Glenn Greenwald's daily fixation about the perils and abuses of executive power have always been widely supported and promoted by the Cato Institute, the libertarian "think tank" founded by the now infamous right-wing industrialists known now as simply "The Koch Brothers." Glenn's latest number one fan on Twitter is Cato's (and Reason Magazine's) Julian Sanchez (@normative). The two of them have recently been the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb of the NSA/Snowden outrage machine, gleefully trading-off with and echoing each other's efforts to keep the topics of the NSA, Ed Snowden and Bradley Manning in the forefront of the media's attention span.  And the Kochs just couldn't be happier.

This paragraph will help you understand why:

From:  The Machine: A Field Guide to the Resurgent Right by Lee Fang

Perhaps the most insidious strategy of the Koch brothers has been their ability to co-opt social liberals. The Cato Institute is known for its promotion of gay marriage and support for immigrant rights. In fact, a small number of libertarian fronts that receive funding from Koch charitable foundations do not toe the orthodox conservative line when it comes to issues like evolution or even drug policy. But these otherwise laudable causes are mostly a ruse. While the Koch brothers fund seemingly reasonable social libertarians with one hand, they finance a set of vicious social conservatives with the other. Peggy Venable, a longtime Koch operative, helped mastermind the crusade to rewrite the history textbooks in Texas to promote antigay bigots and to censor references to immigrant civil rights leaders like Cesar Chavez.6 Americans for Prosperity spent considerable resources promoting Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce and Colorado’s Tom Tancredo, two of the leading anti-immigrant politicians in America. Koch also gives heavily to antigay groups like the Heritage Foundation. In fact, Charles attends meetings of the Council for National Policy, the nation’s largest meeting group for far right social conservative donors, and in a speech posted on the group’s website, pledged an “alliance” with the social right to change American society. Essentially, Koch will fund both conservatives and liberals when it comes to social policy. Because for them, social initiatives are more often a Trojan horse for imposing their radical economic views.

[bold emphasis added]

Like most of the Right's calculated maneuverings, organizations like Cato are fond of any effort that attacks any institution of power which far right authoritarians like the Koch's don't now control. For decades, they have paid for an orchestrated effort to destroy the American people's respect for goverment, and thus, any authority that can pass social legislation aimed at greater wealth equality and social justice, which are both outcomes vehemently opposed by the Kochs and their plutocratic brethren. It is not an accident that Progressive civil libertarians and socially-regressive Ron and Rand Paul supporters have come together to noisily protest the evils of the "surveillance state," as Greenwald so lovingly refers to it. It's a strategy long in coming.

I urge you to read Lee Fang's book and understand just how systemic the plutocratic influence has become in America, and why it is leading to what George Packer calls "The Great Unwinding" of the American way of life. It is not that the strident voices like Glenn Greenwald's are not discussing matters important to liberals. They are. After all, Progressives—or at least, those claiming to be progressives—are his market and drive his income. But it is the way they are discussed that is working at cross-purposes with the larger goals of the American left. They rely on a ginned-up outrage directed mostly at mere tokens of authority, such as black Presidents like Barack Obama, and not at the true causes of our problems: the plutocratic elites like the Koch's who are only too happy to promote and pay for this distracting, hyperbolic antipathy toward elected representation and executive power. 

Does Glenn Greenwald openly work with The Cato Institute? No. At least not from any evidence I've seen.  But he has been paid to write for them in the past, and they eagerly stoke the outrage he so easily manifests with his daily writing. Outrage which an army of Julian Sanchez cohorts can get behind and push, helping to steer it in ways more directly in-line with Cato's ultimate goal of dismantling the Progressive agenda on behalf the Kochs and their many right wing friends in the energy, finance, cattle, and agricultural industries.

It is an informal convergence of interests that makes Greenwald their proverbial useful idiot who helps to drive the narratives that they want to see driven. Just as far and as fast as he can drive them.  And since he creates more disaffected progressives with every article he writes; people who often shriek that they are "done with voting","done with democrats," and "done with false hopes and promises," he is helping to drive the American Left right over a cliff and straight into the waiting arms of the quasi-fascist, quasi-theocratic plutocratic elites like the Koch family. The very forces of darkness who have spent at least 75 years trying to become the true fascist authoritarians that Greenwald professes to fear. Revealingly, he almost never actually writes about those fears, choosing instead to write passionately in favor of things like the Citizens United ruling on electioneering, which actually serve to stoke the causes of those fears. Handsomely.

