Monday, December 20, 2010

Wikileaks, the G20 and Common Dreams

Do you know that Bradley Manning, the former US intelligence analyst who is suspected of leaking the diplomatic cables at the heart of the Wikileaks storm is being held in solitary confinement at a military base in Virginia where he faces court martial and a possible sentence of 52 years in prison for his alleged role in copying the cables?

David House, who visits Manning a couple times a month, says he has noticed a decline in his physical and emotional well being over the past few weeks. Read the full story here:

No, no. I did not say Manning was being held at a gulag in Siberia. Nor is he accused of killing anyone, engineering a Ponzi scheme that defrauded people of billions of dollars, stealing or helping to steal an election, threatening anyone with harm, raping children who reposed confidence in him as their teacher or priest, sending harmful substances through the mail, bombing any buildings, inciting anyone to riot or damage property or harm their neighbour. No. No. Not any of those things. He is supposed to have copied and leaked cables that include information about actions being taken on behalf of a nation, to the people of that nation. That is his crime.

If you want some idea of the runnings in the world as they concern Wikileaks, the goings on in Washington or, indeed, in your neck of the woods, chances are you’ll find it on this website:

Away from home in Toronto, I was able to read a piece in the Toronto Star by Linda McQuaig.entitled “Vindication for G20 Protesters”. You can read it here.

In it, McQuaig says: “What is now unmistakably clear — with the release of a searing report by Ontario Ombudsman André Marin and startling new video evidence of police beatings obtained by the Star’s Rosie DiManno — is that the vast powers of the state were unjustifiably used against thousands of innocent protesters, as well as against others doing nothing more subversive than riding a bike or picking up groceries.”

I know it’s Christmas, but as you do your shopping, or help out at a soup kitchen, or visit the sick with a word of Christmas cheer, it might be worth chewing over the propects for “Peace on earth” of which the angels sang, when those entrusted with upholding the law act, not to secure the citizens’ rights but to vitiate them. There is a name for states that use organized violence against their citizens. It starts with an F.

And it is not just silly but downright stupid to be fooled by baby blue sweaters, jam sessions with Yo-Yo Ma and ostensible ‘Christian’ positions on issues like abortion. Violence is violence, whether it’s used against a foetus or a citizen exercising his or her right to peaceful protest. When it costs those same citizens a billion dollars to have their rights trampled on, there’s no need to wonder about 2012 and the possible advent of Apocalypse. Ask 57-year-old Revenue Canada employee John Pruyn, who had his the prosthetic leg yanked off by police after he was unable to move quickly enough from where he was peacably sitting with his daughter.

Today his artificial leg was pulled off from his body. Tomorrow your real leg and mine might well be at risk. Pull your fingers out of your noses and smell the brimstone.

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