Friday, October 28, 2016

B4 Trump Turns Real: BANALITY OF EVIL IN BRAZIL








- armed cop in a school; 
- the fable of the WORM & the WOLF (which might pretty well be preposterous);
- invasion of MST's school Florestan Fernandes by the police, Wagner Moura's testimony;
- Bonna Petit!!! (video by A/Z, for more see here);
- History of US rule in Latin America (Noam Chomsky) [I would usually dismiss much of this narrative as unreliable conspiracy theory; but since totally incredible things such as Trump, Brexit & Bolsonaro indeed turned up as totally REAL, what would be fair to believe in?! at least Chomsky gives a clear narrative from the opposite side of what has now "succeeded"];
- ex-president Lula interview (Mônica Bergamo & Florestan Fernandes, 27/04/2019);
- Misinformation Wars & Mass Surveillance;
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"Unbedingt jasagend, mich sogar in dem verschärfend, was ich über die Sprach-Verlumpung in Deutschland zu sagen gewagt hatte (—heute spielen sie die Puristen und können keinen Satz mehr bauen—), in gleicher Verachtung gegen die 'ersten Schriftsteller dieser Nation, endete er damit, seine Bewunderung für meinen Muth auszudrücken — jenen 'höchsten Muth, der gerade die Lieblinge eines Volks auf die Anklagebank bringt'... Man schweigt, man behandelt mich in Deutschland mit einer düstern Vorsicht: ich habe seit Jahren von einer unbedingten Redefreiheit Gebrauch gemacht, zu der Niemand heute, am wenigsten im 'Reich', die Hand frei genug hat. Mein Paradies ist 'unter dem Schatten meines Schwertes.'"
Nietzsche
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"Sinistro!!!"
Gerald Thomas, Entre Duas Fileiras
"Aparecido Laertes Calandra, codinome capitão Ubirajara, é figura carimbada em todas as listas de grupos de direitos humanos e foi reconhecido por diversas vítimas como torturador... Este estava na ativa até pouco tempo atrás. Geraldo Alckmin, governador de São Paulo, em 2003 uso a Lei da Anistia para justificar a nomeação dele para o Departamento de Inteligência do Departamento Estadual de Investigações sobre Narcóticos da Polícia Civil do estado."
Marcelo Netto & Rogério Medeiros

Brazil's Eighteenth Brumaire (1964):
"Ipês's function was to unite business leaders and military officers in a conspiracy to take down João Gulart... It coordinated with the American ambassador and the CIA. Comparing the Forbes list with one of Ipês's backers, I saw some of the most powerful families in Brazil today—Klabin, Gerdau, Ermírio de Moraes—on both. It dawned on me that many of Brazil's great fortunes contained the traces of crimes committed in the name of keeping the economy free...
A weatlhy cattle rancher from down south, Goulart was no commie, even if he did have radical proposals like redistributing land and capping rents... Radio stations ran Ipês propaganda claiming the Soviets had infiltrated Goulart's government..." (Alex Cuadros, Brazillionaires, p. 39); 
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One thing explains why international media keep more or less neutral in relation to Temer’s excesses. The Workers Party really screwed things up. While raising consumerism, both Lula and Dilma backed things such as Eike Batista's Megalomaniac Empire (a bubble of speculative capital) and dealt irresponsibly with notorious corrupted institutions such as FIFA. 
In the case of Brazilian universities, they poured money into a system wrecked by bureaucracy, cronyism and even nepotism
***"O problema é que, por uma conjugação única de circunstâncias históricas e culturais, a universidade pública brasileira, que cresceu no Brasil de forma tentacular a partir dos anos 1970, e seguiu num movimento de expansão que prossegue até hoje, acabou por se transformar numa gigantesca estatal, engessada em todas as suas instâncias transformadoras, vítima de uma centralização absoluta, e de fato consentida... a ditadura militar acabou por criar as bases da universidade com que a esquerda dos anos 1970 sonharia: um certo espírito de quartel... Não é meu interesse aqui discutir a universidade pública brasileira; é até possível que esse seja mesmo o melhor modelo para um projeto de popularização de acesso ao terceiro grau, projeto que por princípio joga para segundo plano o horizonte da excelência acadêmica, uma excelência radicalmente incompatível com o modelo..." (Cristovão Tezza, O espírito da Prosa, Rio de Janeiro: Record, 2012, p. 145-46). 
***"“O PT tentou romper as oligarquias e despontar uma terceira via, mas não conseguiu e acabou fazendo conchavo... “Defendo a administração pública, seja lá que partido for... O que se fazia na secretaria [da educação] era o empreguismo. Mais de oitenta escolas e tudo o que se arrecadava era para pagar pessoal, apaniguados e correligionários. As escolas não tinham orientação pedagógica. Era a educação feita por fazer, como em muitos lugares neste país”, explica [Tiana] Tapety, famosa por ser radical em suas colocações, mesmo em relação aos aliados..." ("A cidade do Piauí que quer se tornar a Finlândia brasileira da educação, " El Pais);

