FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

J’Accuse

by THOMAS L. KNAPP

Dear President Obama,

I possess neither Emile Zola’s writing talent nor his penchant for presidential flattery, but I think I may perhaps lay rightful claim to some semblance of his well-developed sense of moral outrage.

I address you as “president” only as a concession to popular convention. In truth, your claimed authority is a fraud, and your actual status is that of defendant in the matter of the persecution of Bradley Manning.

From the beginnings of this drama, it was clear to all who cared to notice that Manning is no criminal but rather the worthy nemesis of a crime syndicate formally headed by yourself. He was wrongfully arrested, illegally detained without charge for a period far in excess of the legally prescribed maximums, and finally and illegally put on trial not for his alleged criminal acts but for exposing your crimes and the crimes of your gang, “the government of the United States.”

Neither the verdict nor the sentence are any surprise; the “not guilty” verdict on the charge of “aiding the enemy” is clearly intended as a distraction from the irrefutable fact that the entire trial was a farce and a sham, conducted in open violation of the law, and that not a single charge is valid. The purposes of show trials and the punishments which follow are to procure convictions and make the public quail in terror before the awesome power of the state, not to render justice, and in this respect the Manning court martial puts Stalin to shame. Colonel Denise Lind’s blatantly and irrefutably illegal actions and rulings as “judge” would make Vyshinsky blush.

The Manning show trial is the latest evidence that Thomas Paine erred in claiming that “society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil.”

While the state is indeed evil, it is far from necessary. It is wicked through and through. It is born of coercion, weaned on theft, raised on corruption and thrives on murder.

In the round it can do not good at all, and any specific good it may seem to do must rest on a foundation of evil.

To give me a dollar it picks your pocket for two. To feed your child lunch it deprives a family of dinner. If it suffers you and your neighbors to live it murders a village elsewhere, and if it removes so much as an ounce of weight from your chest that you might breathe easier, it places a pound on your shoulders and orders you to carry.

To willingly tolerate the continued existence of such an evil, or to purposely delay, impede or oppose that evil’s abolition, is to become an accessory to that evil.

As an anarchist, it goes without saying that I support the abolition of the state. The Manning show trial is one more argument for appending to that statement the clauses “as soon as humanly possible” and “by any means necessary.”

Thomas L. Knapp is Senior News Analyst at the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org).

 

 

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 22, 2017
Paul Street
Russiagate and the Democratic Party are for Chumps
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer, the Progressive Caucus and the Cuban Revolution
Gavin Lewis
McCarthyite Anti-Semitism Smears and Racism at the Guardian/Observer
Kathy Kelly
Reality and the U.S.-Made Famine in Yemen
Kim C. Domenico
Ending Our Secret Alliance with Victimhood: Toward an Adult Politics
L. Ali Khan
Profiling Islamophobes
Calvin Priest
May Day: Seattle Educators Moving Closer to Strike
David Swanson
Jimmy Breslin on How to Impeach Trump
Dave Lindorff
There Won’t Be Another Jimmy Breslin
Jonathan Latham
The Meaning of Life
Robert Fisk
Martin McGuinness: From “Super-Terrorist” to Super Statesman
Steve Horn
Architect of Federal Fracking Loophole May Head Trump Environmental Council
Binoy Kampmark
Grief, Loss and Losing a Father
Jim Tull
Will the Poor Always Be With Us?
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s “March Massacre” Budget
Joe Emersberger
Rafael Correa and the Future of Ecuador: a Response to James McEnteer
March 21, 2017
Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt
On Being the “Right Kind of Brown”
Kenneth Surin
God, Guns, Gays, Gummint: the Career of Rep. Bad Bob Goodlatte
David Rosen
Popular Insurgencies: Reshaping the Political Landscape
Ryan LaMothe
The Totalitarian Strain in American Democracy
Eric Sommer
The House Intelligence Committee: Evidence Not Required
Mike Hastie
My Lai Massacre, 49 Years Later
James McEnteer
An Era Ends in Ecuador: Forward or Back?
Evan Jones
Beyond the Pale
Stansfield Smith
First Two Months in Power: Hitler vs. Trump
Dulce Morales
A Movement for ‘Sanctuary Campuses’ Takes Shape
Pepe Escobar
Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock?
Olivia Alperstein
Trump Could Start a Nuclear War, Right Now
David Macaray
Norwegians Are the Happiest People on Earth
March 20, 2017
Michael Schwalbe
Tears of Solidarity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit, Nationalism and the Damage Done
Peter Stone Brown
Chuck Berry: the First Poet of Rock and Roll
Paul J. Ramsey
What Trump’s Travel Ban Reveals About His Long-Term Educational Policy
Norman Pollack
Two Nations: Skid Rows vs. Mar-a-Lago
Michael Brenner
The Great Game: Power Politics or Free Play?
Sam Gordon
Falling Rate of Profit, What about Some Alienation?
Jack Random
Sidetracked: Trump Diaries, Week 8
Julian Vigo
The Limits of Citizenship
James Graham
French Elections: a Guide for the Perplexed
Jeff Mackler
The Extraordinary Lynne Stewart
Lee Ballinger
Chuck Berry: “Up in the Morning and Off to School!”
Binoy Kampmark
Romancing Coal: The Adani Obsession
Nyla Ali Khan
Cultural Syncretism in Kashmir
Chad Nelson
The Politics of Animal Liberation: I Can’t Quit You Gary Francione
Weekend Edition
March 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
John Reynolds
Israel and the A-Word
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail