By Mark A. Goldman
Even those who are deeply incensed at the thought that the NSA and others are snooping on every American do not necessarily understand what the implications are; how this program has already destroyed most of what we thought it meant to live in America.
Most Americans do not realize that the country that exists in their minds has already been dismantled. In some sense this ignorance is now our only hope… but only because our illusions are really our cherished memory of what we think we have and what we really want. Only now what we think we have no longer exists and if that’s what we still want, it will have to be reclaimed… it will have to be won all over again for we now live under a tyranny that we don’t all yet recognize or experience because up until now the dismantling of the Constitution has been a secret or at best a taboo topic for public discussion.
No branch of government now operates as it was originally intended or visualized by the Framers. Those who are in control have corrupted every important aspect of what it means to live in freedom and in a democracy. We have to deeply lie to ourselves in order not to see what we have become as a nation, as a people.
Those who hold high office are being blackmailed. They live in fear of losing face, status, reputation, position, money, or whatever is important to them. They follow orders and no longer think for themselves. Many don’t even know that what they believe has been programmed into them, defining the limits of what they are allowed to think if they wish to hold onto their position in life. You don’t have to be an elected official for this to happen to you.
To be elected to public office requires that you gain favor from certain individuals who possess wealth and power. And yet you can’t get elected unless you get enough votes. So to get elected and to stay in office you have to tell voters what they want to hear but later, behind closed doors, do just the opposite of what you told them. You have to ignore injustices you discover and sign legislation that contributes to injustice in ways you may not even understand. And those injustices can include some of the most horrific crimes that human beings can contemplate and carry out against other human beings.
You have to spend your time dialing for dollars rather than doing the people’s business. You have to pass legislation that funnels money into the hands of the already privileged and undeserving few at the expense of ordinary citizens. You have to support war and war crimes. You have to tow the party line, fall into place, and follow the lead of people you fear. If you don’t fall into line you can be destroyed by someone who has the goods on you and knows how to use that illegally gathered information to get what they want. There are exceptions, of course, but you live and operate within the confines and in an atmosphere of systemic corruption. And this is true whether you are a judge, an elected official, or an appointee to a position of power.
The specifics that prove what I am saying is true, are what whistleblowers have been trying to tell us and what those in power don’t want us to know; for if too many of us did know and understand, and if we believed in ourselves, we might actually try to do something about it and succeed.
Of course if we never try and don’t succeed, we will continue to lose more of our freedoms, our wealth, our dignity, and our happiness.
Public officials who insist that their actions be private and that private citizens’ actions be public sound like Hitler‘s old minister of public enlightenment and propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels’ pronouncement that “you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide” can be applied to the government also.
The uncomfortable truth is that some of us out here are committed to upholding that oath to protect the Constitution even if it results in death. It is an affront to our integrity to think that we will be silent just so public officials will not be embarrassed when it is revealed that they lied to the public and that they are enemies of the Constitution.
The military and NSA are being criticized for placing such young, idealistic men in positions that enable them to witness the workings of our government. We need more of these young individuals who refuse to speak the corrupted, Orwellian language of the old politicians and who uphold the truth regardless of the punishments for doing so.
Australia Takes a Step in the Right Direction
Whistleblowers stand to receive more protection when reporting wrongdoing under new laws passed in Parliament today.
The Public Interest Disclosure Bill, tabled by Attorney General Mark Dreyfus, gives public officials immunity from criminal, civil and administrative liability if they make a report to an authorised body.
It also makes it an offence for a person or organisation to retaliate against an official as a result of them making a public disclosure.
While advocates welcomed the landmark bill, they said whistleblowers were still at risk of having their concerns ignored by organisations.
‘It is absolutely essential that whistleblowers are given immunity from prosecution for breach of confidence,’’ said Whistleblowers Australia national president Cynthia Kardell. ‘‘This is a huge step … but the legislation is still failing because there are still ways that employers can stifle disclosure.’’
The law only applies to officials working in the Commonwealth public sector and federal agencies, not people in the private sector.
It will be overseen by the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS).
Greens Senator Christine Milne amended the bill to allow people to disclose wrongdoing or regulatory failures relating to the environment immediately.
She said the bill was a significant step in protecting people reporting wrongdoing and called on protections to extend to the private sector.
“Currently, brave public servants who come forward to expose corruption or maladministration usually do so at great personal, emotional and financial cost,’’ Senator Milne said.
The bill is a response to a 2010 House of Representatives standing committee report into whistleblower protection.
It contains provisions to ensure Commonwealth agencies properly investigate and respond to public interest disclosures.
“For the government to exempt themselves from the standards, rights and obligations it is seeking to impose upon all other public officials is wrong,’’ Senator Milne said.