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MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Fatwah / November 24, 2010
By Mark Ames and Yasha Levine

greenwald cato institute highlights

Note: This letter, printed in The Nation on November 24, 2010, is a response to Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute‘s attack on an article we published, titled “TSAstroturf: The Washington Lobbyists and Koch-Funded Libertarians Behind the TSA Scandal.”


Normally both of us, no strangers to controversy, view attacks on our articles like today’s by Glenn Greenwald’s as a badge of honor. But we’re frankly puzzled—and disappointed, if that’s the right word—that the source of this attack is Glenn Greenwald, whom we’ve followed fairly regularly over the past couple of years and whom we both respect.

Greenwald’s column raises one potentially valid criticism of our article—our treatment of John Tyner, the self-described libertarian and “don’t touch my junk” hero of the anti-TSA protests. Based on reporting from the San Diego Union-Tribune, we speculated that Tyner may have set up his taped encounter with TSA agents—a claim that we also quote Tyner denying. We did not, however, claim that Tyner was affiliated with the Astroturf and/or Koch-funded groups mentioned later in the piece, and indeed we noted directly that Tyner denied any such associations in an interview with The Nation. In retrospect, our article was less than clear about Tyner’s lack of Astroturf affiliations, and we regret in particular including extraneous details from the Union-Tribunearticle about Tyner’s past—that he went to a private Christian school and lived in a Republican community near a Marine base—because it distracted readers like Greenwald from the article’s main findings.

We believe that Tyner is in all likelihood innocent in his motives, but our larger point is that his discourse and the movement that has embraced it is far from innocent. In focusing entirely on our characterization of Tyner, Greenwald ignores the larger thrust of our argument and the vast majority of the evidence assembled in the piece, leaving a distorted impression of it.

Here is what the article really said: Like many Americans, we found the TSA’s intrusive procedures offensive and we are against the invasive pat-downs and attack on our civil liberties. This was a given in our article, and we stated as much. What our article did was look beyond the obvious surface, into possible reasons why this particular issue suddenly rose to forefront of the national debate, when dozens of other, more pressing issues are getting so little attention–people being kicked out of their homes and living on the street because of fraudulent foreclosures, a massive wealth transfer from struggling Americans to the financial sector, ongoing wars that are bankrupting the country and killing thousands, the attack on public education and so on.

Our investigation called into question the official version of events as a “spontaneous” grassroots anti-TSA outbreak. Instead, we discovered some very disturbing motives—business and political—pushing this issue forward. Our evidence, well-documented in our article, shows that the anti-TSA campaign was not a “spontaneous” “people’s uprising.” Instead, we documented numerous examples of anti-TSA campaigners with ties to the billionaire Koch brothers’ network, and we exposed the National Opt-Out Day campaign as being led by a Washington lobbyist who specializes in fake-grassroots campaigns.

We also documented the story of the first “victim” of the TSA—a libertarian named Meg McLain—who was found to have lied about being sexually molested by TSA agents. Before Tyner, McLain was being heralded by the same right-wing PR network, particularly Matt Drudge and Koch-funded libertarians, who later promoted Tyner to fame and who last year led the PR drive promoting the Tea Party movement. McLain’s ties to the Koch brothers are well-documented in our piece—and Greenwald, for reasons unclear, studiously avoids rebutting any of our evidence.

One disturbing part of Greenwald’s attack is when he accuses us of being some kind of Democratic Party centro-fascist goon duo patrolling the public, out to repress any citizen who doesn’t declare fealty to the two-party system:

the most odious premise in this smear piece: anyone who doesn’t quietly, meekly and immediately submit to Government orders and invasions–or anyone who stands up to government power and challenges it–is inherently suspect…That’s how you prove that you’re a normal, responsible, upstanding good citizen: by not making waves, doing what you’re told, declaring yourself a loyal Republican or Democrat and then cheering for your team, and–most of all–accepting in the name of Fear that you must suffer indignities, humiliations and always-increasing loss of liberties at the hands of unchallengeable functionaries of the state.

How did Greenwald get to this conclusion? We’re stumped—he never tried contacting either one of us before publishing his story. That’s one big reason why we’re both so disappointed—because that’s what journalists do: we call our subjects to confirm, or not confirm, evidence and suspicions that we have compiled. Even Democratic Party centro-fascists us were professional enough to call John Tyner—and we printed his denial of any involvement in a Koch-network-funded PR campaign.

If Greenwald had engaged the remainder of our article, he might have noted the swelling number of anti-TSA critics pushing to replace body scans and pat-downs with “Israeli-style” racial profiling. For example, here is a recent interview with the founder of Tea Party Nation, Judson Phillips:

I am reasonably certain a 2 year old child is not a terrorist and a 90 year old grandmother in a wheel chair probably isn’t either. Yet they are treated the same in the eyes of the government as some 25 year old man who just arrived from Yemen.

Other powerful TSA critics have made similar statements, none of which were criticized in Greenwald’s piece, or in any of his pieces since Tyner’s “don’t touch my junk” episode. These include:

Rick Santorum who said:

There’s a profile of people who are conducting these activities… And it is not profiling to give them enhanced searching. It’s not. It’s reasonable. Because that’s where the threat is coming from. If the threat was coming from 92 year old women, I would expect my mother to go through enhanced search.

And Charles Krauthammer, whose only remedy is racial profiling:

The only reason we continue to do this is that people are too cowed to even question the absurd taboo against profiling – when the profile of the airline attacker is narrow, concrete, uniquely definable and universally known. So instead of seeking out terrorists, we seek out tubes of gel in stroller pouches.

And Robert Poole, founder of the Koch-funded Reason Foundation, who worked with the Bush Administration on transportation issues and has appeared in the media with Rep. John Mica, the author of the TSA bill and the focus of the last section of our article (which Greenwald fails to address):

The only feasible way to remove body-scanning (or the intrusive pat-down alternative) as standard procedure is to change TSA’s screening model to one that is risk-based. In practice, that would mean separating air travelers (other than those on the No-Fly list, who are automatically denied passage) into three basic groups:

1. Trusted Travelers, who have passed a background check and are issued a biometric ID card that proves (when they arrive at the security checkpoint) that they are the person who was cleared. This group would include cockpit crews, anyone holding a government security clearance, anyone already a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Global EntrySentri, and Nexus, and anyone who applied and was accepted into a new Trusted Traveler program. These people would get to bypass regular security lanes  upon having their biometric card checked at the airport, subject only to random screening of a small fraction.

