Orwellian Circus: Khadr’s Trial

Omar Khadr was taken as a child from his home in Canada to live in Afghanistan. When he was 15, he was caught in a battle with US forces. He lost his vision in one eye, was shot in the back twice, and was confined in US torture camps from the time he was 15 until he was 24, without a trial, and without access to a lawyer for years. Despite years of UN protests that he should be rehabilitated as a child soldier, not tried, he was brought before seven US officers in a military trial for committing “murder in violation of the law of war.” Yes, that’s right, seven officers in the US military. Who haven’t obeyed any of the rules of war since we have been watching.

The “murder”, a 15 year old boy throwing a grenade in a battle at a professional killer and invader, is one he has denied for the duration of his imprisonment despite constant “interrogation” since he was 15 years old. There is no evidence that he threw the grenade, and there is a great deal of evidence that he didn’t, including initial US military reports. There is a video of him at Guantánamo crying in “interviews”. A US medic has described Khadr weeping and shackled in Bagram. The “confession” the US military has finally obtained after nearly a decade of torturing a child, is referred to in court as a “stipulation of fact“. It is presented to the jury without allowing them to know that Khadr was offered a plea bargain in exchange.

The rumoured plea bargain will not include any recognition of the years he has already served, he will be sent to the maximum security level at Guantánamo despite not giving any security concerns during all of his years of imprisonment, and the “interrogation” is to continue. It is likely that he will be recommended for transfer back to Canada after the first year, but there has been no interest from the Canadian government in enabling that.

Here are some of the more bizarre items coming out in the tweets and reports from attendees at the trial. *

Children killed by professional killers do not matter. Professional killer’s children matter. The court listened for one hour (or 45 minutes, according to some tweets) to testimony from the US professional killer’s widow about how his death has impacted her family. Has any US soldier listened to any family of any of the civilians they have killed/tortured/raped/kidnapped? According to the professional killer’s widow, her “children are good, loving, wonderful people. They didn’t deserve to have their father taken by someone like you.” Asked by a jury member if she would see Khadr in a different light if he had been dressed in the uniform of an “enemy soldier” during the firefight, she said “yes.” The former fifteen year old apologized to the widow of the professional killer, but she shook her head and told him he would  “forever be a murderer.” It  is ok for US soldiers to murder children, but it is a war crime for children to murder US soldiers.

There is lengthy testimony from a US psychiatrist who explains the hate and resentment he feels certain is burning below the surface (where no one has been able to find any evidence of it) in Khadr. He cites Khadr’s family as being a big influence on him. (Khadr has been in a US torture camp since he was 15. He is now 24.) He also says Muslim militants look up to Khadr’s dead father. And Khadr is surrounded by Muslim militants. Therefore he is a risk of causing further violence. Immediately after the psychiatrist, the professional killer’s widow took the stand. She described how her son told everyone on Remembrance Day that everyone in the US military looked up to his dead father. They all came to his funeral. They named a clinic after him. His father’s US militant friends explain how they spend as much time as possible with him. “Army rocks, bad guys stink,” says the son of the professional killer. The courtroom weeps.

After hearing the psychiatrist’s views that Khadr being a “devout” Muslim made it impossible for him to ever be “deradicalized”, the professional killer’s friends take the stand to describe him. Captain E says Speer made “peace with the war around him.” Asked to give one word to sum up his friend, Captain E said “Super stud”.  Super studs who are comfortable with war are better people than devout Muslims. (In recognition of this, the defense lawyer provided evidence that Khadr wasn’t that devout.)

The same psychiatrist says of Khadr, he is very dangerous because “he’s physically resilient”, “socially agile”,  “street smart”, “the other detainees give him regard”, athletic and taller than most detainees, “charming”, speaks various languages and that he “has attracted more attention to Cuba than Fidel”. Also, he is a prayer leader and speaks fluent English so can communicate with guards and has become a leader. He has the “stardust of royalty”, is “devout”, “identifies with his family,” and has become his family’s “white sheep”. He is “charming” and carries himself with “grace.” On a “superficial” level he seems very “Westernized.” And he is a “rock star” of Guantánamo. All of this makes him very dangerous.

Worst of all, the psychiatrist repeatedly states that Khadr has been  “marinated in jihad” at the US torture camps. Because he has been imprisoned without a trial since he was 15, he has met all the wrong sort. Plus, since he was tortured by US soldiers, he might hate them.

