Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
01.21 The DeVos and the Defrauded [Corruption is now banal...]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
01.17 As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]
01.14 V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care [The most public and efficient healthcare in America has been demonized and will be destroyed rather than improved, raising total per-capita costs]
01.14 Why thousands of Los Angeles teachers are going on strike [Well at least we got a big tax-cut for the super-rich, that was the most important thing.]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
01.22 'Medicare for All and Equal Rights Aren't Trends': Ocasio-Cortez Fires Back After Aaron Sorkin Lectures Young Progressives [Morality is not a trend, it is a state of being we should all aspire to]
01.22 White students in MAGA gear crashed the Indigenous Peoples March and harassed participants [3:44 video; we must stop growing/programming more sociopaths]
01.19 Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth [Sociopaths have little or no conscience, empathy or morality...]
01.19 Arizona: Four women convicted after leaving food and water in desert for migrants [morality is against the law]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
01.17 Trump's economy is great for billionaires, not for working people [chock-full of pesky facts that government and media ignore and distort]
International & Futurism
01.22 Who is more dangerous: El Chapo or Carlos Slim? [Like Drug Gangs, Mafias harm and kill the public too—but slowly and quietly like leeches]
01.22 Martin Luther King was no prophet of unity. He was a radical [He was—and We must be—passionate and pro-active for improving moral conduct in society!]
Cheney Goofs on Israel22 May 2009
If we hear in the coming days that former Vice President Dick Cheney has fired one of his speechwriters — or perhaps grounded Lynne or Liz — it will be clear why.
Oozing out of the sleazy speech he gave Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute was an inadvertent truth regarding the Israeli albatross hanging around the neck of U.S. policy in the Middle East.
I watched the speech, but had missed the gaffe until I went carefully through the written text before a radio interview Thursday evening. It amounts to a major faux pas, though I’ll give you odds that the usual-suspect pundits of the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) will not touch it, because it raises troubling questions about the close U.S. alliance with Israel.
I wanted my 10-year-old grandson to learn a nice word to describe the arguments in the former Vice President’s speech, so he has now learned “disingenuous.”
Today we’ll study “superficial,” for that is the right adjective to assign to both Cheney and President Barack Obama as they addressed the threat of “terrorism,” the threat always guaranteed to resonate among Americans — much like the threat of communism did, not too many decades back.
To burnish his anti-terrorist credentials, Obama pledged to do whatever is necessary to protect the United States and warned that al-Qaeda is "actively plotting to attack us again.”
What continues to be missing in the rhetoric of both Obama and Cheney is any discussion of al-Qaeda’s actual capability to perpetrate, in Cheney’s words, “a 9/11 with nuclear weapons” or some other scary thought designed to make Americans hand over their liberties for some dubious promise of safety.
Equally important -- and equally missing -- there is never any sensible examination of the motives that might be driving what Cheney called this “same assortment of killers and would-be mass murderers [who] are still there.”
There are a number of reasons why al-Qaeda and other terrorist movements wish to attack us, but this question never gets a complete – or honest – answer, certainly not from the FCM or from the mouths of politicians like Cheney and Obama.
Why They Hate Us
Cheney’s explanation of a motive mostly reprised George W. Bush’s old “the terrorists hate our freedoms” canard. Cheney said the terrorists hate “all the things that make us a force for good in the world — for liberty, for human rights, for the rational, peaceful resolution of differences,” an odd set of qualities for Cheney to cite given his roles in violating constitutional rights, torturing captives and spreading falsehoods to justify invading Iraq.
But that’s also where Cheney slipped up. You didn’t notice? Well, Cheney couldn’t resist expanding on the complaints of the terrorists:
“Our support for Israel.” Cheney got that part right.
My radio interview Thursday was with the FCM, and I thought I would make an extra effort to be “fair and balanced.” So I noted that, to his credit, Cheney — advertently or inadvertently — did articulate one of the (usually unspoken) key reasons “why they hate us.”
