- “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. “Stephen Biko, South African dissident against apartheid
- “Propaganda is to a democracy what violence is to a dictatorship.” William Blum, former US state department official and author of “Killing Hope”
- “I think we can be reasonably confident that if the American population had the slightest idea of what is being done in their name, they would be utterly appalled.” Noam Chomsky
- ” The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominant political mythology. ” Michael Parenti
- ” The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. ” Noam Chomsky
- I have the greatest admiration for your propaganda. Propaganda in the West is carried out by experts who have had the best training in the world — in the field of advertizing — and have mastered the techniques with exceptional proficiency … Yours are subtle and persuasive; ours are crude and obvious … I think that the fundamental difference between our worlds, with respect to propaganda, is quite simple. You tend to believe yours … and we tend to disbelieve ours.” Soviet correspondent based five years in the U.S.
- ” The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity – much less dissent.” Gore Vidal
- “Americans are the best entertained and the least informed people in the world.” Neil Postman
- “The United States is not only number one in military power but also in the effectiveness of its propaganda system.” Edward S. Herman
- “Bill Blum [former US secretary of state] came by his title easily. He simply tested America by the same standards we use to judge other countries. The result is a bill of wrongs — an especially well-documented encyclopedia of malfeasance, mendacity and mayhem that has been hypocritically carried out in the name of democracy by those whose only true love was power.” Sam Smith, Editor, The Progressive Review, Washington, DC
- “Propaganda is to a democracy what violence is to a dictatorship.” William Blum, former US state department official and author of “Killing Hope”
Julian Assange was illegally arrested in London in April, 2019 and has now been indicted on 17 counts of violating the US espionage charge. Why? Because he exposed crimes of the US military abroad (such as in the video “Collateral Murder” where US soldiers were filmed laughing while repeatedly killing innocent civilians) and crimes of other nations. His wikileaks foundation has been a breath of fresh air for free speech and a place where journalists from many countries could send evidence that their governments didn’t want to see the light of day (anonymously).
This is just one more proof of many (by many whistleblowers, some others listed below) that the claim that America is the freest nation in history is at best a half truth and at worst a case of bald propaganda lying. While there are definitely some brave soldiers who desire to help and protect people (but are often being used to do the opposite as many have realized after years in service), what Assange and many others have shown is the massive extent of injustices that are being committed around the world by America’s military and corporations as well as departments of other governments. Unfortunately, every year, ~100 journalists are killed, often by corporations.
What kind of precedent is being set by this arrest? What moral ground will be possible to use against totalitarian governments if they violate diplomatic immunity to arrest a wanted journalist in US embassies in other countries who exposes crimes by their governments now as America has done with Assange?
Someone has rightly said that
“When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are being ruled by criminals.”
The only crime Julian Assange has committed is thinking that to stay free, we must know the truth and we can not stay silent in the face of injustice. He says things like this and puts his words into actions:
- “You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way that we can get anywhere. Because any decision-making that is based upon lies or ignorance can’t lead to a good conclusion.”
Julian Assange, monk of the online age who thrives on intellectual battle”. The Guardian. 2010-08-01.
- “Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love. In a modern economy it is impossible to seal oneself off from injustice.If we have brains or courage, then we are blessed and called on not to fritter these qualities away, standing agape at the ideas of others, winning pissing contests, improving the efficiencies of the neocorporate state, or immersing ourselves in obscuranta, but rather to prove the vigor of our talents against the strongest opponents of love we can find.If we can only live once, then let it be a daring adventure that draws on all our powers. Let it be with similar types whos hearts and heads we may be proud of. Let our grandchildren delight to find the start of our stories in their ears but the endings all around in their wandering eyes.
The whole universe or the structure that perceives it is a worthy opponent, but try as I may I can not escape the sound of suffering. Perhaps as an old man I will take great comfort in pottering around in a lab and gently talking to students in the summer evening and will accept suffering with insouciance. But not now; men in their prime, if they have convictions are tasked to act on them.”
Unfortunately, despite some admirable individual politicians in both parties who see the crisis and challenge to freedom, both major political parties are heavily involved in crime by that definition because they support the arrest of Assange and other whistleblowers (such as Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and many others). Both political parties are heavily complicit in trying to destroy freedom of speech and press which is the most crucial foundation of a free democracy as America’s founders and many of its greatest thinkers have said.
