Fake News Still Bringing Real Guns to Iraq, Killing
- Fake news propagated by the US government and
collaborating organizations such as the New York
Times and Washington Post helped create an
environment in which the US was able to illegally invade
Iraq in 2003, killing at least one million and possibly
upwards of two million people, including the deaths of
some 4,500 US soldiers, according to a meta-study by
Nobel-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility.
November, nearly 6,000 people were
killed in Iraq thanks to the conflicts that are
still raging due to the invasion (which is ongoing), and
it was not an atypical month – even more were killed in
fake news that laid the groundwork for the US war of
aggression, award-winning journalist Robert Parry
notes that, for example,
Judith Miller of NYT and Washington
Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt “repeatedly
stated the ‘fact’ of Iraq’s hidden WMD as flat fact and
mocked anyone who doubted the ‘group think.'”
traces the use of fake news by these outlets and the
government to the present, raising interesting legal
questions about whether and how the individuals who
perpetrate fake news should be punished, and to what
extent they are protected by the US first amendment.
Trevor Timm of
cites a Supreme Court decision which ruled that
speech is protected unless it “is directed to inciting
or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to
incite or produce such action”.
the highest UN officials and many others (including
most of the world), the invasion of Iraq was a
lawless action, which would make statements directed to
precipitating it ineligible for protection under US law.
question that arises would be how to punish the
offenders of the illegal speech. Sticking to US legal
precedent, we may note that the US, at Nuremberg,
executed Germans who it determined had issued fake news
in service of creating the conditions for Germany to
invade other nations. And though the death penalty has
since been eradicated in most of the world, it has not
been in the US.
that none of the fake-news peddlers have yet faced any
legal recourse for their apparent crimes. Hiatt, for
example, “remains the Post’s editorial-page editor
continuing to enforce ‘conventional wisdoms’ and to
disparage those who deviate.” Miller and others
maintain similar positions.
People at these
outlets have recently begun to express that there should
be limits on fake news. However, they have only made
such statements in reference to others, not themselves,
perhaps illustrating the level of regard they have for
the thousands of US soldiers and million-plus Iraqis
that have died and are dying thanks in part to the fake
news they disseminate.
Robert J. Barsocchini is an independent researcher and
reporter who focuses on global force dynamics and has
served as a cross-cultural intermediary for the film and
Television industry. His work has been cited, published,
or followed by numerous professors, economists, lawyers,
military and intelligence veterans, and journalists.
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expressed in this article are the author's own and do
not necessarily reflect Information Clearing House