Joe Rogan is probably the best interviewer in the US right now. I imagine that's a big reason why he has the most popular podcast in the country. I have a tough time making it through the 2-3hrs necessary for each of his podcasts, but every so often he interviews someone and it's so powerful you have to put in the time. Such is the case with his recent interview with Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald is most known for his reporting on Edward Snowden whistleblowing and the existence of massive, previously unknown surveillance programs in both the US and British governments.
People who know me and who read this blog, and/or follow me on Twitter know how much of a debt I feel we all, as American citizens, owe Edward Snowden. He is the definition of an American Hero. He literally risked his life and made an enormous sacrifice in exposing the illegal spying operations going on in the US Gov, and in return the US Gov has stranded him in Russia with little prospect of ever making a reasonable return home. Snowden has said on more than one occasion that he'd be more than willing to stand trial for what he did but he insisted that it must be a fair trial, and to date the US Gov has refused that condition.
I think Rogan's somewhat rhetorical question and Greenwald's response really highlights what a travesty this whole situation is and what has become of our nation (it starts around 19:40):
What is government? If government is a group of people that are allowed to do something that is absolutely been deemed illegal by the courts, and if you catch them doing this illegal thing and then report it, and everyone agrees that it's wrong, everyone agrees it's unconstitutional, but yet if they get you they will still put you in jail. Like, what the fuck is government?
Not only that, not only is the person who exposes what are crimes – what courts have said are crimes – not only is that person punished as though they've done something wrong when in reality they are owed the gratitude of the entire country for stopping criminal spying by the government on our population domestically which is one of the primary preoccupations of the American Revolution! That was the founding was about – it was about the king not being able to send his goons into your house and into your neighborhoods and search through your papers unless they have a proven reason to do so approved by a court. That's what Snowden demonstrated and told all of us the government was doing to us, not to the terrorists, to all of us.
So, not only is it that he's been punished for having blown the whistle on criminality, when he deserves a parade down 5th avenue, what's so much worse is that the people who broke the law haven't paid any price. They don't have charges against them, in fact they remain in government. The thing that made Snowden finally commit, the straw that broke his back, as it where, was when James Clapper, President Obama's senior national security official, his Director of National Intelligence, went before the Senate and was asked explicitly 'does the US Government, does the NSA, collect dossiers and tons of information on millions of Americans?' and he looked at the senator who asked him that and said "no sir, not wittingly." That's a crime, that's a felony, just to lie to the Senate, let alone to do it. and not only was James Clapper never prosecuted, he was never fired, he served out his term as President Obama's senior national security official. And you know where he works now? he works at CNN disseminating the news to the American public after he got caught fucking lying about the most important question he's ever been asked. That's how you know you live in a country that, despite the façade of democracy, has gone very, very off course.
I found those 3 minutes incredibly powerful, and that's just within the first half hour! I could literally quote so many parts of that interview because it's nothing but gut punch after gut punch by Greenwald and Rogan who just lay waste to every topic they take on.
Please take the time and watch this interview. You won't be disappointed.