The Great WikiLeaks Train Robbery: Pinkerton Police Greenwald and Klein in Close Pursuit


WikiLeaks: We open governments
I’d first seen a shorter version at, Oct. 20: ‘Naomi Klein and Glenn Greenwald Tackle Ethics of WikiLeaks’ Podesta Emails’ when a commenter dropped it into another media critic’s website.  Not being able to get much from sound-only media, I did go directly to the source: ‘Is Disclosure of Podesta’s Emails a Step Too Far? A Conversation With Naomi Klein’, Glenn Greenwald’, The Intercept; the soundcloud recording is there, as is this transcript.  The bolds are mine, I deleted a few duplicates, and I’ll offer some commentary at the end.  But I will say up front that this sounds almost like rehearsed duet, or at least that they’d primed one another on which issues and answers each might give.  Hello, Donna Brazille? Keep in mind the timing, as this ‘conversation’ was published just after Ecudaor cut off Assange’s internet capability after he’d published the contents of Clinon’s Secret Speeches to Wall Street.  Dept. of Statespox claimed Kerry and his Ecuadorian counterpart never even met during the FARC negotiations, and I’d take that to the nearest bank, wouldn’t you?  Sorry that it’s the War and Peace commentary on this f’ed up hit on Assange; it just really toasted my cookies.

 “This transcript has been edited for space and clarity.” ~ GG

GLENN GREENWALD: Hi, this is Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, and I am very excited that my guest today is one of the world’s most influential and accomplished journalists, activists, and thinkers, who also happens to be my good friend, Naomi Klein. Hi, Naomi. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk today.

NAOMI KLEIN: Hey Glenn, it’s great to be with you.

GG: So the principal impetus for this conversation is that over the last two or three weeks, there has emerged this spirited debate prompted by the publication of many thousands of emails from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Nobody knows for certain who actually hacked them. The U.S. government says the Russian government was involved — although they presented no evidence for that — but there are a lot of people who believe Russia was at least implicated in some way. Whoever did it gave it to WikiLeaks, which instead of curating any of it or trying to figure out what would be in the public interest and what wouldn’t, simply took it all and dumped it on the internet.

And from what I’ve seen, at least, the debate that has ensued — as news organizations went through this archive and began to report on material they thought was newsworthy and in the public interest — was this dichotomized debate. So on the one hand, you have these actors who caused all of John Podesta’s emails — without discrimination about their impact or content or whether they had anything to do with public interest — to be published on the internet, which was the hackers combined with WikiLeaks.

And then you have this separate debate once that happens. Once these materials are made available, for better or for worse, what is the duty of journalists? Should they ignore it on the grounds that it’s illicitly obtained or might incentivize future similar bad acts? Should they weigh the fact that there’s been a massive privacy invasion against the journalistic value that can undoubtedly come from some of the specific materials? And obviously, we at The Intercept have been centrally involved in that debate, because we did make a decision to do so much reporting on the documents that we believe shed light on the person highly likely to be the next president of the United States.

So those are the contours of the debate — there’s certainly a lot of disagreement within them — but I guess I’m curious about whether you think that’s the right way to think about this debate, whether that’s the right way to carry it out, whether there have been things that have gotten distorted or not gotten enough attention. What are your overall thoughts on this?

NK: I really appreciate the chance to talk about it with you. I think a lot of that is exactly how we should be thinking about it, but there are some things that need a little bit more emphasis. I would add that it’s not just that they didn’t curate it and dumped it all. They are dumping it, but they are doling out the dumps to maximize damage. So they’re not just saying, “Hey, information wants to be free, here is everything we have. Journalists, have a field day, go through it.” They’re very clearly looking for maximum media attention and you can tell that just by looking at the WikiLeaks Twitter feed and at how they are timing it right before the debates. Now everybody uses leaks as a political weapon, including the Clinton campaign, which we already knew but we have lots more evidence of, thanks to these emails. They’re constantly talking about leaking information to their own benefit.

The other thing I would say is I think there’s a particular responsibility for you as a journalist — and others at The Intercept — because you’re the ones who brought us the Snowden files, and I am one of many people who are tremendously grateful for that line in the sand about our rights to electronic privacy. You are one of three or four people in the world who have done the most to defend that principle for our electronic communications — because we live our lives online, we can’t distinguish that from our right to privacy, period. These leaks are not, in my opinion, in the same category as the Pentagon Papers or previous WikiLeaks releases like the trade documents they continue to leak, which I am tremendously grateful for, because those are government documents that we have a right to, that are central to democracy. There are many things in that category.

But personal emails — and there’s all kinds of personal stuff in these emails — this sort of indiscriminate dump is precisely what Snowden was trying to protect us from. That’s why I wanted I wanted to talk with you about it, because I think we need to continuously reassert that principle.

As journalists — now that it’s out there — we do have to go through it and talk about the parts that are politically important and newsworthy. But at the same time, we have a tremendous responsibility to say that people do have that right to privacy. I heard you defend [the leak] to some degree on the grounds that these are very powerful people. Certainly Podesta is a very powerful person, and he will be more powerful after Hillary Clinton is elected, if she’s elected, and it looks like she will be. But I’m concerned about the subjectivity of who gets defined as sufficiently powerful to lose their privacy because I am absolutely sure there are plenty of people in the world who believe that you and I are sufficiently powerful to lose our privacy, and I come to this as a journalist and author who has used leaked and declassified documents to do my work. I could never have written “The Shock Doctrine” or “This Changes Everything” without that. But I’m also part of the climate justice movement, and this is a movement that has come under incredible amounts of surveillance by oil industry-funded front groups of various kinds. There are people in the movement now who are being tracked as if they were political candidates, everywhere they go.

So how are we defining powerful? Because once we say this is OK, and I’m not saying you’ve said it — you’ve made that distinction — but I think we need to say it louder. And particularly you, as the guy who brought us the Snowden files, need to say it louder.

GG: There’s an amazing irony here in some sense because I’ve been defending the news value of the WikiLeaks archives over the past several months, not just the Podesta but also the DNC archive. And I’ve defended WikiLeaks in the past, long prior to the Snowden archive. There are a couple of really fascinating nuances that I think set the stage for the kinds of distinctions that you’re urging be drawn.

When I first started defending WikiLeaks back in 2010, one of my primary arguments was that WikiLeaks, contrary to the way they were being depicted by the U.S. intelligence community and their friends, was not some reckless rogue agent running around sociopathically dumping information on the internet without concern about who might be endangered. And in fact, if you look at how the biggest WikiLeaks releases were handled early on — the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, as well as the State Department cables — not only did they redact huge numbers of documents on the grounds that doing so was necessary to protect the welfare of innocent people, they actually requested that the State Department meet with them to help them figure out what kind of information should be withheld on the grounds that it could endanger innocent people.

So they were very much an ardent and enthusiastic proponent of that model — that when you get tons of information that belongs in the public eye, you have the corresponding responsibility to protect not only people’s physical security but also their privacy. I used to defend them on that all the time.

Somewhere along the way, WikiLeaks and Julian decided, and they’ve said this explicitly, that they changed their mind on that question — they no longer believe in redactions or withholding documents of any kind.

