Tell me again the difference between government and organized crime?

Originally published at The Benfell Blog. Please leave any comments there.

David Waldock posted on Twitter, “Dear government: as you keep telling us, if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to fear.” Such is the state of our society today that governments seek ever greater intrusions on our privacy while governments are outraged because WikiLeaks keeps revealing their secrets.

Translation: Governments can keep secrets. You may not.

Of course, all of this arises—though we are not to notice—because of our governments’ policies around the world. Lyndon Johnson and Robert F. Kennedy wanted a key constituency to vote for Democrats, so they promised to sponsor Israel. A month later, Kennedy was shot and it has gotten worse ever since.

We’re not supposed to notice Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, the drone attacks on innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the night raids—really home invasions—on Afghan homes, the million-plus civilians killed in Iraq, the widening war on Islam, the support for anti-democratic and pro-oligarchy coups, or any of the other dastardly deeds our governments have committed in our name.

We’re not supposed to notice that while all this criminal activity goes on overseas, we’re also rewarding criminals at home—bailing them out to ever greater profits—while the unemployed and the poor are left to twist in the wind.

And somehow these governments continue to be seen as legitimate, as morally superior to organized criminal gangs.