"... the worst massacre in US history..."
"Right you are Wolf, the worst massacre in US history..."
"Yes we can now report this as the worst shooting in US history..."
"... the deadliest shooting spree in US history..."
"... the worst massacre in US history..."
Tim Russert "The worst massacre of this kind in the history of our country."
|One could list dozens more US TV anchors and reporters saying the same thing, over and over, on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, etc., or on any number of American newspapers. And why not? They're all made with the same cookie cutter, come from the same class, are picked because they pretty well think alike, in like circumstances.
And in so many instances, Canadian journalists parrot the American blather, and copy their blogs, more and more; as evidenced here. Canadians can at least be forgiven, on the basis of their ignorance of US domestic history. But ignorance, one would suppose, would cause an intelligent reporter to think twice, or more, before passing on and pompositing a wild US generalization. Sadly, not so. It didn't stop Canadian journalists, even the so-called US experts - like Alan Freeman, the Globe's Washington expert - from repeating the canard day after day after day, in follow-up articles.
Editorial - "Worst gun rampage in US history."
Tim Harper - "Deadliest shooting rampage in US history."
Jen Gerson - "Worst mass shooting in US history."
Out of hundreds of American and Canadian news reports only one (1) news organization reported the shooting intelligently and as accurately as it was able to: the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which categorized the event tentatively as:
"Reputed to be the largest mass shooting in US history," which indeed it actually was not, however much the US journalists reputed it to be so. Clearly, someone at the CBC was doing some thinking. But the CBC was alone in intelligent headline making.
Toronto Globe & Mail
Editorial - "Worst mass shooting in US history."
Alan Freeman - "North America's worst ever shooting."
Alan Freeman - "United States' worst mass shooting rampage."
Alan Freeman - "Worst US mass shooting."
Alan Freeman - "Bloodiest mass shooting in US history."
|Why this unanimity among scribes? Because journalists the world over have a reputation that they love to talk to each other, as sources, far above any other, preferably at bars which allow smoking and other beastly behaviour. So they just re-chew the same stuff, quoting, or not, each other's rehashes. It has deadly consequences for the quality of news they produce above. (But then hey, reporting is not their primary job anyway.) As The Toronto Star's Ramblin Rosie di Manno of Kandahar famously penned, recently, in one of her columns : "I don't know what to think until I read (gal pal) Chantal Hébert." Perfectly understandable, in her case, that she doesn't want to get caught pulling a boner, so to speak, since, as a longtime former jock (sports) reporter, she needs all the help she can get in understanding current affairs, i.e. those not involving hockey players and high society babes.
Her reference is to fellow Toronto Star columnist, and a CBC TV's political expert, Chantal Hébert, who, on air (Dec. 1, 2006) was asked to predict the eventual winner of the Liberal Leadership campaign. Her two sidekick experts (Andrew Coyne & Rex Murphy) had just confessed to picking Bob Rae, which put her in an awkward position - you know to be part of the boys - then self-consciously, opted, instead, to pick Michael Ignatieff - just to be contrarian she said, though she had a choice of seven altogether. Ignatieff, of course was another no-brainer, since he was the media's front runner all along. Both, in fact, proved to be losing choices for all three of these so-called full-time political pundits, all based on picking winners by talking to each other and their elite "contact" spin weavers. But, to be fair, Chantal, unlike the others, was dogmatic on one point: Stéphane Dion, she was adamant, would never win - which he later did - because, she pomposited loudly, he was extremely unpopular in Quebec, just days before polls showed that he was the most popular choice among leadership candidates among Quebeckers... Columnists on all sides afterwards hooted about the incompetent calls, especially by Hébert on all fronts; but no one named her. It's all about loyalty to your fellow scribes. They fear on being outed when they're caught pulling a boner of similar proportions... So Rosie, find a better expert... Remember, a reporter is only as good as his/her sources, and your columns betray this is definitely your weak side...
The Medal of Dis-Honor
The US Army's General Staff was the breeding ground for military officers charged with exterminating the Indian resistance to white settlers who were taking over their lands by force and often killing them.
After Wounded Knee the US Army was forced to launch an investigation into what many people, who had been there, loudly denounced as a wanton massacre of innocent and unarmed women, children, and men.
The US Army report finally absolved all of its soldiers of any wrongdoing and stated baldly that there was no evidence of any kind of massacre.
And to prove its point, the United States Army issued men of the Seventh Cavalry at Wounded Knee (out of some 500 who were there), an absolutely astonishing 20 Medals of Honour - the US's highest military honour, in parallel to Britain's Victoria Cross - to men who had perpetrated the mass killings of mostly women and children.
