WikiLeaks turnabout is fair play

Posted Nov. 30, 2010, at 6:47 p.m.

How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was great! I had so much fun, I think I got my sense of humor back.

Let’s face it, current events had been making us all a little cranky of late.

Let’s test my newly recharged funny bone. Here’s a new joke that I wrote this week: What’s the difference between the Patriot Act and spying? Well, the Patriot Act is when the government reads your mail without asking and spying is when we read theirs.

The Washington Post announced last week that the folks at WikiLeaks may be charged with espionage. Now that’s funny! The federal government, such a bunch of kidders! They don’t like being treated the way they treat us, but “turnabout is fair play,” I say.

And I’d like to remind you that this government of ours has tried the “don’t tell the American people what we’re really up to” treason threats before and it failed miserably. You remember that they charged former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel for helping Daniel Ellsberg expose the corruption in the Nixon Administration through the Pentagon Papers. Those charges against Sen. Gravel — and remember, because he was a seated senator at the time, the charges were leveled against him in the U.S. Supreme Court — didn’t stick either.

The governments — and I mean all of them; remember the WikiLeaks contain information that spans decades — hate that the honest message got out and fear what people knowing the truth have the power to do to them. Mind you, these WikiLeaks have only the potential to cause disastrous repercussions for current and previ-ous government officials because lately “we the people” have lost our nerve. Anyway, out of fear that one day we might wake up, those in power accuse, arraign, try to execute the messenger — if they can.

Have you read much of what’s contained in the newly leaked quarter of a million cables from the feds? I confess, I haven’t read the originals and I’m relying on information from the Washington Post and NPR. If what they reported is true, turns out we have been square dancing to calls made by Saudi Arabia.

Finally. We got that in writing!

How in heaven’s name can it possibly be bad that the American public finally has proof that our leaders are lapdogs for the Saudis? We gluttonous Americans have been led around by our oil tanks and now — according to reports from these leaked documents — the Saudis want us to take care of their neighbor Iran for them.

I have an idea. No more bully Americans sending their cherished loved ones — that’s how I feel about our soldiers — into deadly war zones unprovoked. If the Saudis are sick of “Hitler” — yeah that’s how the State Department says they referred to Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — let’s let the Saudis handle it. And if they ask why we don’t dance for them anymore, we can remind them that most of the terrorists who flew the planes on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia.

Let’s see these WikiLeaks for what they are: an opportunity to get our hands on what is really going on around the world in our name. And then let’s start acting like the lovers of liberty and democracy that we in the United States paint ourselves to be.

Remember, the Pentagon Papers went a long way toward ending an unjust war as well as ending the political careers of a few corrupt politicians — including then-President Richard Nixon — and that’s the real reason the government doesn’t want us reading the leaked documents.

And as the consumers of this new information, let’s start using the same rhetoric that was used against us by those who supported the Patriot Act: “Well, gee, what do you care if we violate your privacy and deny your right to liberty if you have nothing to hide? After all, it doesn’t matter if innocent people get spied on because they aren’t doing anything wrong.”

In the esteemed words of the Watergate conspirator who illegally bombed Laos and Cambodia, “My fellow Americans,” it’s time we realized that our country has been doing things for which we should feel ashamed, but all the authorities care about is that they are about to get caught.

Pat LaMarche of Yarmouth is the author of “Left Out In America: The State of Homelessness in the United States.” She may be reached at PatLaMarche@hotmail.com.

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