As if being a tall, athletic, ambitious, charismatic, graceful, resilient, street smart, charming, multi-lingual, prayer leader was not enough, he has read Harry Potter. Which is escapism. For someone to want to escape Guantánamo or Bagram seems strange to this psychiatrist. He has also read CS Lewis, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Ismael Beah, Danielle Steele and John Grisham, along with many educational texts etc., but Harry Potter seemed much more worthy of note. He is obviously not a Christian.

He must serve his sentence in the maximum security level at Guantánamo, despite his guards being almost universal in their opinions that he is a nice kid, because he called one a “bitch”. Also a “whore”. And once he said “fuck”.

Going to Canada would be bad, because Canada doesn’t have real  “de-radicalization therapy”. The prosecution asked a professor at small Christian college if her college has a “deradicalization program on campus.” No. And anyway, “How will a devout Muslim integrate into Canada?”

The jury of seven impartial US officers will make their deliberation after an impartial and fair trial in which they will be told that Khadr pled guilty. They won’t know about his negotiated plea sentence or the threats of death, rape or torture that were used and admitted to by “interrogators”. They will see an FBI simulated 10-second clip of a Humvee explosion as an example of something that Khadr might have done, if it had happened, but it didn’t.

*For first hand reporting, and accurate quoting, follow the hashtag #Khadr. Most of the people tweeting are reporters who are at the trial. Most have links to their own articles on their twitter accounts. The tweeting by them has been excellent.

Update: The closing arguments were not less bizarre.

“The accused is not a soldier” and any reference to him as one does a “disservice” to men and women in uniform. Because professional killers are better people than civilians defending their country.

“They fight for no country. They fight for a religon.” Because fighting for your country is morally superior to fighting for your religon.

The US decided to put the Canadian in Guantanamo and offered him no “de-radicalization” program, but to release him to Canada would be wrong because Canada’s “deradicalization programs” are not good enough.

The prosecution points out that Khadr was a very mature 15 year old. He spoke four languages. Intelligence is bad. Possibly criminal.

The defense summed up the position of the prosecutor. “Omar Khadr was a lawful target but he didn’t have the right to fight back.”

The tweeters have added great links to letters between Khadr and the english professor from Alberta, a painting by Khadr, and letters from Speer’s children, the oldest four years younger than Khadr was at the time of his imprisonment and torture. Also two minutes from a documentary You Don’t Like the Truth, and a video of a speech from his defense lawyer. Coverage that includes exhibits.

The End: After the prosecution requested a sentence of 25 years, after the jury were told they could consider the 8 he had already served, after they were told they could consider the fact that he was a child, they came back with a sentence of 40 years more. That’s 48 in total. Not in a prison, in solitary confinement in a torture camp where he is still allowed to be “interrogated”. For a crime the US military themselves said he did not commit until they had to invent a reason for keeping him in prison. For a sentence of 10 years or more, 6 of the 7 jurors had to agree.

At the sentencing of a tortured child to solitary confinement, the widow of the professional killer gave a fist pumping cheer. U!S!A! Fuck Yeah!

But the most perverse thing in this whole trial? This will make the people of the US feel safer. They honestly will.

Beyond the End: Now we have the release of the plea deal and the diplomatic exchange between Canada and the US. Beyond the general sleaze of such a deal, there is some very specific sleaze.

Khadr must:

d. Knowingly and voluntarily waive and relinquish any request for any forensic or scientific testing of any physical evidence in the United States Government’s possession, including, but not limited to, DNA testing. I fully understand that as a result of this waiver I will not have another opportunity to have any physical evidence in this case submitted for any testing or to employ the results of any testing to support any claim of innocence regarding the offenses to which I am pleading guilty. In addition. I understand the United States Government may dispose of such physical evidence upon sentencing by a Military Commission in this case. He is not allowed to test the prosecution forensic evidence or bring his own.

g. Not initiate or support any litigation or challenge, in any forum in any Nation, against the United States or any official in their personal or official capacity with regard to my capture, detention, prosecution to include discovery practice, post conviction confinement and/or detainee combatant status. I further agree to move to dismiss with prejudice any presently pending direct or collateral attack challenging my capture. detention, prosecution and/or detainee combatant status; to implement this aspect of this agreement, following announcement of the sentence in this case, I direct my counsel to submit a motion to dismiss the petition for habeas corpus in my case currently pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia as well as all claims currently pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. New Orwellian term for torture: “prosecution to include discovery practice”.

