The Whistleblower Party has a strong duo for the upcoming election, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, each of whom earned the gratitude of all liberty-loving people worldwide with their revelations of U.S. government criminality. Of course, there are very important aspects of this whole tale that are not being addressed or, if they are, are being muted, mischaracterized, and demonized by the Establishment’s media functionaries.
I don’t care as much about people’s politics as I do their principles, and their intellectual honesty and congruency. By the latter terms I mean that, if they held as a principle during the Bush years that government spying was bad, they now hold the same principle and oppose Obama’s similar (even worse) actions. The ACLU has been quite consistent in its principled opposition to the surveillance state, through both Republican and Democratic administrations.
It is disheartening, however, as I look to my left and see, for example, Senator Al Franken (still sounds like a joke to me) telling us it’s all good, homies, cuz Obama is, like, cool and of course Al’s cool, okay, so it’s cool, y’see? Go back between five and 12 years (the hated Bush Era) and you will find Senator Al mocking, decrying, and going into wit-free seizures over every item on Bush’s agenda, every day he was in office. Mr. Sarcastic Solon specifically attacked spying, as a matter of fact. But, of course, you can trust Democrats!
No, Al, you see, the lesson here is much simpler: No one merits that kind of trust, and that is not the basis of small-r republican rule of law. What has grown in this country since World War II, with a truly heroic surge after 9/11, is the unaccountable shadow government, almost precisely what Dwight Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell address. How prescient he was.
Irrespective of party, I would encourage every person who opposes, on principle, blanket and warrantless state surveillance to stay abreast of the story assiduously. Read Glenn Greenwald and the rest of The Guardian coverage, which has recently featured pieces by Daniel Ellsberg and Ai Weiwei. Avoid the acidic patriotism of the right, the feigned indignation of the left, and the numb acceptance of an all-too-large, sleep-deprived center focused on hockey, NBA finals, baseball, summer vacation, and Will Smith blockbusters.
As ever, follow your principles to the sources that follow them, too—as for me, I do not care what political category anyone would assign to these people or papers or organizations. I always put it like this: Two plus two is four regardless who says it (or who pays for the research).
Come back soon—check daily—for my article on the U.S. government versus its own Nuremberg Principles, the high-handed moralistic code of civilized warfare and international law with which we justified executing any rank of soldier, any class of civilian, in the postwar world. I am reprinting a copy of the Nuremberg Principles below for your edification, in advance of my article.
In the piece, by the way, I will be quoting from my father’s own writing on the Nuremberg Trials, which he witnessed, sitting not 15 feet from Hermann Goering, Albert Speer, Admiral Jodl, and the rest. As more and more people are discovering about more and more of what our government does, and has done, it should not come as a shock to many that “what we all know” about the Nuremberg Trials is mostly wrong. Stay tuned!
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The Nuremberg Principles
Principle I. Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment.
Principle II. The fact that internal law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law.
Principle III. The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.
Principle IV. The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.
Principle V. Any person charged with a crime under international law has the right to a fair trial on the facts and law.
Principle VI. The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
(b) War Crimes:
Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation of slave-labour or for any other purpose of the civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
(c) Crimes against humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.
Principle VII. Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.