Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We the People Should Just Mind Our Manners!

Essayist and rights advocate Glenn Greenwald today responds to a comical, revolting essay by ESPN something LZ Granderson. Granderson normally writes on sports issue, but he's a reporter at a major news outlet, so he must be an expert on anything for CNN. Now he's an expert on issues of American government secrecy and popular demands of openness, demands once aired but now violently opposed by Barack Obama.

The obvious test — one which the LZ Grandersons and George Wills (and George Packer and Bill Kellers ignore) — is revealed in the double standard. Do citizenry of other nations have obligations to resist nosiness? Iranians? Iraqis? Venezuaelans? Granderson's — sports expert and therefore expert on government — assertions (there is no argument or reason there) is brutally absurd.

The most obvious point is that government is exactly a creature of peoples' creation. Even dictatorships are. Governments are not sports or movie stars victimized by paparazzi pawing through garbage or hovering near bedroom windows. Governments have exactly and only those rights We the People give them.

 To the extent that there might be something remotely substantive in Granderson's confusion it might be that somethings are necessary that are unsavory. At least the revolting Alan Dershowitz gets that those things still need to be public, hence his call for "torture warrants." If the people decided to make public all the top secrets of American nuclear weaponry, for example, it might indeed by unwise, might give guidance to 'enemies' up to no good, but it would not be a problem of "nosiness."

I think Granderson's is another example of class-blame. What he is really endorsing is what some endorse in Citizens United or endless protection of the wealthy against redistributive policy. We the People are getting too uppity. He's expressly rejecting the notion that government can be too nosy in its spying on American citizens (or worse — in its assassination of American citizens). It's we lesser Americans — the 90 or 95 percent — who should just accept our station in life.

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