On Monday, Pulitzer prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald let the news slip via Twitter that his long-awaited NSA story was to be published on The Intercept at midnight. By Tuesday morning, much to the dismay of myself and many others it appeared that the site - which since its rollout has been disappointly devoid of new material - has caved to government pressure tactics did not post the story. According to a rather cryptic Tweet by Greenwald later on Monday, "After 3 months working on our story, USG today suddenly began making new last-minute claims which we intend to investigate before publishing". Might any of those claims be based on trumped up charges that publication would play right into the hands of the "terrorists" and could a permanent delay be in the works?
While I have remained a skeptic to the allegations that the new First Look Media venture that lured Greenwald with the siren song of creating a new and uncompromising investigative journalism forum that was an alternative to the entrenched corrupt state-corporate media the pulling of the big story only serves to bolster them. When you throw in with the billionaire wolves you will sooner or later being devoured and EBay founder Pierre Omidyar's agenda has already been found by some, for example journalist Chris Floyd to be suspect with support to both the coup government in Kiev as well as the right-wing regime of the newly elected Narendra Modi of India. The problem is that at the end of the day all of these one-percenter elite pigs stick together and Greenwald should have been far more judicious in his association with one of them.
It would have been a brilliant touch were the story of NSA surveillance of domestic political dissidents and well known figures were to have broken during the week of the orgy of flag-sucking excess that is the Fourth of July and Greenwald may have ill-advisedly tipped his hand during that interview with GQ "The Man Who Knows Too Much" when he alluded to fireworks:
I think we will end the big stories in about three months or so [June or July 2014]. I like to think of it as a fireworks show: You want to save your best for last. There's a story that from the beginning I thought would be our biggest, and I'm saving that. The last one is the one where the sky is all covered in spectacular multicolored hues. This will be the finale, a big missing piece. Snowden knows about it and is excited about it.
For now at least the fireworks show has been postponed, with the incessant fear-mongering that has now overtaken the USA!, USA!, USA! over the new Islamic caliphate and Obama sending more American troops back into Iraq it is probably better than even money that it will be cancelled altogether in the interests of national security.
Greenwald should have stayed at The Guardian.
"I chose a half measure, when I should have gone all the way... I'll never make that mistake again. No more half measures"
- Mike Ehrmantraut
After that cryptic tweet it is time to consider seriously that the "imminent" game-changing story on NSA surveillance targets and other acts of wanton state criminality has been sunk by the US government. Whatever it is that those "new last-minute claims" that preempted the publication by The Intercept at midnight last night consisted of, they must have been of the gravest nature to derail the biggest story of Greenwald's career. As to what exactly they were may never be known, perhaps a sealed indictment against Greenwald, the shutdown of The Intercept or threats to Omidyar's other business interests under some trumped up bullshit interpretation of a terrorist law or even a death threat, all could have done the trick. There may have been a mole inside of Greenwald's operation -- it is no secret that The Intercept was hiring -- providing leaked information to the government or maybe Omidyar just lost his nerve but the fact is that the story has for the moment been effectively killed.
Greenwald's work on the Snowden documents has been extraordinary and has made him many an enemy within both the corrupt state-corporate US media as well as within the US power structure and political class alike which is truly a badge of honor for the man considering the criminality of the scum that he has exposed. The wrath of the United States government and national security state and their relentless drive to keep the big story under wraps and therefore censored could be expected. I have no doubts towards Greenwald's integrity but his one major blind spot over the last year was his decision to cast his lot with moneybags Omidyar. Given his support of of neo-Nazis in Ukraine and murderous fascists in India along with the need to expand his eBay empire globally would seemingly make him a strange bedfellow to a crusading journalist like Greenwald. The halting of the publication of the story will only give the doubters, as well as many fence-sitters more reason to question this relationship and they would be right to do so.
Again, it is easily understood why Greenwald would jump at the opportunity to build a new media platform that would challenge the contaminated electronic and print media in The Homeland but he should have done his homework. When the blog Pando came out with a story breaking Omidyar's dabbling in foreign dictatorships, Greenwald rapidly offered up a lengthy defense of his boss but it now appears that he was hoodwinked and maybe it was a honey trap all along.
Not only was Greenwald lured by Omidyar's money but also Jeremy Scahill (Dirty Wars) and perhaps the greatest of the new generation of muck-raking financial writers Matt Taibbi whose departure from Rolling Stone magazine was as much the end of an era as was the passing of Hunter S. Thompson. Taibbi was brilliant in his scathing attacks on the depravity of Wall Street and crony capitalism and the hijacking of democracy by the greedy gamblers who are able to operate with impunity and his finale at Rolling Stone on Goldman Sachs commodities trading scams along with Greenwald's work on the NSA looked like First Look had an unbeatable pair of cops on the beat.
Taibbi really pushed the envelope in "The Vampire Squid Strikes Again", turning up the heat on Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder who has presided over the Justice Department's passing out of 'get out of jail free' cards since Barack the transparent took office. Back during the days when the entire scam was being set up, the infamous global swindler and friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, the now deceased Marc Rich was instrumental in establishing the conditions for the ongoing commodities con. I excerpt the following from Taibbi: