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

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
Matthew Vernon Whalan
Obama’s Legacy
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There
Aidan O'Brien
Fidel and Spain: A Tale of Right and Wrong
Carol Dansereau
Stop Groveling! How to Thwart Trump and Save the World
Kim Nicolini
Moonlight, The Movie
Evan Jones
Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy
James A Haught
White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling
Barbara Moroncini
Protests and Their Others
Christopher Brauchli
Parallel Lives: Trump and Temer
Joseph Natoli
The Winds at Their Backs
Cesar Chelala
Poverty is Not Only an Ignored Word
David Swanson
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Alex Jensen
The Great Deceleration
Nyla Ali Khan
When Faith is the Legacy of One’s Upbringing
Gilbert Mercier
Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
Stephen Martin
From ‘Too Big to Fail’ to ‘Too Big to Lie’: the End Game of Corporatist Globalization.
Charles R. Larson
Review: Emma Jane Kirby’s “The Optician of Lampedusa”
David Yearsley
Haydn Seek With Hsu
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail