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Published: Wednesday 18 September, 2013

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One measure of our culture disdain for whist michael kors bags sale leblowers like Edward Snowden can be culled from the pages of a thesaurus.



Beyond and few neutral antonyms exist to describe people who divulge alleged wrongdoing by the government or other organizations to the press, while negative synonyms abound spy, doubleagent, rat, snitch, informer, fink, doublecrosser, canary, stoolie, squealer, turncoat, betrayer, traitor and so on.



We bristle at the scent of whistleblowers for atavistic reasons: They violated the norms that bind the group together and must be scorned and punished, and their only allies are likeminded individuals who deserted the packor joined opposing packsand portions of the press, which occupies a floating niche somewhere between the individual and the group that allows it to thrive on such principled perfidy.



But even the press in aggregate is not a friend to whistleblowers, as its recent treatment of Snowden attests, what with the deep dives into his teen years including photos, his education and employment history, his reputation as a loner and a his pantsdown hijinks, his online scribblings, his dancer girlfriend, his predilection for in his own words Krispy Kremes. Squeezing every possible query at every known commercial database, journalists worldwide have aped the National Security Agency snooping skills to track down Snowden friends, associates, neighbors, schoolmates, relatives and colleagues to instapaint his portrait.



No matter how generously you read the team portrait, Snowden comes off as a bit of a cocky knowitall. And how could he not? He did a bodacious, criminal thing. He threatens to commit additional acts of criminal bodaciousness. He maintains the coolcustomer persona in his video and print interviews. And he comes off as a little squirrelly and egoswollen.



But what mortal wouldn come off a little squirrelly and egoswollen after nonstop scrutiny by the press, even if they hadn leaked NSA secrets? I guarantee you that if the press ever gets around to vacuuming your every posting, scrapbooking your most dishy teen pix, and interviewing all the people in your past, it will depict a creep of some variety. Not because you a creep but because the language and methodology of journalism are illequipped to capture normalcy, even when its subjects project normalcy. Journalism is about finding flaws and magnifying them, and surely someone who would spill massive loads of state secrets must contain a few broken parts, right?



Whether Snowden is more psychologically integrated than your average 29ye michael kors bags sale arold makes for stimulating conversation and fun clicks, but it not really germane to the secrecy that even President Barack Obama claimed to last week. Once we the press and readers exhaust ourselves on the Snowden, Close and Personal angle, the debate will likely be interrupted, just as the debate about the Pentagon Papers was interrupted by the White House back in 1971, when Daniel Ellsberg dumped them to the press.



About two weeks after the New York Times began publishing the papers in June 1971, President Richard Nixon told National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and Attorney General John Mitchell that he didn want Ellsberg to get a fair trial for leaking. get the sonofabitch in jail, Nixon said. worry about his trial. Just get everything out. Try him in the press. Try him in the press. Everything, John, that there is on the investigation, get it out. Leak it out. We want to destroy him in the press. Is that clear? Tom Wells wrote in his 2001 book, Wild Man: The Life and Times of Daniel Ellsberg, FBI pursued leads on Ellsberg past, personality, and lifestyle. The White House could easily tag Ellsberg as a sex maniac because he had loads of sex and liked to talk about it; a pervert because he collected pornography; as nuts because he saw a psychiatrist; and a swinger because, as Gay Talese wrote in Neighbor Wife he swung. This, of course, had nothing to do with the substance of the Pentagon Papers, but it was the weapon Nixon, who was bragging to his White House underlings that he had convicted Alger Hiss in the press he ever got to the grand jury liked to stockpile.



Nixon men planted with conservative columnist Victor Lasky the baseless smear that Ellsberg had given the papers to the Soviet Union, as well. Smith of ABC News and Jerald terHorst of the Detroit News to the Ellsberg conspiracy. I suspect we won have to wait long for the conspiracy to manifest itself. Just the other day, Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon reported Pentagon that Snowden might give intelligence secrets to the Chinese. He rejects the notion that he a Chinese spy.



Compare Ellsberg treatment to early press coverage of Snowden personal life, which injured his standing. Not for a moment do I allege that the Obama White House has assigned a unit to spread the hype. I allege something much worse the readiness of some in the press to contort into something bizarre the sort of behaviors and personal history they would shrug off as if exhibited by a family member. Is Snowden paranoid? Well, yes, they after him, aren they? Wouldn you be? Is Snowden a tad grandiose in his interviews? Well, yes, but if you were the leaker and had never taken media training classes, you probably sound grandiose in your interviews. Do his statements seem unsatisfying and inconsistent? Well, wouldn yours if you were attempting to describe the entirety of the national security state in such limited space?



Although Snowden has been exiled for breaking the compact he made with his employers and his government, his rebellion rings too many notes from heroic literature for us to automatically dismiss him. How many times have we read the story or played the video game about the brilliant and brave young man who hears the call, defies the established order, goes on a sacrificial quest to a magical place where he defeats evil monsters that menace mankind, battles madness, and after many, many tests and at some personal loss finally returns with a boon for all mankind? The rebel in this version even has a poledancing princess that he been separated from! Snowden combines elements of Luke Skywalker, King Arthur, Frodo Baggins, Harry Potter, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, Jesus Christ, and Neo from The Matrix into one modern tale. Being an egomaniac and a narcissist are just part of the job description.



As a student of anime and a cultural child of the Star Wars saga, Snowden can help but notice that by stealing the NSA documents and flying off to Hong Kong to share them, he living our most enduring myths, following the instructions laid down in church, in books, at the cinema, on television, in comic books and in video games. And unlike earlier whistleblowers, who ordi michael kors bags sale narily suffer for decades for their transgressions, Snowden appears to be working from a complete script in which he the ultimate victor. michael kors bags sale

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