i. While in the continued custody of the United States, submit to interviews whenever and wherever requested by United States law enforcement officials, intelligence authorities, and prosecutors. I understand the requesting parties will notify my legal counsel of the interviews. However, I waive any right I may have to my attorneys being present for the interviews. I understand I must be completely truthful during these interviews. I also agree, while in U.S. custody, to appear, cooperate, and testify truly, before any grand jury. any court, military court or hearing, military commission or any other proceeding requested by the United States Government. He has to appear as a defense witness for the US, and if he tells the truth then, he will be convicted for his perjury now. He has to do this without legal advice, which he is also denied during “interviews”.

j. I agree and understand that if I am not truthful in any testimony I may provide, I may be prosecuted for perjury, false statement or other similar offense before any court or Military Commission having jurisdiction over me. See above.

His own defense was determined by the prosecution:

a. I will not seek to offer any testimony, in any form, from any detainee presently held at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay:
b. I will not seek to obtain any depositions to be offered at the presentencing hearing, nor will I offer any depositions at the presentencing hearing;
3 c. I will not seek to offer the testimony, either in court or via VTC of any witness, other than: (I) Dr. Katherine Porterfield: (2) Dr. Steven Xenakis. (3) Captain McCarthy; and (4) Dr. Arlette Zinck, all of whom the Government has agreed to produce at U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for sentencing. (understand that sentencing proceedings will not be delayed to if these witnesses are unavailable.)

h. … my transfer to Canada is contingent upon the consent of the Government of Canada … which is to say, it is dependent on what the US tells Canada to do.

Note: This article was a quick response to what was happening at the trial as it was being conducted. Since the trial, there have been many thoughtful articles written about the case which are well worth reading. A start:

The National Post – Tony Keller

The Star – Michelle Shephard

Andrea Prasow – senior counter-terrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch

The Miami Herald – Carol Rosenberg

The Iraq War Logs – The Medium is the Message

The Afghanistan documents released by Wikileaks were criticized for not having enough material redacted. The Iraq documents are criticized for having too much redacted. The US government says there is nothing interesting or newsworthy in any of the information. The US military says the information contains important secrets that the public should not know. Some members of the public say they contain important secrets that we all desperately need to know. Have we all completely forgotten?

The medium is the message. At a huge, historical, society changing level, it does not matter at all what any of the documents Wikileaks has released actually said. All that really matters is, these were secrets, kept by very powerful organizations, and now we all have these secrets. The conclusion to be drawn from all of this data is not just how many Iraqi children were killed by US soldiers at checkpoints, and the desired result is not just trials for war crimes. The conclusion is that we can have access to the secrets of any powerful organization, and the result is that the powerful, by virtue of this one new fact, have lost a very significant portion of their power.

Control of information is such an integral and essential part of power today that we can, given the proper motivation, use our new access to information to strip the world’s most powerful organizations of all the rest of their power. Yes, that may happen to some through trials for war crimes, but if it happens to them, it can happen to anyone.

For a very long time, power and wealth have been held by thinner and weaker threads, until bank accounts begin to look like vapourware. A century ago, the very wealthy owned tangible assets and produced tangible goods. The McCain family sold potatoes, the Seagrams made whiskey, the Eatons bought and sold goods in their stores. The 70’s saw leveraged buyouts and playing the stock market, real estate speculation and hostile corporate takeovers. Money in the 80’s became completely separated from real life. Dot coms in the 90’s accustomed people to obscenely huge numbers as personal wealth. The new international trade relationships have removed business deals to a small group of the internationally powerful that deal with each other and block access to everyone else.

Even tangible possessions are only ours by the conventions of the society we live in. We all agree to the rules, or it does not work. If someone steals my iPod, and I cannot find out who did it and prove to the police that I own it, then I lose possession of it. If I load my iPod with stolen music, and I cannot be prevented, that rule no longer works in our game. The rules, and with them the ownership of the iPod or the music, just changed.

Today, most people have no idea who the rich and powerful are or how they got to be that way. For those who do know, it is terrifyingly apparent that all it would take is for an informed populace to stand up and say “The emperor has no clothes!” and all the money and power would be gone along with the translucent gauze left holding it.

