Paul Craig Roberts– Capitalism, Snowden, Regulations, Impeachment, Net Neutrality, GMOs
Rob Kall (RK): What’s your take on Ed Snowden and NSA and how it’s effecting Americans in the world?
Paul Craig Roberts (PCR): Well, Snowden didn’t tell us anything that we didn’t already know. William Binney had already told us everything. William Binney is the one who designed the spy system for NSA.He designed it, put it into operation. And then, when he saw how they were using it, which was illegally, unconstitutionally, for bribery, for blackmail, for corporate business interests and that very little of this spy system was directed at foreign threats, but was directed at every American’s email, credit card purchase, internet site visited, blah blah blah.
He said, wow, why did I make this thing for them? Then he went public and said they’re spying on everybody. Everybody. Their allies, their congress, the judges, their own federal agencies. Even the CIA director, remember? That’s how they got Petraeus out. They found out he had an extramarital affair and they used that to get him out.
So he told everybody, well, the only difference between him and Snowden is that he didn’t take any documents to prove it.
He thought that his word would suffice because he was a high official and he had designed the system and knew everything about it. And the government said, oh, he’s just some sort of disgruntled guy. He didn’t get promoted and he has mental problems. So, nobody paid any attention.
So, Snowden saw all of this and said, well, I am a nobody compared to him. If I simply tell them, it won’t do any good so what I’m going to do is I am going to take all the documents and prove it.
Well, they tried to prosecute to Binney, but they couldn’t because they couldn’t say that he had stolen anything. He hadn’t taken a single document.
Well, Snowden apparently took a million of them or so and so how they are trying to counteract Snowden is to say, oh, he is a spy. He’s a thief. He stole. You can’t believe him. You can’t believe a spy and a thief. He works for the Chinese. He works for the Russians.
And a lot of people, particularly journalists, are VERY jealous of all of the attention Snowden and Greenwald have gotten. They can’t stand it. They’re green with envy in fact the envy has turned to hatred. They hate Greenwald and they hate Snowden. Look at all the attention they got. And then the political tribe…
R.K.: Wait, who hates Greenwald and Snowden?
PCR: All of them. Michael Kinsley wants him prosecuted, arrested. It’s endless. All you got to do is read, Rob. They’re always denouncing Greenwald and Snowden and Julian Assange. Julian Assange now every time some journalist mentions him it’s always the sex offender or something.
There’s never been any sex charge brought against him. The initial ones that were brought were dismissed by the Swedish prosecutor.
They said, this is bullshit. There’s no case. This was consensual on the part of the women that they admitted themselves. So, but they always… but Washington got another prosecutor. Not to bring charges, there are no charges outstanding against Julian Assange, none.
What this prosecutor did was something unique. They said, we want him extradited for questioning. Nobody has ever been extradited for questioning. Okay, I’ll come here. I’m right here in the embassy and you can come and I’ll let you question me. And everybody knows that the prosecutor is going to, if she can grab him, she’s going to turn him over to the Americans and they’re going to waterboard him until he confesses he is a spy.
The support for this among other journalists is very high. They don’t like Assange. They don’t like Greenwald and Greenwald is always having to defend himself.
And Snowden, when Snowden was on that TV thing the other day, the most important part of the discussion was cut out. I think you can go online and find it, but they always set these guys up as much as they can. So, you know, that’s… it’s just jealousy. It’s professional jealousy. It’s, oh, he’s getting so much attention! Why isn’t somebody paying attention to me? That’s the way it works.
R.K.: Well you know, just to get back to what you said about Binney. I met Bill Binney, had dinner with him, had him on my radio show. He is a heroic guy. He really is. He basically said that he is dedicating the rest of his life to exposing the NSA for what they’re doing and trying to right the wrongs, but he also said that if Snowden had tried to reveal what was going on within the United States, he would have been arrested. He couldn’t do what Binney did.
PCR: That’s right because Binney didn’t take any documents. And Snowden took the documents in order to prove that this was happening. See nobody would believe Binney. They said, where is the proof? Where is the evidence? He said, well, I’m telling you. So Snowden had seen all of this and so when he saw the same thing happening, he said, well, they’ll never believe anybody. You’ve got to have the documents.
R.K.: And beyond that, they lied. I mean, Clapper went to Congress and lied, blatantly lied about what they were doing.
PCR: Yes. Of course, but they lie about everything. When has the United States government told the truth? Can you tell me one thing they’ve told the truth about? That you remember in your lifetime? Did they tell the truth about Weapons of Mass Destruction? Al Qaeda connections? Did they tell the truth about Gaddafi? About Assad using gas against its own people? About Iranian nukes? Have they told the truth about Ukraine? What have they told the truth about? Did they tell the truth about the unemployment rate? The inflation rate? The GDP growth rate? No. You know, every month I expose the lies again and again and again. They don’t tell truth about anything, Rob. Nothing.