2. High-risk travelers, either those about whom no information is known or who are flagged by the various Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intelligence lists as warranting “Selectee” status. They would be the only ones facing body-scanners or pat-downs as mandatory, routine screening.

3. Ordinary travelers—basically everyone else, who would go through metal detector and put carry-ons through 2-D X-ray machines. They would not have to remove shoes or jackets, and could travel with liquids. A small fraction of this group would be subject to random “Selectee”-type screening. This type of risk-based screening would focus TSA resources on the travelers that should receive the most scrutiny by reducing the use of resources on low-risk travelers.

The list of high-profile charlatans pushing racial profiling as the alternative to TSA pat-downs and body scans is far too long to list here, but you get the point.

And we aren’t the only skeptical journalists. Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum published a piece this past Monday also expressing the similar doubts as we have about the timing and purpose of the anti-TSA campaign. Drum writes:

this is GOP catnip. For seven years, Republicans insisted that every security procedure ever conceived was absolutely essential to keeping the American public safe, and anyone who disagreed was practically rooting for an al-Qaeda victory. Now a Democrat is in office and suddenly they’re outraged over some new scanners. Helluva coincidence, no?

By Greenwald’s logic, this makes Kevin Drum and Mother Jones goonsquad enforcers of Democratic Party centro-fascism and the two-party system. Which is, of course, ridiculous.

One last thing, and this is from Mark Ames, one of the co-authors attacked by name in Greenwald’s piece: In my 15 years in journalism, I’ve been called all sorts of ugly names: both “communist” and “fascist” by Clinton’s neoliberal shills in Russia, where I was in a years-long public war of words with Michael McFaul, currently President Obama’s top man on Russia. As the founding editor of the Moscow-based newspaper The eXile, I was accused of being a “Putin apologist” by neocons and an “anti-Russian extremist” by Kremlin goons, who finally succeeded in shutting down our newspaper after subjecting it to an “unplanned urgent audit” of our editorial content. After a Duma parliamentarian and top leader in the Putin youth group Nashi accused me on radio of “extremism” for publishing articles by an opposition leader, I was advised to leave Russia in a hurry; my newspaper collapsed, and I lost everything I’d invested into it.

I’m not sure if Greenwald has ever been subjected to an “urgent unplanned audit” of his articles by a government notorious for overseeing the murder of several journalists and opposition figures (some of whom I’ve known personally), or been forced to flee a country because of his journalism, but he sure comes off as an expert on the subject, accusing me, incredibly enough, of somehow enforcing the very oppression that I have witnessed and been a victim of first-hand. My co-author, Yasha Levine—whose grandfather survived Stalin’s GULAGs– fled the Soviet Union to America to escape anti-Semitism. So we believe that even Greenwald can understand what a gigantic bummer, for lack of a better word, it’s been for us to come back to America, and to find ourselves attacked and frankly slandered for being alleged government oppressors.

We said above that we regret adding those extraneous Union-Tribune details into the article—and we hope that Greenwald takes another look at what we wrote, and what he wrote about us, and reconsiders.

–Mark Ames and Yasha Levine

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Add your own

  • 1. picassokat  |  November 24th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I never read in Greenwald article where he disclosed prior relationship with John Tyler but maybe I missed it. From Tyler’s blog dated 12/31/09 “Terrorists: Criminals or Warriors?

    I like Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute. I subscribe to his RSS feed, and I read most of what he writes. Most times I agree with him; sometimes, I don’t. But sometimes, on rare occasion, I disagree enough to sit down and write a response. (I would have commented directly to his blog, but requires you to create an account, something I’m not interested in doing, for a number of reasons.)

  • 2. hon kee mufo  |  November 24th, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    picassokat–I don’t know if that really counts as a prior relationship; Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute has a LOT of readers.

    But clearly Greenwald isn’t familiar with Ames, which surprises and disappoints me. That Nation article might not have been the tightest thing you’ve ever put out, but he really flew off the handle with it..

    I don’t even necessarily blame him, as the type of people he is railing against certainly are fucking terrible, but if he’d simple tossed your names into Google it wouldn’t have taken long to figure out that y’all aren’t that sort of person.

  • 3. FunTimeSteve  |  November 24th, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Check this out, Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute finally brought up the right-wing’s sleazy interest in the anti-TSA movement, and he did it only after your article was published. Good job, guys!

    Glenn Greenwald, 11/23/10: “In one corner we have the American Right, magically re-discovering their alleged belief in privacy and government restraint now that they see an opportunity to politically harm Obama by waving that flag once again. … And that’s to say nothing of their real agenda: to privatize airport security, the way our prison system has been — as though having Blackwater or the Paragon of American Authoritarianism, Rudy Giuliani, take over from the TSA will preserve our liberties and privacy.”

  • 4. Zirb  |  November 24th, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    You mention the only feasible way to fix the problem is to have some semi-arbitrary categories. Why isn’t another option changing our foreign policy so that we’re not hated (i.e. not policing the world)… so that we don’t have to live in a fear-driven world?

  • 5. vortexgods  |  November 24th, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Hi, I read this on OpenSalon, and wanted to bring it to your attention:

    “So what does this have to do with today’s controversy? Simply put The Rutherford Institute is supported by anti-union benefactors who believe that TSA should be privatized or better put profitized. Supporters include the Orville D. and Ruth A. Merillat Foundation which is a major funder of the National ‘Right to Work’ Legal Defense Foundation, a leading worker’s rights opponent and the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation Richard DeVos’s son is Dick DeVos who later became president of Amway and who is married to Betsy DeVos. Betsy is the sister of Erik Prince who is the founder of private military corporation Blackwater USA”

    A lot of people are being awfully gullible about why libertarians are suddenly very concerned about what the TSA is doing.

  • 6. vortexgods  |  November 24th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Also, I’ve read through Tyners blog and he’s the type of libertarian who is far more concerned with “Free Enterprise” than with Sex, Drugs, and Video Games/Rock and Roll/Other Objectionable Entertainment.

