- When truths are too disturbing to conceal, downplay them,
change the subject, and blame others, not responsible Washington officials
and key allies, culpable politicians and media misinformation masters
suppressing and misreporting the facts, their well-oiled spin machine counterattacking
WikiLeaks - revelations too sensitive to explain, a potential game-changer
otherwise, so pundits and reporters duck them.
- Above all, WikiLeaks "Afghan War Diaries" are
a powerful indictment of wars, their true face, the mindless daily slaughter
and destruction too disturbing to reveal, for Julian Assange:
- "the vast sweep of abuses, everyday squalor and
carnage of war....one sort of kill after another every day going on and
on and on....one damn thing after another....(endless) small events, the
continuous deaths of children, insurgents, allied forces....(many) thousands"
of war crimes needing exposure, accountability, and prosecutions.
- The "Diaries" document them, suppressed by
the major media, choosing embedded complicity and Pentagon handouts over
real journalism, WikiLeaks "high quality material" and solid
analysis their antidote, so far not enough to stop Congress.
- One day after their release, following the Senate's passage
days earlier on top of $130 billion already approved this year, the House
overwhelmingly passed a $60 billion supplemental spending bill, including
$37 billion for America's wars, mostly for 30,000 additional troops in
Afghanistan. Obama tripled the force since taking office, now around 100,000
and increasing by about 2,000 a month, their numbers exceeded by private
military and other contractors, making the annual cost per US soldier $1
million and rising, reason enough to end both wars and bring them home.
- Yet more escalation is planned, breaking candidate Obama's
October 27, 2007 pledge saying:
- "I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten
our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will
do. I will get our troops home, We will bring an end to this war. You can
take that to the bank," perhaps an insolvent one under FDIC receivership.
- A day after the WikiLeaks release, he ignored old promises,
evaded indictable war crimes evidence and a deepening unwinnable quagmire,
urging the House authorize more supplemental funding, then engaged in
contradictory, deceitful damage control saying:
- "While I'm concerned about the disclosure of sensitive
information from the battlefield that could potentially jeopardize individuals
or operations, the fact is these documents don't reveal any issues that
haven't already informed our public debate about Afghanistan. Indeed, they
point to the same challenges that led me to conduct an extensive review
of our policy last fall."
- Instead of withdrawing as earlier promised, he plans
escalation, the same Vietnam misjudgment, force levels there reaching
540,000 in December 1969, yet not enough to win, resulting in drawdowns,
withdrawal and defeat, now repeating in Afghanistan, then Iraq no matter
each country's troop level. Mindless of history, Obama added:
- "We've substantially increased our commitment there,
insisted upon greater accountability from our partners in Afghanistan and
Pakistan, developed a new strategy that can work and put in place a team,
including one of our finest generals, to execute that plan. Now we have
to see that strategy through," no matter its illegality and futility,
what he and Pentagon brass know but won't say, what Congress and the media
won't address, supporting a killing machine in violation of US and international
law, explained in this writer's July 28 article, accessed through the following
- Deceitful Media Misinformation
- Released in advance to the Guardian, Der Spiegel, and
New York Times, the "paper of record" collaborated with White
House officials to sanitize it, clearing it in advance before publishing.
Its Washington bureau chief, Dean Baquet, confirmed that he and two reporters
(Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt) "did in fact (tell them) what we
had," Obama officials "prais(ing) us for the way we handled it,
giving them a chance to discuss it, and for handling the information with
care. And for being responsible."
- Responding to readers, Times editor Bill Keller wrote:
- "The administration, while strongly condemning (the
release), did not suggest (we not) write about them. On the contrary, in
our discussions....while challenging some of (our) conclusions....thanked
us for handling the documents with care (read sanitizing disturbing truths),
and asked us to urge WikiLeaks to withhold information that could cost
lives. We did pass along that message."
- In addition, he concealed daily war crimes, including
mass civilian deaths, many willfully committed. Also, Task Force 373, death
squad assassins killing suspected insurgents, cold-blooded murder The Times
suppresses, collaborating with imperial lawlessness.
- Instead, it focused on "Pakistan's Double Game,"
a July 27 editorial "confirm(ing) a picture of Pakistani double-dealing
that has been building for years," saying "If Mr. Obama cannot
persuade Islamabad to cut its ties to, and then aggressively fight, the
extremists in Pakistan, there is no hope of defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan,"
The Times, of course, supporting the Afghan and Iraq wars.
- For many decades, it's suppressed disturbing truths,
functioning like a propaganda ministry, masquerading as real news, commentary
and analysis - why WikiLeaks gave the Guardian and Der Spiepel its documents
for more accurate reporting if three papers, not one, had them.
- A wise decision given The Times history of supporting
privilege, backing corporate interests, knowingly ignoring CIA efforts
to topple elected governments, letting the Agency use its correspondents
as covert assets, turning a blind eye to electoral fraud, and promoting
- In the run-up to attacking Iraq, its star reporter, Judith
Miller, bylined daily Pentagon handouts, scamming the public as a complicit
Bush administration agent, a weapon of mass destruction against truth and
real journalism by transmitting lies, deceit and agitprop, standard New
York Times fare.
