Truth Telling Is Offensive
Paul Craig Roberts was an assistant secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan. Like many Americans, he has been wounded by the government he helped create, and he’s tired of being called offensive and depressing for talking about it.
“In America truth is offensive,” he writes in his latest column at CounterPunch. “If you tell the truth, you are offensive.”
Roberts lists the names of others who offend establishment notions of decency by telling the unadorned truth. They are economists Michael Hudson and Ellen Brown, political critic Noam Chomsky and Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, among others.
“If you tell readers what is really going on,” he writes, just as these figures do, “they want to know why you can’t be positive. Why are you telling us that there are bad happenings that can’t be remedied? Don’t you know that God gave Americans the power to fix all wrongs? What are you? Some kind of idiot, an anti-American, a pinko-liberal-commie? If you hate America so much, why don’t you move to Cuba, Iran or China (or to wherever the current bogyman is located)?”
“In America and everywhere in the Western world or the entire world, telling the truth is unpopular,” he continues. “Indeed, in the USA telling the truth has been criminalized. Look for example at Bradley Manning, held for two years in prison without bail and without a trial in violation of the US Constitution, tortured for one year of his illegal confinement in violation of US and international law, and now put on trial by corrupt prosecutors for aiding ‘enemies of the US’ by revealing the truth, as required of him by the US military code. … When Bradley Manning’s superiors showed themselves to be indifferent to war crimes, Manning reported the crimes via WikiLeaks. What else does a soldier with a sense of duty and a moral conscience do when the chain of command is corrupt?”
Julian Assange is another example cited by Roberts. In the last few years, WikiLeaks assumed the reporting responsibilities that The New York Times and The Washington Post abandoned in the decades after the publication of the Pentagon Papers, which “undermined the lies Washington told” to justify the Vietnam War. “But today no newspaper or TV channel any longer accepts the responsibility to truthfully inform the public.”
Assange was swiftly demonized by governments worldwide and by a jealous and resentful corporate media. Without his efforts and the efforts of those like him, the journalistic spins hatched in Washington and in boardrooms across the country would attach themselves to the minds of Americans without opposition. For 10 months now Assange has been trapped inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, severely restricted in his ability to cast light on official wrongdoing.
Meanwhile: “Insouciant Americans are undisturbed that alleged terrorists are tortured, held indefinitely in prison without due process, and executed on the whim of some executive branch official without due process of law,” Roberts bemoans. “Most Americans go along with unaccountable murder, torture, and detention without evidence, which proclaims their gullibility to the entire world. There has never in history been a population as unaware as Americans. The world is amazed that [a casually indifferent] people became, if only for a short time, a superpower.”
“The world needs intelligence and leadership in order to avoid catastrophe, but America can provide neither intelligence nor leadership” Roberts warns. “America is a lost land where nuclear weapons are in the hands of those who are concerned only with their own power. Washington is the enemy of the entire world and encompasses the largest concentration of evil on the planet.”
“Where is the good to rise up against the evil?” he asks.
— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.