Just Who Are The Real Terrorists?

For seven consecutive presidential administrations (since Bush, Sr. invaded Kuwait–2016 will make it 28 years), the American people have been told that they are at war with terrorists. Republican and Democrat administrations and congresses alike have built America’s entire foreign policy around this hypothesis. Trillions of taxpayer dollars have been spent. Thousands of American troops have lost their lives. And tens of thousands have been wounded–many of them seriously. Plus, hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the Middle East have lost their lives to America’s “war on terror.”

In the name of the “war on terror,” the people of the United States have become the most spied upon and surveilled people in world history. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice, and Pentagon have constructed the most elaborate domestic spy machine known to man. We are told that all of this is helping to keep America “safe.” We are told the same thing about our incessant drone attacks, the thousands of sorties conducted by our military aircraft, and our never-ending wars of aggression in the Middle East.

First, we were told the terrorists were Al Qaeda and the Taliban. We invaded two countries to rid the world of these sand people. But after years of war by the most powerful and sophisticated military might in the world (the U.S. military), Al Qaeda and the Taliban are still with us–stronger than ever. Then we were told the terrorists were ISIS. Supposedly, Barack Obama has been at war with these sand people ever since he took office. But all that has happened is ISIS has gotten stronger and stronger. Surely, any rational person should be able to see through this façade.

The truth is the United States is not at war with ISIS; the United States helped to create and continues to fund and support ISIS. America’s so-called war against ISIS is a total farce. The U.S. government in Washington, D.C., has used ISIS to fight a proxy war against Syria on behalf of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel–not to mention the globalist puppetmasters. Outside of the United States, virtually the entire world knows it. But, you see, America has the most sophisticated propaganda machine ever known to man: the national news media.

The entire national press corps in this country (with FOX News at the front of the pack) constantly promotes the drumbeat of war by regurgitating government-sponsored talking points and “intelligence,” never bothering to investigate or question the veracity of the government’s assertions. Joseph Goebbels could only have dreamed of such an efficient propaganda ministry.

Joining the national news media are millions of evangelical Christians such as John Hagee, Pat Robertson, Hal Lindsey, et al., who use the doctrine of Christian Zionism to also pound the drumbeat of war.

See this report:

Christian Zionism: The New Heresy That Undermines Middle East Peace

Yet, by supporting Islamic terror groups such as ISIS, what U.S. foreign policy (with the support of the national news media and Hagee-type evangelicals) is actually doing is assisting the most violent and barbaric stripe of Islam. ISIS is nothing more than the resident terror group of Saudi Arabia’s Sunni Muslim empire. Without any risk of being hyperbolic, Saudi Arabia is one of the most barbarous terror-nations in the entire world. Yet, the U.S. government considers Saudi Arabia to be one of its closest allies. And that’s the problem: it is.

By far, the richest man in the world is Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. To give you an idea of how wealthy this Sunni Muslim is, billionaires such as Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, and Warren Buffet are only 1/20th to 1/50th as rich as he is. And, as you can imagine, Salman is joined at the hip to the most powerful and wealthiest international bankers in the world, such as the Rockefellers and Rothschilds–and giant oil companies such as Chevron and Standard Oil.

And in the Sunni Muslim mind of King Salman, the greatest enemy is Shia Muslims which are predominantly located in countries such as Syria, Iran, and Yemen. It is Saudi Arabia (assisted by its allies in the United States, Turkey, and Israel) that is the chief sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East. This is why the so-called “war on terror” by the United States is such a joke. Ever since the administration of George H.W. Bush, the White House has been in the pocket of petro-dollar billionaires around the world–with the king of Saudi Arabia being the Cock-A-Doodle-Do of them all.

See this report:

The Saudi Dynasty, Key U.S. Ally, Tops The World In Barbarism

I’m sure everyone readily remembers seeing news video of those caravans of Toyota pickup trucks with ISIS flags waving proudly atop them. Well, guess what! Those Toyota pickup trucks were supplied by the United States. Just another reason why the greatest military force in the world was unable to locate and destroy these trucks (and the terrorists riding in them) as they crawled along the Middle Eastern desert. Again, what a crock!

See the report:

The U.S. Government Supplied ISIS’ Iconic Pickup Trucks

No wonder Iraqi Commander Hassan al-Sari said that Vladimir Putin’s Russian coalition “is fighting against the ISIL on behalf of the whole world” while the US had played no role in the recent victories against the terrorists.

