FDL Book Salon Welcomes Matt Farwell, discussion about Michael Hastings and The Last Magazine

By: Saturday November 15, 2014 1:59 pm

EDITORS NOTE: This Book Salon will be rescheduled. Apologies for the interruption.

Michael Hastings’ The Last Magazine, is a scathing satire and indictment of the way the New York / DC big media world works. When I first read it, in an all-nighter months after his death, it was an amazing surprise: he was gone but his voice was still out there, and for a good 80,000 words completely new and fresh. Anyone halfway familiar with the New York / DC news and media apparatus will recognize the characters behind the characters. Hopefully the way they’re portrayed is as disturbing to you as it was to me—as essentially out-of-touch, solipsistic, preening weenies, who for some reason we keep listening to on TV & Radio and reading in print.

 

Suicide of Prominent Iraq, Afghanistan Vet Highlights “Sham” Pentagon Statistics

By: Friday April 15, 2011 6:55 am

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this whole situation is that the Obama administration launched its effort to support military families this week. Sadly, however, the program being launched is being used as a vehicle to rehabilitate the image of war criminal Stanley McChrystal, against the wishes of Pat Tillman’s family, who suffered greatly from McChrystal’s role in covering up the friendly fire aspect of Tillman’s death. Furthermore, the program is being administered by the Center for a New American Security, which is funded by military contractors and is involved in a campaign to sell the idea of extending the Iraq war. At a time when it should be stepping up real services for both active military personnel and for veterans, the Obama administration is playing the worst sort of cynical politics with military families. There are no words to describe the evil of this situation.

Mary Tillman: McChrystal appointment “a slap in the face”

By: Thursday April 14, 2011 4:42 pm

Stanley McChrystal, cashiered by the President for his staff’s unfortunate remarks about the chain of command in Rolling Stone magazine ten months ago, was appointed to lead the new White House initiative designed to assist military families. Mary Tillman, who knows something about Stanley McChrystal’s treatment of military families, does not think he is fit to serve in this role.

Obama Appoints Tarnished McChrystal to Support Military Families, Sell Iraq War Extension

By: Monday April 11, 2011 7:10 am

Late last month, I jokingly suggested that Barack Obama could emulate his “hero” Ronald Reagan by doing a progressive version of Reagan’s signature move of making appointments that are the exact opposite of the goals of the position by nominating Dennis Kucinich as Secretary of Defense and Daniel Ellsberg to head the CIA. Sadly, Obama seems to have taken a garbled version of this suggestion, as word came Sunday that Obama is creating “a high-profile initiative in support of military families” and has put war criminal and Pat Tillman cover-up leader Stanley McChrystal in charge of this operation. This is a truly Reaganesque appointment, as it is hard to imagine a military figure who has done more to harm families around the world, and now he is leading the charge to put a happy face on the devastation ten years of war has wreaked on the very small number of US families who have borne the brunt of the death and other sacrifices by our all-volunteer force.

Bush-Era Opinion Asserts Near-Constant War Justifies Broad Surveillance Powers

By: Tuesday March 22, 2011 7:45 am

They tortured the detainees to get claims of plots against the US. And then–even though the detainees insisted they had stopped planning against the US–they used intelligence about canceled or absurd plots to write scary memos so they could continue to use their illegal wiretap program.

Psy-Ops on Senators Just Another Example of Military Illegally Manipulating Information

By: Thursday February 24, 2011 7:45 am

Building on the success of his “The Runaway General” article that led to President Obama firing Stanley McChrystal, Michael Hastings returns to the pages of Rolling Stone with “Another Runaway General“, where he exposes information operations, or Psy-Ops, on dignitaries including US Senators as they visited Afghanistan on “fact-finding” trips. What should not be missed when contemplating the illegal and immoral aspects of this information operation directed against the citizens of the country and high level government officials is that it is just one more instance in an ongoing pattern of information manipulation and outright deception on the part of the military in recent years. A few recent examples include the use of retired generals posing as independent military analysts to spout information coordinated by the Pentagon, intentional deception to cover up Special Operations troops digging bullets out of the bodies of pregnant women they killed in a night raid and the more recent claim by General Petraeus that parents intentionally burned their children in order to exaggerate injuries received in a US attack, to name just a few.

Petraeus Soon Out as Leader of Afghan Campaign

By: Tuesday February 15, 2011 3:50 pm

The London Times is reporting (behind the greed wall) that General David Patreus’s days as leader of coalition forces in Afghanistan are numbered.

Afghanistan: No Withdrawal, No Reconciliation

By: Thursday November 18, 2010 6:40 pm

Obama said it wouldn’t be easy, and it wasn’t – a lot of American and Afghan blood was spilled in order to “break the momentum” and get a seat at the table. And it certainly wasn’t quick, these talks have been in the works for well over a year now. So, how did it go?

Mullah Omar, leader of the Taliban, isn’t having any of it…Damn, what’s the problem?

Afghanistan, Year Ten

By: Friday October 8, 2010 5:20 pm

It’s startling to be reminded how long ago 9/11 was because our public figures keep talking about the Afghanistan War like it started last year. General Petraeus let us know back in February in a Meet the Press interview that we were just then getting “the inputs about right,” and were now “starting to see some of the outputs.” Nine years into this war, and Petraeus lets us know they’re just getting warmed up. Good God.

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