March 5, 2011
Last week, I made another of my doomed attempts to use politeness and rationality to get people with power to correct false statements.
Many big issues fill our daily news – political upheaval in the Middle East, budget-cutting in Washington, and a challenge to public unions in Wisconsin – but there is another dark storm cloud on the horizon, the renewed battle over the issue of church and state.
There is no doubt that Julian Assange, the head of the WikiLeaks organization, and Bradley Manning, the soldier who allegedly leaked U.S. classified documents, are being singled out and made examples of by the Obama administration.
The CIA shared with George W. Bush’s Justice Department the details of how an interrogation strategy – with an emphasis on forced nudity and physical abuse – could train prisoners in “learned helplessness” and demonstrate “the complete control of Americans.”
The mysterious fortune of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak got an early boost from millions of dollars in cash bribes delivered by CIA-connected arms merchants in the late 1970s, according to two participants.
A disorderly conduct charge against former CIA analyst Ray McGovern – for standing silently with his back to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – was dropped on Wednesday in what McGovern called a victory for the constitutional right to dissent against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In Establishment Washington, Defense Secretary Robert Gates enjoys a charmed life based on a charming persona. The Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) is always ready with fulsome praise for his “candor” and “leadership” – and even for his belated recognition that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were nuts.
If there were ever a doubt about whether the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, is “a real journalist,” recent events should erase all those doubts. Indeed, they should put him at the forefront of a movement to democratize journalism and empower people.
Twenty years ago, with a resounding victory in a 100-hour ground war against Iraqi troops in Kuwait, the first Bush administration completed the restoration of a powerful public consensus, a renewed national commitment that the United States should act as the world’s imperial policeman.
When Defense Secretary Robert Gates told West Point cadets that you’d have to be crazy to commit U.S. troops to wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, media commentators quickly detected a slap at his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, who oversaw those conflicts.