Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Rogue By Any Other Name

Barack Obama apparently is one embarrassed, pissed-off dude. So the New York Times is again obligingly acting as the White House farm tool which spreads the manure of blame on anybody and everybody who is not Barack Obama:
When President Obama placed a call to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany last Thursday, he had a busy agenda: to consult with a close ally and to mobilize wavering Europeans to put more pressure on Russia to end its covert incursions in Ukraine.
What Mr. Obama did not know was that a day earlier, a young German intelligence operative had been arrested and had admitted that he had been passing secrets to the Central Intelligence Agency
Right off the bat, we are informed what a busy, busy important man our president is. Too busy to know all the minutiae of what his rogue agencies are up to. Right off the bat, the Times hastens to unquestioningly repeat the State Department line that Russia is covertly operating in Ukraine, as though the US is not also covertly operating in Ukraine.
The details of this spying case remain murky. Intelligence officials have declined to comment, and it is still not clear what the German operative has told the authorities.
But the episode sheds light on the tensions that arise from the colliding cultures of spycraft and statecraft — one driven by the need to vacuum as much secret material as possible; the other giving primacy to diplomatic objectives.
 While Ms. Merkel chose not to raise the issue during the call, the fact that the president was kept in the dark about the blown spying operation at a particularly delicate moment in American relations with Germany has led frustrated White House officials to question who in the C.I.A.’s chain of command was aware of the case — and why that information did not make it to the Oval Office before the call.
When unquestioningly spreading manure, make sure the newspaper uses such words as "dark" and "murky" to absolve the busy, frustrated CEO from responsibility.

But let's be truthful. When spycraft and statecraft collide, the result is manurecraft damage control. The artisan acrobat-in-chief can't be left flailing without the safety net perk he assumes he's entitled to. 

So the story will be that Barack Obama, the star attraction tightrope walker at the circus, had the lights turned off on him right in the middle of his act by operators he thought he could trust! He was thwarted in his own vaunted balanced approach of schmoozing with heads of state while simultaneously stalking them. Somebody had spilled the beans to the lady he was trying to woo and here he was, pretending to be the attentive lover. She just let him go on and on and on, letting him damn himself with every dulcet word. It made him look like such an asshole that he (or a flack) ran to the National Enquirer Times to plant his own feeble side of the story.

  Meanwhile, as CIA Chief John Brennan finds himself cast in the rare role of pretend-scapegoat, there is some mansplaining to do. Why didn't he warn his acolyte boss that Angela had caught yet another surrogate stalker in the act but still cruelly allowed Obama to act like his usual cloying self? Was Brennan too busy busy busy redacting the CIA report on torture and letting his own lady friend (Dianne Feinstein) get a sneak peak? The sound of testosterone pouring down the Oval Office drain must have been deafening.

But on to the realest, biggest scapegoat of all:
It also reinforces the problem that surfaced a year ago in the wake of revelations about National Security Agency surveillance practices from the rogue contractor Edward J. Snowden: whether the costs of spying on close allies outweigh the gains.
The Times once again parrots the canard that everybody hates the NSA simply because of mean old gossipy Ed Snowden and the Pulitzer-winning journalism he inspired. The canoodling Times even goes out of its way to call Snowden a "rogue contractor" instead of a whistleblower. 

 Rogue (noun):