PCR: Just try to think of… I sat down the other day and spent three hours and I couldn’t think of one damn thing that the government said that I could remember that was truth.
PCR: They do what they want. They have an agenda. It’s this neoconservative driven overall American hegemony and under that comes build the police power, build the unaccountable power, do what I want, I’m not accountable, I’ve got power.
What’s congress doing? Nothing. We can lie to them about whatever we want. What will they do about it? Nothing. He [Obama] is still in office. Why wasn’t he impeached?
PCR: Here’s a guy [Obama] that’s spying on the congress, blackmailing them and he lies about it and they don’t do anything about it.
R.K.: Well wait. You’re just saying that Obama is spying on the congress and blackmailing them?
PCR: Oh yeah, sure, that’s right. Look, that was the original reason for the spying. It was to shut everybody up.
If you’ve got a program like Bush had that is going to war without cause, without congressional authorization, if you’re going to do all kinds of things on the basis of lies, do you want to be challenged? No. Do you want to be brought down? Impeached?
I mean, Bush is a perfect example of somebody who should have been impeached a dozen times. Why didn’t it happen? Nobody dared.
Remember when somebody said we’ve got to impeach him and Nancy Pelosi said, it’s off the table? It’s off the table! She was scared to death. She was the House Leader.
They had something on her. She knew immediately to kill this before it could go anywhere.
R.K.: Back then, you had John Conyers, head of the House Judiciary Committee, and I happened to have an opportunity. I was down in congress and had a conversation with him that happened to be taped. It was three or four minutes long, and I challenged him and he absolutely denied that it was Nancy Pelosi keeping it off the table.
PCR: Well, she said it publicly.
R.K.: No, I know! I know.
PCR: So what good does it do for him to, look, don’t you remember Conyers? People thought Conyers was going to do something about something. I forget what it was now, but they were all enthusiastic and thought he… and he started out like he was going to do something about something and very quickly changed his spine, backed off and sold out everybody who was relying on him. I forget what that particular incidence was, the issue was I mean. We could probably research it on internet and find it, but there was something a whole bunch of people trying to do right, get justice, and they were relying on Conyers and he was going to do it. He was enthusiastic and then, all of a sudden, it just stopped.
So, I think when it first happened I wrote, this was years ago, I said the whole reason for the spying was to blackmail congress and foreign leaders. If you can blackmail them then they can’t oppose your policies.
So it’s a power thing. It’s a power thing and that’s what it’s used for. And they use it against themselves, like Petraeus. He pissed somebody off about something so they got him out. And that’s what it’s all about. It’s not…
And of course the media… can’t do anything, I mean, blackmailed or not, it’s owned by five big companies and they don’t represent journalism. They represent government interests and the corporate interests. So the editors and reporters know that there are all kinds of things that they can’t possibly touch or say anything about.
And now we have the case with the recent Supreme Court ruling that this New York Times reporter has no protection under the First Amendment. He has got to go tell the government who leaked him the secret of the government’s wrongdoing that he wrote about in the chapter of his book.
R.K.: That’s James Risen.
PCR: Yeah, Risen. So if Risen reports a government crime, that’s linked to him, nothing happens to the government for committing a crime, but Risen has got to rat on the whistleblower so the whistleblower can be arrested and imprisoned for ratting on the government’s crime and if Risen doesn’t, then he risks being arrested and imprisoned.
So what kind of journalism can exist in that environment? None.
And once they shut down the New York Times, then they turn on the internet and they’ll shut you down and me down.
So we can’t simply assume that they’re going to let us talk and say the things we do and run the facts we run if they don’t let Risen report what a whistleblower tells him about government misbehavior. So the power is there. It will be used, there’s no doubt.
R.K.: So, do you think that Snowden’s bringing all of this to light will have any positive effects?
PCR: It depends. The president of Brazil said, why are we in this American communication system? All it does is let them abuse us, spy on us? Why don’t we have our own? The Russians and the Chinese have said the same thing. What are we doing? Why do we use the American internet based system? It’s stupid. Why are we doing this? We weren’t thinking. We must be absolute and total idiots. And they are. They are. They are completely stupid to be using the American internet system because they’re being spied on.
So the question is– will they do anything about it or is it too much trouble? Is it too expensive? Or is it just too convenient to use what’s there? Will Brazil try and do something, but find that American financial power is in the way? And they really can’t get it off the ground because the backers and the people financing it are intimidated or controlled by Wall Street or the Big Banks or the IMF? So you don’t know whether anything can be done about it.