I was immediately jumped on, figuratively, not only by the interviewee representing “the other side,” but also by the not-so-fair-and-balanced moderator. My interlocutors did not seem all that hospitable to facts, but I thought I owed them a try at adducing some anyway.
In his speech, Cheney mentioned 9/11 about 30 times — for reasons that by this stage are obvious to all. Referring specifically to waterboarding, Cheney said that waterboardee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, “the mastermind of 9/11 ... also boasted about beheading Daniel Pearl.”
(Here, I thought, is a really good example of “disingenuous” — a nice concrete example for my grandson. For the only thing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed did NOT take responsibility for, after being waterboarded 183 times, was climate change.)
But since the name Khalid Sheikh Mohammed came up, I asked my two interlocutors if they knew how “KSM” explained why he masterminded 9/11. Apparently, neither had made it as far as page 147 of the 9/11 Commission Report, so I told them what the 9/11 Commission found on that key point:
KSM, you see, had attended North Carolina A & T in Greensboro, and apparently the first thought that came to those drafting the 9/11 report was that perhaps he had suffered some gross indignity accounting for his hatred for America. Not so.
Moreover, the footnote section (page 488 of the 9/11 Commission Report) reveals that KSM was not the only terrorist motivated by “U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel”:
The reference is to Ramzi Yousef, KSM’s nephew. The 9/11 Commission Report had noted earlier (page 147) that, “Yousef’s instant notoriety as the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing inspired KSM to become involved in planning attacks against the United States.”
In the “Recommendations” section of its final report, the 9/11 Commission suggested:
These observations seemed to strike my radio interlocutors as unfit for the airwaves. When the shouts of protest died down, there was an opportunity to offer additional evidence, so I threw in what a prestigious board appointed by the Pentagon had to say about all this four years ago.
Defense Science Board Report
Are you ready for a scoop that is not a scoop, but that almost no one knows about?
It has to do with an unclassified study published, not by some “liberal” think-tank, but by the Pentagon-appointed U.S. Defense Science Board just two months after the 9/11 Commission Report.
That report directly contradicted what Cheney and President Bush had been saying about “why they hate us,” letting the elephant out of the bag and into the room, so to speak.
You didn’t know about that report? Well, maybe this is because of the timing. The Defense Science Board final report was given to Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Sept. 23, 2004, just weeks before the presidential election.
It is a time when presidential candidates and the U.S. Establishment in general are hyper-allergic to discussing how U.S. support for Israeli policies toward the Palestinians encourages the recruitment of anti-American terrorists.
Bending over backwards to oblige, the FCM suppressed the Defense Science Board findings until after the election. On Nov. 24, 2004, the New York Times, erstwhile “newspaper of record,” did publish a story on the board’s report — but performed some highly interesting surgery.
Thom Shanker of the Times quoted the paragraph beginning with "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom'" (see above), but he or his editors deliberately cut out the following sentence about what Muslims do object to; i.e., U.S. "one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights" and support for tyrannical regimes.
The Times did include the sentence that immediately followed the omitted one. In other words, it was not simply a matter of shortening the paragraph. Rather, the offending middle sentence was surgically removed.
Similarly creative editing showed through the Times' reporting in late October 2004 on a videotaped speech by Osama bin Laden. Almost six paragraphs of the story made it onto page one, but the Times saw to it that the key point bin Laden made at the beginning of his speech was relegated to paragraphs 23 to 25 at the very bottom of page nine.
Buried there was bin Laden's assertion that the idea for 9/11 first germinated after "we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American-Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon."
Wading through the drivel in the FCM’s Times and Washington Post on Friday morning, I am hardly surprised that they missed Cheney’s slip about U.S. policy toward Israel being one of the terrorists’ “true sources of resentment.”
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as an infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst, and more recently is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.
This story was published on May 24, 2009.