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We're Citizens, Not Subjects. We Have the Right to Criticize Government without Fear


#1

We're Citizens, Not Subjects. We Have the Right to Criticize Government without Fear

Chelsea Manning

When freedom of information and transparency are stifled, then bad decisions are often made and heartbreaking tragedies occur – too often on a breathtaking scale that can leave societies wondering: how did this happen? Think about the recent debates on torture, assassination by unmanned aircraft, secret warrants and detentions, intelligence and surveillance courts, military commissions, immigration detention centers and the conduct of modern warfare.


#2

Here we have an example of what Free Speech is really all about. It is about speaking truth to power . It is about revealing corruption and fraud and defending human liberties. It is about an informed Citizenry acting to as to allow for a better and more just society.

Even as those rights are eroded we have people who claim to be its defenders worried more about their ability to tell a racist joke about another person.

It really mind boggling.


#3

The times ARE clearly inverted when billionaires design policies to further impoverish others, and when warriors punish peacekeepers with incarceration.

These words could not be truer (thank you, Chelsea)... and explain why I've sought to expose this forum's tag team relentless in their Talking Point repetition aimed at blaming voters:

"There is a bright distinction between citizens, who have rights and privileges protected by the state, and subjects, who are under the complete control and authority of the state."

In response to this quote:

“the time is ripe for Congress to engage in a thorough review and revision of [the Espionage Act of 1917] to ensure that they reflect ... contemporary views about the appropriate balance between our nation’s security and our citizens’ ability to engage in public debate about the United States’ conduct in the society of nations."

The problem is that when a nation, arguably under covert coup-style military controls seeks war (at its pleasure), it can then argue that any challenges to its authoritarian decrees constitute National Security breaches. Naturally, as is made plain by Chelsea Manning's current fate, the Security State apparatus enacts a Catch-22. In order for an insider or outsider to prove its malfeasance, the evidence needed is declared off-limits and then, with a thoroughly narrowed case, the muscle of state comes down like a hammer on any who dare to oppose its often insidious operations.

MAJOR crimes against humanity have been undertaken and most use, as their excuse, a false flag trigger. There is a reason why this subject was never honestly or openly investigated: the whole aftermath stage-managed with a carefully prepared False, albeit official story promulgated across ALL media outlets incessantly. And a reason why inverted totalitarian PIMPS like Cass Sunstein set forth a protocol equating any intelligent persons who dare to challenge the nonsense as mentally off-balance.

When torture is rendered legal, when NOT one of the 3 branches of government reflects justice OR the will of The People, when significant trade agreements are forged in absolute secrecy, when the rich get richer and the poor suffer increasing depredations, and when instead of working against the inevitable chaos that climate change will be ushering in on a more frequent basis, National Defense instead becomes little more than creating new enemies to ensure the constancy of war (along with karmic blowback); then leadership behind these acts not only has forfeited ALL legitimacy, it deserves to be tried for HIGH treason along with Crimes Against Humanity.

There was a time when Lech Walesa was imprisoned... and later he became president.

There was a time when Nelson Mandela was imprisoned... and later he became president.

Jesus Christ was incarcerated, too.

Chelsea will not serve her full term... for the tide WILL turn within 7 years (or less) and persons reflective of such moral courage will be championed for the heroes and heroines that they are.

Until then, hang on for a rough ride!


#4

We were once subjects of the British Empire, but we threw off that yoke and became Citizens of the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America.
* The founders of this nation warned many times that We the People must be ever on our guard, for wealth and power could take the country back from We the People, and become absolute rulers.
* Over the past few decades, we have turned from being citizens of the above republic, to subjects of the United States Empire of the Fourth Reich and, if the current trend continues, serfs of the Oilagarchy that has gained control.
* We must, somehow, throw off the yoke and take our nation back, or be tossed into the dustbin of history, as all empires have been tossed in the past.
;-})


#5

The fact that Chelsea Manning has been incarcerated tells you and me that we do not have the right to REALLY criticize Government without fear. Also, look at the people who really step on the toes of the US Government, like Snowden, who has been in exile in Russia; Assange, who has had to seek asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy; and Greenwald, who lives in Brazil.


#7

Recall that British law decreed signers of the 1776 Declaration of Independence guilty of a capital offense, with some of the signers actually being executed and/or having their homes/farms destroyed by the British.


#8

I don't agree with your explanation as it presumes that there is an equivalence between armed and unarmed persons. This logic is tantamount to stating that slaves agreed to become slaves.

Hitler's soldiers everywhere and brutal blatant use of force--sans justice, courts, juries, etc.--played a major role in citizen compliance.

Either a society is just and held in place by law or it's The Jungle. Unfortunately, The Jungle favors barbarians and other dominators.

Humanity is waking up to a LONG chain of abuses and centuries of patriarchal control and hierarchies put in place to maintain that control. This is not about America. This is about a revolution in consciousness that is global in scope. The more the elites press down trying to turn back the progressive hands of time, the greater the force they help to create which will catalyze The Next Wave.


