Is there anyone out there who still believes our government is honest and forthright with us? In the past few years there have been major exposés of government lies, secret military acts, secret killings, and millions of secret documents and communications that have no reason to be hidden.
These things have been dragged into the light of day by several heroic people at enormous risk to themselves. We owe each of them a great debt, because they have shown us despicable things our own government is doing in our name, things that should never happen in a democracy. Things that we now know are standard practice.
Is there anyone out there who
still believes the government is honest?
And each of these heroes now faces the full might of the most powerful nation in the world, which is trying to drag them off to the American dungeon. Now the patriot Bradley Manning has been found guilty of enough charges to sentence him to 136 years in prison. Manning was tortured by the US Army for months after he was arrested. Only after a UN official testified that it was indeed torture did the US relent. I haven’t the slightest doubt that it would still be going on otherwise, perhaps for the rest of his life.
Compare Manning’s potential sentence to the punishment of the commander of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. After pictures of cruel treatment of Arab prisoners emerged that disgusted the entire world and did irreparable damage to our moral standing: dereliction of duty, 2 counts; $8,000 fine.
There is no doubt that US goons would
kidnap Assange and Snowden if they could.
They kidnapped the democratically elected
president of Haiti less than a decade ago.
WikiLeaks was the conduit, the organization that released this endless stream of US ugliness to the public. Its Australian founder Julian Assange has been a prisoner in the Embassy of Ecuador in London for over a year. He has been granted asylum from political persecution from the US by Ecuador, but there is no doubt that US goons would kidnap him if he tried to leave, and spirit him to the US, or perhaps to Bush’s extra-legal prison in Gitmo, where his chances of an impartial trial are nil.
If you don’t think this would happen, remember this: within the past decade, US Marines kidnapped the democratically elected president of Haiti, the priest Jean Bertrand Aristide, and flew him against his will to exile in Africa after an apparently American-financed coup had been organized. This follows a long history of US meddling in the affairs of democratically elected sovereign governments. It hasn’t stopped.
Likewise, the hero Edward Snowden, who released the information that the US government has had a massively invasive program of surveillance of her citizens and others under way for years, found himself captive in the Moscow airport for over a month, with the CIA frothing at the gate. The information he released has triggered anger against the US from governments around the world, and remains in the news every day. He too is unable to go to any of the four countries who have offered him political asylum because of the danger of kidnapping by the US, which has already forced the Ecuadorian presidential plane the CIA thought he was on to land in Germany and be searched by US officials. This was a blatant violation of the sovereignty of Ecuador, a raw and illegal attempt to kidnap Snowden that tells us the US will stop at nothing.
Whistleblowers are not the story.
Our government’s wrongdoing is the story.
Meantime, my own Senator Diane Feinstein and most other Congresspersons have felt it necessary to accuse these brave people of treason, sedition, and all sorts of things, none of which is true, all of which miss the point entirely. Whistleblowers are not the story. Our government’s wrongdoing is the story.
Congresspersons lie repeatedly about the life-threatening danger these exposés have brought, but they cannot name a single person who has been injured by them in any way. Meantime, purposeful, politically motivated leaks from within George W. Bush’s cabinet blew the cover of a specific CIA operative and forced her to flee her position. That clear violation was never prosecuted.
These people are not traitors. They are whistleblowers. Heroes who have given us important information about government wrongdoing. As such, they should be protected, not in danger of being kidnapped. They are being attacked by the very people who should be most concerned about what they exposed.
The point, of course, is that our country is doing these immoral and illegal things in secret, in our name. How we learned about it is unimportant; it’s the deceit that is the story. The US government is not acting like a democracy, and the malignancy is widespread. This is not what I want my country to be like.
[Read what Noam Chomsky has to say: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/17923-is-edward-j-snowden-aboard-this-plane]