Tag Archives: Daniel Ellsberg

Deceit and Truth Are Feeding Resistance to US Militarism

by Kevin B. Zeese

Mike Ferner, the president of Veterans for Peace, was speaking outside the White House calling for a “culture of resistance” against U.S. wars. His organization was leading a protest outside the White House at the same moment that President Obama was inside announcing the continuation of the Afghanistan War.

Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent and author Chris Hedges, who has seen more war than most vets, joined in the call for action. He adapted President Obama’s campaign of hope and change, urging everyone not to wait for Obama, but to take action: “Hope will only come now when we physically defy the violence of the state. All who resist, all who are here today keep hope alive. All who succumb to fear, despair, and apathy become an enemy of hope. They become in their passivity agencies of injustice.” Hedges urged actions, large and small, against the corporate government’s militarism.

As Obama spoke inside the warm White House, outside in the snow 131 veterans and their supporters defied authorities. Some chained themselves to the White House fence, others refused to leave when ordered by police. They were arrested. Many promised continued acts of resistance. Some, from other movements, like Margaret Flowers, M.D., of the single-payer health care movement, urged solidarity as resistance is needed on many issues mishandled by corporate government. The seeds of resistance had been planted.

The watering of that seed was coming from Obama’s false words and the truth escaping from his government’s secrecy. He proclaimed progress in the Afghanistan War. But the front page of the New York Times, the day before his speech, reported “two new classified intelligence reports offer a more negative assessment and say there is a limited chance of success.” These reports (not released by WikiLeaks, but through the traditional leaking in D.C.) were from the National Intelligence Estimates, which bring together the findings of 16 intelligence agencies and showed a conflict with the DoD’s more rosy picture.

President Obama then went on to talk about how the U.S. could begin withdrawing troops as the Afghan police were trained and took their place. But just four days before the president spoke, the Guardiandescribed how “more than 20,000 officers from the Afghan National Police (ANP), the country’s mainlaw enforcement agency, have left over the past year.”

President Obama promised to persist until the United States achieved victory, but as Daniel Ellsberg, a veteran and former military analyst for the Pentagon pointed out, Gen. Petraeus has told the president there will be no victory. Ellsberg quotes Petraeus from Bob Woodward’s Obama’s Wars: “You have to recognize also that I don’t think you win this war. I think you keep fighting. … You have to stay after it. This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives.” Again, the quote from behind the closed doors of the Oval Office came from the traditional leaking in the capital, not from WikiLeaks.

If Obama’s inaccurate statements to the American people about a war costing $5.7 billion per month are not enough, you can look to the documentation of failure and potential war crimes in the WikiLeaks reports, the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs, and the diplomatic cables. They show, among other things, that U.S. troops kill civilians without cause or concern and then cover it up (more examples of hiding civilian killings herehere, and here), including killing reporters; the CIA is fighting an undeclared and unauthorized war in Pakistan with Blackwater mercenaries; the president of Afghanistan is not trustworthy; Afghanistan is rife with corruption and drug dealing; the Pakistan military and intelligence agencies aid al-Qaeda and the Taliban; and the U.S. looks the other way when governments it controls torture. The cables also show that beyond the war fronts thatHillary Clinton has turned State Department Foreign Service officers into a nest of spies who violate laws to spy on diplomats, all with marching orders drawn up by the CIA. All of this has the world looking at the United States with new eyes.

WikiLeaks, the Abu Ghraib prison photos, the reports from Guantanamo Bay, Red Cross reports of secret prisons, intelligence reports, and so many other sources of information show Americans what their government is doing.

Now that we know what the government is doing in our name, Americans must take action to stop it. Knowing the truth and not acting is complicity in the government’s actions. More and more Americans are acting. It is not only the arrest of 131 vets and their supporters that shows a rising tide of resistance. We see it in the publishing of documents by WikiLeaks and major media outlets as well as in the independent media around the globe. In the more than 1,000 mirror sites of WikiLeaks set up as the original site was under attack, we see resistance. When more than 100,000 people downloaded the WikiLeaks “insurance policy” and were prepared to release documents if Assange was harmed, it was an act of resistance. It is seen in intelligence officials leaking documents to the New York Times the day before the president spoke on Afghanistan, showing the country that the war is failing despite what the president says. It is seen in Americans organizing for their right to know and to reaffirm freedom of the press under the banner WikiLeaksIsDemocracy.org. It is also seen in those standing up for Bradley Manning in the Bradley Manning Support Network. Join us.

Do not feel powerless in the face of the American superpower and the manipulated U.S. democracy that prevents real change. It has always been small things that people do that leads to massive change. Everyone reading this can take action to challenge U.S. foreign policy, to help develop the culture of resistance that is essential to change. While the government has a lot of weapons at its disposal, its insecurity is evident in its reaction to the truth. The government shows more than embarrassment, it shows fear – fear of its own words being exposed and people knowing what it does. Every day that a truth is revealed, the government loses power and influence. It is a problem of its own making. Do not blame the messengers.