The people who are currently in possession of both power and money in the world are not in possession of either because we as a society have agreed to it. They rarely have equivalent physical possessions, and they almost never have unique abilities which give them rights to power. They are theoretically there because we have agreed to the rules that put them there. But in actuality, we almost never have. Who in a ‘democracy’ really wants any of the two or three ‘choices’ we are given to be our leader and make all of our decisions for us? Who really agrees with the power for all choices impacting our health and environment lying within the hands of a few members of the military industrial complex? Only the very lazy and disinterested.

The powerful of the last few decades have been powerful for one reason only; we did not know how to stop them. Now we do.

Activate Reston 5.

Logic and the Law

Recently, I watched a scene from another time in history, a set piled high with paper, where professionals in business suits scurried through rooms with dollies stacked with boxes of paper, all stamped, signed, and distributed in huge amounts of copies. Everything was tabbed and filed beyond all comprehensibility, people were flipping madly through binders in a race against time, no one agreed on any of the facts or could find any, and the end result was a mop of perspiration and a guess at the facts in most cases. Those who might know the real answers were chained behind a procedural wall of silence, though they were only two feet away. All gathering and interpretation of data was left to the officials, who lumbered and puffed like prehistoric mainframes, invariably coming up with incorrect data, incorrect logic, and incorrect answers, while telling each other that the actual facts did not matter that much. It was only the very course of people’s lives that were being decided.

“My god,” I said. “Is that really Canada’s legal system? Ought it not to be automated?”

“Do you really think,” said Mr. Counsel with a sneer, “That there is Artificial Intelligence that advanced?”

“Do you really think,” I did not reply, “That your job is actually complex?”

It is not. Even in Canada’s slightly more convoluted system of case law, the relevant cases and the rankings of their relevance (jurisdiction, court etc.,) are easily codified. In the end, it is just mountains of data, in a completely unrealistic volume for a person (especially one billed at legal rates) to go through, but child’s play if it were automated.

What makes it seem like more than data is the culture of the court, the omnipotent judge who has the power he ought not, to deliver verdicts at odds with the law, the bowing and scraping from all others in the court, who never tell the judge, “You are wrong,” even when it is obviously and absolutely the case. This culture feels, as all others did before them, that its job is too special to be performed by mere machines. I recall facing a department full of wide eyed and shrill accountants, telling me that I had to make the computer add each column of numbers twice, it was the law, and everyone knows, computers make mistakes all the time. If accountants can change, the legal system can change, and it is decades late.

Of all the pieces of a democracy, surely the most important for all of the citizens to be able to access and understand is the law. How can we possibly demand obedience to a law if it is not understood? When I suggested a system where any person could type in the particulars of their case and receive a firm answer of what the verdict would be, my lawyer friend said that would encourage people to find loopholes they could sneak through. I said that was called debugging, and it happens now in any case, only in a far more ponderous fashion. I can’t say I convinced him at all.

What I saw was a system where a person, obese, unattractive, asthmatic, with eczema, and slow speech, and slow logic, could lose a case with disastrous results, even when their case would indicate otherwise. A system where what the justice ate for breakfast, how they viewed the counsel hired by each side, and whether forms were filed in the tortuous and expensive manner required could outweigh the facts. A system where incompetent counsel (which seem far more prevalent than the other kind) can present a case incorrectly and receive an incorrect verdict for their client. A system which can require years of waiting, but then is over far too quickly to add evidence or adjust to new information. A system which is laborious, stressful, takes far too long, and provides far too many incorrect verdicts.

What is required is a system where each side inputs the factual data of the case, has the data reviewed for quality by an independent party, and receives an immediate verdict. The verdict needs to come from the law, not from a person who is offering an opinion, who may be influenced by whether the person standing in front of him looks like Karla Homolka or Clifford Olsen, or any other irrelevant data. The verdict needs to come from the law, because it is the law that is to be agreed on by all people of Canada, not the opinion of one person, or one jury, however qualified.

There have been baby steps made in Canada. There is a database of legal cases, and the actual laws are available online. A person who knows what they are doing can look up the law, sort through thousands of possibly relevant cases and find the best ones. In the case of family law, there is quite a bit of online help for separation agreements and child support guidelines. These steps help, but not if there is absolutely no guarantee that the court is going to come to the conclusion the data and the law suggests. Under the current system, it is always worth going to court just in case, if you are hoping for a better decision, you just might get one. Conversely, it is always terrifying going to court if there is personal risk, even if you ought to be safe, you may not be. That is a ridiculous situation, barring errors in data or interpretation of the law, the only avenue for a change of verdict ought to be the court of appeal, where a person can go to argue that a law ought to be changed.

In the end, I printed the same answer twice for the accounting staff. They happily checked the numbers every day for years, to make sure that they balanced. A period of transition here can include legal staff who help clients collate and organize their data for the system, but ideally, the only legal counsel should be in a court of appeal, deciding if the current laws are working or not. A predictable and immediate legal system is required by any society that wishes its citizens to feel secure and confident. A system which takes over years of people’s lives, destroys individuals and families, and provides unpredictable results is not acceptable.

Extradition and Sovereignty

Extradition has been a touchy subject between Canada and the US at various times in history. During the Vietnam War, the US was infuriated by Canada’s refusal to return draft dodgers, but those were the days when Canada had a very liberal government that annoyed the US and stood up for widely held Canadian values whenever they thought they could get away with it. Times have changed.

Gary Botting wrote a paper http://www.law.utoronto.ca/documents/zcalt04/bottling.doc that is well worth reading about the new (1999) Extradition Act and cases leading up to it, as well as the subsequent results. Botting quotes the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, who said of the need for a new Act, “Even with countries with a similar legal tradition such as the United States, we have heard on numerous occasions how difficult it is to obtain extradition from Canada.” The implication would be that extradition ought to be easy, so easy in fact, that formal sworn affidavits and charges ought to be waived, and only a request from a US prosecutor obtained. No Canadian court would accept such a request as ‘evidence’ from a Canadian prosecutor. And in fact, no Canadian prosecutor is permitted to submit the same to the US; these changes to the evidence required are not reciprocal! Botting states, “The new Act effectively reduces extradition in Canada from a traditionally judicial process (as it remains in the United States) to an essentially administrative process.”

In contrast to the extradition treaty between Canada and the US, where Canada behaves as a lesser US territory instead of a sovereign state, Canada has no extradition treaty with China. The reasons for this are China’s poor human rights record and death penalty. But despite all of the high profile cases where the US has kidnapped, tortured, fixed evidence, jailed with no trial, and violated all human rights with their prisoners, despite the huge and unknown number of jails the US operates internationally and their continued use of torture and other human rights violations in those jails, despite a US judge threatening sentences extended to the maximum and US prosecutors threatening prison rape for those who challenge their extradition order (see paper by Botting), and despite the fact that the US has one of the highest rates of incarceration of all wealthy nations, Canada hands its citizens over to US courts after nothing more than a request from a prosecutor. There have also been frequent cases where Canada will deport a person after an extradition request has been made, as an alternative and quicker method of extradition. And, despite having full legal power and a UN human rights obligation to request that the US death penalty not be imposed, Canada has frequently refused to make such a request.

The US – Canada Extradition Treaty (1976 plus amendments) states that extradition applies in cases where the “offenses are punishable by the laws of both Contracting Parties by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year.” The Canadian Extradition Act (1999) specifies two years as the sentencing requirement. For some reason, the treaty with a country that has far harsher sentencing and far worse prison conditions than Canada, has half the sentencing requirement of any of our other extradition partners. In either case, the first point of law is that the offense must be of a specified serious level in both countries. According to the Department of Justice, the role of the extradition judge is to determine if there is enough evidence presented that, if the “conduct had been carried out in Canada, the judge would order the person to stand trial in Canada.” This control has been thrown out in many recent cases involving such things as selling marijuana seeds, online spamming, and Renee Boje’s sloppily handled and ridiculous case. Canada had no intention of prosecuting any of these ‘offenses’. In the cases involving Canadians, the US prosecutors stated, if Canada was not going to enforce laws the US felt were appropriate, then they would. In each case, the US prosecutors stated that these people were not to think they could disobey US law. Referring to Canadians. In Canada.

The US attitude towards Vancouver is well summed up by the Washington Post headline Canada’s Extradition Laws Help Make Vancouver a Grifter’s Haven. It is no coincidence that the lawyer most known for fighting extradition is based in Vancouver. While cities like Toronto or Ottawa, with their close economic ties to the US, may seem comfortable to the DEA and friends, Vancouver, with its nude beaches and shooting clinics, apprently looks like ‘the Wild West’. It is also very much an Asian city where the commercial, family, economic, and criminal ties are also largely connected to Asia, not the US. On the books, Toronto is the economic capital of Canada, the place where all the legal money is made and controlled. Off the books, a look at the lifestyle or real estate prices tell a completely different story, a reflection of the volume of illegal or offshore family money in Vancouver.