It is the largest number of Medals of Honour ever awarded for a single battle in the history of the United States. And for genocide no less! (To compare: the most Victoria Crosses ever issued for one engagement was 13, for Rorke's Drift, South Africa in 1979, when a handful of British soldiers fought off repeated attacks from thousands of angry Zulu warriors.)
When one remembers that during World War II, some 64,000 South Dakotans fought for four years, and only received 3 (three) Medals of Honour, the Wounded Knee awards show the US Army had a guilt complex of massive proportions to wallpaper over with medals.
Even General Miles, the commanding officer of the Army's Missouri Region wrote, "I have never heard of a more brutal, cold-blooded massacre than that at Wounded Knee" (Below, cleaning up after Medals of Honor work, five days after the massacre.)
What could show more clearly that the Medals of Honour, awarded by the Army at Wounded Knee, did not come from acts of heroism, but from the heart - the heart of racism USA, the United States General Staff and its troops.
In our day, descendants of the Miniconjou Sioux, and their many supporters, have launched a petition to have those desecrated massacre "Medals of Dis-Honour" struck from the records.
But the ruling clique of white men that has run America since time immemorial has refused to embrace their campaign, even to partially and symbolically right a wrong done to America's aboriginal community in a butchery every bit as heinous as that of Lidice by the Nazis in World War II.
But racism, in the US of A, is as popular today as it has ever been, as reflected in how long-lived is a malignancy in the corps d'esprit of the US Army, which initially desecrated the nation's highest honour by using it repeatedly to reward mass genocide against aboriginal people, and still, a century later, sustains the legitimacy of their acts "For Valor." The cancer of 1890 is alive and well in 2007.
The US Army is still back in the stone age. (In fact the issue of the legitimacy of all US Medals of Honor was reviewed decades after Wounded Knee and hundreds of original awards were delisted for failing to meet the required standard for the supreme honour of the nation's top award "For Valor." But the massacre Medals of Dis-honor, granted for killing Indian women and children, were left on the books. Racism is extremely hard to kill off. A recent poll of US servicemen in Iraq discovered that some 66% of US Marines would not turn in, or snitch on, a comrade they saw committing a human rights abuse against (nonwhite) civilians or noncombatants..)
The Army's racist corps d'esprit is alive in Iraq where noncoms act out by raping, and killing women, and abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib, not because they are evil girls and boys, but because they want to please their superior officers and the vibes - not to mention orders - they give off (which were on open display on the scores of press conferences US generals gave in Iraq.)
The US Army's General Corps' penchant for lying, was shown up again by Jessica Lynch's testimony before a Congressional committee, when, she charged the Army invented, out of thin air, a story of her fighting off the enclosing Iraqis with weapon blazing. She protested that she did no such thing and never fired her gun at all. Her cringing and screaming fit in bed, shown in recent videos, as gunshots go off outside the hospital, as Americans are rescuing her, shows she's basically one scared little girl at best. No macho American hero like the US Army claimed. Before US congressmen she said she was angry that the Army deliberately lied to the press and to the world.
The family of American NFL football hero, Pat Tillman, also accused the US Army brass of many levels of lying and conspiracy in hiding the true circumstances of his death. Pat had been killed by friendly fire. Instead, the US Army told his associates to lie about the manner of his death, especially to the family, awarded Pat a posthumous Silver Star, the US's second highest award for bravery, and had someone fabricate a totally false citation describing in vivid prose the heroic way that Pat had supposedly died, heroically defending his comrades, instead of being shot by them.
And now, true to form in the US General Staff, no one can find: the officers who authorized the medal, the officers who wrote the fabricated citation - if only to give him a Pulitzer Prize for fiction writing - and the officers who ordered and orchestrated the cover-up. They are all, among the missing.
No one gets punished for this, no one gets fired for this; so some 120 years after Wounded Knee, lying, and distorting the truth remain the bedrock on which the US Army operates. And racism.
Do not expect, ever, to see the Medal of Dis-Honour campaign to succeed, or CNN to get aboriginal anchors or give Americans a truly balanced account of atrocities on a horrific event.
For example, those who thought Senator John McCain of Arizona - from the heartland of Apache country, and Cochise and Geronimo - was a decent guy, had better think again. Read the spin he put on genocide, in his reply sloughing off why he would not join the Rescinding the Medal of Honour campaign for mass murder of women and children. Standards for giving medals, he says, were different then, and we should let bygones be bygones. I see your point John - Hitler's actions shouldn't be demonized either, nor Nazis brought to justice in our day, because standards have changed...
