That crashing sound you hear is the last vestige of our democracy hitting the wall of surveillance and fascism constructed by the corporate American empire. This morning Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in jail for releasing classified documents that revealed our government was engaged in torture, wholesale killing of civilians, and abuses such as the one shown in the collateral murder video posted first on the Wikileaks website.
Then on Monday there was the detention by U.K. authorities of David Medina, partner of Guardian reporter Glen Greenwald, at Heathrow airport in London. This was clearly an act of retaliation against Greenwald for his reporting of Edward Snowden’s revelations about massive spying on US citizens by the NSA. Medina was in the transit area at Heathrow on his way from Berlin, where he had been working with filmmaker Laura Poitras, to his and Greenwald’s home in Brazil. Poitras has aided Greenwald in the Snowden releases and is making a documentary on the American surveillance state.
While the US government denies that they had a hand in detaining David Medina, they admit that they knew in advance it would happen. Medina was questioned and threatened for nine hours at Heathrow. His computer, cell phone, hard drives, and watch were confiscated because the British claimed he might be in possession of stolen material that could aid terrorists.
You can only stand by in horror at the sight of our government going street rat crazy with fear that we, the citizenry, have become aware of its brutally deceitful secret life. Like the discovery of a lover’s betrayal, the first anger and sadness gives way to an empty ache in your gut, and you wake in the morning light to wonder what new outrage the day holds.
Sadly for all of us, no claims by our government that we are now being told the truth can remove the persistent doubt that we are only being fed more lies. The fact is our government can’t be trusted.
This is not cynicism. It is vigilance.