Former U.S. Air Force counterintelligence officer Monica Witt, who has defected to Iran and who U.S. officials have charged with espionage and other crimes, has members of the U.S. national-security establishment and even the mainstream press befuddled. As the New York Times put it, “But by mid-2013, Ms. Witt had become disillusioned with the government — why exactly remains a mystery.” They just can’t figure why any American, especially especially one who has been trained by the U.S. deep state and has served it, could engage in what U.S. officials and the Times call a “betrayal of the United States.”
Permit me to offer the likely motive for Witt’s actions: conscience. After witnessing the horrifically immoral actions of the U.S. government toward the Iranian people for the last several decades, especially from within the bowels of the deep state, most likely Witt decided that she no longer could be part of this immorality and decided to help those who are being targeted for death, impoverishment, and suffering at the hands of the U.S. government.
The American people have not always lived under a national-security state or deep-state type of governmental structure. Since the time the Constitution was enacted and for the next century-and-a-half, Americans lived under a type of government structure known as a limited-government republic.
That type of governmental system was abandoned in the 1940s in favor of a national-security state, a type of governmental system that is inherent to totalitarian regimes. That’s how the federal government got the CIA, the NSA, the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, the deep state, and the domestic and foreign empire of military bases and installations.
It’s also how the federal government got state-sponsored assassinations, torture, kidnappings, indefinite detention, military tribunals, denial of speedy trial, denial of due process of law, coups, regime-change operations, mass secret surveillance, invasions, wars of aggression, partnerships with dictatorial regimes, and sanctions and embargoes that target innocent people with death, impoverishment, and suffering.
Many Americans, including both conservatives and liberals, have come to accept these things are part of American “freedom.” In fact, they view them as necessary to preserve “our freedom.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. Such policies and practices are straight out of the playbooks of totalitarian or communist regimes. They are as un-American as any policy or practice could ever be.
More important, such policies and practices violate the most fundamental moral, religious, and ethical principles. They have no business in any society, much less a society that was founded as a limited-government republic and that prides itself for its freedom and its Judeo-Christian heritage.
Here’s the rub: Statists conflate the deep state and our country. In their minds, the deep state and the United States are one and the some thing. Nothing could be further from the truth, as our American ancestors clearly understood, given that the Bill of Rights express protects the country from the federal government.
Thus, statists are unable to see that the deep state has betrayed our nation by adopting those immoral, anti-freedom, and un-American policies and practices. Since the deep state and America are one and the same thing in the statist mind, whatever the deep state does, no matter how immoral, is American as apple pie. Thus, when an American objects to the deep state’s immoral actions, in the statist mind that constitutes hatred for his country.
Many years ago, the U.S. government was targeting the Iraqi people with sanctions with the intent of killing them, just as they are doing today with Iranians. The goal was the same: target innocent people with death, suffering, and impoverishment so that they would rise up in a violent revolution that would oust their dictator, Saddam Hussein, and replace him with a pro-U.S. dictator.
Of course, one irony in this was that the U.S. deep state had partnered with Saddam in the 1980s to help him kill Iranians. Why did the U.S. officials want to kill Iranians back then? Because U.S. officials were still angry with Iranians for ousting the Shah of Iran from power in their 1979 revolution. In 1953, U.S. deep staters had installed the Shah as Iran’s dictator as part of a U.S. deep-state coup that ousted the country’s democratically elected prime minister from power. The U.S. deep state then supported, trained, and fortified the Shah’s brutal dictatorship over the Iranian people for the next 26 years.
With the aim of driving Saddam from power, the U.S. sanctions were killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. U.S. officials couldn’t care less. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright expressed the mindset of both conservative and liberal statists when she publicly declared that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children were “worth it.”
An American named Bert Sacks experienced a crisis of conscience over what his government was doing to the people of Iraq with its sanctions. He began taking medicines into Iraq to help the Iraqi people.
U.S. officials went after Sachs with a vengeance. They fined him $10,000 (and, later, added another $6,000 for “penalties”) and then, with an Ahab-like obsession, pursued him for several years trying to collect their money. (They never succeeded because Sacks heroically fought them every step of the way.)
In the minds of U.S. officials, Sacks was traitor, a man who had betrayed his country by violating the U.S. government’s sanctions on Iraq. In their minds, he needed to be punished. If the deep state concluded that it was necessary to target innocent children with death, who was Sacks to question that? Since the statist mind holds the the deep state and America are one and the same thing, what Sacks was doing by taking medicines into Iraq demonstrated his betrayal of America and his hatred for his country.
Three high UN officials resigned their posts because of the U.S. sanctions that were killing so many Iraqi children. Experiencing a crisis of conscience, just as Bert Sacks did, they considered what the U.S. government was doing was genocide.
U.S. officials couldn’t care less. Mocking those three officials, they continued merrily along with their sanctions killing spree. Their mindset was perfectly described by Hannah Arendt’s term “the banality of evil.
In the middle of World War II, a group of college students called the White Rose began secretly publishing critiques of their own government, the Nazi government. Nazi officials took the same position that U.S. officials take today: that the White Rose students had betrayed their country. They were charged with treason, tried and convicted, and executed.
Nazi officials simply could not understand what had gone wrong with these students. They had been raised by German parents. They had attended public (i.e., government) schools. How could they turn against “their country,” especially in time of war? Nazi officials wondered. Their mindsets were the same as that of U.S. officials today: the government and the country are one and the same thing, so that if a citizen opposes the wrongdoing of his government he is, at the same time, betraying his “country.”
But as Sophie Scholl, one of the leaders of the group, pointed out in her “trial” (it was actually a tribunal), it was the Nazi government that had betrayed Germany. And it was the White Rose that was standing up for Germany and for German values by opposing the Nazi deep state. That was a concept that Nazi officials, like U.S. officials today, simply could not comprehend.
It was conscience that motivated Edward Snowden to reveal to the American people some of the totalitarian surveillance horrors of the U.S. deep state. It’s the same with people like Julian Assange, Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Thomas Drake, William Binney, Jesselyn Radack, John Kiriakou, and others. To this day, U.S. officials and many of their supporters in the mainstream press remain befuddled over what could have possibly motivated Snowden and others to “hate their country” and to “betray America.”
The deep statists simply do not understand that there are people in life who will not blindly support the immoral actions of their government, actions that betray the values of their country, and who choose instead follow the dictates of their conscience.
Of course, the solution to all this is to restore a limited-government republic to our land, which will then mean the U.S. government will no longer be engaging in assassination, torture, indefinite detention, military tribunals, denial of due process, secret surveillance, coups, sanctions and embargoes, and other totalitarian practices and, therefore, will no longer be placing Americans into positions of having to choose between their conscience and their government.