has released information on the New Thing when it suits him, just as you would expect from a businessman. How would he view someone who leaked more information about it? Would this person be an independent, adversarial journalist challenging power?
Perhaps Greenwald thinks the U.S. government has been the most restrictive force in his life. Not everyone sees government that way. Male harassment, violence and its threat have restricted my freedom much more than the government has, although I recognize that men predominate in the top government positions, as they do in the media (including the New Thing), business, religion, etc. How will the New Thing fight a diffused power?
A decade or so ago, there was a push for newspapers to hire ombudsmen and publish corrections and clarifications prominently, in hopes that this form of transparency would build more trust among readers. Some, like the NYT and Guardian, still do this. But media critics assume, and rightly so, that ombudsmen aren’t truly independent. Sadly, admitting mistakes does not seem to build trust. Instead it gives fodder to those who already believe you are untrustworthy.
Greenwald has learned this lesson well. Instead of welcoming people who speak truth to his power, he is notoriously nasty to anyone who criticizes him, and he will go to ridiculous lengths to deny he did anything wrong. This is brand protection, not a search for truth. My favorite example is his Twitter exchange with Imani Gandy about her supporting Obama even if he raped a nun. When criticized for joking about rape, he said he was simply replying to someone else’s statement. Then he says he wasn’t joking, and it wasn’t a metaphor. Apparently, the king of hyperbole really does believe that Gandy and others would defend Obama if he raped a nun on TV.
Greenwald is willing to give inaccurate information to the public to hype his stories. A recent example is what he initially said about his husband’s detention in London before flying to Brazil.
Some years ago, in his defense against sock puppetry, Greenwald said he couldn’t control someone in his household praising him anonymously. Does that mean David Miranda had not yet joined the family business?
If he and Greenwald had a nasty break-up, wouldn’t he be in the same position as a wife who works in her husband’s business without credit? The husband still has his business and brand loyalty from customers. The wife can only make unsubstantiated claims to her skills and experience.
This has long been a feminist issue, but it also pertains to journalists gaining pay and prestige from the unpaid and uncredited work of others.
When Greenwald publishes a sensational story, it helps his brand, because many readers never see follow-up stories that explain what was wrong initially. This has nothing to do with transparency or truth.
He can also put an incredible spin on facts. Take his claim that he has to live in Brazil because the U.S. doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage for the purposes of immigration.
Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians live in the U.S. Long before the NSA stories, was it impossible for Miranda to come to the U.S.?
In her Greenwald profile for the Rolling Stone, Janet Reitman writes:
Politics … had a powerful hold on him from an early age. … Greenwald’s childhood role model was his paternal grandfather, Louis “L.L.” Greenwald, a local city councilman, and “sort of this standard 1930s Jewish socialist type,” who crusaded on behalf of the poor against the voracious “condo bosses” who controlled the city. In high school, Greenwald ran a quixotic campaign for a city-council seat, which he lost, but not before scoring a “moral victory” by simply challenging his entrenched opponents. “The most important thing my grandfather taught me was that the most noble way to use your skills, intellect and energy is to defend the marginalized against those with the greatest power – and that the resulting animosity from those in power is a badge of honor.”
So, why did he choose corporate law?
He then left to start his own firm, where he was “a constitutional law and civil rights litigator,” according to his blog, Unclaimed Territory. The only case that’s ever mentioned is this one: “He spent five years defending the First Amendment rights of neo-Nazis. It was one of Greenwald’s prouder accomplishments as an attorney.”
I understand supporting the First Amendment, but why don’t we hear about other civil-rights cases in which the people didn’t deserve to be marginalized?
This is how the Southern Poverty Law Center describes Matthew Hale, a neo-Nazi and leader of a white-supremacist church: “His beliefs inspired a killing spree by his follower and friend Ben Smith and led him to solicit the murder of a federal judge, which landed him a sentence of 40 years in prison in 2003.”
