August 22, 2011
Zell am See, Austria
One of my favorite books is the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant— West Point graduate, Union commander, former President, and failed businessman. It’s a bit long-winded, but brutally honest, and much of the first volume deals with Grant’s personal experiences as a young military officer during the Mexican War.
The Mexican War was a turning point in American history; fought between 1846-1848 after the US annexation of Texas, it represented many unfortunate firsts for the United States:
1) It was America’s first war of conquest. US politicians had been aching for years to complete the westward expansion, and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the war ceded all Mexican territory west of the Rio Grande to the US, essentially the entire southwest through California.
2) It was the first time that the US press was involved in a war. Reporters were usually on the battlefield, even ’embedded’ in troop encampments. The government used the press to influence popular support for the war, as indicated by this excerpt from the Hartford Weekly Times dated February 5, 1848:
“The course of duty on the part of our country is very plain. Mexico should be completely occupied as to prevent any thing like a government on their part, and so as to secure the entire revenues of the country.”
3) The war was also the first time (of many, many more to come) that the US government outright lied as a pretext to declare war. The official story spun by President James Polk at the time was that Mexican forces invaded the United States, unprovoked, and ‘shed American blood on American soil.’
This account has been rejected by historians, as well as by Grant in his memoirs:
“We were sent to provoke a fight, but it was essential that Mexico should commence it. It was very doubtful whether Congress would declare war; but if Mexico should attack our troops, the Executive could… prosecute the contest with vigor. Once initiated there were but few public men who would have the courage to oppose it.”
Grant later writes, “Experience proves that the man who obstructs a war in which his nation is engaged, no matter whether right or wrong, occupies no enviable place in life or history.”
Not much has changed. The next 165 years of warfare in the United States are filled with lies, deceit, false flag operations, imperialistic conquest, and state-sponsored media propaganda. Those who dared question the official stories were vilified and dismissed as unpatriotic conspiracy theorists.
The most recent example was the capture and death of Osama bin Ladin in May 2011 by the famed SEAL Team Six.
There are so many questions, so many holes in the official story– the conspicuous location in a small town surrounded by Pakistani military, the handling of the body in accordance with a Muslim tradition that doesn’t exist, the refusal to provide any real evidence to verify the claim, etc.
US mainstream media largely gave Obama a pass on these questions and focused instead on the nationwide euphoria over the news.
Now the United States Congress is trying to lock down, once and for all, any further hint of question about the event with a new bill, HR 2819. The bill prohibits any “officer or employee of the Federal Government from providing information about the mission to kill Osama bin Laden to any person outside the Federal Government…”
This essentially silences anyone who might be able to shed some light on the event.
The gag order would remain in effect until the CIA and Defense Department conduct their own ‘investigations’ and brief Congress; in other words, several years at least.
It’s ironic that the government often relies on an insipidly weak logic when it erodes the privacy of its citizens. If you don’t like how USA PATRIOT Act provisions allow then to tap your telephone or check out your rental history, they say, “Hey, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear!”
Obviously the same reasoning doesn’t apply to them… and it’s another example of the tragic farce that is modern government.