Temer however represents the worse of the Workers Party legacy. Together with PSDB (#PSDBemManiacos), MBL (#MBLixo), Globo (#TVPlimPlim) and Bandeirantes (#Bundi), he hopes for nothing but tightening the belt of the general population to keep exactly the same old system running without major losses for the 0,0001%.
The following was written about a time Brazil was governed by Fernando Henrique Cardoso (#FHCinico) & PSDB: "São Paulo, a terra da desigualdade, onde um carro de R$ 300.000,00 disputa espaço com o catador de papelão, onde o almoço mais caro é visto pelo menino que não come há três dias" [São Paulo, land of inequality, where a R$ 300.000,00 car fight over space with the garbage scavenger, where the view of the most expensive lunch tantalizes the kid starving for three days] (Ferrez, Capão Pecado, p. 173).
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A letter to the journal El Pais (never published):


"O que é difícil engolir num texto como o publicado por Eliane Brun em sua coluna do dia 04 de janeiro de 2019 ("O homem mediano assume o poder") é a total falta de senso crítico com relação à falência moral, quer dizer, em última instância, real, de figuras da esquerda tradicional como o ex-presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Estou utilizando a palavra "real" em termos do senso comum, mas também do discurso psicanalítico, de Lacan a Deleuze, pode-se escolher. Trata-se supostamente da mesma base teórica da perspectiva da qual autores como Eliane Brun ainda partem. Porque, fazendo referências explícitas ou não, aquilo que dizem não deixa de soar como uma versão um pouco requentada de pseudo-teoria crítica (que absorve tanto o marxismo quanto a psicanálise e deveria fazê-lo em suas versões mais ousadas). Mas digo pseudo-teoria crítica requentada, porque, em última instância, Eliane traça uma linha dicotômica entre o bem e o mal, o excepcional e o ordinário/mediano, num terreno que, segundo a própria teoria crítica, em suas versões mais sofisticadas (e até mesmo segundo o senso comum), é pantanoso e escorregadio demais pra esse tipo de demarcação. 
Pode-se tomar como fato consumado a excepcionalidade da trajetória histórica de Lula até a presidência? Não foi numa única eleição que ele chegou lá, e a história dele como sindicalista poderia ser dita antes exemplar que excepcional. Mesmo assim, se Jair Bolsonaro chegou onde chegou foi porque Lula, independente dessa suposta excepcionalidade, incorporou e se tornou representante de uma lógica tão universalizante que a longo prazo ela se autoinviabilizou e se revelou vazia. Os que pretendem que essa suposta excepcionalidade permaneça inabalável e incólume até hoje (senão projetada por toda eternidade do horizonte histórico) têm de se valer do álibi de raciocínios ad hoc como a narrativa do golpe, da manipulação midiática, do imperialismo. 
É exatamente a mesma lógica que sustenta, até hoje, nas universidades, toda uma rede de proteção artificial a esses mesmos intelectuais que idolatram políticos como o Lula (mas até poderia ser o próprio Bolsonaro ou um Fernando Henrique), permitindo a circulação ad infinitum de um discurso muito bem intencionado, mas generalista e manjado que, a longo prazo, não foi e não é capaz de viabilizar nenhuma mudança estrutural nem mesmo dentro do seu quintal, quer dizer, das próprias universidades. Seguem os concursos e seleções com cartas marcadas, as tramoias nas agências de fomento, o compadrio generalizado, o plágio descarado na pós-graduação, o favorecimento dos discípulos e coleguinhas amigos, o analfabetismo funcional, etc. 
Então você tem 2013, e depois a Dilma "sendo obrigada" a adotar da forma mais descarada uma política neoliberal que era a cópia exata daquilo que, até então feito de espantalho, tinha permitido justamente ao Lula (de forma extremamente reativa) se tornar essa suposta excepcionalidade que pra alguns ele permanece sendo até hoje! 
E como ele, Eliane Brun nunca vai deixar de ser aplaudida... ad infinitum! Ao menos dentro dos quadros dessa mesma academia, dessa burocracia kafkiana sem fim (mesmo Eliane tendo construído um percurso ímpar e independente, mas no fundo dialogando com os bem formados). 
Exceto se Jair Bolsonaro se revelar, concretamente, algo diferente do medíocre consumado que estão imaginando que ele seja... E isso vale pro bem e vale pro mal. E as pessoas que pretendem falar de excepcionalidade histórica, deviam se lembrar o quanto escorregadio e pantanoso eh realmente esse terreno. O neoliberalismo e a globalização, fizeram, por exemplo, muito mais pela "emancipação" efetiva de mulheres e outras minorias que toda verborragia politicamente correta de colunistas e acadêmicos. E minha posição não é anti-intelctualista. O que se requere é mais, não menos inteligência, e sobretudo mais senso crítico. Justamente pra se poder fazer frente a forças de ordem concreta. Eliane Brun, é claro, não pertence à academia, mas o tipo de texto que veicula, como o publicado nessa coluna, parece a quintessência do discurso acadêmico oficial no melhor e no pior sentido, universalizante e pseudo-universalizante, tão bem intencionado quanto anódino, acrítico, estéril."

