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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

 
Villagers are big money stakeholders in the perpetuation of endless war

by digby

My complaint about the Village, especially the Village media, is usually one that's based on what appears to be a cliquish, insider culture made up of privileged power brokers and wealthy celebrities (and the wannabes of both categories) who live in a social and professional bubble and who arrogantly assume their elite values reflect the values of the average, middle class American.

But it's more than that, isn't it? It's about money too, big money. Lee Fang points out one especially egregious example from just this week: the notorious David Gregory interview with Glenn Greenwald on Meet the Press:
There are problems here with both the messenger and the message.

First, the message. In fact, the Obama administration has one of the worst records of any president’s in terms of prosecuting leaks and whistleblowers. Moreover, Snowden had virtually no legal protections as a member of an intelligence agency contractor (Booz Allen Hamilton). In These Times reported that “as part of last year’s Whistleblower’s Protection Enhancement Act, rights for whistleblowers were enhanced for many categories of federal employees, but intelligence employees were excluded from coverage under the act. Likewise, intelligence workers—both federal and contract employees—were excluded from whistle blower protections offered to military contract employees under the most recent National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).”

But [Mike] Murphy himself has a stake in this debate that arguably ought to have been disclosed. Though Murphy was introduced only as a “Republican strategist,” he is also the founding partner of Navigators Global, a lobbying firm that represents one of the NSA’s largest contractors. Disclosures show that Navigators Global represents Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) on issues before Congress. For at least a decade, CSC has won major contracts from the National Security Agency (NSA). Murphy’s firm has lobbied on behalf of CSC for bills that would expand the NSA’s reach, including the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act or CISPA, which passed the House of Representatives earlier this year. As the Center for Democracy and Technology noted, the “legislation is being billed as an expansion of a collaboration between the National Security Agency (NSA) and major ISPs dubbed the Defense Industrial Base Pilot.”

As Americans continue to debate the revelations raised by Snowden, few lawmakers have raised the potential for abuse when powerful spy technology is outsourced to private contractors. Rather than focusing on the issue of the sprawling surveillance state or its legions of private contractors, many in the media seem intent on only discussing the personality or motives of Edward Snowden. While Murphy’s misleading assertion about whistleblower protections was challenged briefly by NBC’s Chuck Todd, his claim obscures the facts of the story.

The incestuous corruption of the beltway culture runs very deep. And it's a big part of the problems we face as a country.


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