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Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan Papers’

The War in Afghanistan Is a Fraud (and Now We Have Proof)

Posted by M. C. on January 13, 2020

If there’s one thing we should learn from the Afghanistan Papers, which the mainstream corporate media have already ceased talking about, it’s that ending these immoral, illegal, repulsive wars cannot be left to our breathtakingly incompetent and corrupt ruling elite, who have provably been lying to us about them for decades. So it’s up to you and me to stop them.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-war-in-afghanistan-is-a-fraud-and-now-we-have-proof/

Lee Camp

Bombs have numbers. Humans have names. Our American military boasts a skill and passion for using numbers to turn names into yet more numbers. But these numbers have grown so gargantuan and out of control that one struggles to comprehend them.

In just 10 months in 2018—the latest numbers made available—our military dropped 5,982 munitions on Afghanistan, turning many thinking, living and loving names into cold, lifeless numbers. Over the span of the war, 43,000 Afghan civilians have been numberized. We, as Americans, essentially never even notice when it happens. Statistically speaking, it will happen again many times today, and no one in America will really care. (At least not while the game is on.)

Our government has known for years that the war in Afghanistan is a jaw-dropping disaster on the level of “Cats”: the movie. How do we know they knew? The Washington Post actually just published some impressive reporting, taking a step back from its lust for pro-war propaganda. (The last time it achieved such a feat was during the O.J. Simpson trial. The first one. The one with the glove.) The Post unearthed a trove of thousands of internal government documents that expose the catastrophic war. And it turns out there are Tinder dates between a young neo-Nazi and an old Jewish lady that have gone better than this war.

[The document trove] reveals that senior US officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable,” the paper reported.

Let me translate The Washington Post’s fancy-pants language: U.S. officials didn’t “fail to tell the truth”; they fucking lied. The phrase “failed to tell the truth” oozes around the brain’s neural pathways, strategically dodging the anger receptors. “Failed to tell the truth” sounds like veracity is a slippery fish U.S. officials just couldn’t catch.

424 humanitarian aid workers have been numberized.

Let’s take a moment to consider the motivations and goals of the war in Afghanistan. The U.S. ostensibly invaded the country to stop al-Qaida from attacking us in any way, namely by flying large planes into our buildings. We achieved this goal within the first couple months. With al-Qaida essentially decimated, it seems logical that we should have left the country, reserving the right to return if any other big passenger airplanes came after us.

But we didn’t leave. We never leave. Rule No. 1 of the American empire is “Never Truly Leave a Country After Invading.” In order to explain our continued presence, we had to move the goal post. To what? We weren’t sure. We’re still not sure. Nearly 20 years later, if you ask a U.S. general or president (any of them) what the goal is in Afghanistan, they’ll feed you a word salad so large it’ll keep you regular for months. In fact, we now know that even during some of the earliest years of the war, the Pentagon and the Bush administration didn’t know who the bad guys were. (Right now you’re thinking it’s rather juvenile and uninformed of me to refer to enemy forces as “bad guys,” but, as you’ll see in a moment, our government literally spoke about them in those terms. Side note: This is because murderous rampages by war criminals are always juvenile. Murder, by definition, is unevolved.)

According to the Post’s Afghanistan Papers, an unnamed former adviser to an Army Special Forces team said, “They thought I was going to come to them with a map to show them where the good guys and bad guys live. It took several conversations—[a]t first, they just kept asking: ‘But who are the bad guys, where are they?’ 

Yet we Americans were instructed in the early years that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had everything under control. To imply otherwise was to make a mockery of tens of millions of yellow ribbons. But in reality, Rumsfeld, too, had a sizable bad-guy problem.

I have no visibility into who the bad guys are,” he said behind closed, locked, soundproof doors. Meanwhile, Rumsfeld publicly and boldly led the nation in a well-defined and decisive victory in the land of the Afghans.

In 2003, he said, during a press conference alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai, “General Franks and I … have concluded that we’re at a point where we clearly have moved from major combat activity to a period of stability and stabilization and reconstruction and activities.”

Yep, no more major combat—just 17 years of reconstruction (and activities). Apparently, most U.S.-backed “reconstruction” is done from the air, via bombs. Let that be a lesson to you, rest of the world: You better not screw with us or we’ll reconstruct you and your whole family!

