“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crises. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”
"There is no freedom of information in this country; there's no public right to know. There's a commonsense idea of how to run a country and Britain is full of commonsense people. Bugger the public's right to know. The game is the security of the state – not the public's right to know.''
Bernard Ingham. Press Secretary to Premier Margaret Thatcher.
Two distinctly different views about democracy, separated by a span of some two hundred years serve to suggest a trend towards authoritarianism and tyranny.
As Ingham so confidently asserts, the typical neoliberal democratic government of today, of whatever political stripe, views the intelligent, enquiring, questioning individual within it's own domestic population as it's enemy. While seeking total transparency of it's own masses, it therefore demands total secrecy of it's own machinations.
This is why the issue of WikiLeaks is so important, because it has revealed a fundamental truism in this revolutionary age of the internet, best summed up by the journalist John Pilger, who has asked "If they can read our emails, why cant we read theirs?"
This is why the PTB have not rested until WikiLeaks has been shut down and its workers are languishing as solitarily confined guests of the prison system.
Whether there might now be a possibility that the PTB will follow through and go after online readers of WikiLeaks material is a reasonable question, and on consideration might explain the craven behaviour of mainstream media organs such as the New York Times and the London Guardian during the period covering three major WikiLeaks releases and the subsequent arrest of Julian Assange in London at the request of the Swedish Government.
There is also likely to be a push within the US to use the Espionage Act against Assange once he is in US custody, which will in all likelihood set a precedent for processing future 'traitors.'
Military personnel and US state and federal employees are meanwhile forbidden from visiting the WikiLeaks website or any of its mirror sites.
The 'game' that Ingham (and Lord Curzon before him) talks of remains the security of the state, and this coming week heralds the first IAEA report on Iran's nuclear ambitions since the scrupulously honest Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei retired as it's chief back in 2009.The report is being widely predicted to contradict all previous ones, and to claim that Iran is in fact developing a nuclear weapons programme.
If these assertions turn out to be present in the IAEA report, then they will also flatly contradict all National Intelligence Estimates to have emanated from all US intelligence agencies over the past eight years.
Whether a new National Intelligence Estimate has also been prepared for the President to digest in these critical times is therefore a good question to ask, and for those unfamiliar with the nature and purpose of an NIE, there is nobody better qualified to explain than Ray McGovern. A career CIA analyst of 27 years experience, he also delivered Daily Presidential Briefings compiled by his employers to US Presidents throughout the 1980's and '90's.
The history of Iraq's destruction by Anglo American forces reminds us that it matters little when facts appear to get in the way of the official narrative. The 2003 February 15 world wide protests against attacking Iraq involved millions of people, and showed that in our democratic system we enjoy the right to protest while our governments enjoy the right to ignore us.
Any future bombing campaign against Iran in retaliation for it's perceived nuclear sins will be led by the United States, just as the 2008/9 attack on Gaza was a US attack.
The war against Iran has been waged in earnest for the past six or seven years now as a low intensity conflict, aiming at regime change in order to restore and maintain private, mainly Western economic interests. The fact that it has been low level has ensured that it remains largely a secret kept from Western society. In addition to continuous threats of aggression, this war has included violent cross-border incursions, setting bombs in public places, assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists, and the imposition of harsh economic sanctions. With the exception of the sanctions, everything else on this list, including threats of aggression, is recognised as criminal behaviour in national and international law, but this is of little concern or consequence to a criminal state.
Britain's own 2000 Terrorism Act in fact makes it a criminal offence to plot the downfall of a foreign sovereign government from British shores. Given this reality we should now expect the imminent arrest of Cameron and Hague for their complicity in the recent blood bath in Libya, but in the fictional and criminal times that we are now living through, we would perhaps be naive to hold out any hope of this occurring in the near future.
Michael Perry. Monday November 7 2011
Michael Perry. Monday November 7 2011