December 27-30, 2013 -- WMR's Person of the Year
publication date: Dec 27, 2013
December 27-30, 2013 -- WMR's Person of the Year
It was a tough call. Who did more to change the course of history and influence news coverage in 2013 than any other person?
It's a tie.
Because National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower might be locked up in a U.S. Super Max prison had it not been for Russian President Vladimir Putin granting temporary political asylum to Snowden, we might not have learned as much as we have about the massive surveillance network operated by NSA and its over 45 partners around the globe.
Therefore, WMR's Persons of the Year are Edward Snowden and Vladimir Putin.
Putin also changed the course of history by cleverly authorizing his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov (who is a definite runner-up as Person of the Year), to offer the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons in order to forestall a U.S. and NATO military attack on Syria. A U.S. attack may have helped bring an Al Qaeda and Saudi-dominated regime into power in Damascus with disastrous results for the Middle East, Russia, and the world. Israel would have remained as strong as ever because Al Qaeda and its Saudi patrons have never been a threat to Israel because of an obvious but secret non-aggression pact crafted between Riyadh and Jerusalem.
Raspberries and "Bronx cheers" go to journalist/lawyer Glenn Greenwald and his new billionaire sponsor Pierre Omidyar for creating First Look Media, Inc., a Delaware corporation, to "handle" the remainder of Snowden's estimated 50,000 NSA documents.
Greenwald has always had a tendency to deal with unsavory types, having once represented as a lawyer Matt Hale, the imprisoned white supremacist and neo-Nazi. Lawyers and journalists have the right to turn down clients and patrons and Greenwald's actions pass no smell test as far as we can see (or smell). Disclosure of Snowden's documents have slowed down to an annoying Chinese torture water drip.
As seen from NSA documents, the agency has long had corporate allies and partners from Microsoft and Cisco to Facebook and Yahoo. Why should Omidyar's PayPal be any different? If NSA has paid Omidyar $250 million dollars in "hush money," which, in turn, he has given to Greenwald's First Look, Inc., NSA got off very cheap.
WMR's Persons of the Year for 2013: Ed Snowden and Vladimir Putin
Runner up: John Young of Cryptome.org
Honorable mention and runner up for Person of the Year goes to John Young of Cryptome.org. Young has rightfully questioned the slow release of Snowden's documents. It is certain that had Snowden passed on his massive trove of documents to Young and Cryptome, we would now be reading all of them without the annoying censorship or redactions.
Cryptome remains the best source for whistleblower documents and, for that matter, anything leaked from government agencies or corporations.
The Persons of the Year selection is all about openness and transparency of government. President Obama, who promised the most transparent administration in U.S. history, has given us the most secretive. Obama reluctantly agreed to Russia's chemical weapons deal in avoiding a U.S. war against Syria and he engaged in discussions with Iran, but he refuses to allow Iran to participate in Syrian peace talks and he continues to launch deadly drone attacks in Muslim countries. He would rank high on only one list for 2013: Milquetoast of the Year. Obama should be given credit for standing up to the Israel Lobby against further crippling sanctions on Iran but he has not shown the same fortitude in pressing Israel to stop its ethnic cleansing of Bedouins from the Negev and West Bank and ceasing the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
As far as domestic U.S. politics, there is not one politician said to be running for president in 2016 who is worthy of any positive mention. Every single candidate mentioned so far belongs on a "Scoundrel of the Year" list. Hillary Clinton would top such a list, followed in close order by Chris Christie, Joe Biden, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, and the rest of the sorry lot.
And belonging on no "person of the year" list are shameless "flash-in-the-pan" celebrities like Miley Cyrus who would do well to move to Moscow and join up with George Soros's Pussy Riot whores. These contemptible women may be honored by the infotainment industry but that does not mean we have to pay attention to them or even care if they are run over by a bus.
Time magazine selected Pope Francis I as its Person of the Year. We have selected Snowden and Putin but Francis is a worthy choice. We have him in third or fourth place. If he survives Opus Dei, his evil predecessor Benedict XVI, the mafia, and the bankers, Francis may do some more amazing things for the Catholic Church and the world. After 2014, his selection as Person of the Year for 2013 may appear premature because he may deserve the recognition once again for even more noteworthy accomplishments.
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