67 journalists have been reconstructed during the war in Afghanistan. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Afghanistan Papers Propaganda at the WashPo Fooled Many – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 4, 2020

The Post it seems just did the job it was tasked to do by publishing this story in order to place just enough blame on the system at large so that the rest of society would feel better, and then go right back to sleep.

There is no mention of war crimes, no mention of the senseless murder of hundreds of thousands, and nothing said of the millions of innocent lives destroyed by this purposeful slaughter for the sake of power and control.

The stage is now set for a major continuation of this war on humanity. Iran will be the next and most important victim in this game of death and empire.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/01/gary-d-barnett/the-afghanistan-papers-propaganda-at-the-washington-post-fooled-many-now-on-to-iran/

By

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country”. ~ Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928), p. 10

All of a sudden, and out of the blue, the “truth-telling” Washington Post informed us that Afghanistan was a failure. They claimed that they were able to gain this valuable and previously unknown information by gaining access to “secret documents,” that were actually not secrets or documents at all, but so-called hidden interviews with those who were actually responsible for prosecuting this heinous war against an innocent people. As stated by the Post “We’re basically fighting the wrong way,” and “This was an original way to tell the story of all the failures in Afghanistan.” Propaganda at this level deserves respect for its blatant and open dishonesty, because the pathetic American populace, including many of those in the alternative press and many of those falsely claiming to be champions of liberty, will easily swallow these outright lies.

In the quote above by Edward Bernays, the “conscious and intelligent manipulation” of the masses is somewhat misleading in that the manipulation may be intelligent, but only because the collective masses are consumed by blind ignorance…

Afghanistan was never a failure; it was a resounding success for the ruling elite puppet masters, their pawns in government, and the entirety of the military industrial complex. The war against Afghanistan and the Middle East was planned far in advance of the staged events of September 11, 2001. A war was certainly desired, but times had changed, and some of the people were tiring of war. What was needed was a solidifying event, one that would corral the emotions of the masses so they would once again accept carnage for false safety, but this time it was to be forever. A simple war was not enough, so a never-ending war was sought, and the era of the bogus war on terror was conceived. Afghanistan was only the beginning.

What the Post story has attempted to accomplish, and apparently achieved, is to bring some sort of mental closure to a situation that was always meant to be the linchpin in a much more aggressive universal war that could lead to a one-world dominate economic system. While the CIA probably did not actually write this Post article, it certainly planted the information, and put all the pieces together in order to set the narrative going forward. The Post it seems just did the job it was tasked to do by publishing this story in order to place just enough blame on the system at large so that the rest of society would feel better, and then go right back to sleep…

The stage is now set for a major continuation of this war on humanity. Iran will be the next and most important victim in this game of death and empire. It has already begun, but this time the consequences could be far more dangerous, and fatal for the future of freedom.

My position is to believe nothing and question everything. It is the only way to achieve sanity, to find the truth, and to see the evil that exists in this world. That evil is far more prevalent than can be readily imagined, and only truth can expose the risks we face. Beware of false flags. Beware of state and media lies. Beware of false prophets wearing the robes of kings, and beware of those that continue to paint a picture of terror in order to advance more war. We are in a time of great danger, and that danger is already upon us today.

“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”

~ Søren Kierkegaard

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This American Died for Our Lies in Afghanistan | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on January 1, 2020

The school where Anne was killed was “built” by the U.S. in October 2009, only to enjoy a $135,000 “renovation” a few months later that included “foundation work, installation of new windows and doors, interior and exterior paint, electricity and a garden.” The original contractor did miserable work but got away with it in the we’ll-check-later Potemkin world of the Afghanistan Papers.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/this-american-died-for-our-lies-in-afghanistan/

Foreign Service officer Anne Smedinghoff was sent to the country to show how we were “winning.” She never came home.

An April 8, 2013 memorial service for Anne Smedinghoff at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Anne was killed in an insurgent attack on Saturday April, 6. 2013 while traveling to donate books to a school in Qalat, Zabul province. (Photo by Musadeq Sadeq/U.S. State Department)

It’s common this time of year to write summary articles trying to make sense of the last 12 months; you’ll soon see them popping up everywhere. But all of them will omit one of the most important stories of the year. For the first time in some two decades, America hasn’t started a new war.

