I refer to Amy Goodman’s “Fighting for justice a fitting tribute to Mandela”, ABQ Journal/Syndicated Columnist, July 20, 2013.
As the world celebrates Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday, it is timely to reflect on his life, spent fighting for equality for people of color who long suffered under South Africa’s apartheid regime.
Mandela was arrested in 1962, a year before Martin Luther King Jr. would give his “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C. After 27 years in prison, Mandela was released in 1990. Four years later, he would become the first democratically elected president of South Africa. We should use Mandela’s incredible life to shine a light on injustice in the United States, as George Zimmerman is acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin and as a massive hunger strike envelops the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, where scores of men have been held without charge for more than a decade.
(I invite the public to see my article on Trayvon, “A Mockery of Justice The Trayvon Martin Case: An Open Letter to President Obama”, Exposing The Truth, July 17, 2013)
Indeed, Madiba’s (Mandela’s) incredible life, a life that is molded by his struggle can be used as a guide to shine light on the present injustices that are now happening in the United States of America, and by extension the oppression carrying-out and the massive global violation being committed by one of the most imperialist countries on earth.
If Madiba is well, what do you think would be his reaction to the outlandish trial? He himself faced a lot of kangaroo courts in his life, a series of tramped up charges and spending more than a generation of his life behind bars.
If Madiba is well, what would be his take on the issue of those so-called terrorists undergoing massive hunger strike at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, “where scores of men have been held without charge for more than a decade.”
Adding insult to injury; those who are on hunger strike to register their point are forcefully fed!
Will Madiba remember his own Robben Island? Well, at least Robben Island is Madiba’s land, not like Guantanamo which legitimately belongs to Cuba but until now is still being kept by the US, illegally and indeed, immorality at the expense of its true owner.
Worst yet, the US is using the property to hold, detain, torture and dehumanize people that they consider their enemies.
Here’s what President Obama wrote when he signed the Robben Island guest book:
On behalf of our family we’re deeply humbled to stand where men of such courage faced down injustice and refused to yield. The world is grateful for the heroes of Robben Island, who remind us that no shackles or cells can match the strength of the human spirit.
Wow! I wonder when he spoke of the “strength of the human spirit”, is he also referring to those people who despite the danger, the persecution and backlash of coming out into the open, into the world public to reveal and expose the truth; yet in the end still, they decided to do the right thing even at the expense of losing everything theirs?
Further in South Africa this is what he reportedly said melodramatically in reference to Madiba:
When they tried to silence Mandela, he didn’t give up.
Two hours later, he said that:
We will stop Mr. Snowden and others like him.
I do not know whether Obama is aware that there appears to be no difference between the “they” (pertaining to Madiba’s opponents then) and the “we” (regarding to America’s perceived enemies) that he is talking about or alluding to!
Here’s what Edward Snowden said in a statement through Wikileaks that he released on July 1st:
For decades the United States of America have been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.
In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised – and it should be.
I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.
Does Obama think that Madiba’s act of standing up against the proponent of Apartheid in South Africa is noble, yet it is wrong for a citizen to tell the truth?
The brutal and shocking truth: that the very government itself is spying on its citizens?
Amy Goodman narrated a conversation with Col. Morris, a retired Air Force colonel and the chief military prosecutor then at the Guantanamo Bay (he resigned in 2007) said that:
We don’t need a lecture; we need a leader…
The Colonel refused to use statements obtained through torture.
Further, the former chief military prosecutor added with grim irony that:
When President Obama and his family visited South Africa, he took Sasha and Malia to visit [Robben Island]. And at the same time, he’s operating an island prison in Guantanamo, where the majority have been cleared to be transferred out. There are people that have been there for 11 and a half years that we have cleared to be transferred home, and they still sit in prison.
Obama is engaged in a “Double Face” policy. On one hand, he is proud of Mandela, yet on another he is against those peoples who like to follow the footsteps of the great man, men like Swartz, Manning, Snowden, etc…
Obama condemned the harsh treatment and the long prison sentence of Madiba, but why is he still keeping those prisoners in detention, when they are already cleared to be transferred? How about those detainees that up to now has not been even charge?
May I remind or refresh Obama’s memory, here’s what Madiba himself had stated in an official press statement way back on June 26, 1961:
I am informed that a warrant for my arrest has been issued, and that the police are looking for me. The National Action Council has given full and serious consideration to this question, and has sought the advice of many trusted friends and bodies and they have advised me not to surrender myself. I have accepted this advice, and will not give myself up to a government I do not recognise. Any serious politician will realise that under present-day conditions in this country, to seek for cheap martyrdom by handing myself to the police is naive and criminal. We have an important programme before us and it is important to carry it out very seriously and without delay.
