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Delusional America

Glenn GreenwaldIncestuous Anglo-American Sisterhood

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” may have been imaginary terminology (much like the symbol i used in mathematics) retired from the military in all-things homophobic, but the phrase continues on active duty in all other empire-matters, civilian or military. So we’re asked not to mess around, imprudently, asking questions that affect the nation’s intelligence services which after all, we are told, keep us safe inside our freedom camp encircled by the many strands of barbed wire manufactured and installed by our freedom-loving, selectively elected Congress.

As Britain’s espionage system performs its due diligence in asserting collaboration with its American counterpart, the understanding doesn’t need to be openly discussed, not even concocted sub rosa; it is just understood and, simply, done. No need for telepathic messages, for it is obvious to the intelligence sisterhood how two siblings must act. And we have had two cases in point just come before our eyes as British officials first forced the Guardian to destroy Snowden material a month ago, and yesterday detained and questioned David Miranda, a Brazilian partner of another persona non grata, American truth-activist, Glenn Greenwald, presently writing for the Guardian.

Miranda was held for nearly nine hours, bordering the maximum time allowed under the Terrorism Act’s Schedule 7 which, similarly to clauses in our own Patriot Act, does authorize governmental agencies to question people at border points. Miranda’s detention at Heathrow airport, confiscation of his computer, external hard drive, cellphone, DVDs and other paper documents, however, could hardly be defended on the basis of any terrorist threat, so Schedule 7 was seemingly inapplicable… the motive, then? How about revenge and intimidation for the partnership of this 28-year-old university grad student with “that troublemaker” Greenwald? Bingo! But how did the Brits know of this relationship between Greenwald and Miranda?

Let’s be real… the intelligent services in both the US and Britain know all the minutiae and security-worthless trivia that might embarrass us all, but often fail either detecting or deducing information which will keep us safe. In the US we have created such a huge bureaucratic monster in the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) that its existence often needs to be rationalized by the creation of planted threats that even the judicial system is unable or unwilling to stop… the local case of a terrorist plot here in Portland, Oregon, where Mohamed Mohamud, in a travesty of justice, was found guilty seven months ago of the plot… a plot which originated in the offices of the FBI.

I guess the precepts of Capitalism which conservatives have been heralding for decades, that private enterprise can do anything and everything better than government, do not apply in matters of national security – euphemism for hegemony and empire. The DHS needs no watchdog, it perfectly polices itself and, in and out of uniform, acts as the Good Shepherd, telling us all the sheep, who the bad wolves are: Julian Assage, Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden… and “troublemakers” who are beginning to step out of the closeted media, or just self-deputized truth-seekers in the US and throughout the world. Enter Glenn Greenwald and David Miranda. Heroes to some, traitors to others [the two faces in how these individuals are seen] are but two sides of the same coin. What really counts, however, is that we can be thankful to have these coins, our new coin of the realm being that solely coined by the whistleblower and no one else. It’s unfortunate that the American corporate media has taken, so far, such a secondary role vis-à-vis the foreign press, particularly when the results affect Americans in a much grander way.

But terrorism is the empire’s boogey-man… and the empire must have its way.

It would help us all to acknowledge that terrorism and terrorists cannot be unilaterally defined by those with a vested interest.  Perhaps dwelling on a small but powerfully- condensed portion of a speech given by Noam Chomsky three years ago could help us in that truth-seeking quest:

"If we seriously want to end the plague of terrorism, we know how to do it. First, end our own role as perpetrators. That alone will have a substantial effect. Second, attend to the grievances that are typically in the background, and if they are legitimate, do something about them. Third, if an act of terror occurs, deal with it as a criminal act: identify and apprehend the suspects and carry out an honest judicial process. That actually works. In contrast, the techniques that are employed enhance the threat of terror. The evidence is fairly strong, and falls together which [with] much else.”

Most of us think of the “War on Terror” as the post-9/11 Bush War. But it was a score before, with Ronald Reagan in the presidency, when the true “War on Terror” had its roots with Israel’s invasion of Lebanon (1982).  But that’s a topic marking yet another milepost in the path traveled by Delusional America or, need we say, delusional Americans.

© 2013 Ben Tanosborn


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