A Twitter Conversation with @SanhoTree - by Mark E. Smith

The gentleman in this video http://vimeo.com/3869895 is Sanho Tree,
someone I happened to be following on Twitter. I had not seen the
video, and I did not know that Sanho works with Witness for Peace of
what sort of work he did. He Tweeted about Wikileaks:

Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree  

WikiLeaks Threatens To Reveal Information That Glenn Greenwald Says
Could Lead To 'Deaths'
http://www.businessinsider.com/wikileaks-says-it-will-reveal-redacted-country-2014-5
… Will name redacted country

 

I care about transparency, so I replied to his Tweet:


Mark E. Smith ‏@fubarista  

@SanhoTree If revealing the info could lead to deaths would NOT
releasing the info lead to a greater number of deaths? #MilKillBiz
@OlsenVet
 

His organization appears to be about transparency, but his concern seems to be that people could be killed if they are named as assets:



Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree  

@fubarista @OlsenVet Being named in an intercept is NOT the same as
being guilty, but can't stop an official from boasting about "assets."

Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree  

@fubarista @OlsenVet If I happened to be a Colombian or Syrian
national, that could be a death sentence for me via a death squad.

He’s right, but of course people can be killed by death squads whether or not they are named as assets in any document. Many government-sponsored murders were going on long before Wikileaks existed, and we only learned about them through Wikileaks, so I replied:

Mark E. Smith ‏@fubarista  

@SanhoTree Which came first the death squads or Wikileaks? It's not
like Wikileaks created or commanded death squads. @OlsenVet




Sanho seems more concerned about people being named as assets by the diplomats working for the governments behind the death squads:

 

Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree 

@fubarista Perfectly innocent ppl turn up in intel reports. If some
case officer wants to inflate their stature & claim you’re an asset...


Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree 

@fubarista ...the cable is secret and you can’t correct it. Cab
drivers, NGO workers... anyone a dilpomat talks to is at risk.


Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree 

@fubarista Imagine if Tom Friedman was an agent and his proverbial cab
driver offers some insight about local affairs. Is he an asset?

 

Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree  

@fubarista @OlsenVet Manning's releases were reckless in that regard.
There's lots of BS in cables. Can't take all words at face value.



I’m still wondering why people are working with the governments sponsoring the death squads they claim to fear:

Mark E. Smith ‏@fubarista  

@SanhoTree Yup. Statists and their representatives are complicit in
the genocide industry and not worth speaking with.

But Sanho seems to think there is a reason to work with government representatives:



.Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree  

@fubarista @OlsenVet I speak with diplomats frequently, but I'm
nobody's agent, but I can't stop them from bragging I'm their "asset."

At this point I’m starting to get sarcastic: 

Mark E. Smith ‏@fubarista  

@SanhoTree Gosh, I'm so sorry. Don't you have people who aren't in the
death industry to speak with? @OlsenVet



Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree  

@fubarista I’ve worked a lot in Colombia & I’ve lost many friends to
death squads over the past dozen years. http://vimeo.com/3869895

 

The video is excellent and I hope people will watch it. But if governments were sponsoring death squads that killed my friends, I don’t think I’d want to work with those governments. So I asked:



Mark E. Smith ‏@fubarista 

@SanhoTree So which will reduce the number of deaths, negotiating with
gov'ts that fund death squads or exposing them to public scrutiny?

 

Sanho, like many government officials, seems to believe that there are certain things that should not be made public, like the names of people negotiating with terrorist-sponsoring governments:



Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree  

@fubarista That’s a false dichotomy. Greenwald vetted his info before
releasing it -- as any responsible person should.




Mark E. Smith ‏@fubarista 

@SanhoTree Responsible to whom? To the public they're keeping secrets
from, or to the governments & corporations funding death squads?

And now we get an explanation. Sanho believes that if you contact the governments sponsoring death squads, and tell them why they shouldn’t do it, you might be able to get them to stop:
 

Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree 

@fubarista Good luck stopping them if you won’t even go near them or
tell them why their policies are wrong. Telepathy doesn’t work.



I’m told that Gandhi thought that if he wrote to Hitler and explained why the death camps were wrong, Hitler might close them. It seems to be a common error among liberals to think that fascists are open to reason, and that if they knew what they were doing was wrong, something like enlightened self-interest would kick in and they’d stop. I disagree, so I said:

Mark E. Smith ‏@fubarista  

@SanhoTree They think the billions of dollars they profit from having
death squads are just coincidence? They're not evil, just misguided?



Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree  

@fubarista There are good people and bad people in every govt. Not
monolithic institutions. What's YOUR theory of change?

 

Mark E. Smith ‏@fubarista  

@SanhoTree Not MY theory, but I think change can only come from below,
with transparency, equality, and total accountability. No secrets.



