Saturday, June 8, 2013

Why This? Why Now?

There are quite a few people, it seems, who suspect this current media kerfuffle over domestic spying revelations is an aktion if you will by elements within and without the government to... what? Well, that's the question, isn't it?

It is widely believed that the revelations come from one individual who gave the FISA court order to Glenn at the Guardian (or gave it to the Guardian who then gave it to Glenn to work up) and who also provided the PRISM Power Point presentation to both Glenn (or the Guardian) and the WaPo simultaneously. This had to be someone who has access to Top Secret information and is familiar enough with the media to be able to identify who to go to with such things to cause a sufficient stir to get them published and promoted.

While a lot of people on the internet are claiming that "this isn't new" is a government talking point and thus can be dismissed as empty bullshit, in fact the information in these revelations isn't new. What's new is the documentation. And that documentation appears to have come from a single source with high level clearance within the Security Apparat. Who could it be? Actually, it shouldn't be hard to figure out. As big as the Security State apparatus is, it isn't all that big at its higher levels, and it should be a fairly simple task to identify who had access to these documents and through a process of elimination, come to a conclusion about who leaked them.

If, that is, tracking down the leak and plugging it is of any particular interest, which it may not be.

In other words, this may well have been a deliberate and calculated feint, a "placement" if you will, of classified information into the public domain so as to... well, the purpose remains a bit vague.

But it seems clear that the various government actors in the drama are not particularly upset or disturbed by the revelations, and in fact, they seem to find them useful.

The upset seemed to be confined to the corporate players in the drama, all of whom insisted they were unaware of or could not discuss what had been revealed. Soon enough, government players were saying "Yes, it's true. Jolly good thing, too." Which left the corporate players with more than a little egg on their faces.

But then, that could be all part of the game.

Glenn seems to be relishing his central role in this, and it certainly has boosted his media profile once again. But it also puts him in a strange position. Once he becomes a conduit for, rather than a commentator on, this stuff, none of us have any way to know whether what is being passed through his agency is planted or not, whether he is being used by the forces he claims to despise or not, and none of us can be sure what his real role may be.

In other words, he can't maintain his supposed independence for long -- if he becomes a conduit. As a conduit, he becomes a witting or unwitting player in the game, no longer a dispassionate observer.

But then, there were clues long ago that he was already considered a player, and a useful one to boot, by certain factions within and without the government. I believe somebody put it this way: Glenn is able to get away with what he does (fierce and obsessive criticism of -- certain of -- The Powers That Be; Old Testament Prophet condemnation of everyone in government but Ron Paul; etc.); no interference with his work or his world travels, etc. because he is "no threat" to the established order. Much like Chomsky. Criticize and condemn as vein-poppingly as desired. So long as there is no action recommended or associated with it, there is no problem... OUTRAGE!!!®  without an outlet is no danger to Power... This was years ago. How the situation has changed since then, I do not know, but it doesn't seem to have changed at all from this distance. (Of course, I know that outside the given parameters there have been plenty of changes thanks to Occupy and other efforts...)

In this case, we have a situation in which the public is being reminded once again that the entire population is under surveillance at all times, and that all of one's electronic communications are being monitored or at least being captured and stored for later monitoring. While many of us knew or suspected this to be the case for years now, there was no documentary proof that it was so. Now there is. And the upshot? Acquiescence? Seems to be. What else are you going to do? Fight it? How? Of course there are many clever subterfuges to get around some of the monitoring, but there is no way to escape all of it and still be part of society. And certainly neither Glenn nor anyone else involved in reporting the stories is suggesting that you should do anything about it beyond arguing about it. The President himself "welcomes the debate." And the "debate" is all that is being proposed as an action.

Acquiescence is literally the only choice being offered. "Debate" it all you want, please, and with as much passion as you can muster, but don't think you can actually do anything about it, because you can't. That bridge to the Future has been crossed and burned long since. What we are seeing are the various players and how they are responding to the current revelations, and so far some, like Clapper and Feinstein -- among quite a few others -- have not been doing so well.

On the other hand, the White House seems to be handling it with remarkable smoothness. Which makes me wonder if that isn't where the leak came from this time, too.

But the question still remains, "Why this? Why now?"

While the IRS continues to be under intense scrutiny and pressure, over a ginned up "controversy," the surveillance issue seemed to languish when it was only a matter of certain elements in the press being surveilled. Now that it is clear that everyone is being surveilled at all times, and that there are certain (unstated) indications that will trigger closer scrutiny, and that no one is exempt, not even the President when he leaves office and Little Lindsey is delighted to be surveilled and plenty of  'protections are in place,' trust us, I'd say the whole point of this revelation is to accustom the public to reality of their powerlessness under the circumstances.

It wouldn't be the first time.

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