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Free the Whistleblower Joshua Schulte

End Criminal Governance in the United States
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Free the Whistleblower Joshua Schulte

End Criminal Governance in the United States

Emanuel Pastreich

February 5, 2024

When Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Matthew G. Olsen, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and James Smith, the Assistant Director of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced on February 1 that Joshua Schulte would spend 40 years in prison, longer than many murderers, they made it clear to the world that the most grave crime an American can commit is exposing the barbaric actions of the government against its own citizens.

The Statue of Liberty weeps; The spiritual leader of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine, who wrote, "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression" rolls over in his grave.

The United States, like so many empires of old, has tossed off all pretenses of communal good, of republicanism, of accountability and transparency, of the rule of law and justice for all, and instead has crudely marked out a path for suppression of any attempt to make public its internal decay.

Let us not kid ourselves; we all know where that road leads.

Perhaps you did not know about the trial of Joshua Schulte for releasing evidence of criminal wrongdoing within the government. The case has been largely been ignored by the mainstream media, and of course all the candidates for office have been as silent as the tomb about this grotesque miscarriage of justice.

Reports that he possessed child pornography were added to the charges later to make it seem a little less insane—but although such material was most likely planted—it did nothing to relieve the grim prospect.

His crime was the release to the public through the Wikileaks website of examples of criminal wrongdoing by the United States, especially by the CIA. Most likely it was not even him who released those damning materials.

Insiders in defense and intelligence all know full well that Schulte and associates selected relatively tame criminality by intelligence and the military and did not even touch on the major state crimes. Yet even that action had to be punished as brutally as possible.

This sentencing, in which a computer programmer with a conscience was turned into a terrorist for a show trial, forms nothing less than a declaration of war against truth tellers, whistleblowers, and, along with the slaughter of journalists in Gaza, against writers and intellectuals in the United States and around the world. A republic infected with the virus of empire will take everyone down with her as her titanic form sinks lower and lower into the swamp.

We know that there are people at every level in the Federal Government, right now, who are reaching the breaking point, who feel that they must speak out against the unspeakable evil that flows beneath the surface of just about everything these days.

We feel your pain, men and women of conscience, and even if the politicians and public figures run away in fear, while they act bravely on TV, we will stand with you.

We know that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is the intended next victim of such a show trial. We also know that there are hundreds, thousands, of you who have been punished without anyone even finding out what happened to you. We stand with all of you too, all you unspoken heroes. As Bobby Kennedy said,

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, that, crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

After all, the jury in 2020 could not agree to convict Schulte for violating the Espionage Act, despite immense political pressure.

There is much doubt that the materials released to WikiLeaks were even related to Schulte in the first place. But what is certain is that those responsible for the crimes described in those documents will not be subject to persecution because a secret fortress of classified directives protects them, making them like gods in a rotten empire.

The information released on WikiLeaks, and attributed to Schulte, describes broad criminal operations including development of malware to attack anyone without a trace, spying programs aimed at illegally gathering information on citizens that can be sold to the highest bidder, and techniques for blaming other countries and individuals for crimes of which they were innocent.

Needless to say, in a democratic and transparent nation, Schulte and others would be held up as heroes. But today they are the enemies of the dark forces that have lodged deep inside Washington.

The point of the release of these materials was to start a debate on what America is doing and what it is becoming. But the CIA Director at the time Mike Pompeo, denounced these truth tellers as “demons” and “enemies” declaring that the basic rights of any citizens involve would be forfeited because they had become a “non-state hostile intelligence agency.”

It is important to note that Schulte has served five years under terrible conditions according to the barbaric “special administrative measures” program that subjects him to white noise in solitary confinement in a dark room, all actions intended to do psychological damage. Not given a fork, he must eat with his hands. Often, he does not have access to a toilet.

Palestinians protesting the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza would not find Schulte’s situation unfamiliar. After all such psychological warfare techniques were developed in Israel. Nor would immigrants from South America who have been caught on the border, and subject to confinement in inhuman camps run for profit by contractors have any trouble understanding either. After all, the militarized border contains security systems  operated by the same firms, like Elbit Systems,  that work in the occupied territories, and use the same surveillance technology, and interrogation and isolation methods, developed over there. That obscene marriage of Israeli and American security, private prisons, and opaque misuse of law is described in detail in Todd Miller’s book Empire of Borders: The Expansion of the U.S. Border Around the World.

Those borders, those walls to block out people, to lock up truthtellers, or to hide ugly secrets at the CIA or the Department of Defense, must be defended at all costs by the powerful.

We must stand up against this brutalization of the government in the United States and resist rule by the multinational corporations, and the wealthy behind them, who are pushing this policy of punishment for anyone who dares to speak the truth.

(Thank you to WSWS for providing the article on this case)

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