Pawns of propaganda

Jessica Lynch walks with a limp from the extensive wounds she received in the early days of the invasion of Iraq. Pat Tillman lies in a grave – gunned down by his own comrades in Afghanistan.

Both represent the sacrifices that soldiers make in service to their country. Sadly, both also became pawns of a propaganda machine created tosell an illegal and immoral war to a gullible American public.

The Pentagon’s propaganda machine fabricated Lynch as a petite female Rambo, holding off the enemy after her vehicle was hit by a rocket. In fact, the attack left her unconscious and unable to fight.

“Tales of great heroism were being told,” Lynch told a Congressional hearing Tuesday. “My parent’s home in Wirt county [West Virginia] was under siege of the media all repeating the story of the little girl Rambo from the hills who went down fighting. It was not true.”

Neither was the story of her “rescue,” videotaped by the Army at the height of the invasion. The Army told a harrowing tale of invading an Iraqi compound and liberating her. She was, in fact, in an abandoned medical facility and Iraqi medical staff led soldiers to her. No gunfire. No hostiles. Just a pickup of a prisoner left behind by fleeing forces.

“I am still confused as to why they chose to lie and tried to make me a legend when the real heroics of my fellow soldiers that day were, in fact, legendary,” Lynch said. “The American people did not need to be told elaborate tales. The truth of war is not always easy to hear but it always more heroic than the hype.”

When it came to hype, the Army had a ready-made opportunity with Pat Tillman, the NFL player who gave up a multi-million dollar career to join the military during the patriotic pathos of post-9/11 America.

Tillman, along with his brother, became an Army Ranger and went to Afghanistan where he died in combat. The Army said he died heroically fighting the enemy and awarded the slain soldier a Silver Star.

In fact, he died from “friendly fire” in a screw up of communications that brought his location under attack from other American soldiers.

The Army tried to cover it up.

The Army, brother Kevin Tillman, also in Afghanistan that day, concocted “intentional falsehoods” along with “deliberate and careful misrepresentations in portraying his death as the result of heroic engagement with the enemy.”

“We believe this narrative was intended to deceive the family but more importantly the American public,” Tillman said. “Pat’s death was clearly the result of fratricide (friendly fire). Revealing that Pat’s death was a fratricide would have been yet another political disaster in a month of political disasters … so the truth needed to be suppressed.”

Reports The Associated Press:

An Army Ranger who was with Pat Tillman when the former football star was cut down by friendly fire in Afghanistan said Tuesday a commanding officer had ordered him to keep quiet about what happened.

The military at first portrayed Tillman’s death as the result of heroic combat with the enemy. Army Spc. Bryan O’Neal told a congressional hearing that when he got the chance to talk to Tillman’s brother, who had been in a nearby convoy on the fateful day, “I was ordered not to tell him what happened.”

“You were ordered not to tell him?” repeated Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“Roger that, sir,” replied O’Neal, dressed in his Army uniform.

Ideally, both Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman should be recognized as heroes who served their country in time of war.

Instead, they became pawns in a far-bigger war: a conflict of lies used to sell an invasion launched for fabricated reasons and fought – to this day – for political reasons that have nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 or any actual threat to the peace and security of the United States.

Like all soldiers who have died, come home maimed or face a future of haunting nightmares from an insane war, they deserved far better.


  1. SEAL

    Razor, the Nazis were damn close to creating the atomic bomb just before the war ended. We were using everything we could find to prevent it. And when the war ended we and the Russians grabed all the German scientists and their documents we could that were working on nuclear fission. They were greatly instrumental in our being the first to create the bomb and the Russians not far behind. In fact, without them, The Russians may not have been able to produce them for many years.

    The same is true for the jet planes. The Germans already had working jets at the wars end. Given 6 more months they would have been flying them.

  2. EdEKit

    Self Defense is an affirmative defense for homicide. To use it, you have to prove it. Fear is not proof. There has to be a real and credible threat.

