Ol’ Blind Joe
Heroes for truth
By Stirling Hamilton
AFTER the morning lecture about my drinking habits and bone idle laziness, I fired up the Thunderbird and my lovely wife Truth and rode to Adelaide.
Richard Boyle is a former Australian Taxation Office (ATO) staff member who is currently facing 161 years in jail for blowing the whistle on the ATO for its use of heavy-handed tactics and revenue targets as motivation in its collection of debts targeting vulnerable people.
He disclosed his concerns to the ATO under the Public Interest Disclosure Act.
They told him to piss off so he went to the media which resulted in an investigation by the ABC TV program Four Corners titled Mongrel Bunch of Bastards.Read more
Exxon, BHP, Google and thousands of other corporations pay nothing or bugger all in tax while Richard faces the same time in jail as notorious convicted criminal Ivan Milat who raped and murdered seven women.
Truth and I rode over to the US to see Daniel Ellsberg who is an American writer, activist and former US military analyst who in 1971 released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of the US government decision-making about the Vietnam War that was published in The New York Times.
The US Government tried to lock him up for 115 years but he got lucky on a technicality.
Ellsberg reckons US whistleblower Chelsea Manning is again acting heroically in the name of press freedom, and it’s a travesty that she has been sent back to jail for refusing to testify to a grand jury.
Former army intelligence officer Manning (31) – formerly known as Bradley Manning – was sentenced to 35 years in prison for exposing the largest cache of classified documents in US history, 700,000 of them detailing US war crimes in Iraq, to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
She has already been tortured, spent seven years in jail and has suffered more than enough despite having been pardoned by former US President Barrack Obama for the ‘crime’ of informing the public about what the US was up to in Iraq.
No shit, locked up naked on a concrete floor and woken every hour.
They want her to testify that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange solicited the leak which would allow them to charge Assange for printing it.
The US investigation of WikiLeaks for publishing is a grave threat to all journalists’ rights, and Chelsea is doing us all a service for fighting it.
Ellsberg notes the leaks exposed “a massive cover-up over a number of years by the American authorities”.
In 2008, a plan to destroy both WikiLeaks and Assange was laid out in a secret document dated 8 March 2008.
The authors were the Cyber Counter-intelligence Assessment Branch of the US Defence Department.
Aussie journalist John Pilger explained “They described in detail how important it was to destroy, and I quote, ‘the feeling of trust that is WikiLeaks’ centre of gravity’.
“This would be achieved with threats of exposure and criminal prosecution, and an unrelenting assault on reputation.”
As Pulitzer Prize winning US journalist Chris Hedges warns, the mission is to “criminalise any journalistic oversight or investigation of the corporate state” and “turn leaks and whistleblowing into treason”.
He notes that “the persecution of Assange is part of a broad assault against anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist news organisations [making] journalists, writers, dissidents and intellectuals … prime targets.”
In July 2010, one month before the Swedish investigation began, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had opened its own investigation into WikiLeaks, partnering with the US Department of Defence and the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.
The investigation soon became a “whole of government operation” taking in the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Department of Justice, Central Intelligence Agency, various army divisions, the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and numerous arms of the national security state.
In tandem with this FBI-led operation, in 2010 Julian Assange was placed on a “manhunting target list” by the National Security Agency, and a Grand Jury was convened.
A ‘war room’ was also established under the direction of a Brigadier General at the DIA involving a “suite of government offices not far from the Pentagon”, where “120 intelligence analysts, FBI agents, and others” worked “24 hours a day, seven days a week — on the frontlines of the government’s secret war against WikiLeaks”.
While there is “not a single shred of evidence that any of (WikiLeaks’) disclosures caused anyone harm”, what WikiLeaks did do in 2010 was expose thousands of previously unreported civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These deaths included the nonchalant gunning down of children, journalists and their rescuers, and other “indiscriminate violence … torture, lies (and) bribery,” writes Chris Hedges.
WikiLeaks is the only major Western publication without cause to ever publish a retraction, and the truth of its every authenticated published leak has never imperilled a source.
“We shall advance when we have learned humility; when we have learned to seek truth, to reveal it and publish it; when we care more for that than for the privilege of arguing about ideas in a fog of uncertainty” – Walter Lippmann, US writer, reporter, and political commentator (1889-1974).