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L. Neil Smith's
Number 598, December 5, 2010

"Government lies and secrets kill millions"

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Hands Off Assange
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Unless you've been trapped for the past few weeks at the bottom of a Chilean copper mine, you will be aware that an enormous volume—something like 280,000 diplomatic cables—of secret communications at the highest level of government have been leaked (if that's the right word for when the dam breaks) to the whole wide world by one Julian Assange, relaying information allegedly given to his group, Wikileaks, by intelligence analyst Private First Class Bradley Manning.

It's surprising how non-surprising any of it is. There are no earth-shattering revelations or smoking guns here. It turns out that most of the world's leaders are criminals and perverts—in the eyes of our leaders who are very little different. Hillary Clinton doesn't like the president of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, no doubt because Cristina is prettier than she is (so is the Dalai Lama), and wanted her minions to dig up some dirt on her. Don't you find that shocking?

Naturally, politicians on both sides of the aisle are infuriated, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin are equally enraged by what Assange has done (although Sarah should know better if she isn't just Nixon in skirts; the State is risking her soldier son's life for no good reason), proving once again—in case you ever really doubted it—that no matter how loudly or how long they may deny it, there isn't a zinc penny's worth of difference between Democrats and Republicans. It's a one-party system that we have in America, the Boot On Your Neck party.

Manning is already in jail, and almost everybody with something to lose, should their tawdry attitudes and shabby misdeeds become general knowledge, wants to see Assange behind bars, as well, if not simply dead. It should be noted here that nowhere does the Constitution—which clearly spells out both the legitimate operations of, and the stringent limits on, government—authorize the keeping of secrets or the telling of lies by agents of the state. The whole idea is contrary to the basic nature of a democratic republic. It is those who keep the secrets and those who tell the lies who are the criminals, not those who have ripped aside the curtain to expose the humbug lurking behind it.

Nor should corporations—which, after all is said and done, are simply extensions of the government—be permitted to keep secrets or to tell lies. Proprietary secrets should and must be reserved to sole proprietorships.

A great deal of fuss is always made of the possibility that, as a result of government lies and secrets being exposed, individuals in the field—government spies, informers, assassins—might wind up captured or killed. But government lies and secrets themselves kill not just a few individuals, not just dozens or hundreds or thousands. Government lies and secrets kill millions: two million Vietnamese, for example, as a direct result of Lyndon Johnson's mythical Tonkin Gulf Incident; sixteen million as a result of Woodrow Wilson's lies before World War I; sixty million in the case of World War II, which was a direct result of lies told by Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are frauds of the same character, a fact we now know better than ever, thanks to Wikileaks. We always knew that a majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. Now we know that their country is the real power (not to mention the real money) behind Al Qaeda. Our glorious leaders knew this from the beginning, and instead of prosecuting the guilty parties, hustled the Saud family out of the country by jet (they had apparently been here shopping) immediately following the destruction of the twin towers, while the rest of us were still forbidden—illegally—to fly by Presidential edict.

In short, George W. Bush traded in what little remained of our national character to shield a family of mass-murderers. The fascist nightmare that followed—policies condoning false imprisonment and torture, the dual USA PATRIOT Act, the evil Department of Homeland Security, repeated attempts to suppress talk radio and the Internet—was little more than an elaborate effort to cover up that initial malfeasance.

Nevertheless, the question must be asked: if devastating warlike measures were called for in two countries that did not attack us on September 11, 2001, then why haven't we invaded and taken over Saudi Arabia?

Before you guess, the answer is not oil. The answer is some oil: the oil controlled by those who mistakenly believe they own us; the same oil they sell us as gasoline at three dollars a gallon, instead of the fifty cents or less that it would cost in a completely free market.

But I digress.

Giving away government secrets—look up Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers—helped bring the Vietnam War to an end. Perhaps even more important in the long run, the same kind of valiant action has crippled the purveyors of the global warming hoax. It's unclear yet whether the truth will set us free, but at least it's making life miserable for those who mistakenly believe they own us. Anything that embarrasses Hillary Clinton or Barry Obama—or exposes to public view exactly how petty and infantile these phonies are—can't be all bad.

It's unclear whether the truth will set us free, but it is clear that secrets are the means of our enslavement. Whistle-blowers Julian Assange and Bradley Manning are heroes who should be respected by freedom fighters everywhere. If it had not been irreparably befouled by Albert Gore and Barry Obama, each of them should receive a Nobel Prize.

Moreover, it would be nice to believe that, somewhere, Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, the most decorated Marine in US history—including two Congressional Medals of Honor—and the disillusioned author of "War Is A Racket", is looking down and smiling.

["War is a Racket" was republished in TLE in Issue Number 450 as a convenience to our readers—Editor]

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of more than 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas is currently running as a free weekly serial at

Neil is presently at work on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Where We Stand: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis with his daughter, Rylla.

See stunning full-color graphic-novelizations of The Probability Broach and Roswell, Texas which feature the art of Scott Bieser at Dead-tree versions may be had through the publisher, or at where you will also find Phoenix Pick editions of some of Neil's earlier novels. Links to Neil's books at are on his website


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