Mark E. Smith ‏@fubarista  

@SanhoTree If there are good people in the govts that fund them, then
there must be good people in the death squads too?



Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree  

@fubarista Another false dichotomy. People don't join death squads
because they want to help people. Many civil servants do.

 

Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree  

@fubarista I've come face to face w/death squads many times. They're
not the same as civil servants. Nor are all civil servants terrorists.

 


Mark E. Smith ‏@fubarista  

@SanhoTree The S.S. and the "little Eichmanns" who worked in Nazi
offices, did seem to be quite different. Same machine, different
parts.



Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree  

@fubarista Throwing a tantrum is not the same as changing policies.
Once again, what is your theory of change? Prayer? Revolution? Terror?



Mark E. Smith ‏@fubarista  

@SanhoTree Policies should not be made in secret. Death squads ARE
terror. You think negotiating with terrorists will change policy?



Mark E. Smith ‏@fubarista 

@SanhoTree People join death squads, governments, and NGOs because
they need a job, not because they think they can change policy.





Sanho Tree ‏@SanhoTree 

@fubarista FUCK YOU. I and my NGO colleagues don't risk our lives for
a pittance. You know NOTHING about our motivations. Grow up! BLOCKED.



Since Sanho blocked me, that was the end of that conversation.


Some of the people on my Twitter timeline are investigative journalists who have helped expose NGOs that were helping the US destabilize governments.

A good resource with regard to how governments use NGOs is Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil by Colby and Dennett http://www.amazon.com/Thy-Will-Done-Rockefeller-Evangelism/dp/0060927232

 

Many of the people who join NGOs have good intentions, of the sort that the missionaries undoubtedly had. Just because Rockefeller funded them, didn’t mean that he was using them to expand his empire. He could have been funding philanthropies to atone for his sins. Except that he wasn’t. He was funding missionaries because they were useful in expanding his empire. The missionaries wanted to help people and had no idea that they were destroying the people they were trying to help, but sending back information about numbers, local resources, and everything else Rockefeller might have needed to avoid sending US Marines someplace where there was no oil or other profitable resource he wanted.

 

The US government doesn’t care if its war on drugs has increased the availability and lowered the price of drugs, while killing many innocent people and destroying entire economies. The war on drugs, like any other war, involved lucrative defense contracts. The defense contractors (nearly every corporation of any size that operates within the US) ensure that they will get a portion of those profits by funding the two major political parties in the US, neither one of which could exist without that funding. So no matter who is elected, the capitalist imperialist policies will contine.

 

Diplomats do not make policy, and they’ll be the first to tell you if you ask them. Their job is to follow policy or resign. But Congress and Presidents don’t make policy in the US either. The corporations that fund both major political parties have “policy-making bodies” like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, etc., where they pass along Rockefeller/Rothschild policies and choose the candidates of both major parties who seem most capable of carrying out those policies. The political parties either obey or risk being defunded and dying. So far, neither one has risked being defunded.

 

It is sad to see such an intelligent and courageous man be so deluded as to think that capitalists might be motivated by anything other than enhancing profits. And not just any profits. If it is cheaper to do something differently, but your cronies and funders are profiting from the way it is currently being done, there is no incentive to change it. Saving taxpayer money would only reduce profits to your friends.

 

I still find Sanho’s fears unrealistic. If diplomats name innocent people as assets, while writing secret documents that are distributed only to the governments funding death squads, those innocent people’s names may be given to the death squads by those governments, if not by the particular diplomats themselves. The public does not fund death squads, has very little contact with them, and cannot give them orders or targets. The death squads themselves are not looking for targets in the newspapers or on TV, they are paid mercenaries following orders from above. When you release information to a representative of the government sponsoring a death squad, it is quite a stretch of the imagination to think that the only way a death squad might learn of that information isn’t through its funders but only through public media.

In other words, when Sanho deals with a government diplomat, that government knows who he is and what he is doing. If they decide that he is too much of a nuisance, they have death squads to get rid of people they wish to eliminate. To think that releasing information to the public could endanger somebody like that more than they’ve already endangered themselves, doesn’t make sense.

 

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Several countries have ended their drug wars.

Yes, it seems Sanho prefers some forms of violence over others, and revolution was summarily disqualified from his preferred list. Maybe Witness for Peace is not what it's cracked up to be, and just another deadend wishing well of hope for the hopeless.

Sanho is a rather short-fused peace-nik

Sanho is using the same false logic that most voters use, by claiming the state gives a flying fuck what the people think.  It's the same tired old "solidarity wins out" bullshit.  It doesn't and it won't.  I cannot fathom how anyone who is in a better position than most to understand the horrific abuses of empire, can then advocate that we embrace it as system worthy of being reasoned with just as long as more people stand up for what is right. This is beyond Stockholm Syndrome in my opinion.  Its just another front for the status quo...and an affront to the real truth about the empire of death we are governed by.

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