During our reporting on the Snowden material, we did not just take the archive and dump it on the internet, as a lot of people called for. We spent years very carefully curating it and keeping parts of it secret that might endanger individual privacy, harm people’s reputations unjustifiably, or otherwise put them in harm’s way. And WikiLeaks publicly and viciously attacked us for years. They continue to, actually, over the fact that we were the so-called gatekeepers of information. It was always my view — and continues to be — that it would have been incredibly hypocritical for us to say that these documents need to see the light of day because people’s privacy is being compromised, and then in the same breath, release documents that would destroy people’s privacy because they’re too lazy or don’t think it’s justifiable to go through and redact.

So there’s debate, even among people who believe in radical transparency, over the proper way to handle information like this. I think WikiLeaks more or less at this point stands alone in believing that these kinds of dumps are ethically — never mind journalistically — just ethically, as a human being, justifiable. I think that debate has been vibrant and healthy, and I do think you’re probably right that it needs to be even more so now that we have so many more examples, like the leak of climate scientists, of Sony executives, and other leaks that are inevitably coming.

We do need to figure out a way to say both at the same time: Powerful institutions and powerful actors need the kind of transparency these leaks can provide, but at the same time, even people who are in powerful positions and wield influence continue to retain the right to privacy, and there should never be any publishing of personal matters or things that aren’t directly in the public interest.

Is that what you mean when you say this needs to be more prominent? Is that the distinction that you think is crucial?

NK: I think we have a very strong interest in continuously reasserting the right to electronic privacy, particularly when we’re talking about people who are not elected officials.

It’s just so subjective what criteria we’re using to define powerful, because that word is flexible. And I’m not saying that emails are out of bounds — I think about emails that came out about legitimizing torture during the Bush administration. But those were particular, relevant emails, rather than: “You’ve just lost all your electronic privacy. We’re dumping the whole thing, or rather, we’re dumping it in stages to maximize damage.”

We need to defend that because certainly in the climate movement, we are up against forces that will always have massively more resources than the movement does. We can encrypt our emails, and we should encrypt our emails, but the principle still has to be defended because we lose if this gets blurry.

GG: But let me ask you this. We started out by saying that with this particular leak, because of WikiLeaks’ philosophy, the hacker went in and grabbed everything, which sometimes hackers will do even if they’re well-intentioned — because you don’t have time to grab only the relevant material, you hope that the people to whom you then give the material are going to do that. That was Snowden’s theory: I’m going to take as much as I can but make sure I’m only giving it to journalists who promise to safeguard the material and let the public see the stuff they should see, not what they shouldn’t.

Let’s say you had a good faith hacker who said, “I’m going to take all of John Podesta’s emails and I’m just going to download them. And instead of giving them to WikiLeaks, I’m going to give them to this organization and tell this organization, ‘What I want you to do is go through them and get rid of the ones where John Podesta is talking about the emotional difficulties staff members are having, or personal conversations he’s having with family members or friends, and pick the ones that really shed light on what the Clinton campaign is doing that affects public policy and discourse.’” Would you have qualms about that process?

NK: No. I think they set themselves up for the bank speeches coming out because they refused to release them. They should have released them, and what’s interesting is that some of the most relevant, newsworthy information is not in email traffic — it’s in documents like that. Or, for instance, an attachment that’s a transcript of Hillary Clinton’s conversations behind closed doors with labor leaders in which she says that climate activists should “get a life” rather than coming to her events. That’s not an email. To me, that doesn’t fall into the same category. I wouldn’t have a problem with it if it were curated.

It’s also the way in which it’s being released, to clearly maximize damage, and the recklessness about the implications of that when it comes to electing Trump. You’ve written about how dangerous it is for media organizations to take such a highly political approach to this election because they don’t want Trump to get elected, so they’re engaging in what you described as “journalistic fraud.” I agree with you.

But we have to acknowledge how political WikiLeaks and Julian are being here.

GG: It’s interesting. All we can do is speculate because it involves what’s going on in somebody else’s head, in this particular case, a person who’s even in the best of times quite complicated, who’s been trapped in a single room for five years, who literally has not seen the outdoors in many years, and who doesn’t have much of a future to see one shortly — so it’s hard to assess what’s going on in the mind of a person like that.

Still, as somebody who does know Julian, and that includes you and me as well to varying degrees, are you persuaded by this idea that Julian’s goal here is this conventionally partisan objective, that he has simply sided with the Republican candidate over the Democratic candidate and is doing what he can to help Trump? Or do you think it’s more about Julian harboring a substantive philosophical animosity toward U.S. empire and U.S. hegemony as a force for evil in the world, and looking for any opportunity to undermine and burn it?

To the extent that Hillary Clinton represents that, that she’s a target of his anger, on top of his view of her as desiring his imprisonment and therefore there’s this personal anger too — that goal isn’t the way Paul Begala wants the Democrat to win and the Republican to lose. I don’t think Julian has these simple partisan motives. I think it’s more about wanting to see things burn, out of a combination of political philosophy and personal resentment. I’m curious what you think about that.

NK: I don’t know. I don’t know him well. I’ve met him and I’m not sure I can answer that. I have to be perfectly honest with you, Glenn, I’m actually nervous about it, because there is clearly a vendetta element going on, which is understandable, because Hillary Clinton’s State Department is massively responsible for his lack of freedom. So I can understand that, but at the same time, Assange is not the only person who has lost their freedom for standing up for their beliefs.

I’m not comfortable with anybody wielding this much power.

I spoke recently with a guy named Rodney Watson, who has spent seven years in a church in the downtown Vancouver East Side, also not seeing the outdoors, not seeing his son, because he refused to go and fight in Iraq. He went to Iraq, he saw war crimes, he refused to go back, and he fled to Canada. He wants a pardon. He’s angry. But he’s not trying to burn it down — this is a principled war resister. I am very disturbed by this seeming willingness to burn it down. I am disturbed by the ego of seeing this election through one’s personal lens when the stakes are so incredibly high. All of us have personal issues — not as much as Assange, obviously — invested in this, but a lot of people are seeing the big picture as well.

GG: It’s interesting, this burn it down model. I remember one of the first distinctions that Edward Snowden drew when we met in Hong Kong — not to keep drawing this Assange-Snowden distinction, but it’s one that is actually quite fundamental that I think a lot people have overlooked.

He made a fascinating point when I asked him: You have this incredibly sweeping trove of unimaginably sensitive information, which if published on the internet would instantly destroy huge numbers of U.S. surveillance programs, including ones you strongly dislike. Why didn’t you just do that? Why didn’t you just upload it to the internet? Why did you need to work with us, to have journalists as the middleman and mediators to process this information and take the decision-making out of your hands about what the public will and won’t see?

And he said: Think about how incredibly sociopathic, how narcissistic it would be for me, Edward Snowden, to decide that I have the right, singlehandedly, to destroy all of these programs simply because I don’t like them.

He said he doesn’t want to destroy anything, that his goal instead is to take the information that gives human beings around the world the ability to know what it is their governments are doing, what is being done to the internet, so that those people, democratically and collectively, can make that choice about should these programs continue? In what form? Do we need safeguards? Do we need pushback? Do we need citizen movement? All of that. He felt very uncomfortable with the idea that his role could ever be anything other than facilitator of information that allows others to make that choice.

