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9/11 and the resulting concurrent military debacle and ascendancy of the American Military Industrial Complex continues to haunt us to this day.  Americans and the rest of the free world suffered severe setbacks to their individual liberties and privacy, and perhaps most importantly, the rule of law.  Not that America was super good at following the rule of law when it’s own interests came into play, but perhaps the facade of us being the ‘good guys’ is an illusion that can never be restored.

Many military leaders in the US still parrot the GWB line trying to defend the indefensible War On Terror, nothing particularly surprising there.  The military, institutionally speaking, will always prioritize its interests first.  Looking further down the line though, we can see that people of conscience are coming forward with their stories about the horrors of the WoT and how they simply cannot continue business as usual.

Of course, these people will be punished by the state apparatus for violating the secrecy surrounding the acts of terror and bloodshed that the US is responsible for yet these individuals persisted.  The two individuals both ended up losing their freedom because they were compelled by their conscience to do the right thing.

I’m not a big fan of the military industrial complex in the USA and their imperial spread across the globe – too many people in America and across the world are blind to the actions perpetrated in their name.  In a democratic nation the truth must be known to the citizenry so they can be informed and equipped to make the best choice possible with regards to who will represent and lead them.

If I was an American and either of the following individuals ran for office, they would garner my vote.  They spoke their mind to did what was right demonstrating an ethical and moral backbone that seems so rare in our body politic.

“Recently, some more minor players in the post-9/11 era have apologized in unique ways for the roles they played. For instance, Terry Albury, an FBI agent, would be convicted under the Espionage Act for leaking documents to the media, exposing the bureau’s policies of racial and religious profiling, as well as the staggering range of surveillance measures it conducted in the name of the war on terror. Sent to prison for four years, Albury recently completed his sentence. As Janet Reitman reported in the New York Times Magazine, feelings of guilt over the “human cost” of what he was involved in led to his act of revelation. It was, in other words, an apology in action.

As was the similar act of Daniel Hale, a former National Security Agency analyst who had worked at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan helping to identify human targets for drone attacks. He would receive a 45-month sentence under the Espionage Act for hisleaks— documents he had obtained on such strikes while working as a private contractor after his government service.

As Hale would explain, he acted out of a feeling of intense remorse. In his sentencing statement, he described watching “through a computer monitor when a sudden, terrifying flurry of Hellfire missiles came crashing down, splattering purple-colored crystal guts.” His version of an apology-in-action came from his regret that he had continued on at his post even after witnessing the horrors of those endless killings, often of civilians. “Nevertheless, in spite of my better instinct, I continued to follow orders.” Eventually, a drone attack on a woman and her two daughters led him over the brink. “How could I possibly continue to believe that I am a good person, deserving of my life and the right to pursue happiness” was the way he put it and so he leaked his apology and is now serving his time.”

The cost of a clear conscience shouldn’t have to be your freedom, but kudos to Terry Albury and Daniel Hale for being true to themselves and their country.

[Source: Counterpunch]

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