Publish, and be Damned

I want to write about a man. A famous man. Alternatively, an infamous man. His name was Daniel Ellsberg, and he was the single source for the greatest story about lies, compounded felonies, corruption and treason this world has ever known about. But it is not the story, not the lies or the alleged treason, it is about the Law of a Nation; it is about the freedom of the Press; it is about courageous men and women who decided that ‘enough is enough’, that the phrase ‘publish and be damned’ was an American Institution.

Ellsberg was an American ‘Hawk’ as far as Vietnam was concerned, but in his job as an analyst for the Rand Corporation, in a huge military ‘think-tank’ with global reach and influence; he kept getting confused signals in regard to one statistic, which was ‘the body count’. The bodies counted, all of which were supposed to be dead Viet Cong, were a vital part of the American Military’s strategy to convince their ultimate pay-masters, the American people; that America was winning the war. Some say that the whole science of statistics is based on a computation of lies, and Ellsberg, unused to being puzzled, determined that the only way to figure out truth from fiction was to go to the battlefields of Vietnam, where Americans and, hopefully, the Viet Cong, were being killed. He stayed for over six months, being one of the very few ‘observers’ who actually did some observing, and came back to America convinced that America should never have entered the war on the side of the since-deposed and assassinated President Diem. But the trouble was he still believed that, although America was wrong to back a dictator, he also believed that America could ‘win’ this dirty, bloody war which was chopping Americans into bloody garbage which could only be transported back home in waterproof body-bags.

Then came the great revelation. He had heard through the Rand’s grapevine that there was a super-secret study, of America’s historical intent and involvement in the Far East, in existence, and discovers that his research and writing had been part of this document. Ellsberg persuaded his boss that he should be able to read the complete document, so as to study and best advise Rand, and thence the White House, regarding future strategic policies in the Vietnam area, and is amazed to learn that all 47 volumes, some 7,000 pages,are now stacked on his desktop. The only security requirement is that all the documents be secured in a high-security safe each night. He reads all through the ‘Pentagon Papers’ and discovers to his horror that the American people have been systematically lied to since 1945 by all the Presidents and Administrations, from Roosevelt & Truman onwards, through Eisenhower, Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson; regarding America’s intent, involvement and strategy in the Far East. In amongst the many hardly-believable sections of this massive document, comes the facts that Ho Chi Minh wrote some 15 letters to President Truman,simply stating that the Vietnamese simply wanted what had been agreed in the famous Atlantic Charter between Roosevelt and Churchill. That all peoples ruled by foreign powers should be free. The Vietnamese simply asked that Truman live up to those words, and help get the French, the Colonial Power before WW2, out of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh was ignored, commenced guerilla warfare against the French, and the rest is history.

So after trying the legal route, which was attempting to discuss or broadcast the existence of the ‘Papers’ with everyone from Senator Fullbright, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman downwards, he embarked upon the perilous course of copying all 7,000-odd pages, collating and storing the copies of something which, if broadcast, could and would be regarded as treason; for the very simple reason that if he did not do this act, he would really be committing treason.

We all know the happenings which followed the publication of the Pentagon Papers by firstly the New York Times, and then the Washington Post. We know the treacherous behaviour of President Nixon’s staff, firstly to attempt to bar the publication of those damning documents by the ‘Times’ and then the ‘Post’, and when that track failed at the Supreme Court, they attempted to blacken Ellsberg’s character through knowledge gleaned from transcripts stolen from Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office during a break-in. Unfortunately for Nixon and his team, the bunch who stole Ellsberg’s papers also attempted to ‘bug’ the offices of the Democratic Party in the Watergate complex; the judge deemed Ellsberg’s basic rights had been fatally injured by the prosecution’s use of illegally-obtained personal documents, and all charges were dismissed.

The real reasons for this writing should now of course be obvious. Knowledge of activities which had never been declared to either the American people nor their elected representatives, and publication of those activities was not deemed to be an unlawful activity. This was stated to be part of the Constitution upon which the United States was formed, and ‘Freedom of the Press’ was confirmed as overriding any call for the truth, or indeed any part of that truth, to be either silenced or muzzled in any manner whatsoever.


Now transfer your minds across that same Atlantic which was named in the Charter, insert the words ‘Leveson Inquiry’, and see where you are lead!

When ‘red line’ doesn’t come from a rev. counter

When will Western politicians even begin to understand that they do not know ANYTHING about Middle Eastern politics, religion, tribal loyalties or any thought which expresses an ideal that ‘if only we can kill a few of the bad guys, all will be well’? We read, week after week, and ramping up to daily briefings from ‘connected observers’ that the US, France, the UK and other ‘friendly’ Governments are drawing ‘red lines’ in the sand. These so-called ‘red lines’ are based around the possible use of chemical weaponry by the Assad government against the rebellious bunch who loosely fight under the title of the ‘Free Syria’ movement. Not much of the UN mentioned around those ‘red line’ ideas, but, since China and Russia still wield a veto, the rest of the Security Council knows only too well that their opponents have learned to read.

Someone must explain, using cards and symbols if necessary, what the difference is between dying from a tank shell, or a mortar shell, or a cluster bomb, or a pre-laid roadside bomb; and a death by means of a nerve gas, a chemical spray or a contaminated water supply? There are no degrees of death, you are either alive, or you are dead, so what is the difference?

We are now watching as Obama, pushed no doubt by his military, starts thinking along the lines of ‘surgical strikes’ and ‘contained out-reach’, along with all the other bullshit phrases so beloved of the ‘Liberal Elite’ who see something nasty happening half a world away, and demand that ‘something should be done’. Our own clown prince Prime Minister of course is repeating the same slogans, warning one set of murderous fools against killing another set of murdering idiots, all the while continuing to downgrade our own military machine which of course he wants to use to kill one or other of the aforementioned fools if they don’t behave.

MY six-pennorth? Stand well back, and let them all kill each other; lending a hand only to aid the one Country, Israel: which just wishes to be left in peace, but, because of the internecine politics and hatreds of the whole region, is set up as a target once the next set of wild-eyed radicals gains power in that whole blood-soaked area!