***In 12 Sep 2019, Eliane Brum wrote an astounding article in which she denounces unequivocally the ecocide that is being caused by the construction (in the region of the Amazon rainforest) of the Belo Monte hydropower dam of Belo Monte, pushed by the governments of Lula and Dilma and related to corruption schemes in their governments:
"Esta era a mensagem que a procuradora da República em Altamira Thais Santi tentava passar aos jornalistas. Os incêndios são graves e devem ser denunciados e combatidos, mas é necessário compreender também que um rio está morrendo. Morrendo. “É ecocídio, e é genocídio”, ela afirma. A procuradora não exagera. Os fatos são eloquentes, investigados e mensurados pelos melhores cientistas da área do Brasil, e também por documentos oficiais. Na história recente da Amazônia, a grande causadora e reprodutora de violências na região do Médio Xingu, onde está a cidade de Altamira, foi e segue sendo a Usina Hidrelétrica de Belo Monte."
"... É também nesta região que, nos últimos anos, outra gigante, a mineradora canadense Belo Sun, pressiona a população local e assedia políticos de Belém para obter autorização para explorar aquela que seria a maior mina de ouro a céu aberto do Brasil – e também o sepultamento oficial da Volta Grande embaixo de toneladas de rejeitos tóxicos."
"Em 2011, publiquei uma entrevista na Revista Época com Celio Bermann, professor da Universidade de São Paulo. Especialista na área energética, ele também havia trabalhado no Ministério de Minas e Energia com Dilma Rousseff no início do primeiro mandato de Lula (PT). Bermann dizia com todas as letras que Belo Monte seria construída mais para gerar propina, menos para gerar energia. E afirmava que, para gerar energia, a usina era economicamente inviável. A entrevista gerou respostas e pressões de vários protagonistas, como o então senador José Sarney (PMDB)..."
"... A destruição da Volta Grande do Xingu é acompanhada com grande interesse pela mineradora canadense Belo Sun. Com a progressiva corrosão da vida na região e a crescente impossibilidade da existência dos indígenas, as barreiras para a instalação da gigantesca mineração de ouro vão se fragilizando. Abrir a Amazônia para a mineração é um dos principais objetivos do Governo Bolsonaro."- "A notícia é: o Xingu vai morrer" (Eliane Brun/El Pais, 09/12/2019)
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News: 
- "Quando atuava no Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais do Rio, o Bope, Nóbrega tornou-se conhecido por sua habilidade com todo tipo de armas – era atirador de rara precisão – e pela crueldade com que comandava os treinamentos entre o fim dos anos 90 e o início dos anos 2000. “Ele batia nos alunos com barra de ferro. Chegou a quebrar o braço de um e a estourar o rim de outro”, me disse um policial que atuou no batalhão na época.
Tanto Adriano Nóbrega quanto Ronald Pereira foram homenageados na Assembleia Legislativa do Rio com menções honrosas propostas pelo então deputado estadual Flávio Bolsonaro. Para justificar a homenagem a Nóbrega, que ocorreu em 2003, Flávio argumentou que o então capitão prestava “serviços à sociedade, desempenhando com absoluta presteza e excepcional comportamento nas suas atividades”. Nóbrega havia sido apresentado a Flávio por um antigo colega do Bope, Fabrício Queiroz – o ex-assessor do filho de Jair Bolsonaro que está no centro do escândalo envolvendo repasses suspeitos de dinheiro para Flávio na Alerj," Allan de Abreu's "A Metástase" (Piauí, Março 2019);

