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posted by martyb on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:22AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the anyone-who-expects-to-give-up-freedom-for-security-will-get-neither dept.

Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept writes A Response to Michael Kinsley

Kinsley has actually done the book a great favor by providing a vivid example of so many of its central claims. For instance, I describe in the book the process whereby the government and its media defenders reflexively demonize the personality of anyone who brings unwanted disclosure so as to distract from and discredit the substance revelations; Kinsley dutifully tells Times readers that I "come across as so unpleasant" and that I'm a "self-righteous sourpuss" (yes, he actually wrote that). I also describe in the book how jingoistic media courtiers attack anyone who voices any fundamental critiques of American political culture; Kinsley spends much of his review deriding the notion that there could possibly be anything anti-democratic or oppressive about the United States of America.

But by far the most remarkable part of the review is that Kinsley--in the very newspaper that published Daniel Ellsberg's Pentagon Papers and then fought to the Supreme Court for the right to do so (and, though the review doesn't mention it, also published some Snowden documents)--expressly argues that journalists should only publish that which the government permits them to, and that failure to obey these instructions should be a crime.

I can't say I want my government to have its fingers in what is and what is not reported.

See also: Cory Doctorow's review of Greenwald's book at BoingBoing

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Oligonicella on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:54AM

    by Oligonicella (4169) on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:54AM (#48530)

    Fuck no.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Darth Turbogeek on Thursday May 29 2014, @04:24AM

      by Darth Turbogeek (1073) on Thursday May 29 2014, @04:24AM (#48554)

      Mod the parent up, end discussion. This is EXACTLY what freedom of speech actually means - the right for you to say things govenments dont like and to have some protection so the govt cant stop said speech. It's the basis for true political freedom and I would say, the most fundamental of all rights to defend.

      If you cant speak freely.... how else otherwise can you possibly have other rights?

      • (Score: 1) by gidds on Monday June 02 2014, @10:00AM

        by gidds (589) on Monday June 02 2014, @10:00AM (#50145)

        This is EXACTLY what freedom of speech actually means - the right for you to say things governments don't like

        According to the US Constitution, yes.  But many of us aren't in the US, and even those who are would probably take a wider view:

        It includes the right to say things that you don't like.  And that I don't like.

        It's not an absolute right; we choose to limit it in specific circumstances where other considerations seem even more important.  (I've long said that moral principles are goals to be balanced against each other, not simple yes/no switches; life is complex.  I recently found a more involved explanation here [raikoth.net].)  But those circumstances are very narrow and carefully-defined; freedom of speech trumps most other considerations most of the time.

        For example, do I have right not to be offended?  In general, no!  Many legal systems make very specific exceptions to that (e.g. to counter racism).  But otherwise, it's more important for you to be able to speak; the corollary is that I must accept being offended if I listen.

        (I'm not saying that deliberately causing offence is a Good Thing™ — it's rarely justified, and life would be better if we made reasonable efforts to avoid it most of the time.  But that's nearly always a much less important consideration than being free to speak.)

        Freedom of speech is that ghastly metaphor, a double-edged sword: it's very sharp, and cuts both ways.  But it's a vital tool.

        --
        [sig redacted]
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Alfred on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:23PM

      by Alfred (4006) on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:23PM (#48782) Journal

      I think that a plain "no" is sufficient but I won't advocate restricting your choice in how to emphasize it.

      • (Score: 2) by Oligonicella on Friday May 30 2014, @02:10AM

        by Oligonicella (4169) on Friday May 30 2014, @02:10AM (#48979)

        A simple no doesn't carry enough adamancy.

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by Grishnakh on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:42PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:42PM (#48790)

      Fuck yes.

      I don't like it personally, but you might as well get used to it. This country is headed quickly into fascism, and nothing is going to stop it. The government has set up a system where it perpetuates itself, regardless of the wishes of the electorate, by limiting the choices on the voting ballot. Other Amendments to the Constitution are already ignored through a little legal trickery, so it won't be hard to nullify the First Amendment too. We already do this today with "First Amendment zones" or "free speech zones"; they'll just do something similar for journalism: they can argue that since you're allowed to express yourself in a "free speech zone", the 1A still applies, and restrictions on the press aren't abridging the 1A.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by stormwyrm on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:58AM

    by stormwyrm (717) on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:58AM (#48531) Journal

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Seems rather strange for a journalist to be advocating that the government should restrict their rights to freedom of speech and the press which the very Constitution says should not be restricted by the government.

    --
    Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by kaszz on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:06AM

      by kaszz (4211) on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:06AM (#48536) Journal

      It makes perfect sense once you realize that the media is run by power brokers.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mendax on Thursday May 29 2014, @05:28AM

        by mendax (2840) on Thursday May 29 2014, @05:28AM (#48576)

        It makes perfect sense once you realize that the media is run by power brokers.

