The m.o. is depressingly familiar, having been used on every whistle blower over the last forty years. At the first sign of an "unofficial" leak of any gravity, sober responsible government types advance their gravest concerns, invoking dire consequences and, possibly, the end of the world as we know it. Attack dogs are summoned which immediately go for the throat of either the whistle blower and/or the journalist (whoever is closest to hand), and attempt to destroy the message by shredding the messenger -- with mis-direction, innuendo, propaganda, demonization, distortion and outright lies. The hope is that the resulting blood sport will distract the slumbering body politic from whatever obscenity the government has been committing in the dark this time, that the government might not be seen to have been caught with it pants down around its ankles. Again.
It will undoubtedly be used against Glen Greenwald in the near future.
Often, it begins (surprise) with mainstream media, the responsible and sober voices of reason. The handmaidens of government.
On June 6th, literally hours after Greenwald & Mckaskill broke what would eventually become the NSA/PRISM/Boundless Information in the Guardian, the NYTimes (courtesy of Noam Cohen & Leslie Kaufman) initiated the same “distancing” tactic it unconscionably employed with Assange & Manning once the paper had digested and published their leaks (Wm. Keller drew the short straw on that one.)
Deconstructing the NYTimes article of 6/6/13 (which appeared top-left, above the online fold--link follows below):
After writing intensely, even obsessively, for years about government surveillance and the prosecution of journalists,…a) Why “obsessively?” Intimation of possible mental imbalance.
Late Wednesday, Mr. Greenwald, a lawyer and longtime blogger…b) He is a “blogger,” not a “professional journalist.” Probably subscribes to a different set of publishing ethics.
The leak, he said, came from ‘a reader of mine’ who was comfortable working with him. The source, Mr. Greenwald said, “knew the views that I had and had an expectation of how I would display them.c) Indicative of some kind of possible collusion or collaboration between source and non-professional “journalist”?
Mr. Greenwald’s experience as a journalist is unusual, not because of his clear opinions but because he has rarely had to report to an editor.d) He is a loose cannon whose publishing ethics have not been shaped by the guidance of a professional news editor.
That [Greenwald's] computer is in Brazil, where Mr. Greenwald spends most of his time and lives with his partner, who cannot emigrate to the United States because the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages as a basis for residency applications.e) Lives on the edge of a normative American experience, by virtue of his homosexuality.
Mr. Greenwald grew up in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., feeling like an odd figure.f) Difficult childhood (homosexuality/latent?) Probably contributes to possible mental imbalance.
By the time Mr. Greenwald was studying law at New York University, “he was always passionate about constitutional issues and issues of equal justice and equal treatment,” said Jennifer Bailey, now an immigration lawyer with a nonprofit organization in Maine, who shared a tiny apartment with Mr. Greenwald in the early 1990s.f) Extremely confused as young man. “Passionate” nature noted. Bisexual?
As Mr. Greenwald tells it, the last decade has been a slow political awakening. “When 9/11 happened, I thought Bush was doing a good job,” he said. “I was sucking up uncritically what was in the air.g) Evidently harbors feelings of betrayal by his government; revenge a possible motive?
Gabriel Schoenfeld, a national security expert and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who is often on the opposite ends of issues from Mr. Greenwald, called him, “a highly professional apologist for any kind of anti-Americanism no matter how extreme.h) Nice touch: expert opinion solicited of & rendered by someone who will undoubtedly appear as a witness for the prosecution. In March ’06, Schoenfeld in fact called for the indictment of several reporters/editors at the NYTimes (of all places!) after that paper broke the NSA wireless surveillance story. He subsequently testified before a congressional committee on the responsibilities of the press in wartime.
Ms. Bailey has a slightly different take. Because of his passions, she said, “he is just as willing to make enemies of anybody.i) “Passions” again. Has anger issues, authority issues. Sexuality issues not resolved. He bites and could possibly be rabid.
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode, No Holds Barred for Holder or Eric in Extasy.