I think Julian quite clearly views himself and his activism in a much more, I guess you could call it aggressive, and even solitary way. That he is content and does believe he has the prerogative to burn things down — and sometimes institutions that are real acts of evil — and when they burn down, that you can argue it is actually an event of good in the world.

But there are also very extreme concerns from vesting so much power in one person. It’s sort of ironic given that the NSA scandal and all these other scandals arose out of the idea that a tiny number of people, in secret, with no accountability, have been making these choices. And now you have other people posing as their adversaries creating a similar framework for themselves.

NK: This is why I say I’m nervous. I’m not comfortable with anybody wielding this much power.

I am not comfortable when it’s states, but I’m also not comfortable when it’s individuals or institutions. I don’t like people making decisions based on vendettas because the message it sends is: “If you cross me, this could happen to you.” That’s a menacing message to send. Now I acknowledge that this could be over the edge, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had that thought, and I think we have to acknowledge that this is how fear spreads. It isn’t only states that are capable of sending that message .The level of ego makes me uncomfortable given the role of ego in this election cycle and people thinking these elections are just all about them personally. We don’t need somebody else treating it like that.

GG: I started off saying —

NK: I just want to add something else, which is the way you’re describing the care with which Edward Snowden treated that information is why he is seen as a hero around the world, why these revelations were so incredibly important, why he is such an easy guy to defend based on principle. And this is why it is so important for you, as the person who has worked — along with Laura [Poitras] — so closely with him, to be saying the things you’re saying now.

GG: I don’t want to get a little bit ahead of at least where I think things should be. Chelsea Manning is also regarded as a hero; even though the way in which her material was published, at first, was incremental and careful, it ended up just published indiscriminately. But I do think there are types of information where this concern you’re expressing, which I share, is less compelling.

You’re talking about logs of military fighters who are simply describing what they’re seeing every day in the field in Iraq and Afghanistan. To publish those doesn’t really have a lot of privacy implications the way a private email inbox would. Same with diplomatic cables — it might make embarrassment between countries, and there may be other reasons not to do it, but I think different types of archives present different kinds of privacy concerns. When you’re talking about hacking into the personal email inbox of somebody — although they are quite powerful and in three months will probably be the chief of staff of the United States White House — there are still serious privacy implications from dumping it indiscriminately, and the problem is that this is going to continue. There’s not a lot that can be done about it because these hackers and WikiLeaks believe in this model.

NK: I think the main thing we’ve learned from these emails is that the folks around Hillary Clinton are just as venal and corrupt as we thought they were, for the most part, with all the conflicts of interest. I don’t think we’re learning a huge amount. Your colleague Lee Fang tweeted yesterday that the WikiLeaks emails show that Hillary respects and values the opinion of rich people, lobbyists, loyal partisans — while activists are losers.

What it really does is just reinforce that because all you have to do is look at the way she treated Black Lives Matter activists on the campaign trail — the absolute disdain. The way she practically spat “I’m so sick of this” to a young climate activist who asked her about her fossil fuel money. We knew this.

GG: We knew it —

NK: We’re getting it reinforced. If the price of having it reinforced, or having more people know it, is this idea that once you go into politics you lose all privacy, my concern is that decent people seeing this who do not have these values and these conflicts of interest will just go, “There’s no way I’m going into politics. I will not give up my privacy.” I know a lot of people who feel that way.

GG: We have drawn this important line that if you exercise public power — public power meaning you’re a public official exercising power given to you by the public, and it’s exercised over them — you definitely give up a huge amount of what ordinary private citizens would enjoy as privacy, just under the law. We’ve already created a framework where that’s the case.

NK: But then you have the knowledge. I think what people would worry about is retroactively losing their privacy.

GG: One of the things that very well may happen from all of these hacks — and if you go back and read WikiLeaks’ philosophies and theories early on, it’s consistent with it — is that the more people start to fear that their emails are going to end up hacked and public, the less they’ll use emails. They’ll just stop using emails for anything beyond cursory transactions, and institutions will become more closed. They’ll be less capable of communicating internally. Julian thought that was a great thing because that was the way he wanted to weaken them —by bringing so much transparency that they fly blind as an authoritarian institution.

But I absolutely agree with you that there are very profound concerns about individual privacy that are being trampled over with these leaks and certainly with the ones to come. And we probably haven’t given that enough thought, primarily because what ends up happening is the leaks happen; journalists like me give lip service to the fact that it’s too bad they weren’t curated, they should have been; and then everyone starts digging into them for newsworthy stories. Maybe it’s been rewarding that approach, maybe it’s just not given sufficient attention to it, but I’m not sure what the answer is, because as long as the capability exists, I think people are going to continue to do it.

NK: I’m not sure either except for front-loading the fact that we do believe people have a right to electronic privacy. The issue is not the illegality; as you pointed out, we have relied on leaks that are technically illegal for incredibly important information. But there is a distinction between the fact that we live our lives on email now, and we use this the way we use talking on the phone or in person. And if we give that up, we are giving up a huge amount.

GG: All those discussions from 2013 about the dangers of having privacy eroded by the state certainly apply to having privacy eroded by these stateless actors who are hacking and publishing people’s private communications indiscriminately. That too kills privacy in a really profound way. And it’s hard to care about one but not the other.

NK: It’s a little bit hard to see an upside for how we get out of this. I’m not sure where this goes.

GG: I guess the only upside I can think of — one of Edward Snowden’s primary objectives was not only to show the world the extent to which their privacy was being compromised and their communications were vulnerable, but to teach people how to safeguard against it, just like homeowners are increasingly cognizant about the need for home alarms, or building fences, or building communities to keep them safe. There are steps organizations can take to make it a lot harder for this to happen.

One of the things that’s remarkable is that very powerful people — like the Clinton campaign, even political leaders in Brazil, where there was so much reporting on Snowden and the way they were compromised — seem not to have taken that very seriously.

It’s an unsatisfying and kind of ancillary response, but it nonetheless is true that the more you see of this, the more I would hope people understand the need to start using these technologies to make it much more difficult for people to get ahold of their data.

NK: I agree, it’s completely shocking. Talk about reckless. It speaks to their sense of impunity is all I can think of — that they could write like this and it wouldn’t come out.

GG: They know better than anybody how easy it is to spy because they’re all part of the operations that do it.

NK: And they don’t think the rules apply to them. The problem is they do apply to the rest of us.

GG: Exactly.

Well, this has been really helpful, Naomi. For me personally, I’ve been gliding back on this dichotomy that I started with, like “Oh yeah, OK fine, WikiLeaks and the hackers acted wrong. I wouldn’t do it, but anyway, now let’s get on to the duty to do journalism.” I think you’re right to say that’s not really an adequate response, or at least it’s not an adequate emphasis on this first part of the equation, which needs a lot more attention.

NK: Thanks for giving me the chance to chat with you, it was really fun.

GG: It’s always fun, Naomi, let’s do it anytime.


