Flashpoints strive to provide the information needed to make informed judgments about the nature of specific violent political conflicts, adversaries’ aspirations, and the prospects for intervention or resolution. Above all, we try to remain impartial and present alternative viewpoints to stimulate critical thought and informed debate.
BASQUE – SPAIN
Democracy is not a mandate for domination by a political majority. To survive and prosper democracies must recognize and provide for the welfare and aspirations of all citizens. While people will consent to be governed, history shows they will not consent to perpetual domination, and governments survive only with the consent of the people.
Democratic government, indeed every government, is challenged to provide equal opportunities for education, employment, and economic welfare. Among the most fundamental abuses by oppressive governments are denial of religious and cultural traditions and practices, including the right to worship, speak one’s native language, educate children in their native culture, history, and tradition, and prosper from their labor.
When governments deny basic human rights to groups of people, those people are justified in their attempts to reform or replace the government. There is no more difficult decision than the decision to kill and die for one’s beliefs and the faint hope for freedom.
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Yet, time and again uncompromising regimes force people into a position where they have nothing left to lose.Wherever and whenever, people make the difficult and terrible choice to resort to political violence, those who respect human rights, value freedom and desire peace must examine the circumstances carefully, objectively and critically, to penetrate the fog of propaganda and censorship that obscures truth and ultimately denies justice.
- James F. Mattil
- Managing Editor
- August 2013
The Managing Editor of Flashpoints, James Matti, served in Iraq as Chief of Staff, U.S. State Department, Office of Accountability & Transparency (OAT) at Embassy Baghdad, Iraq during 2006 and 2007. The OAT mission was to train and assist the Iraqi Commission on Public Integrity (CPI) in fighting corruption.
In April 2007, Mattil discovered “Secret Orders” isued by Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki that banned CPI from investigating or prosecuting corruption in Iraq, but when Mattil passed this information up the chain of command, embassy officials suppressed the information, witholding facts from headquarters, from Congress and the American people.
In July 2007, Mattil reported the information to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman and disclosed a number of reports describing the depth of corruption and the embassy’s dysfunctional anti-corruption programs. Rep. Waxman invited Mattil to testify before the Committee on Sept. 12, 2007. One day later, Mattil was relieved of duty and forbidden to return to Iraq in retaliation for his communications with Congress – a right protected by law (5 USC 7211 and others). His employment ended in late October.
Mattil filed a lawsuit against the State Department, which has dragged on for nearly six years. In October 2011, the MSPB judge issued an Initial Decision upholding the agency’s actions, but in Dec. 2012 that decision was vacated on appeal to the MSPB Board. A new hearing will be scheduled in 2013.
As others like Pvt. Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden and now Aurelia Fedenisn has been victimized in whistleblower cases, Mr. Mattil has decided to publicize his case and bring daylight to the government misconduct that motivates whistleblowers and the abuses of power that attempt to cover-up that misconduct.
Follow the whole saga HERE… Coming Fall 2013