Author Douglas Valentine whose work includes “The CIA as Organized Crime.” Greenwald is mentioned at the end.
What does it say about the state of the nation that many on both the left and right are banking their hopes for the future of American democracy on the patriotism and competence of cloak-and-dagger spooks?
If you tune in to left-leaning mainstream cable news shows on MSNBC or CNN, you’ll see a steady parade of such stalwarts of the intelligence community as former CIA director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Former FBI director James Comey, once the bane of the left for reopening the Clinton email inquiry two weeks before the 2016 election, is now lauded in Democratic circles for his attacks on President Donald Trump.
The view of many on the left that the president is an existential threat to the safety and security of the country is a sentiment shared with many right-wing #NeverTrumpers.
Meanwhile, to Trump and his loyal followers, this cabal of current and former intelligence figures represents a usually invisible “Deep State” faction, whose intention is to overturn the democratic will as expressed in the Electoral College.
But perhaps there’s an upside to this seismic realignment of public opinion: the American people are coming to terms with the notion that the intelligence community — far from being an above-the-fray servant of a popularly elected government — is in fact inherently political, serving long-term shadowy interests, including its own.
TRACY: Even some of the alternative progressive left media that were good twenty or so years ago are increasingly dependent upon foundation money that comes with strings attached, and they’re not as inclined to push the envelope as I think they once were.
DOUG: Sure. As a person who is interested in how the CIA uses language and mythology to control political and social movements, I see this development as ominous. People like Glenn Greenwald who take money from billionaires insist it has no editorial influence on them. But media people who are taking money from billionaires and CIA-connected foundations must realize that their sugar daddies can sink their operations in a moment because of something they write, and that knowledge surely impacts what they are willing to do and say.
Taking money from a billionaire also has tremendous symbolic meaning. It means the person taking the money approves of one person having eight billion dollars when three billion people barely survive. Through their example, celebrity media figures like Greenwald are telling their followers that they support the exploitation and imperialism their benefactors engage in.
As all advertising people know, symbolic messages don’t have to be articulated, they’re understood subliminally. Greenwald’s followers like it that way. It means they don’t have to consciously confront their tacit support for an unjust system. That self-censorship allows celebrity journalists like Greenwald and his sidekick Jeremy Scahill to promote themselves as heroic adversaries of the system. And they’ll continue to get away with the double game until their followers start challenging their own basic assumptions. The system will never change until people climb out of their comfortable darkness and start rejecting the system’s inequalities, instead of just feeding off of them.