Monday, January 7, 2013

Myriad Dark Lies

I was going to call it some play on "Zero Dark Thirty," because my original intent was to discuss this flick which apparently has the critics swooning from coast to to coast. I had read a long critique of the movie by Glenn Greenwald, which I forwarded to several people. But then I read this piece by Matt Taibbi about the great bailout of 2008 and realized I could not confine my remarks to simply one set of government lies. Hence the rather clunky title which still attempts to play on the movie title, but only not so well.

So the subject is government falsehoods. Plural. Because they never cease. They are the currency of government.Without them, the government doesn't function. And for certain the military/industrial/intelligence nexus breaks down completely. Greenwald makes two main points his piece. First, the movie depicts torture as being instrumental in the discovery of the courier who in turn led the CIA to bin Laden. This is totally incorrect. Which is not to say the CIA doesn't use torture. Oh, no, that's not the point. It's just that they didn't use torture in this particular case to achieve their objectives. So Greenwald objects to the inclusion of torture in the movie. All of the explanations by the movie people, including the celebrated female director, boil down basically to: hey, it's a movie, not a documentary. Greenwald's second point is more telling from my point of view. He indicates the extraordinary level of cooperation the movie makers got from the US government. The point being: "all the better to foist the flag-waving propaganda on the people." Who, like the vast majority of the critics, are going to just swoon in patriotic abandon at this depiction of bare-chested, bare-knuckled American get-um. Only the movie-going public is far less informed and sophisticated than the writers. Which is also something the Pentagon and CIA know . . . This movie is going to seal in people's minds a false accounting of the killing of Osama bin Laden, and they are going to be perfectly fine with it, in fact gloriously happy that we killed the guy by doing whatever was necessary. Greenwald senses great danger in the smooching and petting going on between the CIA and Hollywood. It's every bit as insidious and dangerous as embedding journalists with military units as a way of controlling news. Probably even worse. But nobody cares.

The pigs are definitely winning
 Nor do they give much of a crap about the torrent of lies pouring out of Washington about the bank bailout. And that have been pouring out since the program was established four years ago. You thought that was old news, eh? Well, Matt Taibbi's piece in Rolling Stone eill disabuse you of the notion that the bailout worked, that it was conducted smartly by the government, that we were told the truth about any of it, that it fixed anything at all, that it was in the slightest way putative on the big banks, and probably most important of all, that everything is going to be fine. In fact, the country now stands at great risk than before of some sort of disastrous financial cataclysm for the very same reason as before: to wit, staggeringly risky investments by the too-big-to-fail banks.

Both of these articles are fairly lengthy, but this in no way detracts from their importance and timeliness. Neither of them is going to make you happy. Both are likely to do just the opposite, plus make you mad. But read 'em anyway. You owe it to yourself to find out about what's really going on. Not being duped and used by the forces of darkness is its own reward. 
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