Wednesday 21 December 2011

When does a whistle blower become a traitor?

By Dark Politricks

This week saw Private Bradley Manning finally getting his first of many days in court. It must be a relief to put some different clothes on after the many months he has spent in solitude, sometimes naked and depressed with only his thoughts to occupy his time. Some people have called his treatment a form of torture.

Whatever the outcome, and I think we all know what that will be - his fate has been decided many moons ago, the question will remain when does whistle blowing constitute traitorous activity?

If you work for a government body of any kind and you find out that someone or some group within that organisation is breaking either national law or international law by their actions should you speak out?

No matter what you think of Bradley Manning's actions it has been clear from many leaked documents and videos that war crimes have been committed by US troops during their many years of imperialistic activity.

We have had the Abu Ghraib incidents in which detainees, many who were innocent of any crime, were forced to perform humiliating and sexually degrading acts for the camera wielding jailers who claimed they were just following orders from above. Scape goats a many.

We have had the claims of torture at Gitmo in which detainees were water boarded, sometimes multiple times a day. An act the current president of the United States, US and International law calls Torture.

We have had "rouge" groups of US troops commit murder for fun. In Afghanistan a "secret kill team" went on a rampage killing several men and collecting their fingers as trophies. I doubt this was the only group doing this but it took a brave whistle blower to tell the tale.

We had the famous WikiLeaks helicopter attack on a group of Iraqi men, two of which were journalists, which shocked the world when it was released. It showed the "Playstation mentality" of the pilots who seemed to treat the massacre as nothing more than a video game where real human beings and ambulances were just targets to be shot at to gain extra points.

And the list could go on across many more years, wars and armies as atrocities are not just committed by the USA but by UK troops, Russian soldiers in Chechnya, Bosnian Serbs, Turkish and Israeli armies. No countries army is immune from the horrors and excesses of war. War crimes are committed on a daily basis and no doubt clever and influential people in the West are plotting and planning as I write trying to create plans to delay the imminent rise to dominance of China.

However we have seen what happens to people who dare to stick their head over the parapet and accuse their own government of wrong doing.

Daniel Ellsberg felt the full force of US law when he brought to the US populations attention the excesses of the Vietnam war in the Pentagon papers and Mordechai Vanunu found out what happens when you mess with the Israeli establishment who were secretly building nuclear weapons at their Dimona nuclear plant.

Ex British Spy David Shayler was jailed for his revelations that the MI6 were funding Al-Qaeda linked terrorists in a plot to kill Col Gaddafi and after 9.11 numerous whistle-blowers including the "most gagged person in history" Sibel Edmonds were prevented from telling the world what they knew about the US governments pre-knowledge of the attacks on the country.

Therefore it seems that it does not pay to be a truth teller when the goverment you serve is more interested in telling lies.

You risk a lot by going public with evidence of wrong doing when the organisation you work for treats whistle blowing as official secrets to be kept, even when they know those secrets are illegal, immoral and wrong.

We can see now how Julian Assange is being treated for daring to open a website up that allowed whistle-blowers to pass information on secretly. If the government in question can't get you then it will use it's corporatist nature and it's overseas allies to hurt you by shutting down your site, blocking funding and bank accounts and possibly even going as far as concocting false accusations of sexual molestation so that you can be character assassinated in the public domain.

To many it is clear that our supposedly free, western liberal democratic governments are nothing of the sort. The continuous swapping of power between similar political parties run or backed by millionaires and big business every few years is nothing more than the illusion of democracy being played out for the watching populous.

We can see it now in Egypt and Libya. Two countries who are supposedly now free of their tyrannical leaders and who are supposed to be embracing democracy with open arms.

In Egypt people are voting in pointless elections for a government with no power whilst the military still controls the country.

In Libya the old dictator has been replaced by a grouping of his old deputies, "ex" terrorists and other regime linked cronies who seem to be loathe to hand power back to the people.

Right now in Benghazi people are protesting about the countries interim government, the National Transitional Council, who they feel are being too slow to affect any meaningful change.

They also believe that the NTC leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil who was the ex Minister for Justice under Gaddafi is far too willing to forgive ex colleagues and Gaddafi supporters. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that as Minister for Justice he was probably personally responsible for many of the human rights abuses and crimes that went on under the old regime.

Same faces, different name. That is the game we are all playing as the world spins in turmoil and we watch protesters from Wall Street to Europe to the Middle East all try and affect change in their lives whilst our real rulers, the bankers and their cohorts shuffle the deck of politicians and make us all believe the impossible.

As Bradley Manning goes to court today, whether you agree with his actions or not, I wonder how many of us in this current climate of fear would dare to stand up and say "No", if they knew the punishment that faced them for doing so.

Would you?

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