Streetwise Professor

September 10, 2013

The New Lord Haw-Haw

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 2:25 pm

In WWII, Lord Haw-Haw was the appellation given to English speakers living in Germany who delivered propaganda broadcasts on Nazi German radio.  The most notorious of these was William Joyce, who was executed for his collaboration.

We now have a Lord Haw-Haw for the 21st century: Jacob Appelbaum, who has decamped to Berlin (where he is a neighbor and collaborator of Laura Poitras).   Jake is going around giving talks accusing the United States of being the most malign force in the world.  He only brings up, say, China, claim that “people say that China is bad but they have nothing on the US.”

Case in point is this talk in front of the European Parliament in Brussels.  (I am only linking, not embedding, because I do not want that creature’s mug appearing here.)

Note extreme claim after extreme claim, none of which are verified or even verifiable.  For instance, his “partner” being hovered over by night-vision goggle wearing agents of the security state.  The proof for which is . . . Jake’s word.  Sorry.  Not nearly good enough.

Appelbaum paints a picture of an Orwellian state in which everyone-including you, gentle readers-is the subject of constant surveillance.  Note the typical conflation of “can-does” that is characteristic of this lot.

Note to something else I’ve pointed out before: Appelbaum’s repeated use of his own personal experiences to illustrate broader points.  In fact, they do the exact opposite.  They demonstrate exactly that Appelbaum is the exception that proves the rule.  He is trying to garner sympathy for himself by saying that he is you, or could be you.  But he ain’t, and you aren’t.  Don’t be fooled.  Don’t be played.  Don’t be flattered by his line “the state thinks you are so important they are after you”.  The state is after him for things unique to Jacob Appelbam: He is involved up to his neck in a variety of murky schemes that reek of criminality. I suggest taking a read of Catherine Fitzpatrick’s writings about him.  He is a manipulative snake, and people trust him at their great peril.

There are a lot of people who criticize the US government and US society quite vociferously, and quite viciously, from the United States, without experiencing anything that remotely resembles harassment.  Again: What Appelbaum and Poitras are experiencing (and no doubt they are exaggerating their experiences) is the result of some very specific conduct, not their brave speaking of truth to power.

Again, Appelbaum is saying believe him, not your lying eyes.  It is the very exceptional nature of his experience that totally undermines the veracity of his entire narrative.

One other thing that always bothers me about the Jake the Snake: the incestuous relationship between Tor (for which Appelbaum is a spokesman amongst other things) and the US government.  Why won’t Appelbaum come clean on that?

I think the Haw-Haw/Appelbaum metaphor is quite apt.  Like Lord Haw-Haw, Appelbaum scurried to Berlin to deliver egregiously dishonest and manipulative propaganda broadcasts against his country.  Indeed, what Appelbaum is doing is arguably far worse.  For whereas Joyce limited his efforts to radio broadcasts, Appelbaum is involved in many far more active measures, not the least of which is his collaboration in the Snowden espionage-certainly after the fact, and quite plausibly before the fact.   And, of course, collaboration in Snowden espionage now means collaborating with Putin and the Russians.

And where are real journalists on this? They have been conspicuously  silent on this lot; given the Berlin-Greenwald-Snowden connection, that’s quite a feat.  Moreover, their agenda is hardly hidden, and their association to Snowden says quite a bit about Snowden. But I guess the media like the story too much to question it, and those who might question it are intimidated into silence by the rest of the tribe.

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  1. Jacob Appelbaum’s name popped up on the EUobserver blog this week in a story titled “Unreported NSA spy systems revealed”. There is nothing very interesting in the story, which is just another drip-feed story about the the NSA listening in on home wireless networks.

    But the interesting thing is that EUobserver, or someone, went to the trouble of sanitizing Appelbaum’s background, so that a hacker with a long background of breaking corporate data security became “an American investigative reporter”. I guess this was to improve his credibility and make him appear to be a disinterest observer, rather than one hacker backing up another.

    When hackers become “investigative reporters” I think we are looking at a disinformation campaign with a degree of sophistication. That kind of re-branding doesn’t happen by accident.

    Comment by jon livesey — September 10, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

  2. @jon-this is the new stratagem. Call yourself a journalist as if it confers some sort of immunity of scrutiny from any investigation, for hacking, or for espionage. Appelbaum is a journalist like I am Marie of Roumania.

    The really egregious thing about it is that real journalists-not that they’re that admirable a group, but at least you’d think they’d have minimal professional standards regarding whom they would consider peers-don’t call bullshit on this stratagem. A big part of the tribe likes the Snowden/Greenwald/Poitras/Assange/Appelbaum narrative too much, and those with reservations are too gutless to risk the criticism from the rest of the tribe, so remain silent.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — September 11, 2013 @ 9:46 am

  3. Why the quotes around the word partner? Are you implying he’s lying about this too?

    Comment by aaa — September 11, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

  4. This is insulting – to Lord Haw-Haw. He never pretended to be objective, and it was perfectly clear to all on whose side he was on. None of this objectivity crapola – his side was right.

    What is most galling about these weasels is their position of virtue and pseudo heroism: how brave they are!!!! Of course they assume that the USA is not going to serve them a polonium milkshake, that would be unfair. They have adopted Alinsky’s tactics without the honesty to admit that they are in fact subversive. Ideologically, even if one were to support their position (assuming their ideas’ lack of coherence can be so dignified), they should be condemned as childish.

    A compilation of their biographies should be titled “Profiles in Posturing”.

    Comment by sotos — September 11, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

  5. @aaa-That’s the word he used.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — September 11, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

  6. Did he also use the expression “night-vision goggles”? Why not put that in quotes?

    Comment by aaa — September 11, 2013 @ 9:53 pm

  7. @aaa. Sorry, the job of editor is taken. So glad you focus like a laser on the consequential, substantive things.

    I just found his use of the word partner odd in the context so I put it in quotes so that if anyone else found the usage odd they would know that it was Appelbaum’s usage, not mine.

    Can you move on now?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — September 12, 2013 @ 4:16 am

  8. Separate question, why might James A Baker be in Moscow ths week?

    Comment by The Pilot — September 12, 2013 @ 11:04 am

  9. @The Pilot. News to me. I presume an energy deal, rather than anything remotely political/diplomatic.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — September 12, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

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