A total of 6,857 American service members have died in war since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. George W. Bush began that war, then invaded Iraq in 2003. Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, then immediately expanded the war in Afghanistan. He went on to restart America’s war in Iraq after it was over the first time, launch a new war that turned Libya into a failed state and triggered refugee flows still disrupting European politics, engage the U.S. in Yemen, and abet a humanitarian crisis in Syria. So three full years without a new war is news indeed.

 

This year also brought mainstream confirmation of the truth behind the Afghan war. The Washington Post, long an advocate for all the wars everywhere, took a tiny step of penance in publishing the Afghanistan Papers, which show that the American public has been lied to every step of the way over the past 18 years about progress in Afghanistan and the possibility of some sort of success. Government officials from the president(s) to the grunt(s) issued positive statements they knew to be false while hiding evidence that the war was unwinnable. The so-called Afghanistan Papers are actually thousands of pages of notes created by the Special Inspector for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a watchdog federal agency created to oversee the spending of close to $1 trillion in reconstruction money.

The SIGAR documents (all quotes are from the Post‘s Afghanistan Papers reporting) are blunt. “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan—we didn’t know what we were doing,” said Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who served as the White House’s Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations. He added: “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking. …If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction, 2,400 lives lost. Who will say this was in vain?” There are plenty of similar sentiments going back a decade, with hints of the same almost to the first months of the conflict. Dead men tell no tales, they say, but the record of lies is as stark, final, and unambiguous as the death toll itself.

But Afghanistan was always supposed to be more than a “kinetic” war. The real battles were for the hearts and minds of the Afghan people, with money as the weapon. One of the core lies told to the public, and on the ground in Afghanistan, was that a large portion of the reconstruction money would be spent on education. “We were building schools next to empty schools, and it just didn’t make sense,” a Special Forces officer explained. “The local Afghans said they wanted their kids out herding goats.” Sure, people have to eat, but America would create an Afghan democracy from the primeval mud, with cluster bombs as its Adam, and schools for boys and girls as its Eve.

And it is on that bruised prayer of a lie that Anne Smedinghoff, the only State Department Foreign Service Officer to lose a life in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, died one April morning in 2013 long after the Afghanistan Papers show her bosses in Washington knew the war was unwinnable. Read the rest of this entry »

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The US Has Been Fighting “Forever Wars” Against Muslims for 120 Years

Posted by M. C. on December 30, 2019

“I want no prisoners,” ordered General Jacob Smith on Samar Island during the war in 1902. “I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better you will please me.”

Fast forward over 100 years later and it is difficult to see how U.S. military doctrine has changed for the better. A video came to light in 2010 of then-General James Mattis saying that it was “a hell of a lot of fun to shoot” people in Afghanistan. Mattis was later rewarded for his heroism and bravery by being crowned Donald Trump’s secretary of defense for a short while.

https://themindunleashed.com/2019/12/us-forever-wars-muslims.html

(TMU Op-Ed) — U.S.-led wars in the Middle East have killed some four million Muslims since 1990. The recently published Afghanistan papers, provided an insight into the longest war in U.S. history and revealed how U.S. officials continuously lied about the progress being made in Afghanistan, lacked a basic understanding of the country, were hiding evidence that the war was unwinnable, and had wasted as much as $1 trillion in the process.

Unfortunately, this phenomenon is nothing new. While most people accept that the United States has been interfering with Muslim populations quite heavily since World War II, the truth is that the U.S. has been fighting “forever wars” against Muslim populations for well over 100 years. (If you want to really go back into history, Thomas Jefferson was also fighting Muslims in the oft-forgotten Barbary Wars in the early 1800s).

The average American school curriculum likely doesn’t feature the fact that the U.S. waged a war from 1899 to 1913 in the southernmost island of the Philippines. Known as the Moro War, it was the longest sustained military campaign in American history until the war in Afghanistan surpassed it a few years ago. As a result, the U.S. and the Philippine governments are still embroiled in a battle with Islamist insurgents in the southern Philippines, which takes the meaning of “forever war” to a whole new level.

Despite over a century passing since the U.S. led a counterinsurgency war against the Islamic Moros, its similarities with the Afghanistan war are incredibly noteworthy, to say the least.

Even reading accounts of the terrain in which both conflicts were fought suggest they were equally as treacherous. As detailed in the memoir of Captain John Pershing, fighting the Moro Wars “entailed guerrilla warfare in a country unknown to us, with its swamps and rivers and its hills and mountains, every foot of which was familiar to the inhabitants and their insurrecto troops.”

