Antiwar.com’s Week in Review | July 30, 2010
MEDIA ALERT! Justin Raimondo will be on FoxÂ Business Channel Freedom Watch withÂ Judge Andrew Napolitano this weekend to discuss WikiLeaks! Air dates and times:
- Saturday 7/31 10 a.m. ET
- Saturday 7/31 8 p.m. ET
- Sunday 8/1 7 p.m. ET
- Sunday 8/1 11 p.m. ET
Massive National Security Leak Exposes Afghan War Secrets
On Sunday, WikiLeaks released some 90,000 plus documents exposing many previously secret details of the AfghanÂ War. “The number of official stories which have turned out to be completeÂ lies is absolutely staggering,” saidÂ Jason Ditz. Quoted at the NewÂ York Times blog “At War,” Justin Raimondo said, “What’sÂ particularly bad, from the perspective of the Obama administration officialsÂ charged with selling this war to the American people, is the dramatic portrayalÂ of the sheer chaos enveloping our military effort. … Oh, and by the way, theÂ Taliban is apparently armed with portable heat-seeking missiles — a fact theÂ administration has been covering up.”
While Bradley Manning — the alleged leaker of the “Collateral Murder” video — remains in jail in Kuwait, the Pentagon has launched a manhunt to identify others responsible for the most recent leak. Sen. Lindsey Graham admonished WikiLeaks for “undermining the war effort,” and the FBI is working to assist the Defense Department with its criminal investigation.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Antiwar Radio’s Scott Horton on Wednesday that he has another 15,000 documents under review and still has plans to release the Garani video. Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg also made an appearance on the show to discuss how WikiLeaks has changed the face of both journalism and government transparency. He urged other leakers to follow suit, saying now is the time to come forward.
To hear more about this development, listen to Horton’s interviews with authorÂ James Bovard,Â BirgittaÂ Jonsdottir of the Icelandic parliament, former CIA analyst RayÂ McGovern, columnist EricÂ Margolis, MikeÂ Gogulski of BradleyManning.org,Â and Jason Ditz.
To read more about the “Afghan War Diaries,” please see:
- WhyÂ We Need WikiLeaks, by Justin Raimondo
- StateÂ of Denial, by Norman Solomon
- LeakedÂ Reports Make Afghan War Policy More Vulnerable, by Gareth Porter
- Obama’sÂ Afghanistan Strategy Increasingly Under Siege, by Jim Lobe
- LeakyÂ Vessels, by Chris FloydHouse Ignores Leak, Approves War Funding
House Ignores Leak, Approves War Funding
Leave it to the House to completely disregard this week’s embarrassing dump of the “Afghan War Diaries” and charge ahead with a $59 billion bill, more than $33 billion of which will be directly dedicated to continuing the war in Afghanistan.
Bringing to light “the grim realities of the war … in ways that nothing before ever could,” the leaked documents provided “excruciating detail, showing just how poorly the war has been going, how many civilians have been killed, and how aware of both of these facts the military has been, despite its official claims to the contrary,” said Ditz in the Herald News of Fall River, Mass.
“Yet when it came down to it, with all excuses gone, and with no ability to credibly claim the war is anything but an unmitigated disaster, the hawkish members of Congress did what they always do; voted for the war and condemned the leaks on general principle.”
In “Afghan War Leaks Expose Costly, Deceitful March of Folly,” Ray McGovern asked: “Would you say yes to an additional $33.5 billion for this fool’s errand?”
More A.U. Troops Headed to Somalia
The African Union has promised to commit another 4,000 troops in the ongoing, U.S.-backed war in Somalia. The war gained attention after the recent bombings in Uganda during the World Cup, leaving many to mistakenly conclude the attack was a result of Somalia having been ignored by the world.
But nothing could be further from the truth, argued Jason Ditz in an op-ed in the Providence Journal (R.I.). “The world has been trying to install a series of illegitimate governments there for years. … And this attack did not happen in a vacuum but rather came after repeated threats from the Somali militant faction al-Shabaab to ‘retaliate’ against Uganda for its many attacks on neighborhoods under al-Shabaab’s control.”
Of course, any attack on innocent civilians should be condemned, but it is worth recognizing that this did not stem from some religious dislike of soccer — as many would claim — but is instead a classic example of blowback from years of intervention.