        Indeed. In fact, the difficulties that Mr. Greenwand in getting his initial story about Edward Snowden's leaks as documented in the book (yes, I've read it) are one of the many factors that drove him to try a different approach to doing journalism and abandoning The Guardian entirely, one that is not controlled by the Rupert Murdochs and other corporate pricks who own the news media.

        As an example, the New York Times could have blown the whistle on a lot of this shit the NSA does in 2004 before the election, possibly destroying the re-election prospects of George W. Bush, but instead waited until after the election to reveal that Bush had illegally ordered it. He could have and ought to have been impeached for it, but losing the election would have been enough.

        --
        It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Thursday May 29 2014, @06:30AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 29 2014, @06:30AM (#48592) Journal

          Nice theory, except the shit the NSA was doing prior to 2004 is laughable compared to what they were doing in 2013.
          They have gotten progressively more intrusive under democratic administration, not less so.

          After a full term and a half, the problem isn't Bush's fault anymore.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @05:53PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @05:53PM (#48849)

            Nice theory, except the shit the NSA was doing prior to 2004 is laughable compared to what they were doing in 2013.
            They have gotten progressively more intrusive under democratic administration, not less so.

            After a full term and a half, the problem isn't Bush's fault anymore.

            Policy does build momentum. If Bush lost the election in 2004 because of pervasive spying, there would be a lot less pervasive spying today. And frankly, I believe the GP was blaming the New York Times for not reporting on illegal activities our Government was doing that the NYT knew about. And in particular, the decision not to report may have been a political decision by a power broker and not a decision based what a free press is supposed to provide to the citizens it represents.

            It was the actions of the people that were in office at the time (2004) that matter, not the party they represent. It would also be foolish to infer that because Bush was President at the time, that no one else, then or after 2004, would deserve any blame for supporting or continuing the behaviour. Bush certainly deserves blame for his actions at the time, as he does for the following four years, as does the NYT and other journalists that failed us, as does Congress, as does Obama for continuing the trajectory for six years (and for the next two), I'm sure there's plenty more that could be on the list including all of us USians for letting it happen.

            While blame toward people current and past would be nice, I would be happy if we could just stop the Government from spying on all of its citizens now.

          • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday May 29 2014, @06:47PM

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday May 29 2014, @06:47PM (#48871) Journal

            Nice theory, except the shit the NSA was doing prior to 2004 is laughable compared to what they were doing in 2013.
            They have gotten progressively more intrusive under democratic administration, not less so.

            After a full term and a half, the problem isn't Bush's fault anymore.

             
            I don't think the GP's post was intended to be partisan but to point out that it is easiest to stop a rock from rolling at the top of the hill, not half-way down.
             
            However, I will point out that PRISM launched in 2007 and Obama was inaugurated in 2009.
             
              Reference 1 [wikipedia.org]
              Reference 2 [wikipedia.org]

            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday May 29 2014, @06:58PM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 29 2014, @06:58PM (#48875) Journal

              We are not discussing rocks. Please pick an appropriate analogy.

              Who ever is sitting in the white house has:
              1) Official Stationary
              2) Official Pens
              3) The ability to issue an executive order.

              The fact that a Democrat is in the white house is not the main point here, how ever much you seem want this to be about republican vs democrat.

              The main point is that this president replaced the prior administration, AND promised (twice) to put a stop to this type of government abuse (along with many similar abuses), and was elected based on that promise!

              In the absence of a "Stand Down" executive order, it is THIS president's problem.

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:50PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:50PM (#48794) Journal

          Government has power over media. But power brokers have power over media and government.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Angry Jesus on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:37AM

      by Angry Jesus (182) on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:37AM (#48543)

      > Seems rather strange for a journalist to be advocating that the government should restrict their
      > rights to freedom of speech and the press

      I don't think he is a journalist. He's a pundit. I skimmed his wikipedia page and didn't see any mention of reporting. But lots of stuff like co-hosting Crossfire and working as an editor and writing op-ed columns.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:48AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:48AM (#48546)

        Still technically makes him a member of the press, to whom the particular highlighted clause of the Constitution applies, but right, perhaps he's not strictly a journalist.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @04:11AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @04:11AM (#48550)

      "The freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by a despotic government." --Thomas Jefferson

      "If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom." --Dwight David Eisenhower

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by zim on Thursday May 29 2014, @05:01AM

      by zim (1251) on Thursday May 29 2014, @05:01AM (#48569)
      It's ok. They didn't make a 'law' abridging the freedom of press.

      They just kicked the last guy who said things they didn't like in the face and ruined his life forever.

