The State Needs Willing Servants To Do Its Dirty Work

What do past events in Nigeria have to do with current actions of U.S. government employees?

Everything.

Muhammadu Buhari was just elected president of Nigeria after running unsuccessfully for the office in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections. He previously ruled the country as a dictator for 20 months in the mid 1980s after coming to power in a military coup. This was after he, while holding the rank of colonel, attended the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania and graduated in 1980 with a master’s degree in Strategic Studies. He himself was overthrown in a coup in August of 1985.

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In a recent interview with Melissa Block on NPR’s All Things Considered, Max Siollun, a Nigerian historian, talked about the past rule of Nigeria’s new president. Here is what he had to say:

He jailed many of the politicians of the former regime for very, very long prison terms, sometimes exceeding 50 years.

When some trade unions protested against his regime and went on strike, he arrested the leaders of the unions and put them in prison — arrested some journalists as well under — for violating a decree passed by his regime which made it a criminal offense to publish material that was embarrassing to the incumbent government.

He introduced things like compulsory making people sing the national anthem, promoting queueing at bus stops and in public buildings — all ostensibly noble aims, however, violators were often forced to complete frog jumps.

I note also that under Buhari’s rule: “Minor offences carried long sentences. Any student over the age of 17 caught cheating on an exam would get 21 years in prison. Counterfeiting and arson could lead to the death penalty.” Drug users were “liable on conviction to suffer death sentence by firing squad.”

The trouble with all of these things is that Buhari didn’t do any of them. He didn’t jail any politicians. He didn’t arrest union leaders and imprison them. He didn’t arrest any journalists. He didn’t force anyone to sing the national anthem. He didn’t compel anyone to queue at bus stops and public buildings. He didn’t make anyone do frog jumps. He didn’t put any students in prison for cheating on their exams. He didn’t execute anyone for counterfeiting or arson. He didn’t shoot anyone for using drugs. War, Empire, and the M... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $16.00 Buy New $9.95 (as of 06:05 EDT - Details)

He didn’t carry out these gross human rights abuses, but his willing servants did. They did his dirty work for him.

Just like employees of the U.S. government do its dirty work.

The U.S. government  didn’t listen to Americans’ phone calls, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t read Americans’ e-mails, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t torture detainees at Guantanamo, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t rendition prisoners to other countries to be tortured, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t invade and occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t kill millions of “gooks” in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t bomb wedding parties in Afghanistan, Americans did.

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The U.S. government didn’t kill ten times as many civilians in Afghanistan via drone strikes as manned jet fighters, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t perform experiments on Americans without their knowledge or consent, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t confiscate millions of dollars worth of Americans’ cash and property in the name of fighting the war on drugs, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t firebomb Tokyo during World War II and kill 100,000 Japanese, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t oversee the infection of Guatemalans in the 1940s with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t orchestrate the overthrow of the democratically elected prime minister of Iran in 1953, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t operate secret CIA foreign prisons, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t kill thousands of children in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan with bombs and drone strikes, Americans did.

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The U.S. government didn’t assassinate anyone, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t drop atomic bombs on Japan that vaporized hundreds of thousands of people, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t entrap Americans and entice them to commit crimes, Americans did.

The U.S. government didn’t unleash terror, chaos, and instability in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen, Americans did.

Americans who were willing servants of the state did these things and do these things. They sold their soul for a government paycheck, and some continue to do it every week. And I haven’t even mentioned the evil doings of state and local government employees who willingly did and do the dirty work of these governments for a paycheck.

Employees of the U.S. government’s NSA, FBI, CIA, IRS, DEA, TSA, and especially the DOD are not public servants, they are a public menace.

The state needs willing servants to do its dirty work. Don’t be one of them. And don’t excuse the actions of these government hirelings because they are just doing their jobs. Cursed be their jobs.