Uncensoring ‘Project Censored’

What follows is the text of a talk I gave at a conference put on by Project Censored, on Saturday [April 28], at San Francisco State University. I was told, by the way, that my presence had been a cause of much controversy: one of the keynote speakers, the well-known Commie writer (listed by the CPUSA as a “famous supporter“) Michael Parenti, had been going around saying that it was “outrageous” that I had been invited to speak. I can only hope that I gave him some real cause for complaint. IT’S ORGANIC

I was going to speak today about the Kosovo war, about how the truth concerning the origins and outcome of that war has been systematically ignored and covered up by the American media, but then I thought: hey, wait a minute. What about something really shocking – a censored story even more important than, say, the alleged fact that “Cuba leads the world in organic farming” – which I believe is number 12 on Project Censored’s hit parade of the great untold stories of the year. I sat down and really thought about it: what, I asked myself, is the number one story, the Big Story, that the news media refuses to publicize – from an antiwar perspective, that is?


Well, let’s see: there’s the fact that there really was no “genocide” committed in Kosovo to justify US military intervention, and, now, an occupation without end. In the days prior to the war, we were told by secretary of defense William Cohen that “there could be as many as 100,000” victims of a “holocaust” that was going on in Kosovo. Shortly afterward, the number went down to 50,000, then, after the war, it went down again, to 10,000. But the big question is: where are the bodies? Where is the evidence? The answer: there is none. When the investigative teams of the International Criminal Tribunal for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia reached Kosovo, shortly after NATO marched in, they were given reports of 11,334 people in mass graves. At last count – before they stopped releasing numbers – the UN had uncovered 2,018 bodies from graves in Kosovo, including not only Kosovars but also Serbs, Roma, and others. And so that was a fib, and of course we haven’t heard too much about that.


Then there’s the story of the infamous Racak massacre, another alleged Serb atrocity, touted by none other than President Clinton as symbolic of the rationale for US intervention – a massacre, as it turned out, that never happened. A Finnish forensic team, sent in by the EU, concluded that there was no massacre – only a gun battle. Their report was published in Forensic Science International – but we didn’t hear a word about it in the American media.


The Kosovo war was popular with the American media: it was, after all, supposed to have been a war against Serbian “racism.” It was such a politically correct war that several well-known leftists, such as Todd Gitlin, and even some avowed Marxists, supported Bill Clinton’s rape of Yugoslavia. This was a war that liberals and the left could love – just like the so-called “good war,” otherwise known as World War II. With the death of Communism, the big danger, some leftists announced, was the danger of fascism on the rise in Europe, and Slobodan Milosevic was deemed to be the New Hitler.


Isn’t it amazing the uses of the Hitler analogy, even after all these years? The farther away we move from the actual events of World War II, the larger, it seems, he looms as the epitome of evil incarnate, the one word that is supposed to end all discussion of whether or not the US ought to intervene in hotspots around the world. The ghost of Hitler has been spotted in the oddest places over the years: Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian caudillo, was linked to Hitler when the US decided to overthrow his regime – after supporting him for decades. Hitler also popped up in Iraq, when President Bush the First opined that Saddam Hussein was “worse than Hitler“! Indeed, the images and rhetoric of World War II were revived in a big way during the Kosovo war. Old Slobo, of course, was Hitler, and the civil war in Kosovo was naturally called a “Holocaust.” World War II was the “good war” in the eyes of the Left, the one struggle in which the Left – during the 1930s – played a major role, not in the antiwar movement, but in the pro-war movement.


After the Hitler-Stalin Pact broke apart, and the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, the Communist Party, determined to save the “worker’s fatherland,” attacked the peace movement – led by conservative opponents of the New Deal – as Hitler’s quislings, and demanded that we get in the war as soon as possible. So in building support for the Kosovo war, the liberals and leftists who were agitating for a massive US intervention in the Balkans reached back into history and came up with the same old imagery and arguments that energized their great “anti-fascist” crusade – arguments and images, I might add, that were supposed to end all discussion.


As the editorial director of Antiwar.com, I am often asked: “But don’t you think there were any good wars? What about World War II? Surely you don’t think we should have stayed out of that one?” Well, uh, YES, as a matter of fact, I do – and this many people find truly shocking.


Now here is not the place to make the case against US intervention in the second world war: there’s not nearly enough time. But I want to talk, a bit, about just how we got into that war – which leads me to what I believe is the number one censored story not only of this year, but every year since 1941, and that is the true story of Pearl Harbor.


A year ago, the Free Press published Robert Stinnett’s book, Day of Deceit, which, for the first time, documents the Roosevelt administration’s foreknowledge of the Japanese attack. Material released under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and obtained by Stinnett reveal that the Americans had not only intercepted and decoded the Japanese diplomatic code, but they had broken their military code as well. For the first time, government documents were uncovered revealing that the US had long anticipated an attack on Pearl Harbor, and not only that, but they had deliberately left the base vulnerable, hoping, after a long series of diplomatic and military provocations, to goad the Japanese into a fight. This, government officials including the President believed, would galvanize the solidly antiwar American public behind a declaration of war. Day of Deceit shows that not only did the US government have full knowledge of the Japanese plan of attack, but that these same officials had devised an eight-point plan, an actual document, outlining just how to get the Japanese to take the bait. An important part of the ongoing cover-up has been the supposed fact that our government did not crack Japan’s military codes before December 7, 1941. Yet Stinnett has unearthed from the bowels of the national security bureaucracy cable after cable of decryptions. Coded Japanese cables were intercepted and decoded by American cryptographers stationed in Hawaii and Seattle, and Stinnett produces them. He also documents the amazing story of a Japanese spy at Pearl Harbor transmitting information – including a map of bombing targets – on August 21, and shows that our government was perfectly well-aware of it. Stinnett shows how Admiral Kimmel was stopped from ordering a routine training exercise that would have uncovered the location of the oncoming Japanese fleet at the last possible moment.


Before coming over here, I picked up a copy of National Geographic that had just come in the mail, and it fell open to a page containing an ad for the upcoming movie, Pearl Harbor. The ad – and I’ll hold it up for you here – illustrates perfectly the great Myth of Pearl Harbor, and, indeed, the Great Myth that energizes the War Party in all eras, and that is the image of the malevolent Enemy – capital ‘E’ – swooping down from the sky like a flying phalanx of killer hawks. They hover over a green lawn filled with children innocently gamboling about below. The kids stop their game, and look up – and we are frozen in the moment before their inevitable demise. The millions who will see this movie – will they ever realize that it was Roosevelt who signed the death warrant of the 2,403 men, women, and children who were killed that day? I can guarantee that it will never happen.


So here is, as far as I am concerned, the top, the number one censored story of the century – and yet we find that this has gone unnoticed even by those, such as the sponsors of this conference, whose task it is to search out and publicize important stories that have been spiked. Yet, somehow, Cuba’s fondness for organic farming beat out the true story of how we got into World War II. So, it seems, the millions who see the movie Pearl Harbor – that pack of lies – will never be exposed to the truth. And why not? Because World War II was the “good” war, just as the Kosovo war was deemed a “humanitarian” war: it was supposed to have been a war against “racism,” against “fascism,” against political incorrectness of all kinds. Both Kosovo, and World War II, were wars waged by liberals and their leftist collaborators – which is why they both get a free pass, in spite of the facts.

Author: Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo passed away on June 27, 2019. He was the co-founder and editorial director of Antiwar.com, and was a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He was a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and wrote a monthly column for Chronicles. He was the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].