      See. Legal. No law.

      Be well citizen. Now pick up that can.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @06:50AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @06:50AM (#48599)

        The joke's on Them. That Guy was already dead inside since his wife left him, and picking up cans is an easy and rewarding job.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by snick on Thursday May 29 2014, @01:34PM

          by snick (1408) on Thursday May 29 2014, @01:34PM (#48719)

          You're not listening.

          The GP wasn't saying it was Bush's fault. They were agreeing that the media is more interested in being playas than in reporting the news.

          But yeah, a Dem/Rep food fight is a good distraction from the real problem, so ... well done.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:59AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @02:59AM (#48532)

    Is to legitimize how irrelevant the 1st amendment has become in Journalistic thinking.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:19AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:19AM (#48540)

      Yes but what was he wearing and who was he with if that wasn't his wife?

      • (Score: 1) by timbim on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:39AM

        by timbim (907) on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:39AM (#48544)

        Donald Sterling?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Thursday May 29 2014, @05:24AM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday May 29 2014, @05:24AM (#48575) Journal

      The fundamental issue here is with a debate that I became aware of while I was in college in the late 80s, specifically, is the Constitution a "living document" (meaning it can change with the times) or should it be read very strictly (immutable unless amended). The liberals in the 80s, who at that time could actually be considered liberals rather than what poses as liberals today (read that as "Democrats: The New GOP") were rather in favor of the living document perspective while conservatives, not what poses for conservatives today (read that as "Old GOP: Parody of Itself"), were in favor of a strict reading.

      25 years later, we are seeing the fruits of that debate, and it is clear that old guard conservatives lost -- actually, they had been losing ever since the drug war's inception because drugs are small, easy to hide, and the 4th Amendment has taken a massive beating because of this fact ... in the present time of course, the NSA and Congress' recent legitimization of its processes by passing a doublethink entitled law called the USA FREEDOM Act, put the last nail in the 4th's coffin.

      Obviously it won't stop with the 4th. Every other provision in the bill of rights that notes rights that people have is under a full assault, by both Democrats and Republicans (calling these groups liberals and conservatives does violence to the English language -- these are groups of power hungry statists where the only discernible difference between them is on the hot button issues of abortion and gay marriage). Both parties have taken the "living document" approach to heart and both parties are working toward a common goal (the complete evisceration of the Constitution and its values) by attacking different portions of it -- Republicans are after the separation of church and state, Democrats after firearms, and both after the press and the right to be left alone.

      I have always considered myself a liberal, and in my 20s I thought the "living document" arguments were persuasive, but I see now that it was a trick, and that as a legal perspective on the Constitution, it has served only to attack the classically liberal values contained in the Constitution. At this point though, there is no turning back. The Constitution is dead and we are on a path that leads to some pretty dark places -- there is no way to turn this around, the forces at work are too large and too well funded and the corruption in DC is too well entrenched.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bradley13 on Thursday May 29 2014, @01:46PM

        by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 29 2014, @01:46PM (#48726) Homepage Journal

        The debate is much older than that; put another way, we've been sliding down this slope so long that no one still remembers what the top of the hill looked like. I just recently read Starship Troopers: and it raises a lot of the same issues, and was written in 1959. George Orwell's 1984 was written ten years earlier than that.

        Read reminiscences of people raised 60, 80, 100 years ago. They enjoyed freedoms that we cannot even imagine today. Just as an example I recently ran across boys taking their rifles to school (that they were shooting cans with), but being asked to leave their rifles at the classroom door. Can you imagine what would happen today, if a boy brought even an unloaded gun to school? [freerangekids.com]

        Sixty years ago, the government was much less involved in people's lives; there were fewer regulations. And yet, strangely, life was possible even without the benevolent intervention of government ensuring when and how people lived every moment of their lives.

        Of course, it is all so very well meant. That new law might save a life - surely it is worth a small loss of freedom? Isn't it?

        --
        Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:53PM

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday May 29 2014, @03:53PM (#48796)

          Sixty years ago, the government was much less involved in people's lives;

          That's not really true. Back in the 1800s, different states actually had state religions, and the Bill of Rights was thought to only apply to the Federal government. 100 years ago, the government worked with business owners and Pinkerton to violently oppress protesters for worker's rights. Many localities had laws requiring people to have someone walking in front of their car waving a flag to avoid scaring horses. Sodomy and homosexuality were illegal until only recently. Lots of places have had laws forbidding oral sex, or even sex with the lights on, until recent years. Drinking (or producing) alcohol was strictly forbidden for about a decade. Producing or consuming various recreational drugs has been illegal for less than a century, and still is for the most part.

