Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Must See TV: The United States of Secrets

The United States of Secrets
This is something I've been outraged about for over a dozen years now.  The story has been soft-pedaled in the press, and I think most people don't have a good grasp of just how this all went down. It's an epic crime story.
I sincerely hope that everyone who is skeptical about the value and necessity of NSA whistleblowing will watch the PBS Frontline program called The United States of Secrets. You won't have to be offended by Glenn Greenwald's passion (although he does appear toward the end briefly) or reflexively defend the Obama administration because it's mostly the programs that Dick Cheney and his deranged lieutenant David Addington energetically pushed and defended as Michael Hayden and the NSA willingly carried it out. This is the whole story told in linear fashion, with recollections from players like Alberto Gonzales (who admits that all he tried to do was "protect the president" when he signed the legal authorization when Jack Goldsmith refused.) You'll see, probably for the first time, the first person accounts of righteous patriots who tried to blow the whistle from the very beginning. The details are all fascinating and the story is well told. But I think it's vitally important for liberals who are ambivalent about whether this program required whistleblower with proof to watch it to understand how it was protected and advanced by Vice President Cheney and his counsel Addington through lies and obfuscation and finally just plain thuggish political power. (And yes, how despite the fact that President Obama ran for president explicitly against such abuse of power, he did nothing to challenge it. That's on him.)

Typos courtesy of my iPhone

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