By Jack Hoffman
What do Angela Bennett, The New York Times, Julian Assange, Dan Ellsberg and Bradley E. Manning have in common?
Recently, while reading the latest news on the theft of 91,000 pages of TOP SECRET memos on the Afghanistan War, published in part by the New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel, and simultaneously watching the 1995 movie, “The NET,” I began to get that Deja vu moment once again about the Viet Nam War.
That period of time never seems to go away – especially the part about the truth being withheld from American citizens by our own government. And the media joined in on this conspiracy of lies!
In any case, the movie “The Net” is a suspense story about a reclusive software engeneer, Angela Bennett, and played by Sandra Bullock. Angela is the brain behind a highly secretive software program that prevents unwanted individuals from getting into any top-secret program the government wants hidden from the public.
Isn’t the term Top Secret an oxymoron in a democracy? Isn’t Top Secret meaning someone doesn’t want you to read the enclosed info?
Angela is sent on a vacation to Mexico where she gets embroiled in a web of computer espionage. She meets up with a lover boy who is to steal her heart away while others are busy stealing all identifying documents referring to innocent Angela. They also aim to get into the secrets of “Gate Keeper,” the protector software of the nation’s secrets. The message from the movie is simply: getting secrets from whomever is as simple as baking an apple pie. Remember, “The Net” was a movie made in 1995.
Recently The New York Times, along with the previously mentioned periodicals, published excerpts from top secret files on the war that included 91,000 pages of highly classified memos – mostly dealing with our miserable failures in Afghanistan. The 91,000 plus documents leaked confirm much of everything the anti-war movement and yours truly have been saying for the past 10 years. The documents concur that the thievery or liberation to be the largest war time leaks. They show conclusively that the war in Afghanistan is pointless and unwinable and that the warmongers have once again continually lied to us.
Just how coalition forces have killed hundreds of unreported civilians that have not been reported. How Taliban attacks have soared as we increase the military strength. And most important, how much of our arming of the Pakistani troops has ended up in Taliban hands … and just how much Iran is fueling the attacks.
Most of the memos that we are able to read refute the propaganda that our Defense Department wants us to hear. The argument that the documents were too old to have any credible meaning – excuse me. The documents run up to 2009. The release by the Times and others comes when the Washington Post published a major investigative report on the growth and organization of the United States government’s vast uncoordinated secret and often intelligence organizations that employs hundreds of thousands of people engaged in what can only be described as failed intelligence gathering. Hundreds of thousands of people! No one – not even the USA! – knows the exact number!
Hidden in captivity on some army base is a certain junior army officer, Bradley Manning, who is 22 years old and a true patriot. He had enough guts and bravery, the same patriotism that Dan Ellsberg displayed during the Vietnam War is about to be charged with treason. For those who think this to be a crime, I suggest going back and reading the Supreme Court decision in The New York Times versus the US Government. The decision in the Ellsburg case – NYT – was very simple: Freedom of the Press supercedes any government top secret memos.
Not long after that decision the Vietnam fiasco ended.
Let’s hope those who are to vote on arms for Afghanistan get the message. Americans are beginning to get it.
Maybe this time the media will become brave enough to release itself from the grips of the military establishment who sit in the pentagon playing chess with our troops and our nation’s wealth.