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'Presstitutes' and SpiesDr. Paul Balles Salem-News.com
President Obama has charged more government employees under the provisions of the antiquated 1917 Espionage Act than all of his predecessors combined.
(MANAMA, Bahrain) - Some media pundits have used the terms "whistleblowers” and “traitors” synonymously.
Much of the recent status of whistleblowers has arisen out of the difference in the handling of Edward Snowden by both the mainstream media and the fairer columnists writing on the internet and the local press outside of America.
Snowden has been portrayed in the mainstream Western media as a "narcissist", a “scheming traitor", a “Russian agent”, a “Chinese spy”, “a clueless high school dropout”, an “anti-government extremist," and more.
One might expect that the truths revealed by Snowden about America's spying on everything and everybody would arouse a much fairer reaction.
Snowden’s revelation includes the National Security Administration’s (NSA) use of Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo and other technology firms to spy on almost everyone. That disclosure alone should have provided a major shock for everyone.
All it got from the mainstream media amounted to a few days of minimal attention, much of which was negative about Snowden.
Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post wrote “Edward Snowden is no hero. Unlike others who broke the law on principle, he lacked the courage to suffer the consequences.”
She compares (or contrasts) Snowden with Martin Luther King and Socrates, neither of whom were whistleblowers.
One might expect more from a writer for a major American newspaper. Would she have Snowden locked up and silenced in torture cells like whistleblower Bradley Manning?
A "liberal" TV channel like MSNBC might at least be even-handed when, in fact, they sounded more like "talking head" robots who couldn't stand the news.
Usually reasonable Ed Schultz blasted Snowden by name-calling him “a punk and a coward”. He growled that Snowden should come home and "face the music".
One commentator got it right when he said "Ed Shultz, the so-called "liberal/progressive television personality, came out today and exposed himself as just another ‘presstitute’ for the government."
MSNBC’S Melissa Harris-Perry replaced a question for a guest with a long rant against both Snowden and Glenn Greenwald who had the National Security Agency (NSA) secret published by the Guardian.
Greenwald accused Harris-Perry of being part of a media outlet dedicated to defending the Obama agenda.
Rachel Maddow, also MSNBC, was more interested in whether James Clapper, director of Intelligence, lied to congress about what Snowden leaked than she was about the NSA's secret data collection on everybody.
Several earlier whistleblowers that very few have heard of make the attention given to Snowden remarkable. Thomas Drake, Bill Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe were all whistleblowers within the past decade. Unlike Snowden, they got almost no public attention.
President Obama has charged more government employees under the provisions of the antiquated 1917 Espionage Act than all of his predecessors combined. Eight leakers have been charged with espionage under Obama, compared to three under all previous presidents.
On her way to the Russian airport where Snowden is holed up, the Human Rights Watch representative received a call from the US Ambassador to Russia, who asked her to relay to Mr. Snowden that the US government does not categorize Mr. Snowden as a whistleblower and that he has broken United States law.
Hundreds of millions of people in the US and around the world have fallen victim to the NSA spying program, whether through their telephone records or through the PRISM program that grants the spying agency direct access to stored internet activity of nearly anyone, anywhere.
It is “a global, ubiquitous surveillance system that has as its goal the elimination of privacy worldwide”, wrote Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian.
The laws that these whistleblowers have broken are trivial when compared to the NSA’s massive spying on everyone. Tell the NSA to get out of our computers; and tell the ‘presstitutes’ to stop defending MSA spying.
Throughout his life as an educator, Dr. Paul J. Balles, a retired American university professor and freelance writer, has lived and worked in the Middle East for 40 years - first as an English professor (Universities of Kuwait and Bahrain), and for the past ten years as a writer, editor and editorial consultant.
He’s a weekly Op-Ed columnist for the GULF DAILY NEWS . Dr. Balles is also Editorial Consultant for Red House Marketing and a regular contributor to Bahrain This Month. He writes a weekly op-ed column for Akbar Al Khaleej (Arabic). He has also edited seven websites, including bahrainthismonth.com, womenthismonth.com
Paul has had more than 350 articles published, focusing on companies, personality profiles, entrpreneurs, women achievers, journalists and the media, the Middle East, American politics, the Internet and the Web, consumer reports, Arabs, diplomats, dining out and travel. Paul's articles on Salem-News.com are frank and enlightening. We are very appreciative of the incredible writings Dr. Balles has generated for our readers over the years, and we are very pleased to list him among our most valued contributors.
Indulging the hard subjects that keep the world divided is our specialty at Salem-News.com, and with writers like Dr. Paul Balles on our team, we amplify our ability to meet challenges and someday, will see the effects of this exist in context with a more peaceful and generally successful world.
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