Organized opposition to the reigning in of the NSA Stasi was preordained and the usual suspects being neoconservative warmongers with zero respect for either the Constitution nor any concept of an America that is not on a permanent war footing are squealing like stuck pigs. With the reverberations to this week’s ruling by Federal Judge Richard Leon that only one of the myriad NSA programs being the metadata gathering and storing for as yet to be revealed mysterious future use of bulk telephone records of millions was “Orwellian” and “likely unconstitutional” and then the tepid (but better than nothing) report of Obama’s NSA review panel beginning to finally batter the Stasi at Fort Meade the pitched defense has begun. The front lines of the war for public opinion are of course the D.C. neocon propaganda beacon that is The Washington Post. Not that the paper doesn't publish the occasional piece of excellent journalism, Barton Gellman has reported on the NSA casting the rogue intelligence operation in a considerably less favorable light than his colleagues in the teeming snakepit of an editorial section and Dana Priest has also has outstanding work to her credit like the Top Secret America series. However in the sewer that is the Washington beltway the paper is the preeminent news source although the cheesy tabloid style Politico is closing ground.
Today’s WaPo alone features a veritable holiday stocking bursting at the seams with fear-mongering, a prominently featured column, a joint effort led by former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey parses a boatload of legalistic bullshit in order to discredit Leon’s ruling – you have to give it to Mukasey, at least he is consistent in his contempt for the Constitution. The piece ends with the standard lie that turning America into a fascist police state is necessary to keep the sheep safe: “Most Americans willingly accept less privacy in exchange for the conveniences the Internet makes possible. But Leon’s analysis means that U.S. intelligence agencies cannot protect Americans from foreign threats using the same analytical tools that private companies employ”. And any column that starts off with the following just cannot be taken seriously:
“A federal judge’s ruling Monday that the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) bulk telephone metadata collection is “likely” unconstitutional is wrong on the law and the facts. It conflicts with the opinions of 15 other federal judges who have sat on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and approved the NSA’s metadata collection 35 times since 2006.”
The FISA court of course is a secret court where there is no representation present from civil liberties advocates nor attorneys arguing the opposite side. It is what it is, an official rubber stamp on the ever growing expansion of the government’s power to control the lives of the citizenry. It takes a real legal contortionist to pull some bizarre interpretation of the Constitution out of his ass that supports the existence of secret courts, this is truly a man who would be in good company in the service of Hitler’s Gestapo or Stalin’s NKVD. But that is what the neocons have always been about, using the memes of the foreign menace to cloak the real threat to Americans which is the fascist bent of our very own government and the revolving door of fifth-columnists the likes of Mukasey who like termites have spent decade gnawing away at our cherished freedoms. Complementing the neocon former A.G. is the always reliable shill for the PNAC/Clean Break manifestos of the eternal Middle Eastern war that is Jennifer Rubin, a propagandist as loathsome as she is prolific.
Rubin, when she isn't openly lying she is smearing libertarians, embracing Obama whenever his policies and statements are steeped in the rebooting of the Cold War and backing up swine like Mukasey with drivel like this vomit inducing bit "The NSA review report should be tossed in the trash" in which she refers to a "pre 9/11 mindset" and backs Mukasey's defense of the secret FISA court that is not included within the U.S. Constitution from which I excerpt:
The House and Senate intelligence committee chairmen also will be highly skeptical of the report. In a curt statement, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) already declared, “Though I am still studying the details, I have serious concerns with some of the report’s 46 recommendations. Any intelligence collection reforms must be careful to preserve important national security capabilities. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Congress to enact meaningful reforms in the near future.”
Like Rogers, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has been a responsible defender of the NSA program. In response to the much-criticized district court ruling holding the program unconstitutional, she issued a detailed rebuttal pointing out that the ruling “differs from those of at least 15 separate federal district court judges who sit, or have sat, on the FISA Court and have reauthorized the program every 90 days — a total 35 times in all” as well as another district court judge from California. After pointing out that the Supreme Court will have the final say, she noted, “Those of us who support the call records program do so with a sincere belief that it, along with other programs, is constitutional and helps keep the country safe from attack. I believe the program can benefit from additional transparency and privacy protections — including additional public reporting and added court review provisions which were recently adopted by the Senate Intelligence Committee in the bipartisan FISA Improvements Act.”
There you have it, any column that not only defends secret courts but also hard core and corrupt fascists who use their plum congressional committee chair positions to wage war against the American people cannot be taken seriously.
While the NSA is defended the insipid Charles Kraüthammer wages a rearguard attack on – groan – Obamacare, the massive corporate scam that has deftly been repackaged as a Bircheresque communist takeover of America by longtime, well paid propagandists looking to rouse the rabble for a 2014 storming of the polls. Obamacare sucks, has been falsely sold as healthcare reform when it is nothing but a taxpayer subsidized gift to the parasitic insurance industry and has provided greedy corporations with the perfect opportunity to jettison those inconvenient drags on annual executive bonus amounts that are employee dependents. Only in a country as dumbed down as this one does this pass for communism, socialism or Marxism when it is what it is and that is fascism – a merger of corporate and state power, just like the ongoing government support of financial markets with 85 billion a month in free gambling money to Wall Street casinos. That all three systems do nothing but redistribute wealth to a corrupt, entrenched elite with varying degrees of the use of state power against those not connected is rarely if ever noted. But Kraüthammer has bills to pay too so the flogging of the dead horse continues and I have yet to see the sleazy bastard critique the loss of civil liberties under the rogue surveillance machine run by the NSA.
The Washington Post has long been one of the most sordid sources of big state propaganda in the land and has for too long been able to live off of the laurels of the Watergate reportage that led to the downfall of Richard M. Nixon. It was former publisher Philip Graham who was recruited by the CIA's Frank Wisner for Operation Mockingbird the agency's prototype program to transform media into state propaganda organs. The WaPo's legacy of collaborating with the deep state intelligence agencies will continue as the torch is now passed to the new owner, Amazon's Jeff Bezos who has sealed a $600 million deal to provide the CIA with cloud services.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.