We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Glenn Greenwald and the Future of Leaks

Click here to access article by David Cay Johnston from Newsweek.

If you are wondering, as I was, about Glenn Greenwald since he left The Guardian, this is a good place to start. You will learn that he is living and working in Rio de Janeiro under the protection of the Brazilian government. And, there are several other links to important articles (which also contain links) about him and his associates, and his plans to set up his own "web-based news outlet".

I admire his courage and determination to fight back against the Empire's intrusion in our private lives and its promotion of a police state to control our lives. What I think he still does not understand is that abuses of power are inevitable wherever one finds concentration of power, and the latter is inevitable in a system (capitalism) which promotes the concentration of wealth.
Washington “runs on leaks and Bob Woodward has become the richest journalist in America because of leaks. But because those leaks serve the interests of those in power, no one would compare him to Kim Philby,” Greenwald says, referring to a notorious Cold War spy for the Soviets.

He believes the Snowden case and other recent leaks have evoked “the authoritarian response that at its core says when someone in power decrees something is secret we have to quiver in deference, and to challenge that decree is somehow a moral and legal crime. I reject that.
“My nature is that when I see abuses of power, I want to expose those abuses.”   
So, am I arguing that it is futile to engage in battles against abuses of power? No. It is important for him and others to engage in these battles, especially over securing information that the powerful wish to hide, in order to rouse the public sufficiently so that they will ultimately wage a war against the system.

(You may also be interested in this piece entitled "Silencing journalists: An alarming global trend" from Al Jazeera.)