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The Man Who Refuses Silence

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Message WILLIAM FISHER
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 "Who controls the past...controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." Is this not what the United States government is trying to do in the case of its policy of torture: manipulate and hide the truth so people will ignore it and then forget it? And is this not what almost every country tries to do relative to their present crimes or those embedded in their pasts?
 
Davidson finds it "really amazing just how common this sort of manipulation is. And, the reason it is relatively easy for governments to get away with it is because the average man and woman cares mainly about little truths and not big ones."

He continues: "Little truths are local truths. Don't be misled to think that little means unimportant because that is not the case. Little truths are the truths that make possible successful daily interactions and that, of course, makes them very important indeed. Thus, one major reason life can go on relatively smoothly is that, most of the time, you can take as true what others tell you. That this is so means we can rely on friends, have stable relationships with spouses and children, and maintain successfully operating offices, business arrangements, etc. When the little truths start to become lies, these relationships break down."
 
And finally, "Alleged big truths are the ones governments and the major media outlets tell the masses. When the U.S. government tells its citizens that unregulated capitalism will make the nation strong and prosperous, or that there must be a war to prevent Iraq from using weapons of mass destruction; when the major American media outlets tell their viewers and readers that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons or Israel is 'just like us'," they are shaping perceptions that are not just local but regional and national. The problem is that, historically, most alleged big truths turn out to be big lies."
 
He concludes: "Yet truth-tellers, like Manning, Assange and Garzon have good historical memories and they do notice and do care. They realize that when big truths turn out to be big lies people suffer-they suffer in the millions, bombs range down from the skies, economies falter and the public sphere of life becomes like a poisoned well. That is why accountability for the crimes hidden behind big lies is so important. That is why no government, no politician, no media


 

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William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East and elsewhere for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development. He served in the international affairs area in the Kennedy Administration and now (more...)
 
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