Some people say that journalists are only interested in bad and "negative" news. To see what utter nonsense that is, you only need to tune in to the high-stakes international spy drama that is the Edward Snowden case, the NSA whistleblower who has the USA trembling under an avalanche of damaging exposures of misconduct throughout the world.
It's the biggest news story on the planet, and it's just one big friggin' good news show.
First of all: Important information has been made public that proves that the Americans are spying on each and every one of us. They steal our data, our stored emails and passwords, our phone calls, our text messages and chats. They grab and store who our friends are, who we communicate with and what. The fact that we can now prove that it is even worse than what we always suspected is good news. Knowing how Obama & Co steal our data to further their dreams of worldwide McTotalitarianism empowers us to arm ourselves against it and take countermeasures.
Then there is the sheer beauty of it all. The last few days unfolded like one of those Hollywood movie plots of the super smart loner facing the wrath of "the system". And guess what? The system is behaving exactly as those movie scripts dictate, with sleaze, rage, and unable to see the irony of it all. John Kerry talks about the "rule of law" after his government stole all the text messages of Chinese mobile users. I mean, I am not the only one who can't stop laughing about the biggest spy enterprise and organized data robbers on the planet charging Edward Snowden with the crimes of "espionage" and "theft".
Not to mention the great entertainment provided by the rulers of the "last remaining superpower" stamping their feet like spoiled little children while everybody else just gives them the finger.
Last but not least, we're living through a time of change that future generations will probably refer to as, "when it all started". Since WikiLeaks first published the Collateral Murder video that showed US killers murdering and maiming journalists and children in Baghdad from the safety of a helicopter, it has been a constant onslaught on the secrecy that shielded war crimes, torture, espionage, corruption, kidnappings and other such abuse in the name of "freedom and democracy". It has sparked protests throughout the Arab world, inspired the Occupy movement as well as massive protests in Europe against austerity measures. The WikiLeaks release of the Iraq War Logs and Cablegate deprived the US of immunity for its crimes in Iraq and forced them to withdraw from that country. And now with one revelation about snooping Obama following the other, the evil giant is firmly on the defensive and struggling to maintain what's left of its power.
That is also quite evident in the apparent willingness by Latin American countries to give Edward Snowden political asylum. America's back yard no more.
So, what's "bad" and "negative" about any of this? We haven't been so upbeat here in the Bananama Republic newsroom in ages!
ECUADOR AND THE LAME PRESS ORGANIZATIONS
It appears most likely that Snowden will get political asylum in Ecuador, a country that granted the same to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
That has of course sparked all sorts of nasty comments from the establishment up North about Ecuador's supposed tainted reputation concerning press freedom. Recently a law was passed there (here's the entire thing as a PDF) that regulates the media. Journalism organizations like the Knights Center and the Committee to Protect Journalists were quick to denounce the law as a setback for press freedom.
They won't tell you this, but the basis for that criticism is that the law makes it much harder for the traditional oligarchy to run their news outlets as monopolistic enterprises and use them to make money and consolidate their grip on power. The law ends those monopolies, guarantees equal access to media publishing and even makes sure small community media receive advertising, together with a variety of other improvements over the old state of affairs.
As much as we have issues with criminal libel laws being put at the service of foreign crooks and gangsters, like we have here in Panama, the wacky antics of a corrupt Muppet legal system are still to be preferred over the situation in the US, where civil libel court cases are so expensive that only the rich can afford a free press.
Furthermore, criticism on Ecuador's press law comes from the State Department of the US, a nation that persecutes and tortures whistleblowers, where senators of the ruling party demand the prosecution of foreign publishers as "spies", where the vice president calls a publisher a "high tech terrorist", where politicians openly call for journalists, publishers and their sources to be assassinated, where hired killers do exactly that from a helicopter in Baghdad with impunity, and where the president runs an unprecedented war on investigative journalism.
I have never heard any senator in the Americas call for the assassination, prosecution as a spy, kidnapping nor any other violent measures against journalists and their sources, except in the US. Press freedom in Obamastan is allowed only as long as it is inconsequential, as long as it doesn't challenge the status quo. There is no country on the American continent, media laws or not, that is as openly and viciously hostile to the pursuit of journalism as the United States, period.
So, while faux journalist organizations like the CPJ are cozying up with the State Department in Obamaville, WikiLeaks is doing what these press freedom charlatans don't: Keep a whistleblowing journalistic source safe. Wikileaks, and not any of these so-called "press freedom" organizations, is going out of its way to secure the safety of someone who has not just revealed tremendously important documented facts, but has also given the pro-Obama establishment media the biggest story of the century so far. WikiLeaks, and not the press freedom frauds, has paid for Snowden's travel expenses, hired (and then canceled) a private jet just in case, and will most likely have its famed head of legal affairs, Baltasar Garzon, provide him with legal assistance.
Edward Snowden hopefully will never be handed over to the United States. And the world will be a better place for it - which is yet more positive news.
