Scared Fearful Losers
From Fareed Zakaria at CNN:
[W]e continue to stand in absurd airport lines. We continue to turn down the visa applications of hundreds of thousands of tourists, businessmen, artists and performers who simply want to visit America and spend money here, and become ambassadors of good will for this country. We continue to treat even those visitors who arrive with visas as hostile aliens – checking, searching and deporting people at will. We continue to place new procedures and rules to monitor everything that comes in and out of the country, making doing business in America less attractive and more burdensome than in most Western countries.
We don’t look like people who have won a war. We look like scared, fearful, losers.
From Glenn Greenwald at Salon:
As we learned from the bloodthirsty need for war over the last decade among America’s chickenhawks (or, similarly, from the violent homophobic attacks of closeted, self-hating gay men), sensations of weakness and impotence — the defining attributes of what Zakaria calls “scared, fearful losers” — are typically compensated with the vicarious feelings of power, nobility and bravery that come from celebrations of state violence and other forms of risk-free aggression.
From Edward Wasserman at The Miami Herald:
Obama took office pledging tolerance and even support for whistleblowers, but instead is prosecuting them with a zeal that’s historically unprecedented. His Justice Department has conducted six prosecutions over leaks of classified information to reporters. Five involve the Espionage Act, a powerful law that had previously been used only four times since it was enacted in 1917 to prosecute spies…
Thanks to the post-9/11 explosion in government intercepts, electronic surveillance, and data capture of all imaginable kinds — the NSA is estimated to have intercepted 15-20 trillion communications in the past decade — the secrecy police have vast new ways to identify leakers.
So they no longer have to force journalists to expose confidential sources. As a national security representative told Lucy Dalglish, director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, “We’re not going to subpoena reporters in the future. We don’t need to. We know who you’re talking to.”
Of course, if all journalists are lying down the way the N&R has, there’s little to surveil.