While the U.S. often boasts about fighting for freedom, many Americans may be wondering how it is that their freedom came to be located in the Philippines in the first place. Was it worth sending 75,000 American troops in just 1900 alone to the Philippines to fight and die? And was the operation even remotely successful?

More importantly seems to be the indication that the U.S. military was not welcome in the Philippines, much as it is not welcomed by Afghanistan or any other Muslim-majority nation which has to duel with the U.S. Empire. After the U.S. defeated the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay and annexed the Philippines under the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the Moro population were not even consulted. The U.S. then sought to “pacify” them using brute force.

“I want no prisoners,” ordered General Jacob Smith on Samar Island during the war in 1902. “I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better you will please me.”

Fast forward over 100 years later and it is difficult to see how U.S. military doctrine has changed for the better. A video came to light in 2010 of then-General James Mattis saying that it was “a hell of a lot of fun to shoot” people in Afghanistan. Mattis was later rewarded for his heroism and bravery by being crowned Donald Trump’s secretary of defense for a short while.

As you can imagine, General Smith received his wish just as Mattis after him, with perhaps half a million locals dying as a result of the U.S. invasion. At Bud Dajo, some 1,000 Moro separatists, including their families had fled to the crest of a volcano to escape the American invasion. Allegedly, American troops reached the top of the volcano and fired down into the crater until they killed 99 percent of the inhabitants. The colonizers then took the time and effort to pose for a photograph with the hundreds of dead bodies (no, seriously).

It is also worth noting that some 4,000 U.S. soldiers lost their lives during this particular war. This closely mirrors the number of coalition deaths since 2001 in Afghanistan—and for good reason. To minimize U.S. personnel deaths in the Philippines’ war, the U.S. military deployed Filipinos led by U.S. officers into battle. (Sound familiar?)

At one stage, Filipinos ended up doing almost all of the dying as U.S. soldiers slowly left the battle theatre. In fact, the final year of conflict was the bloodiest year of the Moro war. This seems to be the trend in a number of U.S. wars. This is certainly true with respect to Afghanistan, with the U.S. military and its Afghan lackeys on the ground killing more civilians than the Taliban in recent times.

But what is all this senseless violence for? To put it simply, whether in the Philippines, Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere, this rampage is all borne out of the belief that America’s subordinates are not capable of ruling themselves and will ultimately profit from American occupation. This was actually the firm thinking of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, who saw it as the duty of the United States to maintain the Philippines as a protectorate. This idea was famously (or infamously) termed the “White Man’s Burden” in a poem written by Rudyard Kipling, who sent the poem to Teddy prior to his decision to engage in the Philippine-American war.  A 1902 Life Magazine cover even depicted an apparent waterboarding of a Filipino POW by U.S. personnel (the supporters in the background seem to be watching with glee).

When not much has changed, it seems it never will. We can also expect this type of activity to continue for the foreseeable future, given the geopolitical stakes at hand. In the case of the Philippines, it was recently reported that Chinese and Philippine foreign ministers have sealed an agreement for the two nations to pursue joint oil and gas exploration in the hotly contested South China Sea.

As it turns out, the South China Sea could contain anywhere between 125 billion barrels of crude oil and 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The idea that a foreign adversary, especially one rising to prowess on the world stage such as China, could control the majority of these resources unchecked is a major blow to the U.S. Empire.

Whether it is lithium, opium, and geostrategic chess moves in Afghanistan; or natural gas and oil in the South China Sea, Muslim populations will continue to suffer in a colonial terror campaign which has been unfolding for over 100 years.

Think of it this way: if another century passes and your great grandchildren had never heard of the “forever war” that took place in Afghanistan in the early 2000s, all the while watching a new war unfold in the Indo-Pacific region for similar reasons, you would rightfully be fuming in your grave.

By Darius Shahtahmasebi | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Afghanistan Papers Prove US Gov Blew $3 Trillion, Lied About It

Posted by M. C. on December 26, 2019

A mere 22 hours after the release of this document, the new National Defense Authorization Act that breezed through the House and Senate was signed by the President. That bill authorized $738 billion in military spending for 2020, actually increasing the budget by $22 billion over previous years.

https://www.theorganicprepper.com/afghanistan-papers-3-trillion-congress-ndaa/

by Daisy Luther

It’s rare that I read something on the Washington Post that I don’t find highly biased, even repugnant. But with their recent article on the Afghanistan Papers, they truly knocked the ball out of the park.