  1. a dishonest or unprincipled man.
    "you are a rogue and an embezzler"
    synonyms:scoundrel, villain, miscreant, reprobate, rascal, good-for-nothing, ne'er-do-well, wretch; More
    informalrat, dog, louse, crook;
    "a rogue without ethics"
  2. an elephant or other large wild animal driven away or living apart from the herd and having savage or destructive tendencies.
    "a rogue elephant" 
  (The Tightrope Walker-in-Chief doth protest too much, methinks. Also, there's that pesky cliched pot and kettle problem.)
At the White House, senior officials have expressed concern that the latest allegations could set back relations with Germany just as Mr. Obama and Ms. Merkel are struggling to move past the distrust generated by the Snowden disclosures, including the revelation that the N.S.A. had tapped Ms. Merkel’s cellphone.
What is particularly baffling to these officials is that the C.I.A. did not inform the White House that its agent — a 31-year-old employee of Germany’s federal intelligence service, the BND — had been compromised, given his arrest the day before the two leaders spoke. According to German news media reports, the agency may have been aware three weeks before the arrest that the German authorities were monitoring the man.
This is pathetic, not to mention grotesque. Just when poor overworked Obama was trying to inveigle his way back into Angela's good graces, another wretched renegade messes up the make-up session by outing even more chicanery. So, dare we ask, why didn't the NSA pick up on the German authorities monitoring the alleged double agent? Or did the intel get mixed up with the gazillions of emails and phone records of innocent Americans? Did all that vacuuming-up create its own ironic vacuum?
For all his concerns, Mr. Obama does not plan any extraordinary outreach to Ms. Merkel, an official said, noting that some in the administration also feel that Germany should not overreact to the case or conflate it with the privacy issues raised by the N.S.A.’s surveillance.
Some experts say the recent tensions betray a lack of attention in Washington to its relationship with Berlin. “Bush and especially Obama have treated it as a ‘solved problem’ requiring no further American involvement,” said John C. Kornblum, a former American ambassador to Germany. “Recent events have demonstrated that just the opposite is the case. Germany is still deeply conflicted about itself and about the world around it.”
He will not stoop to another apology. He'll let Angela, like all NSA victims both at home and abroad, read his passive-aggressive excuses in the Times and then let her stew in her own betrayed juices. Like any abuser worth his salt, he will profess concern while casting doubt on the mental health of his angry victim ("overreacting" and "still deeply conflicted about itself".)

And like any abuser worth his salt, the likable attractive Obama will anonymously brag (via his Times stenographers)  about what a caring, romantic guy he is --  again blaming everyone but of himself and his team of dishonest unprincipled men:
For Mr. Obama and Ms. Merkel, the N.S.A. disclosures poisoned what had been one of the president’s closest relationships with a foreign leader. At a Group of 8 meeting in Camp David in 2012, Mr. Obama invited Ms. Merkel to linger after the other leaders left. At a state dinner a year earlier, she was serenaded by James Taylor singing, “You’ve Got a Friend.”

Tender Murkies

Since Carly Simon's The Spy Who Loved Me is no longer such a big hit, maybe Angela can send Taylor's ex over to the next Group of 8, I mean 7, meeting to serenade Obama with You're So Vain.


traynorjf said...

Could the old boy network at the CIA be purposely giving Obama the needle, if not the shiv, in the backside. Of course it could, and probably is, plain old incompetency. Still.

Isaiah Earhart said...


I have no idea how you produce this much brilliant literature.

I am still laughing.

Will said...

Tried posting this before but my phone's been a little screwy, so my apologies if this comes up twice.

Easy quiz time, friends. What famous male singer did backup vocals on "You're So Vain"? (He comes in on the second chorus.) The first person with the correct answer wins the prestigious Sardonickist Of The Day award. NO GOOGLING ALLOWED!

Pearl said...

Another great column Karen.

Wonderful article by Beatrice Edwards in Truthout. Read the excellent comments. Karen, could you get her to be a guest commentator on your blog?

We Have Met the Enemy and They Are Us

Denis Neville said...

"I know nothing!"

Too busy to know all the minutiae of what his rogue agencies are up to? Obama presumably receives briefings and is given briefing books based on NSA spying, but he never asks where the intel came from?

Does anyone really believe (besides Obamabots, of course) that the Obama doesn't know what's going on? Seriously? How can he be unaware of what’s going on around him? How many more shadowy government agencies and activities are there that we don't know about?

His hypocrisy insults our intelligence.

Obama, “The buck stops with you,” to Mitt Romney, who had claimed that, although he was CEO and president of Bain Capital, he wasn't actually involved in the company, so he couldn't be held responsible for decisions that sent jobs overseas.

It is all too apparent that he is unwilling to take responsibility for his presidency and does not accept the accountability that comes with the job of being president.