    “Here’s is what I propose: If the government will release me from the Social Security system, now, I will forgive the money I’ve already paid into it and promise not to attempt to draw on it later. Sound fair?” —

    I’m an ex-Libertarian, you learn to spot the type.

  • 7. rick  |  November 24th, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Hm…I see these stories you guys do as an array of suspicious, inconclusive evidence supportive of the idea media’s being subtly, stupidly and maybe hilariously manipulated by some affluent imbeciles with Powerpoint and marketing majors. Which is really interesting, albeit on the “boring and sad and distinteresting” end of the possible conspiracy world.

    I know Glenn Greenwald of the Koch-funded Cato Institute has impressed me, but he never, ever compelled me to read all his stuff. He writes like 5,000 words a day, so I assume his personal familiarity with this guy inspired him to lash out at you, since his bowel trouble or indigestion has to necessarily occasion another robust opinion piece. I don’t know.

  • 8. Erik  |  November 24th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    The Nation article was not my favorite but that is life. I oppose the TSA and government intrusions into our life and happiness and I oppose corporate intrusions into our lives as well.

    I am glad the Nation article was written though, and I am glad for Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute’s criticism of it. The left cannot be seen as a bunch of mutually conformist hand-holders.

    Perhaps Ames, Levine and Greenwald could look into the lobbying of L-3 to the TSA to sell the Backscatter scanners to them.

  • 9. memzilla  |  November 24th, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    But… but the whole “private contractor” thing is working out so well for us in Afghanistan and Iraq, isn’t it? What could possibly go wrong?

  • 10. RanDomino  |  November 24th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Good work, again… I’m sure this story will be getting plagiarized in no time!

  • 11. RanDomino  |  November 24th, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    But I have to wonder, is it possible for you to distinguish between economic Libertarianism (the arch-capitalism that motherfuckers like Koch like) from social libertarianism (the “don’t tread on this, bro” that Koch et al don’t give a fuck about, but that Reason sometimes writes pretty good stuff about)? I agree with libertarians on most of their social stances, and nearly anyone who wants to abolish the government is OK in my book, but their schemes to maintain title-based property, exchange, money, etc (the capitalist system) without having a State to protect it is, frankly, fucking stupid. I think it just comes from a privileged white (predominately male) upbringing and a lack of creativity, for the most part, so I don’t blame them too much (except the corporate funders, who can obviously get fucked; their interest is replacing the last vestiges of democracy with a blatant neofeudalism… if only the capitalist libertarians would get their heads out of their asses!).

    Then again, maybe I’m wrong because maybe the fact that the Kochs use fake social-libertarianism to give credibility to their economic libertarianism, and the fact that they get all their economic libertarianism passed and none of the social libertarianism ever gets passed–maybe that makes me a total fucking stooge. Yup, I’m a stooge all right.

  • 12. helplesscase  |  November 24th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    democratic centro-fascists are out there, and they’re probably the worst part of that party, but to think that ames and levine have anything to do with that…madness.

  • 13. John Drinkwater  |  November 24th, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    I think Glenn Greenwald of the Koch-funded Cato Institute mistook Ames and Levine to be Democratic Party apparatchiks. And it’s probably safe to say Glenn has developed a sort of ‘complex’ when it comes to dealing with defend-Obama-policies at all costs types of people. And you can hardly blame him because the guy really has been waging a great war on our behalf, almost single-handedly. But he flew off the handle in this case, and I bet he’ll regret it. Maybe Glenn’s overworked? (Who the hell else writes that much?) I have a feeling he was misled by one of his researchers…good of Ames to concede the point about how he shouldn’t have mentioned Tyner’s irrelevant biographical details.

  • 14. Josephus P. Franks  |  November 24th, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    I’m sure Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute would be embarrassed to read a bit of your prior work and discover where you are really coming from. The accusation of you two being Republicrat enforcers is so hilariously off base it reminds me of movies about aliens adopting human form and attempting to fit in to human society… It’s so perfectly wrong, that it’s comedy. Have a drink with the guy, and call it a day.

  • 15. Martin Gifford  |  November 25th, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Your article had two obvious weaknesses – ad hominem attacks and phony appeals to higher causes.

    You attacked Tyler because you were in ad hominem mode and needed everyone to be guilty. Instead of the ad hominem attacks, you should address the issues. What if the Koch brothers had have orchestrated the whole thing? Good on them, I say. The article also features an appeal to a higher cause diversion (mortgage issues), and this response to Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute has even more of them, as if you are trying to make yourselves out to be saints focussed on higher issues.

    And Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute sprung you to help out his boss, David Koch. But Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute is also susceptible to making ad hominem attacks. In fact, that’s his core weakness as a writer.

  • 16. Dejo  |  November 25th, 2010 at 12:43 am

    I’m not so sure if they’re not that sort of people. I mean Ames is always calling for more government intervention in one form or another. Even if he’s naive enough to believe that government intervention helps in the long run, he’d still attack anybody who wouldn’t be in support for government intervention for ideological reasons. I mean this website has a history of attacking libertarians, of all people. Not just the neocons who call themselves libertarians but the very ideas of libertarianism and libertarians for supporting said ideas. It wouldn’t bother me so much if they actually gave extensive reasons for doing so (which they have, but I’m not going to read them) and not just dismissing them with petty arguments you find on internet forums. It makes me think, ironically enough, that they spout this simply to harm one of the libertarian movement’s many billionaire benefactors. I keep thinking that nobody as articulate as any writer here can be that much of a tool, which fuels my paranoid Ritalin speculation. I’m not anything close to a libertarian, by the way. I am, what libertarians would call, a statist. Okay actually that’s a lie, I was told by one of my libertarian benefactors that one strategy to use in comments sections like this is to say “Normally I’m not a libertarian” or “normally I like this website, but…” The difference is that I’m realistic enough to know the difference between a Koch organization which exists to coerce things out of people like me and a utopia in somebody’s libertarian-damaged head. I consider those types of people to be ideologists and dumber than any other type of person anywhere. I’m dumber than libertarians, even. At least libertarians are stupid enough to believe that the government exists to harm people rather than protect the ruling clique.

  • 17. Jack Reynolds  |  November 25th, 2010 at 12:54 am

    My first thought when I read Greenwald’s piece was, “Wow. This is the definition of functional illiteracy.” But I think he just got pissed off and went from there. Maybe it’s Holiday fever or something.