Hale described Smith as “a loyal church member, a friend and a comrade.” He hunted Jews and people of color, killing two and wounding nine in 1999. Survivors filed a wrongful-death claiming Hale had incited Smith to violence. The Center for Constitutional Rights and Anti-Defamation League supported the suit.
Greenwald defended Hale pro bono. It was in this civil case that a U.S. district court found that Greenwald “recorded telephone conversations with various third party witnesses, without disclosing to those witnesses that they were being recorded.”
Apparently, he didn’t think secret surveillance was bad back then.
In 2004, he wrote in the Chicago Tribune: “The vast majority of people find Hale’s racist beliefs to be odious and evil. Far more odious, and far more dangerous, is the belief that criminalizing certain viewpoints by calling them ‘hate speech’ is something that can be done while still retaining our 1st Amendment freedoms.”
He was responding to this ADL piece:
Greenwald’s best friend is the straw man. The ADL and Center for Constitutional Rights were not advocating that the government criminalize hate speech. Instead, they were trying to accomplish what Morris Dees of the SPLC did in the case of Michael Donald, killed by Klan members in 1981. A wrongful-death case against the United Klans of America resulted in a $7-million judgment that bankrupted them.
Greenwald became disillusioned with the law, which he thought was full of “unjust rules,” Reitman writes. By the 1990s, she says, he was arguing with social conservatives on the site Town Hall. Reading her article, you might think that Greenwald never held any conservative views and went to Town Hall only to argue. (Coincidentally, Omidyar has hired a prominent editor from Rolling Stone.)
Reitman’s article seems to contradict what Greenwald wrote last January about the preface to his book “How Would a Patriot Act?”:
The whole point of the Preface was that, before 2004, I had been politically apathetic and indifferent – except for the work I was doing on constitutional law. That’s because, while I had no interest in the fights between Democrats and Republicans, I had a basic trust in the American political system and its institutions, such that I devoted my attention and energies to preventing constitutional violations rather than political debates. … When the Iraq War was debated and then commenced … I was not politically engaged or active.
In the preface, he writes that he had faith in “our democratic system of government.” After 9/11 “… my confidence in the Bush administration grew as the president gave a series of serious, substantive, coherent, and eloquent speeches that struck the right balance between aggression and restraint. I was fully supportive of both the president’s ultimatum to the Taliban and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan when our demands were not met.”
He said his faith in the administration was first shaken in 2002, with the indefinite detention of Jose Padilla.
In the run-up to the Iraq war, he writes that he had “doubts, concerns, and grounds for ambivalence.” Nevertheless, “I had not abandoned my trust in the Bush administration. Between the president’s performance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the swift removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the fact that I wanted the president to succeed, because my loyalty is to my country and he was the leader of my country, I still gave the administration the benefit of the doubt. I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.” He said he changed his mind only after the invasion started and no weapons of mass destruction were found.
Perhaps that’s not quoted more often because Greenwald copyrighted his book.
But he used passages from his preface in January to claim that he never supported Bush or the Iraq war.
So, which version of Greenwald’s life is correct? Was he a political naïf who always supported the leader of his country, until revelations after the Iraq invasion? Or has he enjoyed debating politics since he was a kid and never supported Bush or the war? Where’s an investigative reporter when you need one?
In the preface, he also wrote: “Throughout our history, we have vanquished numerous enemies at least as strong and as threatening as a group of jihadist terrorists without having the president seize the power to break the law.” Say what? As Nancy Kassop wrote in 2003: “Throughout history, presidents have taken actions during wartime that were later deemed either unconstitutional or excessive, such as Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War.” How could someone who studied constitutional law not know these things? Or, did he omit them to make a stronger case against Bush?
Where’s the evidence that Greenwald has always wanted to help the marginalized? It wasn’t in his 2005 post that decried illegal immigration: The parade of evils caused by illegal immigration is widely known, and it gets worse every day. In short, illegal immigration wreaks havoc economically, socially, and culturally; makes a mockery of the rule of law; and is disgraceful just on basic fairness grounds alone. Few people dispute this, and yet nothing is done.”