- Democracia Brasileira foi Corroída, diz instituto francês (DW);
- Brazil is in Crisis (The Guardian);
- CUNY Students Support Brazilian Student Occupations (Left Voice);
- Une adolescente brésilienne pour sauver l'éducation du pays (Europe 1);
- Brazilian schoolgirl's speech on education funding goes viral (BBC);
- Au Brésil un millier de lycées et d'universités occupés contre les politiques d'austérité (Basta!);
- O Grande Irmão: Abin tem megabanco de dados sobre movimentos sociais (Intercept);
- Como foi o ato contra a PEC em 50 Cidades, 18 Estados e 3 Países (Ninja);
- Conheça os bilionários convidados para "reformar"a educação brasileira (The Intercept);
- Tortura em Brasília (Lenio Luiz Streck);
- Educadores se unem a policiais para espionar estudantes (Ponte);

See also:
Instead of revolution: démontage;
- American "Liberal" Hell;
right truths to slay the enemy;
Environmental Issue (Brazil);
Blue Crab/ Siri Azul (Torres, Brazil, Jan 2019);
Who Wants to Be the World's 5th Largest Economy?
Brazil after Rousseff's Impeachment;
A Place Where Everything Is Permitted;
List of Infamous Brazilian Esquerdofrênicos;
Humanitarian Rhetoric;
Inside Job;
El estudiante, political movie;
***O Galho mais Alto de um Pau Gigante (Revista TriploV);
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the fable of the WORM & the WOLF (which might pretty well be preposterous):


Unfortunately, it looks like the move of Equator's president does nothing but prove the everlasting calling for insignificance and subservience of the Latin American "elite" (sic). After all, grotesque stupidity is the essential feature of the Latin American "new" right, elected with a tacit collusion of the mainstream media (that is, in Brazil, Globo, Bandeirantes, etc. which keep giving unrestricted support to aggressive neo-"liberal" unchecked policies besides being critical of the most caricatural traits of a Bolsonaro):  
'Moreno’s move against Assange has proved controversial in Ecuador. The previous president, Rafael Correa, has accused his one-time political ally of “a crime humanity will never forget” and described Moreno as “the greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history”.'
'In what may have been part of a campaign to weaken Moreno, WikiLeaks was linked to an anonymous website that claimed Moreno’s brother had created an offshore company...'
'[Moreno] insisted the decision to cooperate with the British and remove Assange from the embassy was a sovereign decision of his government and was not forced upon him by any external power.'
'He also asserted he had been given guarantees about Assange’s possible extradition to the US. “For us the maximum right to protect is the right to life,” he said. “For this reason, we consulted the government of the United Kingdom on the possibility of Assange’s extradition to third countries where he could suffer torture, ill-treatment or the death penalty. The United Kingdom extended written guarantees that if extradition is eventually requested he will not be extradited to any country where it may suffer such treatment,”' "Assange tried to use embassy as 'centre for spying', says Ecuador's Moreno" (Patrick Wintour, The Guardian, 04/14/2019);

***Just as Important:


'... it was curious to hear Diane Abbott, when answering questions about Labour’s enthusiastic objection to Assange’s possible extradition to the US to face charges of involvement in a computer-hacking conspiracy, say those sexual assault charges were “never brought”. The allegations were made, she generously conceded, but the charges were never brought.'
'It really doesn’t have to be this way. It is entirely possible to believe two things at the same time, that Assange should not face extradition to the US but that we should perhaps take a look at why he jumped bail and was in hiding for seven years. More than 70 MPs and peers have now written to Sajid Javid and Abbott, urging them to focus attention on the earlier Swedish investigations.'
'There is a tendency by some on the left to have a hierarchy of worthy causes. At the top is all the big banner stuff; the US, imperialism, neocolonialism, foreign policy. Further downstream are social justice and economic redistribution. And all the way at the bottom of the waterfall are those who don’t fit quite as neatly on one side or the other of the ideological odyssey between good and evil. Women have pesky gender issues that break the solidarity with men, and if we are to protect the workers, how do all the immigrants fit in to that?'
'Assange’s threatened victimisation by the US would be a worrying precedent and a reason not to extradite him, but that does not mean that sexual assault allegations should be brushed aside, "Why is the left blinkered to claims about Assange and sexual assault?" (Nesrine Malik, The Guardian, 04/15/2019);

