We Are All Truth Monsters And We're Being Played [Updated]
[Author's note: Corrections and clarifications are appended throughout reflecting valid points raised by readers.] Yr Wonkette read/looked at every word in the leaked top-secret very hush-hush "Presidential Policy Directive 20" that a furiously-fapping Glenn Greenwald just "scooped" for the Guardian, the Big Reveal apparently being that the relevant agencies have been asked to "draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks," can you even fucking believe it? And believe us, this is in fact the juiciest tidbit; the rest is just a bunch of rules, procedures, permission structures, and principles that actually make US cyber warfare seem extremely well-managed and incredibly boring. But by God, it is a SCOOP, because it is a SECRET!
This is different from the other thing about the internet, which is that the feds have a PRISM that refracts your personal data into a rainbow of Fourth Amendment questions. Sheeple, we are no longer safe even on the facebooks! This broad netting of the numbers we call and our online activity is apparently a huge shock to everybody, too, despite the fact that waaaaaaay back in February we got confirmation that it's still totally cool for the NSA to actually wiretap our conversations and read all our personal shit without asking a FISA court for a warrant.
The house blew away years ago, and we're wailing afresh over a lost umbrella. Yr Wonkette does not like any of this either, but we are decidedly more WTF over the enduring legality of FISA-less warrantless wiretapping, which apparently even Guiding Light progressives like David Simon had forgotten about because he wrote this: "Keep in mind that law enforcement must still establish probable cause to then begin to actually monitor conversations on the domestic numbers, and that this request for electronic surveillance is then, of course, subject to judicial review by the FISA court." David Simon, see previous link. Perhaps he and others have been distracted by the approximately one skrillion "scandals" "leaks" and "scoops" we've been treated to since the February Supreme Court ruling that we are all suspected terrorists and imminent threats if the NSA says so. What's that line about the futility of giving a fuck when it's not your turn to give a fuck?
Of course, both PRISM and the cyber warfare directive are definitely "news." But what's most revealing about this (to yr Wonkette) is not the stories themselves but how they are being presented and consumed as Earth-Shaking Revelations! This is because they are "secrets." We love secrets! Secrets are the real truth, and having the truth now confers status. It no longer matters whether the shiny new truth has any practical application or whether it alters our prior understanding of the world in any appreciable way; it is valued simply for being an unknown that's now known. [Author's note: OK yeah PRISM is definitely news--non-scare-quoted--and embarrassingly yr author must confess that he was confusing it with BLARNEY, the metadata collection program that also leaked, and lumping it all together to Make A Point. It's a better point if we're just talking about BLARNEY and not including PRISM; see better takes at Slate and EVEN BETTER Wonket's own Kris Benson.]
So we have reached a point where every leaked document is a commodity and a SCOOP and you too can be the next Julian Assange or Bradley Manning or Glenn Greenwald with your own cult following. Don't get us wrong; all of them have done great things. But they and their emulators have also made political journalism a little more like TMZ. Also too Politico did that also. And maybe also yr Wonkette, but we, like Jon Stewart and Glenn Beck, are explicitly NOT JOURNALISTS, except when we say so and you MUST CREDIT WONKETTE. [Author's note: Each time someone overhypes a banal if "secret" policy directive, they dilute the influence of more important, actually outrageous news, is the point we were making, maybe not so well. Also, it's a problem with news reporting AND how the government uses secrecy.]
Finally, Yr Wonkette is going out on a limb and predicting the leaker of this cyber warfare directive will never be caught, because it was an approved leak. Seriously, reading this thing made us feel weirdly better about our government's dalliances on the internet. Greenwald et al have tried to make hay over how it's embarrassing that the leak reveals how the president asked for cyber warfare plans right before he's going to chastise China's leadership for its alleged cyber attacks. Yeah right, like it hurts to leak a document that says "I'ma fuck you up if you try anything" before meeting with a frenemy who you're gonna call out for their bullshit.
Really finally: Because we know you come to Wonkette for the slipshod armchair political analysis but stay for the dick jokes, here is a Dick joke:
[Author's note: This is hardly the worst dick joke evar.]