“Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.” – from the Biden-Obama Plan
In the early decades of the 1700s, a brave colonial printer (and German immigrant) named John Peter Zenger stood up to the British crown over the issue of press freedom and the ability to criticize, take on and take down immoral “leaders.” Through his trial, Zenger set alight the kindling that turned into the firestorm of 1776 and the birth of the United States of America. In 2016, the rise of the national security state, the so-called “War on Whistleblowers” and the buying off of lapdog “presstitute” journalists in bed with the government once again calls to mind Zenger’s ordeal.
Saint Augustine might well be the patron saint of journalists, for he once said, “The truth is like a lion. The lion doesn’t need to be defended. Set the lion free and the lion will defend itself.” Yet Zenger might be next in line for a papal sainthood regarding the Fourth Estate. You can read more about Zenger’s impact on freedom of the press here. History aficionados should check out this salient work.
Zenger printed the New York Weekly Journal and was critical of the ruling governor, William Cosby. (No relation to “America’s Father,” Bill Cosby of alleged sexual predator fame.) Zenger was bound as an apprentice for eight years, and he also served eight months in jail during this long ordeal. Zenger was eventually found innocent.
While Zenger and Saint Augustine might appear at first glance to be faint echoes of bygone eras, that is simply not the case in regard to the current jihad vis-à-vis whistleblowers. Did you know that the Obama administration, despite its grandiose promises, has done more to prosecute American whistleblowers than every other administration put together dating back to Woodrow Wilson and World War I?
It would take several sets of encyclopedias to fully document such matters. However, the culture of secrecy and subsequent war on whistleblowers can be more readily addressed. While some journalists have courageously exposed wrongdoing, far too many journalists have acted like cheerleaders on the government’s payroll. This has served to undermine our strongest check on rogue leadership archetypes. Many of us were taught to memorize the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution when were very young children. The war on whistleblowers has weakened the Bill of Rights and hurt the general welfare.Perhaps the underlying problem is a culture of failure that requires the covering up of so many misdeeds. Simply put, no lie occurs in a vacuum. Many lies exist merely to cover up other lies. The definite example of this is paradigm is the broad architecture of failure behind America’s foreign policy in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. This policy has become the focal point of real politick, globalization and transnational relations in the 21st century. These wasteful campaigns have often been shrouded in secrecy, which in turn has unleashed a mushrooming cloud of scandals, as ardent whistleblowers seek to shed light on various alleged wrongdoings. The number of scandals ranges from Edward Snowden and his “intelligence Armageddon” via “Wikileaks,” to Hillary Clinton’s “wipe the server with a cloth” controversial emails, to Iraq to Syriato Yemen to Libya and Afghanistan.
There is much that needs to be said about the aforementioned failed wars and policies. This will require the painting of some very broad strokes. There are, on the surface, the all-too-familiar debacles. Soldiers like Robert Bales running off the rails in Afghanistan. The steady stream of soldier-suicides. The U.K. Guardian has researched the latter. The murder of the de facto American ambassador to Libya. The fate of the late Arizona State, NFL and Army Ranger icon Pat Tillman.
Many billions of hard-earned taxpayers’ dollars were outright stolen and wasted in Iraq. In fact, the Los Angeles Times reported that the $6.6 billion stolen in Iraq was, “the largest theft of funds in national history.” It would take a tome to investigate the monies wasted in Afghanistan. USA Today published one such report here. The CIA’s fake polio vaccination program in Pakistan became a source of international outrage and national disgrace that almost defies human comprehension. More recently, Russia has been making inroads in Syria, this while America is pushed around like a helpless, pathetic giant. How could all of these things have happened to the greatest military power on Earth?
We could cite tangential scandals on Wall Street through bogus subprime mortgages, the financial chicanery of Bernie Madoff and other boondoggles. Why not waste trillions and steal billions while rewarding yourself with a $50-million bonus? One must not forget how a top U.S. general and former leader of the CIA was caught seducing his married female biographer. Apparently this affair centered around to-and-from emails written and saved in the draft folders of their respective email accounts and never actually sent over the Internet. What ever happened to the days when generals conquered and vanquished enemy armies and occupied their capital cities?
The bravery exhibited by ordinary Americans who “blow the whistle” on government wrongdoing provides an important check against the abuse of power. The question of what constitutes patriotism and what constitutes treason is a divisive, perplexing issue for many Americans.
A chilling, epic and deleted scene from Oliver Stone’s “Nixon” film depicts the late president busy confronting the former head of the CIA over the limits of American presidential power, the level of autonomy of the CIA, Cuba, China, the former Soviet Union, and the direction of the Cold War. “What rough beast slouches toward Bethlehem waiting to be born?” are the words uttered by the then-head of the CIA, quoting the famous poem by William Butler Yeats. How ironic that in 2016, Richard Nixon’s penchant for secretly recording the conversations of others while violating the Bill of Rights would become standard practice for the U.S. government in the post-9/11 world.
The missing 28 pages from the official 9/11 report are also the subject of great speculation, and the leading stakeholder seeking to do some whistleblowing is a former Democratic Party U.S. senator from Florida. On one hand, there are stakeholders on either side of this singular issue who either wish to bring Saudi Arabia’s alleged involvement into the light, and those who wish the keep the whole matter out of the public conscience altogether.
The president, Senate, Congress, the courts and various professional lobbyists are all weighing in on America’s dealings with Saudi Arabia. It’s obvious that Saudi Arabia has lobbying muscle in the United States, but does it have a monopoly on the truth? While we live in a world of fake paper and digital money, fake food, fake democracy and perhaps even fake false-flag events, it should be noted that many people still value truth and honesty. Millions of citizens in the United States and around the world strive for heroism every single day. There is a great potential counterweight to the war on whistleblowers through personal morality, dignity, integrity and the power of the Internet.
That said, the renewal of the so-called Patriot Act and the brand spanking new $1.7-billion super surveillance center in Utah are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg in terms of the future of Big Data and the Bill of Rights. Is this level of government intrusion consistent with the vision of America’s Founding Fathers? Can new generations such as the millennials get in touch with that original vision, or will the Founder Fathers now and forever be viewed as extremists and racists?
Written by ANTHONY C. LOBAIDO for www.wnd.com