I have chosen this latter course, which is more difficult and which entails more risk and hardship than sitting in gaol. I have had to separate myself from my dear wife and children, from my mother and sisters, to live as an outlaw in my own land. I have had to close my business, to abandon my profession, and live in poverty and misery, as many of my people are doing. I will continue to act as the spokesman of the National Action Council during the phase that is unfolding and in the tough struggles that lie ahead. I shall fight the government side by side with you, inch by inch, and mile by mile, until victory is won. What are you going to do? Will you come along with us, or are you going to co-operate with the government in its efforts to suppress the claims and aspirations of your own people? Or are you going to remain silent and neutral in a matter of life and death to my people, to our people? For my own part I have made my choice. I will not leave South Africa, nor will I surrender. Only through hardship, sacrifice and militant action can freedom be won. The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days.
Below is an excerpt of the second statement through Wikileaks that Edward Snowden issued in Russia, dated July 12th:
I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”
Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.
That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.
Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.
Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.
I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.
This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.”
Is Obama conscious of the apparent similarity of the cause being waged by Snowden and people like him to that of the struggle that fought passionately by Madiba?
Of course we all know Obama and his administration are liars, they professed to spread democracy, yet they are the number one interventionist country on earth.
They claim to be the land of the free and of the brave, yet a great number of their people are imprisoned in a great poverty and deprivation and their braveness is only manifested though their so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws!
They pretend to admire Madiba but what they are doing is the very opposite of the principles and philosophies sanctioned and believed in by the great man.
President Mandela never ordered the South African military to bomb, invade and occupy another country.
There are no reports that Madiba ordered his military and intelligence officials to spy on their people.
There are no complaints that he ordered torture or abuse or humiliation of prisoners.
So while Obama pretends to like and admire Madiba, in truth, he is a galaxy away from that great man.
The US Government should stop preaching and lecturing the world how are we going to live our lives and conduct the sovereignty of our political existence.
They don’t own the world! We are the masters of our own fate!
In the words of Morgan Beach, “The War on Whistleblowers and Journalism”, Exposing The Truth, June 16th:
The war on whistleblowers is at an all time high. The Obama administration, using world war one espionage laws have cracked down and prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined. This, in spite of the fact that it is both legal and lawful to expose illegal activity in government via the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) of 1989 which allowed for whistle blowing when he/she “reasonably believes evidences a violation of a law, rule or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.”
But, we are not to worry as those responsible for such illegal activity and war on the first amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Eric Holder (head of the Department of Justice) has been assigned the task of investigating Eric Holder’s illegal activity. Alternative media is always here brining the truth into the mainstream and creating conversations on the illegal activity of government, if the government still served the people, would be completely transparent. Instead, we live in a world where the government keeps secrets, and the public is spied on.
Instead of spying on Obama’s own citizens, occupying other nations, torturing, abusing people and harassing/persecuting whistle blowers your primary duty rather is to improve the preposterous and utterly bastardized justice system in your perverted empire!
President Mandela stood up, struggled and fought for Humanity!
Mr. Aaron Swartz, due to state pressure and massive harassment ended his life tragically because he wants information to be available, accessible and free to the world’s public.
Mr. Bradley Manning is in danger of receiving a long prison sentence for spilling the beans and that is passing so-called “classified materials” that shows the US government and its murderous and utterly despicable military atrocities and barbarities being committed arbitrarily in Iraq and Afghanistan!
Mr. Snowden is now a “stateless person” because he decided to come out from the dark to tell the people of the world the shocking and horrendous truth of the US government’s large-scale spying network on its very citizens!
These people in my view are noble, courageous and honorable individuals, who like Madiba had decided to confront the evil empire in the name of morality, justice, humanity and freedom!
Their aim is for the benefit, the general welfare and the universal good of all Mankind!
What kind of individual is Obama? What is he fighting for?
What would Obama say about the position of former President Jimmy Carter in publicly supporting Mr. Edward Snowden, saying as reported by Nick Wing for the Huffington Post (“Jimmy Carter Defends Edward Snowden, Says NSA Spying Has Compromised Nation’s Democracy”, July 18-19, 2013) that Snowden’s act of “uncovering of the agency’s massive surveillance programs had proven “beneficial””?
What can you say to his accusation that your NSA’s “domestic spying as damaging to the core of the nation’s principles”?
Further, what is Obama’s take to the former President’s blunt statement that: “America does not have a functioning democracy at this point in time”?
Is the Obama’s government, still the so-called United States of America or now the United Stasi of America?
Madiba’s spirit is listening and the world is watching!