Mar. 9th, 2017

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So yesterday a friend decided to pick a fight with me on Facebook over – of all bizarre things – the Wikileaks CIA exposures.

I dislike the CIA intensely and have since 1969 when a CIA-backed military junta overthrew the Greek government two days before the elections.

To that, one can add the overthrow of Prince Sahounek in 1970, which plunged Cambodia into the civil war that led to the rise of Pol Pot and the deaths of a million and a half civilians; the Watergate break-ins (the burglar team all had extensive CIA pedigrees); the CIA-backed guerilla war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua; the Iran/Contra connection; the assassination of Salvador Allende; and the rise of Saddam Hussein, a CIA creature entirely, at least at the onset, whose costly war against Iran in the 1980s was completely underwritten by the CIA.

The fact that I don’t know for sure what atrocities the CIA has been involved with since the 1990s – though I have my suspicions – only reflects the fact that the historical documents have not yet been declassified.


News stories about the Wikileaks documents emphasized the way that the technology built into devices like your smartphone, your computer, your television, and your car can be used to spy on you.

Not that the CIA would ever spy on you, of course. (Uh huh.)

The CIA only spies on bad people.

Most interesting has been the tech companies response to the Wikileaks revelations as they announce they will look for ways to patch these “vulnerabilities” (another Uh huh.) C’mon, c’mon, c’mon: they’re design features.


Anyway, I headlined my FB link with something innocuous like, I always knew it was a good idea to turn my iPhone off when I wasn’t using it.

And further down the comment screed, I offered the rather innocuous thought that with the decline in American manufacturing, the U.S. needs more service industries, and of course, security is a huge service industry, so one must expect it to get bigger and bigger and bigger even as actual threats diminish, at least in their statistical significance.

And this friend just flew into a rage!

Began berating me for not taking security concerns seriously enough.

We’ll have to agree to disagree, I wrote politely. In no universe ever invented am I inclined to see the CIA as aggrieved good guys.

She wouldn’t let go! She was like a pitbull with a cat toy.

And then she started insulting me! I am having a hard time keeping civil… You and your vivid imagination…

My vivid imagination? Uh-huh. Clearly this friend did not know her history.

I had a choice here: I could burble a bunch of dates and events, in effect following her down this rabbit hole of mounting indignation, vituperation and rage.

Or I could disengage.

I did the mature thing: I dropped her and blocked her.

I like this person, understand. And actually, I wondered whether something else might not be going on with her. In the days of the Internet, when we’re upset, we no longer have to go out to bars and insult the first 250-pound [your insulting ethnic stereotype of choice goes here] that we see. We merely have to cozy up on the sofa with a glass of wine and set our browser to Facebook.

This particular person has numerous good qualities, but she also has a propensity for self-righteousness, and when she’s inflamed, she becomes a bully. I’m not sure she’s aware of that in herself, and of course, there’s no way for me to point this out to her.

Anyway, I’m sorry to have lost the friendship.

Does make me wonder about the strength of friendships that are conducted primarily online.


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