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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/16/13

Regardless of Screeching Media Banter, Whistleblowers are our Bravest Heroes

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"The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action." ~~ John Dewey

Earlier this month, I published an article about Edward Snowden, an NSA whistleblower who bravely spilled the beans about how the NSA and their affiliates are wiretapping the planet. Snowden is a wise man who made the right decision in not trusting the U.S. Justice system, who recently was granted temporary asylum in Russia. However, I want to focus on a different unique individual and give credit to whistleblowers in general.  

Many of us will never truly understand the significance of giving oneself for a worthy cause... the selfless act of becoming a "whistleblower." To sacrifice everything you hold dear -- loved ones, freedom and sometimes... even your life -- in order to shed truth to a public that routinely is accustomed to wrongfully believing the unbelievable at face value.    

It takes a brave soul (with thick skin) to step forward and selflessly expose a wrongdoing or in some cases, expose many layers of corruption on a grand scale -- at the highest level -- often delivering shocking revelations that sometimes has the potential to pierce the national and/or international psyche with truth that no one can deny. Like many whistleblowers before him, such is the case with "Bradley Manning."

Bradley Manning provided more than 700,000 documents, battle videos and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, a pro-transparency website that hurled both Manning and its founder Julian Assange, into the world spotlight. And he did so at great risk for his own personal well-being. Thus, let's be honest here, I am shocked! He should be afforded a front row seat in patriotic parades sitting directly next to Gold-star-Mothers who have lost their children in the shameful carnage of wars based on lies. But that's not how the story goes...

Currently, Bradley Manning is being thoroughly ostracized in the mainstream media that is working overtime to demonize him as a confused, abused nut-job with conflicting gender identity issues. Never mind the fact that he's an honorable U.S. soldier (with a conscience) who blew-the-whistle and exposed U.S. hypocrisy.

Forget the fact that he should be protected under the wing of whistleblower status. Instead, just the opposite has happened; he was thrown to the wolves and wrongfully convicted in a mock military court and now -- in taking advice from his attorney and possible hushed demands of the state department -- he's saying exactly what they want him to say, because he is facing a 90-year prison sentence from Judge Colonel Denise Lind.  

Robert Parry, editor at Consortium News, recently offered his take on Bradley Manning in "America's Upside-Down Morality." Parry writes...

"Having covered the U.S. government for nearly 36 years, I am not so naà ve as to expect perfection or even anything close. But there are times when the immoral dimensions of Official Washington stand out in the starkest shades, not in variations of gray but in black and white.

"Such was the gut-wrenching moment on Wednesday when Pvt. Bradley Manning, who exposed U.S. government war crimes and other wrongdoing, made a groveling apology for doing the right thing -- when there has been next to no accountability for the officials and their media collaborators who did innumerable wrong things. "

I totally agree with Parry. Unfortunately, the record stands fully erect. Under Obama's tenure, more whistleblowers have been wrongly convicted (dicked) than under any other president in U.S. history. So much for "transparency"! In fact, it's becoming more apparent with each passing day; Obama is nothing more than an eight-year extension of Bush/Cheney.

Please take a moment and sign these two petitions here and here.

Sadly, as we peel away the ominous layers of U.S. injustice while hearing the media banter screeching in our ear, we discover Bradley's true motive and it simply comes down to this: Bradley did what he did for the sole purpose of exposing the wrongdoings of U.S. foreign policy as they apply to our "Wars of Choice." Thus, by dropping the dime, he hoped it would help end what he rightfully describes as our "illegal" wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Two bogus back-to-back wars that wounded, killed, maimed and displaced countless millions of innocent people who committed NO crime; including tens of thousands of his own fellow soldiers who have been -- continue to be -- callously sacrificed at the alter of U.S. imperialism.

Right about now, I'm sure some of you may be wondering, hmmm, how is this "illegal?"

Well, that's a legitimate question. However, if you paid attention... you would already know that we invaded and occupied these countries under false pretenses. In Afghanistan, the Bush Administration used 9/11 as their bogus excuse; a big lie that was later proven erroneous. In Iraq, they lied again and told us Saddam Hussein had WMD. Wrong again.

But one thing holds true, we always seem to make full circle when it comes to divvying-up the spoils: be it building an extensive oil pipeline through Afghanistan from the Caspian Reserves to the Mediterranean Sea... or stealing sweet crude in Iraq. I guess we can all assume that a profitable spoil is akin to harvesting poppies directly under the watchful eye of the "coalition of the willing." Go ahead, insert hoodwink here: To this day, 90% of the world's illegal heroin and medical morphine is produced and exported from Afghanistan. Amazing...

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Vincent L. Guarisco is a freelance writer from Washington State, a frustrated Facebook user, and a founding member of the International Alliance of Atomic Veterans. IAAV with AAV here in the U.S..

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