First, Mr. Greenwald, yes, you and your team of upwards of 50 paid journalists did report on Clinton’s campaign emails as well as profit from them, while Julian Assange has languished in the Ecuadorian Embassy for four years, and his small and diminishing team of journalists allowed other corporate media as well as citizen journalists, to decide what emails were ‘of value’ to readers.

Miz Klein, if WikiLeaks had wanted to ‘do maximum damage’ to the Red Queen’s campaign, they would have ‘dumped’ the whole archive they’d been handed long before they did, as you well know.  As a Sander’s supporter, you surely know how Dem primaries work in many states like New York: one would have had to change their affiliations to D far ahead of the primary; the leaks hadn’t been available then.

Both you and Glenn Greenwald pretend to know that a) either Assange supports Trump, or b) that his crazy vitriol against Clinton (“If I did advocate droning him, it would have been a joke.”)  No, not funny.  For the record, you might want to read his 2014 ‘Google Is Not What It Seems’  excerpt from his longer book to understand that he saw an already rigged election in play; the Clinton campaign emails simply confirmed it, and then some.  Eric Schmidt: now there’s one hella powerful Silicon Valley oligarch, no?  The ‘work history’ of Jared Cohen, on whose biography Schmidt was writing as the incentive for their talks, is interesting as hell, as well (as are the photos in the piece.)

These emails may not be the Pentagon Papers, but as Ellberg had long said: “Secrecy Corrupts”, and these emails not only showed corruption, and Clinton Foundation pay-to-play for access and HRC’s official okey-dokey for arms and weapons sales to ‘our partners in peace’, the Saudis, but that she has known for a long time that some of those tyrannical regimes (Qatar, Israel?) have been supporting and arming IS/ISIL/Daesh.  Oh, and ‘In private comments to investment bankers, however, Clinton acknowledged that establishing such a haven [no-fly zone] would be difficult, requiring the destruction of ­Syrian air defenses, many of which are in populated areas. “You’re going to kill a lot of Syrians,” she said, according to transcripts of her 2013 remarks released by WikiLeaks (WaPo) They also show that the US electoral system is totally illegitimate, don’t they?

And how many times had WikiLeaks said: “Yes, give us some Trump secrets, we’ll publish them” (although by some media accounts, he doesn’t use email)?

Mr. Greenwald, yes, you were an early admirer of WikiLeaks, but how well I remember that when you and your cohorts were given an initial startup of a quarter of a billion dollars by Pierre Omidyar to fund the ‘fearless, uncompromising journalistic endeavor The Intercept, you told Julian Assange that you had no idea whatsoever that ‘Pierre’, of Paypal, had blockaded the WikiLeaks donation account.  Nah, I think that’s just rubbish that none of you would have investigated your benefactor, including his support of the astroturfed putsch in Ukraine, his less savory projects like*** the blowback from his ‘philanthropic’ micro-loans to cotton farmers in India.

And when I’d read Murtaza Hussain’s ‘White Helmets’ bullshit hagiography, it became even more clear what a tool for the Empire the Intercept really is; even your commentariat pushed back on that balderdash. *

You and others have long painted Ed Snowden (and yourself as his publisher by extension) as a ‘Good Whistleblower’, while Chelsea Manning was a ‘Bad Whistleblower (see Tarzie and Alexa O’Brien deconstructing that here). He points out that when you began publishing the Snowden Leaks was when the meme began for you, and of course later you smeared Assange with it.  Pfffft.

Miz Klein, now you are indeed funded by oligarchs, from Soros to Ford and Warren Buffet; has two pages on their ‘Klein tag’, here and here.  Looks like a lotta power to me, and they mention your friend celebrity climate star Bill McKibben as well.  You certainly weren’t one of the only Star Power in favor of R2P Libya, but this: really?

And not for nothin’, not only no internet for Assange, but his team says he’s alive, and may they all rest in power:

Yes, GG, I know of at least one time WikiLeaks or Assange himself castigated you for not publishing more fully, and that was here:

WikiLeaks’s May 23, 2014 statement on their reason for doing so is at the link, including this:

“Both the Washington Post and The Intercept stated that they had censored the name of the victim country at the request of the US government. Such censorship strips a nation of its right to self-determination on a matter which affects its whole population. An ongoing crime of mass espionage is being committed against the victim state and its population. By denying an entire population the knowledge of its own victimisation, this act of censorship denies each individual in that country the opportunity to seek an effective remedy, whether in international courts, or elsewhere.

We know from previous reporting that the National Security Agency’s mass interception system is a key component in the United States’ drone targeting program. The US drone targeting program has killed thousands of people and hundreds of women and children in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia in violation of international law. The censorship of a victim state’s identity directly assists the killing of innocent people.”

In September 2014 at the Kim Dotcom Auckland town hall we got to watch you diss Assange as the Bad Whistleblower firsthand; he was not amused, lets say, and you klikely hadn’t seen his reaction, but he did have a wee bit of revenge the following day, although I forget just what it was.  But that he and his team are always in complete solidarity with you, Snowden, and the Intercept in spite of it just blows me away; even today.  You brief kinda/sorta mea culpa was almost art, by the by.

But of course as a “burn it down” sort of sociopath, Assange isn’t ‘as cautious as’ as you are, but especially given your self-made billionaire boss, some of us wonder how many of his less savory, shall we say, Imperial ‘projects’ you don’t publish that might deserved scrutiny to bear upon him?  Yeah, yeah, we all know Jeremy Scahill’s snarky answer to that question…  But the stories that a news organization doesn’t tell are arguably more important than the ones it dies; way to corral so many journalists, ‘Pierre’..  Wish we knew what you’re all still sitting on.  But Snowden just wanted a conversation in order that ‘the people’ might vote on whether or not we want to be spied by the NSA on or not; how revolutionary and extra-Constitutional of him.  Way to Fight the Power, dudes!

But hoo, doggies, was it nice to see so many derogatory comments under the Common Dreams short coverage of your new major hit on Assange, as well as those under a version at Truthdig, although Kelly’s title ‘Naomi Klein Criticizes Glenn Greenwald’s Handling of Clinton Campaign Email Leaks’ was wrong.  Clearly, it was a Potemkin Play, a pas de deux Minuet.  ‘Phony free speech advocates in the pockets of billionaires’, ‘bogus moral relativity  galore’, and ‘pressitutes for the Empire’, and from ‘snowjob’: “ greenwald recommends TOR for privacy hahahaha is his disinfo showing yet?”

It’s brilliant to see so many woke folks pissing in your mutual punchbowl.


‘Acme Pressitute’ by anthony freda


46 responses to “The Great WikiLeaks Train Robbery: Pinkerton Police Greenwald and Klein in Close Pursuit

  1. dear naomi klein: NOT THE PENTAGON PAPERS:

  2. Good job, comrade. I was reading this very transcript when I went to link to it on your prior post. Crabby GG wants to be head Wikileaks filter and Naomi wants what, to be sure her “personal” machinations are secure? Is this a meeting of extreme “right and left” you were earlier referring to? These are tools of the “pragmatists”, no?

    When one factors in Bill Binney’s hunch that US “Intelligence” itself leaked the Podesta-DNC leaks, one suspects the Pinkertons are in on the con.

