No Lie


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

Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria
Robert Fantina
Canadian Universities vs. Israeli Apartheid
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: Europe’s Left Batting 1000
John Feffer
Mouths Wide Shut: Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
Paul Craig Roberts
The Impulsiveness of US Power
Ron Jacobs
The Murderer as American Hero
Alex Nunns
“A Movement Looking for a Home”: the Meaning of Jeremy Corbyn
Philippe Marlière
Class Struggle at Air France
Binoy Kampmark
Waiting in Vain for Moderation: Syria, Russia and Washington’s Problem
Paul Edwards
Empire of Disaster
Xanthe Hall
Nuclear Madness: NATO’s WMD ‘Sharing’ Must End
Margaret Knapke
These Salvadoran Women Went to Prison for Suffering Miscarriages
Uri Avnery
Abbas: the Leader Without Glory
Halima Hatimy
#BlackLivesMatter: Black Liberation or Black Liberal Distraction?
Michael Brenner
Kissinger Revisited
Cesar Chelala
The Perverse Rise of Killer Robots
Halyna Mokrushyna
On Ukraine’s ‘Incorrect’ Past
Jason Cone
Even Wars Have Rules: a Fact Sheet on the Bombing of Kunduz Hospital
Walter Brasch
Mass Murders are Good for Business
William Hadfield
Sophistry Rising: the Refugee Debate in Germany
Christopher Brauchli
Why the NRA Profits From Mass Shootings
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
Pete Dolack
There is Still Time to Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Marc Norton
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Andre Vltchek
Stop Millions of Western Immigrants!
David Rosen
If Donald Dump Was President
Dave Lindorff
America’s Latest War Crime
Ann Garrison
Sankarist Spirit Resurges in Burkina Faso
Franklin Lamb
Official Investigation Needed After Afghan Hospital Bombing
Linn Washington Jr.
Wrongs In Wine-Land
Ronald Bleier
Am I Drinking Enough Water? Sneezing’s A Clue
Charles R. Larson
Prelude to the Spanish Civil War: Eduard Mendoza’s “An Englishman in Madrid”
David Yearsley
Papal Pop and Circumstance
October 08, 2015
Michael Horton
Why is the US Aiding and Enabling Saudi Arabia’s Genocidal War in Yemen?