WikiLeaks: Exposing American Apathy
The most current release of classified documents show, as their most glaring point, the embarrassingly inept dealings of the US military. It seems that when it comes to anything other than killing, and wanton destruction, the U.S. military is at a loss. The classification process of prisoners has been proven contradictory and unreliable. Much of the American military’s so-called intelligence about prisoners at Guantanamo, intended for use at their trials, has been collected from other prisoners; many abused, all psychologically compromised, and several mentally ill. Just as Obama wants to convince the world of the viability of the the American military court system over the civilian court system, the true nature of this military fluster-muck is exposed.
These new documents include details regarding 158 men about whom no information has ever been released. The records date back as far as 2002 and continue through the beginning of 2009.
The process used for the assignment of Guantanamo detainees as high, medium, or low risk seems to have been arbitrary in several cases. Some information regarding the prisoners came from sources whose credibility was later found to be highly questionable, or who were subjected to conditions of ‘enhanced interrogation’… or torture. U.S. federal judges have openly questioned evidence cited to support the detainee risk assessments.
Among those detainees labeled ‘High-Risk’ while imprisoned at Guantanamo, who have subsequently been transferred from Guantanamo, NPR and the New York Times have identified “at least a dozen who have returned to terrorism or otherwise reassociated with al-Qaida, including two Saudis who became leaders of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.” Seven of the prisoners from Guantanamo, who were assessed by Guantanamo officials as representing ‘little or no risk to the United States or its allies,’ have returned to active fighting.
Thus far, from these most recent pages released by WikiLeaks, it has become apparent that Guantanamo officials were aware that they had innocent men in captivity, and that the information used to hold many of these men was questionable at best. These are damning enough allegations that one would think the American people should be in an uproar, hauling their representatives out on the carpet, and demanding that they explain and make immediate amends. Yet they pale in comparison to the horrific information that has already been made readily available to the public.
A massive cache of US military classified files have already been released providing the American people with a clear picture of the failing war in Afghanistan. Those files revealed that coalition force killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents. Multiple shootings resulting from misunderstandings, or in a cross-fire, or when Afghan drivers came too close to convoys or checkpoints. NATO, which is primarily, by all accounts, the United States, in Afghanistan has been using a secret unit of special forces. This unit, Task Force 373, is used to hunt down targets for death or detention without trial. These Afghan war logs detail how TF 373 has also killed civilian men, women, and children, and even Afghan police officers. They are pretty much licensed to kill anyone they come across, like those in the photos of the U.S. military kill teams.
War logs show how marines gave cleaned up accounts of an incident in which they killed 19 civilians and were not punished. US special forces dropped six 2,000 lb bombs on a compound where they claimed a `high-value individual’ was hiding. They gave assurances that no innocent Afghans were in or around area. Perhaps in their minds there is no such thing. A senior US commanders official report recorded only that 150 Taliban had been killed. Local reports on the scene stated something altogether different. They report that up to 300 civilian men, women, and children, had been killed.
The logs prove that American soldiers have become expert at night-time raids, breaking into people’s homes, terrorizing women and children, and then wounding, torturing, killing, or imprisoning men indefinitely… without any trial or opportunity to prove their innocence. Remember, this is a country that has never taken any action against the United States. No Afghan citizen, or member of the Taliban, was involved in the attack on the World Trade Center. This is being done to the people of a country that the USA invaded without cause or provocation. All that has been accomplished is a multitude of new, rightfully angry, enemies for the United States.
Image by Kocar
WikiLeaks releases have provided the evidence to the America people that their Government is, as David Halberstam described in his affadavit for the CBS vs. Westmoreland trial, a “vast lying machine.”
Here are only a few examples of the evidence contained in the WikiLeaks releases detailing criminality, malfeasance, and corruption.
– U.S.A. supports feudalism in Azerbaijan for the sake of oil.
– U.S.A., NATO, and the Red Cross conspired to hide the real number of Afghani civilian deaths in the Bala Baluk massacre.
