Greenwald: John Oliver Rehashed all the Debunked US Smears Against Snowden

Glenn Greenwald points out that John Oliver, in his recent interview with Edward Snowden, “renewed all the standard attacks in Democratic circles accusing Snowden of being a traitor in cahoots with the Kremlin. What’s most striking about this — aside from the utter lack of evidence for any of it — is how identical it is to what Nixon officials said to smear the last generation’s greatest whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg”.

The journalist/attorney goes through specific cases of the smears, which, continued by Oliver today against Snowden, are used to help sweep US crimes under the rug so they can go unpunished (as researcher Matt Peppe said this week, documenting more examples from the Times), and to feed a self-conception of superiority coveted by aggressive militarist states.

“The script for smearing”, notes Greenwald, “never changes — it stays constant over five decades and through the establishments of both parties”.

He also gives examples of how NYT writers smeared Martin Luther King, Jr., for his anti-war activism, even, amusingly, lecturing King about how to lead the Civil Rights movement.

Reporter and his UK-based colleague on Twitter.  

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  • Big Bear

    The smear as a prominent weapon for the enforcement of conformity to the dictates of America’s financial-political elite arose in the later1930s, when American historian Charles Beard coined the term “Smearbund” for the media and political operatives who mounted a concerted attack on American progressive peace activists resisting the Roosevelt “Democratic” administration’s drive to involve the United States in a second world war — the war that sank the British Empire and established the hegemony of the Wall Street World Imperium whose usurpation of American democracy we are now contending with — and became a prominent tool in the arsenal of the anti-communist witch-hunts of the 1950s, under the “Republican” Eisenhower administration. It’s history in America is entirely “bi-partisan”, perhaps because “both” parties are sock puppets operated by the identical financial elite.

    • AlanMacDonald

      Yes indeed, Big Bear, and a point that Glenn’s article does not
      fully make is that his example of MLK being targeted for such smear
      by the NYT media/propaganda-sector of the Empire was MLK’s combining
      of multiple ‘issues’; war, racism, and imperialism in the same
      significant (“Riverside” speech) which came dangerously
      close to ‘fingering’ the Disguised Global Capitalist Empire as the
      central, seminal, and singular cancerous cause of all these separate
      ‘identity issues’ and subordinate, but visible, ‘symptom problems’
      which might have united people, energy, and “Popular Resistance”
      against an Empire that could thus loose its most significant weapon
      common to predators, parasites, and cancers — which is the weapon
      of disguise, camouflage, and stealth.

      As Zygmunt Bauman
      hauntingly puts it, “In the case of an ailing social order, the
      absence of an adequate diagnosis…is a crucial, perhaps decisive,
      part of the disease.”13

      Berman, Morris (2011-02-07). Dark
      Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire (p. 22). Norton. Kindle

      Yes, MLK was not targeted by the nascent Disguised
      Global Capitalist Empire in 1967 because he said particularly nasty
      things about America, but because the DGCEmpire rightly feared that
      he would ‘put together’ multiple issues, problems, and all ‘the
      people’ who were energized by any of the ‘issues’ that the Empire
      caused in order to unite, consolidate, and ignite enough people
      across all issues to Revolt against the Empire —– as was so
      clearly the case in the First (and only successful) American
      Revolution against Empire.

  • The smear only works, if you brainwash a nation from birth that “officials” (government & news officials) should be blindly believed and have “authority” over you and know better than you.

    • Big Bear

      It’s working.

  • StopShoutingBlog

    The 21st century template is to implant the false narrative into the collective consciousness through swarming social media. Once the meme has been seeded throughout the blogsphere, the truth, when it emerges later, is irrelevant.