Emergence of the Antiwar Republicans
“Nine Republican members of the House sided with Democrats in July to start bringing troops home from Afghanistan. Though one can still count on two hands the congressional Republicans who publicly oppose the war, this latest development is not insignificant,” said Kelley B. Vlahos. “Coupled with recent statements by GOP chief Michael Steele, Ann Coulter, and WorldNetDaily’s Joseph Farah criticizing the Afghanistan war policy, it’s clear something is happening.”
“In a recent interview with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who just broke ranks with the GOP to vote against war funding,” said Vlahos, “it becomes apparent that these emerging opponents are far from identifying with the antiwar protesters on the Left, nor are they non-interventionists in the mold of libertarian Rep. Ron Paul. For Chaffetz and others, withdrawing from Afghanistan has more to do with the way Obama is running the war, the unsustainable budgets, and nation-building rather than an existential critique on global meddling and the greater war on terror.”
But as noted in blogs at the Salt Lake City Tribune and the Salt Lake City Weekly, Chaffetz told Vlahos: “I’m about as hawkish as they come. I don’t believe 100,000 troops on the ground is going to make the situation better. The hesitancy from a lot of Republicans is they don’t want to be seen as cut and run, or soft on the defense issue. But I think it’s a very solid conservative viewpoint.”
The peaceniks, the conservative noninterventionists, and a new wave of Republicans may all be war-weary, said Vlahos, but will they be able to find common cause?
The Pakistani Police State
With the proposed introduction of the Anti-Terrorism Bill of 2010, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik is working to usher in a draconian surveillance society in the name of fighting “terrorism.” But how is the term being defined? “Broadly” would be an understatement. Establishing unapproved radio stations, damaging public property, and resisting the police would all be acts of terrorism, according to the bill. Furthermore, the power to wiretap any and all communication, seize control of all telecommunications, detain suspects without charge for 90 days, and hold secret trials would become everyday practice.
“Violations of any of the new types of ‘terrorism,’ even the radio station clause, could be punished with death,” said Jason Ditz, and “the detention of a suspect could not be challenged in any court in Pakistan.”
For more on the situation in Pakistan, see “U.S. Must Grow Up on Pakistan” by Michael Scheuer.
As news of WikiLeaks and the “Afghan War Diaries” broke, Angela Keaton roped in some incredible guests for Antiwar Radio. This week, Scott Horton spoke with:
- Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks
- Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon Papers
- James Bovard,Â author of AttentionÂ Deficit Democracy
- Birgitta Jonsdottir, member of the Icelandic parliament
- Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst
- Eric Margolis, columnist
- Mike Gogulski, founder of BradleyManning.org
- Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com news editor
In addition, Antiwar Radio covered the recent Washington Post exposÃ©, the Web site Whistleblower.org, the relationship between Israel and Iran, and much, much more. Check out the podcasts:
- Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater, discussed the too little, too late Washington Post exposÃ© “Top Secret America.” The fatal flaw in the series, he said, was the omission of the most sensitive contracting operations, among them drone bombing campaigns, domestic spying, and targeted assassinations. Scahill revealed how private contractors do the dirty (and illegal) work of state terrorism while providing the U.S. government plausible deniability.
- Shelley Walden of the Government Accountability Project discussed Whistleblower.org, a site dedicated to the representation and protection of whistleblowers. Walden examined the case of Iraq war architect Paul Wolfowitz and his resignation from the World Bank after Whistleblower.org posted information about his girlfriend and staffer, Shaha Riza.
- Paul Rogers, global security consultant for Oxford Research Group, detailed what would happen if Israel attacked Iran, and he argued that the prospect “is extremely dangerous and would make matters very much worse, not better.”
If you are in Los Angeles tonight, tune into KPFK 90.7 from 5-6 p.m. PT to hear more coverage of WikiLeaks by Scott Horton!
A Roundup from the Antiwar Blog
- Crack It Open for Bradley Manning | by Jeremy Sapienza
- Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich: U.S. Troops Out of Pakistan | Eric Garris
- Weigel vs. WikiLeaks | Matt Barganier
- Sun Newspapers Fire Eric Margolis | Eric Garris
Heads Up: August 9th Start of Fund Drive
Each quarter, we launch a Web-based fund drive in an effort to meet our operatingÂ budget and keep Antiwar.com online. On August 9th, we will beginÂ the push to raise $70,000, and your support will be crucial. If you value theÂ service we provide, please contact Development Director Angela Keaton (323-512-7095)Â to find out about the many ways you can help.