Daily Banter editor Bob Cesca covers last week's Twitter e-peen slap fight between Double G and Julian Assange over who was the most ideologically pure when it came to "no more secrets". Why should you care? Because the end result is that people's lives are in danger. Cesca:
It all began Monday morning when The Intercept posted a new Snowden revelation with the cutesy headline: “Data Pirates of the Caribbean: The NSA Is Recording Every Cell Phone Call in the Bahamas.” Get it? Pirates! The article exhaustively describes an operation called MYSTIC and another called SOMALGET in which NSA gathers audio and metadata of cellphone calls in the Bahamas in order to spy on human traffickers and drug cartels. The Bahamas is notorious for both.
Greenwald went on to inflate claims that this was all illegal spying, except at the very end where he admits SOMALGET is legal and the program cannot be used against US citizens, even in the Bahamas. So yeah, standard Double G tactics. But that's not the dangerous part: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange stepped in because Double G didn't go far enough to harm the US.
The article refers to five nations where MYSTIC is used: the Bahamas, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and nation that Greenwald redacted because, to quote the article, “The Intercept is not naming in response to specific, credible concerns that doing so could lead to increased violence.”
The redaction didn’t sit well with Julian Assange, who is widely believed to operate the @wikileaks Twitter account.
Assange then threatened to reveal the 5th country, something that Greenwald wouldn't even do. And sure enough on Thursday, Assange carried through on his threat.
We do not believe it is the place of media to “aid and abet” a state in escaping detection and prosecution for a serious crime against a population.
Consequently WikiLeaks cannot be complicit in the censorship of victim state X. The country in question is Afghanistan.
The Intercept stated that the US government asserted that the publication of this name might lead to a ’rise in violence’. Such claims were also used by the administration of Barack Obama to refuse to release further photos of torture at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.
And that's where we are. President Obama is in Afghanistan today for a Memorial Day visit to our 32,000 troops and service personnel still there, and an NSA program in use in the area now will have to be scrapped because the bad guys now know the full details.
Both Greenwald and Assange have decided they are the people who get to determine what is a criminal act by the US government, and if they hurt Americans in the process, it doesn't really matter because as Americans, we're all complicit anyway and maybe we deserve it based upon what's being done in our name, because if we were as ideologically pure as these two arbiters of justice, we'd rise up against our government to stop them. We haven't. so clearly we're just as guilty.
Therefore, some eggs will have to get broken.
So sayeth Assange, and to a lesser extent, Greenwald.
Once again, I question the motives of people who seem to be determined to do as much damage to our national security as possible.