While media stenographers echo the regime’s charges against whistleblowers who represent democracy far more than the government and its loyal servants, Americans have an opportunity to respond to real patriotism with support for its foremost practitioners. No elected official – so far – has come forward to stand up for the rights of the imprisoned Bradley Manning and the hunted Edward Snowden. It may be too much to expect any of our corporate owned or rented elected “representatives” to stand for anything but great wealth, the military and Israel, but Americans who’ve rallied to Manning’s support need to increase their efforts to include Edward Snowden before the cyber-police take further control of our minds on the road to totally destroying any notions of free speech and privacy.
Suppressing dissent has always been a part of the American creed but kept to minorities, reassuring most people that they indeed were free to speak, especially if they had nothing to say that threatened ruling power. From the Alien and Sedition acts passed shortly after the nation’s founding to the Palmer Raids of the early twentieth century, punishment of those who threatened systemic stability by calling attention to its shaky foundation was the order of the day. A mad rush to collect data on Americans became stronger during the Cold War that saw suspected communists, socialists and others who dared challenge minority rule placed under police state control. During the 1960s when the anti-war and pro-civil rights movements led more citizens to question and often confront authority, the suppression of dissent grew more violent but again seemed to only threaten minorities, leaving the great majority feeling safe as long as it remained uncritical, obedient or fervently supportive of any denial of democratic freedom to evil “others”. In the name of democracy and freedom, of course.
But after the 911 attacks on New York and Washington, whatever slight caution may have existed vanished as realistic fear of terrorism replaced fictional fear of communism. It was frightening enough to cause another rush of government intrusion into the lives of citizens, allegedly to save them from further terror attacks. While this argument still works for misinformed innocents, true believers and cynics who fully accept mass murder and deceit as necessary functions of the American marketplace, it is losing its strength among a growing minority. This group responds to the information offered by these brave Americans who “blow the whistle” on the treachery of minority state power and face severe punishment for daring to speak out.
Manning and Snowden voluntarily acted as members of a budding democratic state, in contrast to the bought and paid for media wimps and political pimps who express outrage at these courageous men who perform genuine public service and thereby threaten corporate government and its subservient employees faithful to private rule.
Manning performed heroically as a member of the armed forces and continues to pay a hellish price for his bravery, while Snowden, also acting on his conscience and still hopefully free, was operating in the marketplace for private profiteers who have latched onto the multi-billion dollar business of collecting information on Americans and using it the way every thing in this economy is used to benefit some at the expense of all.
Trillions of our tax dollars have gone to a military industrial complex we were warned about long ago and they have created a permanent at-war state with military bases all over the world. Now, during capitalism’s return to pre-social democratic pretensions that have religious market forces back in control and the public sector under total assault, cybernetic domination has become more profitable with hustlers getting taxpayer money under the guise of protecting them from outside attack by destroying inside freedoms and making a helluva lot of money in the process.
These military and cybernetic profiteers represent a greater threat to the nation than any terrorists who would disappear if we brought our military home and ended our support of regimes hated by their people who then loath us even more for doing so.
A primitive public sector that bailed out the economy for a generation has come under assault in a return to pre-Great Depression capitalism, with uncontrolled market forces that impoverish the many to enrich the few. Billionaires and millionaires are doing better than ever and their servant professional class is just fine, for the moment. But the majority of working people dubbed a middle class during the generation of credit buying are slipping into more dangerous conditions. And those already at the bottom are facing survival problems more deadly than at any time since the last depression. In this context, market profiteers are feasting on public money as corporate capital’s government fires public workers and hires private firms to do for only some of us what those public workers once did for almost all of us.
Schools, libraries, and post offices are closed and programs for the poor and elderly are slashed or completely ended, while the stock market booms and luxury goods sell at historic rates. Millions of pets in America live at a higher material standard than hundreds of thousands of human beings and the inequality gap between animals and people is growing as fast as that between the 1% and the rest of us. In this madhouse of growing military expenditures and increased warfare, the threat to Americans from terrorism also rises as we create more people who hate us. Whistle blowers who try to alert the public to a reality that hardly exists on the propaganda outlets of corporate media are seen as more dangerous than all past “subversives”, and it may be that authority’s fears are finally getting something right.
The examples set and the information released by Manning and Snowden is most dangerous to minority power since it is being shared, discussed and given thought by far more than were ever aware of past injustices to minorities while a majority either slept or contentedly enjoyed the trickle down profits for their service.
Now, hundreds of millions the world over understand that humanity faces a problem that is global, and here in the headquarters of empire awareness of the role we play in that problem is growing, thanks in part to communications not yet completely in control of the 1%. That control is being sought every day and courageous patriots like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, who risk their freedom in doing so, are making it possible for people to get a greater sense of this reality and do something about it before the situation gets beyond our control.
While the corporadoes are already doing financial planning for the employees they will run in the next election, social change advocates should be realistic enough not to think it’s possible, but it’s symbolically probable that a campaign for “Manning and Snowden in 2016” might be a way to garner support for these two American heroes. And realistic or not, you know they represent infinitely more integrity, bravery and dedication to the American people than whatever toadies the corporate parties will present.