Monday, July 8, 2013

Police State: MY, How You've Grown

Yesterday's op ed by Daniel Ellsberg (of 1971 Pentagon Papers fame) provided a stunning retrospective on what Ellsberg calls the "different America" that dealt with him 40 years ago vis-a-vis the America that NSA Leaker Edward Snowden faces today for having committed "crimes" very similar to those committed by Ellsberg. The effect of the comparison on me, already adult by 1971, was stunning. Those not yet of age by that time face a greater challenge in being so stunned, but I strongly recommend the out-of-body effort to every such person concerned with our shrinking latitude to express our views.

There is one sad corrective that must be made to the impression created by Ellsberg's invaluable article: the erosions of freedom of speech are in no way limited to America: they are world-wide. One needs only to consider that in 1971, none of the laws criminalizing Holocaust revisionism now defiling the societies of France, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria and Germany were in existence, other than the German laws punishing glorification of the National Socialist government of 1933-1945, which is still in effect.

Come to think of it, the Swiss Jürgen Graf, persecuted in his home country for "Holocaust denial," has had to exile himself to Russia, the very country in which Edward Snowden was holed up at last report. Russia, land of the free?

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