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Would Anyone Read the Pentagon Papers on the Floor Today?

By       Message Hiroyuki Hamada     Permalink
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Initially, I had a mixed feeling about this article: "Mark Udall Can Make History by Releasing the Torture Report" by Amy Goodman.

click here

On one hand, I felt very excited and grateful for the former Senator Mike Gravel's efforts in encouraging the elected officials to come forward with exposing unethical or unlawful activities of the government officials. His weapon is the same legal tool he relied on in exposing the Pentagon Papers over 40 years ago: The Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution. According to the linked article below--which is wonderful and you should read it--elected officials are, by law, allowed to talk about classified documents on the floor for the sake of healthy democratic discourse. And the material discussed during the session will be a public record for all to read.

click here

From Mike Gravel
Mike Gravel
(image by Wikipedia (
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The article "Mark Udall Can Make History by Releasing the Torture Report" suggests what the title says. It sounds wonderful. But we need to keep in mind that those elected officials have been failing to disclose the classified documents on 9/11, the subsequent wars, NSA global surveillance, black sites, covert operations, support for terrorist organizations, domestic/foreign propaganda programs, domestic/foreign assassinations, drone assassinations, TPP, the war on drugs, and the list just goes on.

Those officials help each other, and most of all, they help to protect their financial supporters. It is not a coincidence that criminal acts and unethical conduct have become common place in our government. They became so because of the systematic breakdown of the function to serve the common good for the people.

Now I feel a little bad to be sounding so nihilistic while people like Mike Gravel work so hard to make things better. But what can the elected officials do now? Years and years of their compliance and collusion have created a monstrous system. Let's say that all goes well and they disclose the torture report in its entirety. They can stop torturing yet they can also go on with colonizing countries and communities in the name of "humanitarian interventions", "free trade", "democracy", structural adjustment, privatization and so on. The watchful eyes of the surveillance system and the colluding media or the judicial system can always be in the way of any officials with smearing campaigns, legal actions or worse.

Many of us believe that something is drastically wrong with our world. But it seems impossible to change. We have a tremendous degree of despair and hopelessness brewing among us.

But one day, I believe, we will be overcome by the despair. Enough of us will truly see our humanistic path on a separate route. And a tiny crack on the giant structure of an inhumane dam holding all the lies and deceptions of exploitation and enslavement will crumble down. Without our support, it will break the hierarchy of money and violence under its own weight to be cast away for good.

Who can say that the release of the Torture Report can't be the tiny stone cast against the wall to make that tiny crack? If this won't be the one, we will cast another stone. And another. And another. And one day our tiny pin prick will burst away the era of feudalism for good.

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Hiroyuki Hamada is an artist. He has exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe and is represented by Lori Bookstein Fine Art. He has been awarded various residencies including those at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the (more...)

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