    There was no real and credible threat from Iraq or Afghanistan. Combined there are are not enough people in the two countries to run the American Bureaucracy. There are 22 million people working for government in the USA.
    There was no credible threat of conquest.
    That alone is enough to prove that we are not defending ourselves.
    The war cannot be justified on the grounds of defending ourselves, so it must be glorified as a “clash of cultures” or the “liberation” of an oppressed people. If you must glorify the war, you must also glorify the warriors. Lost causes are fought with medals of valor.

  3. KayInMaine

    Oh, that’s easy…

    Because Bush & Cheney know deep in their hearts that America is illegally occupying Iraq, so to make the last four years look like we’re at war, they use people like Jessica & Pat as symbols of how much fun war is and how our soldiers are working hard everyday!

    Is it hard work illegally occupying a sovereign nation that didn’t attack our nation on 9/11 nor had the capability to launch a rock with a slip shot at us? Not really. It’s hard work making this illegal occupation look like World War II, though. This could be why the Bush Regime is illegally funding the insurgency behind the scenes with Saudi Arabia! Hey, I think that could very well be true.

    Oh and don’t forget HALLIBURTON!

    Not only has Halliburton been pilfering and plundering the American treasury by overcharging our country for services not rendered, but they would also like to get back into Iran to continue doing business with our enemy. Jees, people! It’s hard work doing business with the enemy, so Georgie is making Iraq look like a real war and Dick Cheney is behind the scenes telling his Baby to set up shop in Dubai so Halliburton can continue to do business with our enemy! See?

    I wonder how our soldiers feel knowing they’re just pawns in Bush & Dick’s little Financial Transaction over there? Huh. I wonder.

    Bush Regime: “It’s time for another “hero” to pulled up to form America’s psyche again!”

  4. Razor

    Yes, it is just a very evil sick game that is being played to enrich the elites and to create the false basis for more control over americans by removing constitutional rights in the name of a war on terrorism.

    Threat, my ass. If there was such a threat, how come our southern border is open for anyone to stroll in with a nuclear suitcase bomb or some biological weapon? The socalled attacks by terrorists have mostly been staged by our own CIA or Israels Mossad. Anyone not know the truth about the attack on the USS Liberty by Israli Fighters? For one long day Israli Jets attacked our communications ship repeatedly killing nearly all aboard. This was no case of mistaken identity as the stars and stripes flew in full view. Our commanders knew of this attempted act meant to put the blame on socalled terrorists when it was Israel that killed those american sailors. That event was covered up just like so many other events that were treasonist and meant as false flag operations. Tonkin Bay Incedent was a hoax to justify attacking Viet Nam. It is just sickening how american soldiers and sailors have been murdered for the propaganda needed to convince citizens of the need to have war. The truth is they do it for profit. Exactly what Eisenhower warned us about in his fairwell speech. This nation has become a society that supports a huge war machine and therefore that machine creates conflicts to justify its very existence and ever increasing need for more money. They do this by creating boogy men in foriegn countries and tell us that we are in danger so we must spend untold amounts of money to be safe, when in truth there is no threat that justifies the trillions of dollars going into the pockets of war mongers and profiteers.

    Sadly, it is the american taxpaying citizen that will suffer financially and physically and ultimately lose the very freedom we are told is being protected.

  5. Razor

    Truth is something forgotten by the war machine. It is because there is nothing patriotic or honorable about this debacle in Iraq or Afganistan, only evil and immoral aggression in the name of spreading democracy. Occupation is not freeing anyone of anything. Nobody wants the US presence except those who profit from american taxpayers and american lives lost. Just like 911, the whole thing is a planned scheme to achieve the domination of the resource rich countries and total control of all people, especially us. This story is just one more example of the reality that americans are never told. Media is controlled by the same cabal that controls the government. Truth is not included.

  6. Sinjohn

    You are absolutely Right On!!!

    We have been fed nothing but a pile of lies since the end of WWII, with the real purpose of propping up the “Military-Security-Spook Industrial Complex” and the portfolios of the super wealthy, not just in America, but of the elite all over the world.

