Whistleblowing in our federal government may soon be a thing of the past, not because whistleblowers face more vicious retribution than ever before ~ although that is true; and not because important acts of whistleblowing now result in fewer reforms and less accountability than they used to ~ although that is also true and is getting closer; but fundamentally because the actions against which we need whistles blown are publicly acknowledged.
Starting from the model of whistleblowers, one is tempted to suggest that we begin supporting those individuals who will resist immoral orders and assignments: resisters instead of whistleblowers.
We need to all be whistleblowers, since we all know about the crimes.We need to insist on viewing policies differently, rather than viewing different policies.We need to expose what happens where the bombs land and the defunding of human needs hit home.
And we need to organize massive resistance from outside the government, with the potential for creating massive resistance within the government as well.
The only answer they came up with in response to my question was the same answer everyone comes up with for everything these days, and ~ I think ~ the right answer: Participate in the Occupy movement.
Monday's event was an annual presentation of Sam Adams Awards, in this case to Drake and Radack.
"We are moving into tyranny and despotism. I fear for the republic. Today we have a frightening lack of accountability within the national security complex and it poses a direct threat to our personal freedoms and to our constitutional republic. Both cannot coexist. Our government has lost its constitutional compass; it has been tainted to its core. Yet it is our enshrined liberties that are our national security."
Wilkerson agreed. Wilkerson said that he'd be in jail or dead right now if the people who would do that to him didn't fear Colin Powell who knows where all the skeletons are hidden. This occurred to him, Wilkerson said, while he was listening to Drake.
In the very next breath, Wilkerson said that Powell is writing a book that will cover his UN speech and that Wilkerson himself is writing a book that will also cover that speech. He'll want to check Powell's facts, Wilkerson said. (How closely, given his analysis of what's keeping him alive?) He also said that he did not even belong on the same stage with Radack and Drake ~ which circles back to what I thought Wilkerson was going to say kept him out of jail and the grave, namely his failure to blow the whistle in a more timely manner.
What stands out about every person who was part of Monday's panel is how incredibly rare they are. What ought to go without saying, what would simply be required of students for example under the University of Virginia's honor system, is an extremely unusual freak occurrence in our government in Washington, D.C.
We are going to need to develop a counter culture, the culture one can see blossoming in the Occupy encampments, a culture in which honesty and integrity are the norm, a culture in which decent behavior leads to acceptance rather than ostracism.