Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Is anyone really interested in NSA reform?

Yesterday I said that one of the best ways to spot fear-based politics was to notice the people who are spreading fear and outrage but not engaged in talking about solutions. Those are the folks that want to tap into your emotions but not your thinking.

Glenn Greenwald got everyone emotionally riled up with all the hysteria he promoted about NSA surveillance. And now President Obama has proposed reforms to the bulk metadata collection program and his Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will shortly be releasing their recommendations for other programs.

But what's even more interesting is that - even as everyone is distracted with talking about the ridiculous House Select Committee to investigate Benghazi - almost no one is paying attention to the scramble in Congress to get an NSA reform bill to the floor of the House. Apparently the rush is fueled by some intramural power games between the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. But whatever the motivation, this "least productive Congress in history" is all of the sudden having an outbreak of bipartisanship. Even if no one is paying any attention to it. Doubt my word about that? Go check out the list of 143 Representatives who have signed on as co-sponsors of the Judiciary Committee's bill. You'll find everyone from the far right to the center-fielders to the far left on the list. Strange brew happening there!

And so, you'd suppose that the "journalist" who started all this would either be patting himself on the back and taking victory laps or knee deep in analyzing it to find out whether or not it addresses the issues he raised. Of course you would be wrong. Greenwald hasn't written a word about it. I'd suggest that tells you all you need to know about him.

P.S. Almost no one in the media is showing much interest in this story. So Glenn isn't the only one. I suspect there's no linkbait available to exploit.


  1. Thank you for this. Your clarion call has been my guidepost - do the people crying the sky is falling ever posit a solution? I am waaay past the bored housewives on Donahue's old talk show that used to get mad as bothered hornets at someone or some issue, and when asked what they would do, replied, "Well I don't know, but SOMETHING!" From the fierce critics of this president, we get not even that.

    The other failed issue is the dead silence when something IS done (eating into your donor outrage, Glenn?) or a total dismissal without evidence that whatever is being done is not enough, a sell out, phony, whatever. But silence is the most damning indictment of phony Armageddon criers. And that is all we get from too many today.

    I'll actually take the bored housewives. They at least meant well.

  2. My representative has been beating this NSA drum for months and months. Never understood why, but I hope they settle down after they pass whatever so they can move on to things that are actually important.


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