Whistleblowing and survival by madness
Britons look with disbelieving amazement at the book thrown at US Whistleblowers such as Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. They are charged under an act designed during the Cold War to deter the sale of state secrets to a real and credible nuclear threat: the USSR and China. That threat no longer exists. The threat to governments today is that the people may learn the truth; and that is a truth that out-of-control intelligence agencies need to keep hidden.
Annie Machon, herself “a former intelligence officer for MI5, the UK Security Service, who resigned in 1996 to blow the whistle on the spies’ incompetence and crimes,” puts it like this:
Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden have risked their lives to expose the fact that we are living under a global police state and that our military and intelligence agencies are running amok across the planet, with CIA kill lists, renditions, torture, wars, drone strikes and dirty tricks.
The “Insider Threat”
But maybe, just maybe, the American way is more humane than the British. I can think of three high-profile British whistleblowers – apart from Machon herself, who seems to have got away with it – the three Davids: Kelly, Shayler and Icke.
David Icke is not a whistleblower in the traditional sense. A rather negative article in Wikipedia says he “combines discussion about the universe and consciousness with conspiracy theories about public figures being satanic paedophiles, and how apparently unconnected events are really attempts to control humanity.” Seems right so far.
Shayler was an MI5 agent who worked with Machon. Together they exposed an MI5 plot to assassinate Muammar al-Gaddafi. Machon chose a relatively low-profile approach to life after that; Shayler ‘joined’ the Truth movement which seeks to expose government involvement in major conspiracies.
Dr David Kelly exposed the ‘sexing up’ of the Iraq WMD report, showing that there was no evidence that Iraq had such weapons. The truth was distorted in order to justify the invasion.
Icke will now tell you that the world is ruled by alien reptiles. In other words he is mad and is no further threat to the authorities. But he is alive.
Shayler will tell you he is the Messiah reincarnate. In other words he is mad and no further threat to the authorities. But he is alive.
David Kelly did not go mad. Instead he killed himself by a method that many medical experts will tell you it is impossible to kill oneself. The two people seen in the area at around the time of his suicide have not, as far as I am aware, ever been identified. And if you look long and hard enough you will find references to several other MoD employees who committed suicide in very, very strange circumstances. Let’s not even mention Gareth Williams, the MI6 agent who managed to kill himself inside a locked bag (after, it is claimed, he had been talking about whistleblowing).
So maybe the Americans are actually more humane than the Brits… There’s little choice in America – just a very long period of incarceration with a touch of torture while you’re waiting. But in Britain you get a choice: death or madness.