You know we have all of these cases of all the big internet companies letting the government breach the system so they can spy on people. We have these laws now which they can’t really do anything about it. I just don’t…
We’ve got Merkel. She was all mad they spied even on her private cell phone. They were spying on her. Recording her personal conversations and she was all mad and going to do something and then we have all the statements from the German ministers, oh, we don’t want to get on the wrong side of our good ally.
So, I think on the whole that Washington’s power over these people is pretty firm and that they either can’t get out from under it because of the blackmail or they haven’t the energy to take on a fight like that.
To get in a fight with the United States takes a lot of energy and if you’re trying to be elected in Germany your opponent can say, well, look, she can’t get along with America, our great friend and ally. What will we do without America and blah blah blah?
And then that can be used against Merkel and she can be defeated or lose her position in the party. So, there’s so many constraints on people’s ability to do anything.
And right now, you and I, we have an easy go because they haven’t focused on the internet yet. But they’ll get to it. And so–
R.K.: But that’s what they’re doing. That’s what the Obama’s republican FCC corporate guy is doing. Basically ending net neutrality.
PCR: That’s part of it, yeah. That’s part of it. That’s one way to be able to shut down sites that don’t pay a lot of money. Those sites become so slow and so hard to open and you wait so long and, you know, can you pay the kind of money that Amazon.com can pay? No. So, opednews is online by you visited and you click on something and in five minutes it opens. That’s what they’re going to do. Yeah.
But it doesn’t mean they won’t also come and arrest you if somebody reports something to you that they don’t like that you published. So, they’ll get you both ways. And me too. They’ll get me both ways. So, when the supreme court refuses to hear a First Amendment case involving the legal intimidation of a journalist, you know Freedom of Speech is dead in the United States. It’s done, dead.
R.K.: Yeah. It’s pretty scary.
PCR: It’s scary and what makes it even more scary is all these people who still believe in the government. If we just had the right person. Yeah, right. Like Obama?
R.K.: Well. what’s the alternative?
PCR: To what?
R.K.: To government.
PCR: Well, this was the problem that the founding fathers addressed, isn’t it Rob? They said that any government was deadly. The most danger that any people face is from their own government. We know this as a fact they say. What can we do? On the other hand, what’s the alternative to government?
So what you do is you tie it down with the constitution and you separate it into equal branches and rely on the jealousy of each branch to control the other. And then you do the same thing to the population. You have an electoral system that’s dispersed, that’s weighted differently, that property has a big weight, so it’s harder to steal people’s property and so on.
Well, that’s what they set up. And once it’s set up, we have been progressively dismantling it. Taking it apart. And everything that the founding fathers put in has been taken out. So, andJefferson said that’s what will happen and that’s why every two hundred years you have to kill everybody in the government and start all over.
He said, this is exactly what will happen. Everything that we have done to make this safe, make government safe for the people will be dismantled over the next two hundred years. And what do you do then? You kill them and you start all over. And that’s what Thomas Jefferson said. Not in so many words but that’s what he said. And you know, it’s a famous statement.
R.K.: Yeah, what is it the tree of democracy is-
PCR: The tree of liberty is watered with the blood of tyrants or something like that.
PCR: So, now let me just be sure that everybody understands, including the NSA who is listening to every word and the FBI, I am not advocating that everybody in Washington be killed.
I am not. I am simply reporting historically what the founding fathers thought. So I am not advocating it, I’m simply saying this is what they thought. You can go read it in the history books yourself.
Note from Wikipedia:
State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration is documentary review written by Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist for The New York Times James Risen. The book was released on January 3, 2006.
Risen writes in State of War that, “Several of the Iranian CIA agents were arrested and jailed, while the fate of some of the others is still unknown”, after a CIA official in 2004 sent an Iranian agent an encrypted electronic message, mistakenly including data that could potentially identify “virtually every spy the CIA had inside Iran”.
The Iranian was a double agent and handed over the information to Iranian intelligence. This also has been denied by an intelligence official.
Risen also alleges that the Bush Administration is responsible for transformation of Afghanistan into a “narco-state”, that provides a purported 80% of the world’s heroin supply.
Risen was subpoenaed twice to disclose his sources for the book, first by theGeorge W. Bush administration and then by the Barack Obama administration.
Risen declined to do so both times, but in January 2011, it was revealed that former CIA agent Jeffrey Alexander Sterling had illegally leaked classified information to Risen about the agency’s involvement in Iran’s nuclear program.