Here is the report:

Commander: Russian Coalition ‘Fighting ISIL On Behalf Of The Whole World’

Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan, Paul Craig Roberts, was more than blunt in his praise of Putin’s genuine war against the Sunni terrorists in Syria, while denouncing in no uncertain terms the phony war on terror in Washington, D.C. He writes, “The distinguished and knowledgeable international commentator William Engdahl, in a superb statement, has expressed the view I gave you that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech on September 28 at the 70th anniversary of the United Nations changed the balance of power in the world. Until Putin’s speech the world was intimidated by the Washington Bully. Resistance to Washington brought swift retribution. In the Middle East and Africa it brought economic sanctions and military invasions that destroyed entire countries. In France and other US vassal states it brought multi-billion dollar confiscations of bank net worth as the price of not following Washington’s policies toward other countries.”

Roberts continues: “President Putin of Russia brought all that to end on September 28. He stood up before the world in the presence of the overflowing hubris of the hegemon and belled the cat.

“Putin denounced Washington’s threat to the sovereignty, and thereby the freedom, of peoples and countries. He denounced the heartless criminality of Washington’s destruction of the lives of millions of peoples on the basis of nothing other than Washington’s own arrogance. He denounced the illegality of Washington’s assaults on the sovereignty of other peoples, and declared that Russia can no longer tolerate this state of affairs in the world.

“Two days later he took over the war in Syria and began exterminating the Washington financed and equipped Islamic State. Cruise missiles launched from the Caspian Sea hit ISIL targets with pinpoint accuracy and showed Washington’s EU vassals that Washington’s ABM system could not protect them if Europe permitted Washington to force Europe into conflict with Russia.

“Washington’s response was more lies: ‘the missiles hit Iran,’ said the idiots in Washington. The entire world laughed at the lie. Washington, some said, is whistling past its empire’s own graveyard.”

Roberts goes on: “This is a sea change. It will affect the behavior of every government. Even some of the craven vassals states, whose ‘leaders’ are bought-and-paid-for, will move toward a more independent foreign policy.

“The remaining danger is the crazed American neoconservatives. I know many of them. They are completely insane ideologues. This inhuman filth has controlled the foreign policy of every US government since Clinton’s second term. They are a danger to all life on earth. Look at the destruction they have wreaked in the former Yugoslavia, in Ukraine, in Georgia and South Ossetia, in Africa, in Afghanistan and the Middle East. The American people were too brainwashed by lies and by political impotence to do anything about it, and Washington’s vassals in Europe, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan had to pretend that this policy of international murder was ‘bringing freedom and democracy.’

“The crazed filth that controls US foreign policy is capable of defending US hegemony with nuclear weapons. The neoconservatives must be removed from power, arrested, and put on international trial for their horrendous war crimes before they defend their hegemony with Armageddon.

“Neoconservatives and their allies in the military/security complex make audacious use of false flag attacks. These evil people are capable of orchestrating a false flag attack that propels the US and Russia to war.”

See Roberts’ column here:

The Fall Of The Unipower

Plus, Christians around the world (especially in the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Eastern Europe) are not hypnotized by Christian Zionists such as John Hagee. Here is a sample of the numerous pieces of communication that I often receive from Christians in these regions:

“I grew up in an Evangelical pastor’s house in Nigeria, reading the fallacies of Mr. Scofield’s ‘Bible’ teaching the false doctrines of dispensations. By the Grace of God I know better now.

“The current State of Israel is a nation based on the accursed Talmudic doctrines of the Pharisees [exactly right].”

This Middle Eastern Christian goes on to say, “Vladimir Putin is a man of God, who knows these people and their hate for our Lord Jesus and for Christians.

“God forbid those Obama-and-Netanyahu-rented bearded barbarians called ‘moderate rebels,’ Al Nustra, Al Qaeda, and ISIS enter the city of Damascus! Our Christian brothers and sisters would all be annihilated, raped, and forcefully converted to Islam, with the support of USA, NATO, and Israel.”

(Name and location withheld by this author)

Go outside the westernized Christian world, and the believers that I have communicated with almost universally echo the Christian man’s sentiments above. Then again, they have not been indoctrinated by the teachings of dispensationalism and Christian Zionism.

Have American Christians not noticed that ISIS doesn’t attack Israel? Gee. I wonder why not. If ISIS is the mortal enemy of Israel, why don’t we hear about these terrorists attacking Israel? In truth, Israel is often a safe haven for ISIS terrorists, providing supplies and medical care for wounded ISIS warriors. Again, the Israeli Mossad, along with America’s CIA, and Saudi Arabia’s special forces helped create–and continue to maintain–ISIS.

