There Are No Heroes in This Story
I want to thank those who said kind things and even donated money to this post laying out how I ended up going to the FBI on the Russian election attack. I expected far more criticism, so I’m profoundly grateful for the support. The support has really validated my decision to come forward.
All that said, I want to emphasize that I’m no hero.
I say that for two reasons. First, leading up to the time I went to the FBI, I’m certain I did stupid things (one thing, well before my understanding of what was going on had changed, has long weighed on my mind). Further, while I still think I made the decisions that made sense at the time, had I made different choices, I might have prevented a whole lot of damage. So I want to be clear that when the full story is told I may take some hits.
The other reason is that when you decide to go the FBI, you don’t decide just for yourself. You decide for everyone downstream and upstream of you who will also undergo scrutiny by the FBI, people who may not share your beliefs or knowledge about the matter and who — more importantly — didn’t have the opportunity to plan to deal with authorities. I tried to limit such impact as much as I could while still providing the FBI the information they couldn’t get elsewhere, without doing their job for them. But ultimately the FBI is still the FBI. I absolutely stand by my decision, but I’m also acutely aware that my decision had real consequences for other people who did not have the luxury of knowing what and why I had decided and likely didn’t and still don’t agree with it. I get that some people question my decision and I absolutely respect that.
Also remember: I’m surely not the only or even first witness involved. Others were probably far more important than I was. Others might not have some privileges I do or the deference granted a journalist (to a vanishing degree). Others did something far more risky by coming forward. Just because I went public doesn’t mean I’m some great key to the Mueller investigation, so please don’t look to me as such!
The stories of Jim Comey and Andrew McCabe should warn us against investing too much hope in anyone as a hero. We’re all just humans, some of us trying to do the right thing and making very human mistakes along the way. In any case, we do far better looking to local organizers these days (to the extent I’ve got real heroes these days, they’re women of color really invigorating organizing), or talking (as I thankfully spent part of the afternoon yesterday doing) to someone with whom we disagree but also share common values, than to anyone within the immediate vicinity of the Mueller investigation.
Happy Fourth of July. We’re all in this together.
So will the full story actually be told?
Or will time and circumstance allow a “more plausible” story to take its place?
Something about these two posts give me a queasy, uneasy feeling….
Marcy, I have so much respect for you. From day one you were honest about what we could and especially couldn’t and not to make claims about the latter.
You’re simply the best journalist working today. Don’t let the fame go to your head.
What we could and especially couldn’t PROVE. Sorry, I’ve got a Toddler. And I’m sloppy.
Even heroes aren’t perfect, Marcy, and nobody’s clairvoyant.
If you take those hits, there are a lot of people who will have your back.
One cannot be a hero without that major flaw.
To not have flaws is to be a god, like Augustus or the sub-Emperor of all of
RussiaAmerica, the Donald.
Kudos! For being a Person of Conscience. You acted. Maybe not as soon as you might have wished. And you fault yourself – as you look back. Which also demonstrates conscience.
Will you accept the title of Patriot? I hope so.
I spent 7 years on the Ethics Committee of our State Psychological Association. Ethics has always mattered to me a great deal. When we weighed actions psycholgists had taken, decisions to violate confidentiality for example, in the service of saving a suicidal or homocidal person, etc., what mattered was how the professional had “made” the decision, not which decision exactly, but the train of deciding, the documenting of that, perhaps the confidential consultation with others and the manner of carrying through the decision(s).
It would appear you did all the right things. You noticed problems. You didn’t just act on impulse. You considered alternatives. You consulted before acting. And you took what many of us, most of us, view as courageous and selfless.
Kudos, Woman! You are not alone.
Patriot is a label I would cherish.
Well…. Then it’s YOURS!
Huzzah, huzzah, huzzah!
It takes a brave and honest person to publicly admit mistakes. Just my opinion, but anyone so certain of their individual infailability that they cannot listen to opposing, fact based discussions is either self-medicating or delusional. Now we have to worry about compromised, paid traitors to America… We need your potty mouth perspective more than ever. Keep up the work for good.
I still have faith in your diligence, honesty and inquisitive persistence.
Long, long time follower and supporter.
Beautifully expressed! I concur.
Unsurprisingly, Trump admits only to never having made a mistake.
