I hold no brief for the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein; his (and that of the Mullas of Iran) comeuppance much earlier would have saved over half million lives, destruction and subsequent misery. Saddam was hanged but the Mullas continue to call the shots in Iran; when will the Mullas be forced into servility, is perhaps known to the present or the next US president, depending on their electoral equation (and the ratings) with their countrymen! The raison d’etre for an adventure put forth would be apocalypse ahoy, nuclear weapons in Iran! Just as did George Bush, frighten his brethren with the presence of weapons of mass destruction with Saddam.  In Sept 2008, CIA director George Tenet briefed President Bush in the Oval Office on top-secret intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. Bush dismissed as worthless this information emanating from the Iraqi foreign minister, a member of Saddam’s inner circle, although it turned out to be accurate in every detail. Tenet never brought it up again. No one in Congress was aware of this secret intelligence that Saddam had no WMD; the House of Representatives and the Senate voted on the Authorization for use of Military Force in Iraq. Within the CIA, those agents involved in the operations to prove whether Saddam had WMD, were never told that they were chasing a preconceived untruth!

Let us for a moment consider George Bush wailing et tu Brutus; Tenet baring the truth with all the evidence in his possession, through the media, that Saddam did not have the weapons of mass destruction! In all probability the storm in the desert would have taken a different corrective course, the massive destruction and killing would have never happened. Saddam’s fate? Possibly the same as that of Biblical Pharaoh and Nimrod; the believers invariably triumph and succeed. And Tenet?  How would the world judge him? As a savior or a traitor? How would the administration have dealt with him? Perhaps, in the manner that they do to continue to pursue with Assange and Snowden, hunt them and book them for breach of various acts of indiscipline, trust, secrecy and so on, jeopardizing the integrity, safety and security of the nation and its people. As Tenet did not do that Assange and Snowden did, he has no reason to explain but to ponder ‘if only I had….’, but then why dwell on a hypothetical situation!

The moot issue begs an answer ‘Is there a limit to freedom of speech? Do we remain silent spectators when truth and facts are ignored for the benefit of a few and can later result in dire harmful fatal consequences?’

To Assange the limit to the freedom of speech ‘is not an ultimate freedom; however free speech is what regulates government and regulates law.’ Snowden’s identity was made public by a newspaper at his own request, ‘I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong. I don’t want to live in a society that does surveillance on its citizens. I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them. I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself.’

We all are aware of Nuremberg Principle IV, which states, ‘The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.’ This principle could be paraphrased as follows: ‘It is not an acceptable excuse to say ‘I was just following my superior’s orders.’  The relevance of this principle is enhanced as we are hyped through experts in social trust and deception, Empty phrases and patchy background are crafted into a solidly real man. The mass of citizens tired of prevalent uncertainties and trouble search for a savior. Open ended “hope” and undefined “change” are filled in by individual minds that set aside rational thought and go along with the highly entertaining program through tall and windfall promises replenished in arrogance and presumptuousness. We are left with a blurred vision and veiling morality.

We find ourselves accepting 1 and 1 =2 whereas it could possibly be 11!