And while the U.S. military is the most powerful in the world and the U.S. taxpayer spends as much as the rest of the world combined on weapons and war, everyone knows this truth: it has not won a significant war in more than 50 years. Now, this so-called superpower rests on a fragile economy that is in deep collapse and showing no signs of real recovery with a ship of state too dysfunctional to respond to multiple crises facing the nation and the world. The superpower is strong, but weak at the same time. These seem to be the signs of an empire that could collapse at anytime.

As you act, and see others act, more will be emboldened. As Julian Assange said, “Courage is contagious.” Be part of spreading courage. Join or organize actions of resistance wherever there is injustice in your workplace, your school or your town. Speak out against war and militarism. Join Operation LeakSpin and review a WikiLeaks cable and write about it wherever you can. Join the Bradley Manning Support Network and WikiLeaksIsDemocracy.org. Help build the tidal wave of resistance that will demand real change, the change the nation urgently needs.

December 24, 2010

Kevin Zeese [send him mail] is director of Voters for Peace.

Copyright 2010 Kevin Zeese

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Lying Is Not Patriotic


by Ron Paul

Recently by Ron Paul: Don’t Meddle in China


WikiLeaks’ release of classified information has generated a lot of attention world-wide in the past few weeks.

The hysterical reaction makes one wonder if this is not an example of killing the messenger for the bad news.

Despite what is claimed, information so far released, though classified, has caused no known harm to any individual, but it has caused plenty of embarrassment to our government. Losing a grip on our empire is not welcomed by the neo-conservatives in charge.

There is now more information confirming that Saudi Arabia is a principle supporter and financier of Al Qaeda and this should set off alarm bells since we guarantee its Sharia-run government.

This emphasizes even more the fact that no Al Qaeda existed in Iraq before 9/11, and yet we went to war against Iraq based on the lie that it did.

It has been charged, by self-proclaimed experts, that Julian Assange, the internet publisher of this information, has committed a heinous crime deserving prosecution for treason and execution or even assassination.

But should we not at least ask how the U.S. government can charge an Australian citizen with treason for publishing U.S. secret information, that he did not steal?

And if WikiLeaks is to be prosecuted for publishing classified documents, why shouldn’t the Washington PostNew York Times, and others that have also published these documents be prosecuted? Actually, some in Congress are threatening this as well.

The New York Times, as a result of a Supreme Court ruling, was not found guilty in 1971 for the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Daniel Ellsberg never served a day in prison for his role in obtaining these secret documents.

The Pentagon Papers were also inserted into the Congressional Record by Senator Mike Gravel with no charges being made of breaking any National Security laws.

Yet the release of this classified information was considered illegal by many, and those who lied us into the Vietnam War and argued for its prolongation were outraged. But the truth gained from the Pentagon Papers revealed that lies were told about the Gulf of Tonkin attack which perpetuated a sad and tragic episode in our history.

Just as with the Vietnam War, the Iraq War was based on lies. We were never threatened by Weapons of Mass Destruction or Al Qaeda in Iraq, though the attack on Iraq was based on this false information.

Any information that challenges the official propaganda for the war in the Middle East is unwelcome by the administration and supporters of these unnecessary wars. Few are interested in understanding the relationship of our foreign policy and our presence in the Middle East to the threat of terrorism. Revealing the real nature and goal for our presence in so many Muslim countries is a threat to our empire and any revelation of this truth is highly resented by those in charge.

Questions to consider:

1. Do the American people deserve to know the truth regarding the ongoing war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?

2. Could a larger question be: how can an Army Private gain access to so much secret material?

3. Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not our government’s failure to protect classified information?

4. Are we getting our money’s worth from the $80 billion per year we spend on our intelligence agencies?

5. Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths; lying us into war, or WikiLeaks’ revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?

6. If Assange can be convicted of a crime for publishing information, that he did not steal, what does this say about the future of the First Amendment and the independence of the internet?

7. Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on WikiLeaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?

8. Is there not a huge difference between releasing secret information to help the enemy in the time of a declared war – which is treason – and the releasing of information to expose our government lies that promote secret wars, death, and corruption?

9. Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it’s wrong?

Thomas Jefferson had it right when he advised: “Let the eyes of vigilance never be closed.”

See the Ron Paul File

December 11, 2010

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.

The Best of Ron Paul



 

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WikiLeaks and Assange Honored

From Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence
October 24, 2010

Editor’s Note: WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange have received the 2010 Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence award for releasing secret U.S. military reports on the Iraq and Afghan wars.
The award from the group – named after legendary CIA analyst Sam Adams – was presented to Assange on Saturday in London where he was speaking about WikiLeaks’ recent release of almost 400,000 classified battlefield reports from Iraq. The award reads as follows:

It seems altogether fitting and proper that this year’s award be presented in London, where Edmund Burke coined the expression “Fourth Estate.” Comparing the function of the press to that of the three Houses then in Parliament, Burke said:

“… but in the Reporters Gallery yonder, there sits a Fourth Estate more important far then they all.”