Trump says “it’s OK with me” if the Justice Department wants to charge Julian Assange.
Hillary Clinton says, ‘Julian Assange must answer for what he has done.”
Bible prophets and godly people routinely exposed the sins of their own government and condemned its abuses and evils and that is exactly what Christians should do as well. This article brilliantly points out many ways that America has become the New Rome and the need for people of courage to stand against its exploitative policies and helping those who are oppressed by them as the early Christians did against Rome, eventually conquering it. I will list others below and have included some excerpts from this article at the end.
Why is Julian Assange such a threat? Julian had graphic videos of the injustices that others had mostly just written about and he had an enormous volume of proof of many kinds of injustice, millions of documents. It’s not just some accident or mistake or an anomaly. It’s general policy. This was a monumental threat and is why both democrat and republican administrations tried to extradite and arrest him.
This is a short clip summarizing with some insightful comments from critics and dissidents who have exposed crimes of the American government against innocent people and freedom and warn that there is very little freedom of the press in America.
Julian Assange – Comments from Snowden, Chomsky, Varoufakis, Greenwald & Horvat
Edward Snowden is a very thoughtful intellectual who formerly worked for the NSA. But when he saw the NSA breaking the constitution and no one was willing to change despite contacting several people, he then leaked files showing that they were working with corporations to collect all electronic information being communicated in America. His story and how he became aware of the surveillance of the entire US population and most around the world, how he escaped and leaked the files so all would know is here on PBS.
United States of Secrets | FRONTLINE | PBS | https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/united-states-of-secrets/
Snowden says that the government by arresting Assange and whistleblowers (both parties do this a lot)
“wants to talk about the theoretical risks of journalism instead of the concrete harms of their policies, of their programs, of their decisions, of the way this is affecting people in the United States and all around the world.” [and he points out that even the government could not show anyone has been harmed by the leaks]
Glen Greenwald says,
“It is still true that Wikileaks is viewed as public enemy #1 among the CIA, the justice department, the FBI, the NSA. Even with Trump at the Helm, they still view Wikileaks as one of their main enemies because he’s been spilling their secrets for years.”
Chris Hedges, a former war correspondent for decades has written a blistering article exposing the injustice being done to Assange (and other whistleblowers).
Crucifying Julian Assange – Truthdig https://www.truthdig.com/articles/crucifying-julian-assange/
Assange’s mother, Christine Assange, said in a recent video appeal, “Despite Julian being a multi-award-winning journalist, much loved and respected for courageously exposing serious, high-level crimes and corruption in the public interest, he is right now alone, sick, in pain—silenced in solitary confinement, cut off from all contact and being tortured in the heart of London. The modern-day cage of political prisoners is no longer the Tower of London. It’s the Ecuadorian Embassy.”
Many of America’s founders, journalists, dissidents and other thinkers worldwide agree that you can’t have real liberty and democracy without freedom of the press.
- Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost. Thomas Jefferson
- Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy. Walter Cronkite
- Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. Benjamin Franklin
- If you think there is freedom of the press in the United States, I tell you there is no freedom of the press… They come out with the cheap shot. The press should be ashamed of itself. They should come to both sides of the issue and hear both sides and let the American people make up their minds. Bill Moyers
- “When the public’s right to know is threatened, and when the rights of free speech and free press are at risk, all of the other liberties we hold dear are endangered.” – Christopher Dodd
- In a society where there is no freedom of the press, it is difficult for victims to be noticed. Ai Weiwei
- Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation’s heart, the excision of its memory. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
- Freedom of the press is a precious privilege that no country can forego. Mahatma Gandhi
- In Czechoslovakia there is no such thing as freedom of the press. In the United States there is no such thing as freedom from the press. Martina Navratilova
Whatever freedom of the press sources you think you have is clearly minimal or extremely distorted if it exists at all (esp. in major secular sources, but also some others). And this is not a new thing. Over 100 years ago, congressmen were warning about the danger from the JP Morgan family buying up the policy of the largest media newspapers in the US so that citizens would not know what was really true in the most important topics, especially issues like wars for wealth and power abroad. There are scans of the congressional record documenting this here.
