“[H]istory didn’t start at 2001,” said General James Mattis, the latest to be tapped as head of US Central Command, during his confirmation hearing.
He was being questioned by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) before the Senate Armed Services Committee about his impression of the 91,000 documents WikiLeaks posted online and how they would affect the relationships and conflicts in that nearly nine-year old war, as reported in an interview by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Transparent Government Tends to Produce Just Government. What a great thought!
Perhaps the general should be reminded it was The War on Terror that began on 9/11/2001 and has kept on rolling nearly nine years now, under the Bush-inherited rhetoric President Obama still spouts that Afghanistan is “the region from which the 9/11 attacks were waged, and other attacks against the United States and our friends and allies have been planned.” In all fairness to the general, he did say, “I need to get more current, sir.” I would imagine.
Amazing, too, is that not a single Afghan was involved in the misguided conspiracy theory of the past administration, though 15 Saudis were, and we flew out Saudi’s US-based crème de la merde ASAP on 9/11. This flight was preceded only by an El-Al jet with key Israelis, who needed to run fast, like the five dancing Israelis’ boss from Urban Moving Systems, Incorporated, Daniel Suter, and other Israeli players, who may more likely have been responsible for the event. See Gordon Duff’s America’s Tarnished Military Relationship with Israel.
Amazing what we did for some “allies” when thousands of flights were grounded all around the US and the world. Amazing, too, what we blame on innocent people like the Afghans, who had the misfortune to have Osama bin Laden in the region of Tora Bora. After the US’s preemptive attack on that sovereign country, our Army somehow let him slip through their fingers back into Pakistan.
It would have been unlikely in the extreme that Bin Laden was the perpetrator of 9/11 given that he entered the American Hospital in Dubai in August 2001 for kidney dialysis and to meet with his CIA handler to catch up on old business, like running the Mujahedeen against the Russian war we helped provoke in Afghanistan.
But this is old news, like the fact that 911 scholar David Ray Griffin reported in his book Osama bin Laden – Dead or Alive that the bearded one died in late December of 2001, RIP, buried in an unknown grave in Pakistan, according to Muslim tradition, and according to Pakistan newspapers. It’s more old news that keeps getting recycled like water in a stagnant pool. But then those who don’t learn the lessons of history, alas, are doomed to repeat them. And doomed we are, and repeating them we are, now at a price tag of nearly 300 billion dollars on Afghanistan, plus the newly tossed in $37 billion by the House.
“The measure,” as Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman told us, “passed by a vote of 308 to 114. A hundred two Democrats joined twelve Republicans in opposing the bill. Last year, only thirty-two Democrats voted against the war funding. A number of Democrats against said they were influenced by the revelations in the massive archive of the leaked military records published by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks on Sunday.”
So, let’s get on with the new news, general, the 91,000 classified leaked documents minus 15,000 that are still being certified to redact the names of informers and sources. Mattis did get to agree with McCain’s suggestion that there are “reports that certain elements of [Pakistan’s) ISI are at least cooperating to same extent with the Taliban. Is that correct?” he asked.
He went on to push it to “And that could be because they’re hedging their bets as to whether the United States is going to remain to remain or not?” And that is when Mattis spouted his “current” line abut history, saying that this was a long conflict back to “when we were fighting the Soviets.” Interesting, our CIA did organize the Mujahedeen with soldiers, including Osama bin Laden, from nearby Muslim countries against “the atheist Russians,” and they armed it (including with Stinger missiles) trained it, and set it to war for 10 years to defeat Russia.
Also, the Pentagon is now so miffed about the leaks that it is launching a “criminal probe” into who the leakers are within the military, rather than investigate what the possible “war crimes” may be, according to the sources, “heroes” as Assange calls them, who are putting their lives on the line to inform WikiLeaks about the unconfirmed, misquoted, underestimated civilian deaths and over-or-under-estimated US troop deaths and battle methodologies in Afghanistan.
The young soldier/whistleblower, Bradley Manning, who leaked military video of the chopper gunship attacking and killing 12 people in Baghdad, including two Reuters’ newsmen, was charged this month with downloading more than 150,000 classified diplomatic cables, Goodman tells us. Also, he has been arrested and was held in Kuwait, of all places, before being returned to the US and placed in a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va. Manning is incredibly brave in terms of not sparing the US public what is really happening in Afghanistan. His estimated legal costs are $200,000. Assange is contributing $50,000.
One leaked event would be a “Polish My Lai,” as Assange calls it, the result of Polish troops getting hit by an IED and the next day finding the closest village and shelling it pell mell. He also speaks of “Task Force 373, a Special Forces assassination squad so secretive that it changes its military code name every six months, working its way down the JPRL, Joint Priority Effects List, kill or capture list, usually a kill list.” This clandestine force “performs secret missile strikes on a house, from within close proximity, and ended up killing at least eleven children, and a number of other incidences.” They work in tandem the HIMARS ground-to-ground missile system which is kept secret even from other members of the coalition forces.
Assange’s strategy in releasing so many documents was to enable readers to connect the dots from the terse military messages to see a pattern. You can go to wardiary.wikileaks.org to see the many ways of browsing this information, i.e., some 200 categories applied by the US military to the reports, including 2,200 “escalation of force events” self-described by the US military. Again, the caveat in browsing is that you are reading military reports with a bias to protect its own actions, so there “lots of exculpatory language or hiding of facts,” as when over a hundred civilians are killed and readers see just 56. And so on.
It’s a highly worthwhile endeavor to read the entire Democracy Now report, let alone the WikiLeaks documents, a real service to “the folks back home,” who are giving their sons and daughters, their tax dollars, and their nation’s treasure to support this mayhem.