The US attitude towards Vancouver is rather that of a disciplinarian uncle towards a rebellious nephew, and the encroaching DEA, FBI, etc., have a “If you won’t discipline him, I will,” stance, completely inappropriate to one sovereign state negotiating with another. Towards Ontario or the prairies, where the same multinational corporations are influencing the policies of both governments, any questioning of US law is just considered gross impertinence. Canadian sovereignty is not properly recognized in either case, and that is entirely the fault of the Canadian federal government.

According to Botting, the Canada US Extradition Treaty has never been ratified and is not, in his opinion, even legal. Whether it is, or is not, there is still far more room for due diligence to be demanded in the extradition requests from the US. Requests which do not meet the dual criminality requirement, which would not be prosecuted in Canada, need to be refused (this would obviously include all Canadians operating in Canada). The Canadian government needs to demand at all times that the death penalty not be imposed, in accordance with the UN’s resolution. When Canadians are tried and sentenced in the US, the Canadian government needs to start meeting their responsibilities to bring prisoners home to serve their sentences.

Why I Don’t Care About Government Secrets

This summer, while private citizens around the world are facing the most privacy eradicating laws and policies ever enacted, some media have been trying to get people outraged about the publication of secrets from public organizations. I’m not feeling it. Government secrets are not our secrets. Military secrets are not our secrets. Industry secrets are not our secrets. None of these secrets benefit society.

Industry is the most sympathetic part of the military industrial complex that may have its privacy invaded. Some industry organizations are private, and, their information may not be any business of the public’s and invasion of their privacy may impede their ability to compete or conduct their business properly. These people are having their privacy invaded already, by the military industrial complex, very much as private individuals are. From court orders to ‘anti-piracy’ raids, industrial espionage and illegal sabotage, these organizations are not having their privacy respected. Additional secrets exposed would only put the more powerful on an equal footing with the small organizations, and provide information that the consumer public needs to know, to the consumer public. Anyone interested in food, pharmaceuticals, environmental hazards, etc., would benefit from increased transparency. Any secrets currently kept from the public are usually things the public desperately needs to know.

Governments keep talking about how they need privacy to guard us from our ‘enemies’ finding out our secrets. In fact, other governments already know all of our secrets, since they are the ones making deals with our government and hiring intelligence on anything they want to know. Again, the only people being cut off from this information are the governed people. And entire countries are not my enemies. The fact that my government has issues with their government does not make them my enemies; the citizens of another country finding out what my government does, does not bother me. Government  embarrassments, should not embarass the citizens as long as they are working for change. We could all use the help from watchful neighbours.

But most of the focus this year has been around the military. Regarding NATO forces in the middle east, I keep hearing references to the Normandy landings of ‘D-Day’ 1944; if Wikileaks had been around, would they have leaked information about that landing to ‘our enemies’? There are some problems with this analogy. In 1944, Allied forces were attempting to free much of Europe from the grip of a cruel occupying force. The landing and ensuing battle was a surprise. Today, the cruel occupying forces are the only ones being annoyed by a release of information, and an annoyance is all it is. Everyone knows the US military will be dropping bombs and blowing things up on any given day, the only question is where. If we could get the information on where, we may be able to evacuate people from there before they are blown up. I am not seeing the evil in that. Yes, the military would like us to believe that they have super spies that are going in and targeting ‘bad guys’ individually and carefully while not harming the people around them, but any research will show huge amounts of civilian deaths while the targets live to a ripe old age. Any research will also show the US military is far worse than their ‘bad guys’. And in reality, the Normandy invasion could not happen now any more than a battle with knights on horseback could.

The other focus is on the possible ‘innocent civilians’ / ‘traitorous informants’ whose identities may be revealed in the US military secrets. If any were being identified openly in documents that 817,000 people in the US with Top Secret security clearance had access to, they do not seem very safe anyway, and that is the fault of the US military. It is highly unlikely that they were ever secret, since none have been subsequently killed. Any future informants that may be revealed are no different than informants that were revealed in or after either world war, or any other war. It is a dangerous game. That is not the fault or the responsibility of new technology for whistle blowers.

And the last reason I do not care about the secrets of the military industrial complex is they haven’t heard of the Golden Rule. They don’t care about ours.