Pierre’s Intercept Shuts Down Access to Snowden Trove

[Caution: schadenfreude & satire hard-hat area]

First: ‘The Intercept shuts Snowden archive amid layoffs & outrage’, RT.com, 14 Mar, 2019

“First Look Media, the parent company of the Intercept, announced it will shut access to the archive of documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to cut costs as it plans to layoff 4 percent of staff.

The news was met with outrage from high ranking staff member and filmmaker Laura Poitras, who went to Hong Kong to meet Snowden in 2013, just before the first revelations from his trove of National Security Agency documents were published.

She said she was “sickened” by the decision to “eliminate the research team, which has been the beating heart of the newsroom since First Look Media was founded,” and slammed the company for making the decision without consulting her or other board members.

Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill joined First Look Media at its founding, launching the Intercept in 2014 as a place to“aggressively report” on the Snowden documents. The company employed a research team to work on the huge trove of documents provided by Snowden.”

Then Tweets from:

@MarkAmesExiled   “5 years ago I criticized Poitras-Greenwald deal to privatize Snowden NSA docs to a tech oligarch connected to the national security state—and was smeared as a CIA/COINTELPRO & worse. Now Poitras is mad that Omidyar is shutting down their fencing operation”

@emptywheel   “Potentially unpopular opinion: I think the Snowden archive would be better served elsewhere. Working with the Intercept was always … challenging. There are a number of stories with important policy implications I’d like to do w/o those difficulties.”

Readers may remember that when Wheeler had quit the vaunted organization, she’d claimed ‘no bad blood’, but a year later had announced that the real reason she’d left was because as she was ‘just a blogger, not a real journalist, thus worth less pay’, she’d skedaddled.

“The vast majority of the contents of the Snowden documents have never been reported on. Snowden chose to give the documents to trusted journalists in the hope they could filter and decide what information to publish, without endangering people. This has been a source of contention for those who feel the entire cache of documents should have been released and published in a searchable format, like WikiLeaks’ releases.

Omidyar has been accused of sweeping in to fund the Snowden publishing in a bid to control what is released.”

Ha; exactly why I’ve long said the name of the site is apt: The Intercept, especially coupled with the fact that a few months ago I’d bingled as to how many ‘fearless journalists are in Pierre’s stable?’ and found there are 200, although I was only able to kick up one page’s worth (100 of them).  Controlling the news?

From the dailybeast.com (also aptly named),  March 13, 2019: ‘The Intercept Shuts Down Access to Snowden Trove; First Look Media, the company that owns the Intercept, also announced that it was laying off several of the researchers who had been charged with maintaining the documents.’

“But in an email to staff Wednesday evening, First Look CEO Michael Bloom said that as other major news outlets had “ceased reporting on it years ago,” The Intercept had decided to “focus on other editorial priorities” after expending five years combing through the archive.

He added: “It is our hope that Glenn and Laura are able to find a new partner—such as an academic institution or research facility—that will continue to report on and publish the documents in the archive consistent with the public interest.”

First Look Media’s decision to shut down the archives puts an end to the company’s original vision of using The Intercept as a means to report on the NSA documents.”

@dangillmor Mar 13, 2019  “This needs a LOT more explanation. Was the archive ever open (in any way) to anyone beyond Intercept and chosen partners? Not that I know of. What’s the future of this? (Does Poitras have a copy?)”

@ggreenwald   “Both Laura & I have full copies of the archives, as do others. The Intercept has given full access to multiple media orgs, reporters & researchers. I’ve been looking for the right partner – an academic institution or research facility – that has the funds to robustly publish”

You may remember they’d opened a Reading Room for ‘journalists’ in their NY offices a few years ago, iirc.

“From the time we began reporting on the archive provided to us in Hong Kong by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we sought to fulfill his two principal requests for how the materials should be handled: that they be released in conjunction with careful reporting that puts the documents in context and makes them digestible to the public, and that the welfare and reputations of innocent people be safeguarded,” Greenwald wrote in a 2016 post.”

Yes to my bold: it was once of the principal reasons that Snowden and GG have long called Julian Assange: ‘the bad whistleblower’ (as compared to Snowden).  Remember when WikiLeaks had named Afghanistan as the nation in which the NSA was helping site in bombs for ISAF or whatever the joint venture was called?

“As time has gone on, The Intercept has sought out new ways to get documents from the archive into the hands of the public, consistent with the public interest as originally conceived.”

What in the world does that sentence signify, and would you manage to still be in control, Glenn?

Now the Daily Beast author (Maxwell Tani) had linked to ‘Welcome to the Intercept’, Feb. 2014, scahill, poitras, and greenwald, and the page does prove my memory correct for once while trying to imagine where in the world Pierre’s quarter of a billon bucks went so fast.  As I’d remember it, the place would pay for itself in no time, as they’d be advising other entities on IT, site creation (ludicrous, as they weren’t even able to get their commenting software to behave for a long time), etc., and they’d feature various News Magazines:

“We are very excited to welcome everyone to The Intercept, a publication of First Look Media (FLM). The Intercept, which the three of us created, is the first of what will be numerous digital magazines published by FLM.”

The rest reads rather ironically to me at this point in time.  I’d been prepared to write that at some point, TI began begging for money under articles, but in the Welcome to’ page, along with ‘which journalists we’ve hired’, was ‘become a supporting member’, but that wasn’t quite as brazen as the further developments.  Where’d that quarter of a billion bucks go, anyway?

