What I found fascinating is that in the article, Greenwald demonstrates EXACTLY what an authoritarian does with information...he feeds you only what he wants you to hear.
Exhibit A is Greenwald relaying the interview Jake Tapper did with Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta yesterday morning. Here is the part he highlighted lifted directly from his article.
TAPPER: President Obama recently said that — recently told John Brennan, his counterterrorism adviser at the White House that he wanted a little bit more transparency when it comes to drones, which are the – is one of the approaches that you’re alluding to in Yemen.And here's Greenwald's comments afterwards.
And “The Times of London” reported last week that the civilian casualties in Yemen as a result of drone strikes have, quote, “emboldened Al Qaeda.”
Is there not a serious risk that this approach to counterterrorism, because of its imprecision, because of its civilian casualties, is creating more enemy than it is killing?
PANETTA: First and foremost, I think this is one of the most precise weapons that we have in our arsenal. Number two, what is our responsibility here? Our responsibility is to defend and protect the United States of America.
And using the operations that we have, using the systems that we have, using the weapons that we have, is absolutely essential to our ability to defend Americans. That’s what counts, and that’s what we’re doing.
Note that Panetta studiously ignored, rather than addressed, the question of whether the U.S. — by continuously killing Muslim civilians and thus intensifying anti-American animus — is creating more Terrorists than it is killing and thus making the U.S. less safe. That’s because there is no answer.I decided that I'd like some context to the conversation he's commenting on, and so the first thing I noticed is that Greenwald - who usually is prolific in providing links - did not do so this time.
Nevermind...I can google with the best of them. So I found the transcript of the interview and waded through it until I got to this exchange. I'll skip quoting Tapper's question again and simply give you Panetta's complete response.
PANETTA: First and foremost, I think this is one of the most precise weapons that we have in our arsenal. Number two, what is our responsibility here? Our responsibility is to defend and protect the United States of America.Do you see what Greenwald did there? He left out the whole second paragraph and the first 2 sentences of the third. You know...the one's where Panetta gave examples of who is being targeted in Yemen. Panetta DID answer the question about why these attacks are a priority for keeping Americans safe.
There are those who have no other intent but to attack this country. We saw three potential bombers that were trying to get on planes to come here and attack this country. We've seen past attacks taking place. We've seen those that continue to – to indicate that they're planning every day to try to attack this country.
We have got to defend the United States of America. That's our first responsibility. And using the operations that we have, using the systems that we have, using the weapons that we have, is absolutely essential to our ability to defend Americans. That's what counts, and that's what we're doing.
Now, Greenwald might still have had an argument to make that they are also creating a risk. But it would be a much bigger uphill climb with the concrete examples Panetta gave. So he simply left them out - and with no indication whatsoever that he had done so, ie < ... >.
Some might suggest that this was simply a transcription error. But honey, I wasn't born yesterday. Greenwald wanted to make a point and Panetta made that difficult. So he simply edited the transcript to suit his agenda.
More than anything else he said about "the authoritarian mind" in that article, Greenwald just demonstrated for us perfectly how it works.
Finally, a simple reminder to all...ALWAYS CHECK YOUR SOURCES when reading online!