The facts they shared should have every American protesting in the streets. Trillions of dollars have been spent on a war that the Pentagon knew was unwinnable all along. More than 2300 American soldiers died there and more than 20,000 have been injured. More than 150,000 Afghanis were killed, many of them civilians, including women and children.

And they lied to us constantly.

Congress just proved that the truth doesn’t matter, though. A mere 22 hours after the release of this document, the new National Defense Authorization Act that breezed through the House and Senate was signed by the President. That bill authorized $738 billion in military spending for 2020, actually increasing the budget by $22 billion over previous years.

So, how is your representation in Washington, DC working out for you?

What are the Afghanistan Papers?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Top US General Denies That US Troops Died in Vain in Afghanistan – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on December 21, 2019

The M-I-C lips are moving therefore…

https://news.antiwar.com/2019/12/20/top-us-general-denies-that-us-troops-died-in-vain-in-afghanistan/

‘I don’t think anybody has died in vain, per se’

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley sought to defend the Afghan War on Friday, despite the Afghanistan Papers showing systematic official lies about the failed conflict, insisting that the documents were a “mischaracterization” of the war, and that there was no unified decision to deceive the public.

Rather, the position here seems to be that hundreds of Pentagon officials took it upon themselves and each individually decided to deceive the public a little bit, culminating in a colossal lie which couldn’t be explicitly blamed on anyone.

Gen. Milley insisted the war had been a success in that there hadn’t been any specific terror attacks out of Afghanistan for the war’s duration, and particularly objected to the idea that anyone had died “in vain” in the conflict.

I don’t think anybody has died in vain, per se,” Milley said, saying if anyone’s death was in vain, he “could not look at myself in the mirror.” Since he can still do that, he’s concluded no one died in vain.

The entire idea that troops died in vain is largely a military creation at any rate, built to try to shame politicians into keeping the war going on the notion that if the war is lost all the deaths were in vain.

Yet now, the war is plainly lost, and officials are still looking to give those deaths some specific merit. Broadly, assigning meaning to the deaths is something that was largely just an exercise military brass sought in the first place, and should have little impact on either US policy in Afghanistan going forward, or culpability on the years of deception from the Afghanistan Papers.

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Selling the war: I helped craft the official lies in Afghanistan – StarTribune.com

Posted by M. C. on December 20, 2019

Whether the interactions they depicted had been frustrating, troublesome or downright hostile, my messages as an information officer were always rosy.

Corruption littered our daily interactions, and a few months into our deployment, my PRT launched an investigation that ultimately uncovered a scheme that wound its way through upper-level government officials, including Paktia’s then-governor and chief of police

http://www.startribune.com/selling-the-war-i-helped-craft-the-official-lies-in-afghanistan/566323522/

By Lauren Kay Johnson

Recently, Washington Post reporting showed that the conflict in Afghanistan has been an operation of deception, as the war’s architects knowingly misled the public about its objectives and progress. The “Afghanistan Papers” were not a revelation to me. I was one of the deceivers.

From July 2009 to March 2010, I served as one of the U.S. Air Force’s designees for a nation-building mission, and I witnessed the disconnect between what happened on the ground and the messages the public heard about it. As my team’s information operations officer, I played a direct role in crafting those messages. I employed “strategic communication” during events like the 2009 Afghan presidential election and directed embedded reporters to only the sunniest stories, keeping them away from disgruntled troops who might not stick to tidy talking points. But my job wasn’t only to mislead the American public: Our information campaign extended to the Afghan people and to higher-ups within the American military itself.

I arrived in Paktia province in July 2009, as part of a provincial reconstruction team (PRT). At 25, I embodied the kind of idealistic fervor that the military depends on. I wanted to make a difference by building support for the government, eroding support for the insurgency, increasing access to basic services and enhancing the rule of law. These initiatives seemed worthy, noble even, and each required local buy-in. If we were to win the war, we would do so with hearts and minds. And we would win hearts and minds with information.