Assange also felt that the New York Times, one of the papers that handled the initial release of the leaks, “consulted with the White House,” even showed documents “to, oh, redact whatever would endanger people, sources on the ground,” which is kind of strange when you are breaking a story criticizing White House military policy. The Washington Post also dealt with agencies of the government pre-publication, again playing Mr. Nice Newspaper. This was in contrast with the Euro press like Der Spiegel, which went right to the public without giving the government the chance to start spinning the dog of war by the tail.
Assange did praise all the papers for whatever courage they had exhibited, given they were mainstream, working “within a particular milieu and particular constraints that appear to be present,” that is I would add, retaining their press passes, good seats and invitations to press conferences, down to satisfying shareholders as to share of audience and profitability. In all the various compromises, it is, as Assange terms it, “the real meat of the story” suffers.
Great Britain’s The Guardian was the fourth newspaper simultaneously releasing the documents for maximum impact, which was a feat in itself. Assange remarked that under Sweden’s Constitution they are obliged to retain sources’ anonymity. It is a criminal offense not to, including contractors and computer programmers. Again, Assange is adamant, dedicated to protecting the “heroes” who put themselves on the line to report this wrongdoing, again working on his central premise that “Transparent government tends to produce just government.” Ah, would that the concept sink into our government and in areas like finance, healthcare, lending, maintaining environmental standards for drilling, and so on.
So, while the Pentagon conducts its witch hunt for Assange’s sources, one wonders when it will announce an investigation to correct the potential criminal conduct revealed in the leaked 91,000 documents, like the behaviors and abuses found in Guantanamo Bay, Fallujah, and with the use in Iraq of chemical weapons, not to mention depleted uranium in even greater but unspoken quantities.
Assange has been warned to “watch his back” by none other than the New Yorker’s premier political pundit, Seymour Hersh, a mainstay of the institutions he often “criticizes,” sort of the house-scooper. Assange feels that the Australian government and the United Kingdom will resist any “aggressive action by intelligence within the UK or by overseas intelligence operating within the United Kingdom.” Assange has no immediate plans of visiting the US and has cancelled three media appearances here — one at the Investigative Reports and Editors conference in Las Vegas. He was supposed to be on a panel with Valerie Plame, the CIA officer outed by Dick Cheney after her husband former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who, in a Washington Post op-ed following a trip to Niger, labeled the Bush-Cheney accusation a lie that Saddam Hussein had attempted to obtain yellow cake uranium from that African nation.
Behind Assange’s leaking of the documents is the hope that the current Afghanistan funding for the war of some $60 billion will “have its proper airing,” just as The Pentagon Papers did on Vietnam and had a significant effort in slowing down war fervor, casting a new light on the reality of what was really going on. Cutting off the funding, in Assange’s estimation, is an instrument for real change, unlike Obama’s brand, which escalated the cost and scope of the conflict, in which several previous top generals have told us we are failing.
As ever, continuing to throw money and blood into the hapless fray has little effect except depleting US resources for much needed domestic issues like unemployment, foreclosure assistance, healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, proper staffing of federal regulatory agencies, infrastructure, and the stalled Healthcare bill for 9/11 first responders blocked by the Republicans as an entitlement.
In fact, if we turn our backs on keeping those first responders, men and women, alive who worked so diligently at Ground Zero, and who are now suffering the crippling and death-causing effects of exposure to the innumerable chemicals that are taking their lives, how can we look ourselves in the mirror and say this costs too much money? And yet, here we are throwing $33 billion more into causing more death and destruction in a nearly nine-year-old aimless, illegal war, whose only purpose is to colonize Afghanistan for oil and gas pipelines and for its wealth of minerals.
For these reasons, I wish you would all read the full text of “Transparent Government Tends to Produce Just Government.” And General Mattis, we all know that “history didn’t start at 2001.” But false flag attacks by governments against their own people to entice them into wars their governments desire against other nations have been going on throughout history. I suggest you read David Ray Griffin’s seminal book, The New Pearl Harbor –Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11.
In fact, a New Pearl Harbor was exactly the inciting incident for The War on Terror as called for in the neocon Project for the New American Century (PNAC)’s seminal document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.” It quoted Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives, in which Brzezinski (coincidentally a foreign policy advisor to Obama) wrote, “the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of well being . . . except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.” The threat he was referring to was the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor that “supported America’s engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.”
The reality was, as you may well know, general, was that Roosevelt had put an oil embargo on Japan which was strangling its economy, and retaliation was practically guaranteed. In fact, it occurred tragically on the morning of December 7, 1941. It took nearly 3,000 American lives as did the false-flag operation [inside job] of 9/11. The accused Muslim hijackers were in fact patsies, whose names and photos had been pulled from an FBI file in no time, with no real investigation, and posited as the perpetrators. Within days, the War on Terror began on this faulty premise, followed by the invasion of Afghanistan. After that, FBI Director Robert Mueller claimed that we couldn’t be absolutely sure that those accused Muslims were responsible for hijacking the planes. Nevertheless, the misinformation had the desired effect of creating panic and cries for war against Muslim nations.
Subsequently, Osama bin Laden himself was removed from the FBI’s Most Wanted List for the crime of 9/11 due to a lack of evidence. So, sir, in all due respect, I am current. And I would love to discuss this affair with you anytime, anywhere, to resolve the tragedy that has befallen the American people and the world on behalf of the hegemonic ambitions of the Bush and Obama administrations. I believe you, as I, would profit from the discussion and, as I did, from reading the several books mentioned. I can recommend others if you wish.
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