    Bill Binney is like myself a former recipient of the Sam Adams Award – the World’s foremost whistleblowing award. Bill was the senior NSA Director who actually oversaw the design of their current mass surveillance software, and Bill has been telling anybody who will listen exactly what I have been telling – that this material was not hacked from Russia. Bill believes – and nobody has better contacts or understanding of capability than Bill – that the material was leaked from within the US intelligence services.

    GG: “there should never be any publishing of personal matters or things that aren’t directly in the public interest.” HA HA HA HA HA. The crapitalist press’ function is to publish torrents of material not in the public interest. I guess GG is getting too old to slay dragons.


    • it would have been nice if you’d linked to the craig murray piece, comrade (it really slows down the work when i have to go hunting). as i remember it, binney was fired for showing the insane waste of the programs being developed, maybe even as opposed to it. murray’s been pretty funny though at his house, griping about how many hits his exposés get, and no one pays him a goddam thing, by jove! but it’s an interesting observation, but how much water it holds i can’t say, given that it seems that most intelligence services should be in thrall to her, no?

      yeah, i don’t see this as some linear left-right axis thang, but i do remember GG saying that he’d vote for any party: left, right, or center, as long as they opposed the NSA. but yeah, this “ack! personal emails! the climate change bigs are constantly under surveillance!

      the public good link i gave did a review of her ‘this changes nothing’ book noting many instances where she kept doubling back on her…theses, i guess you’d say.

      • “most intelligence services should be in thrall to her”. Maybe there are con men behind Don the Con, i.e. somebodies got to maintain that pressure from the right. And Don the “authentic asshole” will toe the line where the snipermen would come to visit.

        • maybe, but i wish i could remember all the peeps that are slated to be in her cabinet and intel positions. thd and others have shown us, or made great guesses from their comments. get rid of clapper? bitecher tongue! ‘plenty of evidence that russia is behind the leaks’. not so much ‘evidence’. what a huge con to deflect from the epic importance of hos the system really works, cripes.

          but srsly, maybe my mind can’t stretch as far as some pretzeled (il?)logic of the not-so-intelligence services.

          • Non-“pretzel logic” keeps the masses off these assholes’ smoked and mirrored trails. Binney been down the rabbit hole.

            • russ tice, as well. but as he was FAT!™, no one needed to mind what he said, no way, nossir. fat people are known to be amoral lying pigs. oh wait, but…then there’s chris christie… ish. well, the exceptions…i forget how that goes. ;-)

  3. Where they analyze Assange’s intentions, GG diagnoses Assange’s “philosophical animosity toward U.S. empire and U.S. hegemony as a force for evil in the world” but Klein presses the knife in, making out that Assange’s personal vendetta is his cause for burning down the empire.

    So, this little play they’ve jointly authored says that Assange is an egoistic terrorist – is this not a setup, comrades?

  4. Ah, back to the Auckland Town Hall we go, and yes, wendye, you spotted that diss right back then when I was too starry-eyed that Important People were paying attention to the election to notice.

    I was coming over here to put this into an open forum, and being from the Intercept perhaps it is damaged goods, but this was on nakedcapitalism links today:

    The company is in New Zealand, got its start at ‘Waikato University’ in the 90s (I didn’t know there was a university in the Waikato – my soupcon of maori blood comes from that swampy terrain.)

    Mine eyes have been opened – that is some conversation you feature. All I can say is if they’re getting to see everything thanks to Endace, how come we can’t???

    • To securify us, and we must pay, because we are the threat.

    • ack; it was on the wikiLeaks account, and i skimmed it. oy, did i groan that nicky hager is a ‘special to the intercept’ now. i’d hoped of course, that it was going to speak to all the other myriad acronyms (ahem) recording all our communications, but your question is just right. but w/ wikileaks: if they’re given them, then we can. what a lovely idea: ‘we open governments!

      gotta take some down time; morning came waaaay to early here today. ah: you are what they now call ‘woke’; how cool is that, w? i’m getting there, at least i hope so. dissolving the hypnotism of the celebrities’ point of view, perhaps? not quite, but i can’t say it better, too tired 4 now.

  5. GG: Assange “does believe he has the prerogative to burn […] institutions that are real acts of evil [and … that] is actually an event of good in the world.

    Jah. GG managed to eliminate the public mediation (which he praises Snowden for acknowledging) between publication and torching. Maybe GG hopes to detour the mob to burn Assange at his stake. Doesn’t this make GG a sophist-defender of “lesser” evil?


  6. NK: “my concern is that decent people seeing this who do not have these values and these conflicts of interest will just go, “There’s no way I’m going into politics. I will not give up my privacy.” I know a lot of people who feel that way.”

    Ha aaaaaaah, ullshit. Pardon meeeeeeeee …

    • ha ha! you could just see her picking up her petticoats, couldn’t you? well, good: i wouldn’t have voted for you in any event, miz Good People.

      ah, i went back on the twitter to try to find a print version of the same material michael mukasey spoke about in the fox video. essentially, while her state dept. called morocco a criminal enterprise or, she took $15 million as a gift to the CF so that the next clinton global initiative would be in…Morocco! only chelsea and bubba were able to attend, yanno.

  7. I think its time to stop dumbing down the citizenry with these ‘privacy’ issues when it’s all to clear that every stroke I type is for the world to see, and so it should be. Even Bush Two knew emails weren’t private, and that certainly was no news to the savvy – plus, gosh, don’t we know by now that human beings have frailties? Government decisions have always been an important part of the history of world affairs that citizens need to know about, and these people are connected and will be connected to government – they’re not telling us anything in their public statements that we can believe – example, Obama.

    Give us some credit – we are not going to salivate over this or that private individual’s indiscretions, and if we are, shame on us. And you political people, watch what you say online! Maybe you will in future, and that will make it harder, but for now it’s a gimme. We NEED to know attitudes toward public policies and the opposition – we needed that for Nixon from his White House tapes, and we need it even more now. Thank you, wikileaks.

    • assange’s credo is: privacy for people, transparency for the state. one ‘free assange’ twit account put this one up, although i haven’t taken the time to read it:

      on edit: i admit i enjoyed the emails noting the CF pays women employees an average of $83,000 less/yr, and laughed at a few other reveals.

      • CF? Clinton Fdtn? keep up jason!

        • clinton foundation, but: i’m not entirely certain, but the clinton Global initiative may be a separate entity. but if folks confuse them…most of the leaks were on the former.

          slow brain here, but i’d never even thought to look at this unholy shite at TI. just did, and there are 456 omg comments. i reckon what’s most important is ‘wms’ (mona holland) cuz it’s akin in gg’s mind to ‘wwjd’, isn’t it? (former law partner of his and all). (he wears the wwjd bracelet, i’ve heard.)

          but crikey; ya went to tarzie’s first? always the bridesmaid…never the bride. big sigh. we’ve been watching terrence malick’s ‘tree of life’, mistakenly for the second time. it punched holes in me again just as strongly. what a genius.

  8. ‘expertise as “terrorism; radicalization; impact of connection technologies on 21st century statecraft; Iran.”’ how much would you pay for this unbelievable all-in-one device? it’s a waffle iron, it’s a fax machine, it’s a dog groomer, it’s a spare tire, it’s a GPS, it’s a water filtration system, it’s a gardening trowel, it’s a 3d printer, it’s a pedi-rest night comfort pillow. Jared Cohen makes Leo da V sound like an idiot savant.

