Executive Branch leaders have killed, wounded and made homeless well over 20 million human beings in the last 50 years, mostly civilians.
America has a secret. It is not discussed in polite company or at the dinner tables of the powerful, rich and famous.
Parents do not teach it to their children. Best-selling authors do not write about it. Politicians and government officials ignore it. Intellectuals avoid it. High school and college textbooks do not refer to it. TV pundits do not comment on it. Teachers do not teach it. Journalists from the nation’s most highly regarded TV news shows, newspapers and magazines, do not report it. Continue reading →
The main building of the University of Texas at Austin, built in part with oil revenues (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Had a day completely off back in July, which isn’t normally the case for me during the summer months when I’m usually busy as hell. Wasn’t a planned day off doing something I wanted to do–I had a jury duty summons and had to go downtown to the courthouse. Parked about two miles away–that’s the nearest free parking to the courthouse downtown in Austin, and jurors don’t get free parking or parking meter passes here. You do get all of a six dollar per diem, which buys most of your lunch I guess. So I walked over to the courthouse from my truck, plenty early for my summons, and got stopped at the security checkin on account of my pocketknife, which I’ve toted one of around in my front pocket ever since I graduated from diapers. Continue reading →
Bill Moyers considers a President’s decision to escalate troop levels in a military conflict. Through LBJ’s taped phone conversations and his own remembrances, Bill Moyers looks at Johnson’s deliberations as he stepped up America’s role in Vietnam.
Documentary about Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, who subsequently became president of the World Bank. The documentary combines an interview with Mr. McNamara discussing some of the tragedies and glories of the 20th Century, archival footage, documents, and an original score by Philip Glass. Written by Richard Latham
The “Eleven Lessons” listed in the film are as follows:
1. Empathize with your enemy.
2. Rationality will not save us.
3. There’s something beyond one’s self.
4. Maximize efficiency.
5. Proportionality should be a guideline in war.
6. Get the data.
7. Belief and seeing are both often wrong.
8. Be prepared to reexamine your reasoning.
9. In order to do good, you may have to engage in evil.
10. Never say never.
11. You can’t change human nature.
Paul Jay speaks to Garth Porter about former Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara who died Monday, July 6th. Porter says that documents he uncovered from the Lyndon B. Johnson library demonstrate that McNamara deceived LBJ over the Gulf of Tonkin incident. In spite of dubious reports that U.S. Navy ships were attacked by North Vietnamese fleet, “[McNamara] went ahead with drafting the strike order for the retaliation that night and actually [sent] that strike order without having basically consulted further with President Johnson about the situation that he now understood of real doubt on the part of the commander on the scene that they had been attacked.”
Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, discusses the events leading to the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, earlier CIA attempts to provoke N. Vietnam retaliation, Robert McNamara’s role in hiding evidence that the second Tonkin Gulf incident never happened, the possibility an earlier leak of the Pentagon Papers would have prevented the Vietnam War and saved millions of lives, the sociological explanation of how government secrects are kept and the U.S. penchant for planning false-flag operations that sacrifice American lives.
Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for Inter Press Service, discusses evidence that Robert McNamara never told LBJ the August 4, 1964 Tonkin Gulf attack on the USS Maddox and Turner Joy never happened, information revealed in recorded phone conversations between LBJ and McNamara released in 2006 and Gareth Porter’s own phone conversation with McNamara. Note: recorded on June 22, 2009
My readings of late have prompted me to write you in the fine lost tradition of a public exchange of letters. I wish to raise issues from your writings both as Secretary of Defense and as a private citizen in your recently published books that are of the utmost importance to our current wars in the Middle East, and to the health and proper functioning of American society and its political system. These issues require being raised, and answered, in public, and therefore I turn to this old-fashioned means to do that.
Commentary: Galloway on McNamara: Reading an obit with great pleasure
By Joseph L. Galloway
06 Jul 2009
“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” —Clarence Darrow 1857–1938
Well, the aptly named Robert Strange McNamara has finally shuffled off to join LBJ and Dick Nixon in the 7th level of Hell.
McNamara was the original bean-counter — a man who knew the cost of everything but the worth of nothing.
Back in 1990 I had a series of strange phone conversations with McMamara while doing research for my book We Were Soldiers Once And Young. McNamara prefaced every conversation with this: “I do not want to comment on the record for fear that I might distort history in the process.” Then he would proceed to talk for an hour, doing precisely that with answers that were disingenuous in the extreme — when they were not bald-faced lies.