Having read all of John LeCarre’s books many times over I find this Snowden story a great replacement for Le Carre’s cynical yet realistic spy yarns. But apart from the entertainment value I am happy and relieved that the same technology that allows the US to attempt world domination also allows one brave soul to bring it down. The US has strayed so far beyond the limits of democracy and rule of law that it will never recover. It is inspiring to see that a system tending to more and more evil can be checked by elements within.
The reaction of Obama to these leaks is astounding. That Cheney with his hand puppet Bush used 9/11 to begin the destruction of the US legal system was not terribly surprising. But who would have thought that a constitutional law professor trained as a community activist would be elected to dismember the gutted remnants of the legal system by wiping his presidential ass with the US Constitution that he so diligently studied. Truth as usual trumps fiction. If Bush was the Muppet president Obama is the Manchurian Candidate! We tried to forgive him in his first term on grounds hat the most important thing for a US president to do is get re-elected. But his true colours are now showing and they are very frightening.
What happened to Obama? Fear of elimination like JFK when he took on the real forces of government? Or was he a psychopathic dictator wannabe all along? Just dressed up as an intellectual man of the people?
Perhaps he is a land drone dressed convincingly as an intelligent thoughtful black man, manufactured by Honeywell and controlled by Dick Chaney.
But jokes aside, it is a terrible shame that the first African American president will be remembered as the man who carved in stone the abuses that Cheney and the Muppet only flirted with.
Faustino, John Le Carre did indeed write about the Snowden affair, here. Enjoy!
Dear Okke Ornstein:
I enjoy the severity of your journalism; it is really refreshing to having gotten something like your site in the middle of this Bananama country. I am taking the time to read every line of those links attached in this page, and am horrified at the attempts made by the US government to stop good journalism from performing its duty by stealing Greenvald’s laptop. The problem I see is how powerful the mass media in US is, as well as the educational agenda, that promotes ideologies and not science and research, so since the American foundation there have been mythologies regarding American rise as a nation-state, and I honestly consider that all this whistle blowing will simply backfire that American patriotism, which is very dangerous…
This is a masterpiece, I think you will enjoy written beautifully by an Irish Dissident from North Ireland, enjoy it:
Thanks…Always good to hear from someone who was in the intelligence world but was not a victim of its mythology..
It is good news indeed that whistleblowers nowadays can get asylum in Latin America. To make it a celebratory event for those politicians who have been threatened by the National Stasi of Amerika with publication of for instance (fabricated) embarrassing videos if they refuse to do Washington’s dirty laundry, it could be helpful to proclaim a kind of “we won’t laugh, be enraged or prosecute” truce so it can be a new start for all concerned.
Snowden is protected by China and Russia. If also other people like communist dictatorship they are free to try without sharing sensitive informations that serve to protect freedom in our country. Is sufficient that stupids and betrayers go immediately in these not free countries.
@the immortal – you still think the USA is a bastion of freedom? That’s funny.
Read up on this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome
The real shame is that he HAS to flee to these countries. When someone reports corruption in Panama, the only person who will go to jail is the person doing the right thing. If the US did not have the power to cause such vast suffering worldwide we could write it off as just another corrupt third world country.
A very good post, Okke, and one one that I totally agree with.
A very sad state of affairs in the U.S.
Whistleblowers prosecuted, and real journalists persecuted.
The Spanish, Italians, French won’t let Morales cross their airspace as they are suspicious that he is helping the guy that let them know that the Gringos were spying on them! This is outrageous. To deny the president of friendly country passage across one’s airspace…this shit only happens in war.
What do the Americans have on these countries that makes them suck the American hind tit? Especially after the Americans spy on the personal phone calls and email of the leaders of these countries…Perhaps they found some really juicy stuff and no one wants their secrets aired!!! How messed up the world is becoming!
In the Spanish jargon, there is a saying that goes like that: “one hand cleans the other hand and between them both they clean their face.” This means that two corrupt friends help each other, and they both clean the mess they both have created,” this is exactly what we are all witnessing is happening regarding this American whistleblower. US may be the temporary superpower which is ruling the world, and the other “subordinate”, subservient, and supplementary nations have to obey and comply to the American agenda, if they want a piece of cake of those natural resources that make possible to them all to keep in existence that “life style” they have accomplished while exporting their toxic waste to other poor nations…
Empires only have economic interests; this is how they built their relations…Welcome all to these decadent Western Values…
The vindictive and punitive attributes of the Anglophone cultures, countries an societies are portrayed in these saga…Hollywood could not be better, the US is a decadent empire, and is evil…as well as all those greedy Western nations..
This Snowden affair is just not adding up?
It is starting to stink like high cyberspace!~
Is Snowden really not a plant by the US intelligence services to root out internal and external whistle blowers?
Seems Snowden had way too much access to Top Secrete and Secrete Digital files and information for his pay grade as an overpaid private contractor for Booz Allen, which those types of high IT/Security positions with highly over blown salaries are usually reserved for directors only!