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July 28, 2010

Missing the Importance of Whistle Blowers

That there would be more immediate interest in identifying and punishing the “leaker” who supplied Wikileaks with an enormous volume of classified documents than in the significance of the documents themselves should probably not surprise us, even with the recent example of the Pentagon Papers deliberately leaked to the New York Times by Daniel Ellsberg.

What the Pentagon Papers established beyond any doubt was that the Viet Nam War had been a thoroughly dishonest federal enterprise from the beginning; one of the most important effects of Ellsberg’s disclosure was that the feckless war to “save” South Vietnam from Communism (a war already being abandoned by Nixon) lost all credibility.

Although the wars we are now fighting in South Asia had quite different justifications when launched by the Bush-Cheney Administration in 2001, they were equally dishonest from the outset and have evolved into hopeless failures for exactly the same reasons as Vietnam: a foreign army of occupation actively engaged in killing civilians faces an almost insurmountable task in trying to convince citizens of the occupied lands to accept their presence.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks were crimes; they should have been treated as such and any military operation limited to apprehending Bin Laden and his accomplices. Once he’d been allowed to evade capture at Tora Bora, all plausibility for an American presence was lost. It’s especially ironic that Tora Bora was terminated because the Americans were then so preoccupied with the upcoming invasion of Iraq.

Sadly, George Bush was not the first, nor even the only, American President to be snookered into an avoidable war, nor was Richard Nixon the only one to prolong one by escalating attacks on civilians.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at July 28, 2010 07:16 PM