Glen Greenwald:  On Prism, partisanship and propaganda

Addressing many of the issues arising from last week’s NSA stories.

What matters:

Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez said after Congress on Wednesday was given a classified briefing by NSA officials on the agency’s previously secret surveillance activities:

“What we learned in there is significantly more than what is out in the media today. . . . I can’t speak to what we learned in there, and I don’t know if there are other leaks, if there’s more information somewhere, if somebody else is going to step up, but I will tell you that I believe it’s the tip of the iceberg . . . . I think it’s just broader than most people even realize, and I think that’s, in one way, what astounded most of us, too.”

The Congresswoman is absolutely right: what we have reported thus far is merely “the tip of the iceberg” of what the NSA is doing in spying on Americans and the world. She’s also right that when it comes to NSA spying, “there is significantly more than what is out in the media today”, and that’s exactly what we’re working to rectify.

Bottom line: There is NO oversight. There NEVER has been oversight.

The core problems are very clear and simple:  

  1. Insiders are sworn to secrecy for a lifetime, with a sanction of lifetime imprisonment or execution for a violation
  2. Whistleblowers have NO sanctioned outlet to object to any government oversight function.