What makes one become a “whistle blower”?  When does one begin to resist?

This morning I was out on the lanai nursing my second cup of joe, musing about such things; recalling Sergeant Schultz of Hogan’s Heroes.  “I know nothing! I was not even here!”

We used to laugh at Schultz; he was the consummate “good German”.  Eyes closed, not seeing what was taking place around him lest he carry a portion of blame. For doing nothing.  For not resisting.   “I did not even get up this morning!!”.

Most Germans claimed ignorance of the rampant butchery and genocide immediately after the war.   “We were lied to; we didn’t know what was going on in the camp”;  camps sometimes within walking distance of the towns bearing their names, chimneys spouting human smoke.

Yet even at the height of the Nazi tyranny there were resisters in the heart of the Reich. Sophie and Hans Scholl, core members of the White Rose, along with Christoph Probst and Willi Graf, all in their twenties, guillotined by the Gestapo.

“Isn’t it true that every honest German is ashamed of his government these days? Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes, crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure, reach the light of day? ”

The Kreisau Circle, a group of anti-nazis headed by Helmut James Graf von Moltke (also executed by the Gestapo) was another resistance group working to build a new Germany, a new Europe.

“Since the conquest of Poland three hundred thousand Jews have been murdered in this country in the most bestial way. The German people slumber on in their dull, stupid sleep and encourage these fascist criminals.  Each man wants to be exonerated of a guilt of this kind, each one continues on his way with the most placid, the calmest conscience.  But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty”

So when do a people resist?   We did it here in America during the Vietnam War – but after conscription was ended most of us went back to our couches and our lives. After all, the war didn’t affect us anymore.  Today war is for other people. War is for those who volunteer.

So what would it take to drive our people to protest? How much do the whistle blowers have to tell us before we do more than complain?  What will we have to be shown?

Torture? We probably still do it.  Indefinite detention of American citizens and foreigners without habeas corpus or charges? The killing of American citizens by our government without public charges (let alone a trial) based on “secret” information from “secret” sources?  The “collateral damage” killing of women and children while “droning terrorists”?  The massive secret sweep by the NSA of the lives of American citizens under “secret” authorities – without our right to know or the knowledge of our elected representatives, save those on the Intelligence Committees, who can’t tell us anyway or support maintaining the secrets.

The sweeping up into the security state of the judiciary through the establishment of the secret FISA courts?  The ability of the government to break down your door tonight and take you away and hold you indefinitely without charges at a secret location – and probably water board you – based on “secret” information?  Shall we attack another country without just cause and without a vote in Congress?

Seems we care more about the “snitches” than we care about the truth of what they told us.

Suppose you saw a war crime with your own eyes? Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson did. He was piloting his helicopter at My Lai and saw the killing of women and children by Lt. Calley’s unit.  W/O Thompson landed his chopper and rescued Vietnamese still alive; he reported the massacre.

Hugh Tompson Jr.jpg

W/O Hugh Thompson – 1966

The military couldn’t cover it up – because real war correspondents (not the in-bed kind) were on the scene, there were pictures, there were other soldiers who came forward and spoke of the killing of civilians.  The My Lai incident was fully covered by all major news and broadcast stations world wide; the pictures of the murdered civilians were first published not in the New York Times or the Washington Post;  they were published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Times have certainly changed.

When Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers our government called him “the most dangerous man in America”.  If he did it today and remained in this country does anyone doubt he would spend the rest of his life in prison?

Yet it took 30 years for the United States to honor Hugh Thompson, awarding him and his crew the Soldier’s Medal in 1998, the highest decoration not involving combat with the enemy. The Army wanted to do it quietly and hush-hush. Thompson refused. It had to be public and his crew had to be there as well. President Clinton awarded the medal.

Today our media, when it mentions them at all,  seems a lot more interested in Ed Snowden and Chelsea Manning’s life, public and private, than it does  about investigating what they told us.  Perhaps the media knows something I don’t; something I find hard to fathom. Maybe the media already knows nobody gives a rat’s ass about what they told us so long as we can continue to sit on our asses and consume what we like.  Or perhaps the media is simply bought and paid for – or cowed.

We are becoming Sgt. Schultz – the “good German”.

So, what’s going on with Beyonce, JZ and Solange?



About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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9 Responses to Snitches

  1. hipmonkey says:

    Many so called educated people I know call Snowden a traitor, I call him a hero, and I wonder like you how long Americans can remained entranced by propaganda and toys and slumber away and remain guilt free….


    • toritto says:

      Hip – I too consider E.S. a hero. I don’t think there will be any significant changes in this country unless things get REALLY bad – something that will get us off our asses and make us very uncomfortable. Regards.


  2. steve kenny says:

    Toritto! Good morning my friend.I see that I have some reading to do here! Knowing that it will be very good, I will go slow. One question. How would I go about sharing your work on my Facebook page? I don’t see an FB SHARE option [as I offer @ my blog]. I love what you do, and would like to see your stuff – your POV – get a wider audience.


    • toritto says:

      Steve – good to see you too! I have been here since my abrupt departure from the other place. I’ve done pretty well here – don’t let the number of “likes” fool you – I’ve had some 6,000 hits from over 100 countries.

      I am not on Facebook and this old guy has no intention of joining at this stage of my life. If you would like to share something there is a “reblog” option which allows you to post the article to your WordPress page – from there you can share it on your Facebook page.

      Libbyliberal simply copied one of my posts and took it over to her O/S page.

      Thanks for reading and commenting – I will be reading you too. Regards.


  3. I would rather be called a traitor and a snitch then go to my grave a criminal or a coward. Once again, thanks for being a courageously opinionated pain in the ass of the comfortably numb and the dangerously powerful.


    • toritto says:

      Minstrel – I agree. Many thanks for reading and commenting. Today this is how we spread the word. It is on the internet fringe media that one hears other voices. You would never hear that post on main stream media even if the the broadcaster believed in every word. Regards


  4. I think Snowden’s revelations have inspired a lot of other intelligence and other federal personnel to leak details of the government’s criminal conduct. As far as I can see, the Obama administration can’t keep anything secret any longer.


    • toritto says:

      Hi Doc – Technology has enabled the hackers and the leakers – an organization as large as the NSA cannot hire hundreds of thousands of technological savvy employees, give them access to secrets and not have SOME leakers. Too bad.


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