And, yes, the pottymouth is an important counterweight to misplaced, self-serving laments for greater civility. Damn right it is.
Don’t beat yourself up if you revealed a source who played you and turned out to be corrupt in the matter at hand. It might not directly apply here, but perhaps generally so, that in 1987 Newsweek outed Oliver North as its source….and for good reason. https://www.nytimes.com/1987/07/20/world/newsweek-says-north-was-a-source-of-leaks.html
Let’s not quibble over words like “hero”.
The reality is that many of us trust you, trust you’ve earned day in and day out by the work you do and the way you do it. You tell us that you felt compelled to go to the FBI and, because of that reservoir of trust, we nod and take you at your word.
You tell us you’ve done dumb things and I think, well, hell, if I were in your shoes, I’m pretty sure I’d have done far dumber things.
There are very, very few people on this planet who wake up everyday prepared to be involved nation state level intrigue. I’m sure you made the best decisions you possibility could for the right reasons, tempered by the fact that you, like the rest of us, are human.
Stay safe, and stay well. And, thank you for all your work, including and especially this.
That’s the important point. Cinematographer Haskell Wexler recounts this at length in his dvd commentary to 1967’s In the Heat of the Night. He and director, Norman Jewison, and others talk about their motivation in making that film, not for the money or the work so much as to make that particular film.
They were staunch proponents of civil rights, and used their status, professions, pocketbooks and marching feet to back up their words. Wexler, a lifelong liberal, recounts that one reason the FBI considered him “subversive” was his support for a federal anti-lynching law (needed to compensate for the South’s pervasive jury nullification when it came to rare prosecutions of whites murdering blacks). So much for the FBI’s history of liberal bias.
Wexler’s main point is that the media have deprived the public of the knowledge about what makes progress. It is not a single hero. It is not that great man or woman who will lead us to the promised land. It is everyone behind them. It is people in the streets organizing with their neighbors, sharing, taking hits, working long and hard, and working together toward common goals one faltering, painful, hopeful step at a time.
Frankly, IMVHO, it’s a tribute to the FBI that you trusted them with your information. You trusted them to use it to the best of their ability, and that’s good enough for me. I can admire the hell out of you without putting you on a pedestal, or holding you to impossible expectations. I can also admire the hell out of the guts you showed in making the effort to do whatever you did. In the end, courage matters. A lot.
The old saying is hindsight is 20/20 or words to that effect.
You din’t have that luxury.
Seems like you have made the decisions you did in this regard for noble unselfish – and it looks like for patriotic – reasons.
You put yourself at personal risk to do the right thing. That’s a small distinguished “club”.
Happy Fourth of July.
Yves Smith adds some helpful background for all the flag waving. Not to rain on the sunshine, hot dogs and beer, but to re-orient the celebration toward family, hospitality, openness, and common purpose.
Culture is made, not just inherited. Yves’s Why Don’t Americans Take More Vacations? Blame it on the Fourth of July, originally from 2012, recounts the history of the early 1900s movement by business interests to turn occasional civic Fourth of July celebrations into a movement and a marketing tool.
The aim was to convince Americans and labor unions to embrace against their interests the open immigration policies that populated factories with cheap labor willing to do any work for any money. The central idea was that we should keep our borders open, but Americanize (program) the new arrivals through education, language and cultural training (of the sort that Lynne Cheney would approve).
The goal was to wrap the open borders in mindless flag waving and Americana, while neutering unions and the families dependent on them. Factory owners would have all the cheap labor they could use for the cost of a single national holiday.
Not long after WWI, when business retrenched after its rapid expansion during WWI and no longer needed large numbers of new immigrants, the borders were closed, but we kept the holiday and the Americanization materials migrated toward everyday schools. That was good for business too.
The business-led movement depended heavily on the mass propaganda tools developed for WWI. One cited success was turning a pacific American population into a warlike, rabidly anti-German population, ready to go to war with the Kaiser’s baby killers, inside of eighteen months. The model has been refined and used repeatedly.
The article features the work of Australian Alex Carey (Taking the Risk Out of Democracy, 1997), to whom Chomsky and Herman dedicated their Manufacturing Consent, (1988, 208).
Happy Fourth of July. Celebrate everyone’s family, whether they came off the Mayflower or yesterday’s bus. Stay safe.
