Monday, October 11, 2010

Leading article: The weight of mendacity

From The Independent

There was a dull sense of inevitability as David Cameron announced yesterday the "deeply regrettable" news that Linda Norgrove was not after all killed when one of her captors detonated a suicide vest but probably by an American grenade.

How often have we been here before? The wedding party bombed in July 2008: the US claimed there were no civilian victims, but an Afghan commission revealed that 47 had died; the seven children killed by Task Force 373 in an unprovoked and secret attack in June 2007, their deaths hushed up until revealed by Wikileaks; the three women, two of them pregnant, shot dead in February this year "by militants" it was claimed, until former Independent correspondent Jerome Starkey revealed that they had been killed by Nato forces. The list goes on.

Why this compulsion to mislead? The accumulated weight of mendacity, the insistence that the enemy is evil incarnate and our boys invariably heroic, is merely sickening. The attempt by US forces to rescue Linda Norgrove may or may not have been as urgent as claimed; it is impossible to judge. We cannot doubt that it was difficult and dangerous, and if they had pulled it off we would have been as glad as anyone. But why the need to obscure the truth about how it ended? Why go to such lengths to spell out the alleged cause of Linda's death when the miserable truth was bound to emerge? ...

1 comment:

  1. This story may have much deeper levels. Check out this fine report from Liz Leafloor: