Dec 7, 2013
The Dictionary of the Global War on You (GWOY)
Posted on Jul 3, 2013
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch
Source: Someone who tells a journalist what no one, other than the NSA, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and similar outfits, should know (see “secret”). Such a source will be hunted down and prosecuted to the full extent of the law—or beyond (see “Espionage Act”). Fortunately, as Associated Press president Gary Pruitt recently pointed out, thanks to diligent government action, sources are drying up. (“Some of our longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking to us, even on stories that aren’t about national security. And in some cases, government employees that we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone, and some are reluctant to meet in person.”) Someday, they may no longer exist. When an unnamed administration official offers information privately to a journalist, however, he or she is not a source—just too humble to take credit for feeding us crucial information needed to understand the complex world we live in.
Blood: This is what leakers have on their hands. A leak, embarrassing the national security state, endangers careers (bloody enough) and, by definition, American lives. Thus, Bradley Manning, in releasing classified State Department and U.S. military documents to WikiLeaks, and Edward Snowden, in releasing NSA secrets to the Guardian, the Washington Post, the South China Morning Post, and Der Spiegel have blood on their hands. We know this because top U.S. officials have told us so. Note that it does not matter if no deaths or physical injuries can directly be traced to or attributed to their actions. This is, however, a phrase with very specific and limited application. American political and military officials who launch aggressive wars, allow torture, kidnapping, and abuse, run drone assassination programs, and the like do not have blood on their hands. It is well known that they are bloodless.
Insider Threat Program: The name of an Obama administration initiative to promote patriotism inside the government. Its goal is to encourage federal employees to become more patriotic by picking up on clues that potentially traitorous co-workers might consider leaking classified information to the enemy (see “journalist”). Government managers, again to promote love of country, are encouraged to crack down on any employees who are found not to have been patriotic enough to report their suspicions about said co-workers. (Words never to be associated with this program: informer, rat, or fink.)
Patriot: Americans are by nature “patriots.” If they love their country too well like (to take but one example) former Vice President Dick Cheney, they are “super-patriots.” Both of these are good things. Foreigners cannot be patriots. If they exhibit an unseemly love of country, they are “nationalists.” If that love goes beyond all bounds, they are “ultra-nationalists.” These are both bad things.
Trust: What you should have in the national security state and the president to do the right thing, no matter how much power they accrue, how many secrets of yours or anybody else’s they gather, or what other temptations might exist. Americans can make mistakes, but by their nature (see “patriots”), with the exception of whistleblowers, they can never mean to do wrong (unlike the Chinese, the Russians, etc.). As the president has pointed out, “Every member of Congress has been briefed on [NSA’s] telephone program and the intelligence committees have been briefed on the Internet program, with both approved and reauthorized by bipartisan committees since 2006… If people don’t trust Congress and the judiciary then I think we are going to have some problems here.”
Truth: The most important thing on Earth, hence generally classified. It is something that cannot be spoken by national security officials in open session before Congress without putting the American people in danger. As Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has made clear, however, any official offering such public testimony can at least endeavor to speak in “the least untruthful manner” possible; that is, in the nearest approximation of truth that remains unclassified in the post-9/11 era.
1 2 3 4 NEXT PAGE >>>
Previous item: More Storms, More Heat Says World Meteorological Association
New and Improved Comments