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Snowden revealed a world of conspiracies I once would have scoffed at– Bryan Burrough

Israel/Palestine
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Bryan Burrough

Bryan Burrough

Last summer I did a post saying that Terry Gross of Fresh Air, one of the best interviewers around, doesn’t care about Edward Snowden. Since then, Snowden has come up at least twice on her show, with Gross using the forceps of a mainstream media voice to pick up the topic. Last September she interviewed Barton Gellman of The Washington Post. And last week she interviewed Brian Burrough about Snowden. (There may be other references, but I couldn’t find them in a cursory search.)

Burrough wrote about Snowden for Vanity Fair. “From Geeky Dropout to NSA Leaker,” is the NPR headline, and Gross pushed the notions that Snowden is driven by ego (as if that is not a layer of everyone’s motivation) and that reporters who publicized his leaks were irresponsible. But her probing questions produced Burrough’s admission that Snowden has changed the way he understands government: he used to reflexively dismiss conspiracy theories, but now that Snowden pulled back the curtain, he understands that is a naive stance. In fact, the conspiracies just “mushroom,” he says. “And the only thing that surprises me now is when I’m told that there’s something the NSA can’t do.” From the exchange:

GROSS: So you’re leaning toward thinking that Snowden’s motivation – or at least part of it – was ego. Let me quote something that Snowden said, and I think this is what he communicated to you: “Every person remembers some moment in their life where they witness some injustice, big or small, and looked away because the consequences of intervening seemed too intimidating. But there’s a limit to the amount of incivility and inequality and inhumanity that each individual can tolerate. I crossed that line and am no longer alone.”

So that’s what he says in response to why he did it. How much weight do you give that? And why are you giving so much weight to ego?

BURROUGH: I actually – I believe he did it for the reasons he stated he did it. In terms of secondary motivations, I think ego is strong. I mean, that’s a very dramatic, diplomatic way to put things that he probably had a little bit of help with, I suggest…

GROSS: So last week a George Polk Award, a very prestigious journalism award, was given to stories that were broken based on Snowden documents, broken by Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, Ewan MacAskill, and Barton Gellman. This week they won Pulitzer Prizes, those stories. So these stories have been very acclaimed in the world of journalism. I’m wondering if you think these stories are also controversial at all in the world of journalism.

BURROUGH: I actually don’t. I think that they are widely acclaimed. And I think that people have made the case that this is, you know, the biggest leak, the biggest whistleblower situation since the Pentagon papers. One of the biggest, you know, journalism scoops since Woodward and Bernstein in Watergate. I think that their work was exemplary.

GROSS: Now, this is hardly the first long piece you’ve written about intelligence. You worked on the Vanity Fair piece on the path to 9/11 which was about dysfunction in the nation’s intelligence agencies and the security failures that left us open to attack. You were a writer on the Vanity Fair piece “The Path to War” about how the Bush administration used false intelligence to justify invading Iraq and now you’ve written – you know, now you’re the lead author on this piece about the Edward Snowden leaks.

So when you add this new piece to the other pieces about intelligence that you’ve written, how does that change the picture that you have of American intelligence?

BURROUGH: I don’t cover American intelligence regularly. I get called in every now and then to contribute to these large pieces that our editor Graydon Carter does. So I’m really not an expert on intelligence. I have to say my working theory about all these things – keep in mind I’m typically brought in when something goes wrong – has always been against conspiracy theories and in favor of human fallibility.

I must say that what Snowden has put out there suggests that I need to be a little bit more aware of the conspiracy theories because, in this case, many, many things that were said that the NSA could do, which sound like a conspiracy theory – you know, eavesdropping on Angela Merkel or the Indonesian prime minister’s mistress – I might have scoffed at.

And we now know are not only capable of being done but have been done. And the only thing that surprises me now is when I’m told that there’s something the NSA can’t do. Because when you’re in the middle of reporting and researching one of these stories, you just – the sense of the NSA’s capabilities just – they mushroom.

And you just come to believe that they can do almost anything. So, you know, I think it’s going to be interesting going forward in terms of we now have these capabilities to listen in on basically everything in the world to warehouse that information internationally and domestically. And I can see that the Obama administration wants to somehow put this genie back in the bottle.