Matt Taibbi had quit cuz they were such skinflints they wouldn’t even pay for meals and drinks while he’d been interviewing sources; sheeesh.

Last night I’d been wracking my brain trying to remember a Snowden doc they’d finally published that many of us had thought: crap, ya mightta mentioned that one a lot earlier!

And here it is, back to the Rt.com version: @FreeThought84

Replying to @ggreenwald  “You are a gatekeeper withholding information that is in the public interest.
It shouldn’t matter which documents Snowden wanted selectively leaked and the fact that other organizations won’t publish means absolutely nothing.
Publish in full! https://www.mintpressnews.com/intercept-withheld-nsa-doc-that-may-have-altered-course-of-syria-war/233757/ …

The Link leading to Whitney Webb’s Oct. 30, 2017 ‘The Intercept  Withheld NSA Doc That May Have Altered Course Of Syrian War; If this document had been published sooner, it could have dramatically changed the course of the war by exposing the true face of the “moderate rebels” — and potentially saved tens of thousands of lives. That didn’t happen, and no reason has been given by the Intercept for its delay.’

“On Tuesday, the Intercept published a hitherto unknown document from the trove of National Security Administration (NSA) documents leaked by Edward Snowden over three years ago. The document was notable as it shed light on the early days of the Syrian conflict and the fact that, for the past six years, so-called “revolutionary” groups aimed at toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have largely acted as proxies for foreign governments pushing regime change.

The document explicitly reveals that an attack led by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which was intended to mark the anniversary of the 2011 “uprising” that sparked the Syrian conflict, was directed by a Saudi prince. The document proves, in essence, that the armed opposition in Syria – from the earlier years of the conflict – was under the direct command of foreign governments pushing for regime change.

An NSA graphic released by The Intercept outlines Saudi involvement in organizing and supplying Syrian opposition forces for attacks on Syria’s civilian infrastructure.

According to the document, Saudi Prince Salman bin Sultan had ordered the FSA to “light up Damascus” and “flatten” the city’s civilian airport. The Saudis had also “sent 120 tons of explosives/weapons to opposition forces” for the operation. The Saudis, as the document notes, were “very pleased” with the outcome, which claimed at least 60 lives.

The implications of the NSA document are significant. It offers the clearest proof, in the form of official U.S. government documents, detailing the direct relationship between the armed Syrian opposition and foreign governments, and exposing the fact that this relationship existed much earlier than the mainstream narrative on the conflict had previously suggested.”

And OMG is it a serious exposé of Pierre and his Palace, including his ties to USAAID/CIA in Ukraine, as she exposes various authors acting for the Opposition in Syria: Maz Hussein (who’d glorified the White Helmets),

“Hussain is by no means the only Intercept writer who has taken such a pro-opposition stance regarding Syria. A recent Intercept piece on Syria, published in September, committed glaring factual errors on basic facts about the war, while also mistranslating a speech given by Assad so as to link him to American white nationalists. In addition, the paper recently hired Maryam Saleh, a journalist who has called Shia Muslims “dogs” and has taken to Twitter in recent months to downplay the role of the U.S. coalition in airstrikes in Syria. She also has ties to the U.S.-financed propaganda group Kafranbel Media Center, which has close relations with the terrorist group Ahrar al-Sham.

For a paper ostensibly dedicated to “fearless, adversarial” journalism, it is strange that the Intercept gives voice to journalists who echo the U.S. position regarding the Syrian war while rarely publishing the work of journalists who have challenged prevailing Western narratives on that war — journalists who, as the Intercept itself recently revealed, have been right all along regarding the myth of the Syrian “moderate rebel.” Yet, given Omidyar’s political connections and the paper’s handling of the Snowden cache, this unfortunate decision is unsurprising.”

Irony as satire: ‘Glenn Greenwald: ‘…it’s just kind of time for me to do other things’, July 15, 2014, Café Babylon  (It’s a disgusting read all these years later, but a snippet or two rather out of context):

“Just after the publication of that revelation, GG did an interview with Wired magazine’s Kim Zetter, excerpts of which follow:

“Zetter: You have characterised this story as the finale in your coverage, the pinnacle of your reporting on this topic. Does this and the other stories now constitute the whole iceberg? (With the understanding that of course you don’t possess everything about the government’s surveillance in your cache of documents.) But is this the peak now?

GG: When I talked about my finale I just sort of meant…basically I’ve been doing this for a year now so it’s just kind of time for me to do other things. I’m sure there are stories in there that I passed by because I didn’t recognise the significance of it and neither did the other journalists working on it that people who have a different set of understandings about things would. I already have a few stories written that are going to come after this one, so this isn’t my last one. But I do think there are some really big stories left to tell that would probably be very related to what Ron Wyden was saying… . But we have a snippet of what the NSA did. We don’t have anything close to everything that the NSA did. And it’s possible — in fact I think it’s highly probable — that there are things Ron Wyden knows about and was referring to that, for whatever reason, just aren’t in the documents that we have, or we haven’t found them.” 

Wot?  He’s tired of this stuff?  After snippets?  And did he just pass the torch to Ron Weyden?”

Ah, well, there’s more, but that’s enough, and yeah, it got worse, imo.

