Thursday 22 May 2003

Private Lynch's comrades forced to keep mouth shut

Americans are being fed lies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As are we, wake up smell the coffee people, the lies and deception going on here are just staggering. News is coming out of Hollywood and it makes the Matrix looks closer to reality that what you see on Fox.

Judiciously guarding our military's classified information makes excellent sense. Stamp it "SECRET," the system takes over and lives will be saved. What patriot would quibble with that?

But calling stuff "SECRET" to cover up Pentagon screw-ups that cost soldiers' lives or to protect war racketeers' pet scams violates what our country is about. Ditto the Pentagon-employed spinmeisters and the big bucks they waste annually hiding the truth from U.S. citizens unknowingly footing the bill for their deceptions.

The Pentagon's annual defense budget is about 500 times bigger than what our fleet-footed Public Enemies No. 1 and 2 – Saddam Hussein and his designated terror buddy Osama bin Laden – spent during the same period on things that go bang. My bet is that the military's annual propaganda and promotion budget alone exceeds what these running dogs spent last year trying to do American infidels in.

And then there's the army of flacks, stretching from top military spinner Victoria Clarke, her Pentagon office minions and the hundreds of other damage-control experts scattered at rifle-company strength around that five-sided building, to the thousands of flacks in the field working at virtually every small unit in our armed forces.

For years, I've tried to get the actual cost and number of bodies involved in running the Pentagon's con machine, only to be repeatedly stonewalled. The figures are buried in Pentagon double-speak that's too cryptic for even Ralph Nader. But we're talking enough folks – civilian and uniformed – to fill and fund at least an Army or Marine fighting division. No question they outnumber bin Laden's terrorists, and for sure they're as busy.

For example, as I write this, tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars are being spent on covering up what happened to Jessica Lynch and her mates during and after their unit was ambushed and they were captured.

Soldiers from Jessica's El Paso, Texas-based 507th Maintenance Company have been warned not to talk. A soldier in that unit said, "It's almost 'say a word and you'll be shot at dawn.'"

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