Monsters Among Us

We were privileged to have a real live monster visit Salt Lake City days after Halloween.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke on independent journalism and its role in diplomacy at Rowland Hall as part of the McCarthey family lecture series.

Albright said that independent journalism is a vital weapon against totalitarianism, and is “part of the foundation of any democracy.”

Albright continued with the jaw dropping hypocrisy, describing how autocratic governments want to “control the information to have the power,” while  in the next breath, criticizing Wilileaks and Edward Snowden as having “done more damage to this country and our diplomacy than anything I have seen in a long time.”

Ha, ha, ha.

Albright also confessed her biggest regret. And, no it wasn’t allowing a half a million Iraqi children to die due to US sanctions, for those of you who are keeping score at home.

No, Albright said her biggest regret in public service was the “inaction of the United States to stop the genocide in Rwanda.”

I don’t know what it is about Utah, but monsters feel very comfortable coming here to speak. Maybe it’s the Mormon culture that is respectful and obedient towards authority, but it could be the breathtaking scenery.

Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and now Madeleine Albright. Monsters, every one of them. But it’s America right? So they’re not in prison, but on the lecture circuit, or ensconced at elite universities. The Nuremberg principles don’t apply to our monsters, only small time monsters, like Milosevic.

Why is it that we castigate foreign tyrants for carrying out genocidal actions and suppression of the media while at the same time, venerating American leaders who engage in the same if not worse behavior?

In a word, empire. American elite and the media allow such a double standard becuase otherwise this true state of affairs would stand fully exposed. The fury directed at whistleblowers, comes from the fear that these exposures allow the American people to begin to discern the economic and military policies that benefit only the wealthy, the corporations they control, and their political retainers such as Senator Dianne Finestein,

Marcey Wheeler at Emptywheel helps unpack the double standard and explains the rational behind the NSA’s actions in support of empire.

“Meanwhile, I think we grab everything we can overseas out of hubris we got while we were the uncontested world power, and only accelerated now that we’re losing that uncontested position. If we’re going to sustain power through coercion — and we developed a nasty habit of doing so, especially under Bush — then we need to know enough to coerce successfully. So we collect. Everything. Even if doing so makes us stupider and more reliant on coercion.”

Asked why Americans shouldn’t know about our governments actions through whistleblowers, Albright claimed that we need to have a “huge discussion about what is appropriate or not…without all the damage that has been done.”

I won’t be holding my breath, monster.


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1 Response to Monsters Among Us

  1. Jeff Nguyen says:

    The elite love to have discussions, form committees and talk about “reforms”. It’s the language of treaties, resolutions and negotiations that always seem to benefit the dominant culture over the indigenous populations of a given land. Monsters is a good way of describing individuals who have the blood of millions on their hands while bemoaning poor Africans (another popular target of elite white sympathy and hypocrisy).

    Great minds think alike:

    Good insights and analysis, here.

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