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Washington, DC January 13, 2014 - The institutions and people of this great nation of ours have for many decades espoused the injustice of the imprisonment of political prisoners in communist and other despotic nations. We have jumped at the chance to go to war or funded proxy wars against those nations that have aggressively invaded their neighbors. Most notable among these are North Vietnam, the Russian Afghan war, and Iraq.
We have raved against the aggressiveness and violence of government suppression of dissent in other nations; in fact, we have even desired to actively go to war with some of them, such as the in the case of Syria this past year.
But does America illegally invade other countries, does it violently suppress the dissent of it citizenry, does it indefinitely detain its citizens without the benefit of trial, does it torture confessions out of people it deems a threat, does it keep political prisoners, does it spy not just on foreigners but its own people, as well?
The answer to this rhetorical question is yes it does!
It is now established fact that it hasn't just funded the overthrow of political leaders it doesn't like but has actively and illegally invaded other countries to overthrow them. The vast majority of Americans now know that the stories told by the executive branch about weapons of mass destruction and the seeking of nuclear material in Iraq were patently falsified, and evidence fabricated to support the assertion where it existed at all.
We have also funded our friends, turned enemies, turned friends again al Qaeda to overthrow governments in Syria, Libya, and other nations, we have supported terrorists going back decades in fact, perhaps as far back as the very first days of the Cold War.
We have aggressively and illegally invaded the skies of sovereign nations with our UAV technologies, to murder wedding parties, men, women, and children working and playing in fields, to destroy entire villages of people, often it seems just for the sake of killing them, as no enemy combatants existed in the area as traditionally defined. So to justify these murders of innocent civilians, what do we do but redefine what an enemy combatant is, so that nearly anyone would fit the definition.
In fact by having written this article, I would clearly be deemed and more rightly than some who have been killed in UAV strikes in recent decades, an enemy combatant.
Another excuse used to argue for the war in Iraq, and the proposed war in Syria and Libya, was the possession and use of chemical weapons and the violent suppression of dissent.
Well, I think I can come up with quite a number of incidents in recent history where the American Militarized Police have coordinated at all levels of government and with corporations to violently suppress dissent in this country. I can recall the avid use of chemical weapons as well, not to mention rubber bullets and at a certain university in the not-too-distant past real bullets.click here
In fact America has a long and dirty history of violent suppression of dissent that goes all the way back to its creation and includes the longstanding policy of harassing and arresting political dissidents.
The list of political prisoners in this country is a long one that includes the NATO 5, the MOVE 9, Mumia Abul Jamal, not to mention a long list of hackivists and leakers like Jeremy Hammond, Chelsea Manning, and thousands of others. Many of whom have long sentences including life sentences.
America's political leaders have also refused to help out the civilians in places like Darfur, Egypt (at least until it was clear the Muslim Brotherhood would be the one taking control then aid was forthcoming), or even to condemn the abusers.
America is also in possession of the largest stockpile of deadly chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, while it condemns all of its enemies for the possession of same and all of which have been used as pretext for invasion, whether they actually existed or not.
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Cory Clark is a freelance photojournalist and writer focused on civil and human rights issues, social justice and politics.
He is a regular contributor with Getty Images, AP and AFP.
His work has appeared in, The Guardian, Fortune (more...)