Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Is Obama Keeping the World Safe for Democracy? Ask Mumia!

by Jack Gerson

On June 6, investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald's blog on the Guardian newspaper site broke the story of Edward Snowden's revelations of the U.S. government's massive cell phone and internet surveillance program that "keeps the world safe for democracy" by spying on everyone, everywhere and by recording everything we say, everything we write. Within hours, black revolutionary and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal recorded a piercing commentary from his jail cell in a column he titled "Big Brother".

We think Mumia's powerful conclusion should be taken to heart:
When Bush left the presidency, he did so armed with the greatest arsenal of presidential power in American history. That vast array of power was transmitted into the hands of his successor, where it has only grown.  Under Barack Obama, the national security state has only broadened its reach, in ways Bush/Cheney could only have dreamed.

We learn, then, that it matters little which party wins the White House; their essential elements are the same: amass more and more power to the President.

And whittle away the ‘rights’ of The People.
I urge readers to take this message to heart. And then find a way to view Stephen Vittoria's two recently released documentaries on Mumia: the full-length "Long-Distance Revolutionary", which vividly portrays his great spirit and courage, and the short film "Manufacturing Guilt", which presents records of investigations and court filings from 1995 to 2003 -- evidence denied in court and ignored by the press.  You will walk away convinced that the Philadelphia establishment -- the DA's office, the police, the state apparatus -- have conspired to frame an innocent man for the alleged 1981 murder of a Philadelphia cop, and continue to conspire to keep him locked up for the rest of his life.

Bush and the Republicans. Obama and the Democrats. They spy on us all. They victimize those who fight back, and reserve the harshest treatment for those, like Mumia, who they fear most. But all the surveillance and all the victimization and all the drone murders will not be enough in the end to save them. Our job is to take them down and their capitalist system with them and build a new world before they destroy this one.

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