WikiLeaks' Most Terrifying Revelation: Just How Much Our Government Lies to Us
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"Try as I may I can not escape the sound of suffering. Perhaps as an old man I will accept suffering with insouciance. But not now; men in their prime, if they have convictions are tasked to act on them."
-- Julian Assange, 2007 blog entry
Do you believe that it is in Americans' interest to allow a small group of U.S. leaders to unilaterally murder, maim, imprison and/or torture anyone they choose anywhere in the world, without the knowledge let alone oversight of their citizens or the international community? And, despite their proven record of failure to protect America -- from Indochina to Iran to Iraq -- do you believe they should be permitted to clandestinely expand their war-making without informed public debate? If so, you are betraying the principles upon which America was founded, endangering your nation, and displaying a distinctly "unamerican" subservience to unaccountable authority. But if you oppose autocratic power, you are called to support Wikileaks and others trying to limit U.S. Executive Branch mass murder abroad and failure to protect Americans at home.
These two issues became officially linked for the first time when former U.S. Afghan commander General Stanley McChrystal explicitly stated that the murder of civilians increases rather than decreases the numbers of those committed to killing Americans, and actually implemented policies -- since reversed by General Petraeus -- to reduce U.S. murder of civilians. McChrystal said that “ for every innocent person you kill, you create 10 new enemies." By so doing he made it clear that killing civilians is not only a moral and war crimes issue, but -- in today's interdependent world -- also threatens U.S. national security.
As important as is the issue of free speech, it is the question of whether the U.S. Executive is in fact protecting the American people through its mass murder abroad that really lies at the heart of the Wikileaks controversy. Executive Branch officials justify persecuting and threatening to murder Assange on the grounds that he has damaged U.S. "national security." If McChrystal is right, however, it is the past decade of U.S. Executive mass murder in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, now revealed beyond any doubt by Wikileaks, that is the real threat to U.S. national security.
The chilling fact is this: whether you believe that September 11, 2001 was due to incomprehensible fanaticism or genuine grievances, it seems likely that U.S. leaders’ murder of countless Muslims since 2001 will cause the next 9/11 should, God forbid, it occur, The recent suicide-bomber in Sweden who came perilously close to succeeding taped a message saying " so will your children, daughters, brothers, and sisters die, like our brothers, sisters, and children die." Similar sentiments were voiced by the Times Square bomber, and it is likely that those responsible for future American deaths will also be motivated by revenge for the hundreds of thousands of Muslims for whose deaths U.S. leaders are responsible since 2001.
This is not, of course, to justify such attacks. Any attacks on civilians, whether by the Taliban or General Petraeus, are totally unjustified and crimes of war. But if the issue is how best to enhance U.S. national security, it is critical to rationally discuss the most prudent and sensible means of preventing further attacks -- which in this case is to stop creating huge numbers of people who want to kill Americans. If General McChrystal is correct, every American should tremble at the long-term danger to America caused by the last decade of U.S. war-making in the Muslim world. If only 1/100th of 1% of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims are moved to want to attack America because of America's post-9/11 killing of Muslim civilians, for example, the U.S. Executive will have created a pool of 160,000 Muslims devoted to murdering Americans.