That's why I am so terribly disappointed in him - much like I am in so many other reporters lately. You want hyperbole? Take a look at this headline from Cole.
And then his opening statement makes it even worse.
How to turn a democracy into a STASI authoritarian state in 10 easy steps:Since "Greenwald's partner" was detained by the UK government, its interesting that his "10 steps" are focused completely on the US - not the UK. But what's a little omission like that when you're talking about a "STASI authoritarian state?"
Then he goes on to make several outrageous claims:
- Classify all crimes and violations of the Constitution as secret. What would those crimes and violations be? Japanese internment? Secretly sponsoring coups in places like Iran and South America? Gulf of Tonkin lies? Nixon's lies? Iran/Contra? Bush's torture? Oops, we know about all that so they're hardly secrets. I suspect he's actually talking about our current intelligence programs...more on that in #2.
- Spy on the public in violation of the Constitution. Yeah, we know Bush did that by refusing to get warrants. But show me where the Obama administration is continuing that practice. Specifically, what violations of the Constitution is he talking about?
- Sharing of NSA info on drug trafficking is only to protect pharmaceuticals and liquor industry against pot. Whaaa??
- Criminalize the revelation of government crimes and spying as espionage. When has spying NOT been classified as espionage and what government crimes?
Anyway, there's 10 of them. Some have merit but should lead to policy discussions and not hyperbole about dictatorships and STASI authoritarian states.
This is why we can't have a rational discussion these days about this topic. The entire conversation has been overtaken by the latest iteration of Godwin's Law. Juan Cole just jumped that shark.