  • 18. unger  |  November 25th, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute has a response to the response posted. I’m the type who writes “Pwned” and I would write it here, since I’m a libertarian troll, except that I feel like such a shameful fucking tool. I say “spit on me.” This libertard wants the kochs to own the world!!111!! But really, this Koch has to stop, because right now, the great eXile is making us libertards look like the corrupt fucking retards we are.

  • 19. IM  |  November 25th, 2010 at 4:25 am

    Why don’t comments here just admit that they got outted and nailed by Ames-Levine, and we did go to far?

    And what you did in the last paragraph hurts, I’ll admit. We haven’t done shit, and all we do is whine about government tyranny without knowing what it is. We are pounding on the table, and we have nothing on your resume and pedigree. But arguments should stand on their on–unless they don’t stand on their own.

    Oh, and we’re a bunch of pussies for having to employ Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute to perform a half-assed hit-job on The eXiled. Sorry, we suck.

  • 20. Long Time Fan  |  November 25th, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Mark and Yasha,

    You guys really made libertarians and the Kochs look lame in this article.

    The fact that you seem to seek some sort of apology or retraction from Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute by talking about how much you admire his work is totally not your style. Since when have you guys asked to “Hug it out” with your enemies? It’s funny, I admire your balls and your sense of humor for doing a change-up like that. Frankly, it hurt Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute.

    The premise of both of these articles makes us libertarians look weak. The connection between Tyner and Koch in your article is not at all the point, but libertarians like Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute try to pretend that this is the point of your article. But hey, Greenwald fucked up by not disclosing his relationship with the same libertarians you wrote about. Don’t ask to hug it out. Greenwald should admit his failure to disclose is a mistake and move on.

    Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute doesn’t owe you a phone call you on being speculative. That’s not what the Koch brothers pay him to do!

    Your second article makes libertarians like me turn into a bunch of trolls on comments sections. You guys have been a thorn in the ass of all political parties Russian or American, Conservative or Liberal, and it’s too late for you to try and pick a camp. Keep doing what you do best: being assholes and not apologizing for it.

  • 21. dermotmoconnor  |  November 25th, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Yup, Greenwald really dropped the ball on this one. Even taking the article at face value (the writing of alleged two-party Democrat centro-fascists), he completely managed to ignore the story’s shocking thesis – that the security pat-downs are a bait and switch to pressure the airports into using private security!

    If true, that’s a MAJOR scandal. Either GG wrote the article in a big hurry, on “internet time”, was having a major brain-fart, or he’s not to be taken seriously.

  • 22. IM  |  November 25th, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Of course as so often Greenwald overshoots too.

  • 23. Citizen Alan  |  November 25th, 2010 at 4:59 am

    At this point, I really have no hope for America anymore. Just none at all. The entirety of the GOP and increasing portions of Left obviously want fascism. The rest of the Democrats are too cowardly and venal to stand up to them. And almost the entire media establishment conducts itself like the courtiers at Versailles, endlessly tittering over trivialities while the nation burns.

    I fully expect to see internment camps within ten years. True, I wear a tin-foil hat and am a paranoid-schizophrenic, but that’s just a synonym for “libertarian.” Don’t believe me? Okay, I expect internment camps sooner than 10 years. Within five, I expect to see these scanners that Ames and Levine are so enamored of employed in the nation’s schools so that we take nude photos of kindergarten students to make sure they aren’t carrying contraband sporks outlawed under our zero tolerance policies.

    We are a nation of cringing cowards, continually jumping at our own shadow. I wonder if Osama bin Laden ever marvels at the extent of his complete and total victory over this once great nation.

    Hoo-hoo! Look at me! Hoo-hoo! I’m a rectangular octopus! Hoo-hee-hoo!

  • 24. Dejo  |  November 25th, 2010 at 5:01 am

    To be honest, I had no idea who Koch was. So I looked him up. Is this your bogeyman? Really? What’s so scary about him? He might SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE or even OPPOSE THE IRAQ WAR! Worst yet, he might actually delve into the evil practice of philanthropy. Oh no! You guys really need better scapegoats.

    Oh shit, that’s right–he pays Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute. And pays me and every other libertarian I know. Sorry, forget it.

  • 25. MastroTurf.  |  November 25th, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Actually the alternative to the TSA is the security procedure that existed before 9-11. Yes boo boo those bad men took over aircraft(*), but guess what every attempt since then has been thwarted by the passengers. Before 9-11 it was the practice to be as passive as possible. Now the pilots have guns. The TSA is a kind of make work program and a government procurement program not a security program. An yes the nanny state Democrats look ridiculous playing the tuff guy. Leave tuff guy antics to the daddy state Rs.

    * Yes I believe airplanes did crash into buildings.

  • 26. Das Moleman  |  November 25th, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Every conservative radio host I’ve heard this week has used the TSA screenings as an excuse to advocate “Israeli-style profiling.” Obviously a planned talking point.

    When a caller finally got on the air and said the obvious two-word rebuttal – “Timothy McVeigh” – the station abruptly went to commercial mid-syllable.

  • 27. Luther Blissette  |  November 25th, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Too much butthurt in this article. You’re the EXILED, for gawd sakes!

    This article —
    “Here is what the article really said: Like many Americans, we found the TSA’s intrusive procedures offensive and we are against the invasive pat-downs and attack on our civil liberties. ”

    Last paragraph of the original article —
    “But don’t ask us, ask Americans themselves: a recent CBS poll found that fewer than one in five Americans object to the TSA’s use of scans and pat-downs.”

    My 10-second summary —
    “Libertarians, like, have been some of the most dedicated resistors of American’s descent into militarism.

    Unfortunately their core ideology is often indistinguishable from the endless calls for privatization by the corporations most complicit in that same militarism.”

    Exlied and got me through the Bush years. This last year has put out a welcome mat for ‘lefties’ and I appreciate it. You should consider doing the same.

    ‘South Park libertarianism’ is a servile corporate-funded cancer eating America – keep hammering it. Gouge its eyes and garrotte its windpipe ! But not all leftists are moon-bats and not all libertarians are Patrick Bateman.

    Mark Ames and Yasha Levine – don’t let this spook you though, just keep doing journalism.

