The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

This Is Why I Always Give the Benefit of the Doubt to Left-wing Opponents of the Regime

Sure, sure, they did that terrible thing.

I mean, they may have.  But this is how the NSA discredits people like hacktivists.  This is their training:

NSA slide on how to discredit troublemakers

NSA slide on how to discredit troublemakers


And this is how they discredit a company:

How the NSA discredits a company

How the NSA discredits a company

Punishment without trial. Note that altering photos and faking emails is fraud.

Though this article doesn’t go into it, I also strongly presume that they have uploaded kiddie-porn onto victims’ computers. The malware, key loggers, and backdoors to which the NSA has access often make it possible for them to not only to see what’s on your computer, but to take control of it.

The hidden state, not to put too fine a point on it, is at war with a good chunk of society. Greenwald, being practically a hacktivist himself, is concerned with their war on hacktivists, but they also go after a wide variety of targets, including war protesters, environmentalists, unions, and left-wingers in general.

Though not new, this does seem to have become worse in the last 25 years or so. It is of a piece with no-fly lists and treasury designations of criminal or terrorist individuals and organizations, which is to say, it is administrative punishment without appeal or transparency. You often don’t know who’s doing it to you, why they are doing it to you, or how to get it to stop; and you certainly were never accused of a crime and given your day in court.

These sorts of actions destroy lives. The people who perpetrate them cause poverty, unemployment, failed businesses, and, ultimately, in the fallout from these, violence, illness and death (as all follow from lack of money and social isolation).

In other words, all of these actions should be considered criminal acts. Some of them probably still are, by the strict letter of the law.

Next time some radical hero is accused of being nasty, consider carefully how credible it really is. Perhaps apply to life that general principle of benefit of the doubt.

The left, in particular, is always easy to split along markers of social identity, and don’t think the NSA and other similar agencies don’t know that, and use it.

Read the entirety of Greenwald’s post. It is important.


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  1. The Tragically Flip

    It would be useful to go back and re-examine some of the scandals that took down up and coming or previously successful left wing leaders, whether in elected office or not for signs of this kind of thing.

    Presumably they try to do this sort of thing before someone becomes a national figure, so it’s harder to put the dots together.

  2. EGrise

    Should we start a pool on when this happens to Corbyn?

  3. Ian Welsh

    Hehehe. It’ll be hard to beat “having relations with a dead pig.”

  4. nationalist

    Kind of like how the media witch hunts Whites for being “racist” and tries to destroy their lives?

  5. It actually feels like they used up the bulk of the ammunition in the giant hysteria about Corbyn. I was suprised how quickly they cranked up to deranged hysteria.

  6. Ian Welsh

    It did work to some extent: he debuted with net negatives, worse than any new Labour leader in ages.

    We’ll see if he can come back from it. It is true that if he does, they’re kinda screwed.

  7. Does anyone have any good links to testimonials or stories from people in the 5-eyes countries that got this treatment?
    I have no doubt it is fairly frequently being used, but (through my ignorance) I can’t think of anyone that claimed this was happening to them.

  8. I meant testimony, not testimonials.

  9. Kind of like how the media witch hunts Whites for being “racist” and tries to destroy their lives?

    No only actual racists like people who obsess over alleged racism witch hunts against “Whites”.

  10. Nationalist


    Tell me what is wrong with racism?

    Protecting your own people to ensure their survival is natural and good.

  11. Ian Welsh

    Let’s not derail further into a discussion of racism.

  12. evil is evil

    You are not going back far enough. Go to the Free Speech Movement based in Berkeley, CA in 1970. Don’t waste time. Find out the cited “leaders.” Don’t waste time, find out how many of the “leaders” of this “revolutionary” group wound up on the government payroll with a GODDAM security clearance.

  13. Steeleweed

    Racism’s false justification:
    That the trivial differences between people are more important than the humanity we share in common.

    Racism’s real source:
    Insecurity, fear and greed, in that order..

  14. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    What Ian said, folks. LET’S NOT FEED THE TROLL.

  15. markfromireland

    @ Ian. I ‘m shocked, shocked I tell you to discover that when somebody is outed as a hamosexual that your reaction is “he, he, he”. Are you sure you’re not a hamophobe?


  16. Hugh

    Actually this is Intelligence “dirty tricks” 101 updated for the web. This should come as a surprise to nobody. We live in a world where our elites embrace torture, never met a war they didn’t like (or knew how to fight), and engage in wholesale looting of us and the planet generally. With a rap sheet like that, do you really think they are going to balk at dishonest personal attacks? Remember that the powers that be have an escalating response curve to ideas and people they do not like: ignore, trivialize, attack, co-opt, eliminate (and yes, sometimes they skip steps).

    I am a broken record on this, but Greenwald is doing us no favors. He and Poitras have been sitting on the Snowden trove for 2 1/2 years now doling out stories when they feel like. They have turned this vitally important information into their own personal cottage industry. In the beginning, the argument could be made that bringing out a succession of stories kept the spotlight on the intelligence community and its abuses. But that approach ran its course a long time ago. Now he and Poitras have simply assumed the role of gatekeepers in much the same way we, and even they, have criticized the establishment media of acting in the past. We should have had access to this information, indeed all the information in the Snowden files, a couple of years ago.

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