    Clinton Global Initiative or “CGI” (and rearranged a bit, International Crisis Group,) Global Intelligence Files or “GIF”, from Stratfor. hmmmm….

    sorry for the gross image, but i shot my low-motility, low count wad on this NK/GG thing at Tarzie’s. but reading that awesome Assange piece you linked to…i fucking despise N. Klein even more now. she’s like that cheap coffee brand, what is it? chock full o’ BS? Glen is a sellout, but Klein is a sellout who has nothing to say. take any random sentence of hers, give it the treatment you might give a jr. high schooler’s prized essay, and conclude: what the hell is this prattling nabob of know-nothingness nattering on about? oh, right. electing HRC.

    “And they don’t think the rules apply to them. The problem is they do apply to the rest of us.” what rules Naomi? who made these rules? can you show us the rule book? who are “them”? who is “us”? who defined these groups? if these rules are a problem, what do you gain by applying them to yourselves? what do you lose? are these rule-makers you so revere ever rule-breakers? are you simply fetishizing arbitrary rule-keeping?

    how could such free radicals ever imagine themselves to be a cancer on the system? oh, right. their aspirations are more on the chemotherapy side.

    • i’d gladly pay $1.99 for it if it included a blow-dryer and a good corkscrew. but that was damned funny. yeah, that info on jared cohen creeped my topknot out.

      but my stars, you were prolific at tarzie’s; i’ll have to go back and read. sheeesh, short and sweet, and mine was ‘war and peace’. but his fans know, and all that jazz. but: “spoiler alert: the answer is Yes” freaking slayed me. and i’d totally breezed by: “I know a war resister who’s living in a church in Vancouver. He wants a pardon. He’s not aiming to destroy anything. Unlike Assange, he’s principled.”

      so…her not-really-anticapitalist climate book didn’t seem to sit very well w/ at least one of the commenters, nor did it w/ the public good folks, although it may be that the long versions pretty much come from the deep-digging, follow the money, investigators at wrong kind of green.

      and thanks for your great goof on: Da Rulez. anyway: assange means to burn it down! (yeah, me, too.)

      by the by, rt said, fwiw: “Assange to be blocked from internet till end of US election – lawyer

      Julian Assange will be blocked from access to the internet until the end of the US presidential elections, his lawyer, Melinda Taylor, was quoted as saying by Sputnik on Monday. She added that the move is unlikely to affect the activities of WikiLeaks. Ecuador’s government acknowledged last week that it had cut off the WikiLeaks founder’s internet access at its embassy in London after the whistleblowing site published a trove of damaging emails from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”

      and craig murray said on the twit machine that he’d seen him yesterday alive, which had become an issue to a lot of supporters (never mind his detractors’ comments).

      on edit: i just saw your comment in email, and realized i hadn’t addressed your final paragraph. and no, snowden, greenwald, and klein are capitalist and systems reformers, band-aids for broken limbs and toxic chest cavities where hearts and souls should be. Y-incision time.

      • “connection technologies”? is that like, airplanes? glad you got a laugh. by the by, i’m about half way thru End Zone. “all teams run the same plays and all have entirely different & meaningless names for those plays.” or something like that. so much about language. be warned N. Klein: we’ve figured your play-calling & signaling out.

  9. do i see my state guv in that 2nd wiki tweet? Terry McAuliffe (“there was a luau in Bill’s pants, female staff attendance was mandatory. now here’s $500k.”)

    • snort! before i went to clean strawbellies, i saw your comment in email. while i was working, i’d imagined it said more like “bill felt a luau in his pants’, and i started laughing to ask you: “is that emily dickinson?” nah, that was funerals, a brain, sommat like that. but goddam you can make merry, jason thank you.

      but alas, it was about the deputy fibbie not investigating hrc’s non-existent emailgate.

      naomi’s plays we know now, and we also know that she favors the tight-ends, don’t we?

      but i just stuck a few more tweeties from standing rock, yes, dem gatekeepers is tweeting madly that ‘while stumping w/ the new normal family mother-in-cheif, liz warren is against the #DAPL. thank you zo much, mcKibben and friends.

  10. Considering that Wikileaks’s Cablegate release was about the State Department and Clinton was Secretary of State at the time, likely Clinton is more pissed by that than the definitely more explosive (figuratively and literally) “Collateral Murder”. Those merited the convening of a grand jure in the Northern District of Virginia (The CIA’s Own) US District Court for Julian Assange and Wikileaks after Chelsea Manning’s sentencing. That grand jury at last report was still convened.

    The UK is why Assange is the Cardinal Mindzenty of the 21st century, holed up in the Ecuador embassy for Bill Clinton- and Donald Trump-like charges. Issued by Sweden…Sweden…retrograde since the murder of Olaf Palme–interesting that. “Is Sweden a welfare state?”

    I do believe that JOE-35, the Pentagon’s manual for the future goes into the very issues involved in shutting down Assange’s threat to “US interests”, whatever they might at the final judgement that coming turn out to be.

    If Hillary is pissed by Cablegate, reckon what the email leaks coming after a 11-hour grilling by an axe-grinding “oversight” committee does to her propensity to even-handed treatment of Assange and Wikileaks?

    Funny how the Clintons think they can play fast and loose just like the Republicans, and they get nailed by the media every time.

    It is going to be interesting when the Hillary Clinton White House finds out that it lacks the unilateral authority that former Presidents, even including Obama, had with regard to getting the benefit of the doubt.

    What screws up Wikileaks’s news strategy is James O’Keefe’s Veritas Media. The US public and US media don’t have the ability to distinguish between actual documents and a forged fraud. The bothsiderism of the media itself makes sure of that.

    • i’d had to look up the cardinal, naturally, but the parallel may turn out to be so, i hope not. but snowden would be more likely to get a pardon, esp. as he’s making a full-throated campaign for that. assange is far more dangerous to the political oligarchy. i wish i could put my hands on the justice 4 assange truths and developments documents, but does carl bildtism still rule sweden? he notes that today is the anniversary of the treaty of westphalia in 1648, and is shocked! that wallonia may moot the entire ceta treaty: good. but assange has been asking a/the swedish prosecutor to come to london, and once or twice she almost had. plenty of pressure from us/uk not to, i reckon.

      even your cliffs notes on the joe 35 is beyond my ken, so i’ll take your word for it. yes, it’s too bad that the campaign emails are so partisan that some reports can’t be trusted as authentic, which is why the WL team said: ‘link to the source’. the ones touted by ‘deplorable x, y, etc.’ may be entirely suspect w/o a link. but the team just did make a searchable list of 3000 of the pdf attachments w/ subject headings , and those may be interesting as all giddy-up. but we have seen that the clintons were involved in the decisions not to look into the emails, not into the moroccan scheme. ‘interesting times’ doesn’t even come close these days.

      oh, and the queen may prove to be just as teflon as william j, methinks. it’s what the public and media care about, no?

      on edit: here’s the short version at justice4assange; the longer is on the home tab under FAQ toward the bottom of the page.

