Want to destabilise a country, a region or an entire planet? No biggie. Inspire terrorism, distribute vast amounts of false news and wreak general havoc.
Living in times of great uncertainty, as we do, most find it hard to decide what and who to believe anymore, as fake news and general disinformation fills our social media feeds, in part spread by trolls, but also by the traditional media themselves, often staffed by journalists lacking not only the ability to write properly, but the ability to tell truth from lies – possibly due to the financial situation, forcing media corporations to maximise production at a minimum of costs, inevitably resulting in a quantity surpassing quality by tenfolds. Online, that is.
Eager to cut costs, online newspapers have spent huge resources on user involvement, included third-party independent groups and individuals, regardless of their funding and/or motivations, such as these fine gentlemen:
Both of whom in the receiving end of much journalistic praise, as the media had a field day, nay, field days and years, basking in the glory of their «findings», «leaks» and «revelations»,
Personally I never really bought into it, as posts thusly tagged will show (please feel free to go back in time):
Currently hailing from the news and commentary website The Intercept, Greenwald is launching an attack on his former employer, whence he once spread the gospel according to Snowden and Assange, wildly throwing accusations at The Guardian, for reasons unknown to you and me, just as we were kept in the dark with regards to his motivations for distributing their disclosures, be they lies, facts – or mere instruments in the grand scheme of things.
With the destabilisation of the west among Vladimir Putin’s more or less expressed intentions, it should come as no surprise that the Kremlin is responsible for at least the better half of all known fake news operations, as well as innumerable hacker attacks and, possibly, leading an unprecedented number of refugees to Europe, which we all know has brought about political discord, including the outset of the European Union’s dissolution, starting with a Brexit motivated, among other things, by fear of the refugee influx.
All while we witness NATO lying in shambles, as a new «Warsaw pact» emerges.
Most of it, of course, orchestrated by the Kremlin, where, by the way, Putin’s and western media’s golden boy, Edward Snowden, resides. Must be the climate and the pretty girls, huh?
You may of course ask yourself how it is that WikiLeaks and Snowden focus on what they present as US violations, whereas Russia, according to them, is perfectly immaculate.
Because Russia is immaculate, perhaps …
Despite my disgust for Mr. Putin’s intentions, there’s no denying that he’s been carrying out what he set out to do with great success, masterfully, with the west sidelined as helpless bystanders, probably out of fear for escalating a conflict Vladimir Putin tries his best to … well, escalate.
But I can tell you this much. As a journalist, mostly a former journalist, I’m deeply ashamed by my one-time colleagues’ conduct – and active part in introducing fake news as the basis of our collective «knowledge», and the fear we all harbour.
Which all bodes well for the age of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
We can only hope that, since the objective has been an attack on «the establishment», the media one day wakes up to the realisation that the two afore-mentioned gentlemen in fact are the establishment.
With the invaluable help of our eminent press.
As Donald J. Trump utters his compulsory «So help me God» on Friday 20 January, I’ll whisper a quiet addition to myself:
The American born defector/Russian spy Edward Snowden was invited today, to attend the award ceremony for the Norwegian PEN‘s Ossietsky prize, rewarded to him, but remains in his principals’ custody in Moscow, unable to leave Russia, for fear of apprehension by western law enforcement agencies or intelligence, but also, I suspect, because the Kremlin probably is reluctant to let go of a highly valuable asset.
Needless to say this blogger has been convinced of Snowden’s treason all along, advocating an extradition I’ve known the FSB wasn’t very likely to agree to, in order to see justice done. Text continued below drawing.
A reasonable request, provided the American judicial system can be trusted, which I am confident that it still can, at least up until Donald Trump’s inauguration on 20 January 2017, after which any traitor to the American state with all probability is met with a very meagre chance of even appearing in front of a proper court.
Which is why I urge Norway – or any other country – to provide Edward Snowden with a safe haven – until law and order has been restored in the United States of America, hopefully within 2021.
The incontestable fact that Snowden remains a Russian spy in no way justifies an extradition to a system soon to be highly volatile.
Having said that, should decent countries offer such protection, on a temporary basis, of course, the chances of Russia providing free passage are in any event very slim.
Putting us all firmly back in square one, despite our good intentions, unless, of course, the Putin-Trump bromance obliterates all Russo-American antagonism.
As for the Ossietsky prize, you have to wonder what motivates an otherwise serious organisation to hand out prizes to an enemy of the entire west. But that’s the thing: Unlike the country for which Edward Snowden carried out his espionage, we remain free to award whom ever we like.