In 1994, Paul H. Weaver, a former political scientist (at Harvard University), journalist (at Fortune magazine), and corporate communications executive (at Ford Motor Company), wrote an analysis of modern news, titled “News and the Culture of Lying: How Journalism Really Works.” He basically argues, as a Harvard review said, that, “The U.S. press, like the U.S. government, is a corrupt and troubled institution….It fails to do what it claims to do, what it should do, and what society expects it to do. The news media and the government are entwined in a vicious circle of mutual manipulation, mythmaking, and self-interest. Journalists need crises to dramatize news, and government officials need to appear to be responding to crises. Too often, the crises are not really crises but joint fabrications. The two institutions have become so ensnared in a symbiotic web of lies that the news media are unable to tell the public what is true and the government is unable to govern effectively….
John Swinton, former Chief of Staff for the New York Times, was one of America’s best loved newspapermen. His peers called him “The Dean” of his profession. In 1953 he was asked to give a toast before the New York Press Club and in so doing, made a most revealing statement:
“There is no such thing at this date of the world’s history in America as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions and, if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I’m connected with.
“Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before 24 hours my occupation would be gone. The business of a journalist is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon; and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and that folly is this toasting of independent press. We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”
There is a superficial appearance of press freedom, with divisive arguments on largely superficial issues. But the real core issues are only seldom addressed if at all. And this is by design. Dr. Kroth a professor in media studies pointed out that the major media sources on both the right and the left were heavily pro Iraq war, with less than 5% of time given to those who wanted peace.
Propaganda and Manipulation: How mass media engineers and distorts our perceptions
And that was about a war that got reported, while many military actions have gone almost completely unnoticed and unreported in the west as award winning documentary film director John Pilger has shown in films such as “The War You Don’t See”.
The War You Don’t See by John Pilger
War correspondents like Chris Hedges, Allan Nairn, John Pilger, and many others have been reporting for decades how anyone who gets in the way of US empire and world domination usually gets suppressed, abused, imprisoned, tortured or killed. Many dissidents in America like Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Cornel West, James Cone, and others have exposed the fact that doing injustice to foreigners abroad also makes consciences and morals dead and enables injustice at home (confirming the statement of Thucydides that governments that impose tyranny abroad will also soon do the same to their own citizens). This has a long history, going back to early Americans injustices towards foreign Indians, and then foreign slaves, soon involving injustice to American citizens and then expanding when America’s leaders and corporations decided in the early 1900s to become a world dominating empire (led by people like Roosevelt as Stephen Kinzer and others have documented).
It must again be made clear that there are for sure some admirable soldiers who desire to do good and sacrifice heroically. But in many cases they are naive pawns of powerful forces of propaganda and are trained and brainwashed to be callous to the right to life and freedom of others outside the US and to think that by doing so they are supposedly aiding freedom. But when there is injustice abroad, it will foster injustice at home as well. In actuality, they are usually serving the interests of the military-industrial complex that president Eisenhower warned was one of the greatest dangers to America, the interests of bankers and the 1%, corporate interests and more.
Many scholars, human rights organizations, churches, activists for peace and informed people have been saying for decades that America is the New Rome, the biggest empire in history, a system that exploits people both foreign and domestic and more. Wise conservatives and liberals, atheists and Christians, laymen and even government officials have repeatedly said this and documented it with many facts. This article lists some reasons for this, but five more simple evidences of this are these:
- At the worst periods of inequality in Rome, the top 1.5% controlled 15-25% of income. But in America now, the top 1% control over 40% of wealth and worldwide they control over 50% of wealth. This level of economic injustice is according to the Bible the root cause of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10) and it lists around 20 specific evils that greed/hoarding wealth/luxury causes. 1000s of scientific studies confirm this. I’ve listed some references for how greed causes all sorts of injustices here.
- America has spent $32 million per hour on war since 2001. Imagine how many injustices, family problems, societal problems and spiritual problems that could solve (if for example taxes were reduced by that amount for each family)? This is one reason why Martin Luther King Jr. wisely warned that “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/03/21/we-have-spent-32-million-hour-war-2001Or read this brilliant article:
How Many Public Schools Does it Cost to Bomb ISIS?
