FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

No Lie

by MISSY BEATTIE

Plenty of thoughts were blasting my cranium the other evening—this limbo I’m in because I have a contract on my condo, a contract that may collapse. I decided to watch Netflix episodes of Lie to Me—a teaching tool or penance for months of stupid gullibility about which I’ve written too much.

But I remembered something significant, a video on C-Span—Bradley Manning’s defense attorney David Coombs among a roster of speakers. This would be Coombs’ first public presentation about the WikiLeaks case (US v. Bradley Manning).

I sat behind Manning and Coombs at one of the Ft. Meade hearings and wrote about Manning, the way I felt in his presence and his decision to reveal war crimes—a to-the-bone reality that happens not infrequently in a world dictated by greed.

So on Monday night, I watched Michael Ratner, President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, whom I’d met at Ft. Meade. He spoke passionately about Manning. And my brain cycled images of carnage—the drones, babies born with two heads, parents carrying a bloody child, the footage released by U.S. Army PFC Manning, a former intelligence specialist, demoted and imprisoned in an “animal cage.”

No surprise when Ratner spoke also to the horror of Guantanamo, a reminder of those held, detained without trial, and tortured. All who were seized, trapped. Those imprisoned, believed to be terrorists because somebody said they might be, could be, may have had a revenge fantasy or two, a violent thought, inspired by injustice. By American Exceptionalism’s ravaging of their countries, families, so many people.  The Children.

And then Coombs took the microphone. I listened to his words of admiration for and his commitment to Manning—the hope he feels from worldwide support. And finally to this: “We live in a country that is built on government accountability and informed citizens.”  Whoa. I actually said, “Whoa.” Not in reaction to “informed citizens.” But to government accountability. There is no government accountability. THERE. IS. NONE.

Why? Because Americans approve with tax dollars, with our votes, and through purchases from companies that benefit from torture and murder, ensuring the smooth operation of the capitalist death machine. If we shake our heads incredulously about accountability, we deceive ourselves. By law, the president answers to the people—the American people. We, the people, are at the top of the command chain. And we know this, just as we know in our hearts that what Bradley Manning revealed is not a secret. Just as we know that citizens are informed.

And we do so very little. In fact, as little as possible.  Something I’ll take care of as soon as I finish this piece—write a check, made payable to Courage to Resist.  A donation to Bradley Manning’s defense fund.  It really is the very least I can do.  No lie.

Missy Beattie is in Baltimore. Email: missybeat@gmail.com

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
February 12-14, 2016
Andrew Levine
What Next in the War on Clintonism?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Comedy of Terrors: When in Doubt, Bomb Syria
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh – Anthony A. Gabb
Financial Oligarchy vs. Feudal Aristocracy
Paul Street
When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein
Rob Urie
The (Political) Season of Our Discontent
Pepe Escobar
It Takes a Greek to Save Europa
Gerald Sussman
Why Hillary Clinton Spells Democratic Party Defeat
Carol Norris
What Do Hillary’s Women Want? A Psychologist on the Clinton Campaign’s Women’s Club Strategy
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Election: Any Good News for Palestine?
Linda Pentz Gunter
Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget
Michael Welton
Lenin, Putin and Me
Manuel García, Jr.
Fire in the Hole: Bernie and the Cracks in the Neo-Liberal Lid
Thomas Stephens
The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective
David Rosen
When Trump Confronted a Transgender Beauty
Will Parrish
Cap and Clear-Cut
Victor Grossman
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
Ben Terrall
Raw Deals: Challenging the Sharing Economy
David Yearsley
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Formation: Form-Fitting Uniforms of Revolution and Commerce
David Mattson
Divvying Up the Dead: Grizzly Bears in a Post-ESA World
Matthew Stevenson
Confessions of a Primary Insider
Jeff Mackler
Friedrichs v. U.S. Public Employee Unions
Franklin Lamb
Notes From Tehran: Trump, the Iranian Elections and the End of Sanctions
Pete Dolack
More Unemployment and Less Security
Christopher Brauchli
The Cruzifiction of Michael Wayne Haley
Bill Quigley
Law on the Margins: a Profile of Social Justice Lawyer Chaumtoli Huq
Uri Avnery
A Lady With a Smile
Katja Kipping
The Opposite of Transparency: What I Didn’t Read in the TIPP Reading Room
B. R. Gowani
Hellish Woman: ISIS’s Granny Endorses Hillary
Kent Paterson
The Futures of Whales and Humans in Mexico
James Heddle
Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You
Michael Howard
Hollywood’s Grotesque Animal Abuse
Steven Gorelick
Branding Tradition: a Bittersweet Tale of Capitalism at Work
Nozomi Hayase
Assange’s UN Victory and Redemption of the West
Patrick Bond
World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor, by Ignoring the Rich
Mel Gurtov
Is US-Russia Engagement Still Possible?
Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
Wolfgang Lieberknecht
Fighting and Protecting Refugees
Jennifer Matsui
Doglegs, An Unforgettable Film
Soud Sharabani
Israeli Myths: An Interview with Ramzy Baroud
Terry Simons
Bernie? Why Not?
Missy Comley Beattie
When Thoughtful People Think Illogically
Christy Rodgers
Everywhere is War: Luke Mogelson’s These Heroic, Happy Dead: Stories
Ron Jacobs
Springsteen: Rockin’ the House in Albany, NY
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“The Martian”: This Heroism is for Chinese Viewers Too
Charles R. Larson
No Brainers: When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail