Friday, May 16, 2014

NSA hysteria: Collecting data is the same as surveillance?

Graphic from the Daily Banter

I wasn't a Glenn Greenwald admirer before his collaboration with Edward Snowden on the NSA leaks. Greenwald was taking an ultra-left stance politically long before that. Last year Greenwald dismissed the significance of the acceleration in public acceptance of gay marriage:

...when I wrote several weeks ago about the remarkable shift in public opinion on gay equality, I noted that this development is less significant than it seems because the cause of gay equality poses no real threat to elite factions or to how political and economic power in the US are distributed. If anything, it bolsters those power structures because it completely and harmlessly assimilates a previously excluded group into existing institutions and thus incentivizes them to accommodate those institutions and adopt their mindset...

I hadn't seen rhetoric like that in more than forty years. Gay marriage is nothing but assimilationism, and gays should supposedly scorn legitimizing gay marriage and hold out for a revolution in "how political and economic power in the US are distributed"!

When Snowden came calling, Greenwald finally had ammunition to attack the wicked United States and its neo-fascist leader, President Obama.

The other day PBS's Newshour interviewed the former NSA director:

The next day they interviewed Glenn Greenwald:

I find Keith Alexander a lot more credible than Greenwald, who thinks that the fact that the NSA is collecting "meta-data" is the same thing as using it to snoop on ordinary Americans.

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