Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Jeff Toobin goes off the deep end in attacks on Snowden over NSA revelations.

Listening to Jeff Toobin offer his opinions about Edward Snowden and his disclosures about NSA gathering of information on American citizens, he sounded more like Pat Buchanan attacking Daniel Ellsberg than anything resembling an objective journalist.

In fact there was not one word out of Toobin's mouth, not one, intellectually, philosophically or morally,  that could not be applied to Daniel Ellsberg's taking the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times during the height of the  Viet Nam war. Except based on Toobin's attempts at logic, to follow his thinking, one can easily argue that what  Ellsberg did was much worse than Snowden, since at the time, the country was very much in a real war in Viet Nam.

What makes Toobin's assessment so intellectually and philosophically dishonest is that if he were asked if everything he said about Snowden also applied to Daniel Ellsberg and did Ellsberg deserve to go to prison as a traitor, everyone knows Toobin would back off that in a nano second and sound more like Ralph Kramden stuttering "homina homina homina"  than anyone giving a thoughtful opinion worth considering. Meaning, in blunt terms, Toobin's opinions are worthless because they don't stand up to any kind of historical scrutiny or Toobin's hysterical scrutiny since at their core they  are intellectually and philosophically dishonest.  Because it is a virtual certainty  Toobin wouldn't be willing to apply anything he had to say about Snowden to Daniel Ellsberg and wouldn't, at least publicly anyway, sympathize with president Nixon and the Nixon administration and join them in calling Ellsberg a traitor.

In fact Toobin knows it would probably destroy his credibility and his public career as a commentator if he kept his argument and opinions consistent and honest and showed  sympathy and empathy for Nixon and the Nixon administration's rage over Ellsberg's release of the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times which in the end led to the Nixon abuses called Watergate.

There is not a hairs breadth difference between anything Toobin had to say about Edward Snowden and what he did, and Daniel Ellsberg and what he did. Especially on the issue of morality which was one of Toobin's arguments when he called what Snowden did "immoral" ( as an aside, Ellsberg has called Snowden's leak more important that his release of the Pentagon Papers and "the most significant leak in American history).

If Toobin wants to say Nixon was right and Ellsberg was a criminal and a traitor in providing the truth to the American people about the Viet Nam war, if Toobin wants to say Ellsberg too was a traitor giving aid and comfort to the North Vietnamese along with a gold mine of propaganda material while undermining the morale of U.S. troops and American support for the war at home by releasing the top secret report which proved that everyone, both government and military officials, were lying about Viet Nam both to the public and to each other, and that Ellsberg , like Snowden,was a no good treasonous "narcissist", if Toobin wants to point out that Ellsberg , like Snowden, had "other avenues to go to" other than the New York Times,  then let him say so. If not,  then let him shut up. Hopefully for a long time.

 Unless Toobin is willing to make the same argument about Ellsberg and use the same criteria  he did with Snowden,  there is no reason to take anything Toobin has to say about anything as credible again.






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