Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Pentagon Papers


At 16 I was a cub reporter for the Lawrence-Eagle Tribune. I was fascinated by the process and loved to watch the the type being set, the presses running. I loved covering my hometown of Reading. I remember breaking a story about something the Selectmen did wrong and the next time I was at a meeting, one of them yelled at me.

I started to cry. One of the other Selectmen, said, "Go easy on her. She's just a kid." I was embarrassed because I cried even though I was proud of telling the truth about officials doing something wrong, no matter how small it was.


Rick and I went to see the Pentagon Papers, the French name for The Post. The scenes of the press room crowded with reporters typing out stories, linotype and presses running were like flashbacks.

The story of the Pentagon Papers was also a flashback because I had followed it eagerly in the news. It was the end of my innocence when I realized how much many governments, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Johnson  had lied, how many people had died Americans and even more, Vietnamese.

The Americans who died thought they were defending their country. They weren't. They were defending politicians who didn't want to be humiliated by losing a war.

The revelation that the U.S. injected itself into the 1954 Vietnamese election, just reaffirms what I've been saying that if Russia interfered with the 2016 election, it was no different from the U.S. interfering in other countries' elections.

The coziness of people in Washington between press and leaders seems the same.

The Washington Post risked everything to bring the truth to the American public. Tom Hanks at one point in the film said the purpose of the press is to serve the governed not the government (the idea not the exact quote).

Not much has changed. The government is still lying to the public. Young men and now young women are going off to fight wars based on lies. The U.S. is still interfering in other countries' governments sometimes behind the scenes sometimes with bombs.

As the folk song "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" says, "When will they ever learn?"

Rick has a dueling blog at http://lovinglifeineurope.blogspot.fr/

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