Saturday, January 01, 2011

"The Right to Secrecy" -- Part of Bill Blum's Latest Anti-Empire Report

http://killinghope.org/bblum6/aer89.html

Many of us are pretty tired of supporters of Israel labeling as "anti-Semitic" most any criticism of Israeli policies, which is virtually never an appropriate accusation. Consider the Webster Dictionary definition: "Anti-Semite. One who discriminates against or is hostile to or prejudiced against Jews." Notice that the state of Israel is not mentioned, or in any way implied.

Here's what real anti-Semitism looks like. Listen to former president Richard Nixon: "The Jews are just a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality. ... most of our Jewish friends ... they are all basically people who have a sense of inferiority and have got to compensate." This is from a tape of a conversation at the White House, February 13, 1973, recently released. 9 These tapes, and there are a large number of them, are the Wikileaks of an earlier age.

Yet, as the prominent conservative Michael Medved pointed out after the release of Nixon's remarks: "Ironically, though, no American did more to rescue the Jewish people when it counted most: after the 1973 Egyptian-Syrian surprise attack destroyed a third of Israel's air force and killed the American equivalent of 200,000 Israelis, Nixon overruled his own Pentagon and ordered immediate re-supply. To this day, Israelis feel gratitude for this decisiveness that enabled the Jewish state to turn the tide of war." 10 So, was Richard Nixon anti-Semitic? And should his remarks be kept secret?

In another of his recent interviews, Julian Assange was asked whether he thought that "a state has a right to have any secrets at all." He conceded that there are circumstances when institutions have such a need, "but that is not to say that all others must obey that need. The media has an obligation to the public to get out information that the public needs to know." 11

I would add that the American people — more than any other people — have a need to know what their government is up to around the world because their government engages in aggressive actions more than any other government, continuously bombing and sending young men and women to kill and die. Americans need to know what their psychopathic leaders are really saying to each other and to foreign leaders about all this shedding of blood. Any piece of such information might be used as a weapon to prevent yet another Washington War. Michael Moore has recently written:

We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a Wikileaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.

And, dear comrades, let us not forget: Our glorious leaders spy on us all the time; no communication of ours, from phone call to email, is secret from them; nothing in our bank accounts or our bedrooms is guaranteed any kind of privacy if they wish to know about it. Recently, the FBI raided the midwest homes of a number of persons active in solidarity work with Palestinians, Colombians, and others. The agents spent many hours going through each shelf and drawer, carting away dozens of boxes of personal belongings. So what kind of privacy and secrecy should the State Department be entitled to?


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