OP-ED: David Brooks Lies, Misses Point about Snowden

Kevin Hengehold June 12, 2013 0

NSA Phone RecordsSo I went to Matt Taibbi’s blog to see him tear apart the cowardly, moronic article David Brooks wrote about Edward Snowden. But he didn’t write it – maybe he’s getting soft in his old age, or maybe he’s covering important events and leaving the angry critiques to the assholes with nothing better to do.

It’s my time to shine…

Brooks’s main thesis in his shitshow of an op-ed is that kids today, in addition to cranking their stereos too loud and skating on the sidewalks, live in an “atomized society,” where “young men in their 20s… are living technological existences in the fuzzy land between their childhood institutions and adult family commitments.”

Note that this broad dismissal of society rests squarely on a hypothetical he reverse-engineered to make his “point.”

I know this reality only exists in Brooks’ head because he certainly didn’t learn about it from Snowden. In his own words:
“My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

When asked about possible attempts to sell state secrets to China or another nation, he replies that he could have easily done that without drawing this much attention. And if he were interested simply in destroying PRISM, he could have done that from his desk, in Hawaii, in an afternoon.

So, is it that Brooks doesn’t know about Greenwald’s piece? If only he’d taken ten minutes to watch the interview, would he emerge with an enlightened view of Snowden’s actions?

It’s clear that Brooks has a very specific view of community, one that flows unidirectionally from the elites down to us. Nowhere is this more obvious than his passage saying “For society to function well, there have to be basic levels of trust and cooperation…Snowden has betrayed all of these things.”

Notice that society, in Brooks’ mind, needs to trust institutions and have no insight into what they do, how they operate, or how they’ve abused their authority. To say Snowden, not the CIA, violated our basic levels of trust and cooperation betrays how morally bankrupt he and his newspaper, the New York Times, have become.

This is not the first time the NYT has tacitly approved massive government overreach and invasion of privacy. They delayed reporting on Bush’s warrantless wiretapping for a full year, letting the presidential election pass before informing the public of what their president was doing.

And now, in the face of the most important government leak since the Pentagon Papers, once again the New York Times sides with power. Brooks went so far as to say that Snowden’s actions, informing citizens of their government’s behavior, “betrayed the cause of open government.”

Brooks concludes by saying that Snowden has done damage to “social arrangements and the invisible bonds that hold them together.” I believe Snowden would agree, that this was an attempt to disrupt the relationship between eavesdropper and eavesdroppee.

There is a pearl of invaluable wisdom in this otherwise vast wasteland of idiocy. Brooks’ ability to demonstrate how the fourth estate, specifically the “Paper of Record,” has chosen to side with unlimited government surveillance demonstrates precisely how the mainstream media has failed the public.