Essential essay exposes "secret consortium of government and corporate power"

Glenn Greenwald’s “How the US Government Strikes Fear in Its Own Citizens and People Around the World” is essential reading. Please read it all because it connects the dots, making sense of waterboarding and other forms of torture, Guantanamo, secret prisons, attacks on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, American journalists' attacks on WikiLeaks (despite the fact that WikiLeaks has produced more true journalism than any U.S. journalist), why warrantless wiretapping went unpunished, why Bush and Obama have let criminals go free while jailing whistleblowers (“the only person to suffer any legal repercussions from that NSA scandal was someone named Thomas Tam, who was the mid-level Justice Department whistleblower who found out that this was taking place and was horrified by it and called Eric Lichtblau at the NYT and exposed that it had happened”), why telecoms were given immunity for blatant violations of the Constitution in enabling warrentless wiretaps, the stripping naked and keeping of Bradley Manning in solitary confinement, the silence of Democrats in the face of serious felonies committed by Bush, Cheney and their henchmen, and many other sickening realities of 21st Century American government.

The objective of all of this is to create a climate of fear, domestically and globally, to prevent people from standing up to American might, which is controlled not by the people or even by our elected representatives but by powerful corporations and their powerful friends in the permanent government. Their fear campaign is working well:

I got to know the people who were involved in Wikileaks, either currently or in the past. Especially among the people who had once worked with Wikileaks, but then stopped, there was a common theme that they all sounded when you spoke to them about why they stopped working with Wikileaks, including some who had been very high up in the organization hierarchy and who were well resourced, and people who are citizens of European countries.

What they said, almost to a person about why they stopped being involved in Wikileaks, and what a lot of people who still work with Wikileaks will tell you about why they are contemplating no longer working with Wikileaks is they will say: “I am extremely supportive of the organization’s aims and mission, I am proud to have been a part of the things they have done thus far, but I have a paralyzing fear that one day, my government is going to knock on my door and not charge me with a crime (that I can confront and am willing to deal with), but they’re going to knock on my door and tell me they are extraditing me to the U.S.”

In other words, the great fear of almost every person now or previously involved in Wikileaks is that they’re going to end up in the custody of the American justice system, because of the black hole of due-process-free punishment that they’ve seen created and that is sustained for foreign nationals accused of crimes against U.S. national security, because of the way in which people are disappeared without recourse to courts or any political protest.

It’s amazing that we have spent decades, probably since the end of WWII, lavishing praise on ourselves as the model of justice for the entire world, the leaders of the free world, lecturing everybody else about what their system of justice ought to be, and yet the fear that so many people around the world have, is that they will end up in the grip of American justice.

What scares this permanent bureaucracy that runs our secret government? Transparency, the very transparency that WikiLeaks seeks:

this powerful faction that exists, this enormous consortium of government and corporate power, is at least as powerful and probably much more so, than any single politician, even the “most powerful man on earth” or whatever we call the president these days. So, even if he wanted to change these things, and I think he doesn’t, even if he wanted to, he probably couldn’t.

What this faction relies upon more than anything else to preserve their power and to carry out the actions they undertake, is this wall of secrecy, this regime of secrecy. It is that secrecy that enables them to operate in the dark and therefore operate without any constraints, moral, ethical, legal, or any other kind.

Please read Greenwald’s essay.

Posted by James on Thursday, March 24, 2011