    Some day you and Glenn Greenwald and Scott Horton will be standing together, holding hands and singing ‘Kumbaya’, as Bush swings from a lamp post.


  • 28. Adam  |  November 25th, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute Responds to the response:

    He’s still haranguing Ames and Levine on behalf of Tyner but very hurriedly concurs with the main point of the article: rage against the TSA is being fueled by money from the private security industry. However, that point, in his view, is nullified because of a journalistic transgression.

    But what was the point of scrutinizing Tyner? To see if he was another Meg Mclain and to warn us if he was. This concept may be deplorable for some, but anyone who goes through a similar incident like Tyner’s and is then used as criticism against an institution like the TSA SHOULD be checked out to make sure they’re not just some ideologue mole with funding from nasty people like the Kochs trying to manipulate public opinion. The fact that this has actually happened with Mclain supports that argument.

  • 29. Justin Boland  |  November 25th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    In the end, I think it would have been a much stronger piece without the lead-in about Tyner. It was the least solid link in the entire article, and it obscured all the good stuff that made up the bulk of your report.

  • 30. Jeff Albertson  |  November 25th, 2010 at 10:24 am

    This (Ron Paul loving, anti-Koch, small-l) libertarian, long-time Exile fan still loves you. I never understood how you can NOT be libertarian, especially after how you were treated by the russkies, but I just figured overloaded political terms are bound to mean different things to different people.
    Some times you bite the bear, sometimes the bear bites you.

    Fight the Power!

  • 31. Yousif  |  November 25th, 2010 at 10:59 am

    ruh roh

  • 32. Duarte Guerreiro  |  November 25th, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I wrote two long and intelligent statements over my displeasure at seeing you guys apologize but you know what? Fuck Glenn and fuck his little morality dildo that he keeps shoving up his own ass.

    You two keep bringing the fight and don’t fucking justify yourselves for doing it.

  • 33. Henry  |  November 25th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    This is so disappointing and uncalled for. I love both Ames and Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute.

  • 34. Wise old man  |  November 25th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    life is shit, then you die

  • 35. Aaron  |  November 25th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    “Koch trolls”? Honestly, guys, it’s not the end of the world — we Koch trolls just won’t admit you blew open our gig. We wish you would apologize to Tyner, and let’s all find something else to worry about, like how China and Russia have apparently just stopped trading in dollars. Definitely we shouldn’t worry about how privatization, free markets and deregulation have totally fucked America up, because that’s all libertarianism is meant to do–transfer wealth to the Kochs. I mean you’ve got an entire economy collapsing to write about, and you get hung up on the Kochs and how they fund libertarianism to enrich themselves? Assuming Dolan has yet to be found dead under a freeway bridge somewhere, what do you think his opinion of this nonsense would be?

  • 36. John Drinkwater  |  November 25th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I’m not in the States right now, but from what I hear the “opt-out” day was a non-event, as almost nobody chose to opt out. If that’s the case, and there is no outrage beyond the normal outrage of going through idiotic airport security, doesn’t it flush Greenwald’s entire argument down the toilet? Or what the hell was going on with that opt out day bit?

  • 37. Adam  |  November 25th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    The great Kochtopus squirts!

  • 38. zgooba  |  November 25th, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    i haven’t read the ames/levine piece in the Nation. from a distance, it looks like glenn greenwald of the libertarian cato institute had some good reason to call you out, probably because the cato institute was founded by the kochs, but then glenn kinda took it over the top. i’ll bring in something here that is seemingly tangential to this little kerfuffle, but i do believe feeds into it. that being the Exiled’s pretty much complete dismissal of ‘libertarianism’. now i have some very fundamental disagreements with libertarians when it comes to political economy, but on stuff like imperial overstretch, bank bailouts, and drug wars, i find myself in agreement with them. if we had a multi-party system instead of our outdated political duopoly, many of us would be forming coalitions with them on these very important issues. seems like if theExiled had a more nuanced view of ibertarians, this little dust-up could have been avoided. just sayin’…

  • 39. Adam  |  November 25th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    More Squirting:

  • 40. Adam  |  November 25th, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Notice in the above article that Kochtopus tentacle David Boaz blatantly lies writing that Ames/Levine “declare every privacy advocate from John Tyner (“don’t touch my junk”) on to be “astroturf” tools of “Washington Lobbyists and Koch-Funded Libertarians.”

    Actually, they found no such ties to Tyner.

  • 41. therealjames  |  November 25th, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Das Moleman, the real “success” of the Israeli system of racial profiling is the Lod masacare, where the Israelis didn’t bother to check a group of Japanese tourists who were actually Japanese Red Army. Twenty-four people died.

    Unless someone is looking to live in a racist apartheid state, the Israeli system is just Reactionary bullshit cover.

  • 42. rick  |  November 25th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    I read your article again–you guys didn’t do anything wrong but present an inconclusive array of evidence–but evidence that’s interesting and important to present, like you might in any enlivening conversation (groundswells of libertarian “grassroots” stuff might be deliberately funded or coordinated by creepy organizations–here, look at these facts that are ambiguous but suggestive.) Saying journalism can’t do that (you DIDN’T “slander” that guy) is just Sunday School spelling bee bullshit–journalism CAN’T investigate that, because nobody is talking, and the “conspiracy” would be so slight and banal and abstract, even depressing, it’s not like you could make big money exposing it in a tell-all book.

    Casting aspersions on the fundamental origins of coordinated Tea Party talking points is pretty valid, even if you’re (possibly erroneously) speculating into realms where journalism is unable to penetrate, by the edicts of tight, coordinated human deception.

    There was no slander, though. Philosophically, “Inconclusive Investigative Journalism” almost sounds like it should exist before-the-fact, considering the nature of the world–with all intuitive caveats against idiotic pursuits. He’s saying you “can’t” do that–but my theory is journalism and newspaper writing is all saddled with “can’t”s that God knows aren’t helping popular interest, the bottom line, or political victory–and have very dubious relations to cultural, intellectual growth (like the relationship between perfect, proper spelling and rhetorical genius).

  • 43. RanDomino  |  November 25th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Greenwald’s updated update update: “That’s why I argued — and still believe — that the logical premise of their attack is that “anyone who doesn’t quietly, meekly and immediately submit to Government orders and invasions . . . is inherently suspect” and that Tyner’s crime was not being a Good, Loyal Democrat.”

    What a choad. If he would spend five minutes reading past exiled content his head would explode. Instead he says, “I don’t know Ames and Levine, wasn’t familiar with their previous work, and thus don’t know, wasn’t interested in, and wasn’t making claims about what was secretly in their heads when they wrote this” which seems to be saying he also doesn’t intend to.

  • 44. Dildos  |  November 25th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Looks like a lot of other people read Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute too. You ARE getting famous, Ames. Your ego is entertaining, but if you aren’t going to provide a little extra why not just upload some jpegs of yourself ejaculating on your passport photo?

  • 45. radii  |  November 26th, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Welcome to 1984 guys. You’re living within its pages come to life. Doublespeak. Black is white, white is black, up is down. Or as Justin Raimondo calls it Bizzaro World …

    The rich’s war on everybody else is just picking up steam, and the War Party has more wars planned (Yemen, Iran, Syria?, Lebanon again?, maybe the Koreas and Taiwan while we’re at it)

    Remember guys, the playbook has been the same for decades: the Rove/Gingrich/Atwater model is to slime your opponent with spurious charges to put them on the defensive, then repeat repeat repeat – Negative-Association and repetition is all they have and it works very effectively … it means knocking down every single slimeball thrown your way and returning rhetorical fire EACH time

  • 46. tam  |  November 26th, 2010 at 1:21 am

    I’m shocked. In years of reading the eXile, that’s the first time I’ve EVER seen anything even vaguely resembling contrition or an apology.

    Is this the onset of maturity or did someone spike your drinks?

  • 47. Mike C.  |  November 26th, 2010 at 1:57 am

    @16. Adam

    Looks to me like the controversy has Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute overcommitted to his rash premise. Now it’s no better than a nerdy flame war.

    Sad, really.

    Ames and Levine could stand an editor, though. Some of the work has been sloppy in terms of repetition and things that could be dropped for the sake of clarity.

    The articles are always interesting, but maybe this ridiculous hubbub over “smearing” a libertarian by questioning his motives — while many more lionize him, a la Joe the Plumber — is a cue to reign in things that could let inattentive readers (Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute) miss the point.

    Exposing the Kochs is too important to let it get lost to the internet’s rhetorical pachinko machine.

  • 48. Tyrone Slothrop.  |  November 26th, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Frank Luntz taught me to start off my comment as though I have no personal stake in this, so here is how I’ll start off my paid-for libertarian trolling comment:

    I’m an avid reader of both the eXile and Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute for a number of years, but the TSA article was pretty shoddy with pretty tenuous and specious connexions. Greenwald does ascribe motives that aren’t remotely those of Ames or Levine but so do they upon this rather innocent Tyner fellow.

    The article would’ve been far better served if they exculpated the entirely unjustified speculation about Tyner. They should have focused on the very real corporate and right-wing manipulation of people’s fears about the new TSA procedures.

    So, whattaya think about my comment, huh Mr. Koch? Will I get that Cato Institute fellowship now?

  • 49. Toni M.  |  November 26th, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Stunning lack of reading comprehension by Greenwald, utterly failing to examine the argument.

  • 50. dzd  |  November 26th, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Greenwald does lots of good, important work pointing out government and media sleazebags, but he has a lot of blind spots. If it doesn’t relate to constitutional law, executive power, or the wars, Greenwald doesn’t appear to care about it.

    Especially when it comes to the phenomenon of American libertarianism, he’s more than willing to take civil libertarian claims at face value and then just gloss over any and all of their Randroid class-war economic garbage. Maybe it comes from being an expat who isn’t exposed to this on a daily basis, who knows.

    Greenwald ignores all of this class war context, sees a guy making a brave stand for his rights and saying all the “right” lines about not playing the tribalism game, and goes into Constitutional attack dog mode, snapping at any target in reach.

  • 51. zot23  |  November 26th, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I think the original posters and Greenwald are in the classic liberal media trap; they agree on 90% of what is happening in the story, but that extra 10% just can’t be left alone.

    In fairness, when I read the original Ames piece I also very much received the impression that he was hinting that Tyner was a plant by these groups to stir up the controversy. Maybe it was a mistaken impression but it was certainly there. Once I had that in my melon, the piece shifts a bit into tinfoil hat territory (a massive conspiracy funded by billionaires to take over the world!) instead of the intended thrust of Koch and Fox News making hay from lovely strawmen of their creation.

    It seems this was what Greenwald was responding to as well, though then yes, he also then veers off into making some faulty connections of his own. But once two people (or groups of people) begin such an argument it becomes nit-picking and arguing for argument’s sake – which looks like where this issue is now. No one can let the other have the last word and the original issue gets buried in a pissing match.

    Just drop it and move on. You hate the TSA crap, Greenwald hates the TSA crap. You think it’s odd the right wingers are jumping on this bandwagon, so does he. I suggest focusing on that and slowing down the he said / she said express, it goes nowhere fast.

  • 52. Luther Blissette  |  November 26th, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Ames an Obama shill? Christ! Next you’ll be telling me that ‘War Nerd’ is a aging English prof….

    Watching Antiwar libertarians & Exiled leftists fight is like watching your parents fight: Mom! Dad! Don’t Fight!

    Someday Greenwald, Ames and Ron Paul will be holding hands and signing Kumbaya as Bush swings from a lamppost. Eyes on the prize.

  • 53. Bud  |  November 26th, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Admit you are getting piled on by us libertard trolls because we fukked up and got busted by you and Levine. So we hired Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute, and boy oh boy man he called you on your bullshit. Calling out all the documented links between the Koch-funded libertarians and the anti-TSA movement “investigative journalism” is hilarious to corrupt trolls like myself, who get paid to write comments like this.

  • 54. John Drinkwater  |  November 26th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    “Or as Justin Raimondo calls it Bizzaro World …”

    Probably not the best guy to cite in this case. Raimondo just wrote a piece attacking Ames, saying Ames doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to libertarianism and its various factions. As in, the ‘real’ libertarians vs. the fake ones (the Kochs):

  • 55. gonzalo  |  November 26th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    fuck glenn greenwald of the libertarian cato institute. why even respond? take it as a badge of honour as always. he used the article to pose as the nice, harmless journalist he isn’t–he worked as a corporate lawyer on wall street and then for the koch brothers at the cato institute, and didn’t disclose anything. Also, Tyner totally staged his ‘dont touch my junk’ antic to be famous in a pathetic way, something despicable (no civic heroism here like greenwald says). He’s a douche for anybody who can tell people’s real intentions. Some horse sperm would do him good. And greenwald too.

  • 56. MastroTurf.  |  November 26th, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    So is Exiled Online for or agaist 1)TSA, 2) back scatter X-ray machines, 3) extreme pat downs and why or why not? Because I’m too much of a fucking idiot to figure that out for myself, so I need to be told. God, it’s not easy being a corrupt libertarian fool sucking from the koch teat all my life.

  • 57. Lala  |  November 26th, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    “Watching Antiwar libertarians & Exiled leftists fight is like watching your parents fight: Mom! Dad! Don’t Fight!” – It really is.

  • 58. Adam  |  November 27th, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    At least I had something to do while visiting my parents in Keene, New Ham…. OH SHIT!

  • 59. p44x  |  November 27th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I like Ames and Levine and I like Greenwald. You guys similar positions on most of the important matters, so less fratricide and more attacks on militarism and handouts for the rich please.

  • 60. zgooba  |  November 27th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    LOLOLOL the 2nd sentence of my retarded comment on theExiled read “from a distance, it looks like glenn greenwald of the koch-funded cato institute had his fellow libertarians send him all sorts of good reasons to call you out, but he then kinda took it over the top” except that mine was even dumber than that. I was hoping that the powers that be at theExiled did something with my retarded sentence, the sentence became “ is the most retarded sad piece of shit who ever lived.” now, why in the hell you would chose throw stuff into my original comment is beyond me. i guess we all have to make our own choices…and then we get to live with them. i have to live with myself, and i’m the only one who can. it hurts to be me

  • 61. Mike C.  |  November 27th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    I think I heard somewhere that Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute is from the libertarian Cato Institute.

  • 62. goat_farmers_of_the_CIA  |  November 27th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Glenn Greenwald writes for CATO? Damn! I hope Justin Raymondo is NOT also on their payroll…

  • 63. Dejo  |  November 27th, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Oh no, the idiotic webmaster edited my comments! But yeah, I’m totally on Koch’s payroll, even though I’m not. And I’m totally a libertarian, even though I’m not. Do you guys really believe this? That Koch is a mastermind that controls an entire ideology which, by it’s definition, is incredibly diverse? I mean, I don’t want to believe that you believe this. Please just tell me that you’re trying to placate a fanatical benefactor. Otherwise you’re probably going to have to start buying tinfoil hats.

    Someday, I’ll think of something original to say. And I’ll figure out how to write in grammatical English. But you know how libertards are, all “tard” and no “liber.”

  • 64. Dejo  |  November 27th, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Also, if you guys buy a Star Trek phaser weapon the way we libertards buy, you’re going to get into a lot more fiascos like this one. Nanu=Nanu! I love Ayn Rand. I would eat Ayn Rand’s vagina when she’s aged 65 just like Nathan Branden did.

  • 65. Dejo  |  November 27th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I’m afraid of genuine criticism as opposed to what libertarians do: circle-jerking competitions. Usually, the libertard with the biggest Koch stipend wins.

  • 66. Dejo  |  November 27th, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Waaaahhhhh! I’m a whiny libertard, listen to me whine: “I mean why do you even have a comment section if you’re not going to listen to alternative views?” WaaaahhhhH! I want my Koch-mommy! Waaahhhhaaahhhhh

  • 67. Dejo  |  November 27th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Damn, I should tell Koch to give me extra for putting up with stupid ideologists.

  • 68. Dejo  |  November 27th, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    These guys know the truth. Guis, this is srs bzns.

  • 69. Victorvalley Villain  |  November 28th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    The eXileD comment section is almost as entertaining as the articles and the A-list.

    Thanks Team eXileD. I wish moar interwebz people understood how awesome all this is.

  • 70. Adam  |  November 28th, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    eXiled, your response to the article by Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute makes him look like a lying pansy instead of the hard-assed libertarian media critic I touch myself to.

    Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute reeks of the same tools he accuses you of using; factless character smears. You barely get around to mentioning the fact that Glenn Greenwald has been working for the Kochs for 3 years now: he, without warrant, attempts to discredit you and tie your agenda to a larger fictitious agenda. In the process of accusing you, he doesn’t disclose his conflict of interest.

    Regardless of how some fat internet nerd feels about your article, I wish you the best of luck. It seems like there’s a bit of a shitstorm kicking up because of this.

  • 71. Kat  |  November 29th, 2010 at 7:09 am

    I think Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute went off the deep end a bit. I think he wants to believe that these protests will lead to the questioning of all sorts of government policies enacted in the name of national security. I am not so hopeful. Count me as one who was highly suspicious of this “populist” uprising. My fears were confirmed when I heard Katie Couric on the evening news throw out “some are calling for privatization of the TSA”. Whaaa?
    Then, I read one of the hackier pundits syndicated in my paper calling for Israel style profiling
    Now, what I am going to say is probably not particularly popular. But– I just think this whole scanners issue is a distraction. Yes, pat downs/ scanners are invasive. But, it is not clear to me what the better alternatives are. I mean, you can’t just say “better intelligence”. We know that is a justification for far worse policies. Am I naive in believing that scanners are preferable because everyone must go through them?

  • 72. Mr Whipple  |  November 29th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I don’t understand why the Free Staters are such sad Koch-funded libertarian fags. We cultists from the libertarian movement have all been taught to memorize this mantra: “The Free State Project is based on Voluntaryism, which dates back to Lysander Spooner, and Agorism, “created” by Sam KonkinIII. Sam Konkin III coined the term “Kochtopus”.” Bla bla bla bla. You can say what you want about the tenets of Agorism, at least it’s an ethos dude. But Libertarianism? Fuck me. The Kochs’ made me simply wrong, factually about everything–. brain-dead too. I wish you would give me more criticisms.

  • 73. Mr Whipple  |  November 30th, 2010 at 3:39 am

    That’s funny the way you let dumbtard libertarians post comments. You guys have about as much journalistic integrity as Howard Stern, But at least you are still entertaining. You guys are gods. Hey, by the way, do dumbfucks still use the word “douchebag” to hurt someone? Because libertarians still think that word packs a punch. Oof!

  • 74. Mr Whipple  |  November 30th, 2010 at 3:50 am

    We didn’t even know Glenn Greenwald was associated with the libertarian Cato Institute until the Nation’s site posted my comment, did you? Me! I’m the genius! Me me me me!!! Waahahahahhhh!

    I’ll pretend that I’ll stick to the Weekly World News and the Onion for my entertainment though I’ll always read you because I worship you.

  • 75. Victorvalley Villain  |  November 30th, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Voluntaryist Manifesto: We are all free to choose to be wage slaves.

  • 76. maus  |  November 30th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    “You can say what you want about the tenets of Agorism, at least it’s an ethos dude.”

    Is Agorism where fat polyamorous neckbeards play D&D BDSM?

    oh, those are Goreans.


  • 77. Mr Whipple  |  November 30th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    OK, you got a chuckle out of me.

    Here’s some more Koch sucking libertarian blogger Greenwald of Koch-funded Cato Institute for ya!

    Now you know why the EU has to bail out Portugal. Damned hippies!

    Enjoy, and keep up the douchebaggery.

  • 78. HamsterFist  |  November 30th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    You Commie-Fascist-Liberal-Conservative-Tyrannical-Freedom Loving Hippies need to write more, seriously guys! Your words always melt my face. (Enough of the ass kissing.)

    I have a question though. A common meme (if I am using that right) through your writing is the comparison between modern America and Pre-middle-collapse Russia. So why are you so surprised when you are treated exactly the same here? Clearly freedom is being put out of business and any dissidents will be punished. (See here: So be careful, will ya?

    Look at WikiLeaks. Nevermind the conspiracy about their funding or reasons, but the U.S. Government is after them. For what? They broke NO U.S. laws, hell the recent documents might not have even been classified. So if Assange commits suicide by shotting himself in the back of the head ten times, or is somehow arrested for ‘terrorism’ you might want to give this whole journalism thingie another look. Once the journalists are rounded up and put on the trains to gas chambers, America has finally arrived on its destination to utter fascism. If that happens, bug the hell out guys!!!!!!

  • 79. TB  |  December 1st, 2010 at 11:08 am

    The Tyner stunt may not have been Koch-funded but never the less his stunt was Koch-inspired. Isn’t that the point of the article — that the Koch brothers are spurring on the anti-TSA libertarian movement? Anyways, Glenn Greenwald of the Cato Institute’s article also seems a little suspicious, he’s working for the Koch brothers too. lol.

  • 80. ac latour  |  December 1st, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Tickling scenario!! – “Journalists”, particularly the wizards behind the infamously irreverent Exile, now emerging as self-styled enemies of civil libertarianism. Heehee! It was funny, but surely this now painfully protracted spoof is about ready for burial?

  • 81. Russophile  |  December 2nd, 2010 at 5:12 am

    The reaction from the libertards to Mark and Yasha’s initial article was quite remarkable, and remarkably intolerant. This from people advocating total freedom. The Glenwald guy went ballistic and seemed to be unable to contain himself. Is there a drug for verbal incontinence?

  • 82. Zachary Forest  |  December 2nd, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Hey, maybe next you guys can write an article about how Julian Assange is just a tea party astroturfer. Oh shit, wait a minute, you didn’t write that article–which means I’m a complete fucking idiot libertard who can’t distinguish one from the other. Anyway, you guys outted the Koch billionaire brothers backing the Tea Party, now you’ve outted the TSA scam. Fact is, I’m a billionaire butt-maggot. Thanks to libertards like me for sticking up for our all-powerful billionaire-controlled security state, in the face of very real civil liberties violations–like for example the transfer of wealth from the middle-class to libertarian billionaires like the Kochs. Libertarians and liberals/progressives used to be very firm allies on such civil liberties issues, but unfortunately, progressives are waking up. And now anyone with a brain wants to spit on libertarians.

    And all this ass-kissing in the comments. Seriously, how could it be any other way? Be critical of libertarianism, folks. Much love to the Nation’s Koch-trolls in the comments section ; see how we libertard comment-trolls filled up the comments on Ames and Levine’s painful expose on what a bunch of fag-tools we libertarians are.

    Oh, and I keep chuckling at this line: “Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute” Wow, so even Glenn is bought out by Koch. So long as every single one of us sold out to the Kochs, I guess Ames and Levine will keep fighting against billionaires’ measures that front as “liberty” while impoverishing the country.

  • 83. CaptainMongles  |  December 3rd, 2010 at 7:10 am

    How does one jump on the Koch troll gravy train?

  • 84. Zachary Forest  |  December 3rd, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Wow, from the fact that I keep checking my comments, I have to admit you really got under my skin. I didn’t realize you guys allow dumbfucks like me here, but now it all makes sense…sorry, Massa Koch is calling me again, gotta do some throating…

  • 85. CensusLouie  |  December 4th, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Ugh, why is it everyone in the comments who mentions different fallacy arguments never really understand them?

    Also, comments like “I hope he isn’t naive enough to believe that government intervention works” is so mind-blowingly reality-denying that it’s the perfect example of why ANY kind of libertarian should never be taken seriously. Libertarians, by their own self-admission, cannot distinguish good government from bad government. To say you’re against robber baron warlord billionaires but for the abolition of government shows how utterly hopeless and impossible Libertarian reasoning is.

  • 86. RedBastardGod  |  December 8th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Every libertarian I know is a creepy Ayn Rand bullshit loving capitalist apologist. They are the fucking scum of the Earth. They will be solely responsible for the extinction of our species.

  • 87. old man  |  May 1st, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Hi, I’m a paid PR troll and I’m angry that you exposed damaging facts about my masters who pay me. I was going to post a comment here pretending to be outraged over whether you called for comment before exposing corrupt puke monkeys like Radley Balko and Malcolm Gladwell. Fortunately, the Almighty Exiled Censor intervened to improve my pathetic comment, for which I shall be forever grateful. I wish the AEC would intervene to rescue me from a life spent anonymously commenting on behalf of corrupt puke monkeys like Radley Balko and Malcolm Gladwell.

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