          What you're seeing is that some freedoms people had decades ago are now gone, while other things which were forbidden are now legal. Marijuana was legal in the 1800s, but was banned in the 1930s or so, and is now being decriminalized or legalized in select jurisdictions. Alcohol was legal in most places until around 1920, then forbidden for about a decade, then legalized again, in most places (but not all; there's some dry counties still).

          Don't forget that 160+ years ago, black people had no freedom at all in part of the US, and had less freedom than white people until the 1960s.

          In a nutshell, freedoms come and go.

  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday May 29 2014, @04:19AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday May 29 2014, @04:19AM (#48553) Journal

    What is that rule about headlines that are questions? May apply here. Not even rhetorical questions, really. Just trying to catapult the propaganda, Bush Admin. style. Make it possible, make it conceivable, make it doable. There is no department of Total Information Awareness that operates to put the correct US Gov't view out there, not to lie but just to be correct. Edward Snowden is not correct, or he would have gotten government approval and redaction of everything he had to say. Double-plus ungood that, if I unremember correctly.

    --
    #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @05:04AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @05:04AM (#48570)

    "You turn on the TV, and you see very bland interviews. Journalists in the United States are very cozy with power, very close to those in power. They laugh with them. They go to the [White House] correspondents' dinner with them. They have lunch together. They marry each other. They're way too close to each other. I think as journalists we have to keep our distance from power."

            "I'm not seeing tough questions asked on American television," he added later. "I'm not seeing those correspondents that would question those in power. It's like a club. We are not asking the tough questions."

    - Jorge Ramos

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/jorge-ramos-reporte rs-cozy-with-power-act-like-theyre-in-a-club/ [mediaite.com]

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @05:34AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @05:34AM (#48579)

    they demand "english".

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @07:12AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @07:12AM (#48606)

    You talking about the press that is one third propaganda, one third fake outrage and one third thinly disguised porn?

    There's no need to legalize what they print, they've made themselves obsolete.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by NCommander on Thursday May 29 2014, @09:22AM

    by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Thursday May 29 2014, @09:22AM (#48638) Homepage Journal

    Its not clear from the summary, but appears that Kinsley writes for the New York Times, which was instrumental in the court cases that proved that the government could only issue prior restraint (that is to say, prevent publication) under very very specific grounds; I cited New York Times v. United States [wikipedia.org] as a case on journalist protections in the United States. There is a long history in the courts that the government can only censor in cases of "grave and irreparable" harm, as an extension of Near v. Minnesota [wikipedia.org] (another case I cited in the incorporation research).

    The fact is the New York Times had a long history of going to bat against the government on issues of freedom of speech/press, and has gone to SCOTUS on dealing with such issues, in regards to the publication of the Pentagon Papers, and in dealing with maliace/liabe in New York Times v. Sullivan [wikipedia.org].

    These protections have been weakened from threats like National Security Letters, but even then, NSLs have been successfully challenged in court. The fact is, in this day and age, it feels that much of the integrity that once was part of the media organizations in this country has gone. Perhaps I'm wrong, and should we be tested for a legal showdown w.r.t prior restraint, one of the media giants will step up to bat, but I suspect I would be disappointed.

    --
    Still always moving
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday May 29 2014, @12:33PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Thursday May 29 2014, @12:33PM (#48695)

      It once had a history of batting against the government, but it does no longer.

      The last time the NYTimes went to bat legally was in the case of Judith Miller protecting the source that told her that Valarie Plame was a spy (telling Miller that was a criminal act on the part of whoever did it). They did this because the Bush administration wanted them to.

      They also held off on a story highly critical of the Bush administration for an entire year, long enough for the 2004 election to happen, solely because the Bush administration asked them to.

      And remember, this is supposed to be the "liberal" media, kow-towing to the not-at-all liberal Bush crowd.

      --
      Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @11:51AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @11:51AM (#48683)

    He is rapidly ascending into demagoguery territory. As a "journalist" you'd think he'd understand the difference between Section A, the Op-Ed page, and the book review page. And I'm sure he does, but why not confuse the issue and stir up the outrage and martyrdom ("THEY want to silence me AND MY BOOK! THEY want me to shut up, READ ABOUT IT IN MY NEW BOOK! I got a book out! Did you see my book? Get it before THEY confiscate it and have public book burnings! THEY want to do that; it says so in some secret documents that I'll show you some day (after my Q rating drops below a certain threshold level)!!)? He's pulling the speech style that GW Bush used to use all the time: "There are those who say it is OK to pistol-whip nuns. But I say it is wrong and it has to stop!"

    Same thing with the article headline. Really? What kind of BS click-bait writing is that?

    • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @01:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @01:54PM (#48733)

      I see that if you can't argue against me, you down-mod me.