If there is one thing that this space has tried to illustrate for the past 16 years is that hypocrites are not the exclusive property of ideological or political affiliation. In the past weeks, as we have been inundated by a phalanx of stories depicting with grand detail one fuck up after the other from the current administration, which whisked into Washington five years ago on a transparent change in government delusion, here come hordes of congressman like Rand Paul (threatening to take the NSA to the Supreme Court after he dismissed the same body as meaningless following the landmark Affordable Care Act ruling) and senators like Lindsey Graham (supporting the government’s spying on citizens’ phone and email records while arguing that gun background checks are an invasion of privacy). It is a wonder you vote.
I have never seriously voted. Mostly, I backed candidates with no chance to win as a protest against two representatives from massive corporate-backed political parties offering nothing approaching an original thought or concept. Then my mortal enemy, Al Gore, decided he needed to be president, so I all-but worked with the Bush campaign to smear his sorry ass back to Tennessee only to watch the dumb-struck asshole who bested him make a mockery of governance for eight long years. Then I decided to vote for Barack Obama, as a member of my own generation in protest against the annoyingly overrated Boomer dipshits who preceded him, only to be once again stuck with another lost idiot acting as if he just woke up and someone told him he was president.
But my voting record and vast disappointment with politics aside, there never appears to be anyone truly minding the store, so it’s back to figuring out exactly how the shit-house will go down this time.
This week the latest in a long line of computer geeks given access to a spectacularly massive cadre of sensitive national security files, Edward J. Snowden, has clearly represented why neither political party will ever have the answers needed to quell the rapacious need for the American people to appear free while feeling safe, or other such fairy tales.
Okay, so you would have to be completely in the tank for the sorry butt end of whatever remains of a national right wing movement in this country not to have noticed that for two Congresses now Republicans have provided nothing in the way of serious legislative rebuttal to what they deem as “socialist, anti-American and freedom-threatening policies.” In place of doing its job, the GOP-controlled Congress decided to throw feces against the wall and screech like monkeys to make the Democratic president look ineffectual.
This worked great. He was re-elected by the greatest margin a member of his party tallied to secure the presidency since Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964. I was two at the time. I was 50 last November. That is a long run with no Democratic dominance at the executive level. And you know what; it ain’t gonna end soon. Not with the current demographics of the country pointing left and an entire generation of young people fairly certain the majority of the Republican platform is religiously-based nihilistic bigotry.
On the heels of this we have Mr. Snowden, a 29-year-old Booz Allen Hamilton employee (contractor to the National Security Agency) and chronicled supporter of Ron Paul’s anti-government brigade, leaking classified top-secret material to a foreign newspaper. As another quick aside, lord knows the subcontractor element is not lost on me, the near victim of many hoaxes perpetuated by “businesses” I thought I was hiring to do jobs, only to find they merely fobbed it off to some other dinks, whose only care to the completion of said job was to not get caught screwing up, which in my case, they most assuredly did.
Snowden’s motivations for leaking vital defense intelligence on a lark are best framed by the reporter who broke the story, Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald told the NY Times this week that his infamous source for the British paper, The Guardian scoop “knew that in order for someone to do this story the way it had to be done he had to be in an adversarial posture vis-a-vis the U.S. government.”
Snowden, an “ex-CIA” (once CIA always CIA—ask Lee Harvey Oswald and George H.W. Bush) who claims after making a living working in the business of citizen surveillance suddenly found Jesus and decided this was crazy, wanted to join the “feces tossing task force” and make nasty for what could tactfully be described as a beleaguered president. However, Greenwald’s analysis mirrors the very argument for Daniel Ellsberg’s outing of the gargantuan lies the U.S. government laid on the American public for over a decade of unsanctioned mass murder in Viet Nam.
You see, although it appears as if Snowden is just a radicalized version of say Mitch McConnell, whose failed attempt at turning his senatorial position into the home-base for making Obama a one-term president, there is something far more interesting. Both Snowden and his nom de plume Greenwald are Ellsberg worshippers (full disclosure, so is the author). Moreover, Snowden reportedly met directly with the nation’s most cherished whistleblower through documentarian, Laura Poitras, this past January.
Snowden’s anti Big Brother Libertarian roots are only outdone by Glenn Greenwald’s ultra-radical attempts at dismantling the American myth. Greenwald’s current post at TheGuardian has given the ex-litigator and award-winning blogger legitimate reporter contacts and sources, many of which were used to reveal the “secret wars” both hot and cold the U.S. has been running since 9/11, including the Dick Cheney/Karl Rove/Scooter Libby outing of a CIA agent in 2005.
Greenwald, an ex-patriot forced to live in Rio De Janeiro with his Brazilian partner because of discrimination against same-sex marriage, which consequently disallows similar rights of citizenship to heterosexual couples, has personal as well as ideological issues with the United States government of which he wrote in the preface to his wonderfully cynical 2006 book, How Would A Patriot Act, “the fact that this seizure of ever-expanding presidential power is largely justified through endless, rank fear-mongering—fear of terrorists, specifically—means that not only our system of government is radically changing, but so, too, are our national character, our national identity, and what it means to be American.”
The Snowden/Greenwald partnership in bi-partisan derision for the flimsy foundations of this republic has come at a crucial time, as new and old neo-con voices begin to bellow about dragging the U.S. into another bloody quagmire in Syria—trumped by ex-president, Democrat Bill Clinton and former presidential candidate, Republican John McCain.
Killer drones, Gitmo, an endless war in Afghanistan, the Patriot Act, systemic discrimination and the rank hypocrisy of our times, all neatly wrapped up in one single act of blessed conceit by pissed-off people with a pen.
That is something I can finally vote for.
Do yourself no favors and “like” this idiot at www.facebook.com/jc.author
James Campion is the Managing Editor of the Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus” and “Midnight for Cinderella”