Monday, March 7, 2011

the mendacity of the state

the brave american soldier, bradley manning, rots in solitary confinement under a regime of torture designed to break his will to resist -- as well as dissuade anyone from following in his footsteps as a leaker of repressed facts about what the government does in our name.

the obama administration has shown its true colors in its treatment of manning, with hillary clinton, who was once taken seriously as a progressive voice in US politics, giving voice to the neo-con creed of maximum repression for minimum accountability:

the san francisco chronicle, in a report on wikileaks revelations in the european press, quotes clinton from a november press conference, where "she called the release of confidential department materials "an attack on the international community... There is nothing brave about sabotaging the peaceful relations between nations on which our common security depends," Clinton said.
what she should have said is that expediency trumps everything, especially when it comes to the mendacity of the US government pursuing its agenda -- which is identical to the agenda of its corporate overlords and the national security state apparatus.
the article in the chronicle details several instances where the US government pressured the germans and spaniards to drop charges against american agents who participated in the rendition and torture of citizens of those nations -- citizens who were later released without charge (usually because they were apprehended in the first place based on erroneous information).
the US did so to protect sources and methods -- the old national security canard -- but primarily to avoid accountability for its high-handed and illegal exploits, carried out without regard to civilized norms. the knock against wikileaks, and persecution of manning, follows the same predictable, loathsome rationale: no one should publicize what we do, lest we be put in a position to answer for our crimes.
the oligarchy in the US has for all intents and purposes declared that it is above the law, and shall never be held accountable for its actions -- no matter how heinous, or how many lives are lost in the pursuit of profits.
pfc bradley manning had a basic security clearance that allowed him to access a military internet called SIPRNet, and this is where he allegedly retrieved the documents that later were released by wikileaks.
as commendable as this is, for a young person who's conscience compelled him to make known his government's complicity in evil, in retrospect who can honestly believe that the contents of SIPRNet -- which is limited to secret or confidential communications -- are not known to potential adversaries without wikileaks? the chinese, for example, have a very sophisticated cyberwar command that would enable them to access such documents with relative ease. can anyone honestly say they lack the resources to do this?
it is also acknowledged, and one can easily research it on wikipedia, that our allies are privy to the SIPRNet as well. you can easily find the US-compliant governments that have such access listed in the wikipedia footnoted articles on SIPRNet. so what, again, is the crime of pfc manning?
his mistake was to make the secrets of the US oligarchy public to a world that is supposed to be content to remain under the thumb of military and corporate rulers, who prefer to keep their publics blinded from the truth by propaganda and manipulation. this is the only way the illusions that maintain the popular consensus can continue to function. once the truth of lawlessness and cynicism in the pursuit of profits is made part of the consciousness of the working classes, cynicism and distrust of government can become an overwhelming force against the ruling powers.

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