Making An Example Of Bradley Manning
There comes a time when the national security measures and laws that are enacted and implemented, supposedly to safeguard us from attacks, become the attacks we really need protection from. In the name of “national security” and “homeland security”, both the Bush and Obama administrations and their respective political parties have attacked our freedoms – the very thing we were told justified all the wars we had to endure because freedom requires sacrifice, we were told. In other words, in order to keep our freedoms, we had to give them up.
It turns out, endless wars were not to maintain our freedoms, but eliminating our freedoms was to maintain the wars. Wars have always been used as the pretext for taking away people’s freedoms and this “endless” war that’s supposedly against “terror” is no exception. It’s an attack on innocent people overseas in the name of people whose only benefit in it is their own loss of freedoms and who will have less and less say in it, going forward. As government actions become more and more secret and whistle blowers are taken away and their homes raided and people’s activities and communications monitored and controlled and their voices stifled, it should become clear that this endless war is not just on poorly fed dark people overseas, but on the American people, as well. If our freedom is really worth fighting for, as they say it is, then we must fight those who really are taking them from us, and that is none other than our own government.
This may sound too outlandish and conspiratorial, but if you consider who the government is really working for and what their real objectives are, it won’t be so hard to understand anymore. When you consider that the government of the United States is the facilitator and protectorate of Monsanto’s and General Electric’s and Exxon-Mobiles and Goldman Sachs and others, and ask yourself whether our freedoms, as people, as workers and consumers of these behemoths, are useful or potentially a nuisance and a threat to them, then you will realize why as they get bigger and stronger, we lose our rights, and as we lose our rights, we lose our ability to stand up to them and have a say in what they do in our name.
The question to ask is: would corporations prefer a people with the right and ability to, to use one example, effectively protest and possibly stop a war that the corporations deem useful and profitable for them or would they rather we didn’t have such rights? Would they prefer us to be able to expose and reveal the atrocities and murders they and their government commit overseas for expanding their Empire or would they rather we didn’t? Is it helpful for them and their cause when a military analyst makes public a video clip that shows US helicopter crew mowing down unarmed civilians in Iraq, including Reuters cameramen? If your answer is no, then you must understand why Pfc. Bradley Manning is in jail and being charged with “aiding the enemy” which the Obama Administration had to go as far back as the Civil War to name a precedent which I might add even that has nothing to do with this case. The fact is: this is unprecedented. No one has ever been charged with “aiding the enemy” which potentially could carry the death penalty for blowing a whistle on the government.
What the government of present day too-big-to-fail corporations is telling us is that the days of Daniel Ellsberg and Pentagon Papers and Deep Throat and going to the press are over, that whistle blowing is over and will not be tolerated anymore. Former CIA analyst John Kiriakou who blew the whistle on CIA torture practices and who will be reporting to prison, today can attest to that. He was made an example by Obama as a warning to others. And so will Bradley Manning.
But, this is not just about whistle blowers. It’s also about journalists, even though, as things stand, already very few dare tell it as it is. How serious are they about this? As serious as threatening journalists with the death penalty. Let me explain. The government prosecutors argued yesterday at Manning’s trial that transmitting embarrassing or incriminating information to a news organization which may then be read by the enemies of the US (the enemies of the US government, that is, which could include US citizens), is tantamount to passing that information to the enemy and hence it’s the same as aiding the enemy which can carry the death penalty. This is what the Administration is arguing at the trial going on now! If the court goes along with this argument, it will become a precedent for future cases when a journalist discovers some atrocity committed and kept secret by the government just as in Manning’s case, and decides to publish it.
And should such charges and trials prove to be too costly and time consuming or too revealing and embarrassing, there is always the National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by Obama on 31, December, 2011, which authorizes the military to detain anyone on US soil in some unknown military location, indefinitely, without the obligation to say what the charge is and without legal representation, on the sole say-so of the president, laying the ground for a future president – or himself – to make leaders of a popular movement literally disappear.
They have also made it easy to find and round up those they might want detained. In addition to cell phone records and emails and browsing histories that this Administration has requested and obtained from phone carriers and Internet companies more than any other president before him, it argued successfully to the Supreme Court the other day for the right to eavesdrop on the overseas conversations of any citizen, without cause, and without a warrant as was originally required by law, again in a veiled attempt at cracking down on reporters since they’re the ones whose job depends on such correspondence. And on top of all this, now, the president can just name individuals to be assassinated much like medieval times. Had Dr. King been living in this era, his life would have been even shorter than it was.
So, who are they preparing so much to fight? If you think the terrorists, think again. There’s no denying that part of the purpose in all this is to catch terrorists which itself is revealing because it shows they plan to continue their endless wars which will naturally have blowback. But, the other part is to contain, stop and kill another people’s movement, the kind of which sprouted up in the 1960’s. It is my belief that the Civil Rights Movement was a lesson for them and they intend to not let it go as far as it did again, even though they did manage to have Dr. King eliminated, anyway, except that now they won’t have to go through the trouble of staging it using some hapless crazy pawn. When they say making such atrocities public is the same as aiding the enemy, in a way, they’re right. To them, the real enemy, the enemy they really fret, is not the terrorists, but an informed and united citizenry determined to upend the rule of the billionaires.
The reason they’re hell bent on not letting another movement develop is that they know this time it won’t be just about racial equality, but economic equality, and that will sound the death knoll of their oligarchy and Empire.