By John Scales Avery, New Age Islam
The Jaws of Power
“The jaws of power are always open to
devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the
freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing." John Adams, (1735-1826)
According to the Nuremberg Principles, the
citizens of a country have a responsibility for the crimes that their
governments commit. But to prevent these crimes, the people need to have some
knowledge of what is going on.
Indeed, democracy cannot function at all
without this knowledge
What are we to think when governments make
every effort to keep their actions secret from their own citizens? We can only
conclude that although they may call themselves democracies, such governments
are in fact oligarchies or dictatorships.
At the end of World War I, it was realized
that secret treaties had been responsible for its outbreak, and an effort was
made to ensure that diplomacy would be more open in the future. Needless to
say, these efforts did not succeed, and diplomacy has remained a realm of
Many governments have agencies for
performing undercover operations (usually very dirty ones). We can think, for
example of the KGB, the CIA, M5, or Mossad. How can countries that have such
agencies claim to be democracies, when the voters have no knowledge of or
influence over the acts that are committed by the secret agencies of their
Nuclear weapons were developed in secret.
It is doubtful whether the people of the United States would have approved of
the development of such antihuman weapons, or their use against an
already-defeated Japan, if they had known that these things were going to
happen. The true motive for the nuclear bombings was also kept secret. In the
words of General Groves, speaking confidentially to colleagues at Los Alamos,
the real motive was “to control the Soviet Union”.
The true circumstances surrounding the
start of the Vietnam war would never have been known if Daniel Ellsberg had not
leaked the Pentagon Papers. Ellsberg thought that once the American public
realized that their country's entry into the war was based on a lie, the war
would end. It did not end immediately, but undoubtedly Ellsberg's action
contributed to the end of the war.
Julian Assange, a martyr to the truth
We do not know what will happen to Julian
Assange. If his captors send him to the US, and if he is executed there for the
crime of publishing leaked documents (a crime that he shares with the New York
Times), he will not be the frst martyr to the truth. The ageing Galileo was
threatened with torture and forced to recant his heresy - that the earth moves
around the sun. Galileo spent the remainder of his days in house arrest.
Gordiano Bruno was less lucky. He was burned at the stake for maintaining that
the universe is larger than it was then believed to be. If Julian Assange
becomes a martyr to the truth like Galileo or Bruno, his name will be honoured
in the future, and the shame of his captors will be remembered too.
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