And I question, you know, ultimately whether that either can be done or whether, in fact, there will be the political will to have it done. We’ll see.

A wonderful epistemological moment on mainstream media. Burrough is too sophisticated intellectually not to grapple with the consequences of Snowden’s revelations, and brave to make this admission. We will be better readers for it, and writers too. Nice work by Terry Gross.

P.S. In the Gellman and Burrough interviews, the brave leaker Chelsea Manning only came up once, and in a derisive manner. I’d suggest that Gross or others at NPR get Chase Madar on to explain her significance.

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44 Responses

  1. Krauss
    Krauss
    April 22, 2014, 10:52 am

    Terry Gross is the epitome of the reason why the American public’s trust in the media has plummeted; journalists used to be interested in the plight of the weak and persecuted, now they are actively demonizing them. The approval rating for the media is now barely over Congress’ approval rating.

    We saw the same thing in the smears and attacks against Greenwald in the aftermath of the Snowden story. I was stunned by the spectacle of elite journalists more or less accusing Greenwald of treason on live TV time and again.

    This guy just broke a major story, the American government is complicit in mass surveillance and they turn against him and Snowden? They all just lined up with Dick Cheney who accused Snowden of being a traitor.

    Maybe we shouldn’t discount ego in this discussion. Maybe a lot of this bitterness, both at Snowden and at Greenwald specifically is driven by professional jealously by lesser journalists like Gross, who has never done any serious work in her life, never stood up for any real cause and prefers the company of rich and influentual guests to going out in the world with the poor and the downtrodden. Her “journalism” is the bootlicking of the powerful.

    But that’d be letting them off the hook too easy. We’d like to think a large amount has changed since the MSM rolled over for the Bush administration in their quest to invade Iraq. Maybe there has not been a large change.

    Either way, the faster Gross can retire and disappear the better for everyone. She’s a “liberal” on board with ethno-nationalism (so long as the victims are brown in Palestine), pro-surveillance and more than generous with neoconservative guests and their ideas.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      April 22, 2014, 11:04 am

      By the way, the fact that Bryan Burrough was this surprised should give pause to his’ and people like him’s tendency to bow to authority. If you were shocked at the NSA leaks you haven’t been paying attention at all. He should reflect on his own inability to form a single critical thought in his own head without having them almost bashed into his head.

      What does that say about some people’s almost religious belief in their own government and their innate need for an authority to tell them what to think?

      People like Burrough are always wanted in oppressive societies, for their willingness to always follow the party line up to extreme lengths, even if they themselves are not bad people per se.

      • NickJOCW
        NickJOCW
        April 22, 2014, 12:40 pm

        What does that say about some people’s almost religious belief in their own government and their innate need for an authority to tell them what to think?

        Krauss: Has this not always been the case. The world has ever been divided between those in pulpits and those in congregations. The application of Reason, and the ability, never mind the inclination, to question the scenarios of suits and pontificals is understandably limited when you consider the fate that may await those who do; think of those in history obliged to recant (Galileo) or go to the stake (Gordiano Bruno) for their non-hierarchical views of the universe, or those today whose career expectations may be trashed or truncated (Stephen Walt) for diverging from accepted dogma.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        April 22, 2014, 4:26 pm

        @NickJOCW
        “Krauss: Has this not always been the case.”

        No I don’t think it has. I’m sure it was for some percentage of journalists but not for the majority who strove to make the next headline scoup, fame, honour, and professional accolades.

        Today journalism is a not as much a profession as merely a job and, when it comes to government, merely an extension of the p.r. department.

        They trade their profession for access. Access being dependent upon being compliant to the message governments want to spread.

      • NickJOCW
        NickJOCW
        April 23, 2014, 4:40 am

        oldgeezer, You are right journalism is a job, most journalists cover what their editors assign them. There is always a ‘slant’, Left or Right or whatever, and influence from the proprietor. It’s easy to romanticise the past, we all do it, but after nigh on 80 years in this vale I don’t see any great changes in public, private or governmental integrity.