Also, this really toasted my cookies, still does: ‘Julian Assange Responds to the Freedom of the Press Foundation Cutting WL Loose’, Café Babylon, Dec. 21, 2017

“This will be an unexpected, but welcome, Part III of III  (Pt I is here: ‘The Intercept’s Most Recent Screed against Julian Assange’;, Part II (including an ugly one by the Daily Beast) is here)”

Those parts being hits on The Bad Whistleblower (not publisher) Julian Assange (whose pants are always greasy and smelly) at the Intercept.

Part V isn’t listed, but it was hit on him by way of a choreographed ‘casual conversation’ between Naomi Klein and Glenn Greenwald.

Oh, Pierre, and all you fearless Interceptor journalists, would you please kiss my grits, then sink into the nearest abyss!

p.s. Can’t wait until Whitney Webb and b at MoA get wind of this story, smile.  ;  )

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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WTF!

Laura Poitras, one of the founding editors of The Intercept, was barred from attending a company meeting on Thursday following a decision by First Look Media to discontinue managing The Intercept’s archive of leaked documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
...
Multiple sources told The Daily Beast on Thursday that Poitras was invited by staff to a meeting following the company’s announcement that it was cutting four percent of staff and ending its maintenance of the archive. But according to two sources, David Bralow, the company’s general counsel, blocked Poitras, who co-founded the site but now works for a different arm of First Look Media, from attending.
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Deja's picture

@gjohnsit
Maybe she'll also be provided a box, and a couple of guards so she doesn't feel so alone as she exits the building.

Wow! That's gotta be like a kick to the gut.

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wendy davis's picture

@gjohnsit

outrage i'd hoped for in reaction to the OP, but then you could have said: 'yeah, and she wrote the movie!' (citizen four)

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gjohnsit

completely under control.

At least that's my guess. She always seemed like the best of the people Snowden shared his info with.

As for Omidyar, of course this was always coming.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit
should surreptitiously arrange a second leak of the Snowden docs.

I mean why not? It's not as if Greenwald et al. privately sold access to these vitally important public docs to Omar in return for money, position and influence...

Oh wait.

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AOC : GND :: BHO : ACA

...that First Look has, essentially, noted that Greenwald and Poitras may deliver up all of Snowden's NSA data to whomever they please, going forward, per your (Wendy's) own reporting...

...But in an email to staff Wednesday evening, First Look CEO Michael Bloom said that as other major news outlets had “ceased reporting on it years ago,” The Intercept had decided to “focus on other editorial priorities” after expending five years combing through the archive.

He added: “It is our hope that Glenn and Laura are able to find a new partner—such as an academic institution or research facility—that will continue to report on and publish the documents in the archive consistent with the public interest.”

First Look Media’s decision to shut down the archives puts an end to the company’s original vision of using The Intercept as a means to report on the NSA documents.”

@dangillmor Mar 13, 2019 “This needs a LOT more explanation. Was the archive ever open (in any way) to anyone beyond Intercept and chosen partners? Not that I know of. What’s the future of this? (Does Poitras have a copy?)”

@ggreenwald “Both Laura & I have full copies of the archives, as do others. The Intercept has given full access to multiple media orgs, reporters & researchers. I’ve been looking for the right partner – an academic institution or research facility – that has the funds to robustly publish”

You may remember they’d opened a Reading Room for ‘journalists’ in their NY offices a few years ago, iirc.

“From the time we began reporting on the archive provided to us in Hong Kong by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we sought to fulfill his two principal requests for how the materials should be handled: that they be released in conjunction with careful reporting that puts the documents in context and makes them digestible to the public, and that the welfare and reputations of innocent people be safeguarded,” Greenwald wrote in a 2016 post.”

Yes to my bold: it was once of the principal reasons that Snowden and GG have long called Julian Assange: ‘the bad whistleblower’ (as compared to Snowden). Remember when WikiLeaks had named Afghanistan as the nation in which the NSA was helping site in bombs for ISAF or whatever the joint venture was called?

“As time has gone on, The Intercept has sought out new ways to get documents from the archive into the hands of the public, consistent with the public interest as originally conceived.”

What in the world does that sentence signify, and would you manage to still be in control, Glenn?...

Wendy, it would APPEAR (again, emphasis on "appear"), now--despite your rhetorical question at the end of the blockquote, immediately above--that there's nothing stopping Greenwald and Poitras from delivering up all of Snowden's NSA content to another source, and making it all available at some other location. (I'm, more or less, repeating the same sentiments I also noted ABOVE the blockquote for emphasis, if nothing else.)

So, reading everything you've reported and once the smoke clears, and assuming the Snowden files do remain available to the media for ongoing review (at some other location), it remains to be seen how this plays out. Right?

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

@bobswern

...on the Snowden/NSA story over at ToP.

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

wendy davis's picture

@bobswern

so did i at my.firedoglake, but what that has to do with anything is a mystery to me.

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zoebear's picture

@wendy davis

To discuss this. Although, by highlighting it in this way, in the comments of your essay, one could almost imagine he's implying that the rest of us don't. Hmmmm....how perplexing.

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

wendy davis's picture

@zoebear

decoding his comment for me, amiga. me, i ain't got no gravitas, just outrage at the stinkin' intercept, lol.

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zoebear's picture

@wendy davis

But ya got chutzpah and ya know how to turn a phrase. Good enough.

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

@zoebear

How about making a sincere comment, and asking a sincere question--sticking strictly to the content of the blog post--and, in the threads of it, with NO ulterior motives, whatsoever? Nah, that wouldn't fit with your/the author's projection/narrative, right? (Note to self: Only comment in Wendy's posts when you find yourself in agreement with her self-evident contortion of the facts.) And, while we're at it, the headline of the post is at least somewhat misleading. It's clear from the content of the post that Poitras/Greenwald may provide press, etc., access to the Snowden doc's wherever, and with whomever, they choose, going forward (i.e.: once they negotiate those matters with others, at some future point in time).

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

@bobswern

...Poitras and Greenwald can provide access to the Snowden doc's anywhere they want. Omidyar just doesn't want to spend money on those efforts at The Intercept. And, perhaps more importantly, Greenwald's no longer interested in writing about it. That's, basically, the entire story. Cut and dried.

There's clear inference, throughout the post, by Wendy, that Omidyar has some ulterior motive to interfere with the public's access to the content; yet, aside from a brief interruption in its availability, there are no facts presented in the story that support that narrative. (Maybe there are other circumstances here which would support Wendy's innuendo; but they're not reported in the post, itself, except in the blogger's conjecture.) In fact, it's just the opposite.

And, evading the realities of what she just reported (and contorted), Wendy starts making it personal. That's just sad.

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@bobswern

and now that most people have forgotten about it, he doesn't need to steer anymore. Most of it can be shelved without most people noticing. And Poitras and Greenwald can, if they want, go hunting for a new partner with lots of bucks. I suspect the gamble here is that there won't be many rich people or institutions lining up to do that sort of thing.

I'd be interested in applying a crowdfunding concept to this, but that's probably too idealistic.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

...in managing an archive of Snowden's NSA doc's. Just a few, off the top of my head: Nieman, Pew, Annenberg, Freedom of the Press Foundation, the ACLU, various universities, etc., etc. But, the reality is Greenwald's, apparently, not interested in writing about the subject matter any longer. And, that's a rather salient fact when one looks at this story, objectively. BTW, I like your crowdfunding idea, as well!

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@bobswern @bobswern

Electronic Frontier Foundation would be my choice. Once I would have said the ACLU, but people who get Citizen United wrong maybe shouldn't be trusted with something both valuable and explosive.

The crowdfunding idea is nice, but would need some sort of governing institution to manage the information. I'd like a governing board of whistleblowers: Bill Binney, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, Snowden himself if he wants to be there--I'd say Assange too, except that apparently his situation precludes him doing anything of that kind.

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3 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

wendy davis's picture

@bobswern

you who's not seeing this correctly, given GG's:

“From the time we began reporting on the archive provided to us in Hong Kong by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we sought to fulfill his two principal requests for how the materials should be handled: that they be released in conjunction with careful reporting that puts the documents in context and makes them digestible to the public (whatever that means), and that the welfare and reputations of innocent people be safeguarded,” Greenwald wrote in a 2016 post.”

so my implied Q to GG was: how are going to control those caveats? require loyalty oaths from the academic institutions or research facilities – that have the funds to robustly publish them?

now given that you seem not to mind any of those very large caveats, and that you don't wonder what favors the intercept authors have done for the Imperial Project (syria, muslim-bashing, white helmets [see whitney webb], that they've trashed julian assange repeatedly, and threw him off the Freedom of the Press foundation he helped found w/ michael ratner of CCR (may he rest in power), i don't get that you fail to see the trend here.

i also should have noted that even though i did most of the third-party reporting on the published nsa docs at my. fdl, i didn't always understand them, but others there would help us all w/ the finer points of technical sides.

either snowden or GG had claimed they'd read every one of the purloined docs, but i scarcely find that credible, do you? i do thank you for reminding my name is 'wendy' as in you (Wendy) though given my increasing dementia. in RL i'm pretty much 'wd', even to mr. wd. ; )

on edit: in both essay titles i'd brought is 'intercept shuts down access to snowden 'archive', alternately 'trove'.

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis posting about this on Daily Kos, but I do remember being quite the outlier there for suggesting that Omidyar had self interests in ponying up his $250 million to keep these documents, and associated journalists, under his control. And that the documents should have been released in full back then. Alot of Greenwald fans on there back then though that were very excited about the billionaire Omidyar's Intercept. I think I almost left because of the insults for suggesting such things, that was over five years ago. I did leave there shortly for good. So obviously the information about Omidyar has been out there for quite some time for anyone to look.

To think this is about a "budget" cut of 4% when a shady billionaire is behind the project is ridiculous imo. Looks like a blatant attempt to try to disconnect the dots after a five year period. What the hell were they doing during with the documents during those five years anyway?

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

your questioning mind, amigo. as to what were they doing with those doc for five years, somewhere in the OP is a line about 'journalists having poured over all of them', but i can't find it again, dang it. but that to me might have suggested that there's nothing Big left to find, if i'm right about the quote (not a sure thing given my crap memory).

but yeah. austerity as a reason? i ain't buyin' it either, nor do i believe that GG's caveat about 'research facilities with the funds...etc.' isn't another misdirection to finally say: 'nope, we dinnae find any entity that could fulfill all three or four conditions that need to be met'.

but again, as whitney webb's oct. 27 exposé shows, the intercept is definitely battin' for the western Imperium.

snoopy's link to ken silverstein's washington babylonon poitra provides a hella lot of information as well, while i haven't even looked at his poitras links.

oof, i need some toast! ; )

on edit, i found it my word document for this diary where the font is much less thick, thus easier for mine eyes to read:

“But in an email to staff Wednesday evening, First Look CEO Michael Bloom said that as other major news outlets had “ceased reporting on it years ago,” The Intercept had decided to “focus on other editorial priorities” after expending five years combing through the archive.”