      • Among the folks who don’t like what they are doing being exposed are these guys and gals, who might have some interesting ways of self-funding their covert operations. Col. Pat Lang describes where the structural disconnect is within the 17-agency intelligence community and what that disconnect functionally does. He uses the abbreviation SLICC for what it does.

        For most of the Obama administration, some of my black friends have been reminding me of the aphorism, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” I’ve seen that as the key to the Obama-Brennan relationship.

        In watching a Clinton administration, it should be one analytical tool for what is going on behind the scenes. Who is it that is likely to most physically endanger Clinton from within the executive agencies; we have already seen what slippage of Secret Service protocols have done on occasion to Obama. And we have seen how quickly he removes the head of the agency and puts in someone trusted at Secretary of Department of Homeland Security.

        Who is it that is likely to most politically damage either her initiatives or her Presidency? George W. Bush was clear that it was the Attorney General. Barack Obama copied that insight but also put folks at the next level down at DOJ. It seems to have paid off. He seemed to do well enough with the POS Affordable Care Act legislation that came out of the Congress that he, Max Baucus, Kent Conrad, and Evan Bayh worked to tailor to the major lobbying groups. And he was very careful in who got put into Secretary of Defense and when they transitioned in response to the political winds. Gates, a Republican, succeeded in removing Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell as a practical matter, once the legislation made it through Congress. Leon Panetta got a look at the books at CIA and then made way for David Petraeus to be shuttled out of Afghanistan and the military. Chuck Hagel put a veteran and Democrat in the Pentagon. And Ashton Carter was the military end of some increased warmongering going on in the national security community after the appointment of John Kerry as Secretary of State. My read: fear of ending wars and having to reduce national security agency budgets.

        Clinton is in the network that knows what is going on in all of these moves in enough detail to pick up the timing.

        I suspect that her Presidential experience in foreign policy will be more like Lyndon Johnson’s in domestic policy; a lot of Congressional support but politically divisive down the road. And in domestic policy like LBJ’s foreign policy, an early decision (relative to the banking industry?) results in a catastrophe that is a repeat of 2007 and brings that decision-making up again. Or like JFK, she will be blindsided by movemental political movements that suddenly are so huge, she must deal with them politically instead of merely suppressing them whack-a-mole as they appear. The frustrated Trump supporters might also act out; it was Bill Clinton after all who sent military force against Koresh in Waco and also at Ruby Ridge. Assertion of ever greater gun rights is on the agenda and likely will not go away, given how Wayne LaPierre is setting up for a bonanza of Christmas gun sales after the election.

        If Trump wins all fair and square, it will be pandemonium among the national security staff, the federal civil service, and a part of the uniformed military. Not to mention the demographic groups that Trump used as political bait.

        The moves of the Norway are interesting. It seems like someone is hedging against the idea that melting of the Arctic Ocean and opening sea lanes might actually cause conflict between US-NATO and the emerging Eurasian powers in the form of the SCO. Despite a couple of decades of working out a Arctic Council within which to resolve disputes about Arctic Ocean activities. Watch this (and the Antarctic Treaty status as well) for a collapse of international agreements.

        It is well worth skimming a little bit of JOE-35 at a time. Seeing first hand the world of the future (i.e. what we are either doing now or are afraid of happening to us very soon) is a little bit scary even if it is just a categorizing of worst case scenarios. But the budgets will be framed to try to deal with every single one of the for the flag, God, honor, and profit.

  11. bloody fantastic work, redditors (whoever they may be):

    even madeleine ‘it was worth it’ shows up, but only in a twitter pic)

    “The whole case is reminiscent of the South Park episode when the kids outsmart the FBI just by using social media. Is this the Reddit thread that uncovered a giant conspiracy to smear Assange in one of the worst possible ways?”

  12. Though the proposal for Atlantic Union has been written out of liberal historical memory, there are echoes of this episode in right-wing rhetoric about One World Government. The irony of this is that, as liberals gently chuckle at right-wing paranoia about what they perceive as an imagined plot to create a world government, it is the conservatives who have a more accurate read on history. There was a serious plan to get rid of American sovereignty in favor of a globalist movement, and the various institutions the right wing hates — the IMF, the World Bank, the U.N. — were seen as stepping stones to it. Where the right wing was wrong is in thinking that this plot for a global government was also a communist plot; it wasn’t, it was motivated by anti-communism. The proponents of the Atlantic Union in fact thought that this was the only way to defeat the USSR.

    When the going gets tough, GG & NK get going.

    • mattie stoller, eh? please provide links please, and i’ keep substituting italics (a bit more readable to me) for blockquotes as i can. but fascinating. wanna do a cliffs notes of his new essay? at least 2 authors at the intercept rec it. ;-) last i knew he was still doing a show w/ russell brand. the atlantic? my goodness. ;-)

      • Jesus Christ! You’d like Cliff notes of this 7000+ word rat’s nest?

        Stoller was A Roosevelt Institute Fellow so it’s no surprise that he blames “Watergate Babies” for damaging FDR’s optimal populism. Thing is, the comprador capitalist intellectuals who misguided them “forgot” why FDR’s solution was best. The standard argument is that FDR’s solution failed after the Golden Age of Crapitalism, ie, the Atlantic Union could not perpetuate it (or was a fraud.) Stoller’s sophistry masks the problems of the “Golden Age”. The Watergate Babies objected to an integral component, the crapitalist war machine and were offered a new crapitalist fantasy, ie they didn’t want to export crisis so they were conned into importing (and exporting) crisis.

        The right was bamboozled into thinking Roosevelt’s Jeffersonian crapitalism was social-commun-ism but they weren’t the cause of it’s degradation. Its vitality was exhausted by the time the “Watergate Babies” started their reforms and FDR’s “solution” had bred factors that could not tolerate further reform (they killed RFK’s black-blue coalition).

        FDR’s program could not be sustained AND it failed to develop the economic consciousness for the next crapitalist crisis. Instead society was bamboozled by the invisible technocratic hand which developed under the pretense of dis-monopolization.

        Stoller may be hippie-punching to ingratiate his plea to conservatives. It is the most developed hippie-punching argument I’ve encountered ….

        As an aside, the essay notes that FDR et al recognized fascism as “dictatorship of big business” so that “inverted totalitarianism” bullshit that Comrade Sourpuss always hawks is now a confirmed obfuscation.

        • my apologies, comreade (next comment up) rax; i had no idea it was so long. it seems this atlantic union conversation is what thd added to below. today is apple washing/individually wrapping/packing for shipment to our families. the organic hippie version of harry and david’s fruit gifts.

          i’ll be back as i take breaks.

          doesn’t old sourpuss usually attribute that ‘inverted totalitarianism’ to sheldon wolin? i remember your telling why it doesn’t fit, but i swear i don’t remember (of course). old sourpuss was on trnn w/ “terrorism is caused by our wars in the ME” or close. such original thinking, ha ha.

          • Yeah, the “prophet” Wolin, but Sourpuss is his fucking apostle. My original complaint was that “inverted” is a confusing modifier BECAUSE it’s still totalitarianism. Now, we see it’s worse than inept because the totalitarianism Wolin is naming is not “inverted” at all.