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        April 22, 2014, 4:29 pm

        “We saw the same thing in the smears and attacks against Greenwald in the aftermath of the Snowden story. I was stunned by the spectacle of elite journalists more or less accusing Greenwald of treason on live TV time and again.”
        Exactly so. What if Edward Snowden had not succeeded in staying out of the hands of the US government long enough for the story to gain traction? Last summer and fall Glenn Greenwald wrote repeatedly, lambasting his media colleagues in the most derisive terms for their failure to act responsibly as journalists. Here we are, less than a year later and he has been transformed into their darling.
        It is telling how much the US media is in bed with the US government (see also the NY Times and the Iraq war) that a foreign newspaper had to start a US operation in order to give Glenn Greenwald his institutional media home.
        I rely on The Guardian and CBC (radio) for my American political news.

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      April 22, 2014, 11:16 am

      Krauss: You take aim at Terry Gross. Appropriately.

      She attempts to blame Snowden for acting for reasons of “ego” rather than, say, patriotism.

      But whatever else is she herself doing when she protects her standing (with the BIG-ZION community? in her own mind?) by refusing to touch the many true and interesting stories about I/P with a barge pole? Ego? Or is [I would respectfully suggest unnecessary] self-preservation by a huge well-beloved star of NPR something other than a matter of ego-concern? It sure ain’t courage. It sure ain’t journalism. If she is a dyed-in-the-wool Zionist, then I can understand, but people with truth-suppressive loyalties to ideologies have no business posing as journalists.

      Well, perhaps that’s not her pose, journalism. Entertainer?

      Ego, Terry Gross. Shame on you. And you blame Snowden!

      • ThorsteinVeblen2012
        ThorsteinVeblen2012
        April 22, 2014, 11:40 am

        Can Terry Gross’s support of Zionism be framed in the context of egotism?

        Her brand of Jewish identity is based on an ethnocentricity that doesn’t allow her to question or criticize Israel. Gross’s view shaped by an arrogant view of Jewish superiority and privilege.

      • American
        American
        April 22, 2014, 12:21 pm

        ’ Envy causes us to recoil at another’s good qualities because it reveals our own lack of worth.’………[DeYoung, Glittering Vices, 43]

        Gross has just enough self awareness I think to see the difference between someone like herself and her zionist brothers that she puts on a public pedestal and someone who has real selfless ethics.
        I’ve met a few people like this in my lifetime that snipe at people others might admire because deep down inside they know that person is fundamentally their better.

    • CloakAndDagger
      CloakAndDagger
      April 22, 2014, 12:02 pm

      @ Krauss

      Indeed – for anyone to be surprised by the revelations from Snowden, knowing what we know today, is the height of self-delusional ignorance – or something much worse. Snowden has become the litmus test for separating the wheat from the chaff. You can already see authority figures trying to dissuade people (e.g. students) from considering Snowden as a hero, and people like Peter King calling Greenwald’s win of the Pulitzer Prize “a disgrace”.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/20/glenn-greenwald-pulitzer-reliable-sources_n_5182297.html

      This is good. Let them out themselves. Americans have never been more aware than they are now, and as more of these nightflowers are exposed, they will not only wilt in the harsh glare of the midday sun, they will start forest fires across this nation as the citizenry rises up to drag their sorry asses to the guillotines.

      Vive la République!

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        April 22, 2014, 1:04 pm

        I think Snowden forced us to face up for a moment to what, to some degree, we all knew and I can’t but applaud that. However, I suppose that the revealing of secret operations may always to some extent ‘put lives at risk’, so there may be more of a tragic choice about revealing them than meets the eye. The situation of Joseph Conrad’s ‘Secret Agent’, where there are twisted links between reactionary, anarchist and state forces, may not be so unrealistic. In this country we have (allegedly) our monarch’s word for it that there are dark forces at work. Vive la Reine!

      • CloakAndDagger
        CloakAndDagger
        April 22, 2014, 2:13 pm

        @ MHughes976

        revealing of secret operations may always to some extent ‘put lives at risk’

        While hypothetically a possibility, I view the revelations of secrets by Snowden as having been done in a very responsible way in collaboration with Greenwald, and so far, I cannot see how lives may be at risk by what has been revealed.

        Vive la Reine!