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

slightly OT, but only slightly, given the intercept's false repoting on syria. remember we'd been speaking of the many candidates and elected officials who would criminalize a govt. once minute, then indemnify themselves by saying: 'don't bomb', i don't support regime change', etc.? i believe i may have brought am hussain's 'ilhan omar's choice' to arendt's thread, fold like ocasio, stick with criticsm of the force of AIPAC (quite true it is), or Get Specific, Expand the Critique (one bit)

"Rep. Omar can highlight such critical aspects. Some are timely: The recent UN report on Israeli atrocities against Palestinians.

Some are long crying out for public discussion: The U.S. government refuses to acknowledge -- as a matter of policy -- that Israel has nuclear weapons. I know, I've asked numerous politicos about this. In 2011, when Mike Pence was on the House Foreign Affairs Committee -- the same committee Rep. Omar is on now (and what AIPAC is quite clearly aiming to get her off of) -- his response was nearly comical. If you haven't, see for yourself: video. But of course Pence wasn't laughed out of Washington, D.C. or widely derided -- he attained the vice presidency.

With Rep. Omar being the center of much attention just now, her highlighting Israeli criminality and nuclear threats to humanity itself could have an immeasurable positive effect,"

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis Peculiar though, and dangerous. She's one of the new progressives heroines and saying shit like that only reinforces the imperialist lies to her fans.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

at consortium news: 'THE ANGRY ARAB: Why Ilhan Omar is a Dangerous Woman for the US', wherein you might be disposed to figure what the ubiquitous sites might be saying the truth of omar. but not so much; her brand is now written in stone. her dissent against aipac is everywhere; that's all that matters.

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis you're right. Similar to how Gabbard is treated in the alternative media left where she continues to be proclaimed the antiwar/peace candidate even though she supports the war of terror, right wing Modi and the council on foreign relations. All it takes is a little fake pushback to the establishment and the hope and change light comes on. I think one of the comments/tweets you linked to above explains it -
"we can see how this works: all that US imperial aggressors need to do to validate their slaughter and conquest is raise an antisemitic banner, a crusader banner, with a native informer ensign to carry it, and politics dissolves in fog where only individual brands glow."

Another OT, seen this one. Kind of funny.

https://www.activistpost.com/2019/03/busted-club-of-rome-reveals-gushing...

Btw, do you know the context of why she made that tweet about Syria and Assad? I couldn't find it.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

isn't it? never heard of the club of rome, but i will say that the average schmo believes that overpopulation is the root cause of climate chaos, and they always mention subsaharran african blooming populations first. it may be exactly why bill gates is soooo big on (eugenics) birth control for them, including the hackable injectable sort that can be reprogrammed...later to turn off the hormones.

afaik, tulsi had stipulated to that first on 'the view' under duress, then again in an interview apenultimate had brought, again...apparently under duress of some sort.

i'd been answering a comment from a kiwi expat on the café version of this diary who'd tied snowden docs possibly preventing the christchurch mass murders, trying to say that in all likeihood 'no', but their version of the fbi might have flubbed up, etc. but i said that the blame fingers are a-pointing, and if it's in the NSA's self-interest to say their agency could have prevented it, they will. (NZ is a five eyes nation, you'll remember), but the blame finger will be pointed anywhere that's a convenient target. thus the ocasio version:

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

to make sense of this tweet by wrongkindofgreen, and as it's addressed to (among others) john steppling, i'd gone to his account and found this:

haven't watched but a few minutes, but it's pretty funny so far. but of course she was only a bartender at the time, although highly educated...

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Big Al

but it's always an open question of how much people can push back against the owners, especially if they have a celebrity status to wield and high-profile information. I was hoping that Greenwald and Poitras were doing that. For all I know, they were trying to. For all I know, they achieved some good while doing it--Greenwald certainly has been spot-on about Russiagate at The Intercept.

After all, that's arguably how it worked for Murrow when he was taking on McCarthy--and even before. He pushed back against Paley (the head of CBS) in some ways while obeying in others, and ended up controlling enough space within the institution to do some good. I'm glad that he did that. It's a good thing that he was in that position so that he could discredit McCarthy and provide me with some good history to rely on and remember.

Eventually, however, in such a situation, the money wins. Murrow ended up mainly doing Person to Person, a fluffy celebrity show, while See it Now declined and eventually was cancelled. Murrow opposed the power of sponsors over the news, and he lost. Those who were willing to play ball won, and shaped the news accordingly.

Of course, it's far less likely today that a journalist could push back against the owners, whether the owners of his network, or the owners of large amounts of money and resources who advertise on his network. Private institutions themselves have become more fascistic, just as the government has.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Big Al's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal End of story. Haven't read either of them for years.

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wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

to look at this internal link of the big exposé silverstein had brought downthread; her link in included laura potras, which internal links i haven't even read yet.