- For months in 2004, it also concealed the Bush administration's
illegal domestic spying program, delaying its report until after the November
election, and in 2000 endorsed Bush v. Gore, the first time in US history
that the High Court ignored electoral fraud, annulled the popular vote
(and final Electoral College count), installing its own preferred candidate
over the winner.
- The Wall Street Journal is unapologetic about supporting
corporate interests, and under Rupert Murdoch the lunatic fringe, neocon
extremism, and imperial wars, its July 29 editorial titled "WikiLeaks
'Bastards' " an example, saying:
- Julian Assange loves "crushing bastards." We
wonder if the 'bastards' he has in mind include the dozens of Afghan civilians
named in the document dump as US military informants. Their lives, as well
as those of their entire families, are now at terrible risk of Taliban
- In fact, the Journal ignores Assange's "bastards"
- imperial warlords reigning death and destruction daily in Iraq and Afghanistan,
unmentioned in Journal reports, op-eds or editorials, focusing instead
on supporting the troops and "humanitarian" wars bringing "democracy"
to beleaguered people, the kind that slaughters and enslaves them.
- The editorial calls publishing disturbing truths "troubling,"
though revealing "no big lies about the war (but) no small ones either."
Exposing details about "the military's methods, sources, tactics and
protocols of communication" harms national security." In fact,
what harms it is America's presence, lawlessness and imperial agenda.
- In a July 27 Journal op-ed, Bret Stephens calls civilian
deaths, Special Forces teams targeting insurgents, and Pakistan aiding
the Taliban "not exactly" news. "Still, you'd be forgiven
for thinking it is, given the Pentagon Papers-style treatment now being
accorded" the WikiLeaks release. "We'll see about that,"
so he focuses instead on a former Khmer Rouge prison commandant's conviction
for his role in the 1970s Cambodian killing fields, hardly worth discussing
over 40 years too late.
- Journal writers Siobhan Gorman and Jay Solomon also dodged
the story, diverting attention to "Suspicion (and unproved allegations)
of Iranian ties to the Taliban and al Qaeda," alleging Tehran provided
them arms, like earlier false claims about Iraq, the writers saying some
accusations "stretch credulity," yet they reported them anyway.
- On July 27, the Washington Post headlined "Wikileaks'
release of classified field reports on Afghan war reveals not much,"
- The voluminous release "hardly merits the hype (nor)
does it provide evidence for war crimes prosecutions - though in making
that assertion, Wikileaks' founder revealed his....antiwar agenda,"
one supported by most Americans and majorities worldwide.
- Saying the archives "add detail and texture,"
the Post downplayed their importance, calling them old news, insignificant,
unreliable, unconfirmed, not reflecting current policy - the kind escalating
killing by a tripled force level and expanded war into Pakistan, its carnage
and daily Iraq violence suppressed, the grim facts too disturbing to reveal,
multiplied manyfold in Afghanistan.
- On his nationally syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh
mocked WikiLeaks saying, "In the old days, the definition of winning
a war was killing people."
- Fox News on-air host/commentator Greg Gutfeld headlined,
"WikiLeaks' Crusade Against the US Military," saying its documents
are "pure bullpoop times 12. The fact is, their goal is to 'expose'
only the people they hate - meaning the US military - and get famous for
it. (What) Julian thinks is 'unethical behavior' is only unethical if you're
an idiot...and if you disagree with me, you're a racist homophobe who eats
- Fox News calls itself "fair and balanced,"
saying "we report, you decide." Its above comments show otherwise
- why Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) calls Fox "the most
biased name in news," its "extraordinary right-wing tilt"
not reality or honest journalism, sadly lacking throughout the major media,
cable and broadcast "news" looking more like Fox, racing to the
bottom for ratings and profits, delivering a propaganda, junk food news
and entertainment diet, their viewers misinformed and cheated.
- Overall, the major media downplayed the WikiLeaks story,
CNN like others saying:
- "American officials from the president on down"
minimized the disclosures, Pentagon officials finding no high classification
level disclosures. Senator John Kerry said the leaks shouldn't be overstated.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stressed they won't affect congressional support
for the war.
- Trying to rebrand it, House Armed Services Committee
Chairman Ike Skelton highlighted "the new counterinsurgency strategy
implemented earlier this year, (a policy) to turn things around,"
and a July 25 White House email told reporters "Some of the disconcerting
things reported are exactly why the President ordered a three month policy
review and a change in strategy," in fact, the same one escalated
with more troops, more attacks, and more killings.
- Others called the documents old news the way Pentagon
Papers bombshells were dismissed, the Los Angeles Times saying WikiLeaks
reports revealed few, just material "put(ting) the Obama administration
on the defensive about its Afghanistan policy (that) may deepen doubts
in Congress about prospects for turning around the faltering war effort."
- Not easily with major media support, complicit with Pentagon
warlords, criminal politicians, and corporate bosses burying the story,
calling it unimportant and moving on, backing the war effort by misreporting
- As a result, antiwar sentiment must challenge official
policy, enlisting others to resist and back efforts to revive a sick economy,
lift living standards, save social benefits, and the remnants of democratic
freedoms, fast eroding in America by design, the prospect too horrific
to accept, making bad governance essential to change.
- If not now, when? If not us, who? If that's not incentive
enough, what is?
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
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