The more extreme the crimes of state, the more the state seeks to shroud them in secrecy. The greater the secrecy and the accompanying lies, the more vital becomes the role of whistleblowers – and the more vindictive becomes the state in its pursuit of them.
Whistleblowers are people who start out as loyal servants of the state. Their illusions about the state’s supposed moral agenda – and the wholeheartedness of their own patriotic commitment – make them all the more shocked when they discover evidence of the state’s wrongdoing.
Given the extreme concentration of weaponry (as well as surveillance capabilities) in the hands of the state, and given the disposition of the state to apply such resources even against nonviolent mass movements, the type of defection practiced by whistleblowers – an option available to military and intelligence operatives at all levels – is crucial to any eventual triumph of popular forces over the ruling class.… Read the rest