If America, as we once knew it is to survive, the agenda of the Kochs and their elite partners must be stopped. But getting outraged at the latest Glenn Greenwald trope won't do that.  It will only add more fuel to the raging inferno of hate and disillusionment which will ultimately assists the ultra-far right with their ambition to seize total control of the United States. As articles like this demonstrate, they're already almost there. 

For better or worse, and regardless of their motivations or tactics, Greenwald and the Washington Post have helped to bring the NSA security debate to the front of the public discussion.  But now more mainstream journalists, advocates, and elected officials have to step-up and translate all this legitimate concern, and yes, even outrage into effective public policy prescription and legislation that can balance the security vs. liberty scale in a way that most Americans can support. That is an outcome that the Kochs are hoping Greenwald and friends will impede by promoting so much rage, distrust and rancor that only a dysfunctional national apathy remains. And again, we're nearly there.

I feel this entire NSA issue is far to complicated to be solved by any knee-jerk outrage about "civil liberties" and "respecting the fourth amendment."  It's just one more intricate problem that only responsible governance can address. A governance deriving its power from the consent of the governed. A governance with a real and potent authority that Libertarian industrialists, and the pseudo-Libertarian actors like Greenwald simply detest.

Update#1

Now that he's been shamefully "Pulitzer-recognized" for his famously shoddy work on the Snowden/NSA stories, Greenwald is less and less ashamed of demonstrating his frequent willingness to support the Koch cabal's transparent efforts to suck in the gullible on the left.  Here's the latest example: 
 


 

And not to be outdone, Glenn's frequent partner in these things, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has dropped any and all pretense of caring about any issue but  their hyperbolic hysteria over the "surveillance state." Here, we see their "senior activist" essentially providing an endorsement of the Tea Party because of the empty Liberty Now! rhetoric that EFF helped them refine over the past year.  They suggest not the slightest concern for the well tread fact that Koch/Cato and the Teaparty often use this simplistic civil liberties dogma in precisely the same way that conservatives have always used race*: to seduce voters motivated by narrowly focused, single issue, dogwhistle politics.
 


 

I will let Bob Cesca from the Daily Banter explain this farce to you:

"It’s difficult to find a more ridiculous whitewashing of the tea party outside of the tea party itself. The legacy of the founders? Wow. First of all, the tea party doesn’t even understand the actual Boston Tea Party, much less the intent of the founders. Yet the heretofore respected EFF has bedazzled the tea party with the gilded legacy of the almighty founders. As for the leaders the tea party has elected, is there one — just one — who’s not completely nuts or totally unqualified for the post?"

Here's Bob's entire post. Don't miss it ? Electronic Frontier Foundation Praises the Tea Party, FreedomWorks and Birther Larry Klayman

* Note: On using race and similarly incendiary issues to hang entire political strategies upon, Brian Beutler of the New Republic wrote a great paragraph today in his piece, The Right's Racial Blinders What really explains the politics of the Obama era.  The entire piece is excellent, but this is the money graf for my purposes:
 

See how it works?  The plutocracy will use race, civil liberties, environment, or any other issue they can that will—or might—lure gullible populations into their sphere of influence. They will achieve their selfish agenda by any means necessary.   But then, the same is largely  true of Greenwald. He hung his career on civil liberties, and always had libertarian leanings (to put it nicely) which never much cared for progressive politics or helping progressive causes.  As a result, ginning-up the importance of Koch projects, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, the Teaparty, or any other tool that supports or extends his hyperbolic surveillance state narrative seems a perfectly rational thing for him to do. 

But as more and more journalists and pundits discover him, post-Pulitzer, and finally-tune into his past and tactics, I wonder if he will be so cavalier about being this revealing of himself in the future. It was one thing when he was a nobody, and Tim Jacob Wise wrote a piece like this:

Of Broken Clocks, Presidential Candidates, and the Confusion of Certain White Liberals

But it will be quite another now that he's a Pulitzer Prize contributing author, Glenn Greenwald.

Stay tuned.

Update #2

A far more intellectual dissection of this very problem has just been published. I urge you to read: Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left

Related

When computers are involved, otherwise brilliant leftists who carefully examine the political commitments of most everyone they side with suddenly throw their lot in with libertarians — even when those libertarians explicitly disavow Left principles in their work.

"Few people have done more in-depth research, reporting, and writing on the post-Obama conservative movement than Lee Fang. The Machine goes beyond the headlines and explores exactly how this ideological movement operates."
—Amanda Terkel, senior political reporter, The Huffington Post

After the 2008 and 2012 elections, we all thought the country was shifting toward liberal values. The right wing saw it too, so they warmed up their machine built over 30 years, stretching from Capitol Hill to local school boards. Think tanks and lobby houses, new media and old, consultants and old-time party hacks all fell into line to rev up The Machine against the newly-elected moderate Democrat named Barack Obama.