    Americans need to make a choice now. Do we want our nation to be Rome all over again, or do we want to stop it now!

    If we do want our empire to end now, we are the ones who will have to end it. It’s for damn sure the corporations won’t and their puppets won’t.

    It is way past time to clean this place up, of the stinking corruption, the deceit, the fear-mongering and all the rest!!

    It is our patriotic duty to do so, even if it means the collapse of everything. The collapse is coming anyway, so why not speed it up and get it over with?

  7. Sandy Price

    I think the entire Federal Government has spent too many years going to the movies. Hollywood made heroes out of actors! Now the our current Administration is making epics out of human tragedy.

    Our heroes should not be treated like this and I cannot imagine how their families can take this kind of misrepresentation of their family members. The White House did everything but set the stories to a sound track.

    The reporting from our war department can never be trusted again. In another world this would be labeled as dishonesty and lies. But coming from the White House it is just another day in the Middle East. I watched the televised hearings and I was so ashamed at how these people were used.

  8. Rick Fuller

    To the extent the Bush Administration fabricates stories and makes up lies on the fly – are signs of disturbed sociopaths. Very scary times we Americans live in.

    What’s even scarier is the main sociopath holds the secret codes to nuclear annihilation.

  9. Doubtom

    The military has been in the business of creating heros for as long as its been in existence. This is not to say the there aren’t real life Rambos out there in every fracas but the large majority of the dead are simply unlucky and not at all heroic. Riding along in a Humvee that gets blown up by an IED isn’t “heroic”, it is unfortunate. Losing limbs is likewise not heroic but it is damned unfortunate.

    During WW2 the heros we created were shipped home to sell War Bonds. There was a purpose to making heros and the military brass section has always tried to cover for fuck-ups in the field.
    So heros have a dual purpose; they boost morale or, depending on the war, they sell War Bonds. They have to glorify war! There is no glory in war, only endless misery and death.

    The military has always had a very active propaganda apparatus and its only got better with time.

    When lies like these are revealed it cheapens and calls into question all heroic awards, whether they be the Silver Star or the more common Bronze Star.

    Hero status is altogether too easily conferred and we’re all sophisticated enough or should be, to know that there aren’t that many heros anywhere.

    Sen. McCain was originally quick to refute his hero status, claiming that “it didn’t take any special skill to get your airplane shot down”. And his subsequent capture (by the enemy of the day) didn’t confer hero status either. Recently, McCain, seems to have realized the value of calling attention to his “new-found hero status” by claiming to know war first hand. This, he believes will polish his political image enough to bury the competition.

    McCain is no hero and I would put it that he doesn’t know war “first hand” either. He was a Naval pilot who flew above the fray for the most part and could look forward to a bullshit session in the Officer’s Ready Room on his return.

    In fact it was so difficult to establish exactly what heroic action was for pilots, that they simply gave up and decided that after so many missions they would automatically receive a medal. With a few more missions they’d get a higher medal. If the footsoldier were similarly decorated, he wouldn’t be able to stand under the load. Hero? my ass!

  10. mrtshw

    These sociopaths are so profoundly amoral I’m not sure they wouldn’t have engineered Tillman’s death for propaganda purposes.

  11. CheckerboardStrangler

    Lt. Col. Kauzlarich’s statements to the media set off some alarm bells in my head the other day with regard to Tillman.
    It was apparently well known by some that Tillman was not an especially religious man.
    With all the recent stories of religious pressure in the various officer’s training academies I am starting to wonder if perhaps Tillmans death was a warning to other soldiers who don’t pass the “purity test”.

    After all, in today’s Boykinized officer corps, a heathen hero is simply unacceptable, and Tillman had so much already going for him that quite possibly some simply could not stand it any longer.

  12. Wayne K Dolik

    Great points made today by Doug as usual. A friend sent me a website denoting future strategies of the U.S. Military. I was shocked how much of the research was devoted to disinformation. It implied the increased use of propaganda.

