Toward eupan ~
~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.
Some people have accused Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden of being traitors. But this obscures a deeper and more important question.
If the government of the United States is engaged in endless acts of lawless violence, as the documentary evidence clearly demonstrates (See Fred Branfman, “World’s Most Evil and Lawless Institution? The Executive Branch of the U.S. Government”), then it is not Manning and Snowden who are the traitors for providing evidence of this violence and the surveillance necessary to carry it out. The real traitors are all of those other employees of intelligence agencies who say nothing while they collaborate with the endless and often secret perpetration of violence by the U.S. government and its allied governments in our name.
Why does this matter? It matters because it tells us that thousands of individuals are willing to collaborate, without the intervention of analytical thought, compassionate feeling, or conscience, with the use of violence. And that bodes ill for our society.
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America can still be, as Madison perceived the nation in 1785, “an Asylum to the persecuted and oppressed of every Nation and Religion.” But recognizing that deep religious discord has been part of America’s social DNA is a healthy and necessary step. When we acknowledge that dark past, perhaps the nation will return to that “promised...lustre” of which Madison so grandiloquently wrote.
Kenneth C. Davis is the author of Don’t Know Much About History and A Nation Rising, among other books.Toward eupan ~