To clarify the dates, Manufacturing Consent was published in 1988, with a new edition in 2008. Carey’s work predated it, he died in 1987, but it was published in Australia in 1995 and, under a slightly different title, in the US in 1997.
Or a slave ship for matter. Perfect time to catch up on Frederick Douglass.
@Marcy. Do you have regret for not contacting the FBI earlier (trusting the source), or for contacting them at all (on your source)? I know you’d prefer to remain cryptic, but answering this part would help me better understand the crux of the conundrum. You sound conflicted and I’m curious if your info at the time might have motivated the reportage, where later you had anguish about that decision, perhaps with more complete context?
When do you foresee the time when you can reveal the entire episode?
I’m not answering for Marcy, but I think it’s important for YOU to ask yourself what would you do in this situation? What if you believed in the First Amendment (and Fourth Amendment) and ran a site dedicated to a true journalistic effort aimed at the intersection of individual and state interests focused on civil rights? Would you ever run into conflicts under the last three administrations? How would you navigate them while honoring your own values and ethics simultaneously navigating a changing legal environment?
Even as a contributor here I don’t expect every jot and tittle disclosed because my own values and ethics won’t demand them; my own understanding grasps a very narrow path to thread and incumbent risks. I expect, though, whatever happens here seeks to bend “the arc of the moral universe” toward justice.
Rayne, I realize you are being protective of Marcy. But like Marcy, a lot of us here are curious and interested in detail and context. Some may be or may have been involved in investigative journalism. I don’t expect her to reveal everything, or at least I don’t expect her to reveal details of these circumstances, most especially since there is an ongoing investigation. My questions weren’t directed toward determining judgement of what she did or didn’t do, whether it was right or wrong, they were directed only for greater comprehension.
I can’t answer a blind hypothetical since I don’t know details, and it wouldn’t matter what I would do, since the exact same circumstances are unlikely to occur, but if they did, it’s possible my own decisions could be wrong. That’s why asking questions about experiences can be useful. Of course she doesn’t owe me any answers, if she chooses not to.
Patience, my young friend.
Consider this saying: Discretion is the better part of valor. We have no right to know everything.
Thanks Rayne and TheraP. Trip, and I mean this in no mean way, but do think about it: my view, is that asking for what Marcy really can’t add to right now, you are putting extra pressure on her that she doesn’t need.
Exactly! Especially when it comes to her feelings. That is her sacred space. Not ours to intrude on.
Thank you, TheraP. Patience & trust, rightly placed, are imperatives in this struggle-a struggle with so many fronts- both old & new, public & private. May we all be ready to think seriously & intelligently when decisions to act fall in our laps. Marcy is a great model for courage & rumination. That is enough to ask from her.
Trip, you have an eager and inquiring mind. But, remember a thread in the recent past. The general theme of relevant comments to you was “it’s okay to take a break”.
So, and I don’t at all mean to be rude to you, but the phrase that comes to mind (I’m really old) is “cool your jets”.
The facts will come out at some time. If you do some research, you can come up the suspect. If you do so, just keep it quiet for now.
The FBI is on it. They may have been on it before Marcy contacted them. But she may have given them some extra dots to connect to other ‘stuff’ they already had.
Until any TLA proves their worth, none can be trusted.
[At this point in time, we can only trust FBI]
s/come up the suspect/come up with the suspect/
Contacting the FBI first requires finding an attorney with whom you can agree about how to manage journalistic equities, security, and approach at the FBI, among other things. When security is an overriding issue that’s not necessarily easy to do.
Sorry, but I still consider you a hero. Anyone can do the right thing when it’s easy. Heroes are people who do the right thing when it’s hard.
Celebrating the holiday by subscribing to your website. Hope you and yours get an hour today where you are not worried about anything.
pretty sure that being the first person to say blowjob on daytime national teevee without getting bleeped, should be sufficient to ensure you a place in the canonical pantheon of left blogistan. however, it is good to know that you do not bleed green or have a second eyelid or anything weird. =:-o …that was no tri-ox compound…
Our desire for “heroes” bespeaks the narcissistic dysfunction of American nowadays. This is because the image is of perfectly unflawed persons better than the rest of humanity that everyone must look up to. This is a dangerous illusion and people who think that they can be heroes are dangerously deluded.
