November 24, 2010

A Cause for Genuine Thanksgiving

That would be Wikileaks and its continuing work:
The Pentagon warned the U.S. Senate and House Armed Services Committees that the website “intends to release several hundred thousand” classified U.S. State Department cables as soon as Nov. 26.

The documents “touch on an enormous range of very sensitive foreign policy issues,” Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Elizabeth King wrote yesterday in an e-mail to the defense panels.

“We anticipate that the release could negatively impact U.S. foreign relations,” she wrote, telling committee staff members that “we will brief you once we have a better understanding of what documents the WikiLeaks publication contains.”
Since the overall purpose of U.S. foreign policy is American global hegemony, to be achieved by deadly sanctions, covert operations, overthrow, criminal wars of aggression, torture and the murder of huge numbers of innocent human beings, we can only fervently pray that this release will "negatively impact U.S. foreign relations."

The monumental lie at the heart of the government's ongoing demonization of Wikileaks becomes unmistakably clear later in the story:
When the Iraq documents were released, a Pentagon spokesman, Marine Colonel David Lapan, described them as “raw observations from the tactical level of combat operations” and said their publication posed a risk to national security. In her e-mail to lawmakers yesterday, King had similar comments about the State Department documents.

“State Department cables by their nature contain everyday analysis and candid assessments that any government engages in as part of effective foreign relations,” she wrote. “The publication of this classified information by WikiLeaks is an irresponsible attempt to wreak havoc and destabilize global security. It potentially jeopardizes lives.”
This is another instance of the fundamental reversal I've been writing about for years:
If you have ever wondered how a serial murderer -- a murderer who is sane and fully aware of the acts he has committed -- can remain steadfastly convinced of his own moral superiority and show not even the slightest glimmer of remorse, you should not wonder any longer.

The United States government is such a murderer. It conducts its murders in full view of the entire world. It even boasts of them. Our government, and all our leading commentators, still maintain that the end justifies the means -- and that even the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocents is of no moral consequence, provided a sufficient number of people can delude themselves into believing the final result is a "success."


We can appeal all we want to "American exceptionalism," but any "exceptionalism" that remains ours is that of a mass murderer without a soul, and without a conscience. ... It is useless to appeal to any "American" sense of morality: we have none. It does not matter how immense the pile of corpses grows: we will not surrender or even question our delusion that we are right, and that nothing we do can be profoundly, unforgivably wrong.
In light of the destruction caused by U.S. interventions across the globe for more than a hundred years, it is only a government "without a soul, and without a conscience" that could speak of information detailing the truth of the U.S.'s actions as "an irresponsible attempt to wreak havoc and destabilize global security" that could "potentially jeopardize[] lives.”

It must be noted that the U.S. government has yet to offer the smallest particle of evidence that any Wikileaks release has damaged "national security" or jeopardized even a single life. In starkly unforgiving and murderous contrast, the U.S. government and its military have unleashed an immense amount of suffering, brutality and widespread death in country after country over endless, blood-drenched decades. The constant, but for most people almost entirely muted, soundtrack of our existence is a howling scream of pain as countless lives are mutilated, deformed and ended. The overwhelming majority of Americans fail even to notice it. This is simply the way we live -- and die. When unbearable pain is the neverending theme, we learn to diminish it or ignore it altogether. For most people, the only "solution" is to deaden their souls more every day -- or to slowly go mad. Most Americans choose to murder themselves in slow motion. In this manner, the world -- your world -- becomes more brutal with every hour that passes.

The United States now unleashes hell on earth in Afghanistan. The U.S. has destroyed Iraq, murdered at least several hundred thousand innocent human beings in that tragic country -- and, which is far more likely, committed genocide on an historic scale. The U.S. broadens its attacks in Pakistan, wages war in Yemen, and has launched operations "in at least 75 countries, and made "[p]lans ... for preemptive or retaliatory strikes in numerous places around the world."

I described an earlier Pentagon attack on Wikileaks' work as follows, and this is also true of the current reaction:
If the Pentagon and its press secretary did not speak on behalf of a government that embodies unrelenting, world-historical evil, this would be merely funny. As it is, the amusement is that offered by especially vicious practitioners of Grand Guignol who are execrable farceurs. The laughter drips blood and suffering.
So to Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and all those who seek only to bring the truth to light and to stop the murder and the torture, to stop the monstrous cruelty, and to protect innocent human life, I offer my profound gratitude. It is a paltry offering compared to what they do, for I can only say:

Bless you in your work. Take good care, and may you always be safe.

I will drink a toast to you tomorrow, and wish you well every day.

[Of course, Bradley Manning is not safe. In that post, I urged people to donate to his defense fund -- and I do so once more.]


Last summer, I wrote a series of essays about Wikileaks and its significance. You will find all the articles listed at the conclusion of Part VII. The major entries in that series are these:

Part II: The Role of Wikileaks in an Obedience Culture (and I draw your attention to the concluding section of that essay in particular: "The Profound Threat of Non-Cooperation")

Part IV: A World Without Obedience or Authority: Toward a Life of One's Own, and a Real Revolution

Part V: Losing Control

Part VI: Good-bye to All That