Another Totally Not-Suspicious News Item

Glenn Greenwald mentions the following in an interview:

When I was in Hong Kong, I spoke to my partner in Rio via Skype and told him I would send an electronic encrypted copy of the documents,” Greenwald said. “I did not end up doing it. Two days later his laptop was stolen from our house and nothing else was taken. Nothing like that has happened before. I am not saying it’s connected to this, but obviously the possibility exists.

This is, like the strange death of Michael Hastings, so totally and completely unsuspicious that only a tin-foil-behatted 9/11 conspiracy kook would bestir a finger to look into it. Nothing to see here. Nothing. At. All. Greenwald is *insane* for so much as mentioning that there is even a possibility that an immensely powerful security and surveillance state which says “The World is the Battlefield” and regards its own citizens as candidates for indefinite detention and secret, executive-ordered murder (which, come to think of it, Greenwald has led the charge in exposing), might just possibly try to do something like steal his partner’s computer to find out how much information he has access to from Snowden.

No. That is so utterly not even possible and so there’s no point in even trying to find out what happened. Greenwald is just being paranoid and anybody who has suspicious thoughts about this is a kook.

Look. Longtime readers know I am congenitally allergic to conspiracy theories. At the same time, come on, if it walks like a duck you should at least consider that possibility that it’s a duck and not just a dog with a limp.

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  • iflyme

    And things have certainly been looking pretty ducky recently.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    But you’re not afraid, Mark, to be taunting the powers, here in Mordor?

    • iamlucky13

      Somebody’s got to, and the more people that do so, the harder it is for the orcs to snatch everyone.

      • Pavel Chichikov

        But the question was asked of Mark. And this isn’t Mordor.

        I once asked someone whose relative was a White House insider, in an administration long gone by, if there were any evil geniuses there.

        He said: Nobody’s evil, and there are no geniuses.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    No really, for the sake of argument, suppose there is an official organization outside the law which is enabled to punish with impunity those who annoy the powers, up to the ultimate penalty.

    Would you still want to defy it without giving that defiance careful thought?

    Either it exists, and you’re willing to give your life for free speech, or it doesn’t and you’re engaging in a fantasy.

    • Procopius

      You need to broaden your conceptions of tyranny Pavel.
      Here’s a start

      • Pavel Chichikov

        I don’t accept homework from anonymous comments on blogs.

    • iamlucky13

      The suggestion is a laptop was stolen, not that the writer’s partner was killed.

      Regardless, if it’s true, that makes it more necessary to defy, not less, even though, as you point out, it makes it more challenging to do so.

      Also, saying “for the sake of argument,” and then refusing the to participate in said argument because you “don’t accept homework from anonymous comments on blogs” is not productive. It’s understandable if you don’t have time to read and critically consider a moderately lengthy link, but the excuse you chose instead is bewildering, to say the least.

      FWIW, the suggested “inversted totalitarianism” has strong parallels to what Hayek describes in The Road to Serfdom (written in 1944, but still appropriate, even thought not all of the criticisms are without merit).

      • Pavel Chichikov

        Are you defying authority at this time? Have you lived under the regime of a police state?

        I do not click on links unless I know what it is I’m clicking on. I don’t click on them especially when they’re presented to me in a patronizing tone. I have plenty of experience in what a police state is like, and I’m not tempted by lectures on them from somebody or other.

        The US is not a police state, nowhere close. I feel no obligation to engage with somebody’s conception of what a productive discussion is like. Patronizing tones do not further them, in any case.

        Best wishes.

        • iamlucky13

          I don’t claim this is a police state, but we’re taking definite steps in that direction, in all sorts of ways, from the flagrant violations of the 4th amendment to the fact that I can be punished for fixing a broken toilet without permission from the government.

          And I seriously doubt that you don’t know what Wikipedia is.

          • Pavel Chichikov

            I don’t recall saying I don’t know what Wiikipedia is.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    If someone proposed, in the open, to send classified privately encrypted stolen material electronically to another computer, and I were a counter-intelligence officer, would it not be my duty to intercept and sequester that material?

    It’s in the same class as any other stolen goods, except more sensitive.

    • Procopius

      It would be your duty, pursuant to Article 4 of the US constitution, to get a warrant, before implementing any searches or seizures Tovarich. This also assumes, falsely and with no grounds, that the classification in question is morally legitimate, and that the intelligence organization to which the officer belong is legitimate, but then in your culture, if Tsar does it, it moral and good, at least for Tsar, and Tsar’s ministers, and Tsar’s soldiers, and their first, and second cousins, and whoever is friend of Tsar within three degrees of separation

      • Pavel Chichikov

        In Brazil?

        Morally legitimate? Each citizen decides on his own whether or not the law is legitimate? And then personally decides whether or not to break the law?

  • YesMan3

    Agreed, please stay on this story…

  • Pavel Chichikov

    Has anyone here actually lived under a police state?

    • Awakaman

      Is your argument: I lived in a really nasty police state. You live in a not as nasty police state. Therefore, you have nothing to complain about.

      • Pavel Chichikov