        LOL! To each his own! At her age, each birthday is a miracle.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        April 22, 2014, 3:50 pm

        I think, if you’ve been paying attention, Snowden went to great lengths to not expose data that would put lives at risk. I’m amazed people slam Snowden. How pure does somebody have to be, before you can appreciate all they did for you?

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        April 22, 2014, 6:06 pm

        I never bought the “lives at risk” rationale. One could argue that robbing banks is risky. But who in their right mind would suggest robbers deserve protection, anonymity or amnesty?

  2. lysias
    lysias
    April 22, 2014, 10:52 am

    Snowden has done his best to make sure that the story is about what he revealed, not about himself. It’s been the media and our government that have tried to focus the story on him and his alleged flaws.

    If he acted out of ego, there’s nobody who has not acted out of ego.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      April 22, 2014, 3:53 pm

      Yeah, it’s like the slam against Obama and Kerry that they acted out of ego, pursuing peace in the ME, as if, and this has been pointed out on MW re Finklestein’s assessment of Kerry’s ambition to make the I-P peace process real, ego is not a layer of motive all humans have.

  3. American
    American
    April 22, 2014, 11:32 am

    ‘“Every person remembers some moment in their life where they witness some injustice, big or small, and looked away because the consequences of intervening seemed too intimidating. But there’s a limit to the amount of incivility and inequality and inhumanity that each individual can tolerate. I crossed that line and am no longer alone.”’ ..Snowden

    Isnt that why we objectors are all here on I/P and USA-Isr?
    I think so.

    • CloakAndDagger
      CloakAndDagger
      April 22, 2014, 12:07 pm

      @ American

      Isnt that why we objectors are all here on I/P and USA-Isr?

      Indeed. Of course, our contributions and sacrifices are a drop in the bucket compared to what he has done. He has put his life on the line.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        April 22, 2014, 3:54 pm

        yep.

  4. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    April 22, 2014, 11:32 am

    I listened to the Terry Gross interview with Bryan Burrough when it first aired, while I was driving (that is when I usually listen to NPR — in the car).

    I think Gross is a great interviewer, with a supple and sensitive intelligence and a wide range of interests that I share, but when she tried to press the theme that Snowden was motivated by “ego,” my skin crawled. I don’t think she has any comprehension of the qualities of mind and spirit that drive people like Snowden and Greenwald — she is not in that league. But give her credit for doing this show.

    As for Bryan Burrough — nice work, guy. You are beginning to grasp how the world really works beneath the steady stream of misleading and misinforming propaganda.

    Regarding Terry Gross’s liberal Zionism — sad, boring and provincial.

  5. ritzl
    ritzl
    April 22, 2014, 11:57 am

    BURROUGH: … I must say that what Snowden has put out there suggests that I need to be a little bit more aware of the conspiracy theories because, in this case, many, many things that were said that the NSA could do, which sound like a conspiracy theory – you know, eavesdropping on Angela Merkel or the Indonesian prime minister’s mistress – I might have scoffed at. …

    Well, I guess Verint and Narus are “now” more likely/credibly to be firehosing everyone’s info to Israel.

    Both Verint and Narus were founded in Israel in the 1990s. Both provide monitoring and intercept capabilities to service providers and government organizations, promoting claims that their equipment can access and retain large amounts of information on a vast number of targets.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/israelis-bugged-the-us-for-the-nsa-2013-6#ixzz2zd9eZUqp

    • radkelt
      radkelt
      April 22, 2014, 9:30 pm

      I haven’t seen this referenced here, during the Clinton administration, an Israeli Co.
      did the billing (could have been Verint) for most major telecoms. They had records of who called whom, phone #s, duration, frequency, time of call etc; what has
      subsequently been known as metadata.
      This led to an event in which the prez was meeting with Bibi in hopes of moderating
      settlement activity; interrupting the meeting an aide came into the room and whispered into Clintons ear … we don’t know what, might have included “Monica
      Lewinsky” etc. Bibi subsequently had the mien of the cat who ate the cream.

  6. lysias
    lysias
    April 22, 2014, 12:12 pm

    The whole use of the phrase “conspiracy theory” to ridicule someone was originated by the CIA, which used the phrase to discount people who doubted the Warren Commission account of the JFK assassination.