The year was 1787 — the year the U.S. Constitution was adopted. The First Amendment, approved four years later, aimed at ensuring that the press would be free of government interference. That was then.

With the Fourth Estate now on life support, there is a high premium on the fledgling Fifth Estate, which uses the ether and is not susceptible of government or corporation control. Small wonder that governments with lots to hide feel very threatened.

It has been said: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” WikiLeaks is helping make that possible by publishing documents that do not lie.

Last spring, when we chose WikiLeaks and Julian Assange for this award, Julian said he would accept only “on behalf of our sources, without which WikiLeaks’ contributions are of no significance.”

We do not know if Pvt. Bradley Manning gave WikiLeaks the gun-barrel video of July 12, 2007 called “Collateral Murder.” Whoever did provide that graphic footage, showing the brutality of the celebrated “surge” in Iraq, was certainly far more a patriot than the “mainstream” journalist embedded in that same Army unit. He suppressed what happened in Baghdad that day, dismissed it as simply “one bad day in a surge that was filled with such days,” and then had the temerity to lavish praise on the unit in a book he called The Good Soldiers.

Julian is right to emphasize that the world is deeply indebted to patriotic truth-tellers like the sources who provided the gun-barrel footage and the many documents on Afghanistan and Iraq to WikiLeaks. We hope to have a chance to honor them in person in the future.

Today we honor WikiLeaks, and one of its leaders, Julian Assange, for their ingenuity in creating a new highway by which important documentary evidence can make its way, quickly and confidentially, through the ether and into our in-boxes. Long live the Fifth Estate!

Presented this 23rd day of October 2010 in London, England by admirers of the example set by former CIA analyst, Sam Adams.

Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence is a movement of former CIA colleagues and other associates of former intelligence analyst Sam Adams, who hold up his example as a model for those in intelligence who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power. Sam did precisely that, and in honoring his memory, SAAII confers an award each year to a member of the intelligence profession exemplifying Sam Adam’s courage, persistence, and devotion to truth — no matter the consequences.

It was Adams who discovered in 1967 that there were 500,000 Vietnamese Communists under arms — more than twice the number that our military in Saigon would admit to in the “war of attrition.”  Gen. William Westmoreland had put an artificial limit on the number that Army intelligence was allowed to carry on its books. And Gen. Creighton Abrams specifically warned Washington that the press would have a field day if Adam’s numbers were released, and that this would weaken the war effort.

Westmoreland’s figures were shown to be bogus in January/February 1968, when Communist troops mounted a surprise countrywide offensive in numbers that proved that Adams’ analysis had been correct. But because Sam was reluctant to go “outside channels,” the CIA and Army were able to keep the American people in the dark.

After the Tet offensive, however, Daniel Ellsberg learned that Westmoreland had asked for 206,000 more troops to widen the war into Cambodia, Laos, and North Vietnam — right up to the border with China, and perhaps beyond. In his first such act, Ellsberg leaked Sam Adams’ data to the then-independent New York Times on March 19, 1968. Dan’s timely truth telling, and that of the Times’ Neil Sheehan, won the day.

On March 25, President Johnson complained to a small gathering, “The leaks to the New York Times hurt us…We have no support for the war. This is caused by the 206,000 troop request [by Westmoreland] and the leaks…I would have given Westy the 206,000 men.” On March 31, Johnson introduced a bombing pause, opted for negotiations, and announced that he would not run for another term in November 1968.

Sam Adams continued to press for honesty and accountability but stayed “inside channels” — and failed. He was not able to see that the supervening value of ending unnecessary killing trumped the secrecy agreement he had signed as a condition of employment. Nagged by remorse, Adams died at 55 of a sudden heart attack. He could not shake the thought that, had he not let himself be diddled, the entire left wall of the Vietnam memorial would not exist. There would have been no new names to chisel into such a wall.

In the past, the annual Sam Adams Award has been given to truth tellers Coleen Rowley of the FBI; Katharine Gun of British Intelligence; Sibel Edmonds of the FBI; Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan; former US Army Sgt. Sam Provance, who told the truth about Abu Ghraib; and Maj. Frank Grevil of Danish Army Intelligence, who exposed his government’s eagerness to conspire with the Bush administration in advertising non-existent weapons of mass destruction in order to “justify” the invasion of Iraq — and went to prison for it; and Larry Wilkerson, Col., US Army (ret.), former chief of staff to Secretary Colin Powell at the State Department, who exposed the powers behind many of the crimes of the Bush administration — first and foremost what he called the “Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal;” in Washington, DC.


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