The “crazed American neoconservatives” that Paul Craig Roberts refers to would be impotent without the massive support they receive from evangelical Christians throughout the United States. Pray tell, what will these Christians in America say to their brothers and sisters in Christ from Iraq, Syria, Palestine, etc., when they stand side-by-side at the judgment bar of God? It is the massive support for war in the Middle East by evangelical Christians in the United States that is forcing our brothers and sisters in Christ there into exile, causing increased persecution and torture among them, and killing thousands and thousands of them. Not to mention the torture and martyrdom of our Christian friends in the home of America’s great “ally,” Saudi Arabia. That is a future scene I shudder to think about!

There is a war on terror going on alright; but just who are the real terrorists?


P.S. I am pleased to announce that James Jaeger’s brand new film, “Midnight Ride: When Rogue Politicians Call For Martial Law” will be premiered on Friday, November 6, 2015, from 6pm through 11pm Mountain Time. Distinguished luminaries such as Pat Buchanan, Larry Pratt, Ron Paul, G. Edward Griffin, Sheriff Richard Mack, Stewart Rhodes, Edwin Vieira, Jr., and several others are featured in this film. I am honored to also be featured.

I invite readers to go to my website on Friday evening, November 6, and watch the premiere of this outstanding film. And please tell your friends. DVDs of the film will also be available the night of the premiere via my website. Watch the film here:

Midnight Ride: When Rogue Politicians Call For Martial Law

© Chuck Baldwin

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

What Clinton Got Wrong About Snowden

Editor’s note: This commentary originally appeared at OtherWords.org.

Hillary Clinton is wrong about Edward Snowden. Again.

The presidential candidate and former secretary of state insisted during the recent Democratic debate that Snowden should have remained in the United States to voice his concerns about government spying on U.S. citizens. Instead, she claimed, he “endangered U.S. secrets by fleeing to Russia.”

After accusing Snowden of stealing “very important information that has fallen into the wrong hands,” she added: “He should not be brought home without facing the music.”

Clinton should stop rooting for Snowden’s incarceration and get her facts straight.

First, Snowden is a whistleblower, not a leaker. Whistleblowing is the act of bringing to light evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, law-breaking, or dangers to public health or safety. Snowden did exactly that when he divulged proof that the National Security Agency was illegally snooping on all of us.

Second, Snowden knew it was impossible to report this wrongdoing through his chain of command at the NSA, where he was working as a contractor employed by the consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton.

I’ve written previously about whistleblower Tom Drake, who went through his own chain of command to report an earlier illegal wiretapping scheme by the NSA. Drake went to his bosses, his office’s general counsel, the NSA’s inspector general, the Pentagon’s inspector general, and congressional oversight committees — only to be charged with 10 felonies, including five counts of espionage.

CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, who reported wrongdoing in a CIA operation related to the Iranian nuclear program through his chain of command, was similarly charged with multiple counts of espionage. Now, he’s serving 42 months in prison.

The sad fact is that many national security chains of command are overtly hostile to people who report wrongdoing. I learned this firsthand when I spent nearly two years behind bars for denouncing the CIA’s use of torture years after I left the agency. And I didn’t go to any country club. I went to a real prison.

Indeed, one of my former supervisors at the CIA called whistleblowing “institutionalized insubordination.” In other words, employees should just “follow orders,” even if those orders are illegal.

Didn’t Nazi war criminals say that they were just following orders, too? To me, their compliance was criminal.

Third, Clinton claimed that Snowden would have enjoyed protection from the Whistleblower Protection Act if he’d remained in the United States to make his revelations.

I’m disappointed, frankly, that somebody running for president of the United States doesn’t know that the Whistleblower Protection Act exempts national security whistleblowers. There are no protections for you if you work for the CIA, NSA, or other federal intelligence agencies — or serve them as a contractor. You take a grave personal risk if you decide to report wrongdoing, and there’s nobody who can protect you.

Even the federal body that’s supposed to protect whistleblowers, the Merit Systems Protection Board, got itself in trouble in October for suspending and retaliating against its own whistleblower, who revealed that the agency had a huge backlog of cases and was taking far too long to adjudicate them. That certainly doesn’t inspire confidence.

Finally, let’s get this straight: Snowden didn’t “flee to Russia.” Snowden stopped in Moscow on his way from Hong Kong to South America when Secretary of State John Kerry revoked his U.S. passport. Snowden never intended to move to Moscow. Kerry made that decision for him.

