CHESTER KULIS FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The judge at the time of sentencing said the type of â€śmayhemâ€ť that government hacker Jeremy Hammond did was different from what other protesters like MLK did. Really? King was described by FBI Hoover as the â€śmost dangerous Negro in Americaâ€ť and so the FBI bugged his phone. The government and courts appear to be quick with excuses for suppressing transparency and challenges to the status quo.
What did Hammond expose? For example, that the US government hired a private security firm to spy on the Occupy Wall Street movement, among other embarrassments to the DC elite?
Other whistle blowers who violated the law included Daniel Ellsberg who leaked the Pentagon papers in 1971 and an FBI associate director who was Deep Throat in the Watergate episode. Weren't they patriots instead of criminals?
Just consider Jeffrey Wigland, former vice president of development and research at Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company, who leaked internal documents which substantiated claims that the tobacco industry knew that cigarettes caused cancer, that cigarettes were addictive, and that the industry marketed to kids. Specifically, he charged on "60 Minutes" in 1996 that cigarette companies ratched up nicotine to increase addiction to smoking.
Hammond and Anonymous, as well as Julian Assange at WeakiLeaks, are on the right side of history. The judge who sentenced Hammond isn't.
When the citizens know more about their government than the government knows about them, that is democracy. When the government knows more about them than they know about the government, that is tyranny.
Our countryâ€™s enemies suspect the worst of our government re waterboarding, torture, massive and indiscriminate spying, manipulation of national governments, economic espionage, etc. What these disclosures show is that their suspicions are often correct â€“ and Americans have been kept in the dark.
(Photo: Free Press Pics)