The Whistleblower Blues

Today, I read that the United States government once gave regular intelligence updates to Saddam so that he could use chemical weapons against Iranian troops who were threatening to break his defensive line.

Yesterday, I read that the US, UK, and New Zealand governments, among many others, have been illegally spying on their own citizens, violating the privacy of millions, for years.

Last week, I read that the Israeli government sometimes sprays Palestinian villages with a chemical called skunk designed to make them and their houses stink in a form of pointless collective punishment.

Last month, I read that the UK government held thousands of Kenyans in concentration camps and tortured them in the most horrible ways when it was fighting the Mau Mau insurgency.

Last year, I read that Coalition troops in Afghanistan and Iraq were committing war crimes on a regular basis, murdering civilians for sport and torturing prisoners on orders; and that the US and UK governments had engineered a coup in 1953 to overthrow a popularly elected government in Iran; and that dozens of countries assisted the US in its illegal rendition programme after 9/11; and that the US has killed thousands of people in extrajudicial drones strikes across the Middle East, including many children… Actually, I have since lost count of how many stories like these I’ve read in the last few years. It is a litany of shame added to every day.


Today, I read that the UK government wants to make it a criminal offence for people of conscience to leak the truth about the crimes their government commits. Yesterday, the US jailed a man for 35 years when he exposed his government’s crimes.

Today, I concluded that what our governments really desire is the freedom to gas people in foreign lands, torture them inĀ  dark cells and break the law with abandon, and then suppress the truth and punish anyone who exposes their crimes. Today, I have the whistleblower blues.

About richardjacksonterrorismblog

I am currently the Deputy Director of the National Peace and Conflict Studies Centre at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Prior to this, I was Professor of International Politics at Aberystwyth University in Wales, UK. I study and teach on issues of terrorism, political violence, conflict resolution and war. I have published several books on these topics, including: Terrorism: A Critical Introduction (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011; co-authored with Lee Jarvis, Jeroen Gunning and Marie Breen Smyth); Contemporary State Terrorism: Theory and Cases (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010; edited by Richard Jackson, Eamon Murphy and Scott Poynting); Critical Terrorism Studies: A New Research Agenda (Abingdon: Routledge, 2009; edited by Richard Jackson, Marie Breen Smyth and Jeroen Gunning); Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century: Principles, Methods and Approaches (Ann Arbor MI: Michigan University Press, 2009; co-authored with Jacob Bercovitch); and Writing the War on Terrorism: Language, Politics and Counterterrorism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005). I am also the editor-in-chief of the academic journal, Critical Studies on Terrorism.
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One Response to The Whistleblower Blues

  1. Inderjeet Parmar says:

    Nice One Richard – a brilliant post! Cheers, Inderjeet

    Professor Inderjeet Parmar Chair, British International Studies Association ( PI, AHRC Obama Research Network Rm D501, Department of International Politics School of Social Sciences City University London Northampton Square London EC1V OHB Phone: 020 7040 4517 ________________________________

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