Of all people, Hillary Clinton — Kerry’s predecessor at State — should know that.

I get that Clinton doesn’t like Snowden. I doubt he’s too upset about that. But Clinton should get her facts straight if she’s going to take a stand against those federal employees and contractors who take their oaths to uphold the Constitution seriously enough to report crimes against it.

She should be celebrating whistleblowers, not vilifying them and suggesting they waltz into the nearest penitentiary.

OtherWords columnist John Kiriakou is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. He’s a former CIA counterterrorism officer and senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. OtherWords.org.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

Things Are Getting Scary: Global Police, Precrime And The War On Domestic ‘Extremists’

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) in the eyes of the police.

As such, you are now viewed as a greater threat to America than ISIS or al Qaeda.

Let that sink in a moment.

If you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you have just been promoted to the top of the government’s terrorism watch list.

I assure you I’m not making this stuff up.

Police agencies now believe the “main terrorist threat in the United States is not from violent Muslim extremists, but from right-wing extremists.”

A New York Times editorial backs up these findings:

Law enforcement agencies around the country are training their officers to recognize signs of anti-government extremism and to exercise caution during routine traffic stops, criminal investigations and other interactions with potential extremists. “The threat is real,” says the handout from one training program sponsored by the Department of Justice. Since 2000, the handout notes, 25 law enforcement officers have been killed by right-wing extremists, who share a “fear that government will confiscate firearms” and a “belief in the approaching collapse of government and the economy.”

So what is the government doing about these so-called terrorists?

The government is going to war.


Only this time, it has declared war against so-called American “extremists.”

After decades spent waging costly, deadly and ineffective military campaigns overseas in pursuit of elusive ISIS and al Qaeda operatives and terror cells (including the recent “accidental” bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan that left 22 patients and medical staff dead), the Obama administration has announced a campaign to focus its terror-fighting forces inwards.

Under the guise of fighting violent extremism “in all of its forms and manifestations” in cities and communities across the world, the Obama administration has agreed to partner with the United Nations to take part in its Strong Cities Network program. Funded by the State Department through 2016, after which “charities are expected to take over funding,” the cities included in the global network include New York City, Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis, Paris, London, Montreal, Beirut and Oslo.

Working with the UN, the federal government will train local police agencies across America in how to identify, fight and prevent extremism, as well as address intolerance within their communities, using all of the resources at their disposal.

What this program is really all about, however, is community policing on a global scale.

Community policing, which relies on a “broken windows” theory of policing, calls for police to engage with the community in order to prevent local crime by interrupting or preventing minor offenses before they could snowball into bigger, more serious and perhaps violent crime. The problem with the broken windows approach is that it has led to zero tolerance policing and stop-and-frisk practices among other harsh police tactics.

When applied to the Strong Cities Network program, the objective is ostensibly to prevent violent extremism by targeting its source: racism, bigotry, hatred, intolerance, etc.

In other words, police—acting ostensibly as extensions of the United Nations—will identify, monitor and deter individuals who exhibit, express or engage in anything that could be construed as extremist.

Consider how Attorney General Loretta Lynch describes the initiative:

As residents and experts in their communities, local leaders are often best positioned to pinpoint sources of unrest and discord; best equipped to identify signs of potential danger; and best able to recognize and accommodate community cultures, traditions, sensitivities, and customs.  By creating a series of partnerships that draws on the knowledge and expertise of our local officials, we can create a more effective response to this virulent threat.

Translation: U.S. police agencies are embarking on an effort to identify and manage potential extremist “threats,” violent or otherwise, before they can become actual threats. (If you want a foretaste of how “extreme” things could get in the U.S., new anti-terrorism measures in the U.K. require that extremists be treated like pedophiles and banned from working with youngsters and vulnerable people.)

The government’s war on extremists, of which the Strong Cities program is a part, is being sold to Americans in much the same way that the USA Patriot Act was sold to Americans: as a means of combating terrorists who seek to destroy America.

For instance, making the case for the government’s war on domestic extremism, the Obama administration has suggested that it may require greater legal powers to combat violent attacks by lone wolves (such as “people motivated by racial and religious hatred and anti-government views” who “communicate their hatred over the Internet and through social media”).

Enter the government’s newest employee: a domestic terrorism czar.

However, as we now know, the USA Patriot Act was used as a front to advance the surveillance state, allowing the government to establish a far-reaching domestic spying program that has turned every American citizen into a criminal suspect.

Similarly, the concern with the government’s anti-extremism program is that it will, in many cases, be utilized to render otherwise lawful, nonviolent activities as potentially extremist.

Keep in mind that the government agencies involved in ferreting out American “extremists” will carry out their objectives—to identify and deter potential extremists—in concert with fusion centers (of which there are 78 nationwide, with partners in the private sector and globally), data collection agencies, behavioral scientists, corporations, social media, and community organizers, and by relying on cutting-edge technology for surveillance, facial recognition, predictive policing, biometrics, and behavioral epigenetics (in which life experiences alter one’s genetic makeup).

This is pre-crime on an ideological scale, and it’s been a long time coming.

For example, in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released two reports, one on “Rightwing Extremism,” which broadly defines rightwing extremists as individuals and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely,” and one on “Leftwing Extremism,” which labeled environmental and animal rights activist groups as extremists.

Incredibly, both reports use the words ‘terrorist’ and ‘extremist’ interchangeably.

That same year, the DHS launched Operation Vigilant Eagle, which calls for surveillance of military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, characterizing them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.”

These reports indicate that for the government, anyone seen as opposing the government—whether they’re Left, Right or somewhere in between—can be labeled an extremist.

Fast forward a few years, and you have the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which President Obama has continually re-upped, that allows the military to take you out of your home and lock you up with no access to friends, family or the courts if you’re seen as an extremist.

Now connect the dots, from the 2009 Extremism reports to the NDAA and the UN’s Strong Cities Network with its globalized police forces, the National Security Agency’s far-reaching surveillance networks, and fusion centers that collect and share surveillance data between local, state and federal police agencies.

Add in tens of thousands of armed, surveillance drones that will soon blanket American skies, and facial recognition technology that will identify and track you wherever you go and whatever you do. And then to complete the circle, toss in the real-time crime centers being deployed in cities across the country, which will be attempting to “predict” crimes and identify criminals before they happen based on widespread surveillance, complex mathematical algorithms and prognostication programs.

Hopefully you’re getting the picture, which is how easy it is for the government to identify, label and target individuals as “extremists.”

We’re living in a scary world.

Unless we can put the brakes on this dramatic expansion and globalization of the government’s powers, we’re not going to recognize this country 20 years from now.

Frankly, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the landscape has already shifted dramatically from what it was like 10 or 20 years ago. It’s taken less than a generation for our freedoms to be eroded and the police state structure to be erected, expanded and entrenched.

Rest assured that the government will not save us from the chains of the police state. The UN’s Strong Cities Network program will not save us. The next occupant of the White House will not save us. For that matter, anarchy and violent revolution will not save us.

If there is to be any hope of freeing ourselves, it rests—as it always has—at the local level, with you and your fellow citizens taking part in grassroots activism, which takes a trickle-up approach to governmental reform by implementing change at the local level.

Attend local city council meetings, speak up at town hall meetings, organize protests and letter-writing campaigns, and employ “militant nonviolent resistance” and civil disobedience, which Martin Luther King Jr. used to great effect through the use of sit-ins, boycotts and marches.

And then, while you’re at it, urge your local governments to nullify everything the federal government does that is illegitimate, egregious or blatantly unconstitutional.

If this sounds anti-government or extremist, perhaps it is, in much the same way that King himself was considered anti-government and extremist. Recognizing that “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed,” King’s tactics—while nonviolent—were extreme by the standards of his day.

As King noted in his 1963 “Letter from Birmingham City Jail”:

[A]s I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a bit of satisfaction from being considered an extremist. Was not Jesus an extremist in love—“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.” Was not Abraham Lincoln an extremist—“This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist—“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” So the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love?

So how do you not only push back against the police state’s bureaucracy, corruption and cruelty, but also launch a counterrevolution aimed at reclaiming control over the government using nonviolent means?

Take a cue from King.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

The Perfect Surveillance Man/Mousetrap Is Set

Although surveillance has become ubiquitous (that is, everywhere), most people have no idea how pervasive it’s become, and how far along the road to the 666 Surveillance System we’ve come. There’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. We’re being watched and tracked virtually everywhere; even our most private conversations inside our homes are being recorded and monitored.

Sound fantastic? It’s not. For instance, Google Chrome can turn on your computer’s microphone and record everything occurring around you, even when you think it’s off. And your children are unwitting spies as well as victims if they play with Barbie, since she has a wireless connection and hidden mic, so that whatever the child says is transmitted, recorded and analyzed. According to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood: “Kids using, ‘Hello Barbie’ won’t only be talking to a doll, they’ll be talking directly to a toy conglomerate whose only interest in them is financial.”

