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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Beyond Snowden: US General Cartwright has been indicted for espionage

July 2, 2013 By 21wire

While the world focuses on Washington’s pursuit of NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden, another much more high ranking member of the US power structure has been indicted for espionage this week…

US General James Cartwright was regarded by Washington insiders as ‘Obama’s General’, and now he’s facing prosecution for blowing the whistle on ‘Operation Olympic Games’ which planted the Stuxnet and Flame viruses in Iranian nuclear facilities in order derail Iran’s civilian nuclear program. At closer examination, it appears that Cartwright’s revelations didn’t so much harm US interests per say, but they hindered Israeli ambitions towards a war with Iran.

But why espionage? What is the line between “whistleblowing” and “espionage” in America today?

Journalist Thierry Meyssan give us a historical perspective and tells is what it really means…

Voltaire Net

While the international press plays up the information leaked by Edward Snowden as a revelation concerning the PRISM surveillance program, feigning to have discovered what everyone should already have known for a long time, Thierry Meyssan, is particularly curious about the meaning of this rebellion. From this perspective, he attaches more importance to the case of General Cartwright, who has also been indicted for espionage.

Thierry Meyssan

Are American public servants, civilian or military, who face a minimum of 30 years in prison for revealing U.S. state secrets to the press “whistleblowers” exercising power in a democratic system, or are they “resistors to oppression” at the hands of a military-police dictatorship?

The answer to this question does not depend on our own political opinions, but on the nature of the U.S. government. The answer completely changes if we focus on the case of Bradley Manning, the young leftist Wikileaks soldier, or if we consider that of General Cartwright, military adviser to President Obama, indicted Thursday, 27 June 2013, for spying.

IMAGE: US General James Cartwright

Here, a look back is needed to understand how one shifts from “espionage” in favor of a foreign power, to “disloyalty” to a criminal organization that employs you.

Worse than censorship: the criminalization of sources

The President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Woodrow Wilson, tried to confer on the Executive branch the power to censor the press when “national security” or “the reputation of the government” are in play. In his speech on State of the Union (7th of December 1915), he said:

There are citizens of the United States … who have poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life, who tried to drag the authority and reputation of our government in contempt … to destroy our industries … and degrade our policy in favor of foreign intrigue …. We are without adequate federal laws …. I urge you to do nothing less than save the honor and self-respect of the nation. Such creatures of passion, disloyalty, and anarchy must be crushed.”

However, Congress did not heed him immediately. After the U.S. entry into the war, it passed the Espionage Act, taking in most of the British Official Secrets Act. It was no longer a matter of censoring the press, but of cutting off access to information by muzzling the custodians of state secrets. This device allows the Anglo-Saxons to present themselves as “defenders of freedom of expression“, though they are the worst violators of the democratic right to information, constitutionally defended by the Scandinavian countries.

Silence, not secrecy

Thus, the Anglo-Americans are less informed about what is happening at home than are foreigners. For example, during World War II, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada managed to keep under wraps something as big as the Manhattan Project, that created the first nuclear bomb, while it employed 130,000 people for 4 years and it was widely penetrated by foreign intelligence services. Why? Because Washington did not prepare the weapon for this war, but for the next, against the Soviet Union. As shown by Russian historians, the abdication of Japan was postponed until after Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed as a warning to the USSR. If Americans had known that their country possessed such a weapon, their leaders would have had to use it to finish with Germany and not to threaten the Soviet ally at the expense of the Japanese. In reality, the Cold War began before the end of World War II [1].

In terms of secrecy, it should be noted that Stalin and Hitler were informed of the Manhattan Project from its inception. They indeed had inside agents. Meanwhile Truman was informed in his capacity as vice president, but only at the last moment, after the death of President Roosevelt.

The real utility of the Espionage Act

In any event, the Espionage Act deals only secondarily with espionage as shown by its jurisprudence.
In wartime, it is used to punish dissent. Thus, in 1919, the Supreme Court recognized in Schrenck v. United States andAbrams v. United States that calling for insubordination or non-intervention against the Russian Revolution fell under theEspionage Act.

In peacetime, the same law serves to prevent public officials from exposing a system of fraud or crimes committed by the state, even if their revelations are already known, but not yet proven… MORE>