Skip to main content

John Kerry miscues on a number of fronts

On at least two fronts, US Secretary of State John Kerry has got it so very wrong!    First, he attacks Edward Snowden.   And then, secondly, he virtually shows himself up as a misogynistic.    It is clear from the response to Kerry's comments that he hasn't remotely understood how the public views Snowden and what he has revealed.

"U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is facing widespread criticism for his comment that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden—increasingly seen by the American public as a heroic figure for exposing government surveillance—should "man up" by returning home to face criminal charges.

“This is a man who has betrayed his country,” Kerry told CBS News on Wednesday, just hours before the airing of highly anticipated interview between Snowden and NBC News' Brian Williams. “He should man up and come back to the US.”

Seen widely as an attempt by Kerry and the Obama administration to turn public opinion against the 30-year-old former intelligence contractor, for many it had the opposite effect: making the Secretary look both petty and misogynistic—not to mention "wrong"—by characterizing Snowden as "less than a man" for his actions.

Responding to Kerry's remarks on his website, Peter Van Buren, a former government employee and whistleblower himself said that the Secretary of State—who at this point sounds "more like Grandpa Simpson than America’s Senior Diplomat"—has apparently been "relegated within the Obama administration to the role of mumbling bully-boy statements, faux-machismo rantings whose intended audience and purpose are very, very unclear."

On Twitter, some turned the tables on Kerry's comments, by saying that to the extent the term is cultural code for "courage or bravery" it is the Secretary of State and the government he represents who should "man up" by admitting their short-sighted and mistaken approach to the Snowden affair and foreign policy and surveillance issues more broadly."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Whatever democracy the Palestinians had is dying

Almost a desperate cry from a well-known, respected and sober moderate Palestinian.

Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

He writes in a piece "The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy" on FP:

"Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to be held last week. Instead, they were canceled. A statement released by the Palestinian Authority claimed the cancellation was "in order to pave the way for a successful end to the siege on Gaza and for continued efforts at unity" between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and the government in the West Bank.

The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act. It damages democratic rights and makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people.

But this is far more than an internal Palestinian issue. The only lasting peace between Isr…

Big Brother alive and well in the USA in 2007

The so-called "war on terror" has shown itself up in a multitude of manifestations. The most dangerous thing has been governments using the "excuse" of the war to restrict certain civil liberties, allowing government agencies to pursue a variety of things that they would otherwise would not - and should not - be allowed to do and gathering, and retaining, a variety of information on its citizens.

The Washington Post reports on the latest incursions into civil liberties of all Americans:

"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as lo…