“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
I support the whistleblower website, Wikileaks, and I believe Abraham Lincoln would have done so, too.
In any democratic process, the government is elected by the people. Its purpose is to serve the people, to work for the people. All of the people. As soon as government fails to truthfully inform the people, when it begins to lie and hoodwink the people, it is no longer a democratic government. It devolves into a police state, dictatorship, oligarchy, or, as is the case with the government of the USA, a corporate plutocracy controlled by, and for, big business.
In his novel, 1984, George Orwell describes a totalitarian state constantly creating perpetual war as an excuse to subject people to mass surveillance and invasive police searches, under the guise of ‘protecting the citizen’.
It sounds horribly familiar in America 2010. And it’s nothing new. In his 2004 interview with the writer, political commentator, and former strategist for the Republican Party, Kevin Phillips, Bill Moyers laments the passing of the word, ‘equality’ from politics:
BILL MOYERS: What has happened to the word equality? When you and I were young men in politics it was a common reference in our political discourse. Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, a lot of others too, but you don’t hear it in the political lexicon anymore.
KEVIN PHILLIPS: You hear it in twisted ways. There is a view in some conservative circles that it doesn’t matter much what concentrations of wealth you have or disparities of income. It’s equality of consumption. It’s the right to have Nike shoes, to listen to a boom box, to take a plane ride. And …
BILL MOYERS: Nothing wrong with that.
KEVIN PHILLIPS: Well, no, but on the other hand, that didn’t solve problems in a depression when you had the right to watch a plane fly over Kansas. Or turn on the radio. So you’ve got these different ledgers that are kept. And people that try to say “consumption is the yardstick” usually have it in mind that democracy is not … that income differentials are not, they stand for a different philosophy.”
No more is democracy, or income differential, the yardstick for many of those holding the reins of power in modern-day America.
When those in control of a nation’s media also control its government, any ability to truthfully inform the people of events is lost. The people are fed disinformation designed to control, and suppress dissent. The use of ’embedded journalists’ in Iraq and Afghanistan were, and still are, good examples of media control. The journalist reports what he’s told to report, usually a watered-down, or completely biased, version of events happening on the ground.
To comprehend this, one had only to read the copy of independent journalists in Iraq during the 2003 invasion, and compare them to the Disney-like fantasies of CNN, FOX, and other corporate-controlled media outlets.
Abraham Lincoln had faith in the American people, but he realized they could only act coherently if told the truth, not palmed off with lies and half-truths. In this modern age, mass communication is via television, newspaper, and the internet. Both the former are owned and controlled by corporate plutocracy.
Bill Moyers again:
BILL MOYERS: So what do we do?
KEVIN PHILLIPS: Keep fighting. I think there are signs that it’s turning now. To me one of the most important milestones will be if people, and I include the media here, have the courage to document and put on the front page what they won’t really touch now, which is …
BILL MOYERS: Which is?
KEVIN PHILLIPS: All the examples of the Bush family’s role in the rise of Enron. Here, we’re running around, we’re blaming these accountants, these tricksters that were in Enron, but George W. and George H.W., his father, were very much involved in the whole rise of Enron’s influence and power in this country. But you … you don’t see that. People in the press have a lot of trouble touching these issues right where the rubber hits the road.
BILL MOYERS: Well, when you’ve got anchors making eight, nine, ten million dollars a year, when you’ve got a handful of huge media corporations owning over half of the outlets in this country, do you expect much populism from those people?
KEVIN PHILLIPS: No. And that’s the fundamental problem. How do you get dynasties to talk about other dynasties? I think it’s a real difficulty. Unfortunately, that means that some of us have to start talking about stuff we’d rather not do all the time because if you don’t make a lot of friends by doing it … it’s tough, but a dynasty is a dynasty is a dynasty and these problems are there, and this incredible amount of money is … is just staring this country’s historical role in the face.”
When Wikileaks began publishing secret US government documents, the outcry from the powerful was to brand it ‘traitorous’. American lives would be put at risk, people would die because of the revelations.
To date, no one has died. Wikileaks deletes the names of any individual likely to be harmed by information in the cables.
The internet is the only medium where truth cannot yet be suppressed. If it ever can, those in control will ensure it is. Wikileaks serves as a front page, an uncensored TV screen, where whistleblowers with information the people have a right to know about, but which is deliberately suppressed by governments, can publish it.
Because of Wikileaks, we now know the American atrocities believed to be committed during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars occurred. Before, many were only rumors. The video of a US Apache helicopter gunship slaughtering two Reuters journalists is available for all to see.
As Kevin Phillips said to Bill Moyers, “To me one of the most important milestones will be if people……have the courage to document and put on the front page what they (the media) won’t really touch now…”.
Some of the people are prepared to do that. Wikileaks gives them the opportunity.
That’s why I support the whistleblower website, Wikileaks, and why I believe Abraham Lincoln would have done so, too.
 “Transcript: Bill Moyers Interviews Kevin Phillips” NOW, PBS, April 9th 2004
 “Locked in an Orwellian eternal war” The Independent (Robert Fisk), February 18th 2001
 “Hands-on Airport Searches” Boston Herald, October 26th 2010
 “Collateral Murder” Wikileaks
Filed under: Wikileaks