A Day Late and $3 Trillion Short
Posted on Dec 15, 2011
The New York Times ran a story Wednesday, the day before U.S. and Iraqi leaders marked the official end of the Iraq War, about a shocking find in an Iraqi junkyard: secret interviews from U.S. soldiers talking about the 2005 massacre of civilians in Haditha.
But this kind of account, as The Washington Spectator’s Hamilton Fish noted Thursday, has been passed over by the mainstream press for years, and the human cost of this negligence has been unfathomable, even if we have some hazy ideas about the numbers involved. Worse, journalists like Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian, in their 2008 book “Collateral Damage: America’s War on Iraqi Civilians,” were on the case long before this latest report became news fit to print. So why now, and why the radio silence, so to speak, until this moment? —KA
The Washington Spectator:
There are so many layers to this story. The documents offer a near-linear corroboration of the findings in Collateral Damage, which given the nature of the subject is not in the least gratifying. Moreover, the article and the circumstances of its origin pose unsettling questions for wartime journalism. It would appear that in order for the press to report the truth of what was happening on the ground in Iraq, American forces would first have to withdraw from the country. Then a curious reporter in post-apocalyptic Iraq would have to poke around a junkyard, and bureaucratic incompetence and serendipity would have to conspire to drop a bombshell of historic proportions into the reporter’s lap.
AP / Karim Kadim
A wounded Iraqi boy is treated at a hospital in Sadr City in spring 2008.