In a strong civil society, what we need are people like Marcy, willing to do difficult things and speak the truth when it comes time to do so. It takes more courage to do this if embarrassing things will also come out. Courage is always about doing the difficult things that we fear and which may result in personal loss or suffering.
Martin Luther King was such a person, IMHO, but we have made him a hero. The odd thing is how his hero worshipers worry so much and try to hide his failings when they come to light. As a Christian priest, I can tell you that he WAS a saint, but not a Christian Superhero like many people like to make out the saints to be. Saints are examples of ordinary Christians doing what ordinary Christians should do, but they remain ordinary. A martyr is just an ordinary Christian who had a really bad day.
I know that religious stuff doesn’t particularly register with you, but I would say that in this you are an ordinary Patriot, who was in a particular situation and did what patriotism calls for. You’re the last person I would ever think would run to the FBI except for compelling reason.
Thank you and I hope you have a very good day and very good months to come.
No worries about the religious stuff. It applies to questions of leadership.
We give Syria to Russia, our embassy goes to Jerusalem, our arms and blessings to the Saudi’s, we blow the shit out of Iran (probably)- for what? Does anyone have the big picture? Can anyone tell me where in here is “the win” for the American people?
They get higher taxes (except for the billionaires), less wealth, more expensive goods (via tariffs), less healthcare, more pollution, no social safety nets, no consumer protection and less (or no) civil rights.
Who could ask for anything more? Win/win.
EW – does your cooperation limit what you can write in the near future?
Not in the least. When I asked for feedback over the weekend, it was courtesy to make sure nothing would hurt the investigation. The text is mine.
Plus, they’ve bent over backwards to avoid telling me anything, so it’s not like anyone can claim I learned anything from having gone to the FBI. Which is presumably why they did it that way.
Sounds like there was a lot of mutual respect between professionals.
YES! Can’t wait for the next Jared post.
You are the GOAT.
If BMAZ can’ t rep you pro bono, put the word out and our donations will flow…half -joking.
This is my first time posting. First, thank you for doing what you did. You have put yourself at risk for what you believe is the common good. And you did it more than once, First by going to the FBI, and then again by going public with your recent post. That took a great deal of intestinal fortitude.
Second, thanks for serving as a role model for others. I’m certain that the notion of you acting as a role model for others never entered your mind when you did what you did. But by going public, you have made yourself a role model for others. In a time where we are in desperate need of positive role models, others can look to you and be inspired to do what they believe to be the “right thing” for the greater good, even though doing the right thing involves potential personal peril and may result in public criticism.
To me, positive role models, who do what they do for the common good knowing they may suffer adverse consequences, are true heroes.
I am not Marcy, but let me say, please, stop in and comment more often.
Here’s a list of people of interest to Mueller: https://www.politico.com/interactives/2018/trump-russia-investigation-ties/ Ross’s source was also reported to be a “confidant of Flynn’s”.
Filters of media, election influencing, favoring status quo in Syria, Russian or Flynn association, and liar don’t eliminate many of the usual suspects. A couple of examples from early in the alphabet:
Lobbyist partner with Rinat Akhmetshin and employee of Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative, a foundation reportedly in Mueller’s sights for trying to influence U.S. politics.
Trump administration transition official at the National Security Council who expressed concern about Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials. House Intelligence Democrats said in March 2018 Republicans refused their requests to interview Billingslea.
Former Wall Street Journal reporter and head of Potomac Square Group was reportedly hired by Natalia Veselnitskaya to do PR for the Washington premier of documentary critical of Magnitsky. He’s named in a July 2017 letter from Senate Judiciary Committee to Fusion GPS seeking communications involving or referring to him.
Now, back to celebrating the 4th by reading from the Declaration and Bill of Rights.
We do the best we can with what we have to work with at the time.
I admire EW for not falling for single sourced misinfo warfare designed to trip her up ala Dan Rather, or the Okeefe related attacks on the WaPo over the Alabama Roy Moore Senate race. In Andrew McCabe’s troubles we can see the result of a multisourced misinformation attack using WSJ’s Devlin Barrett. It was in response to Barrett’s call for any comment that McCabe jumped the shark. Both targeted and in McCabe’s case broadside attacks that shake the tree can have an opponent score an own goal. It will be interesting to see if Barrett feels as used as EW. Still hard to believe the Clinton campaign made the correct decision not to go public with the dossier.