Rendering his treason all the more grave.
Top illustration: American born defector Edward Snowden. Blogger’s illustration.
I think I’ve made it abundantly clear, for years on end, what I think of popular heroes Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, but would, for the record, like to reiterate that I have always considered them henchmen of this here fellow (with documents appropriately reflected in his shades):
For which I expect we will see further proof in times to come. Not about to stoop to Donald Trump’s level, by reminding you that I told you so (even though I indeed told you so), I content myself with the knowledge that those who have objected will have to reconsider. Unless, of course, they actually knew all along.
And yes, I did see the cinematic Assange tribute Underground: The Julian Assange story (2012), which did little to change my mind. Granted he started out a regular punk, perhaps even with the best of intentions, but far be it from me to claim that his humble beginnings in any way acquits him of the damages he later came to bring upon us.
Same thing, of course, goes for infamous defector Snowden. I have yet to stumble over arguments convincing me that landing in Russia (!) with a huge pile of U.S. intel was a freak accident.
So yes, I do hate to say that I told you so.
But I did, didn’t I?
Top photo montage: Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Sources: David G. Silvers/Flickr and Wikipedia. Montage: Blogger.
P.S. The post title, of course, serves more as caption for top photograph, than as a content headline.
Man kan mene mangt om Edward Snowden, noe folk forsåvidt også gjør.
Det store gross betrakter ham som noe av en elektronisk frihetskjemper, mens andre, som denne bloggeren, ikke er i tvil om at han har sveket Vesten og sitt eget hjemland på det groveste.
Hvordan det enn måtte forholde seg, noe jeg også tror en gang kommer for en dag, har Redaktørforeningen, Journalistlaget og Presseforbundet i dag bestemt seg for å bistå Snowden, i hans bestrebelser på å komme til Norge for å motta Ossietzky-prisen Norsk PEN fant det opportunt å tildele ham i år, uten fare for utlevering til landet han svek. Teksten fortsetter under bildet.
Ellers er det vel bare å fastslå at det har gått norsk sport i å berømme mannen, med Bjørnsonprisen i fjor, og stadige ymt om fredspris-nominasjon, og det stopper sikkert ikke der.
Det skal i det minste bli interessant å følge bestrebelsene.
Toppillustrasjon: Edward Snowden på vei til Russland med hemmelige dokumenter. Bloggers tegning.
Jeg har aldri gjort noen hemmelighet av hva jeg mener om WikiLeaks’, Edward Snowden og Anonymous’ virksomhet. Denne andre verdenskrig-plakaten, reprodusert av bloggeren, for optimal gjengivelse, er «dedisert» dem.
Ryktene svirrer igjen, om at hackerkollektivet Anonymous nok en gang akter å ramme terrorgruppen Isil. Det forrige forsøket gjorde ikke rare forskjellen, selv om de utvilsomt fikk stengt utallige Twitter-konti – og mere til. Men et banesår var det vel knappest.
Hin uke ble det også fremmet trusler om aksjoner rettet mot Donald Trump og hans kampanjeapparat. Jeg er redd aksjonene, om truslene nå var mer enn tomme, blir bensin på bålet. Enten fordi amerikanske velgere vil ha seg frabedt innblanding i indre forhold, eller fordi det opphøyer Trump til martyrrollen. I begge tilfeller en seier for fascisten (for jo, det er det han er).
Anonymous består tilsynelatende av en uformalisert sammenslutning umodne bråkmakere, som rett nok har reagert prisverdig på urett av forskjellig slag, men som, til syvende og sist, er mer til skade enn til gavn.
I denne sammenhengen kan det være nyttig å huske at de, tillikemed den amerikanske FSB-spionen Edward Snowden (t.h.) og WikiLeaks-grunnlegger Julian Paul Assange, også er instrumentelle i Kina og Russlands propagandakrig – og elektroniske krigføring – mot Vesten.
Det er en ikke fullt så prisverdig rolle, og en vi burde betakke oss for, heller enn å kjøpe Robin Hood-statusen de gir seg selv, og som kritikkløst fremholdes av deres vestlige støttespillere.
Men for all del: Tilhører de i realiteten Isil og Trumps støtteapparat, fortjener de honnør for den geniale tilnærmingen.
Toppillustrasjon: En Guy Fawkes-maske, den uformelle hacker-sammenslutningen Anonymous’ bumerke. Tegnet av bloggeren.