Yes, Hillary Clinton, there was and still is a vast right wing conspiracy. Luckily for us, Lee Fang has written the story of the conspiracy in the Clinton years and following right up to the 2012 election. Names, dates, and secret meetings are all in one compact book, where Lee's narrative proves what we all know: A small handful of billionaires and corporations drive politicians, the news, and day-to-day political discourse in this country.

 

And the graphic Greenwald wants you to look at is a fake — an altered version of a Think Progress graphic showing Norwegian anti-Muslim terrorist Anders Breivik’s citations of US bloggers in his “manifesto.” The altered graphic, to which they added my name in a very deceptive manner, with a bright green bar to make sure you didn’t miss it:

  • kfreed

    I just now found this… wondering if I’m alone in my assessment of the Libertarian generated NSA hysteria. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyhoo, The USA Freedom Act, written by the very Cato Republican responsible for the Patriot Act, is now supported by the NRA and the Koch cartel. Has anyone stopped to ask why? My letter to Senator Mark Udall in response to his email:

    February 20, 2014

    Re: USA Freedom Act

    Dear Senator Udall,

    Do you know who’s behind the NSA hysteria?

    The very same Libertarian Koch-funded “think tanks” responsible for writing the legal justifications for the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping under George W. Bush are now generating faux outrage over the framework they themselves created prior to the establishment of the FISA court:

    “Found: Libertarians ‘Lying to Liberals’ Guide Book”

    Journalist Mark Ames: “something to keep in mind if you find yourself getting all dewy-eyed as you take your place on the bottom of the “strange bedfellows” at the StopWatching.us [NSA] rally, topped by such rancid libertarian outfits as FreedomWorks, the Kochs’ climate denial front Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Kochs’ new anti-Obamacare Astroturf front Generation Opportunity, Students For Liberty
    (funded by CIA/NSA contractor Peter Thiel), Ron Paul’s Young Americans For Liberty, the Libertarian Party…”

    https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/lying-to-liberals/

    Yes, the very same Libertarians responsible for this:

    The Nation: “Independent and Principled? Behind the Cato Myth”

    “Fact: The Cato Institute’s actual record during the Bush administration years was anything but principled and far from heroic.

    John Yoo, author of the notorious “torture memo,” served on the Cato editorial board for Cato Supreme Court Review during the Bush presidency. At the same time, Yoo was writing the Bush administration’s legal justifications for waterboarding, Guantánamo, warrantless wiretapping and more. Yoo also
    contributed articles to Cato Supreme Court Review and a chapter to a Cato book titled The Rule of Law in the Wake of Clinton criticizing President Clinton’s “imperial presidency”…

    Another Cato Institute executive, Roger Pilon, vigorously supported Bush’s attacks on civil liberties. Pilon, Cato’s VP for legal affairs and founding director of the Cato Institute’s “Center for Constitutional Studies,”
    supported expanded FBI wiretapping in 2002 and called on Congress to reauthorize the Patriot Act as late as 2008.”

    http://www.thenation.com/article/167500/independent-and-principled-behind-cato-myth

    And all of this hysteria is based on the consistent misreporting of Libertarian Glenn Greenwald of Koch-funded Cato Institute:

    http://exiledonline.com/glenn-greenwald-of-the-libertarian-cato-institute-posts-his-defense-of-joshua-foust-the-exiled-responds-to-greenwald/

    The motivation for which Glenn Greenwald clearly expressed in public:

    Joy-Ann Reid, Miami Herald columnist: “Re-rise of the Naderites: Glenn Greenwald’s third party dreamin’ **UPDATE: on Libertarianism”

    “At a talk given the day after the 2010 election — one that was a disaster for Democrats — ‘progressive’ writer and civil liberties lawyer Glenn Greenwald gave a talk at the University of Wisconsin, and expressed the hope that Democrats might suffer the
    same fate in 2012.