You might not know this post existed at all because the archives at
contain only the posts from the end of each month. This is a change from last year, when I read all of his 2005 and 2006 posts. I assume this is a problem with Blogger.
He has attached a disclaimer to the immigration post saying he hasn’t believed what he wrote back then for a long time. He blames “Obama cultists” for digging it up. For the record, I’ve been a critic of Obama since the 2008 primary. I’m delighted when people with abhorrent views change their minds, but not when they try to weasel out of their past.
Greenwald started blogging with his criticism of Scooter Libby in October 2005. “It is illegal to disclose classified information to individuals who are not cleared to receive it. Period.”
He criticized the administration, but he also commented on hyperbolic praise of prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald: “Much of this is overblown, and is plainly motivated by an aching desire on the Left to believe that the Great Savior has finally arrived, in the person of a U.S. Attorney from Chicago, to slay the evil-doers in the Bush Administration and rescue the captive nation from its 5-year nightmare.”
In November 2005, he wrote Bush’s “steadfastness and refusal to play by the long-standing rules of the Washington establishment is almost certainly the attribute which most accounts for the increasingly intense dislike of the Bush Administration by the Washington press corps. … So Hersh thinks it’s ‘alarming’ that he’s been writing anti-war articles for several years now and Bush still hasn’t caved in his support for the war. We’re supposed to be scared and outraged because Bush doesn’t watch Wolf Blitzer interviews and then change his mind afterwards, or that Bush still supports the war even after Hersh writes another article based on anonymous officials who have come to him in order to attack Bush’s policies.”
Greenwald accused Hersh of caricaturing Bush to the delight of some Leftists, such as The Talent Show blog.
At this time, he disliked the “soulless” Clintons.
Also in November, he said the “increasingly populous group which supported this war but now
wants to pretend that Iraq is ready for us to leave
— all because they want to minimize political damage to Republicans and to Bush — are really acting reprehensibly.”
A 2006 post with a disclaimer that can no longer be found is this one:
These early posts criticize Bush for betraying true conservatism. “It has long been clear that there is nothing remotely ‘conservative’ about this Administration, at least in the sense that conservative ideology has stood for a restrained Federal Government which was to be distrusted.”
In the name of transparency, will he ever clarify whether he believed that Harry Blackmun was one of the 10 worst Americans, who “with a single, intellectually flimsy judicial opinion, did more than anyone else to inflame and render irresolvable America’s paralyzing and internally destructive culture war”? Or was some anonymous woman to blame?
He accuses anyone who discusses his past as committing a smear job, even if what they say is true. He seems to belong to the FOI wing that believes that people with power and influence are fair game if they work for the government or attack him, but not if they are promoting themselves or their institution (See Assange).
He was outraged over the New York Daily News revealing that he once invested in a porn business. Here’s why it’s relevant: Not only has he been an absolutist in his free-speech defense of men who create hard-core porn, but he also believes that if a woman says she was happy to swallow vomit, then, by god, any feminist who questions her is “drowning in misogyny and contempt for women.”
Here’s what transparency might look like: “I once invested in pornography, and I firmly believe that all the participants in my business did so willingly and were never hurt in any way. Perhaps that colors my views on the women who worked for Max Hardcore.
“By the way, I may not like it if a poor person sells his kidney in order to keep his children from starving, but I’ll absolutely defend his right to enter into such a contract, and anyone who criticizes that practice must have contempt for the free will of poor people.
“In fact, I don’t believe in the coercive nature of money. That’s why I think a well-off American can go to a poorer country and find a poor, less educated lover who happens to be much younger, more attractive and devoted, and it has nothing to do with privilege.”
I’ve criticized Greenwald anonymously before, and I’ve asked John Young for anonymity this time because I don’t want Greenwald fans to harass me. I’m not looking for a job, and I’m not selling myself as unbiased. Young and I have different views, but I enjoy reading him because he skewers hypocrites in the freedom-of-information business.