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Wednesday, June 24, 2009


U.S. military admits it routinely lies...again!

In August, 2008, an American airstrike killed 95 civilians in Afghanistan. The U.S. military issued its boilerplate statement: "Coalition forces make every effort to prevent the injury or loss of innocent lives." That was an obvious lie, since the repeated "loss of innocent lives" rather belied the claim of making "every effort." Some effort, maybe, but not every effort.

And sure enough, the military agreed with what I just wrote, because in October, 2008, new orders were issued which said that "commanders are now under orders to consider a 'tactical withdrawal' when faced with the choice of calling in air support during clashes in areas where civilians are believed to be present."

But civilian casualties have continued at essentially the same rate, and the headline of this post does say "again." Why? Because today, the better part of a year after those last "new orders," CNN is reporting that "The new U.S. commander in Afghanistan plans to issue a directive that will restrict the use of U.S. airstrikes in areas where civilian casualties might be a risk." As plain an admission as possible that all previous statements about "making every effort" were just a bald-faced lie.

And won't Gen. McChrystal be surprised when he learns his new "directive" isn't even necessary, since the same directive was issued last October, with the same effect that the new one will no doubt have.

By the way, I wonder if he'll be issuing that directive to the people who sit in Omaha, Nebraska (or wherever they are) and operate the drones that killed as many as 80 people in Pakistan yesterday.

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