Edward Snowden, 2013, Phillip Agee, 1970... Empire defends itself brutally against the truth and those who bring the truth out

A good news story is about the facts, not about the way in which the facts come to a reporter or news organization. Yet as soon as we publish the facts, someone on the other side wants to dig out who provided us with them. "Where did you get that?" is always more important to those who corruptly deploy massive power than "Is this TRUE?" Whether it's the Chicago Boys under Rahm Emanuel in Chicago destroying the public schools of a major city on behalf of a crazed ideology, or the Chicago Boys in Washington D.C. concocting plans to destroy the public schools of an entire nation, the facts count.

The first thing I think it's important to do when discussing the latest revelations about U.S. "security" snooping (and related matters) is not to fall into the "Reality TV" version of reality that immediately becomes the default position of most corporate "reporters" in the USA today. At every point where a fact becomes big news involving these types of issues, many of those in the security establishment try to divert most public attention from the "Who, What, When, Where, Why and How" of serious reporting into a kind of Freudian corner. What matters is not whether the facts are accurate, but the state of mind of the person disclosing those facts.

This is silly, but since silly is usually the default location of most American reporting, it's no surprise. An empire as vast, vicious, and hypocritical as that of the USA today would not last long if it didn't have a hundred default positions behind which it could hide the facts about what it's actually doing, whether the actual doing is the closing of real public schools during an orgy of Ayn Rand crazed privatization or droning death -- with "collateral damager."

Anyone who was paying attention to the monstrosities of what was happening in "Latin America" 30 or 35 years ago, when I was researching and writing "The American Federation of Teachers and the CIA", knew then, as most people know now, that the issue was the string of vicious, murderous dictatorships stretching from Guatemala (occasionally, as in 1968 including Mexico) to Tierra Del Fuego --

-- NOT whether a man of conscience would want to expose what was being done to thousands of men, women and children in the name of the so-called "Free World."

During those years, Philip Agee quit the CIA and wrote a book, then helped published other books, about the truth regarding the dictatorships from Rios Mont to Augusto Pinochet. What Agee reported about "Latin America" was not a surprise to anyone who was paying attention in those nations. The censorship of Agee was aimed at keeping the American people ignorant of what was being committed in our names. Then, as now, a cabal of "free market" zealots, dubbed then, as now, "The Chicago Boys," was preying on nations, most notably Chile.

Chile is an important focal point because, as everyone there knows (but most here are just noticing) all of the predations currently aimed at the so-called "middle class" in the USA were then aimed at working people and the poor of Chile. Charter schools replacing the best public schools on the continent. Universal education eliminated, returning eduction to the privileged (i.e., those who could afford it). An attack on the pensions of older working people (as if everyone just needed a Chilean version of a 401k and everything would be fine - until the next collapse of capitalism within the cycle of boom and bust).

During those years, Philip Agee, like Edward Snowden today, did not want to wind up in a "communist" country, but little by little, he was driven from one place to another, until he had to end up in Cuba. Then, the Reality People could show the proof that he had been a Communist all along.

Instead of the "Red Terror," and Cold War, in 2013 the dodge is a kind of Snookiness. The reduction to pablum of important issues is always the same, and it often works. Everything is a mindless exercise in personality disorders, based mostly on trivial greeds, with no real reality let in.

The Obama / Kerry administration is no different from the Nixon / Kissinger administration in this regard. The "Chicago Boys are in Power" in some areas, spying is rampant, and the imperium will be protected by any means necessary, murder continues in the service of empire, aided and abetted by massive spying. Ironically, both Henry Kissinger and Barack Obama have also received the Nobel Peace Prize...

Every "journalist" who focuses on Edward Snowden's personal history and personality instead of on the story about the most massive state spying in world history is complicit in this monstrosity. Just as those who "reported" during those dismal years decades ago about the glories of the "free market" in Chile (or the "good Communism" in Romania, to balance this essay a bit) are exposed as hack propagandists.

Ten years ago, The New York Times helped lead us into a war based on lies. But when those lies were exposed, few of her fellow reporters subjected Judith Miller, the Jayson what's his name fabricator of some of the most important stories, to the silly psychoanalysis that is now going on about Edward Snowden. Miller's "sources" were as transparently corrupt as Jayson's fictionalization for the New York Times.

I loved watching Glenn Greenwald's Socialism 2013 discussion of how he and the Guardian came to break one of the biggest international new stories of the 21st Century.

Of course, like any good reporter, Greenwald checked out the credibility of his source, but as he has said over and over and over, it was the credibility of the information, not the source, that was important to the story. With today's reports that the USA is even blocking the air space over certain NATO countries to the aircraft of the presidents of sovereign nations, we are looking at a kind of "deja vu all over again." The predations that were exposed from Chile through Mexico, to just use the example of those years, took in many cases decades to uncover, just as it took decades to unravel the Stasis ("East" Germany) and Securitates (Romania), etc. of Europe and expose their monstrosities.

Police states are police states. Murder is murder, and no Orwellian phases like "collateral damage" can hide the facts from those on the ground.

Those who expose the inner workings of corrupt power are to be praised, not psychoanalyzed by puerile pundits covering up for atrocities of corporate and government power.

Whether the question is the truth in "Inside the Company: A CIA Diary" by Phil Agee four decades ago or the various revelations -- first in The Guardian and now everywhere -- by Edward Snowden this week, anyone interested in working towards justice knows what counts this morning is the message, not the life and times of the messenger. But just as they can temporarily ground an airplane, the corrupt powerful will do anything to cover up both their corruption and the evil in its works.


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