- Conservative Larry Wilkerson who was part of the George Bush administration has said
“Cheney was evil. We tortured, murdered and lied.” He says US administrations have lied, tortured and murdered many innocent people and we have done so throughout our history…but it reached a new level with Bush/Cheney.
- In another talk, “The Travails of Empire” Wilkerson points out that the US is an empire in every way except claiming to be an empire (around minute 4-14) and that terrorism can’t stop when America is killing innocent people and young men have no prospects, no jobs and when theKing of Jordan says there is a refugee family in every home in Jordan…many caused by America. (see around 1:05:00 and 1:12:00).
- Many corporations, especially US corporations (that control 50%+ of the market in most fields) are the primary factor that is killing freedom, killing the middle class, crippling Christianity in the US and around the world…esp. the media corporations, both right and left and much more. In a TED talk, Alexander Wagner shows that corporations commit $380 billion in fraud every year and about 100 journalists are killed every year due for reporting corporate fraud.
Many whistleblowers from past and present state that genuine press freedom is negligible to nearly non-existent in America’s major news networks and both major political parties are complicit in this. Numerous intellectuals in America and around the world agree. Truth tellers ranging from Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon papers (who exposed that US presidents were lying about the Vietnam War) up to modern whistleblowers like Edward Snowden (who revealed that the NSA and intelligence agencies of several nations run global surveillance programs and collect all electronic communication of US citizens) as well as many soldiers, generals and even leading politicians who realized that many crimes have been committed against innocent people and against freedom and democracy warn that Americans are being deprived of knowledge of many crimes that are happening. This could not be more serious because countless people agree that knowing the truth is crucial to any genuine democracy and freedom. Repressing facts about reality is what police states do, not governments that desire to preserve freedom. And there is a very solid argument that many are making that America is and has for a long time been a police state, for at least a 100 years or more, going back to when JP Morgan bought up all the major newspapers in the country to control their publishing policy, esp. in regard to wars.
Assange exposed truths that Americans need to deal with…that American is an empire that controls the world…and not for the best good or freedom of the world or for most Americans, but for the greed of a few extremely powerful and rich people at the top who exploit not only people in foreign countries, but many in America as well. Like Rome of old, America uses its military to control many countries and send products and luxuries to the homeland for its affluent citizens to enjoy while most other people suffer from slavery, grinding poverty, debt and other forms of exploitation. Many of the luxuries and other products that people in Rome bought and enjoyed were made possible by military atrocities and slavery and the same is true today of America. Through its military, economic system, corporations and in other ways, much of the lifestyle that Americans have is based on exploitation of people around the world. And when we buy from many corporations, we are supporting that.
Even some leading conservatives like Larry Wilkerson (past chief of staff for Colin Powell) have stated that America is the New Rome. He says that many of its wars and actions abroad, esp. in South America and in the 3rd world are not to benefit people there. He couldn’t even think of a case where it benefited South America.
The U.S. has “become, in essence, the new Rome,” says Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W. Bush administration, in this Burning Issues video segment. https://youtu.be/FkVh3IlnMTU
Wilkerson also says that oligarchs control US foreign policy and that this has been true since at least Andrew Jackson
William Blum, a former state department official said:
“If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize — very publicly and very sincerely — to all the widows and the orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. I would then announce that America’s global interventions — including the awful bombings — have come to an end. And I would inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but – oddly enough – a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims and repair the damage from the many American bombings and invasions. There would be more than enough money. Do you know what one year of the US military budget is equal to? One year. It’s equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born [that figure is now ~$32 million per hour]. That’s what I’d do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I’d be assassinated.”
The concentration of wealth has a profound impact on freedom and democracy. Greg Palast has gathered a lot of research and shown how Trump and republicans won quite a few elections in 2016 by eliminating legitimate votes in key states by various illegal methods. Democrats have used similar tactics as well, such as in prevent Bernie Sanders from being the nominee and disrupting the pre-annointed corrupt war criminal Hillary Clinton.