I see Louise Mensch has gotten a bit testy with Marcy on Twitter. Multi year on-off feud it seems. Is it too much to ask that LM get crushed in whatever comes down the pike?
Appears that LM doth protest too much.
Guilty of something LM that EW did *not* allude to recently? Reading comprehension issue LM?
Or, are you just tied to someone else and worried about exposure?
I would add in crazypants, just for good measure.
Some of her early cohorts started an entire cottage industry based on Trump (resistance), making money on it.
I would add attention-seeking to my crazypants comment, as well.
Oh, Mensch is totally batshit. And has been since well before she up and moved to this side of the pond.
She seemed to ‘know’ some things originally, but I could never trust anyone who came from a Murdoch background. Then she started with the most implausible scenarios, with one, I think, Hatch was secretly the president, or something or other, and the wheels blew off.
Later, I recall photos of her being chummy with Milo.
Near contemporaries. Ms. Mensch seems to have come from money: born in Westminster, private Catholic education and Christ Church, Oxford. Secretary to the Oxford Union debating society. Young poet of the year. Adored by one and all on the Conservative front bench, but only two years in parliament. Background in PR, chick-lit “novels”, and former Murdoch employee.
Apparently arch-conservative, unable to sustain a direction. Lacks discipline and unable to work with authority. Appears given to flights of fancy and to have more than enough money to compensate for them.
I suggest that she retire to Hogpits Bottom. /s
Just over 15 months ago, someone started throwing her under the bus. Her usefulness was gone as a misdirection agent.
From the back-then twitter brigade, or are you thinking Murdoch (Trump TV)?
May have been Twitter, but I observed on a website.
Why does LM (in a tweet) have same image of the text message that Marcy posted?
Quick link to image:
From EWs twitter post? But check the images/files to verify. https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1014120713089888256
Didn’t she post it after Marcy’s article?
That’s what I thought, Trip.
So, is it Fair Use? Or Copyright Violation?
[Marcy mentioned Discovery]
Marcy, thanks for all you do. I clicked on the Support button and sent money your way. I hit enter before I finished my thanks comment, so I finished it here.
If this resulted in FBI agents being assigned to read and understand the output of EmWheel, then its probably a win. I assume that at least some of the staffers of our elected officials are reading her too. right? hopefully.
Undoubtedly. But information is not enlightenment.
The two FBI Agents I spoke with directly had no idea what I do. But I’m pretty sure they found people who were segmented off from the investigation so they couldn’t reveal any details to me in questioning.
[Edited bc I sounded critical of the FBI agents I spoke with and I’m not]
I’ll be honest. The part where you gave the okay for them to go in your house when you were absent has deeply shaken my confidence and trust in your judgment. Hope something productive of something like justice comes of this, and that you or anyone close to you don’t end up paying a real price.
It was not you, you were not there, and you have no clue as to the underlying circumstances. Don’t make judgments you are neither fit nor informed to make.
thanks, bmaz, you posted while I was typing mine, below to SteveB
Are you Vincent Price?
HAHAHA. I have no idea why I find this funny.
I’m surprised you even commented if you are so rattled, leaving behind a footprint in doing so — but this tells me that you haven’t truly considered what the risks are and have been to doing Marcy’s kind of journalism let alone the risks entailed with being one of her readers. Or for that matter, the risks entailed with exercising speech in a social media platform. Have you really understood at all what goes on here?
I wondered whether this comment was worth publishing. but I think it’s important for regular readers and commenters to realize what other challenges this site faces in addition to active measures working to undermine this site’s journalism and opinion.
The course of true journalism never did run smooth.
Governments pretty much don’t like it. Corporations like it less. MSM journalists sometimes like it still less.
Izzy Stone knew he was being surveilled by the FBI, his letters sometimes read, his phone tapped. He read his “boring” USG document troves, covered hearings, interviewed sources, wrote stories the government sometimes hated, and put out a private subscription only newsletter through a reluctant US mail.
Sy Hersh put up with another generation of bullshit from a corporate press and similarly paranoid government. Shit just comes with some work.