McCain justifies letting the old soldiers keep their Medals of Dis-Honour because some 25 soldiers died in the shooting, which he characterizes as a "fierce fight." BS John! Some soldiers where no doubt killed by warriors, who seeing the massacre of women and children begin, grabbed their few remaining hunting rifles to protect their families.
But white witnesses say more than a few soldiers were killed by friendly fire, because the regiment had formed a square around the camp and so, while shooting wildly at the Indians in the middle, had inadvertently shot fellow soldiers on the opposite side. So handing out US medals for bravery for victims of friendly fire is an honoured US Army tradition.
||Institutional Racism USA
The news coverage of the shooting of some 32 college students, by a deranged gunman at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, on Apr. 16, 2007, gives those Canadians who keep forgetting it, just another reminder of just how entrenched institutional racism is, in the United States, and how it thrives among American journalists who are supposed to be at the top of their game.
It's another reminder that they are, of course, reading off the page scripted by their employers who select the "news" for them.
They were all, totally, absolutely wrong, of course.
So much for "The most trusted name in News"
They should all, if they wanted to be historically accurate, at a minimum have been calling it the "worst shooting massacre of white people in US history..." if it was... (but we seriously doubt even that). Some total klutz made this up and the media ran with this idiocy as if it had the cachet of a press release from George Bush...
But then over at CNN, it has long been clear that only white men of Judao-Christian background count...
(Amazing as it may seem to non-Americans, CNN, for a long time, maintained a huge website addition which carried a photo and biography to honour every single Israeli who lost his/her life in the conflict with the Arabs over Palestine. When Palestinians demanded equal treatment, by the World News Leader, CNN refused absolutely to give parallel exposure to the far more Palestinian Muslim dead - a huge proportion being women and children - killed by the Israel Defence Forces.) Nonwhites and non-Judao-Christians don't fare well on CNN. Which brings us to...
What about Wounded Knee?
Why did they all - every single CNN anchor and reporter, as well as copycat copywriters from all other US TV networks and newspapers - chose to ignore an event involving a far, far worse shooting spree but involving white men as perpetrators? The bare facts any educated journalist should have know were these:
- 500 heavily armed regular US Army soldiers, machine gunned a group of over 400 unarmed Indian people that they had rounded up in their tent camp at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in December, 1890 - only nine years before the Boer War
- the US Army deliberately massacred some 150 unarmed and defenceless, women and children, and some 90 men, of Chief Bigfoot's Miniconjou Sioux (Above, Chief Bigfoot, who was sick and dying before the shooting, frozen stiff after several days in the snow.)
- the Indians, far from resisting or showing hostility - the vast majority were women and children, who were freezing to death in the cold of December - had, a day earlier, turned themselves, and most of their weapons, over to the care of the US Army so they could be taken to a resettlement area
- some 150 other Sioux - many were women and children - managed to escape the carnage into the freezing winter wilderness, with only the clothes on their back, and many with wounds. These were booked as "missing," when in fact virtually all them them froze or starved to death, or died of their wounds, bringing the massacre total to some 350 Sioux children, women, and men
- charged with rounding up this small band of Miniconjou Sioux had been the US Army's Seventh Cavalry, which harboured seething racist resentment against Indians they considered as allies to those who had wiped out their former commanding officer, General Custer and his column, when they attacked a Sioux village in June, 1876. The men of the 7th were now (widely reported) as looking for any excuse to start a killing spree in revenge (Above and below, the medicine man, posed with a propaganda rifle before being photographed to justify the massacre. Shades of Pat Tillman's Silver Star set-up - read on...)
- the troopers found the excuse for murder when engaging in a nasty tug-of-war with a deaf Indian who feared he would starve if his hunting rifle, his primary tool for shooting game, was taken from him. In the tussle, between a group of soldiers and this lone Indian, the rifle went off. That was enough of a spark to serve as an excuse and the US Army opened up with rifles and their four Hotchkiss machine guns, on the assembled Indian women, children and men watching in their tent camp
- the massacre only ended when every Indian within eyesight was exterminated; in the end some 350 Indian people perished at the hands of the US Army's vaunted Seventh Cavalry. Above, Medal of Honor winners souveniring among the dead.
Respected US historian, Dr. Sally Wagner, whose forefathers lived in the area during the massacre, has assembled the voices from the era, that shows the grim reality of genocide on the frontier, orchestrated by a mind-set that still survives on many levels of US society today.