'Where Journalism Goes to Die, Glenn Greenwald, Pierre Omidyar, Adnan Syed and my battles with First Look Media' By KEN SILVERSTEIN February 27, 2015

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wendy davis's picture

@bobswern

"Gravitas" quite appropriate, especially as you'd implied on my john stepping diary that he didn't have sorta 'the academic heft', quite akin to gravitas of the the increasingly inscrutable henry giroux who needs some serious editing, or some other bloke (zizek?) i've forgotten. i did take the time to feature one of his recent posts, and to describe the many threads he'd woven together into a whole.

on edit: zoebear might even have seen that discussion, as well.

but as to 'don't comment on wendy's blogs unless you agree with them' please let me remind you that you never once answered any rejoinders to you own comments on that thread. what i'm observing is some major disconnect by you over commenting behaviors.

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zoebear's picture

That effects us all is tediously one sided. Me thinks that's on purpose.

Thinks for following this story.

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

wendy davis's picture

@zoebear

is purposely obfuscating, as well as the fact that GG's implication is that the holders of the archives will only give them to journalists they can be sure 'are able to find a new partner—such as an academic institution or research facility—that will continue to report on and publish the documents in the archive consistent with the public interest (will harm no innocents (?), etc.).”

but bloom's contention here reads like rubbish as well: “But in an email to staff Wednesday evening, First Look CEO Michael Bloom said that as other major news outlets had “ceased reporting on it years ago,” The Intercept had decided to “focus on other editorial priorities” after expending five years combing through the archive.

does anyone recall the publication of any of the files after 2014 save for the one syrian one whitney webb cited? i'm not aware of it if t'were so. but i wonder what he meant about 'major news outlets not reporting on them'? i know there was a big kerfuffle with alan rusbridger (guardian) pretending to smash their hard drives or some such, but shoot, der spiegel, new zealand papers sure did.

my bigger Q is what's in there they don't want us to see? more dirt on pierre in ukraine, for instance? more files damaging to the Imperium? i just remember the whole 'drip, drip'...meme, and then...the drips stopped. GG had promised an end of summer one that would be fireworks chris floyd at empire burlesque had dubbed: 'sky rockets delight'...that never came. just some yawnish thing...

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zoebear's picture

@wendy davis

One has to wonder why now? Also. I wasn't aware that the criteria of whether information was in the interest of the public was now being measured by which "major" news outlet was willing to publish it.

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

wendy davis's picture

@zoebear

isn't it? austerity measures mean reducing the staff by 4%? if there are indeed over a hundred on staff, that would be 4, although arithmetic ain't my strong suit. ; )

but i was incorrect: i bingled for the most recent nsa revelations published by the intercept just now and found tada!:

4 journalists reporting on june 5, 2017 'Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election', lol. well, fiddesticks, marcy wheeler wouldda picked up that one, no?

but of course that wasn't in snowden's trove, so...a second nsa whistleblower?
"The top-secret National Security Agency document, which was provided anonymously to The Intercept and independently authenticated, analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency about a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure. The report, dated May 5, 2017, is the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light."

it's waaaaay too long to read, but w/ the docs, it doesn't appear to be reality winner whom they'd burned accidentally. iirc, she's still in prison, ooopsie.

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snoopydawg's picture

the information that Snowden gave Glenn? I haven't seen him doing any new reports on what he was given for some time. And what he did was just a small number and IIRC a lot of the juicier stuff was censored.

That the Intercept lets James Risen write his Russia Gate bull crap there is something I do not understand. I rarely look at who writes what there, but I can always tell when it's James. He is never right so why would they let him garbage up the website?

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The public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dawg seem like an in independent thinker

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

memory about risen, snoop. haven't the VIPS deconstructed his (cough) errors many times over? nice to hear you haven't seen other stuff, either, though. i expect the Intercept likes him for keeping up shilling for the Dems, by and large; Pierre sure has been part of the Big Tent theory. (i've been reading some exposés i'd pasted together in 2018, including danny haiphong at BAR.)

i wonder what their 'new priorities' are? guess i could look on twitter...nah.

silly of me, but i kept trying to find chris floyd's 'sky rockets delight', and ended up at 2013 counterpunch: 'The Neutering of the NSA Archives’ by Chris Floyd, October 21, 2013 imo, he makes quite a case for his title, as in: habituating the public, same as he makes for drone murders and torture.

'It was once thought that the Snowden trove — which details the astonishingly pervasive and penetrative reach of America’s security apparatchiks into every nook and cranny of our private lives — might prove to be a stinging blow to our imperial overlords, rousing an angry populace to begin taking back some of the liberties that have been systematically stripped from them by the bipartisan elite. But instead of a powerful tsunami of truth — a relentless flood of revelations, coming at the overlords from every direction, keeping them off-balance — we have seen only a slow drip-feed of polite, lawyer-scrubbed pieces from a small portion of the trove, carefully filtered by a tiny circle of responsible journalists at a handful of respectable institutions to ensure, as the custodians constantly assure us, that the revelations will “do no harm” to the security apparat’s vital mission.