But what’ll make the biggest impression and really give you a sense of how far this already has gone is ‘Kestrel,’ a new 360 degree surveillance system that can cover an entire city from the air. You’ll be astounded how easily anyone can be tracked, since it doesn’t just operate in real time but can be rewound to see where someone came from and every move they’ve made. And now, you might be tracked in your car and even in church!

Then there’s the documentary, “Erasing David” which will take you into what seems like the twilight zone, though it’s from 2010! It follows a journalist who wants to test the surveillance taking over Britain. David Bond decides to find out how much private companies and the government know by putting himself under surveillance and trying to drop off the radar. It’ll give you chills.

But this is only the beginning of where and how you’re being tracked and spied on. When you’re done reviewing all this, you’ll be convinced that the perfect man/mousetrap already is in place and has been set.

This isn’t relegated to the future; neither is it fear-mongering. That day is here, now. Prophecy is coming to pass right before our eyes as the 666 Surveillance System continues to accelerate.

For more information, see usaprophecy.com and click on the July archive of the 666 blog.

To purchase a copy of “When Jesus Sets You Free” visit: http://usaprophecy.com/when-jesus-set…

Please also note that people interested in purchasing “When Jesus Sets You Free” by check could mail checks made out to John McTernan to:

John McTernan
P.O. Box 444 Liverpool, PA 17045

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

The Sad Fate Of America’s Whistleblowers

Editor’s note: This commentary originally appeared at OtherWords.org.)

What is it about whistleblowers that the powers that be can’t stand?

When I blew the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program, I was derided in many quarters as a traitor. My detractors in the government attacked me for violating my secrecy agreement, even as they ignored the oath we’d all taken to protect and defend the Constitution.

All of this happened despite the fact that the torture I helped expose is illegal in the United States. Torture also violates a number of international laws and treaties to which our country is signatory — some of which the United States itself was the driving force in drafting.

I was charged with three counts of espionage, all of which were eventually dropped when I took a plea to a lesser count. I had to choose between spending up to 30 months in prison and rolling the dice to risk a 45-year sentence. With five kids, and three of them under the age of 10, I took the plea.

Tom Drake — the NSA whistleblower who went through the agency’s chain of command to report its illegal program to spy on American citizens — was thanked for his honesty and hard work by being charged with 10 felonies, including five counts of espionage. The government eventually dropped the charges, but not before Drake had suffered terrible financial, professional, and personal distress.

This is an ongoing theme, especially in government.

Chelsea Manning is serving 35 years in prison for her disclosure of State Department and military cable traffic showing American military crimes in Iraq and beyond. And Edward Snowden, who told Americans about the extent to which our government is spying on us, faces life in prison if he ever returns to the country.

The list goes on and on.

Baltimore Police Department whistleblower Joe Crystal knew what he was getting into when he reported an incident of police brutality to his superiors after witnessing two colleagues brutally beat a suspect. Crystal immediately became known as a “rat cop” and a “snitch.”

He finally resigned from the department after receiving credible death threats.

It’s not just government employees either. Whistleblowers first brought attention to wrongdoing at Enron, Lehman Brothers, Stanford International Bank, and elsewhere.

And what’s their reward? Across the board, whistleblowers are investigated, harassed, fired, and in some cases prosecuted.

That’s the conclusion of author Eyal Press, whose book Beautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times documents the struggles of whistleblowers throughout history. Press’s whistleblowers never recover financially or professionally from their actions. History seems to smile on them; but during their lifetimes, they remain outcasts.

This is a tragedy. Blowing the whistle on wrongdoing should be the norm, not the exception.

I recently visited Greece to help the government there draft a whistleblower protection law. The Greek word for “whistleblower” translates as “guardian of the public trust.” I wish our own government’s treatment of whistleblowers could reflect that understanding.

Yet even legal guarantees of protection from prosecution and persecution aren’t enough — especially if, as in the case of existing law, national security employees are exempt from these safeguards.

Instead, society must start seeing things differently. Like the Greeks, all of us need to start treating whistleblowers as guardians, not traitors. And if we value what freedoms we have left, we should demand that our government do the same.

OtherWords columnist John Kiriakou is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. He’s a former CIA counterterrorism officer and senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. OtherWords.org.


The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.