Abby Martin interviews investigative reporter Greg Palast about how republicans rigged the 2016 elections at several levels, including eliminating millions of democratic votes with immoral tactics. This gave the election to Trump and other republicans. But he also points out that democrats have used similar tactics at times, such as when they sabotaged Bernie Sanders run by eliminating many votes of progressives in very unfair ways. It basically proves that billionaires used Cross-check eliminated over a million votes of blacks and poor in key states, voters who more often vote democrat. Very eye opening.
HIGHLIGHTS: Hidden purging of millions of voters
2 Interstate Crosscheck was Donald Trump’s secret weapon more than anything. It was a way to wipe votes of people of color out of the election process completely. At least 1.1 million votes were wiped out, esp. in key swing states like Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Arizona. This affected not only the presidency, but also elections at every level.
4 Because of Crosscheck, the outcome was predetermined. Chris Kovak created Crosscheck. Kovak is a rightwing Fox darling. So Trump was a shoe in.
5 Koch Brothers, The Heritage foundation and other conservative organizations gutted voter registration laws in 2013. As soon as that happened, Cross check spread like a virus.
6 Trump said there were 3 million illegal voters. That list came from Kovak and his list.
People with just 2 same names, such as James Brown in Atlanta and James Brown in Detroit. So they assume they are the same and a double voter. But if you look a little more closely, they are James David Brown and James Samuel Brown or Maria Lisa Hernandez and Maria Heidi Hernandez. These are not made up names, but real ones. They had their votes eliminated based solely on unproven allegations. None were arrested or went to jail for double voting because there wasn’t any legitimate evidence. But their votes were eliminated. Minorities make up 85% of the most common names in America and vote more democratic, so this made it possible for the crosscheck program to be targeted at them. This may be seen as racial bias, but it’s more accurately political bias.
9 In most states you could not implement Crosscheck without authorization from the Justice department because of the Voting Rights Act which gave the justice department many powers to prevent this. ID card, many lost But when the 2013 Trump won Michigan by 10,700 votes. In Michigan, ~50,000+ voters were removed. 10 In the research, 1/4 of the names removed did not have the same middle name and many social security numbers did not match either. The Crosscheck manual itself instructed people to ignore the mismatches and just identify people matched as double voters.
11 I-360 and Cambridge Analytica can identify double voters with 99.9% certainty. But they weren’t used because they couldn’t get millions off the voter rolls. 12 Who funds Kris Koback? The Koch brothers. 13 Who brought the lawsuit from Shelby. From the Heritage foundation which is funded by the Koch brothers and The Vulture, Paul Singer (the #1 donor to the republican party for some time), the Mercers and other billionaires.
14 This accusation of double voting has a long history, going back to the Ku Klux Klan and the racist birth of a nation where actors in black face pretended to be double voting. 15 Trump’s donors had moved factories to other countries and caused the loss of millions of American jobs. Trump isn’t a billionaire. That’s a lie. He’s in massive debt to the billionaires who pull his chain.
16 Republicans and Trump always blames double voting on people of color or immigrants. But how many convictions have there been? Almost nil. Less than a handful.
17 Kris Koback had a memo in his hand before meeting Trump. It said the goal was to change and amend the voter registration act. Republicans want people to prove they are citizens. Most don’t have citizenship cards. Social security cards and drivers licenses are also issued to aliens. That means nothing. They required a passport or birth certificate or naturalization papers. Many don’t have that. But this was used only in targeted locations.
They did a trial run and knocked out 36,000 votes of young people. A federal judge knocked it down. Asked if Koback could prove even one illegal voter. He couldn’t. So it was knocked down. This is why the billionaires went after the voter’s rights act in 2013.
20 In Ohio over 178 polling stations were open on Tuesday which research said was a day white voters more commonly voted on. On Sundays when minority voters were more likely to vote, only one polling station was open. One polling station for up to 80,000 black voters. It’s on video. You can see it live. Similar things happened in Wisconsin and other states.
If you don’t have a driver’s license or you leave it off or if the details of the voting card don’t exactly match registration paper, drivers licenses or other documents..including initials…their votes are eliminated.
22 This is soft apartheid.
Katheryn Harris in Florida removed 10s of thousands of black men from the voter rolls. None of them were actually illegal voters. This was why George Bush won against Al Gore in 2000. But it wasn’t done to help George Bush. It was done to help Jeb Bush win, but it also helped George Bush.