With low literacy rates and minimal access to electricity, information in Afghanistan flows largely over the airwaves. We relied on hand-crank radios disseminated to Afghans by coalition forces, tuned to stations owned and operated by coalition forces. I wrote broadcast news copy for the team’s interpreters to translate and thought of it as a persuasive tool, rather than strictly fact-sharing. Local listeners were, in military lingo, the subjects of “nonlethal targeting.” As one of my military supervisors constantly repeated, “We control the message!” Read the rest of this entry »

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The News Churn Memory Hole: How The MSM Lies Even When Telling The Truth – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on December 19, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12/18/the-news-churn-memory-hole-how-the-msm-lies-even-when-telling-the-truth/

“This goofy ass Trump letter is gonna get more outraged coverage than the bombshell report on the entire Afghanistan war being a lie and frankly I don’t know if I can handle that right now,” popular Youtube commentator Kyle Kulinski tweeted today.

The post was just one of the many observations that Kulinski tosses into the Twitterverse every day, presented in his typical casual, offhand way without any self-significance. But if you actually pause and think about what he’s saying here, how true it is and what it says about the mass media institutions which people rely upon to form their worldviews, it’s actually a damning indictment of our entire society.

It is a fact that far more news media energy is going into one trivial aspect of an impeachment agenda that will with absolute certainty fail to remove Trump from office than there is for the known fact that the US government fought to suppress indisputable proof that American officials have been consistently lying about an 18-year military occupation which continues to this day. This fact should, by itself, be sufficient to completely discredit the mainstream press. This one tiny piece of information, that there’s vastly more buzz about an irrelevant impeachment sideshow than there is over the Afghanistan Papers, should in and of itself cause everyone to regard the entire establishment media complex with the same amount of respect as it gives the Flat Earth Society.

But it doesn’t. People are so hypnotized by the endless drama of the mass media news churn that all context and sense of proportionality is lost to them. They stand transfixed by the latest kayfabe combat between the two puppets in America’s two-headed one-party system like an infant distracted from the cause of its outrage by a set of shiny, dangling keys.

The public’s total immersion in whatever sparkly clickbait drama gets served before them by the waiters and waitresses of corporate news media enables the narrative managers responsible for manipulating public thought to simply pace mainstream attention away from inconvenient news stories, even after reporting on those very news stories themselves the day before.

This ability to memory-hole attention away from inconvenient truths using the drama of the relentless news churn is the final line of defense for the establishment propaganda machine, and, much like a video game, they save the hardest boss fight for last. Even if a little truth manages to squeak past the wall of billionaire-controlled media employees who are conditioned to understand that they’ll only be able to advance their careers by promoting narratives which favor the establishment upon which those billionaires have built their respective kingdoms, even if that truth then squeaks past the steadily thickening walls of government secrecy, past the increasingly overt infiltration of media organizations by powerful government agencies, and past the empire’s increasingly aggressive war on oppositional journalism, it still has to face the final boss fight of news churn memory-holing. And boy, it’s almost unbeatable.

A lot of dissident-minded optimists got hopeful that maybe once the lies of the Iraq war were exposed, people would lose trust in the political/media class which deceived them about such a massively significant atrocity. These hopes were of course dashed as public attention was simply paced on to the next new, shiny thing, and then on to another and then on to another, and on now to the point where everyone’s babbling about impeachment over some political shenanigans with Ukraine and Joe Biden without hardly anybody bellowing in unmitigated rage that this same party refused to impeach Bush over mountains of literal war crimes. There is no actual correlation between a story’s newsworthiness and the amount of news coverage it ends up getting, so the still earth-shakingly consequential repercussions of Bush administration’s malfeasance have been eclipsed by today’s set of sparkly keys.

This infuriating tactic has been employed time and time again against inconvenient truths which miraculously managed to surmount the many other roadblocks which obstruct people’s understanding that they do not live in a free or just society but a murderous, oppressive and exploitative one. They are able to employ this immensely crucial strategic advantage because the social engineers whose employers benefit from the status quo don’t just work to manipulate information, but narratives as well.

It doesn’t matter how much information gets leaked to the public by whistleblowers, how much information the public gains access to via successful Freedom of Information Act requests, how much information is brought to public attention by investigative journalists combing through documents to connect the dots on the behavior of the powerful, as long as the establishment can manipulate or suppress any narratives that might get told about that information. No matter how much truth gets exposed about the depravity of the powerful, it won’t make one drop of difference in terms of public accountability if nobody’s talking about it. We see this in the way narratives still depict Trump as a Russian stooge despite the information about his many reckless escalations against Russia being publicly available, we see it in the way mainstream media is suppressing all discussion about the OPCW scandal, and we are now seeing it in the way the Afghanistan Papers are being memory-holed despite their temporarily featuring as front-page mainstream news.

