here’s bill moyers interviewing glenn greenwald on topics related to the US reaction to the boston bombings.
as usual, greenwald is articulate, knowledgeable, and not at all partisan. the very things he sets out so astutely, the reasons and the contexts for people seemingly willingly giving up control to the government under the banner of ‘security’, label him for some as ‘unAmerican’ – an irony i do not think is lost on him. american values of independent thinking, of freedom to go about one’s business, to be confident that one’s fellows are not foolishly being herded into a state of fear producing distrust… are all being eroded, when one incident of local so-called ‘terrorism’ throws the cat amongst the pigeons, and babies out with bath-waters…
the whole thing is worth watching.
but excerpts appended below.
some excerpts from the greenwald interview:
…it’s that false dichotomy, that the more the government learns about us, the safer we’ll be. In part because what history shows is that when governments are able to surveil people in the dark, generally the greatest outcome is that they abuse that power and it becomes tyrannical. If you talk to anybody who came from Eastern Europe, they’ll tell you that the reason we left is because society’s become deadened and soulless, when citizens have no privacy. And it’s a difficult concept to understand, why privacy is so crucial, but people understand it instinctively. They put locks on their bedroom doors, not for security, but for privacy.
They put passwords on their email accounts, because people know that only when you can engage in behavior without being watched is that where you can explore, where you can experiment, where you can engage in creative thinking, in creative behavior. A society that loses that privacy is a society that becomes truly conformist. And I think that’s the real danger.
…You’ve had people who have exposed government deceit and waste and corruption and illegality being systematically prosecuted as criminals in very harsh ways, threatened with decades in prison, being prosecuted as spies, essentially, under espionage statute. Whereas the people on whom they blew the whistle, the actual bad actors in the government, have been shielded and protected.
And what this is designed to do is to send a message as every investigative journalist in the United States will tell you, including ones who work for the most established of newspapers. To send a message to would-be sources and whistleblowers, who want to advise the public about government wrongdoing, that they better think twice because they will be severely punished if they do so.