Quote of the Day | 1018

This is how the U.S. government and American media jointly disseminate propaganda: in the immediate wake of some newsworthy War on Terror event, U.S. Government officials (usually anonymous) make wild and reckless — though unverifiable — claims. The U.S. media mindlessly trumpets them around the world without question or challenge. Those claims become consecrated as widely accepted fact. And then weeks, months or years later, those claims get quietly exposed as being utter falsehoods, by which point it does not matter, because the goal is already well-achieved

Glenn Greenwald, ‘How propaganda is disseminated’

Overwegingen | WikiLeaks iv

Dat ik weinig informatie op het eerste gezicht geloof, maakt me soms wat cynisch. En waarschijnlijk te cynisch. Maar als overheden, of politici, bewezen hebben niet helemaal te vertrouwen te zijn. En de media aantoonbaar meehelpen een wereldbeeld in stand te houden dat niet bestaat. Of als te veel bedrijven blind winst najagen. Geloof ik dan echt niet dat er helden zouden kunnen bestaan die zich onttrekken aan deze miserie?

Julian Assange is toch zeker een held? Door zijn inspanningen weten we inmiddels toch veel meer van wat onze volksvertegenwoordigers, de mensen die wij betalen om ons te dienen, allemaal nagelaten hebben om te zeggen?

Of is Julian Assange toch eerder een eigengeiler; uit op macht, en persoonlijke roem? Hij had niet ineens hoeven opduiken dit jaar als gezicht van WikiLeaks. Hij heeft WikiLeaks niet altijd op de meest slimme vertegenwoordigt in de media. En zolang belangrijke kranten zaken willen doen met WikiLeaks had deze organisatie heel goed anoniem kunnen blijven.

Inmiddels heb ik verschillende van zijn essays gelezen [pdf] — zijn oude weblog is er overigens ook nog. En ook heb ik kennis genomen van de felle kritiek op hem van normaal toch heldere denkers.

En dan is het beste wat ik over Assange kan zeggen dat het een dromer is. En de wereld gaat niet vooruit zonder dromers.

Maar het slechtste dat er over hem valt op te merken, is de vrees die ik eerder verwoordde. Dat hij, en zijn organisatie, de openheid van internet geen dienst bewijzen.

verder lezen:
The Story Behind the Publication of WikiLeaks’s Afghanistan Logs;
Clay Shirkey: Wikileaks and the Long Haul
Glenn Greenwald on the Arrest of Julian Assange and the U.S. “War on WikiLeaks”
Daniel W. Drezner, Why WikiLeaks Is Bad for Scholars
Johann Hari, Julian Assange Has Made Us All Safer
Chaos Computer Club fordert Informationsfreiheit im Netz
Tien Wikileaks-stellingen ontkracht (opinie)

Quote of the Day | 0212

The very idea of trying to threaten the careers of journalists and activists to punish and deter their advocacy is self-evidently pernicious; that it’s being so freely and casually proposed to groups as powerful as the Bank of America, the Chamber of Commerce, and the DOJ-recommended Hunton & Williams demonstrates how common this is. These highly experienced firms included such proposals because they assumed those deep-pocket organizations would approve and it would make their hiring more likely.

Glenn Greenwald, ‘The leaked campaign to attack WikiLeaks and its supporters’

Quote of the Day | 0215

the whole reason why it is imperative to me to remain independent and not work within a corporate structure and not have any editorial oversight or anything like that, which I don’t, and to be accountable only to my readers is precisely because I never wanted to be in a position where I would have to choose between preservation of career and cause. And it is the same reason that I am insistent about doing what I do without relying upon access to political insiders or being forced to use anonymous sources who feed me information that I have to please or whose agenda I have to remain loyal.

The Glenn Greenwald story continues

previously, on eamelje.net

Speech of the Day | 0402

Glenn Greenwald’s presentation at the Lannan Foundation about why he writes so often about WikiLeaks.

Summary one sentence: because WikiLeaks currently is one of the few effective manners to show how secrecy is undermining democracy; everywhere.

Quote of the Day | 1217

I rarely wrote about Hitchens because, at least for the time that I’ve been writing about politics (since late 2005), there was nothing particularly notable about him. When it came to the defining issues of the post-9/11 era, he was largely indistinguishable from the small army of neoconservative fanatics eager to unleash ever-greater violence against Muslims: driven by a toxic mix of barbarism, self-loving provincialism, a sense of personal inadequacy, and, most of all, a pity-inducing need to find glory and purpose in cheering on military adventures and vanquishing some foe of historically unprecedented evil even if it meant manufacturing them.

Glenn Greenwald,
‘Christopher Hitchens and the protocol for public figure deaths’

Quote of the Day | 0117

In most of what I’ve written and spoken about over the past several years, this is probably the overarching point: the abuse of state power, the systematic violation of civil liberties, is about creating a Climate of Fear, one that is geared toward entrenching the power and position of elites by intimidating the rest of society from meaningful challenges and dissent. There is a particular overzealousness when it comes to internet activism because the internet is one of the few weapons – perhaps the only one – that can be effectively harnessed to galvanize movements and challenge the prevailing order. That’s why so much effort is devoted to destroying the ability to use it anonymously – the Surveillance State – and why there is so much effort to punishing as virtual Terrorists anyone like Swartz who uses it for political activism or dissent.

Glenn Greenwald, ‘Carmen Ortiz and Stephen Heymann:
accountability for prosecutorial abuse’

Quote of the Day | 0301

George Bush’s entire presidency was explicitly predicated on the theory that the president has the power to break the law at will whenever he deems that doing so promotes national security. That America’s most celebrated journalist not only supports this, but demands that all presidents follow this model of lawlessness, is telling indeed.

Equally telling is the radical militarism implicit in Woodward’s outburst. […]

Glenn Greenwald, ‘Bob Woodward embodies US political culture in a single outburst’

Quote of the Day | 0324

What’s particularly strange about this set of personality and style attacks is what little relationship they bear to reality. Far from being some sort of brutal, domineering, and angry “alpha-male” savage, Chomsky — no matter your views of him – is one of the most soft-spoken and unfailingly civil and polite political advocates on the planet. It’s true that his critiques of those who wield power and influence can be withering — that’s the central function of an effective critic or just a human being with a conscience — but one would be hard-pressed to find someone as prominent as he who is as steadfastly polite and considerate and eager to listen when it comes to interacting with those who are powerless and voiceless. His humanism is legion. And far from being devoid of hope, it’s almost impossible to find an establishment critic more passionate and animated when talking about the ability of people to join together to create real social and political change.

Glenn Greenwald, ‘How Noam Chomsky is discussed’