Friday, May 28, 2010
Millions of words have been expended down the decades on the matter of the press’s role in “cover-ups.” Every cover-up has its own specific mix
as with the saga of the USS Liberty, the Agency’s role in the 1953 Guatemalan coup, the story that prompted the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and New York Times to launch a collective onslaught on the San Jose Mercury News for Gary Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series in 1996.
The consistent features, starting with the extreme unease with which the corporate press approaches a story.
The onslaught on the Isolationists who strove to keep America clear of both World Wars. The clearest illustration of this antipathy is the mountain of evidence attesting to FDR’s campaign to get America into the war.
Professor Thomas Mahl published covert British campaign in the 1998 book Desperate Deception -- British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-44 writes, “until recently, the study lacked respectability
smacks too much of conspiracy – a word with a very unprofessional ring among American historians…
Graduate students are warned about the ‘furtive fallacy.’… How does the historian avoid the charge that he is indulging in conspiracy history when he explores the activities of a thousand people.
The ruthless campaign to discredit Charles Beard’s pioneering 1948 book, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War 1941 attested to the determination by the foreign policy and academic establishments to crush the Non-Interventionists and neutralize them as a political force.
Denouncing “conspiracy mongering” was an integral part of this campaign – never more vehement than when addressing the whole issue of FDR’s conduct in the run-up to Pearl Harbor.
Sometimes a conspiracy does surface, propelled into the light of day by a tenacious journalist. But by then the caravan has moved on.
a case on which the jury is still out.” As so often, the jury came back in and issued its verdict, but by then the press box was empty.
But maybe now with the decline in power of corporate press. And the greater availability of dissenting versions. The exposure of the methods used to coerce publish support for the 2003 US attack on Iraq will lead to a greater sense of realism on the part of Americans as to what their government is capable of