WikiLeaks' Most Terrifying Revelation: Just How Much Our Government Lies to Us
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When the Iraqi war logs were published 3 months later, they revealed even more shocking information -- particularly that U.S. soldiers had handed over Iraqi civilians to Iraqi police, knowing they would be hideously tortured employing electric drills, acid and other devices before being savagely murdered. Ellen Knickmeyer, the Washington Post Bureau chief in Baghdad in 2006, wrote that these revelations meant that U.S. officials had been lying daily to the U.S. media
-- and American people -- by saying they were not aware of this mass murder. U. S. leaders also lied constantly in claiming they were not tracking civilian casualties, when in fact they were. Since international law made U.S. leaders responsible for providing law and order in occupied Iraq, these Wiklileaks cables thus also revealed that U.S. leaders bear a major responsibility for these warcrimes, among the worst since the end of WWII.
Both the Wikileaks Iraqi and Afghan War Logs, in short, have revealed that the entire U.S. Executive is a " vast lying machine", as journalist David Halberstam described the U.S. military in his affadavit for the CBS vs. Westmoreland trial. It must be understood that “truth” vs. “lies” is not even an operational category within the Executive Branch or military. The purpose of communicating with the public is not to provide them with truthful information but rather to advance “the mission”. People who communicate with the public obtain their jobs and are promoted on the basis of their ability to mislead, deceive, “spin” and lie. There is no recorded case where Executive Branch officials have been rewarded for telling the truth to the American people, and many where they have been punished or lost their jobs for doing so. And nothing so epitomizes the degradation of democracy in America that the fact the public expects Executive Branch officials to lie to them, and that mass media journalists even betray their profession by defending Executive secrecy and excoriating those who reveal their lies like Julian Assange.
It is thus impossible to overstate the importance of the Wikileaks documentation of these lies to the American people. When a journalist reports a U.S. government misdeed, government officials automatically deny it and many Americans are unsure whom to believe. But Wikileaks has revealed official government documents that prove U.S. leaders’ lying and commission of crimes of war. The fact that the U.S. has covered up its mass murder of civilians, and that this is contributing to its losing the war, is thus no longer open to serious question. The callous and careerist politicians and journalists who daily ignore U.S. mass murder, while calling for Assange's arrest or execution, shame themselves, their children, and their profession by their indifference to non-American human suffering and obsequious toadying to illegitimate Executive power.
And the Wikileaks documents reveal something even more important: the entirely bogus nature of U.S. claims that Assange has damaged U.S. "national security", e.g. by revealing information that could help the “enemy.” It is obvious that the "enemy" knows whether those murdered by the U.S. are civilians. The U.S. Executive clearly claims it is only killing “insurgents” to keep its murder of civilians a secret from the American people, fearing it would face protests that could tie its hands if it became known.
The Wikileaks documents, though they date from 2009 and before, also shed important light on what is occurring today under General David Petraeus.
It is important to remember, after all, that the Wikileaks controversy is not primarily about the past or abstract legal issues, but what is happening to actual human beings today. As you read these words countless Afghan and Pakistani villagers are huddling in their homes, terrorized by U.S. war-making, as General Petraeus's brutal offensive into southern Afghanistan, met by an increase in the Taliban's resort to roadside bombs and assassination, has caused the Red Cross to issue an unusual alarm saying that conditions are at their worst for Afghan civilians in 30 years, i.e. as bad as during the Russian invasion. A Canadian press report indicates that Kandahar's main hospital is overflowing with civilian casualties, and that " on some days, the floor is red with blood".