Wednesday, February 08, 2006

US propaganda and death squads flourish

Art by stuartp.
The Law Librarian Blog is covering the release of the Pentagon's Information Operations Roadmap which makes clear that propaganda intended for audiences abroad is increasingly being consumed by domestic news agencies in our networked world.

This makes the distinction between domestic news and foreign propaganda difficult at best and perhaps totally meaningless. I think we are forced to consider that our government lies to citizens as routinely as it lies to foreign powers.

Sami Ramadani links this policy of deception up with refusal by the media to investigate the official claims of the US and UK governments and asserts that the government has even admitted to running death squads in Iraq, but the media fails to investigate this possibility.
George Bush and Tony Blair are still dipping into the trough of deception and disinformation that launched the war: hailing non-existent progress, declaring sanctimonious satisfaction with sectarian elections and holding out the mirage of early withdrawal. In reality, the occupation and divide-and-rule tactics have spawned death squads, torture, kidnappings, chemical attacks, polluted water, depleted uranium, bombardment of civilians, probably more than 100,000 people dead and a relentless deterioration in Iraqis' daily lives...

Many Iraqis have persistently accused US-led forces of "controlling" an assortment of death squads or private militias and "turning a blind eye" to many terrorist attacks. Almost every week, handcuffed and blindfolded men are found lying next to one another, each killed by a single bullet to the head. Who is methodically torturing and killing these people? Who has so far assassinated more than 200 academics and scientists? Iraqis not linked to the Green Zone regime are convinced that US forces and US-backed mercenaries are involved.

Support for some Iraqi claims, however, comes from unexpected sources: two US generals have admitted the presence of targeted killing squads, and last February the Wall Street Journal let slip the presence of six US-trained secret militias. In the same month, Lt General William Boykin, the deputy undersecretary of defence for intelligence, told the New York Times: "I think we're doing what the Phoenix programme was designed to do, without all the secrecy." US death squads assassinated about 40,000 people in Vietnam before Congress halted "Operation Phoenix".|Guardian|

I'm not saying Ramadani is correct. But it's at least provocative and should be investigated. It's hard to know what to believe when your own government is caught repeatedly in lying to the public, the United Nations, and the media.

And there is significant evidence that the Fourth Estate has been muzzled by its corporate masters and co-opted through being embedded with the military.

Note: Cross-posted at The Bellman.

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