Heat. Kitchen. Stay or Go. Thankfully for us, Marcy stays, even when the kitchen gets hot. Our job is to read her work, comment as intelligently as we can, and buy the occasional kitchen fan.
So true. Thanks, Marcy for taking the heat again and again. We are all better because of you. (and I hope mr ew turns on the ice maker.)
Do you intend to seem both hostile and menacing?
Yes, that Nell comment knocked me back a bit. I don’t expect Marcy to answer this, but she said that she wasn’t there. That doesn’t mean that no one else was there, her spouse, say. Or that she wasn’t in contact via phone with someone present. Whatever, having followed ET for a decade plus, I absolutely trust her judgement. She made whatever choice she did, with deep thought and knowledge,
I’m neither hostile nor menacing; EW is familiar with me as a commenter, going back a decade. I’ve been in a situation where it was necessary to cooperate with the FBI, despite the fact that the organization I worked for was at the same time in a suit against them for spying and attempts to provoke illegal action. The agents’ behavior was a constant reminder of why lawyers are a necessity in dealing with the agency.
Of course I don’t have the information necessary to make a judgment, bmaz. I was expressing sincere dismay, based on hard experience. And sincere hope that Marcy’s actions will lead to a positive result. Apparently anything short of fulsome praise (also based necessarily on partial information) is unwelcome. EW deserves the benefit of the doubt based on her long record of judgment and analysis; but, as she is the only one to point out, there are no heroes in this story.
It’s a sad and frightening truth that anyone with principles can get played by a pro, and even sadder and more frightening that diligence is not a complete protection against it. This isn’t your fault and doesn’t reflect anything about you apart from that you’re human. It’s just a truth. Quite possibly the same might be said of your source. Or possibly this was personally painful to you for other, equivalently sad and frightening reasons that are beyond my capacity to imagine. But regardless, if what you mean when you say there are no heroes is that there are only victims, I don’t find that at all difficult to believe.
Nevertheless, I personally think that it *is* heroic to accept a truth as painful as it must have been for you to accept that you misjudged someone’s reliability and/or that of the information he provided. It’s very evident that you have every reason to pride yourself on not doing so often. And I very much hope that you give yourself all the credit you deserve and none of the blame that you don’t. Keep up the good work.
This is my first time commenting here. I happened to be on the site when Marcy posted. It’s always a rush to see a new item so I dove in. I quickly started to gasp and mutter wow, then holy crap, then holy shit!
I reread it and sent the link out to several friends with the subject line, “This is not a drill, people.” I returned throughout the day as the comments multiplied. When I read Marcy’s reply , “There are no heroes in this story”, I experienced that awful sense of dread in the pit of my stomach. An old friend once described the feeling like a bone tired hound dog circling a rug desperately trying to lay down but no where seemed right.
I can’t imagine the struggle you experienced to come to your decision, Marcy. And then to share it publicly leaves me again muttering wow, holy crap and holy shit!
Plato said courage is knowing what not to fear. You are expecting to take some hits as the story becomes clearer to everyone. Perhaps, but have no fear that there will be many who are close by with an ice pack and an encouraging word.
One comment referenced a line from an old Neil Young song. Music is my therapy. My mind immediately went to a lesser know song called “Scenery”. Good for when you are feeling unsettled… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj_g7NuTXAc
Take good care, Marcy.
I’m a Zen Buddhist who is in charge of ikebana arrangements during long silent retreats. People sneak up to me and whisper how beautiful my work is and how meaningful and how grateful they are and I hate it. All I do is put reality in a vase and show it to people. Here’s to you and all your work.
After a decade of reading, I trust Marcy and her judgment, even if got fooled, and am more concerned about her well-being than my right/need to know. Is nice she tipped us off, but I’m quite content to wait til forever to hear more, as she sees fit.
Long time reader and admirer. Donated a little to help with any lawyers or expenses you may have and shared with friends who have more resources.
Thank you for the work you do.
All I can say is thank you and that as I can I will continue to donate.
The truth, when you find it, is gentle.
Its the lies, and the judgments, that feed the paradigm of power and control.
