Good multipart piece by Conor Friedersdorf (@conor64), condensed here for easier reading.
Let’s reflect for a moment on the game that NSA-aligned signals intelligence experts play in public discourse:
1) They favor legal regime that hides most of what spy agency does.
2) They defend its officials even as they lie to or deliberately mislead public.
3) Then they complain about lack of expertise in NSA journalism, as if secrecy regime had nothing to do with it.
4) Everyone is in two camps for them: under-informed, or traitorous for informing the public w/ inside information.
5) When incomplete stories are published, they act as if journalists wouldn't love to forthrightly report whole truth.
6) As if Glenn Greenwald is the one leading the public astray.
7) They treat a minor, innocent Guardian error, soon corrected, as a bigger deal than James Clapper's perjury.
8) They constantly belittle arguments w/o rebutting them, calling into question why they participate in public discourse at all.
9) Their narrow conception of journalism leaves no room for non-expert analysis.
10) Yet they pronounce confidently on parts of the story in which they have no expertise.
11) They fault Barton Gellman for making reasonable extrapolations from leaked NSA slides...
12) And then confidently assert that Snowden is a Russian spy!
13) They act as if their knowledge of classified material validates their view of 4th Amendment.
14) And what they ultimately disdain is whole notion of intel policy subject to democratic control
15) They see no need for mediation between experts and the public, and no role for non-expert journalism aimed at general audience...
16) Because as far as they're concerned, the public *should* be left ignorant. [end]