Thursday, August 19, 2010


Well, I suppose I've put this off long enough.

There's one word that sums up why I haven't been blogging lately: disgust.

It crept up slowly and finally and reached a crescendo with an exclamation point at the beginning of the farce of a Gitmo "military tribunal" for former child soldier Omar Khadr - an expression of the moral bankruptcy of the American Empire™ and our own minority Conservative government which, despite a Canadian Supreme Court ruling stating that his charter rights were violated, has refused to lift a finger to help Khadr.

His "trial" has now been postponed for one month while his military lawyer recovers from an apparent gallbladder surgery-related illness.

Let me share an interview transcript with you that exemplifies why I've reached the point of disgust.

On July 26, 2010, CNN's Larry King interviewed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the infamous Pentagon Papers.

ELLSBERG: You know, the people who put U.S. forces in harm's way, 100,000 men and women are -- in Afghanistan, are the last two administrations, but particularly this one -- the last administration, particularly this one, with a decision to escalate the war. It's -- I think it takes a lot of -- I don't know what to say, chutzpah (INAUDIBLE) for people who made the reckless, foolish, and I would say, irresponsible decisions to escalate a war that I'm sure they know internally is as hopeless as these new revelations reveal it to be.

And yet, they're preferring to send men and women into harm's way to die and to kill civilians and others -- in a war that I think they perceive is endless and hopeless, rather than to face the accusations of generals that they have, these politicians have lost a war that the generals claimed is winnable, they claimed that very foolishly.

I'd say that was exactly the same as the boss I served in 1965, Lyndon Johnson. He didn't want the General Johnson, the chief of staff of the Army, and others to resign if he didn't give them enough of what they were asking for. I think President Obama has made the same terrible error.


KING: Daniel, do you understand why Mr. Gibbs, representing the president, is so upset?

ELLSBERG: Well, he's very upset in part because he's working for a president who has indicted more people now for leaks than all previous presidents put together. And two of those people -- Thomas Drake and Shamai Leibowitz -- have been indicted for acts that were undertaken under Bush, which George W. Bush administration chose not to indict.
Powerful, indisputable facts.

But then came this:

ELLSBERG: So this is an administration that's more concerned about preventing transparency, I would say, than its predecessor which I'm very sorry to hear. As somebody who voted for Obama and expect to vote for him again, despite all this.
So, why should I care how Ellsberg votes?

The point is that this isn't about him.

It's about citizens who, in the face of horrendous human and civil rights violations, continue to support the perpetrators as if they have no other choice.

It's about citizens who surrender their power to an oligarchy whose only function is to sustain itself - rights be damned.

It's about citizens who think that believing in The Goodness of a leader trumps the very real and destructive actions of that leader.

It's about people who put the survival of political parties before the principles those parties are supposed to stand for.

It's about people who would rather "move forward" and not do what the law and international treaties demand: prosecuting government war criminals - a festering wound that has now been re-opened with this little parade of the so-called "last combat brigade" leaving Iraq this week - book-ended by the spokesman for US forces in Iraq, Maj Gen Stephen Lanza, (in an interview with Rachel Maddow) declaring that it's not a "war" anymore. The only thing missing was a "Mission Accomplished" banner for Obama to stand in front of.

It's about a dangerous subservience to governmental and corporate authority.

It's about an addiction to money and the supposed promise it's believed to fulfill.

It's about media more interested in maintaining access and survival than credibility.

It's about focusing on contrived political issues when the fundamentals of our very lives are at stake.

It's about disgust.

And it's about damn time more people woke up. Or maybe living in a suspended state of ignorant apathy is the best most people can do. Is that it? If it is, count me out. I refuse to live my life cowering in fear of my supposed "betters" when they have done nothing to earn my trust, respect, support or vote. You don't get to trample on peoples' rights and expect anything but disgust in return.