#9

Certainly. I imagine if We the People try to change this mess, we will all be "traitors" and "terrorists." We may well be subjected to the same war crimes that the Reich now perpetrates on any foreign group or nation that opposes or objects to it.
* If we don't try to change this mess, we and the rest of the world will go down the tubes as the profiteers continue to destroy the ecosphere for another forty pieces of silver in their pockets.
* I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, "We must all hang together or we shall most assuredly hang separately."
* Going up against a rotten empire is always costly. Letting one run amok is also costly.
;-})


#10

Sorry, Siouxrose, but I don't understand your statement above. And I certainly don't understand your statement that slaves agree to become slaves.
* Oppressed people always resist, even with the odds stacked against them. Cases in point, the young Jews in the Warsaw ghetto that resisted until the Wehrmacht destroyed them with overwhelming force. Palestinians resisting the Israelis and the IDF, dying in their thousands. Ukrainians resisting the Nazi government the Reich has put in charge there.
* Even in Nazi Germany, there were a number of attempts to kill Hitler and get rid of the Reich. An awful lot of Germans died in the various attempts.
* The only thing I can see in your comment is that we should all just wait until universal consciousness will rise up and cast out evil and we'll all be free, but I rather doubt it will happen without help.
;-})


#11

THEY WILL CALL US SOMETHING OTHER THAN REFUGEES

Our bodies will be for sale
the country of our eyes will be blinded
and the water of our tongues
drilled and poisoned for their many homes.

This is the callous tooth
of the bereft, strung in a necklace
of theft; the rivers in our hearts,
forced from their banks,

damned, will be made to find
another route
to the center, and all the lovely models
swaying down the walkway to our doom

suck in their cheeks
and wear the skins of the children of our poor
across their haunches
after they have shorn themselves

bare and nearly wasted.
We've lost the idea of beauty
and cannot see night
for the smut. We are fat with hate.

Never the less, some struggling clowns,
poets in the wicked graveyards of our lunacy,
wander the reflected light
of burning wells and the ruins

of the schools. Can you hear them tapping?
I want so much to believe
something will survive, the saurian birds
shadowed against the sunset

and the lake will not
rot for the rich or the thirst of slaves,
that the wetlands will howl
in a firmament of revival. So sing

from the prison of your sex and the tight
cell of how they tell you to be a man
if you can. I have built a little armed tomb
around my eyes with a kiss

of the smallest hope
that this might grow like seeds,
one birth after another, if the dirt is still good
and the rains come

never abandoning Spring
or flooding us with fear, drowning
nation after familial nation,
a bloated massacre, gyred in the center

crossing a history of seas,
the ghosts of sirens and Poseidon,
one huge eye blinded by men
pretending to be sheep

remembering our original odyssey, yes

call us something other than refugees.


#12

Criticizing a world religion is racist? Just out of curiosity, do you have any problems with the way Islam is enforced in Muslim countries? Do you not see why people have problems with religious fanaticism and theocracy?

Do you by any chance have any problems with the Christian Right? If you do, then would you hate it if they singled you out for hate speech if you mocked or criticized them? Are you okay with the Christian Right persecuting or murdering people who disagree with them?

Are we not allowed to enjoy satire or poke fun at each others flaws and differences? Does it not occur to you that under free speech everyone is allowed to engage in dissent and satire?

Does your "truth to power" include pointing out corruption and hypocrisy with your fellow leftists, including leftist politicians and organizations? What about facts that contradict your ideology? Are those facts valid even though they disagree with your opinion?

For the record I completely support WikiLeaks and everyone who has contributed to it. Free speech means that people with totally opposite opinions, ranging from Bernie Sanders to Pat Buchanan, have the right to voice their opinions. Free speech means that we can have shows like Family Guy. Free speech means that cartoonists like Robert Crumb or Bruce Tinsley (creator of Mallard Filmore) can make cartoons about whatever they want without fear of retribution.

I'm sad to see that you want to live in a sterile hugbox society where only your opinion is allowed. I don't think you understand or appreciate freedom of speech.


#13

I am not a citizen, although I have lived here as a green card holder for more than thirty years. I am involved with a couple of organizations opposed to the expansion of the gas industry in New York, including gas storage in salt caverns near Seneca Lake. So far over 200 people have been arrested for blockading the entrance.

I do not dare join them because I have the suspicion that if I were to be arrested for civil disobedience, I could be deported. So much for the First Amendment, which actually only talks about the freedom to criticize the government!

Good for you Chelsea.


#15

Pity we failed to do the job properly. The USA might be a civilised country instead of murdering 12000 people per year, armed police running rampant, and drones killing innocents world-wide. You could have joined us in our graceful decline.


#16

We tried to get people to care about themselves, their country, their families for 43 years.

We finally created Justice Caps - so that every person can be an "Army of One."

Our technology blinds NSA video surveillance and turns their multi-billion dollars software into junk.