Julian Assange and the American soldier Bradley Manning {of Wikileaks fame} among several other information activists have been accused of moral crimes. Behind every allegation is an ocean of political conspiracies and hidden agendas. Evidence of this plotting and dishonesty would not have existed had it not been for the probing of a few journalists and those who seek the truth.

According to George Orwell the writer “In a time of great deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Reports have now surfaced about Manning who helped leak military secrets to Assange. Manning’s information confirmed what many suspected; the US military revelled in and encouraged the murder of innocent civilians from inside Iraq and across the gamut of the world.

To destroy his credibility, Manning is described as having had a troubled childhood, suffering from a gender identity disorder combined with a narcissistic personality. The military psychiatrists, suggests that Manning had symptoms of foetal alcohol syndrome, Asperger syndrome and an autism spectrum disorder. Assange responded with “It took the US military justice system three years and millions of dollars to extract two minutes of remorse from Manning. The only currency the military could take was Manning’s humiliation”.  If the allegations are true, I consider, why did the US military trust a mentally ill person with sensitive information in the first place?

Years ago Mother Theresa said “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Assange and Manning are struggling to change the world by exposing the truth. For that, Manning could face 90 yrs in prison and Assange is on the run, fearing for his life.

 

Edward Snowden an American intelligence contractor, who also leaked delicate info on how the US government was spying on its own citizens and the world, is stuck in Russia, fearing for his life.

 

Telling the truth has become a dangerous profession. Zwelinzima Vavi found this out the hard way as he confronts those who seek to corrupt our democracy. While Vavi has his own human frailties, within the South African context he is courageous. By ruining Vavi, those who seek to abuse the public coffers will have one less corruption fighter to worry about. Those who seek to exploit the working class are relieved. Like Thabo Mbeki, Ebrahim Rasool, Vavi is being destroyed by his own comrades.

 

The armchair critic and closet racist within many of us will rejoice in the demise of Vavi. Another African leader has been accused of rape. They forget that Vavi was offered, but declined a National Cabinet position. His focus remained the dilemma of the working class. Those who comprehend the nature of politics know better. Those responsible for the demise of activists like Assange, Snowden, Manning and Vavi are certainly more immoral and dangerous than the activists they plot to destroy.

 

These activists cannot just be judged on their human frailties they are much more than the sum total of their failures. Those of us who celebrate their end have no idea how much we really need them.

 

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress