Long live the whistleblowers!

Look behind the drumbeat of attacks on Russia for allegedly causing Trump to be elected and what you find is a sneaky, vicious attempt to defame the courageous whistleblowers who have brought into the light of day some of the nasty secrets of the imperialist political establishment.

Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning. They and others have risked their freedom to make public government documents which prove, among other embarrassments, that there has been a hidden agenda behind the U.S. interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other places. Manning is being held in solitary confinement in a military prison where she has attempted suicide twice, all because she sent to Wikileaks hundreds of thousands of Pentagon documents that revealed the true nature of the war in Iraq.

Some of the documents Wikileaks has put online involve emails of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff. For this, Wikileaks director Assange is being accused of colluding with Vladimir Putin. The screaming headlines are a throwback to the Red Scare days — a diversion from how the real backers of Trump were able to put this bigoted and dangerous billionaire in the White House.

Covering up war crimes

Yes, Hillary Clinton has been part of the gang that carries out wars on behalf of big business, all in the name of “national security” and “human rights.” So have thousands of other ambitious politicians, Republicans and Democrats, who are carefully groomed to put a good face on organized slaughter in the “vital interest” of the U.S.

Both George Bushes have been part of the gang. So have Gen. Colin Powell, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger and many, many others. You don’t get to be in the inner circles of the imperialist state without being vetted for your loyalty to the class of billionaires who run this country and for your ability to lie to the people.

Lyndon Johnson was part of that gang when he claimed that a little Vietnamese PT-boat attacked giant U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin. That became the flimsy excuse for escalating a war in which 2.6 million U.S. military personnel, mostly young draftees, were sent into a nightmare that killed almost 4 million Vietnamese, devastating Cambodia and Laos as well. Johnson was dutifully repeating a lie concocted by the foreign policy establishment.

After years of tumultuous mass opposition to the Vietnam War, in 1971 whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, an analyst for the Pentagon, smuggled out reams of documents exposing the lies. For his leak of what came to be called the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg was charged with conspiracy, espionage and theft of government property. The war was soon over, the Vietnamese had won, and the charges against Ellsberg were eventually dropped. However, the Pentagon kept the documents “classified” for another 40 years, even though they had been published in book form and read by millions.

In the same vein, Secretary of State Colin Powell, earlier a four-star general, went before the U.N. Security Council in 2003 with false claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction — replete with ridiculous charts to “prove” it — so the Pentagon could go in and devastate that country in pursuit of profits for the oil monopolies.

Now the FBI, the CIA and the major corporate news media have joined forces to smear today’s whistleblowers. They want to discredit Wikileaks by claiming, without providing any proof, that Russia was behind its leaks about Clinton, which Assange vehemently denies. As Assange pointed out in a press conference on Jan. 9, Wikileaks began posting the leaked emails before Trump was even the Republican nominee.

At that time, Bernie Sanders was still attracting large crowds of distressed workers all over the country and financing his campaign with a huge number of small donations. It was only after the Democratic Party leaders made sure that not only would Sanders not get the nomination but also that his movement’s demands for economic justice would be iced out of its campaign that the Trump candidacy, with its phony promises of jobs, began picking up steam.

Trump also got a helpful nudge right before the election from FBI Director James Comey, who publicly accused Clinton of endangering national security with her emails. The same FBI is now charging the whistleblowers with helping Trump win, on behalf of Russia. You can’t make this stuff up.

Long live the whistleblowers! Keep the leaks coming!