Foggy and chilly again this early Wednesday morning on California’s north coast and the weather sure feels like winter’s already here — the wet cold clings to the body-frame all day long.
In this type situation, the chill on the coast is better than frost and real cold landward.
America is currently in a struggle to break through its historically-inaccurate maze of outgrown dreams. All the revelations about the NSA’s spying on US citizens and the entire known world has stripped the curtain of wonderland-fantasy we have all figured was truth — Ha!
Yesterday, Spain became the latest country to fall under the NSA spell, joining Mexico, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil, and others to be exposed later.
(Illustration found here).
WikiLeaks started this craze more than three years in the release of a trove of materials via Chelsea Manning (then named Brad), along with the infamous “collateral murder” videos — the rug was lifted, and all that dirt that had been swept under there for years and years could now be readily seen.
And the powers that be, including President Obama and all his intelligence jerks, near-literally shit their pants. The pile in the bloomers got much bigger four months ago when Ed Snowdon unleashed a whirlwind of documented materials that revealed the US to be lying-spying assholes.
Plus, the 200-plus years of hypocrisy came to an end.
On top of that, a new study reveals the more religious a person — official America the way-religious — the more likely they would tell a lie for money: However, he discovered other factors predicted a greater likelihood of telling an untruth — including the assertion that religion plays an important role in your life.
Religion by its nature creates hypocrisy, and the US….
In a piece at Foreign Affairs, two George Washington University professors, Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore, contend the biggest impact of the WikiLeaks/Snowden disclosures is the US can no longer hide reality behind a virtuous screen of smoke and mirrors.
An emperor sans clothing:
Hypocrisy is central to Washington’s soft power — its ability to get other countries to accept the legitimacy of its actions — yet few Americans appreciate its role.
Liberals tend to believe that other countries cooperate with the United States because American ideals are attractive and the U.S.-led international system is fair.
Realists may be more cynical, yet if they think about Washington’s hypocrisy at all, they consider it irrelevant.
For them, it is Washington’s cold, hard power, not its ideals, that encourages other countries to partner with the United States.
The article is behind a pricey paywall, but one of the writers, Farrell, discussed the situation yesterday at the Washington Post:
Our argument is straightforward.
The U.S.’s private behavior is often starkly at odds with its public ideals.
Because the U.S. is the most powerful state in the international system, it’s often able to get away with this.
The leaders of other states know that the U.S. is behaving hypocritically, but often find it easier to say nothing about it.
Leaked documents from Manning, Snowden and others are making it much harder for other states to pretend that they don’t know what the U.S. is doing.
The U.S. is less able to hypocritically pretend that it’s not doing stuff that it is doing, while other states are less able to hypocritically ignore what the U.S. is doing.
The result is that systematized hypocrisy is becoming a lot more costly for the U.S. than it used to be.
Manning’s and Snowden’s leaks mark the beginning of a new era in which the U.S. government can no longer count on keeping its secret behavior secret.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans today have access to classified documents that would embarrass the country if they were publicly circulated.
As the recent revelations show, in the age of the cellphone camera and the flash drive, even the most draconian laws and reprisals will not prevent this information from leaking out.
As a result, Washington faces what can be described as an accelerating hypocrisy collapse — a dramatic narrowing of the country’s room to maneuver between its stated aspirations and its sometimes sordid pursuit of self-interest.
The U.S. government, its friends, and its foes can no longer plausibly deny the dark side of U.S. foreign policy and will have to address it head-on.
Hence, and therefore, Snowden’s leaks drove James Clapper and Keith Alexander to backtrack, walk-back and admit they lied, but of course, not saying so, just presenting the “least untruthful” answers.
John Glaser at antiwar.com offers this: So, while not even the most vicious government agent has been able to substantiate any claims of an actual threat to Americans’ safety resulting from the Manning and Snowden disclosures, it is certainly true that their leaks have weakened Washington’s ability to act in ways that are contrary to self-serving propaganda about freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. And that is the kind of threat that power hates the most.
And more to come.