    Greenwald’s speech mainly focused on civil liberties and terrorism policy “in the age of Obama.” But it was his approach to politics that got members of the Young Americans for Liberty — a Paulite Libertarian group that co-sponsored the event — excited:

    ‘The speech was stellar with too many good points to touch on in a single blog post. I would like to point out that in the Q&A at 38:00 Greenwald specifically addresses a possible alliance between progressives and Ron Paul libertarians. He also mentions Gary Johnson as a unique candidate with possibly the best chance of bringing this coalition together in a 2012 run for president.'”

    http://blog.reidreport.com/2011/04/re-rise-of-the-naderites-glenn-greenwalds-third-party-dreamin/

    Therefore, NO, I will not “co-sponsor,” nor will I participate in any way, in a Tea Party inspired political stunt designed to undermine President Obama and the people’s faith in government under this administration.

    Glenn Greenwald has consistently misreported issues surrounding the NDAA, drones, the NSA, Citizens United, failure to close Guantanamo Bay (the list is as long as my arm) while holding Tea Party lunatics Ron and Rand Paul up (remember the #StandWithRand fiasco?) as America’s principled saviors and
    relentlessly attacking every single progressive, journalist, and pundit of note for their refusal to join him in his vendetta against President Obama.

    As a Democrat, I voted for this president, proudly, twice – and I am thoroughly disgusted with the obstructionist antics of the far right. This is yet another faux scandal generated by the Koch network, not unlike those generated by Rep. Darrell Issa for political reasons.

    I am sick at heart over the ease with which the left is consistently drawn into fake scandals generated by the Tea Party. Enough already.

    Senator Udall, I am also perfectly aware that the tea partying Kochs have you in their sights. I would suggest you not assist them in furthering their aims. Joining them in the NSA fear-mongering will not insure you against their attacks:

    October 2010, Lee Fang, Think Progress: [Leaked] “MEMO: Health Insurance, Banking, Oil Industries Met With Koch, Chamber, Glenn Beck To Plot 2010 Election”

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/10/20/124642/beck-koch-chamber-meeting/

    You could instead be of service to your constituents in familiarizing yourself with the tactics of the far right and speaking out against it:

    Paul Weyrich’s “Teaching Manual,” The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement by Eric Heubeck is attached. I highly suggest you thoroughly read it. Note
    in particular the enlistment of Libertarians:

    http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/FreeCongressEssay.html

    Who is Paul Weyrich? Paul “I don’t Want Everybody to Vote” Weyrich, video courtesy Right Wing Watch:

    “’I Don’t Want Everybody to Vote’ – The Roots of GOP Voter Suppression”: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/i-dont-want-everybody-vote

    “Paul Michael Weyrich (October 7, 1942 – December 18, 2008)[1][2][3][4] was an American religious conservative political activist and commentator, most notable as a figurehead of the New Right. He
    co-founded the conservative think tanks, the Heritage Foundation,[5] the Free Congress Foundation, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He coined the term “moral majority”, the name of the political action group Moral Majority that he co-founded in 1979 with Jerry Falwell.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Weyrich

    All of the above also happen to be funded by the Koch brothers. Please have a look at the far right’s proposed model legislation:

    ALEC Exposed (Center for Media and Democracy): http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

    Sincerely,

    [Me]

    Addendum: Not in the letter, but:

    “Reminder: Peter Thiel Is Ted Cruz’s Gay Billionaire Ally”: http://valleywag.gawker.com/reminder-peter-thiel-is-ted-cruzs-gay-billionaire-all-1427666663

    When I say “crackpot Ted Cruz” I am not employing hyperbole. We can certainly do without THIS level of religion-based Tea Party insanity in government (government shutdown for Jesus): http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017152422

    Political Research Associates/Talk to Action (church/state separation issues): “Silicon Valley-Funded ‘United in Purpose’ Prepare to Rock the [Tea Party] Conservative Christian Vote”

    http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/9/30/123711/740

    PRWatch (Center for Media and Democracy): “The Googlization of the Far Right: Why is Google Funding Grover Norquist, Heritage Action and ALEC?”

    http://www.prwatch.org/news/2013/11/12319/google-funding-grover-norquist-heritage-action-alec-and-more

    C.J. Werleman, atheist author of “Crucifying America”: : “The Christian Right is seizing control of state legislatures and governors’ mansions while we laugh at Ted Cruz”

    http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/idea-christian-right-retreat-almost-dangerous-christian-right

    C.J. Werleman: “Why Libertarians Play the Clowns in the Circus Show Called the Republican Party – Having the Christian Right and neo-Confederates as your ideological partners should be cause for
    worry”

    http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/how-libertarians-play-clowns-circus-show-called-republican-party

  • kfreed

    I think we have a Bingo.

  • I’ve been thinking along the same lines over the past couple of months.. actually, as soon as the whole NSA fiasco broke. I was happy to see your article and I’m going to share it.