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

February 22, 2017
Mike Whitney
Liberals Beware: Lie Down With Dogs, Get Up With Fleas
John Grant
On Killers and Bullshitters*
Peter Linebaugh
Catherine Despard, Abolitionist
Patrick Cockburn
The Bitter Battle for Mosul
Ted Rall
Sue the Bastards? It’s Harder Than You Think
Yoav Litvin
The Emergence of the Just Jew
Kim Scipes
Strategic Thinking and Organizing Resistance
Norman Pollack
Mar-a-Lago, Ideological Refuge: Berchtesgaden, II
Fred Donner
Nixon and the Chennault Affair: From Vietnam to Watergate
Carl Kandutsch
Podesta vs. Trump
Ike Nahem
To the Memory of Malcolm X: Fifty Years After His Assassination
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Tough Talk Won’t Fix Chicago
Paul Donnelly
Betsy DeVos and the War on Public Education
Ebony Slaughter-Johnson
The End of an Alliance for Police Reform
Richard Lawless
Wall Street Demanded the Nuclear Option and the Congress Delivered
Liaquat Ali Khan
Yes, Real Donald Trump is a Muslim!
Ryan LaMothe
“Fire” and Free Speech
CounterPunch News Service
Bloody Buffalo Billboards
February 21, 2017
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Finance as Warfare: the IMF Lent to Greece Knowing It Could Never Pay Back Debt
CJ Hopkins
Goose-stepping Our Way Toward Pink Revolution
John Wight
Firestarter: the Unwelcome Return of Tony Blair
Roger Harris
Lenin Wins: Pink Tide Surges in Ecuador…For Now
Shepherd Bliss
Japanese American Internment Remembered, as Trump Rounds Up Immigrants
Boris Kagarlitsky
Trump and the Contradictions of Capitalism
Robert Fisk
The Perils of Trump Addiction
Deepak Tripathi
Theresa May: Walking the Kingdom Down a Dark Alley
Sarah Anderson
To Save Main Street, Tax Wall Street
Howard Lisnoff
Those Who Plan and Enjoy Murder
Franklin Lamb
The Life and Death Struggle of the Children of Syria
Binoy Kampmark
A Tale of Two Realities: Trump and Israel
Kim C. Domenico
Body and Soul: Becoming Men & Women in a Post-Gender Age
Mel Gurtov
Trump, Europe, and Chaos
Stephen Cooper
Steinbeck’s Road Map For Resisting Donald Trump
February 20, 2017
Bruce E. Levine
Humiliation Porn: Trump’s Gift to His Faithful…and Now the Blowback
Melvin Goodman
“Wag the Dog,” Revisited
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima: a Lurking Global Catastrophe?
David Smith-Ferri
Resistance and Resolve in Russia: Memorial HRC
Kenneth Surin
Global India?
Norman Pollack
Fascistization Crashing Down: Driving the Cleaver into Social Welfare
Patrick Cockburn
Trump v. the Media: a Fight to the Death
Susan Babbitt
Shooting Arrows at Heaven: Why is There Debate About Battle Imagery in Health?
Matt Peppe
New York Times Openly Promotes Formal Apartheid Regime By Israel
David Swanson
Understanding Robert E. Lee Supporters
Michael Brenner
The Narcissism of Donald Trump
Martin Billheimer
Capital of Pain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail