Glenn Greenwald and his defenders would like you to believe the media are trying to “distract” from his story about the the supposed NSA scandal. That ignores reality. In fact, Greenwald is making his “persecution” the story to distract from the reality that there is no NSA scandal, as fervently as some would like you to believe there is one.
So, let’s do what the NSA conspiracy theorists really do NOT want to do; let’s talk about the story itself.
With other legitimate Obama scandals, there were hearings and revelations and pushback from Republicans and even some Democrats. These were real issues brought to light in the pressure cooker of our two-party, contentious political system. On the Benghazi scandal, accusations and hard questions were asked of witnesses. The IRS scandal saw testimony that shocked so much that even a few Democrats expressed outrage.
The “NSA Scandal” has not proceeded this way. In fact, there was a House panel last week that raised all the issues people have brought up about the NSA programs. Greenwald’s defenders don’t say much about this panel or the fact that it shot down Greenwald, Poitras and Snowden’s lies, half-truths and calculated leaking of classified information. The whole House panel–all three hours of it–is available online. Fewer than 2,500 have watched it online so far. The truth doesn’t matter when a vague conspiracy theory will do. House Republicans, including people who aren’t known for being shrinking violets like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rep. Pete King (R-NY), defend the program. Got that? Republicans are defending the NSA program.
The Senate Intelligence Committee hasn’t remained silent, either. Here’s ranking Republican Saxby Chambliss of Georgia also defending the NSA program:
Chambliss: Let me just add to what the chairman said. The Intelligence Committee takes its oversight authority and obligation very seriously. We review every program within the intelligence community on a regular basis, including this program. That’s why we took the liberty of explaining to our colleagues the substance of the program in the two “Dear Colleagues” that we handed out. And we’re going to continue to do that. Where we find abuses, we’re going to take corrective action.
If there’s a scandal, then why is every Republican on the House Intelligence Committee going along with it? Why is every Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee going along with it?
The defenders of Greenwald don’t want to give the only possible answer; one that so many fringe lunatics will doubtlessly provide : the Republicans are in on it!!!
That’s literally crazy talk, of course. It’s the conspiracy theorist’s last resort; anyone who questions their theory is in on it! Greenwald’s defenders are likely aware of how nuts that sounds, so they avoid discussing the lack of Republican pushback from the people in the intelligence committees who are in a best position to know. They make vague, sanctimonious statements about civil liberties and the Fourth Amendment without acknowledging that these questions have been raised and answered, repeatedly.
There’s no “there there” on the NSA “scandal” because not everything in the world is a scandal. There may be legitimate issues that haven’t been dealt with about the NSA program and if there are, the defenders of Greenwald would do well to actually bring them up specifically rather than go along with his “poor Glenn” schtick.