S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Warning Voices --

Someone issuing a warning must be believable to be effective. After a long record of fear mongering our unbelievable government officials are no longer effective. Bloggers as a body have struggled for credibility due to many factors, so the most conscientious among us issue our warnings judiciously. We want to avoid suffering the fate of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," an Aesop's fable. It ends with this:

An old man tried to comfort the boy as they walked back to the village.

"We'll help you look for the lost sheep in the morning," he said, putting his arm around the youth, "Nobody believes a liar...even when he is telling the truth!"

Decades ago, Daniel Ellsberg suffered much at the hands of his government for getting out the truth. He has a new warning for us. The story from comanchecountychronicle says, "PENTAGON INSIDER HAS DIRE WARNING." (It comes from my blog friend, betmo, on 8/13/08). To quote:

This article from the AmericanFreePress is by Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department analyst who leaked the secret Pentagon Papers history of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg offers insights into the looming attack on Iran and the loss of liberty in the United States at a recent American University symposium. What follow are his comments from that speech. They have been edited only for space.

By Daniel Ellsberg

Let me simplify . . . and not just to be rhetorical: A coup has occurred. I woke up the other day realizing, coming out of sleep, that a coup has occurred. It’s not just a question that a coup lies ahead with the next 9-11. That’s the next coup that completes the first.

The last five years have seen a steady assault on every fundamental of our Constitution . . . what the rest of the world looked at for the last 200 years as a model and experiment to the rest of the world—in checks and balances, limited government, Bill of Rights, individual rights protected from majority infringement by the Congress, an independent judiciary, the possibility of impeachment.

There have been violations of these principles by many presidents before. Most of the specific things that Bush has done in the way of illegal surveillance and other matters were done under my boss Lyndon Johnson in the Vietnam War: the use of CIA, FBI, NSA against Americans.

All these violations were impeachable had they been found out at the time but in nearly every case the violations were not found out until [the president was] out of office so we didn’t have the exact challenge that we have today.

A blogger who has credibility with a good number of us is a civil rights lawyer named Glenn Greenwald. I often quote him in my posts about national security and the Bush administration. Happily, he is now on the radio a couple of times a week. One of his recent broadcasts concerns the passage not long ago by Congress, of a very disastrously amended Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and Halperin's major responsibility for lending incorrect credibility to the flawed measure . Read the transcript of listen to the podcast: Salon Radio: Morton Halperin.

A blogger I admire because of his commitment to original material is Simon Owens at Bloggasm: Earlier this month he sent me an e-mail about a piece I had cross-posted at The Reaction. I quote Simon's message:

8/7/08, subject-- "news tip for the Reaction"

Hey Carol, I read your post today mentioning Glenn Greenwald's piece about the questions that he raised concerning ABC's reporting on the anthrax attacks. I got a chance to talk to Greenwald on the phone yesterday and wrote a feature article about my conversation with him and two journalism professors from New York University and Columbia University. My article is published here. Anyway, I thought this was something you and your readers would find interesting.

Take care, Simon

Countering fear mongering or combating the secrecy about wrong-doing by government officials is among the main goals of blogs such as mine, specializing in the national security vs. civil liberties sphere. Bloggers issuing warnings must be believable to be effective. Bloggers as a group are growing in credibility due to many factors, including issuing our warnings judiciously. We must choose our sources carefully and listen to our guts about what is true and what is not. We will never be effective if we lie. And it is exceedingly hard to find out the truth. We must avoid the temptation to be like the little boy who cries wolf. We all want to avoid suffering the fate in the Aesop's fable.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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Dusty said...

so much info in this post Carol.

I am old enough to have taken part in protests that included Ellsberg.

We have no real Ellsbergs now, our government makes sure of that with threats of jail...and a court system that will back them up.

Putting this up at Sirens ok? ;)

Carol Gee said...

Thanks, Dusty. AT least it is good that we can still Ellsberg's voice in our time.
Of course you can post it at Sirens. Have fun with a different illustration, if you'd like.

Dusty said...

it's tomorrows DF Carol...and thanks, I will dig up some graphics for it! ;)