As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.”

It's all too easy to blame whistleblower Snowden and not blame the NSA for its nefariousness. Obama always says our government is engaged in high moral principles and is seeking people with honesty, integrity, drive and dedication. Then when it finds such people, it prosecutes them. How many potential whistleblowers have they succeeded in neutralizing?

Once again we witness Obama’s hypocrisy. When he first took office, he touted government transparency and praised whistle-blowers, describing them as “often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government.” Yet his Administration has relentlessly pursued leak prosecutions.

Hillary Clinton is also using Edward Snowden as a scapegoat to burnish her neocon hawkish bona fides.

“You don't lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower

And today, the latest Snowden leak, “Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On,”

“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist; then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist; then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist; then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew; then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.” - Martin Niemöller

Zee said...

"When spycraft and statecraft collide, the result is manurecraft damage control."--Karen Garcia


Many thanks for another brilliant, hilarious essay!

annenigma said...

Whether he actually knows what's going on or not, either way President Peace Prize is a danger to our country and the world.

Funny that when it comes to his own image, President Peace Prize always seems to be in complete control, or his handlers are. So why should they fail him when it comes to his performing his actual JOB? As an aside, I always suspected that Obama's own peeps were behind his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. They must have really laid it on thick. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait 50 years to find out because whoever nominated him is keeping it a SECRET for some reason.

President Peace Prize is also not so clueless when it comes to ordering the assassination of American citizens. Or maybe he is. Good Lord! Just think of what that means in terms of his claim of executive execution powers. He's in the dark all right - the dark side.

It's too bad the NYT didn't allow comments with this piece of crap. Anyone else notice that when they put out a particularly stinky piece of government propaganda they close it to comments? That would only make sense. They don't want us calling them out as Karen has. Let's hope the Public Editor Margaret Sullivan addresses this with the paper on our behalf.

If the NYT is willing to stoop this low, what won't they do for the regime? There's something rotten at the NYT and it isn't Jill Abramson. Remember those names - Mark Mazzetti and Mark Landler. If you read anything that has their name on it, consider the source. And most importantly, remember that their bosses at the NYT allowed them to betray the public trust, even giving them (the regime) the online front page for it.

Cirze said...

Mick Jagger, of course, Will.

Karen, you are on fire.

Love ya!

Denis Neville said...

Why have the FBI and NSA under Obama developed such unprecedented, sweeping capacities to spy on American citizens? Why are environmental groups, political activists, civil rights activists, Muslims, women, etc. being increasingly seen as potential enemies? Al-Qaeda’s war of terror? Or, is it the perceived threat of large-scale civil unrest as disillusionment with the status quo escalates and public anger toward government and corporations grows resulting in the destabilization of the status quo?

“Ideology is a veil behind which human beings can hide their own fallen existence, their trivialization, and their adaptation to the status quo. It is an excuse that everyone can use, from the greengrocer, who conceals his fear of losing his job behind an alleged interest in the unification of the workers of the world, to the highest functionary, whose interest in staying in power can be cloaked in phrases about service to the working class. The primary excusatory function of ideology, therefore, is to provide people, both as victims and pillars of the post-totalitarian system, with the illusion that the system is in harmony with the human order and the order of the universe.”*

Collapsing democratic values are all around us. From Robert Bolt’s, A Man for All Seasons:

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

Where will our downward spiral take us next?

“Let us now imagine that one day something in our greengrocer snaps and he stops putting up the slogans merely to ingratiate himself. He stops voting in elections he knows are a farce. He begins to say what he really thinks at political meetings. And he even finds the strength in himself to express solidarity with those whom his conscience commands him to support. In this revolt the greengrocer steps out of living within the lie. He rejects the ritual and breaks the rules of the game. He discovers once more his suppressed identity and dignity. He gives his freedom a concrete significance. His revolt is an attempt to live within the truth.”*

We do live in interesting times.

