Monday, 11 April 2011
Next they came for Bradley Manning...
I've addressed this before, but there's a new petition among scholars out there about Bradley Manning. Why should you care? I think I will let Glenn Greenwald's Salon articles do the heavy lifting. You should read them all. You should read them no matter how you identify yourself politically, nationally, or against authority, because this is about something more fundamental than all of that: 'Rule of Law'.
When even citizens can be subjected to inhumane punishment, whether or not they are guilty, and even before they have been convicted, we do not live in a society of Rule of Law. Everyone should fear that: people on the left, right and in the middle. What the people who throw out Rule of Law presume is that they will continue to get their way, which history doesn't support. The freaking point of Rule of Law is that no partisan group gets to take their agenda to excess. It is a more basic concept for a just and stable society than ostensibly democratic voting procedures, as you can't implement the procedures without the Rule, can you? It staggers me the disconnect between the acceptance of the mistreatment of foreign and domestic dissidents, and the expectation that the due process denied to them should still be expected by the audience braying for their heads: among the political class, the media and the public. If Bradley Manning, the prisoners in Guantanamo and those subjected to 'rendition', are guilty, try them according to the fair and appropriate legal procedures that exist! If you do less, you have destroyed the integrity of your nation; or you have exposed it, if that integrity was a lie.
The American relationship to the law, domestic and international, is fascist. It may not be Nazi, but it is certainly fascist. There are no extermination camps, which is why it is not Nazi, but everything else is in place, which is why we must call it fascist: no Rule of Law; the melding of politics, corporatism and propaganda; foreign wars for domestic consumption; an ineffective democratic grassroots, when not actively destroyed... I get tired of listing it, depressed and enraged. I am afraid of what I might be compelled to accept as my responsibility; and angered that it's made my problem, as I am neither the cause nor beneficiary of this fascism.