  7. surewin
    surewin
    April 22, 2014, 12:22 pm

    “I’d suggest that Gross or others at NPR get Chase Madar on to explain [Chelsea Manning’s] significance.”

    I’d suggest that Burrough study Bob Woodward for starters and then move on to 9/11. It’s hard when you have a nice career in journalism and at some point are forced to look at evidence and facts that invalidate your worldview. Most don’t want to know and won’t go there. A few do, people like Robert Parry and Russ Baker. They are the ones we should be listening to. Maybe Brian Burrough will make the full transition, but we’ll have to wait and see.

  8. Chespirito
    Chespirito
    April 22, 2014, 12:32 pm

    Thanks so much for the plug, Phil! And Ms. Gross, please know I’d be delighted to do your show.

  9. Pixel
    Pixel
    April 22, 2014, 12:35 pm

    (Thank-you for your title, Phil. I think it’s courageous; you could have chosen anything.)

    Krauss: “If you were shocked at the NSA leaks you haven’t been paying attention at all.”

    Absolutely.

    Dare I say that the list of “conspiracy theories” that has been proven true is endless (and have become common knowledge): NSA, USS Liberty, Gulf of Tonkin, Manhattan Project, Dreyfus Affair, Counter Intelligence Against Activists in the 60s, Iran-Contra, Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Operations Mockingbird, Paperclip, Northwoods, Ajax, Snow White, and on and on and on.

    But we never seem to learn. We never seem to want to learn.

    That’s the problem.

    To me, the take home message of this piece is simple. We need to start paying attention – now. We need to temporarily suspend our disbelief, keep our minds open, thoroughly research, and seriously reconsider each and every “conspiracy theory” that is currently mocked and disparaged.

    What does it have to do with “The War of Ideas in the Middle East”?
    Everything and nothing. Everything, because everything is connected. Nothing, because in “paying attention” here one becomes persona non grata.

    • rpickar
      rpickar
      April 22, 2014, 8:25 pm

      Thank you for this, Pixel.

      I have turned 180 degrees on “conspiracy theory” and it has changed my life. We are entering an era where secrets are collapsing, and conspiracy is really the news. Internet makes it possible for someone’s deep files on some issue to be a click away.
      I urge everyone reading to give up the taboo on “conspiracy theory”, and just use good logic, reason and science to find the truth about all subjects.

  10. American
    American
    April 22, 2014, 12:37 pm

    ‘Burrough’s admission that Snowden has changed the way he understands government: he used to reflexively dismiss conspiracy theories, but now that Snowden pulled back the curtain, he understands that is a naive stance”’>>>

    Has always puzzled me why some at least half way intelligent people deny the existence of conspiracies. The world is full of conspiracies, always has been.
    Where the deriding of conspiracies comes from is the idiots who try to make all the various conspiracies percolating in the world at any given time into Only One Giant Conspiracy with only one reason for conspiring.

    • David Doppler
      David Doppler
      April 23, 2014, 11:04 am

      Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not trying to get you.

      The deriding of conspiracies has at least two valid bases: 1) the suspicious but not too bright person who builds a conspiracy theory that leaves out important facts that make the theory a dud, and takes action based on faulty assumptions, embarrassing himself or harming others. 2) Conspiracy theory combined with prejudice, which assumes facts not in evidence to build a false theory, at the expense of innocents who belong to the group discriminated against.

      But I agree, there is an important place for conspiracy theories because sometimes small groups gang up to take advantage of others – con artists, e.g.

      I used to follow a rule that groups bigger than three or four could never be relied upon to keep a secret, so that conspiracies theories that involve large groups were almost certain to be phony. But the Kennedy assassination shows how organizations can be built, with institutional loyalty to secrecy and need-to-know compartmentalization, allowing broad organizational support for conspiracies the details of which are only known to a small handful.

      Perhaps this suggests a third basis for the deriding of conspiracy theories: organizations like the CIA rely on broad organizational belief in an exoteric higher good – secrecy in service to national security in a time of threat from global Communism – to pull off an esoteric domestic assassination, and the deriding of conspiracy theories is intended to discredit those who in the broader organization or public seek to examine the facts supporting a conspiracy theory.