***A more Equitable Perspective:


'States that commit crimes in foreign lands depend on at least passive acquiescence. This is achieved in a number of ways. One is the “othering” of the victims: the stripping away of their humanity, because if you imagined them to be people like your own children or your neighbours, their suffering and deaths would be intolerable. This is what the attempted extradition of Julian Assange to the US is about.'
'Back in 2010, the then US soldier Chelsea Manning downloaded hundreds of thousands of classified documents relating to US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, US state department cables, and inmates imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. Assange’s alleged role consists of helping Manning crack an encrypted password to gain access to the US defense department computer network. It is Manning who is the true hero of this story: last month, she was arrested for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks, placed in solitary confinement for four weeks, and now remains imprisoned. We must demand her freedom.'
'These leaks revealed some of the horrors of the post-9/11 wars. One showed a US aircrew laughing after slaughtering a dozen innocent people, including two Iraqi employees of Reuters, after dishonestly alleging to have encountered a firefight. Other files revealed how US-led forces killed hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan, their deaths otherwise airbrushed out of existence. Another cable, which exposed corruption and scandals in the court of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the western-backed then-dictator of Tunisia, helped fuel protests, which toppled him.'
'... Assange must answer the accusation in Sweden without the threat of extradition to the US,' "Whatever you think of Julian Assange, his extradition to the US must be opposed" (Owen Jones, The Guardian, 04/12/2019);

***Ultimate piece on Snowden and his ring (written by a woman):
"[In five years since Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance], we’ve learned much more about how Big Tech was not only sharing data with the NSA but collecting vast troves of information about us for its own purposes. And we’ve started to see the strategic ends to which Big Data can be put. In that sense, we’re only beginning to comprehend the full significance of Snowden’s disclosures... This is not to say that we know more today about Snowden’s motivations or aims than we did in 2013. The question of whether or not Snowden was a Russian asset all along has been raised and debated... [NSA's PRISM, whose documents were leaked by Snowden and disclosed by Glenn Greenwald and Barton Gellman] secured cooperation between the Internet companies and the NSA at the point when an individual suspected of involvement in terrorism had been targeted and the NSA wished to retrieve that suspect’s messages from the companies’ servers. Many Americans will still feel that this program constituted an unwarranted breach of privacy, but what PRISM does not do is vindicate the idea of a “deep state” operating entirely independently of the rule of law. Although this might seem like a fine distinction to some, it is an extremely significant one. But the narrative of deep-state lawlessness was too appealing... Assange’s allies, Milne included, have made clear that their allegiance doesn’t lie with liberal democracies and their values. They have taken sides with authoritarianism in their fight against the hypocrisy of liberal democracies... Assange, a former libertarian, has called Russia under Putin “a bulwark against Western imperialism”... For his part, Greenwald has repeatedly, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, decried as Russophobia the findings that Putin ordered interference in the 2016 US presidential election—even appearing on Fox News to do so. The very term “Russophobia” obfuscates the distinction between Vladimir Putin’s regime and Russia; the two clearly can’t be identified with one another... The distinction between left and right, he argues, will increasingly be replaced by the opposition between people who are pro-establishment and anti-establishment. But being anti-establishment is not a politics. It defends no clear set of values or principles. And it permits prevarication about the essential choice between criticizing and helping to reform liberal democracy from within or assisting in its demise. It encourages its partisans to take sides with a smaller, authoritarian state in order to check the power of the one whose establishment it opposes... In their book Red Web: The Kremlin’s War on the Internet, the Russian investigative journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan recounted the experiences of human rights activists who were summoned via an email purportedly from Snowden himself, to a meeting with him at Moscow airport when he surfaced there with Sarah Harrison, to find they were joining the heads of various pro-Kremlin “human rights” groups, Vladimir Lukin, the Putin-appointed Human Rights Commissioner of Russia, and the lawyers Anatoly Kucherena and Henri Reznik. It was clear to the independent activists that Kucherena had organized the meeting... So whether we trust [Snowden] matters. It matters whether we view him as a bad actor, or as a well-intentioned whistleblower who has shown bad judgment, or as someone who has allowed himself to become an unwitting pawn of the Russians... In a 2016 lecture by video-link at Fusion’s Real Future Fair, Snowden discouraged his audience from pursuing the legal and political remedies that liberal democracies offer... If there’s one thing Greenwald, Assange, and their followers got right, it’s that the United States became a tremendous economic and military power over the last seven decades. When it blunders in its foreign or domestic policy, the US has the capacity to do swift and unparalleled damage. The question then is whether this awesome power is better wielded by a liberal-democratic state in an arguably hypocritical way but with some restraint, or by an authoritarian one in a nakedly avowed way and with no restraint. In the five years since Snowden’s revelations, we have seen changes, particularly the election of Donald Trump with his undisguised admiration for strongmen, that compel us to imagine a possible authoritarian future for the United States," "Edward Snowden Reconsidered" (Tamsin Shaw, The New York Review of Books, 09/13/2018);

***What should have been the ultimate piece on Glenn Greenwald (& still much more on Assange): 
"What’s astonishing about their ascent to heroism is the breadth of their support. The embrace of the antiwar left and the libertarian right was to be expected. But effusions of praise for the leakers can also be found throughout the liberal establishment... Contrary to [Snowden's] claims, he seems to have become an anti-secrecy activist only after the White House was won by a liberal Democrat who, in most ways, represented everything that a right-wing Ron Paul admirer would have detested... In several cases over a five-year span, Greenwald represented Matthew Hale, the head of the Illinois-based white-supremacist World Church of the Creator, which attracted a small core of violently inclined adherents... Greenwald’s other clients included the neo-Nazi National Alliance, who were implicated in an especially horrible crime. Two white supremacists on Long Island had picked up a pair of unsuspecting Mexican day laborers, lured them into an abandoned warehouse, and then clubbed them with a crowbar and stabbed them repeatedly. The day laborers managed to escape, and when they recovered from their injuries, they sued the National Alliance and other hate groups, alleging that they had inspired the attackers. Greenwald described the suit as a dangerous attempt to suppress free speech by making holders of “unconventional” views liable for the actions of others... most of [Greenwald's] writings, his critique of America abroad was congenial both to the isolationist paleo-Right and to post–New Left anti-imperialists... Along those lines, Greenwald found common ground with the upper echelons of right-wing free-market libertarianism... When bloggers confronted Greenwald about his associations with libertarians, the darling of the netroots and MSNBC left angrily batted the claims away as distortions. He need not have reacted so forcefully. Accused of working for Cato, for example, he might simply have said that he believed in addressing any organization that wanted to hear from him and left it at that. Instead, Greenwald attacked his critics as “McCarthyite” purveyors of “falsehoods, fabrications, and lies”... In 2010, Greenwald began attacking the Obama administration from the left on a variety of domestic issues, attacking Wall Street corruption, opposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and decrying inequality. Yet even as he insisted on his left liberalism, he remained a steadfast promoter of Ron Paul—“far and away the most anti-war, anti-Surveillance-State, anti-crony-capitalism, and anti-drug-war presidential candidate in either party.” (After Paul’s son, then senatorial candidate Rand Paul, questioned the Civil Rights Act, Greenwald agreed with criticism that the remark was “wacky,” but insisted that the real “crazies” in American politics were mainstream Democrats and Republicans.)... During his political pilgrimage, Greenwald became consumed: For him, the national security apparatus is not just an important issue; it is the great burning issue of our time... In the wake of the WikiLeaks frenzy, Assange often tried to clarify where he stood politically. His simultaneous embrace of leftist icons such as Noam Chomsky and right-wing libertarians seemed to indicate that he was open to ideas from either end of the political spectrum, so long as they were directed against authoritarianism. Finally, in 2013, Assange proclaimed, “The only hope as far as electoral politics presently ... is the libertarian section of the Republican Party”... Yet even that declaration was misleading. In practice, Assange has a history of working closely with forces far more radical than the Republican Liberty Caucus. Late in 2012, Assange announced the formation of the WikiLeaks Party in Australia. It had been expected that WikiLeaks would ultimately throw its support to the Green Party—especially after the party’s National Council voted in favor of such a move. Instead, WikiLeaks aligned with a collection of far-right parties. One was the nativist Australia First, whose most prominent figure was a former neo-Nazi previously convicted of coordinating a shotgun attack on the home of an Australian representative of Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress. Members of the WikiLeaks Party blamed the flap on an “administrative error”; mass resignations from the party’s leadership followed. Those who quit cited a lack of transparency in the party’s operations, and some pointed to remarks Assange had made blasting a Green Party proposal to reform Australia’s harsh treatment of asylum seekers... Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange have largely set the terms in the debate over transparency and privacy in America. But the value of some of their revelations does not mean that they deserve the prestige and influence that has been accorded to them," "Would You Feel Differently About Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange If You Knew What They Really Thought" (Sean Wilentz, The New Republic, 19/01/2014);

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