The perverse result of this process has been to slowly habituate the public to the idea of ubiquitous surveillance. The drawn-out spacing of the stories — and the small circle of well-known venues from which they come — has given the apparatchiks and their leaders plenty of time to prepare and launch counter-attacks, to confuse and diffuse the issues with barrages of carefully-wrought bullshit, and to mobilize their own allies in the compliant media to attack the high-profile producers of the stories — such as the angry assaults in recent days by Britain’s right-wing papers, accusing the Guardian of treason, etc., and, once again, diverting attention from the dark and heavy substance of the revelations to the juicier froth of a media cat-fight."

and along the way, he reminds readers that snowden had said he just wanted a debate, which was more important than the docs. i remember he'd also said 'if people want to vote yes to being spied on, so be it'. sure, ed; we should vote on whether nor not to give up our constitutional rights. which is one key reason i've always said his politics are shitty.

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snoopydawg's picture

@wendy davis

or post it here? I might have missed it and it's late and I'm off to bed.

https://washingtonbabylon.com/poitras/

This looks interesting and it's one in a series I think.

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The public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dawg seem like an in independent thinker

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

thank you. i do remember the shorter version of silverstein's story of why he'd left TI, but the long version is far more abysmal. the parts i'd remembered most vividly were the endless 'decisoin-making meetings' w/ pierre w/ no decisions being reached, no actual journalism being published, and the cheapness of the org, backing up taibbi's claims.

no editorial staff i hadn't remembered, but yes, it's a scathing indictment of the place. there are still several links i haven't read yet re: laura poitras, and GG, but i grabbed his george clooney (council on foreign relations) on wrecking sudan. iirc, that was another nation the US had conned into dividing ethnically, and 'by oil under the sand'.
i'd done a satire on him and his new organization not long ago.

anyway, thank you, and will read more links later. it's hard to bring any outtakes there are so many likely candidates.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@snoopydawg

The Intercept

The Intercept is an online news publication dedicated to what it describes as "adversarial journalism". It is supported financially by First Look Media, owned by Pierre Omidyar. Its editors are Betsy Reed, Glenn Greenwald, and Jeremy Scahill.[1]

and,

Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Morad Omidyar (Persian: پیر مراد امیدیار‎, Persian pronunciation: [piːjeɾ moɾɑːd omiːdjɑːɾ] born June 21, 1967) is an American billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder of eBay where he served as chairman from 1998 to 2015.[2] He became a billionaire at the age of 31 with eBay's 1998 initial public offering (IPO).[1] Omidyar and his wife Pamela are well-known philanthropists who founded Omidyar Network in 2004 in order to expand their efforts beyond non-profits to include for-profits and public policy.

Since 2010, Omidyar has been involved in online journalism as the head of investigative reporting and public affairs news service Honolulu Civil Beat.[3] In 2013, he announced that he would create and finance First Look Media, a journalism venture to include Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill.[4][5][6] . . .

Personal life

Omidyar is a major donor to Democratic Party candidates and organizations.[35]

BadBlue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

wendy davis's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

this piece by paul carr back in the day; it may have been in the omidyar exposé i'd brought last year

paul carr's 'Revealed: Visitor logs show full extent of Pierre and Pamela Omidyar's cozy White House ties', march 2014 (it includes his ties to the maidan revolution, too, with an hilarious cartoon graphic)

thanks, amiga. can't remember if that article brought up pierre's microloans to indian farmers, but that was another nightmare he'd created.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@wendy davis

the links to other articles/your essay.

It's sorta weird--it may have been your older essay, that made me take a second look at Omidyar, when I ran across his name a couple weeks, ago.

IOW, his name sounded very familiar, but, I couldn't quite place him. So, I Duck Duck'd, and made a mental note of his bio. (Then, you posted, this evening.)

Hey, have a good weekend. My best to Mr WD, of course.

PleasantryBlue

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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3 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

wendy davis's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

and my/our best to mr. blue as well. pierre's a real piece of work, most esp. as an 'entrepeneur'. in which circle of hell shall he abide, not that he's the only one? bill gates and the rest as well, as part of the 'non-profit industrial complex', as the wrong kind of green collective calls them. as in: being entrepreneurs kinda/sorta indemnifies their vast profits along the way.

be well, or as well as you both can be.

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wendy davis's picture

about the NSA's bulk collection of...everything, having resulted in the US Freedom Act, or close, and that most folks had said it was even worse.

but while i was at mintpress news to see if this story had made it onto whitney webb's radar or not, i'd found this. sorry my decrepit-like-me mouse won't copy/paste titles in such a large font, but:

from mintpress news:

“INSURGE INTELLIGENCE — On Monday 4th, the New York Times reported that the National Security Agency has “quietly” shut down a controversial phone records surveillance program revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.

The claim was made by a senior Republican congressional aide who told the newspaper that the Trump administration had stopped using the program, which analyses the domestic call and text logs of American citizens, due to technical problems.

On Twitter Snowden hailed the news as a “victory”, while Intercept journalist Glen Greenwald, who broke the Snowden story to international acclaim, took the story at face value. Neither of them raised the obvious question — is the “shut down” of this program merely a smokescreen to continue spying on American phones under new or different secretive programs?

When the NYT story broke, I reached out to two former senior NSA officials, Russ Tice and Thomas Drake, to find out what they thought.
Both of them told me that the NSA’s shut down of this particular program did not imply an end to domestic phone record surveillance, but quite the opposite — that the program had been superseded by superior technology.