This is all proof that simply getting information published isn’t enough. As important as whistleblowers, investigative journalists and leak publishing outlets like WikiLeaks are, by themselves they’re completely impotent, because all they do is reveal information while leaving the control of the dominant narrative in the hands of the establishment spinmeisters. There is no truth that could possibly be exposed that is so damning and so salacious that it couldn’t be manipulated away by establishment narrative control.

This doesn’t mean there’s no hope of ever awakening a critical mass to the fact that they live in a society which is ruled by oligarchs who benefit from keeping everyone else poor and powerless and profit from deceiving us into sending our children overseas to murder other people’s children. All it means is that we need to approach the problem with a very specific focus. It isn’t enough to simply expose the truth; we need to expose the truth while forcefully driving home the message that the media organizations which people rely on to form their entire understanding of the world have been deceiving them.

Yes, expose the truth, but do it while also saying “Look! See? This proves that the mainstream media have been lying to you this entire time! They lie to you about everything!” Drive this point home constantly, as often as possible. The propaganda machine is only able to manipulate people away from inconvenient truths when people trust it; if you can weaken their trust in the plutocratic media and the political class which regurgitates their narratives, you will cripple the machine’s ability to manipulate them in that way.

It’s not enough to simply expose the truth. You must also fully, repeatedly and consistently expose the ones who are telling lies.

This is simply a matter of an adjustment of focus. Far too many truth-tellers think it’s enough to keep their energy close to their chests and mildly speak truths as correctly as they can into the information ecosystem. This is like being in a cage fight and thinking it’s enough to simply have a good fighting stance. We are being attacked by an enemy who seeks to destroy our ability to understand and respond sensibly to our world, so we need to fight back. We need to be moving our feet and ducking and weaving and throwing strikes in combinations, not just standing there with a textbook-perfect fighting posture.

It’s not enough to be right, we’ve also got to win. We win by pouring our energy into sowing distrust in the establishment propaganda machine, mocking it, ridiculing it, showing everyone how absurdly phony it is, until everyone’s laughing at it and treating it with the same amount of deference that they give to flat-earthers. When we’ve accomplished that, that’s how we’ll know that we’ve won. And from there it will be possible to build a healthy world based on truth.

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Why the Media Is Ignoring the Afghanistan Papers

Posted by M. C. on December 18, 2019

https://newrepublic.com/amp/article/155977/media-ignoring-afghanistan-papers

…As Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1974, told CNN earlier this week, the Pentagon and Afghanistan Papers revealed the same dynamic: “The presidents and the generals had a pretty realistic view of what they were up against, which they did not want to admit to the American people.”

The documents are an indictment not only of one aspect of American foreign policy, but also of the U.S.’s entire policymaking apparatus. They reveal a bipartisan consensus to lie about what was actually happening in Afghanistan: chronic waste and chronic corruption, one ill-conceived development scheme after another, resulting in a near-unmitigated failure to bring peace and prosperity to the country. Both parties had reason to engage in the cover-up. For the Bush administration, Afghanistan was a key component in the war on terror. For the Obama administration, Afghanistan was the “good war” that stood in contrast to the nightmare in Iraq.

The Afghanistan Papers are, in other words, a bombshell. Yet the report has received scant attention from the broader press. Neither NBC nor ABC covered the investigation in their nightly broadcasts this week. In other outlets, it has been buried beneath breathless reporting on the latest developments in the impeachment saga, Joe Biden’s purported pledge to serve only one term, and world leaders’ pathological envy of a 16-year-old girl.

The relentless news cycle that characterizes Donald Trump’s America surely deserves some blame: This isn’t the first time that a consequential news story has been buried under an avalanche of other news stories. But one major reason that the Afghanistan Papers have received so comparatively little coverage is that everyone is to blame, which means no one has much of an interest in keeping the story alive. There are no hearings, few press gaggles…

The result is that this massive controversy receives disproportionately little coverage. Despite wasting thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars, everyone in the U.S. government gets off scot-free. The very people who have kept us in Afghanistan since 2001 remain empowered, thanks to a combination of cynicism and apathy. And as a result, the Afghanistan Papers have ended up working in favor of Trump’s Republican Party, which exists to channel voters’ contempt of elite lawmakers and the institutions they represent.