  11. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    April 22, 2014, 12:56 pm

    Such knowledge is worth billions to hedge funds who can use it, in highly leveraged and secret fashion, like other insider information, to turn our economy into a rigged casino. Billions can buy the loyalty and intimidate the subservience of scores of Terry Gross’s and their media outlets, not to mention elected officials and their minions. Social organizations like Zionism, Neo-Conservatism, Neo-Platonism, the NSA and CIA, and, frankly the whole Washington culture nauseatingly depicted in “This Town,” “House of Cards” and “Scandal,” provide supportive social frameworks that turn what others regard as obviously corrupt and evil into what participants come to rationalize as laudable service of a higher purpose, the burden of the elite. The key to the founders’ wisdom was in anticipating such abuses of power and striving to structure government and society such that abusive power would always be offset by competing power. Technology has magnified the power and the harm possible, and it remains to be seen whether we can overcome this latest threat. But if so, it will be in no small part due to the connectivity of the internet and social media empowering random observers to organize in ways that were not previously possible.

    As to the proper role of conspiracy theories, I again highly recommend Douglass’s book, “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters,” as the best account I’ve seen for how this assassination is likely to have occurred and how a massive cover-up could be done and gotten away with. The best account of how a higher purpose, “plausible deniability,” can be used to create unaccountable power in very small CIA units whose secrecy must be protected for the higher good, national security, which can then be turned to great evil facilitated by a large group believing they’re doing the right thing for a higher purpose, with only some small handful in on all the actual details, which remain largely hidden. The book won’t tell you who ran the operation, but it will show you how ceding power to organizations like the CIA and NSA, where individuals are vulnerable to abusing power, where they think it essential in the fight against an existential threat – the Soviet Union and global Communism – can lead to catastrophe.

    • lysias
      lysias
      April 22, 2014, 5:51 pm

      Actually, some recent books give us a very good idea of just who was behind the JFK assassination. Three books I recommend are: Oswald and the CIA, by John Newman, a retired Army intelligence officer who became a professor of history and who has expertise in accessing and interpreting classified documents (make sure you read the paperback edition, which has new conclusions in its final chapter); Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace, by Peter Janney, the son of a high-ranking CIA official; and the five-volume Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government’s Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK, by Douglas P. Horne, a retired naval officer who was Chief Analyst of Military Records for the Assassination Records Review Board, a board established by Act of Congress that had subpoena powers. If you look at all the evidence, we may not know all the details of how it happened, we may not know the identities of the individual shooters, but we have a very good idea of who was behind the assassination.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        April 22, 2014, 6:11 pm

        “If you look at all the evidence, we may not know all the details of how it happened, we may not know the identities of the individual shooters, but we have a very good idea of who was behind the assassination.”

        Well, if you don’t know all the details and don’t know who did it, then you can’t know who was behind it; all you can do is postulate theories which are “not inconsistent” with the evidence as you see it. (and, indeed, some go so far as to simply change their theory to fit the evidence, regardless of the plausibility of those changes. See, e.g., Robert Lifton’s book).

        And, frankly, that explains why everyone who falls into the JFK-assassination rabbit hole are always convinced that the evidence, “pieced together” of course, proves that their favored boogie man was the killer, be it Johnson or the CIA or Israel or Castro or the Mafia or the Soviets or some combination thereof. Outlining a theory on why someone might have done it is not evidence that they did do it. Not even a little bit.

      • lysias
        lysias
        April 23, 2014, 11:30 am

        Means, motive, opportunity. Many men have been correctly convicted on the basis of circumstantial evidence.

        Books like Kugel and Bahar’s Der Reichstagsbrand: Geschichte einer Provokation and Hett’s new English-language Burning the Reichstag: An Investigation into the Third Reich’s Enduring Mystery have proved the case that the Nazis were behind the Reichstag fire, whoever may have set his hand to starting the fire, beyond any doubt. (Hett is a lawyer, with historical expertise. So am I.) Like the books I cited on the JFK assassination, these books utilize mountains of evidence, much of it only recently revealed.

      • David Doppler
        David Doppler
        April 23, 2014, 10:33 am

        Thanks, Lysias, I’ll put those on my reading list. I keep hoping some journalist or historian will ask Poppy Bush about it, and he’ll blurt something out in his dotage that points the finger. Or he or someone else will decide to unload before they go to their graves.

  12. Les
    Les
    April 22, 2014, 1:07 pm

    Except for McClatchy, I don’t know of a single one of our major print and broadcast media outlets that is willing to its own contribute resources rather than recycle government propaganda.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      April 22, 2014, 3:04 pm

      Agree, and they’re pretty stubbornly assertive about it as well. Which is to stay they don’t stand out because all the others are so bad.

  13. mijj
    mijj
    April 22, 2014, 6:14 pm

    What if someone with an enormous ego warns you that you’re about to step in front of a car!? .. Would Gross suggest you should ignore the warning and be run down in order to teach the fellow a lesson?

    Maybe i should check out the ego of Schockley in case it is larger than Gross’s ego. And if it is then, by gosh, i will punish the evil man by refusing to make use of any device that involves a transistor.

    What kind of retarded logic does Gross use? .. and why does anyone treat this individual as anything but an irrational clown with an obvious agenda?

  14. April 22, 2014, 6:24 pm

    I must say that I thought Terry Gross is just one notch below Larry King. In the UK Terry Gross would be unemployed.

    • puppies
      puppies
      April 22, 2014, 11:34 pm

      @unverified – She’d be unemployed in any European country (that does not include the UK, of course). Not to say that morons are not infesting the press over there, they are but the style and the standards are totally different.

  15. mijj
    mijj
    April 22, 2014, 6:27 pm

    American says: > “.. Has always puzzled me why some at least half way intelligent people deny the existence of conspiracies. The world is full of conspiracies, always has been.”

    .. ah, but “intelligence” provides the greatest gift of all .. sophisticated self-deception. The ability to view one’s sleazy, self-serving or servile behavior as heroic and honorable action.

    The greater the intelligence, the greater the range of self-denial-cloaked evil available.

  16. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    April 22, 2014, 8:56 pm

    Phillip you have to be kidding..”Terry Gross one of the best interviewers around” You have got to be kidding…really? She is biased, comes to the plate with a heavy agenda. Her interviews are often superficial and her discriminatory attitude obvious. She has to be one of the host of NPR shows that entered that NPR sphere under the “pervasive cronyism” that exist on NPR to this day.

    Amy Goodman, Bill Moyers, Phil Donahue may be the all time best. Terry does not even get close

    • Marco
      Marco
      April 22, 2014, 10:25 pm

      Yes, Terry Gross has made her reputation by asking salacious and superficially provocative questions of celebrities precisely in order to get a rise out of them. How that makes her one of the best interviewers around, is beyond me. I will give her credit for having an excellent radio voice.

      The thing about Fresh Air is that it’s seemingly hosted by Dave Davies as much as it is by Gross these days. Yet, instead of getting the accurate billing of co-host, Davies is forced to tell audiences he’s filling in for Terry Gross…. even though he seemingly fills in for her on a weekly basis. I’m sure it’s up to Gross to give Davies the co-hosting gig he’s already working at.

  17. PilgrimSoul
    PilgrimSoul
    April 23, 2014, 1:45 pm

    Terry Gross is a propagandist, and a particularly vulgar one. I’ll not soon forget her asking Phillip Roth whether he was wearing diapers after his prostate surgery, and whether he was still having sex. She’s smart about popular art but is very canny about working the big issues, always taking the conservative side and demanding that her interviewee either agree or disagree with her pet theories. (I’ve noticed the young people at MSNBC doing the same thing.) That’s not interviewing, but auditioning cultural talent to check out their political correctness, especially on Israel/Palestine and the total surveillance state.

    I no longer give money to either public TV or public radio. Let them get it from the Koch brothers, who have already given them millions. MSNBC can be helpful in the struggle against voter suppression in the red states, but we still haven’t come close to breaking into popular media with the story about Palestinian suffering, not to mention the mind-boggling extremism of the Likudniks and the neo-cons and the religious war they’re dragging the US into.

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