This site more than any other, speaks to this reality for me. Since the first blog, what was the site called way back “The great Hurrah”, “The next Harrah”? I can’t remember but I always wondered where that name came from. And have always loved the cleverness of MT Wheeler!!!
I have read this blog daily for so many years. It feels like a staple for my sanity. Sending love and gratitude daily.
I’ve been reading Marcy’s blog since I read that she’d be live blogging the scooter Libby trial. I learn so much here. And I learn so much from the commenters. It’s a comfort to me that there are so many intelligent, thoughtful people paying attention. I often feel guilty that as a “lurker” I don’t have words to add, or more money to donate. As a senior citizen artist living mostly on social security these are terrifying times. This site and its community feels like a very caring circle of friends. Thank you all for what you do, and thank you Marcy for your strength.
Long time lurker but I’ve only commented once before, and that on Frank Zappa lyrics. I started following Marcy, and Jane Hamsher and bmaz for that matter, back in the FDL days, when my son was sent to fight in Iraq and I was freaked-out. I took some daily solace from that blog and a few others, like PJ’s Groklaw (when MS and SCO were trying to take Linux away from us) which is also now defunct, and we are worse off for it. I think PJ was ultimately frightened off by the potential legal liabilities from running her site, even though it ended up in the Library of Congress archives.
But this situation today seems much more dire.
It’s not possible for me to over-estimate the profound psychological impact of a daily dose of the analysis and information and clear-thinking of EmptyWheel on my soul in these complex and frankly frightening times. I guess this is my own clumsy way of saying what others have said more eloquently: Marcy you are important to a lot of people in more ways than you perhaps know. Be safe.
PJ was actually worried about others trying to communicate with her via email. She realized that it was and is not really secure. She shut down to protect others that may have wanted to give her information.
This is why FOIA and open court records are so important.
Marcy, in my eyes you are both a hero and a patriot. You did the right thing by going to the FBI. I wish the GOP members of Congress had as much spine as you do. Please check your PayPal account. I hope it helps.
Just a quick comment to your post. I think that people generally view a hero as someone who is far above regular people in ability. This is the mythologized version of the “hero” who single handedly comes in and saves the village, for example.
What you have demonstrated is is a fairly rare combination of traits: razor sharp intelligence tempered with enough thoughtfulness and genuine kindness that you ended up acting in a way that you felt was the best path. Not knowing the particulars, it seems that you chose the lesser of two evils, as it were. You could have said nothing and the repercussions of that could have been worse in some ways but better in others. And as many others before me have said, the *process* of weighing your options before acting, and always acting with the aim of the greater good, is the rare trait that sets you apart. You may have made mistakes, but the most important thing it seems to me is your kind intentions with respect to this info. You were true to yourself and made an undoubtedly difficult decision in an attempt to help the US political climate.
Having not only the wherewithal and kindness to make the decision in the first place, and then to actually follow through with it (arguably the hardest part) are actions that put you on the right side of history. What results from that, unintended or not, matters less (with respect to making the decision itself) than the fact that you made the most ethical decisions you could and enacted them. If the US ever rights the ship politically, it will be specifically because of many people who were faced with hard decisions and made the ethical one at the end of the day. Be proud that you were one of them!
Marcy, thanks for the website and for your integrity and honesty. America needs more people like you! I agree that we we should not view you as a hero. Every time I hear that word I think of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s quip, “show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.” Maybe better to think of your situation as Dante would: as a comedy. A happy ending. Mistakes? We all make them; and dark forces would try to focus on them to discredit you. It appears to me that your heart is in the right place, though. Many of us are counting on people like you to help bring this country back to a healthy state. As far as any repercussions for me, a reader/ commenter on your site, I decided a long time ago that if someone like Devin Nunes or Jeff Sessions wants to send people after me for associating with people like you, then so be it. I’ll take you over them any day, come what may.
Another former FDL’er here. My home is on the other side of The Lake (as opposed to The Pond), and because of the time differential, I seldom make the effort to chase moribund threads. We have lived through three stolen elections and enough wrong or downright evil policy to dishearten even the most optimistic progressive, and I have to admire Marcy’s perseverance over the years.
I don’t know if this is a misunderstanding on my part, but I would guess that she was responding to a credible threat when she asked the FBI to enter her home. As to other aspects of the story, I hope that her work helps us toward a better future.