Be seeing you

The Most Significant Afghanistan Papers Revelation Is How Difficult They Were To Make Public ...

 

 

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His son died fighting the Taliban. The Afghanistan Papers confirmed what he already knew.

Posted by M. C. on December 17, 2019

For them, big questions remain, like: Why were a group of Navy SEALs flying in a decades-old helicopter over a valley known to be an enemy stronghold just months after the same unit killed bin Laden? Why did officials seemingly change their story about the existence of a black box in the helicopter? Why was Michael cremated without his family’s permission? And why were they told his body was badly burned when an autopsy photo showed otherwise?

It was these sentiments that have fueled some of Charles Strange’s theories about Extortion 17, which doesn’t appear to be mentioned in the Afghanistan Papers, though the documents are partially redacted. He and some of the other relatives of those killed in the crash have suggested they believe Afghan security forces tipped off Taliban fighters that Navy SEALs were flying overhead.

Don’t confuse the dead soldier’s poor family, and the public, with the facts.

https://www.inquirer.com/news/charles-strange-michael-afghanistan-papers-philadelphia-native-20191214.html

by Anna Orso

It would not be accurate to say that Charles Strange felt a surge of anger when he read evidence this week in the Washington Post that U.S. military leaders misled the public about the war in Afghanistan.

No, for the Montgomery County father, the anger’s always there, like a tiny earthquake rumbling below the surface. The intensity changes daily, but it never really goes away.

It’s been more than eight years since his son, Navy Petty Officer First Class Michael J. Strange, was killed alongside 29 other U.S. soldiers and eight Afghan security forces on America’s deadliest day of the war in Afghanistan. The crew, which included the 25-year-old Michael, were killed when Taliban fighters shot down their helicopter, Extortion 17, while they were carrying out a mission in a valley southwest of Kabul on Aug. 6, 2011.

Michael was a cryptologist and part of the elite Navy SEAL Team 6, the unit responsible for killing Osama bin Laden. At his core, though, he was a Wissinoming native, a graduate of North Catholic High School, and a “Philly boy” through-and-through.

This week, Charles Strange and his wife, Mary Ann, Michael’s stepmother, sat in their home in Hatboro, parsing through the Washington Post’s reporting on the Afghanistan Papers, which said what the Strange family has long thought: Military leadership can’t always be trusted.

“This is what you get when your son dies: a pin and a flag,” he said, his Gold Star pinned to his chest. “And lied to.”…

Plenty of veterans of the 18-year conflict, along with their families, have been reluctant to publicly criticize the ongoing war effort for fear of coming across as unpatriotic. The Stranges, on the contrary, have immense pride in their country. They’re dedicated to supporting men and women who serve, and established a foundation in Michael’s name to support other Gold Star families.

They instead see the war in Afghanistan and the circumstances surrounding Michael’s death as a failure in leadership.

So this week, they read and reread the Post’s reporting in the same house where they have collected thousands of pages of partially redacted documents that are supposed to tell the story of how Michael was killed. The documents aren’t sufficient, the Stranges say.

For them, big questions remain, like: Why were a group of Navy SEALs flying in a decades-old helicopter over a valley known to be an enemy stronghold just months after the same unit killed bin Laden? Why did officials seemingly change their story about the existence of a black box in the helicopter? Why was Michael cremated without his family’s permission? And why were they told his body was badly burned when an autopsy photo showed otherwise?…

It was these sentiments that have fueled some of Charles Strange’s theories about Extortion 17, which doesn’t appear to be mentioned in the Afghanistan Papers, though the documents are partially redacted. He and some of the other relatives of those killed in the crash have suggested they believe Afghan security forces tipped off Taliban fighters that Navy SEALs were flying overhead….

Other portions of the Post’s reporting were familiar to Charles Strange, specifically revelations that nation-building efforts in Afghanistan were unsuccessful on a variety of fronts. U.S. officials told SIGAR, for example, that while its dreams of developing a strong economy and reliable security forces were failing, Afghanistan became the world’s largest source of opium.

Michael had mentioned this, too, saying he’d seen poppies growing on plots the size of football fields.

More from that Post story was eerily familiar, so Charles Strange looked for support this week, sharing the link in a group text he’s in. It’s for a club no one wants to be a member of.

“I’ve known this a long time,” replied another Gold Star father. “This is a difficult pill to swallow.”

Be seeing you

 

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