Amid all the hyperbole at CNN over the recent shooting, there was not a single qualifier or dissenting voice offering an amending caveat to the over-reaching ludicracy that the shooting of 32 white victims was the worst mass shooting spree in US history; it was repeated a hundred times by a dozen of CNN's finest highest paid reporters over the next several days.
But then too many people tend to forget that "The most trusted name in news" is all about show business, and information manipulation, on behalf of the special interests that own CNN.
Having far more in common with the folks in Hollywood, CNN anchors have million dollar salaries that is commensurate with their acting talents at selling the hoi polloi a bill of goods.
Only in America: We are reminded of the superb performance by CNN reporter Randi Kaye holding up a hangman's noose on a dummy to explain graphically the exact gagging sequence, eyeballs popping etc., that would take place when Saddam Hussein would be strangled with the rope. She certainly got the message across that it was going to be awful for Hussein, but great for American viewers most of whom cherish executions, hangings, lynchings, and shootings of deserving men, women, and children, as part of their frontier heritage.
Massacre at Wounded Knee
On Dec. 29, 1890, a day that will live in infamy in the history of the world, members of the late General Custer's Seventh Cavalry - you can buy more 7th Cav memorabilia of hats and bugles, etc. that commemorates this group than any other US military unit - simply butchered - there is no other word for it - unarmed Indians mostly children, women, as well as men.
The historical record is unequivocal, from the testimony of officers, men, and doctors, who were there, that it was nothing, if not a deliberate massacre, to exterminate every last Indian they could find that day.
The latter day men of Custer's unit that had been annihilated at the Little Big Horn in June, 1876, were getting revenge upon some of the relatives of the Sioux who had annihilated his force.
As reported in the Nebraska State Journal, some weeks before the Wounded Knee massacre, trouble was brewing: "The Seventh Cavalry was itching for a fight. These are the same Indians who mercilessly shot down Custer and 300 of the Seventh Cavalry, and it is safe to say the Sioux will receive no quarter should an opportunity occur to wreak out vengeance for the blood taken at the Battle of the Little Big Horn."
Bigfoot's band had fled their reserve, in panic, after Sitting Bull - he had defeated Custer fourteen years before - was deliberately murdered there, in a plot hatched by US Army officers who encouraged Indian police to murder the chief "while trying to escape.". (This is a repeating theme in western US history. In 1863 army officers at Fort Mclane in New Mexico, used the same ruse to kill the eminent Apache Chief Mangas Coloradas, who had come in under a "flag of truce" to talk peace. Brigadier General West - later a US senator from Louisiana - had him seized, tortured, shot, and killed, and then had his head hacked off, boiled, and the skull sent to the Smithsonian Institution, which proudly kept the trophy until 1990...)
Bigfoot's fleeing band was also flying a flag of truce when it was intercepted by an Army unit which confiscated most of their rifles, and guided them to a camp site near the soldier's own tents, to spend the night.
The soldiers reportedly started a night of drinking to celebrate having stopped the band from fleeing. The next day these rowdy soldiers still, apparently, under the influence, were going around the tents, lifting the skirts of the women, "looking,' as they claimed, "for rifles," and in other ways victimizing and upsetting the defenceless Indians.
The shooting stopped only when every living Indian child, woman, and man that they could see, running, hiding, or cowering in fear, was hunted down and exterminated.
As one witness said, "They are all good Indians now."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
This children's classic was written by L. Frank Baum in 1900. Ten years earlier the mild-mannered author had been the editor of the Aberdeen South Dakota Pioneer, and had penned this editorial:
"The Pioneer has before declared that our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries, we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth.”
At the same time - and only a few years before he was to become President of the United States - Teddy Roosevelt, that western adventurer type, took exception to the popular phrase "The only good Indian is a dead Indian," as over the top, saying "Well, nine out of ten, anyway."
Genocide, against nonwhite peoples, is as American as apple pie. Wounded Knee was only the culmination of a policy of extermination of Indian people that was part of the bedrock of the founding of America. Wipe out the Indians to make way for the white man. And the US Government - by commission and omission - was complicit in it all, as General Miles' own investigation noted.
As an arm of government, the US Army was guilty of breeding the climate of racism that encouraged its officers to murder aboriginal peoples it saw as savages, non-Christians, and sub-human, in other words, un-American...
Below, US Army Field of Shame
Since you asked...
Why, you ask, would CNN do this?