– U.S.A. and China conspired to block reform at Copenhagen Climate Change talks.
– U.S.A. involved in illegal coup in Honduras.
– U.S.A. government union-busting in Mexico.
– U.S.A. soldiers pay in blood for the grotesque profits Vice President Dick Cheney’s company Halliburton .
– U.S.A. and Swedish military intelligence secretly cooperate against their own civilians.
– U.S.A. Government helped Agri-Giant Monsanto dispossess local farmers and repress environmentalists in Argentina.
– U.S.A. has been secretly bombing Yemen.
– U.S.A. diplomats were ordered to spy on UN representatives and obtain iris scans, fingerprints, and DNA.
– U.S.A. pressured Germany to drop investigation of 13 CIA agents that illegally abducted Khaled el-Masri
In the face of this mounting evidence the vast majority of Americans turn a blind eye, and a deaf ear, and refuse to lend their voice to a chorus of support for justice, reform, prosecution and accountability.
WikiLeaks is an internationally recognized, award winning journalism site. They’ve produced more scoops in the few years that they’ve been publishing than the Boston Globe ever has. A Norwegian parliamentarian, Snorre Valen, has nominated Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, saying that Assange has helped to promote human rights, democracy, and freedom of speech. Yet WikiLeaks and Assange are the ones under attack and threat. Bradley Manning; accused, never charged, and now publicly proclaimed guilty by President Obama, endures months in solitary confinement, forced to sleep naked at night. It is the messenger that is being attacked, and the American people are allowing it, while the culprits, the people’s agents, are encouraged to pursue the bloody business of the empire.
When Americans ignore the information that is being given to them through WIkiLeaks, the are just as guilty as those that commit these offenses in their name. Americans can no longer claim innocence of their government’s transgressions. Americans are responsible to the world for what they allow their government to do. Tacit approval is still approval, and, providing that approval, once informed of the particulars, makes American civilians co-conspirators in the murders of the many civilians around the world at the hands of the American military. WikiLeaks doesn’t just make the governments and corporations accountable, it makes the citizens of the world accountable as well.
Americans have not been attacked because others hate America’s supposed freedom. Americans are being attacked because others love their own freedom. America is guilty of illegally invading other sovereign nations without cause or provocation. America has toppled democratic governments and replaced them with dictatorial tyrants supported by the American people’s tax dollars. Americans now have proof of all of this. Americans cannot allow their empire to continue to function in their name, with their knowledge, and expect to escape accountability.
On April 21, 2011, President Obama proclaimed Bradley Manning guilty, when he said, referring to Manning, that “He broke the law.” This proclamation was made without even having charged Manning, and after putting him through the torture of the last year. As Commander In Chief, this amounts to unlawful command influence. Article 37 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice states that undue command influence is unlawful. Manning will be judged by a jury of military officers, in a military court, where all involved are sworn to follow the orders of the commander-in-chief. This statement puts the military court, and its officers, in the position of having to rule against their commander-in-chief.
The truth is, most Americans don’t want to know the truth. They don’t really want to know what it takes to maintain their empire, privilege, and comparable luxury. It’s easy to espouse liberal sentiments when you have the convenience of throwing your hands in the air while claiming to be just as much a victim through disenfranchisement, disempowerment, and misinformation; to say that you’d help if only you knew what you could do, where you should start, and whom it is that you should target. Ignorance does provide an easy out. WikiLeaks has removed that option.
Despite the efforts of many committed activists, and responsible citizens, to organize against the continuation and proliferation of these atrocities, the vast majority of the American people have chosen not to care. They have chosen to bury their head in the sand and allow their agents to do as they please. They have chosen, through their silence, to purposely violate the basic human rights of others in the name of ‘Empire.’
After all the revelations that have come out, and the thousands more that are queued up for release over the next months and years, the most profound and damaging exposé hasn’t come from any of the cables, classified files, diplomatic communications, or war logs; the most profound revelation has been the utter apathy shown by the majority of the American people. Apathy is a choice, and choices have consequences.