25 The Democratic party has many times used dirty tactics too. Very raw and corrupt. They tried to eliminate votes of blacks, poor people and students…progressives…because they supported Bernie Sanders and other cases. More than a million votes were not counted because of Democrats using similar tactics and wanting to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders. That’s ugly, but it is the awful truth.
26 Russia didn’t tell Hillary not to make a simple stop in Wisconsin. Russia didn’t eliminate many votes of young progressives (from both republican and democratic party elections). That was our parties.
We can’t count on democrats to fix this. We need to form organizations or participate in organizations that exist right now that will expose the con that America has the world’s most perfect elections. We don’t. We still have apartheid elections. We still have Jim Crow. The only difference now is that Jim Crow has gone from using white sheets to spread sheets. We can expose it and then we can act on it. We got to do those two things and not ask the democratic party to do it for us.
See also the fuller documentary by Greg Palast:
The best democracy money can buy.
James Corbett gives a very detailed and shocking overview of how billionaires are using metadata to control democracy and people’s minds by combining behavioural science with big data and use this new Frankenstein hybrid to better influence people’s thoughts, opinions and desires? It’s called psychographics!
Corbett also thinks that in the last couple years, corporations have won over the information war, since the first results that come up on youtube for most people are corporate sites.
The Information War is Over and We Have Lost. Change My Mind. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-1lc0pejEo
For Seventh Day Adventists, this should have special importance. Our SDA historian at the General Conference, Dr. Benjamin Baker (a friend of mine), points out that SDA pioneers were overtly stating that America was a beast way back in the 1800s and the pointed to the treatment of slaves from Africa and other countries as well as the treatment of Indians as proof of this. They rightly argued that you couldn’t do anything more beastly than America had done and was doing to the Indians and slaves.
Slavery and America in Revelation 13 – Dr. Benjamin Baker
Some of the research that Dr. Baker refers to on this is online at Andrews University in these articles.
For ideas on what God says we can do to resist this monopolization of freedom, democracy and information, here are 2 links to start with.
Snowden– Who Really Rules the government?
Many people in govt. are decent people. But many high level officials that are unrelated get control of power and use it against the best interests of people.
4 Most of Congress and even most of CIA did not know what was going on. Courts wasn’t willing to challenge covert actions.
8 Snowden saw numerous violations of the Constitution happening in covert actions.
12 decisions are being made for America without
He had the authority to look at anyone’s email..foreign or local.
To conclude, I encourage you to read this article on dissidents from Jesus to Julian Assange that is very well written. A few excerpts are below.
From Jesus Christ To Julian Assange: When Dissidents Become Enemies Of The State
When any government becomes almost indistinguishable from the evil it claims to be fighting—whether that evil takes the form of war, terrorism, torture, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, murder, violence, theft, pornography, scientific experimentations or some other diabolical means of inflicting pain, suffering and servitude on humanity—that government has lost its claim to legitimacy.
These are hard words, but hard times require straight-talking. It is easy to remain silent in the face of evil.
…Throughout history, individuals or groups of individuals have risen up to challenge the injustices of their age. Nazi Germany had its Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The gulags of the Soviet Union were challenged by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. America had its color-coded system of racial segregation and warmongering called out for what it was, blatant discrimination and profiteering, by Martin Luther King Jr.
And then there was Jesus Christ, an itinerant preacher and revolutionary activist, who not only died challenging the police state of his day—namely, the Roman Empire—but provided a blueprint for civil disobedience that would be followed by those, religious and otherwise, who came after him.
…A radical nonconformist who challenged authority at every turn, Jesus was a far cry from the watered-down, corporatized, simplified, gentrified, sissified vision of a meek creature holding a lamb that most modern churches peddle. In fact, he spent his adult life speaking truth to power, challenging the status quo of his day, and pushing back against the abuses of the Roman Empire.
Much like the American Empire today, the Roman Empire of Jesus’ day had all of the characteristics of a police state: secrecy, surveillance, a widespread police presence, a citizenry treated like suspects with little recourse against the police state, perpetual wars, a military empire, martial law, and political retribution against those who dared to challenge the power of the state.
For all the accolades poured out upon Jesus, little is said about the harsh realities of the police state in which he lived and its similarities to modern-day America, and yet they are striking.
Secrecy, surveillance and rule by the elite. As the chasm between the wealthy and poor grew wider in the Roman Empire, the ruling class and the wealthy class became synonymous, while the lower classes, increasingly deprived of their political freedoms, grew disinterested in the government and easily distracted by “bread and circuses.” Much like America today, with its lack of government transparency, overt domestic surveillance, and rule by the rich, the inner workings of the Roman Empire were shrouded in secrecy, while its leaders were constantly on the watch for any potential threats to its power. The resulting state-wide surveillance was primarily carried out by the military, which acted as investigators, enforcers, torturers, policemen, executioners and jailers. Today that role is fulfilled by the NSA, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the increasingly militarized police forces across the country.
…We need to recapture the gospel glow of the early Christians, who were nonconformists in the truest sense of the word and refused to shape their witness according to the mundane patterns of the world. Willingly they sacrificed fame, fortune, and life itself in behalf of a cause they knew to be right. Quantitatively small, they were qualitatively giants. Their powerful gospel put an end to such barbaric evils as infanticide and bloody gladiatorial contests. Finally, they captured the Roman Empire for Jesus Christ… The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists, who are dedicated to justice, peace, and brotherhood. The trailblazers in human, academic, scientific, and religious freedom have always been nonconformists. In any cause that concerns the progress of mankind, put your faith in the nonconformist!
……Honesty impels me to admit that transformed nonconformity, which is always costly and never altogether comfortable, may mean walking through the valley of the shadow of suffering, losing a job, or having a six-year-old daughter ask, “Daddy, why do you have to go to jail so much?” But we are gravely mistaken to think that Christianity protects us from the pain and agony of mortal existence. Christianity has always insisted that the cross we bear precedes the crown we wear. To be a Christian, one must take up his cross, with all of its difficulties and agonizing and tragedy-packed content, and carry it until that very cross leaves its marks upon us and redeems us to that more excellent way that comes only through suffering.
…In these days of worldwide confusion, there is a dire need for men and women who will courageously do battle for truth. We must make a choice. Will we continue to march to the drumbeat of conformity and respectability, or will we, listening to the beat of a more distant drum, move to its echoing sounds? Will we march only to the music of time, or will we, risking criticism and abuse, march to the soul saving music of eternity.
Julian Assange – Comments from Snowden, Chomsky, Varoufakis, Greenwald & Horvat (REWIND)
Great at beginning and end.
[I] had a system of checks and balances where journalists have the material. They make the publication decisions, not myself. And they even give the government the chance in advance of publication to review the details [to identify any risks to human life]….That has been followed in every case in the reporting that has arisen from me…But despite that, the US government makes no distinction whatsoever. This is important to establish because it means the government is not actually concerned with harm….What they’re looking for are easy arguments [that show] that journalists have blood on their hands. …For example, the case of Chelsea Manning, the government was able to present their best evidence,…in a military court. Despite all of this,…in an inquiry, in front of the judge, the US government said we can’t that anyone has been murdered, that anyone has died and we aren’t even going to try, because from our perspective it doesn’t matter…Much of the media is afraid to confront now [because they’ll lose important access to senior officials and maybe their job]…maybe the government would rather talk about the theoretical risks of journalism…where someone could possibly be hurt, even though it’s never happened, not in national security…not in my case, not in Manning’s case, not Ellsberg, not Binney, not Drake, etc…If this is the case, they do want to talk about the theoretical risks of journalism instead of the concrete harms of their policies, of their programs, of their decisions, of the way this is affecting people in the United States and all around the world. They don’t want to have a conversation about what’s been done.
Yanis Varoufakis (co-founder of democracy in Europe 2025):
First they are getting Julian, then they will get you, me, everyone. This is a clear struggle for freedom of the press and for the right of the citizens to know what governments are doing on their behalf, supposedly on their behalf…
…If Julian steps out of the Ecuadorian embassy, he will be arrested by British police then sent back to the US, then we will never hear from him again…that is only for the purpose of making sure you and me and our audiences don’t have access to the dirty secrets of the security apparatus, supposedly in our name.
Greendwald: There’s been a long effort to try to prosecute Julian Assange and Wikileaks, going back to the Obama administration, which actually convened a grand jury that made it clear that they wanted to be able to prosecute and indict him for what they regarded as crimes of reporting what the US government was doing in the dark. But it ultimately concluded…that there was no way to do that without also prosecuting the NY Times, the Guardian or all of the other news organizations that either worked with Wikileaks, that published that same secrets it did, or that published similar or even more sensitive secrets. How do you justify criminalizing the act of publishing documents in the case of Wikileaks publishing but then not prosecute the NY Times, the Washington Post and the others.
Everything changed…after the 2016 election, because before it was perceived that Wikileaks was exposing the war crimes of the Bush administration. But once 2016 happened and most of their reporting during that year was harmful to the candidate favored by most of the media, which was Hillary Clinton and therefore helpful to Donald Trump, he lost almost all his support on the left and even among the traditional media.
It is still true that Wikileaks is viewed as public enemy #1 among the CIA, the justice department, the FBI, the NSA. Even with Trump at the Helm, they still view Wikileaks as one of their main enemies because he’s been spilling their secrets for years.
…So all of that has changed how Wikileaks is perceived. The Trump administration has made clear that it is a top priority of theirs to prosecute and extradite Julian Assange and Wikileaks for the crime of…publishing documents. And it’s going to be much harder to stop this time because he has very few allies across the political spectrum….
Whistle blowers Assange, Snowden, Manning
You can’t support freedom and high concentrations of wealth at the same time. It has never ever happened in human history. PERIOD. PERIOD. PERIOD. The fact is that people now do not have many kinds of freedom and far less in many areas than in the past. While technology has progressed for sure, it has been used to destroy many freedoms. Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and others have shown that governments and corporations have 1000s of data points on every person…Chris Hedges, an international war correspondent for decades, says that the security state that exists now in America is far worse than what he saw while being stationed in East Germany with its Stasi police state. They only dreamed to be able to do what the American NSA and corporations are doing now and this destruction of freedom and manipulation of populations has been enabled by technology as well as the desire of the super rich billionaires to control everyone and avoid being blamed for their gigantic theft, abuse and atrocities. Many peer reviewed studies have shown that people’s votes, etc. have almost no impact on which laws are actually passed. Nomi Prins, a former Goldman Sachs banker wrote a book about this and said it no longer matters who is elected president. Peer reviewed studies also show that a few thousand people control over 42,000 corporations and through them manipulate governments, regardless of which president is elected. These are facts. Over and over again the majority of the population wants a law passed and it is rejected for ones the plutocrats want.
Assange arrest means press freedom is gone.
Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower who released the Pentagon papers and showed the US government was lying about the Vietnam war condemns the arrest of Julian Assange and says it shows that press freedom is gone or almost gone in the US.
11 freedom of press is almost gone
18 exposes secrets of American empire.
Assange and Manning arrested.
Julian Assange’s sanctuary in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London has been transformed into a little shop of horrors. He has been largely cut off from communicating with the outside world for the last seven months. His Ecuadorian citizenship, granted to him as an asylum seeker, is in the process of being revoked. His health is failing. He is being denied medical care. His efforts for legal redress have been crippled by the gag rules, including Ecuadorian orders that he cannot make public his conditions inside the embassy in fighting revocation of his Ecuadorian citizenship.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to intercede on behalf of Assange, an Australian citizen, even though the new government in Ecuador, led by Lenín Moreno—who calls Assange an “inherited problem” and an impediment to better relations with Washington—is making the WikiLeaks founder’s life in the embassy unbearable. Almost daily, the embassy is imposing harsher conditions for Assange, including making him pay his medical bills, imposing arcane rules about how he must care for his cat and demanding that he perform a variety of demeaning housekeeping chores.
The Ecuadorians, reluctant to expel Assange after granting him political asylum and granting him citizenship, intend to make his existence so unpleasant he will agree to leave the embassy to be arrested by the British and extradited to the United States. The former president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, whose government granted the publisher political asylum, describes Assange’s current living conditions as “torture.”
EXTRAS TO ADD
Daniel and lion’s den. Real crime was not prayer. Real crime was threat to pride/wealth.