The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

What Democracy?

Jun 20, 2011

Glenn Carle, an ex-CIA officer, has told the New York Times that the Bush White House ordered the CIA to dig up dirt on a vocal critic of their wars.

Juan Cole, a University of Michigan history professor, started publishing a blog called “Informed Comment” in 2002, to discuss the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cole has been critical of the way these wars have been carried out.

Carle says his superior at the CIA told him in 2005 that the White House wanted them to discredit Cole. Carle says he refused because it was illegal for the CIA to spy on American citizens. But he learned months later that the Agency had found someone else to do the job.

Cole is outraged, and rightly so. He says this was illegal, and he’s right.

But it’s also very common. When government itself carries out atrocities – like the support of Jim Crow, or the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq – people expose government policies, protest, rebel.

As this chilling story makes clear, the government’s response has never been to stop its atrocities. Those atrocities are carried out in the interests of the wealthy class the government represents.

No, the government has used all the resources at its disposal to “neutralize” those who protest – spying, defaming its critics, not to mention charging them with crimes. To the authorities – it’s made no difference whether this activity was legal. They hold themselves above the law.