Chris Hedges on what happened to those who told the truth about Iraq, from personal experience. From Hedges at consortiumnews.com:
The politicians and shills in the media who orchestrated 20 years of military debacles in the Middle East, and who seek a world dominated by U.S. power, must be held accountable for their crimes.
We’re Number One – by Mr. Fish
Two decades ago, I sabotaged my career at The New York Times. It was a conscious choice.
I had spent seven years in the Middle East, four of them as the Middle East Bureau Chief. I was an Arabic speaker. I believed, like nearly all Arabists, including most of those in the State Department and the C.I.A., that a “preemptive” war against Iraq would be the most costly strategic blunder in American history.
It would also constitute what the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg called the “supreme international crime.” While Arabists in official circles were muzzled, I was not. I was invited by them to speak at The State Department, The United States Military Academy at West Point and to senior Marine Corps officers scheduled to be deployed to Kuwait to prepare for the invasion.
Mine was not a popular view nor one a reporter, rather than an opinion columnist, was permitted to express publicly according to the rules laid down by the newspaper. But I had experience that gave me credibility and a platform. I had reported extensively from Iraq. I had covered numerous armed conflicts, including the first Gulf War and the Shi’ite uprising in southern Iraq where I was taken prisoner by The Iraqi Republican Guard.
I easily dismantled the lunacy and lies used to promote the war, especially as I had reported on the destruction of Iraq’s chemical weapons stockpiles and facilities by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) inspection teams. I had detailed knowledge of how degraded the Iraqi military had become under U.S. sanctions. Besides, even if Iraq did possess “weapons of mass destruction” that would not have been a legal justification for war.
How many nations are still standing on the PNAC list?
They didn’t get all seven.
Almost all of the world has a central bank now, except for some small island nations that total less than ten with the biggest name being Panama in South America.
So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”
(General (Ret.) Wesley Clark in an interview with Amy Goodman)