    Congress needs to go a lot farther in regard to seeing about this agenda currently incorporated in the U.S. Military. It is one thing when you use disinformation with the enemy. It is another thing when you lie to your own public. It appears that post 911 that the Administration or the Military Planners are not always telling the Public the truth.

    Finally we have lost all critical investigation by the American Press. These are things that should greatly concern all Americans. As Citizens we all must demand truth from those in positions of power.

  13. SEAL

    Doubtom, I don’t agree with you. I’ve seen a lot of real heros in combat. However, most of them are dead. A real hero is one who will sacrifice himself for his comrades and his country. We had many head shaking conversations about most of the medals that were awarded when the stories came out. It was obvious to us that either the recipient was the son of “someone” or just happened to be at the right place at the right time for his effort to be noticed. Almost all of those medals were given for things we saw and did ourselves in the normal course of combat. Every once in awhile there would be an actual act of heroism. But 9 times out of 10 the hero was killed and the one usually went unrecognized.

    As far as I’m concerned damn near every soldier of sailor in combat is a hero. Whether the reason you are there is right or wrong, putting your life on the line for your country is the ultimate act of heroism. Whether you vollunteer or were drafted and whether you agree with the war or not is irrelevant Just having what it takes to be there and do it takes courage. I have seen many green as grass 19 year old kids demonstrate remarkable fortitude when faced with life or death the first time. Scared as hell the whole time, as we all were. I’ve often wondered if it was the fear that created heros.

    You’re absolutely right that the military has always used “heros” to advantage. To gain support. And I saw nothing wrong with that before we began fighting wars for profit. But, after Korea, none of our wars have been in defense of America or the result of first being attacked. Therefore, all the heroes since then, whether actual or not, were simply good marketing. I have a lot of medals including the Navy Cross but, fortunately, the timing was right to excuse me from being used for publicity. I have always been grateful for that. I wouldn’t have been good at it anyway.

    The thing that disturbs an old sailor like me the most is how political our military has become. No longer is the military the defenders of America, now they are the enforcement arm of the regime in power. There could be no better example of that than Iraq. Calling it a “preemtive war” does not change the fact that our military is being used to force the will of the Bush regime upon another nation. What makes this so disturbing to me is that our military not only knows this but they appear to be willing participants. That completely changes the purpose of our military and makes the US an agressor nation. Something I never imagined.

    The armed forces of the US is supposed to serve the nation, not the administrative or any other branch of government. The president is only the commander in chief, the ultimate authotity. Historically he has deferred military judgments to the military and, with few exceptions, stamped their judgments with his authority. This is the first time a president and his political crew has made all decisions about a war we were involved in. He has done so from the beginning. The fallacy of that is self evident. Bush is undoubtably the least capable of all those available to make judgments and decisions about a war campaign. In the first place he is a deserter from the Air National Guard during the Vietnam war. Legally he should be in Levenworth or hanged. Were his name not Bush he would be.

    Like everyone one else in this group I think it imperative that Bush and Cheney be removed from power 4 years ago.

  14. Mal Rider

    After all the hype (pardon the pun) about how the new regime was going to investigate the corruption and failures of the current administration, they pick the Jessica Lynch “heroism” story as one of their high priority issues?

    When are they going to get around to the one about George Washington skipping that coin across the Rappahannock?

  15. Razor

    There is none now and there has been dam little truth in government since the first war. Americans especially, have been fed misinformation for many decades. Only lately it has become more obvious because of the internet. The web is the only thing not owned by the elites and so far unregulated. I am sure that soon it too will be controlled like all media. The average american who tunes to the TV for all information is doomed to be manipulated by the misinformation engineered to do exactly that. Doesn’t anyone notice how fiercly a person is attacked if they question the official 911 report? Isn’t that strange in a country where free speech and questioning authority were once a given?

    They won’t even debate the conflicting evidence, but argued for months about Clintons Hummer and the definition of “is”.

    The TV and the major news networks create attitudes and opinions using misinformation and they have a captive audience. The nazis knew how that works and look what it got them. Imagine if they had had a nuke to play with.