            It’s hard for Sourpuss to keep up these days – he’s been on the battlefield so long and his prior trauma is overwhelming – but he’s also too polite – gawd would punish him for saying “duh” from here to eternity …

            HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

        • financial deregulation – the removal of laws key to the New Deal system of political economy – started in the late 1960s. Much of the architecture of the political economy of financialization, the decision-making that would or could take place when credit markets were ascendant – was in place by 1980. […] deregulation wasn’t a nefarious set of choices by Reagan and his Republican banking cronies, it was a response by a policymakers (a Democratic Congress and Democratic President) to the failures of the liberal state. After it was put in place, Reagan of course was a key player in setting its direction. Along with Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan, Reagan took financialization in unexpected directions, but the basic contours were clear before Reagan came to power.

  13. What doomed the Atlantic Union?

    The World War II generation had idolized “Union Now” in their youth, but they had to confront the failures of the war in Vietnam and the global colonial project that Streit ignored (or worse, embraced). The new political generation drew their inspiration not from hoary pre-WWII tomes of global utopianism, with the implications of a global rich white man’s club. As one New Left-influenced witness in the 1971 hearing put it, “The 1960’s revolution of political consciousness within the United States means the rejection of Atlantic Union ideas or alliance structures such as NATO in the seventies.”

    So hegemonsters injected more fear and anxiety and consigned the politically conscious to utopia.

    So much the fraudsters want to keep private.

    • ha. i would have thought that was backwards: So hegemonsters injected more fear and anxiety and consigned the politically conscious to utopia”, but reading again, i get your drift.

      stoller’s having said “This influential book was called “Union Now,” and had a galvanizing effect on the anti-fascist youth of the time, a sort of cross between Thomas Friedman’s “The World Is Flat” and Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine.” reminded me that sometime recently i’d wondered if she didn’t owe some of her thinking to john perkins of ‘confessions of an economic hitman’ fame. i watched the documentary long ago, so i don’t if he spoke of austerity resets that punished ordinary people, but the same institutions seem central to both. i never read anything but references to NK’s book, so…there is that as well. reading the wiki, one wonders if it’s case of ten blindfolded peep touching different parts of an elephant, and describing what they were touching.

      perkins now is all happy dancin’ joy-joy involved in ‘spiritual capitalism’, and his site is too creepy for me to even read. his penance or something, and he put out an updated version of that book, as well, apparently an ‘how do we fix it now’ schtick.

      • On one hand “austerity resets” smack of regime change provocation, which is perhaps an innovation from Perkins’ jackal-practice. On the other, austerity pays tribute to a nation’s crapitalists and compradors which they’d rather only end when necessary. Perhaps the crisis-parasites learned to identify the breaking point.

        So there is this similarity: the crapitalists’ operatives where bringing talent home.

        What I divine from Stoller’s comparison of Union Now to Shock Doctrine and the FriedMan’s crap is that Streit’s recommendation to exploit his crapitalist crisis is alike FriedMan’s exploitation only in that it is an exploitation of crapitalist crisis. FriedMan’s fwee-market fraud of global equal opportunity is nothing like Streit’s global mitigation of crapitalist over-accumulation.

        Streit’s is like a Liberal preemption of crisis-revolution while Friedman’s is a full bore crapitalist counterrevolution.

  14. It seems to me that as soon as the European Community matured to a point at which the US and Canada could join it and create an Atlantic Union nucleus, the Vietnam war and a bunch of wet behind the ears troublemaker, which included the late Tom Hayden, delegitimized the idea of a political union that mirrored the NATO military defense pact.

    The right wing had to school up about a decade or two to turn opposition against the United Nations “one world government” into the paranoia that was whipped up in the Carter era about the Trilateral Comission and repeated further in the Bush-to-Clinton transition as concerns about the New World Order (a phrase that George H. W. Bush was fond of using to talk about the post-Cold War world).

    During the Clinton administration, there were the first emails about black helicopters in the upper Midwest (the first product of the internet and politics). I suppose there were chain letters before then and small magazines/leaflets.

    I take it that this is Matt Stoller’s ode to the Peace of Westphalia Treaty of Muenster and Treaty of Osnabrueck, both signed on October 24, 1648, and apparently a time of observance in Sweden.

    Per the Wiki:

    The Peace of Westphalia established the precedent of peaces established by diplomatic congress, and a new system of political order in central Europe, later called Westphalian sovereignty, based upon the concept of co-existing sovereign states. Inter-state aggression was to be held in check by a balance of power. A norm was established against interference in another state’s domestic affairs. As European influence spread across the globe, these Westphalian principles, especially the concept of sovereign states, became central to international law and to the prevailing world order.

    JOE-35 anticipates the collapse of Westphalian sovereignty, peace by diplomatic congress, and holding aggression in check by a balance of power (the principle behind the UN Security Council). Of course, the failure of the Security Council to be able to restrain aggression by any of its permanent members, and especially the US or other countries that the US might want to shield.

    JOE-35 argues that China primarily and to a lesser extent Russia want to change the system of global relationships between countries and open negotiations for a different set of principles than the Westphalian ones and those embedded in the foundation documents of the United Nations. I sense some wishes of US national security types to slip the leash there as well.

    • i’ll have to try to read this again tomorrow, amigo, as i yam frazzled. sleep well, and thank you. my best to ms. thd.

    • Did all “lefty” Southerners disembark at station Liberal?

      The Atlantic Union would bring an end to Westphalian Sovereignty:

      This Union would be designed […] to provide effective common government in our democratic world in those fields where
      such common government will clearly serve man’s freedom
      better than separate governments [… those fields being]:
      * a union government and citizenship
      * a union defense force
      * a union customs-free economy
      * a union money
      * a union postal and communications system

      Sure that Federated Atlantic triggered Southern PTSD. But, like the Archdruid said, JOE-35’s anticipations are already fact. Isn’t that because the authors are maintaining a public fantasy? Clearly the “US national security types” have already slipped the Westphalian and UN leash.

      Comrade, the Trilateral Commission and New World order were causes for paranoia. And isn’t your hippie-punching Tom Hayden too obviously reflexive?

      Stoller’s targeting of the New Left has a tinge of reaction. They got more than duped; they got fucking rolled and a great deal of that has to do with the failures of populists.

  15. Stoller:

    Geithner even takes time to knock Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s handling of the Great Depression. In other words, Geithner never grapples with any of the political or moral consequences of what he did.


    There’s an entire culture, of figures at Treasury, the Federal Reserve, in the entire Democratic Party elite structure, and in the world of journalism, a culture in which Geithner is seen as some sort of role model.

    !!!!!!! Thank gawd, “pushback is happening because the Geithner era is increasingly seen as a time of betrayal and lies, not just disagreements over ideas. These people are seen as bad faith cancerous operators who need to be removed from positions of power and influence.”

    Next time there’s a crisis, if reformers learn anything from this book, it’s to make sure that there are no Geithner types anywhere near the levers of power.

    Well, Scheiße, comrade Stoller, how the fuck did that ever happen? Weren’t just stupid hippies that done left the barn door open.


    That Golden Age bubble stupidified larts of purple.

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