Posted 8:35 A.M. MDT 10/25/01
After intense bombing raids inflicted heavy casualties near Jalalabad, Afghanistan earlier this month, the Pentagon bought exclusive rights to all satellite pictures taken by Space Imaging, a private company that manages several privately owned Ikonos satellites. Launched in 1999, Ikonos has the ability to photograph details on the ground down to one meter in size -- enough to clearly render human shapes.
The Pentagon doesn't need the Ikonos images because their own Keyhole satellites are six to ten times more powerful than Ikonos, yet they were willing to pay millions of dollars for exclusive rights to the Iconos images. According to a story in The Guardian newspaper in the UK, the Pentagon bought the exclusive rights after the October 10-11 overnight bombings in Afghanistan produced heavy casualties.
The satellite photos were taken during the day, and the bombs were dropped the night before. Because the photos didn't contain details of American operations, the obvious conclusion we may draw is that the Pentagon wanted to conceal the evidence of casualties from the world, i.e., dead bodies on the ground.
They say that truth is the first casualty of war, and if truth ever did live in the United States, it must have died several wars ago. There is something very sinister about a government that uses millions of dollars, drawn on the labors of future generations, merely to hide the evidence of the number of human beings killed by its bombs.
But that isn't all, and we don't even know a fraction of it. A day or so before this attack, U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice called television news executives and cautioned them to exercise "appropriate editorial judgments" when airing video clips from Osama bin Laden and his organization. She warned them that Osama might be including "code words" in his videotapes that might spark fresh terrorist attacks.
This is media censorship and intimidation, American style. A tactful hint dropped with the subtle precision of a smart bomb was all that was required. "Mr. media executive, how would you like to be responsible for the next terrorist attack because you broadcast a video of Osama's speech? We thought so. Thank you for your cooperation." No fight, no mess.
Of course, the "code word" story is silly schoolboy intrigue. Why would a wealthy "terror mastermind" need to sneak code words into a video to activate his network? Doesn't he have fancy satellite communications gear?
Several U.S. and British news sources promptly rolled over and began filtering Osama's statements. But Al-Jazeera, a popular Arabic television network based in Qatar, continued beaming video from Osama via satellite around the world. This prompted a visit to Qatar's Emir by Secretary Collin Powell who urged that the broadcasts be quashed. After all, "this is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom," according to President Bush, and we need to make sure that only people who are "tolerant" and "progressive" enough get to be on T.V.
The truth is plain to see. If the world gets to see Osama talk, and hear a few things that are on his mind, he might not look as sinister and evil as the propagandists want us to believe, and something might resonate with some of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims.
We Americans might start to ask questions, and we aren't supposed to do that. Our job is to go to Wal-Mart and buy a flag to wave and sing, "God Bless America," and not consider that God may want to bless other people, too.
In case our attention begins to wander, the White House is working with Hollywood to make nice, patriotic movies of the Frank Capra variety that dominated the screen during World War II, according to the Washington Post. "There was a feeling around the table that something is wrong if half of the world thinks we're the Great Satan and we want to make that one right," said Lionel Chetwynd, a movie producer. As though the gross materialism and self-absorption conveyed by Hollywood has nothing to do with that world opinion. And now self-serving propaganda to sell a war against the world's poorest by the world's richest is supposed to change that?
No, lies and manipulation are what make a Great Satan, and half the world believes what they do for a reason. The Pentagon may try and hide the pictures, and censor the voices of dissent, but the world still feels the dead lying in the sand, and hears their blood crying to heaven.
If causes like "Enduring Freedom" and "Infinite Justice" were just, lies, propaganda, and censorship wouldn't be needed. It is the presence of these satanic methods that proves the origin of "Enduring Freedom".
Some of us here in the United States clearly remember the fate of the Branch Davidian church near Waco, Texas in 1993, and how the U.S. military attacked women and children with a type of gas not even permitted in battle under the Geneva Convention. Lies, destruction of evidence, and a compromised political investigation buried the massacre in an unmarked grave.
It seems the Branch Davidians' religion was a little too extreme, and they had a little too much faith in it, to be left alone.
It is by this event that we may judge the "war on terror" now being conducted by the same government, using the same methods, in a campaign with the same religious overtones. Now the entire world is becoming Waco revisited.
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