US agency claims need dis­claimers

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Themba Sono JM Bou­vier

DA MPL Makashule Gana’s cry for “African fel­low­ship” is no­ble and em­pa­thetic, but also naive and mis­guided.

Let’s start with an imag­i­nary anal­ogy. Gana has a fam­ily liv­ing in poverty and he is strug­gling to rub two rand to­gether. His neigh­bours are in an even more im­pe­cu­nious sit­u­a­tion, in which their fam­i­lies can barely rub two cents to­gether.

Will Gana al­low his chil­dren to share the mea­gre scrap­ings in his home with the neigh­bours? If given a choice of shar­ing his meal with oth­ers or starv­ing to death, what would Gana choose?

Chris­tian ethics tell us that Gana will share his poverty with his neigh­bours. This is very char­i­ta­ble, but how long will it last, es­pe­cially given that Gana’s neigh­bours keep in­creas­ing? When will he say “Enough is enough”?

It seems Gana will never say “no” be­cause it is our neigh­bourli­ness (“African fel­low­ship”) that has bound him and his neigh­bours in poverty and hunger in per­pe­tu­ity. Again a no­ble sen­ti­ment, but im­prac­ti­cal.

Gana’s char­ity will be as doomed as the Colom­bian open­ness. Soon the Colom­bians will, like the boxer Robert Du­ran, shout “no mas” (no more). More­over, Venezue­lans were not com­ing into Colom­bia il­le­gally, nor were they break­ing im­mi­gra­tion laws or other reg­u­la­tions of the coun­try. I once over­stayed in Malawi by 18 hours and the im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials branded me an out­law be­cause I had bro­ken the im­mi­gra­tion laws of the coun­try.

Pres­i­dent Hast­ings Banda’s men put me on the next plane back to Wash­ing­ton DC.

Two of my rel­a­tives were tagged as crim­i­nals by a US im­mi­gra­tion court prose­cu­tor be­cause their visa au­tho­ri­sa­tion had ex­pired. They were saved from de­por­ta­tion be­cause the Vir­ginia judge ac­cepted my en­treaties of fam­ily rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. The point? You are a criminal if you break the very laws that Gana is en­act­ing in the leg­is­la­ture.

Mayor Her­man Mashaba does not loosely tag any­one a criminal. If you break the law, you are a criminal, whether you come from a war zone or a poverty-stricken coun­try.

Gana, be­ing a leg­is­la­tor, should know the laws he is mak­ing can’t be im­ple­mented on the ba­sis of sen­ti­ment. The cit­i­zens of the City of Joburg have voted Mashaba to ap­ply the laws with­out fear or favour. He must be dili­gent as to who is le­gal and who is not; what is criminal and what is not.

In­ci­den­tally, why does Gana want South Africans to share their wealth/ poverty only with other Africans? What about Ukraini­ans, Pak­ista­nis, Bangladeshis etc? In fact, what about the rest of the world? Cen­tu­rion IT BOG­GLES the mind when se­cu­rity agen­cies at­tack Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s temer­ity in dar­ing to ques­tion the US in­tel­li­gence es­tab­lish­ment.

And it is sur­pris­ing that he did, given the agen­cies’ his­tory of sub­terfuge and de­lib­er­ate at­tempts to mis­lead politi­cians and the pub­lic.

Or to al­ter in­tel­li­gence in­for­ma­tion to con­form with what their bosses wanted to hear.

It was even more shock­ing to hear the di­rec­tor of na­tional in­tel­li­gence, J Clapper, an­nounce “ev­i­dence” that was sup­posed to be the “smok­ing gun” of Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the out­come of the Amer­i­can elec­tions. Isn’t he the same guy who was in­volved with the Iraq fi­asco?

What is even more dis­turb­ing is that Clapper, un­der oath at a con­gres­sional com­mit­tee in March 2013 said the NSA does not col­lect data on mil­lions of Amer­i­cans, which of course was a huge lie as it was proven later.

What is more pa­thetic, though, is that at the end of their so-called proof that the Rus­sians were in­volved, was the dis­claimer that we usu­ally see on TV shows or on Twit­ter, that “The depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity does not pro­vide any war­ranties re­gard­ing any in­for­ma­tion con­tained within”. So af­ter you stir a storm, throw in a dis­claimer to cover your butt.

These pro­nounce­ments, though, put Trump in a squeeze and now there is ques­tion mark hang­ing over the le­git­i­macy of his elec­tion. Bryanston

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.