Richard Holbrooke died yesterday. Its amazing to me how, upon a persons death, people are afraid to speak truthfully.
Although Holbrooke did some good things (anyone who tries to work through diplomatic channels can’t be all bad!), he was also one of the architects of the Vietnam War, and authored some of the Pentagon Papers, showing he knew full-well that that war was a no-win situation.
Holbrooke is being lionized in the media today, but not by all. All one has to do is follow Jeremy Scahill’s twitter feed. He’s been speaking out about the man he’s covered for years, and taking a lot of flack for tweets like
@jeremyscahill Holbrooke backed Indonesian genocide in East Timor, killing of journos in Serbia and supported 2003 Iraq invasion.
And then, after being attacked by others:
@jeremyscahill: Sorry, I forgot. When powerful US officials die, we are not supposed to be honest about their role in killing people.
Glenn Greenwald pointed out what was reported to be Holbrooke’s last words… I hope some in Washington take heed:
Richard Holbrooke, President Obama’s envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, died yesterday after undergoing surgery for a torn aorta. Holbrooke’s record as a government official is long, complex and mixed on many levels, but — based on the last line of his long Washington Post obituary — I just want to flag what his “last words” were according to his family members, which he uttered as he was being sedated for surgery: “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.”
Ironically, Holbrooke was the author of one of the volumes of the Pentagon Papers — which revealed that government officials knew of the futility of the Vietnam War at the same time they were falsely assuring the public they could win — and Afghanistan seems to be no different. As official Washington rushes forward to lavish praise on Holbrooke’s wisdom and service, undoubtedly they will studiously avoid acknowledging his final insight.
Today, another man who is considered a saint by some and evil incarnate by others is also in the spotlight. A bond hearing for Julian Assange is taking place right now.
The parallels being drawn between Assange and Daniel Ellsberg, who released the afore-mentioned Pentagon Papers, cannot be ignored. And Daniel Ellsberg is among the many, myself included, who believe Assange is a hero.
We’re seeing a defense of Assange and wikileaks like nothing we’ve seen before, and it’s coming from an anonymous group of people who’ve likely never met in person. Under the loosely organized banner of “Operation Payback,” these net-savvy avengers of freedom of speech have launched a cyber war on the organizations who’ve attempted to stop the flow of information and support.
Today on the show, I’ll speak with one of the cyber activists who shall remain anonymous.
In the wake of a federal judge in Virginia ruling yesterday that the individual mandate part of the health care legislation is unconstitutional, I’ll speak with Donna Smith, co-chair of PDA’s Healthcare not Warfare campaign to get her take on it.
And Gotta Laff from The Political Carnival will join me to dish on the news. We’ll talk about some of these stories:
A few more tidbits…. I read this piece on the show today, “An open letter to food stamp & unemployment recipients.”
The 10 Funniest, Strangest Stories of the Year, courtesy of Alternet.