According to Russ Tice, a former senior NSA intelligence analyst who had previously worked with the US Air Force, Office of Naval Intelligence and Defense Intelligence Agency, the latest claim that the NSA was rolling up phone surveillance beggared belief.
“Why would anyone believe a bloody word of what NSA says about their mass domestic surveillance programs?” said Tice, who was the first NSA whistleblower who exposed unlawful surveillance and wiretaps of American citizens as early as May 2005. “They have lied repeatedly in the past and they are likely lying now. They have been collecting metadata and content, word-for-word, both voice and text, for some time now.”

and so on... you may remember russel tice who blew the whistle on the nsa bulk collection long before snowden, but didn't have the docs to prove anything beyond his word. i know that his rather unappealing visage and girth had nothing to do w/ not trusting him, but try to tell me that.
; )

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ovals49's picture

@wendy davis
would have been a priority from day one for those about to be exposed. There is ample evidence that NSA, CIA, FBI & etc. lie and misdirect with every breath of their public statements. It’s what they do and how they prop up their false narratives and cover the extent of their questionable or outright illegal activities.

The announcement of the cessation of one objectionable surveillance program, even if it happened to actually be a factual statement, in no way implies a lessening of surveillance

Both of them told me that the NSA’s shut down of this particular program did not imply an end to domestic phone record surveillance, but quite the opposite — that the program had been superseded by superior technology.

That makes far more sense to me than believing that policies that have brought us over 75 years of increasing domestic surveillance and manipulation have suddenly taken a full 180.

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"Humanity is just an evolutionary cul de sac."
George Carlin

wendy davis's picture

@ovals49

in your first sentence on the need to control if you add *and what my be exposed*. i went back and looked at whitney webb's link free thought had provided on twitter so i could read more on the reasons TI finally released that 'moderate rebels funded by the sauds' nsa doc *after* the MSM began reporting the same. but what she wrote about the bias in their eventual article was epic:

"However, the Intercept article regarding the document is unusual for several reasons. First, the report inaccurately claims that the attack launched at the Saudis’ behest did not result in any confirmed casualties. Second, it states that the 2011 uprising in Syria was an organic, “peaceful” movement that led the Syrian government to wage “an open war against their own people” — a narrative that has since been debunked."

now her link to newsbud's 'BFP Breaking News- Omidyar’s PayPal Corporation Said To Be Implicated in Withheld NSA Documents' looks to be pretty damning upon scanning, and i admit i'd skipped by it when she'd done this exposé back in the day as it's so loaded with links. but edmonds did get corroboration from tice and wm. binney (even GG) in some quotes, so there's that.

but if it's true that Ed and Glenn took that news at face value, that in itself is
odd-bodkins and all giddy-up, isn't it?

but see what we need is kinder, gentler, spying...isn't it? and mainly on 'our enemies' as GG and ed were wont to say.

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wendy davis's picture

let tonight's lullaby be 'ode to joy' flashmob. may it bring joyous tears to your eyes as you watch the enchanted young children. g' night.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

video, WD--it's one of my favorites!

GoodBlue

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

wendy davis's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

i played it multiple times, and it sure helped. i kept saying 'ode to spring' flashmob, mr. wd finally had pinged correctly: 'no, ode to joy', bless his heart. those chirren witnessing magic; my stars.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

‘The Intercept Withheld NSA Doc That May Have Altered Course Of Syrian War;

Despite his fearless reporting on other issues, Glenn has always been a bit wobbly when it comes to Israel, shading his criticism and often slying including establishment narratives (like Assad gassing his own people) into his commentary.

My guess is that a lot of the 'innocents' he hopes to protect by caging the remaining Snowden docs have ties to the security services in a number of countries.

And at this point, if he were to release the docs, the revelations of past/present would also end up raising questions about Glenn's associations with these services. So anyone waiting for Glenn to finally see the light will probably be waiting a long time.

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AOC : GND :: BHO : ACA

wendy davis's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

working right now, so i'll need to come back after resting mine eyes to read more...properly, amigo, then try to see if i can answer your comment in any intelligent fashion.

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wendy davis's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

how you believe his syrian war construction is tied to his jitters about calling out israel; as a proxy war against iran, et.al?

second, may i ask for examples of 'fearless reporting'? guess he started losing me at salon claiming that citizens united was fairly decided. but that's likele on accountta he's a libertarian, as is ed snowden thus: 'if the people want to vote on yes on nsa bulk collection, so be it'.

and could you expand on what security services he might have ties to in other nations, and why? sorry to be a thick-wit, but so it goes... ; ) brazil for one? heh, did you know he reports for CNN in brazil?

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis @wendy davis

is that Glenn appears to be compromised when it comes to certain areas of his reporting.

Either that or he's gunning for the Seymour Hersch Limited Hangout Lifetime Achievement Award.

Or probably both.

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AOC : GND :: BHO : ACA

wendy davis's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

on your comment, esp. the sy hersh limited hangout stuff. he may have gotten it wrong about 'special ops killing bin laden', as well as being put in a strait-jacket by the msm, but other than that, his reporting's been incredible, mi lai, including in iraq...saying that battlefield execution by amerikan GIs are epic. folks talk to him, as they trust hm, has been my experience of his reproting.

but sleep well, dream well if you're able, and i'll try to imagine what your comment might signify (without answering my Qs, nor giving any examples of GG's fearless reporting). but by now i seem to require maps being drawn for me, rather than leaving me to...intuit what's said/written between the lines.

forgive any typos, my eyes are on the blink again.

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wendy davis's picture

tonight's lullaby needs to be for me in particular; hope y'all find comfort in it:

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