The “McLibel” Case Should Terrify You

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The longest civil trial in British history pitted a part-time bartender and an unemployed ex-postal worker against McDonald’s. The defendants, Helen Steel and David Morris, faced a $20 million legal team with the pro bono assistance of human-rights attorney. At issue was a couple of hundred copies of a pamphlet that made various allegations against McDonald’s. Some of those allegations were later found to be correct by the court; some were determined to be libel. McDonald’s eventually won the case, although by the time they did so neither defendant had a penny to pay the $120,000 judgment.

This all sounds like some typical hippie stupidity, right? Except for one thing: the “McLibel” pamphlet was written by undercover police officers.

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And Now, The Vilification Of Edward Snowden

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James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, lied to a Senate committee in March, in response to a question from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Wyden had asked. To which Clapper replied: “No, sir.”

Called out on that denial in the wake of the phone-monitoring revelations, Clapper told NBC News: “I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying ‘no.'” Clapper said he didn’t view the captured and stored metadata records as a “collection” if they weren’t looked at. — Information Week

Without the actions of Edward Snowden, we’d still believe that Clapper fellow, wouldn’t we? Now the world knows the truth, thanks to someone who abandoned everything from a $120K/year job to the proverbial smokin’-hot girlfriend in order to bring the American government’s treachery to the attention of the American people.

No doubt, the Obama administration would like to have Snowden killed. Unfortunately for said administration, it’s too late to kill him without raising eyebrows. Better to use the hand-in-glove relationship they enjoy with a tame media that permits everything from lying (to it) to spying (on it) — to send some character assassination Mr. Snowden’s way. If you can’t kill the man, kill his reputation…

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