What constitutes treason when the politicians you elect into office will not tell you that your government is lying to you because they are under oath to the Official Secrets Act? Music fan Mike Felten reminds us of the lies that led us into the war on Iraq.

 

 

It keeps coming back to New Orleans. I know I must bore you. Some of you have increased your computer speed three or four times since people died on the streets of an American city for lack of food, water or medical care. We are onto the next thing quickly. Even the most moral of us find the next outrage, the next cause.

Sorry, I just can't get past this.

I've written about it before. It was a tipping point for me. It was a grand illustration of the little amount of regard elected officials paid to the citizenry. Senators, presidents, representatives that have supposedly come from the ranks of the people and elected by us to serve and protect, turned their backs upon us with a stunning laissez faire.

The president played air guitar. My senators, Democrats Durbin and Obama held the sheet music. My representative, Rahm Emmanuel, always described as a powerful voice, was silent and still. The American public was standing on tiptoes in an attic, gasping for breath from an air vent, until our legs gave way. Some of our bodies weren't recovered for months. Some may be there still.

We now know, as Americans, that whatever dire tragedy may befall us that no help will be forthcoming. If there is no profit to be had we are as good as dead. If we are lucky the vice-president may put on his sweatpants and show up at a funeral.

It should come as no surprise that another chasm in our faith has been exposed.

The clues have been there.

In March of 2006, my senator, Dick Durbin, addressed the secrecy issue concerning the illegal wiretapping of American citizens to Chris Wallace of Fox News: "Having served on the Intelligence Committee, I can tell you they put you in a box. They tell you the secret information and then say you're sworn to secrecy. You can't repeat it.

"So to suggest that you can then hold a president or any member of the administration accountable publicly would mean that you'd have to break the law and leak information to the press, which many of us are loathe to do, as we should be. So we're in a terrible situation here, being given information and you can't do anything with it."

Senator Durbin, you work for
the American people. You are
in office to protect our interests
and our lives. Your allegiance is
to us and not the Intelligence
Committee. If you knew that the
excursion into Iraq was a lie,
it was your duty as a senator
to expose it before one
American life (or Iraqi life) was lost.
Beyond your duty to the
American people, it would be your
moral duty as a human being.

Yesterday, Senator Durbin changed the title of his statement and delivered it on the Senate floor: "I was a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and I would read the headlines in the paper in the morning and I'd watch the television newscast and I'd shake my head. The information we had in the Intelligence Committee was not the same information being given to the American people. I couldn't believe it.

"[...]You see, in the Intelligence Committee, we're sworn to secrecy. We can't walk outside the door and say, 'The statement made yesterday by the White House is in direct contradiction to classified information that's being given to this Congress.'

"[...]And so in my frustration, I sat here on the floor of the Senate and listened to this heated debate about invading Iraq thinking the American people are being misled. They are not being told the truth."

I shouldn't be surprised. I am infuriated.

Senator Durbin, you work for the American people. You are in office to protect our interests and our lives. Your allegiance is to us and not the Intelligence Committee. If you knew that the excursion into Iraq was a lie, it was your duty as a senator to expose it before one American life (or Iraqi life) was lost. Beyond your duty to the American people, it would be your moral duty as a human being.

The secrets that you are privy to are kept only to protect the American people not to lead us blindly into harm. We trusted you. I voted for you. My fellow citizens of Illinois voted for you. We can only apologize to the world for our mistake and count our dead.

We offer our children for you to place in harm's way and you turn our sacrifices into a Sgt. Rock comic book recruiting poster. Pat Tillman believed his country needed his assistance and gave up a lucrative professional sports career only to lose his life in a messy screw-up in Afghanistan. It wasn't enough to plaster posters of his chiseled features across the news. It wasn't enough to sell football jerseys with his name on it. The government had to make his death into some glorious made for TV movie that it wasn't.

If Pat had returned home without a scratch, he would've still been honored by us. We know the sacrifice of service. It is glory enough for us. Wasn't it enough that the only way that Jessica Lynch could get enough money to enable a lifetime of service to us as a teacher, was by doing a tour in the military? There was honor enough there. The wounds, the rescue and the "girl Rambo" nonsense wasn't necessary.

The world might not be aware of this constant snow job that our government gives us. When all else fails, when we can't invoke the privilege of "secrecy" to hide the misdeeds, we are reminded of the blood and the sacrifice of our fathers and mothers. Sorry to say that some of us are doing all the sacrificing and dying and others are always reminding us of it and profiting by it.

Maybe we should hoist this flag up...

" Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed... But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

That's part of our Declaration of Independence. That's part of what we are about. And if you want to know how we are doing, look to New Orleans. We hold those truths to be self-evident and that's no secret.

We look to our country and believe and we are misled. Some talk of impeachment as a punishment for the betrayal of the faith. It is too easy. Robert McNamara couldn't be bothered to research the history of Vietnam before concocting his "domino theory" and 60,000 American lives (and up to 4 million Vietnamese lives, but who's counting?) were lost. At least he claimed ignorance. Durbin claims knowledge. I think prison is in line here. It makes me wonder what does constitute treason anymore?

Note: Besides operating the Record Emporium and running Wealselworld, Mike Felten also has Landfill Records. Visit http://recordemporium.com for a rockin' good time.







For more... email mybigo@bigozine.com with the message, "Put me on your mailing list."

 
May 15, 2007