Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Rewarding True Patriotism - Not Treason

Watching George W. Bush drop the medal of freedom around the neck of George Tenet, former CIA director, created such an immediate need in me to hurl (the contents of my stomach) - I could not imagine what it did to mothers of soldiers killed in Iraq - after Tenet's adolescent comments that Iraq would be a "slam dunk."

OR the feelings of 911 relatives and loved ones - knowing the President's Daily Briefing entitled "Bin Laden Plans to Attack America",created such concern in the administration that Ashcroft was told "not to fly" - yet did not seem to even raise the CIA to high alert. For this total failure of national security the director of the CIA gets the medal of freedom? (With the bar at this level, Brownie will be getting the medal of valour for FEMA's handling of Hurricane Katrina).


When the U.S.A. is restored to truth, with so much peaceful resistance casting light on the dark it can no longer be ignored, then please remember the real patriots. The people who have been fighting for truth and justice for a long, long time. When you do - remember Daniel Ellsberg. For those who did not have a frontal lobotomy post Viet Nam, Daniel Ellsberg was the light - the truth of Viet Nam. He exposed top secret Pentagon papers proving the war in Viet Nam could not be won, that no one (military brass) thought it could be won - and it was continuing only for political reasons. He risked being jailed for the rest of his life because his government was lying to the people in order to perpetuate an unjust and immoral war.

The following site has an excellent profile on his work and the threats he endured to end the war in Viet Nam.


An excerpt:

"The publication of the papers greatly detracted from public support for the war in Vietnam. This was a primary reason that President Nixon decided to make discrediting Ellsberg a high priority. Nixon's Oval Office tape from June 14 shows H. R. Haldeman describing the situation to Nixon.

To the ordinary guy, all this is a bunch of gobbledygook. But out of the gobbledygook comes a very clear thing: you can't trust the government; you can't believe what they say; and you can't rely on their judgment. And the implicit infallibility of presidents, which has been an accepted thing in America, is badly hurt by this, because it shows that people do things the president wants to do even though it's wrong, and the president can be wrong.

The release of these papers was politically embarassing, not only to the incumbent Nixon Administration, but also to the previous Johnson and Kennedy Administrations. Nixon's Attorney General John Mitchell almost immediately issued a telegram to the Times ordering that it halt publication. The Times refused, and the government brought suit against them.
Although the Times eventually won the trial before the Supreme Court, an appellate court ordered that the Times temporarily halt further publication. This was the first successful attempt by the federal government to restrain the publication of a newspaper; this was remarkable because prior restraint has historically been viewed as the most oppressive form of censorship. Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers to other newspapers in rapid succession, making it clear to the government that they would have to obtain injunctions against every newspaper in the country to stop the story.

On June 28, Ellsberg publicly surrendered to the US Attorney's Office in Boston, Massachusetts. He was taken into custody believing he would spend the rest of his life in prison; he was charged with theft, conspiracy, and espionage.

In one of Nixon's actions against Ellsberg, G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt broke into Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office in September 1971, hoping to find information they could use to discredit him. The revelation of the break-in became part of the Watergate scandal. On May 3, 1972, the White House secretly flew a dozen Cuban CIA "assets" to Washington DC with orders to "totally incapacitate" Ellsberg. (They backed out because the crowd was too large.) Because of the gross governmental misconduct, all charges against Ellsberg were eventually dropped.



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