Monday, April 28, 2014

Review of War on Whistleblowers + Crony Capitalism's Choke Points

If you're looking for an entertaining documentary that is not nearly as heavy as its title, check out the "War on Whistleblowers". The production values are interesting because they rely on music to really convey the emotions they want you to feel in an over the top manner and use special effects to feel new and cool. It's a documentary. Do we really care about those effects or music? What's the story? The story is that there is a squeeze on people who might be whistle blowers when it comes to our national security state. The entire focus is on the post-9/11 war on terror world of secrecy, corruption, military contracts and what the system will do to people just trying to save lives or uphold the constitution. This documentary came out in April of 2013, which is right before Edward Snowden's revelations. If anything, this documentary is a nice way to view the world of whistle blowers, the insane power of the media and crony capitalism's attempt to close all loopholes.

The whistle blowers describe how the bureaucracy of the Pentagon froze them out. No classified clearance, which meant no security related jobs. The military-industrial complex was protecting their contracts, putting lives in danger. The Coast Guard had poor performing ships out there that no one cared about and this turned from negligence to fraud. It is interesting how the MI complex went into overdrive after 9/11 and how Homeland Security has become a clearing house or nexus for all sorts of secrecy. This is not new. What is hysterical is seeing a liberal project come down hard on Obama, but still blame it on him siding with the security state cronies. They just cannot admit it is the state in general. The NY Times review of this documentary brushes this off despite participation by NY Times reporters. Whoop-tee-doo is the gist of the review because the content is important but the presentation is cheesy and childish. This is made comical considering Edward Snowden came out with the NSA information just two months after the documentary was released. The documentary explicitly stated how whistle blower protection did not protect a national security person, like Snowden, and here he was showing how important that protection is needed. The black box of budget spending, the NSA collecting everything, outside contractors becoming fiefdoms of their own, and a wide variety of revelations. Snowden was not protected. Even more damning is how the media did not glorify this whistle blower but portrayed him in odd lights.

Our media is the most powerful entity in the American system because it decides what to tell, how much to tell, and what to omit. They portrayed Snowden as a high school drop out without a college degree and a dancer girlfriend that had lots of pictures out there with her barely clothed and around a pole. Smear the messenger. They never explained the why or the reality of those little facts until the meme had spread of some drop out stealing from the NSA. The media did this on top of our security officials immediately pouncing on him. Throughout the documentary who hear how whistle blowers become stories. It still all relies on one reporter giving the whistle blower the time of day. Multiple times, the leaker has to go through an outside agency to work as the story broker. At any moment, the reporter can say, "Sorry, not interested". This is probably why the entire documentary was aimed at national security whistle blowers and the evil "red empire" of the wicked military-industrial complex. Think this happens with non-security state issues? There are no whistle blowers out there for anything related to financial crimes or misdemeanors say from 2007 to the present day? One whistle blower discusses how he made a Youtube video. At the rate that our state media is going, Youtube uploads and viral videos will probably be the future for whistle blowers. Now we all should reconsider that Google purchase of Youtube in 2006.

The documentary touches on the importance of contracts, and this is an element of our crony capitalist system that stitches up a final loophole. It is not just national security, but they are the go to bad guy for liberals to point to corruption. Corporations have merged and consolidated since the 1970s, companies have poured in billions compared to say the 1976 election cycle, and they have our politicians bought and paid for, but who could hold them accountable? Someone on the inside with a conscience or sense that fraud, corruption and waste are happening. Going after whistle blowers is just a last step for an industry or large corporation to complete their purchase and corruption of the government agency or system that is supposedly watching them for the little guy. Bought politicians vote contracts your way and then the system squeezes anyone who might object. The government is a piece of everyone's business, which the Snowden revelations showed is the case for even glamorous cool tech companies. Big business has an interest in seeing their donations turn into revenue, and nothing should stand in the way. Even then, they still have to fear media exposure, and  as Solzhenitsyn said decades ago at Harvard, the media carefully picks what it wants to expose.

It is not the credibility gap but the credibility trap. You've taken money. You stopped caring if contracts, products or services deliver on anything. You are on their list, and in their black book. It is a system, and they are sucked in because not just their livelihood is dependent on being a part of it but they are a little crooked, too. Does this do anything to improve the general welfare for Americans? No. Does this improve the security of Americans? Not really. Does it secure the state? Yes. Does it grow the state? Yes. Does it make even what citizens would consider powerful industries dependent on the state? Yes, if they need to hit their EPS and keep that stock price up. Zuckerberg and the Google boys need a few billion more. Does the dismissal of whistle blowers in other industries secure the big banks? Maybe. Why does Monsanto have such a lock on our government and farmers across America? I do not know. Where are the whistle blowers for those industries? No intrepid reporter has uncovered those gems yet or even bothered to look.

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