You've Never Talked Nicely About The Moon, Why Do You Hate Nature
Joke Line went way over the edge yesterday, using language that would make Joe McCarthy proud to savage Glenn Greenwald, with additional slurs thrown in for good measure.
Twice in the past month, my private communications have been splashed about the internet. That such a thing would happen is unfortunate, and dishonorable, but sadly inevitable, I suppose. I ignored the first case, in which a rather pathetic woman acolyte of Greenwald's published a hyperbolic account of a conversation I had with her at a beach picnic on Cape Cod.
Stop it right there. That "pathetic woman acolyte" is aimai, I.F. Stone's grand-daughter, who had a conversation with Klein recently and wrote about it. Classy of Joke Line, who got famous by writing up other people's private conversations under an anonymous byline, to call the progeny of an actual journalist lineage a "pathetic acolyte". You know that author you like to read? Why are you such an acolyte? Pathetic! Aimai takes care of that one easily.
Joke then moves on to Greenwald. This is how he proves that the Salon writer "cares not a whit for America's national security."
For the past several years, Greenwald has conducted a persistent, malicious campaign to distort who I am and where I stand. He is a mean-spirited, graceless bully. During that time, I have never seen him write a positive sentence about the US military, which has transformed itself dramatically for the better since Rumsfeld's departure (indeed, he ridiculed me when I reported that the situation in Anbar Province was turning around in 2007). I have never seen him acknowledge that the work of the clandestine service—performed disgracefully by the CIA during the early Bush years—is an absolute necessity in a world where terrorists have the capability to attack us at any time, in almost any place. Nor have I seen [him] acknowledge that such a threat exists, nor make a single positive suggestion about how to confront that threat in ways that might conform to his views. Therefore, I have seen no evidence that he cares one whit about the national security of the United States. It is not hyperbole, it is a fact.
There's a backstory to this. Greenwald made Joke Line into a fool during the FISA debate, when he admitted that he had no idea what he was talking about but still bothered to pontificate about FISA as if an expert, claiming that Democrats wanted to give terrorists "the same rights as Americans". Joke was exposed as an idiot and a knave, and he's mad. He's carried this grudge for two years because Greenwald de-pantsed him in front of the whole Village.
So, he has decided to make the "I've never seen Glenn Greenwald thank his mailman - how dare he claim to support the postal service and other government programs!" argument. Putting aside the irrelevant fact that Greenwald has written favorably of the military, this is really about as low as a so-called "liberal" columnist can get, demanding the journalistic version of a national loyalty oath before being let into the club. This idea that Americans cannot criticize certain hallowed elements of our national security apparatus without first gravely intoning the deep respect and admiration we all have for them is about the silliest and also the most dangerous sentiment I've seen expressed in a long time. Joke Line has been called "the liberal media" for so long he longer has to think about reflxively slobbering all over the institutions of authority, like a Pavlovian dog he does it by nature. And thus it becomes natural to slam opponents in the terms of whether or not they sufficiently meet the same standard of creepy hero worship. Jim Henley takes this where it appears to be going.
You may think that we already live in a country where everything is “Veterans Memorial” This or “American Legion” that, but we have not begun to express adequate appreciation for our armed forces, clandestine services and military contractors. I think we should start by renaming Joe Klein as Armed Forces Triple Canopy Memorial Oh Dark Thirty Klein. Glenn Greenwald will be Flag Day COIN Enhanced Interrogation Greenwald. It is a little-known fact that IOZ’s real name is Ronald Forward Operating Base Reagan Military Roethlisberger, so that’s one. This blog’s name shall immediately and henceforth be “Pentagon Yay!”
To Klein this is simply an expression of rage against someone who got the better of him two years ago. He fell in the punchbowl and now he wants to beat up the guy who laughed the loudest. Moreover, Klein wants to shut the velvet rope of the private DC club he and his pals have enjoyed for so long, so he figures he'll marginalize Glenn Greenwald by painting him as an America-hating extremist (the true colors really come out in times like these) so he can nibble on cocktail weenies in peace.
Greenwald's response is restrained, given the circumstances.