“The original and most important sphere of activity, one that predetermines all the others, is simply an attempt to create and support the independent life of society as an articulated expression of living within the truth. In other words, serving truth consistently, purposefully, and articulately, and organizing this service. This is only natural, after all: if living within the truth is an elementary starting point for every attempt made by people to oppose the alienating pressure of the system, if it is the only meaningful basis of any independent act of political import, and if, ultimately, it is also the most intrinsic existential source of the “dissident” attitude, then it is difficult to imagine that even manifest “dissent” could have any other basis than the service of truth, the truthful life, and the attempt to make room for the genuine aims of life.” – *Václav Havel, The Power of the Powerless

Tip of the hat to Jay – Ottawa, “The Right Stuff,”

Truth rather than violence is the currency of power.

Zee said...


I believe that genuinely dangerous, evil people have decided to make George Orwell's "1984" a reality.

We already live in a "managed democracy" in which most of our "freedoms" are illusory and the NSA and FBI are perfecting our "management."

And certainly, if TPTB anticipate imminent civil unrest, what better way to detect and thwart it?

No, our new surveillance state has less to do with stopping terrorism than it has to do with controlling US.

Zee said...

It appears that Ms. Merkel and the German government are no longer charmed by President Peace Prize's toothy smile and scant apologies.

annenigma said...

NBC Nightly News last night repeated the same unquestioning White House li(n)e that Obama 'didn't know' about the CIA spying on Germany. Or is it that he didn't know they were caught. Whatever. He's innocent! NBC even elaborated on that lie without so much as an attribution of a source for their 'news'. It's just the way they say it is because they said so, period. Perhaps they deliberately intended for it to sound like blatant government propaganda in order to cooperate with government pressure while insulting the public enough for us to notice. The only thing missing was the laugh track.

It might be the case that they are being pressured for 'national security' reasons, helping the government control the narrative so as to preserve, protect, and defend our national interests such as the stock market and the 50 American military bases located in Germany. L'etat c'est moi, Obama style - for national security reasons of course.

I'd like to remind everyone of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act 0f 2012, birthed like Rosemary's Baby during the passage of the infamous NDAA of 2012, which brought us the Homeland battlefield, domestic military authority, indefinite detention of American citizens, etc. When people say Everything Changed with 9/11, I think they're wrong. 9/11 was the reaction, 2012 was when Everything Changed - under Obama/Holder's watch and guidance.

Congress 'modernized' the Smith-Mundt Act, known as the 'U.S. Educational and Education Exchange Act of 1948'. They legalized what once had been prohibited - government propaganda targeted towards American citizens domestically. They claimed it was for transparency reasons and crafted it to appear that funds could not be used for domestic propaganda - by the State Department. The devil's always in the details. Obama and Holder have got that game down pat. They didn't go to law school for nothing.

The more I think about him, the more I realize he is an evil genius cloaked in charm - President Bundy. Manipulating public sentiment with media cooperation is how he got to the White House. "He could turn out to be our most beloved President!" gushed tingly-legged political pundit Chris Matthews. But getting to the White House was just the beginning of the real work of President Bundy.

I'd like to know who Obama and his sidekick Holder are really working for - other than the devil, heh heh. It sure isn't Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama's first victim. Poor guy.

Isaiah Earhart said...


Thank you greatly- very interesting and insightful.

The NDAA of 2012 was signed on Dec 31, 2011. The provision to exclude American citizens from indefinite detention without charge or trial until the end of the endless self perpetuating conflict was removed at the request of Obama.

I do not believe that anyone in the world should be subject to this type of detention. The fact that American citizens are not exempt does not bother me. Indefinite detention for anyone bothers me. But the Presidential Push to include Americans in this appalling legislation is proof that our President can really get some shit done when he puts his mind to it.

Who works so hard on New Year's Eve anyway? Geeez

annenigma said...

There was another 2008 watershed moment that Obama/Holder brought us - the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. It has been used to justify mass collection of emails and phone calls, part of the 'Collect It All' strategy of our Constitutional Scholar's military run surveillance regime.

When everyone expected Obama to show his true colors after his re-election, he certainly did, but they're not Red, White, and Blue.