Ignorance - Many people have honestly never heard of Wounded Knee. US journalists are not the brightest lights in the world (See Dumb and Dumber, below) spending most of their time talking to each other about each other, and the doings of US politicians and celebrities. To them the nonwhite world (at home and abroad) is made up of only two groups: terrorists and un-Americans. Or as Lou Dobbs rants nightly on CNN: "radical Islamist terrorists" and "illegal aliens."
Patriotism - Many Americans and journalists believe that publicizing dirty laundry that impugns the sanctity of US symbols, like the Army, is treason. Keeping a country's dirty little secrets quiet is important for the nation as it is to hide a father's pedophilia to ensure a family's survival.
Racism - An awful lot of Americans are racist, including people at the top in entertainment, politics, law, and especially in media and journalism because these control the opinions of people and can direct political power. To them human rights violations only matter if it happens to their group. And aboriginal Americans have never been in positions of power in America, or at CNN, at all in anything like the numbers of some other American minority groups, who get enormous publicity for their causes as a result; aboriginals do not. Do not expect to see aboriginal anchors, or reporters, at CNN any time soon or discussions of their racist victimization by the US Army. Aboriginals are still wildly regarded, today, in the US, as persona non grata. And Wounded Knee an unimportant - and forgettable - part of US heritage.
Cronyism or Toadyism - CNN does not dare to burn its bridges to privileged access to the US military and lose a major source of its information and interview scoops. In an age when the war in Iraq has dominated events in the US in the past two decades, the US forces are the primary source for news. So much so that CNN correspondents are permanently attached to the US military.
Jamie Mcintyre at the Pentagon makes his entire living - as does Barbara Starr - year in and year out, by funneling the Pentagon's opinions and publicity handouts to CNN's pipeline to the world. Neither she nor Jamie would dare to say things seen as offensive by the US General Staff or the military.
(Recently Macintyre openly betrayed his upset, when, in a live interview with an angry and agitated Lou Dobbs, he was asked "What's going on over there (at the Pentagon) with the officers doing this kind of stuff?" (In Iraq, no less than a US Army Colonel had given prisoners unmonitored cell phones and had a sexual relationship with a prisoner's daughter etc.) Mcintyre was caught completely off guard by Lou's attack. Jamie's face twitched noticeably, he pursed his lips, a wave of panic crossed his face. He was being boxed in between a rock and a hard place, it was easy to see. He mumbled something idiotic to get him off the hook - remember he was live! Dobbs, a pit bull of late on some issues, demanded something more than piffle from the Pentagon's man at CNN. Mcintyre stiffened, a look of panic crossed his face, followed by waves of visible anger. He mumbled on with nothing more illuminating than before. Dobbs quit in frustration. No doubt, behind the scenes, Mcintyre told his bosses to restrain Dobbs in future lest they undermine Pentagon access. The Pentagon, we hear, will give Mcintyre the Medal of Honor for his performance under extreme battlefield conditions.)
So CNN bringing up Wounded Knee would only resurrect the enormous stain on the Army's past and needlessly upset the brass at the Pentagon - if indeed CNN reporters were even aware of the massacre since their main talent is mainly becoming a conduit for official US government handouts rather than any kind of thinking investigative journalism. They even call themselves CNN Pipeline...
No need to embarrass the US Army which prefers to publicize its past as glorious, not draw attention to other major genocidal US Army massacres of non-white, non-Christians innocents like at:
- My Lai, in Vietnam, in 1968, when a US Army officer orchestrated the massacre of some 350 (nonwhite) women and children by 26 US soldiers. Out of 26 only the officer was convicted and spent a total of 2 days in jail for his crime. He complained he was only following orders of his superiors, who said, guess what?
- Haditha, Iraq, in 2005, when a US Army platoon, raped and massacred 24 innocent Iraqi civilians, some as young as two years old.
Clearly CNN producers - were they smart enough to have heard of Wounded Knee? - if they did, scotched the whole idea of drawing parallels in US history because, certainly, neither the US Army, nor the White House, would like it and cut off CNN access in many possible ways. Call it a journalist's patriotic duty to cover up the genocidal past of the US Army to prevent undermining the morale of the US killing spree in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And at the top, of an American journalist's wish list of Honours, is to have George Bush, the President of the United States of America, lean forward at a large press conference and say, "Jamie, what would you like to ask today?"
So the "most trusted name in News" stuck to its story of an Asian man committing the "worst massacre in US history!" See it wasn't even an American... who never would, after all, do such a thing...
And that's the behind the scenes look at how Americans get the news from CNN, "the most trusted name in News."