True tales

Daniel Ellsberg, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 8:

Today, there must be, at the very least, hundreds of civilian and military officials in the Pentagon, CIA, State Department, National Security Agency and White House who have in their safes and computers comparable documentation of intense internal debates – so far carefully concealed from Congress and the public – about prospective or actual war crimes, reckless policies and domestic crimes: the Pentagon Papers of Iraq, Iran or the ongoing war on U.S. liberties. Some of those officials, I hope, will choose to accept the personal risks of revealing the truth – earlier than I did – before more lives are lost or a new war is launched.

Haditha holds a mirror up not just to American troops in the field, but to our whole society. Not just to the liars in government but to those who believe them too easily. And to all of us in the public, in the administration, in Congress and the media who dissent so far ineffectively or who stand by as murder is being done and do nothing to stop it or expose it.

Americans must summon the courage to face what is being done in their name and to refuse to be accomplices.… 

It’s clearly time for citizens and decent journalists alike to uncover some “secrets” our governments would rather keep hidden. Evidence of complicity in torture? Real reasons behind military deployments? Behaviour of US and Australian troops in Iraq? Rest assured, this information will surface soon enough. This is just one area I’m examining in my next book – on the Western media – and why we seem so reluctant to examine our own bad behaviour.

Unchecked or unexamined, the results are now clear to see.