Confronting America’s Weaponization of Information

by William Skink

There was an interesting hearing last month in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Ed Royce (R-Calif.) who had this to say about Putin in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed:

“Vladimir Putin has a secret army. It’s an army of thousands of ‘trolls,’ TV anchors and others who work day and night spreading anti-American propaganda on the Internet, airwaves and newspapers throughout Russia and the world. Mr. Putin uses these misinformation warriors to destabilize his neighbors and control parts of Ukraine. This force may be more dangerous than any military, because no artillery can stop their lies from spreading and undermining U.S. security interests in Europe.”

The hearing was titled “Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information” which I interpret to imply …because our weaponized information isn’t working in Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, etc.. Perhaps the ease in which Americans are fed bullshit and believe it to be an accurate representation of what constitutes “news” has made the professional bullshitters a bit lazy in the products they create for public consumption. But never mind us because THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!!!!

The Committee heard from three witnesses: Elizabeth Wahl, former anchor for the news agency Russia Today (RT) who gained her moment of fame by resigning on camera in March 2014; Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute (a right-wing UK think-tank); and Helle C. Dale, Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy at The Heritage Foundation, a right-wing U.S. think-tank. [4] The Foreign Affairs Committee website contains video clips of the first two witnesses – well worth watching if you enjoy Orwellian rhetoric passionately delivered.

In her formal (printed) submission, Ms. Wahl referred to the Internet’s “population of paranoid skeptics” and wrote: “The paranoia extends to believing that Western media is not only complicit, but instrumental in ensuring Western dominance.”

Helle C. Dale warned of “a new kind of propaganda, aimed at sowing doubt about anything having to do with the U.S. and the West, and in a number of countries, unsophisticated audiences are eating it up.”

Peter Pomerantsev claimed that Russia’s goal is “to trash the information space with so much disinformation so that a conversation based on actual facts would become impossible.” He added, “Throughout Europe conspiracy theories are on the rise and in the US trust in the media has declined. The Kremlin may not always have initiated these phenomena, but it is fanning them…Democracies are singularly ill equipped to deal with this type of warfare. For all of its military might, NATO cannot fight an information war. The openness of democracies, the very quality that is meant to make them more competitive than authoritarian models, becomes a vulnerability.”

Is Western media instrumental in ensuring Western dominance? As a paranoid skeptic how can I say this delicately? Fuck yeah Western media has been instrumental in ensuring Western dominance. But after the invasion and occupation of Iraq based on lies peddled by the NYT and other publications, it might be slightly more accurate to say Western media has ensured Western dominance won’t be able to stop the new, multi-polar world from emerging.

Unless we go full berserker Dr. Strangelove, which is entirely possible.

The historical context of Saigon falling on April 30th, 1975 adds another layer to the present insanity unfolding. It’s been forty years since the senseless mayhem in Vietnam ended. Thinking back on that time period can be painful for lots of people. Ray McGovern revisits those tumultuous times with considerable pain because he was in the unique position of potentially leaking information that would have shown, early on, the resistance US troops were up against numbered twice as much as what the Army was saying.

Here is a lengthly excerpt detailing McGovern’s interaction with a fellow CIA analyst:

Many of my Junior Officer Trainee Program colleagues at CIA came to Washington in the early Sixties inspired by President John Kennedy’s Inaugural speech in which he asked us to ask ourselves what we might do for our country. (Sounds corny nowadays, I suppose; I guess I’ll just have to ask you to take it on faith. It may not have been Camelot exactly, but the spirit and ambience were fresh — and good.)

Among those who found Kennedy’s summons compelling was Sam Adams, a young former naval officer out of Harvard College. After the Navy, Sam tried Harvard Law School, but found it boring. Instead, he decided to go to Washington, join the CIA as an officer trainee, and do something more adventurous. He got more than his share of adventure.

Sam was one of the brightest and most dedicated among us. Quite early in his career, he acquired a very lively and important account — that of assessing Vietnamese Communist strength early in the war. He took to the task with uncommon resourcefulness and quickly proved himself the consummate analyst.

Relying largely on captured documents, buttressed by reporting from all manner of other sources, Adams concluded in 1967 that there were twice as many Communists (about 600,000) under arms in South Vietnam as the U.S. military there would admit.

Dissembling in Saigon

Visiting Saigon during 1967, Adams learned from Army analysts that their commanding general, William Westmoreland, had placed an artificial cap on the official Army count rather than risk questions regarding “progress” in the war (sound familiar?).

It was a clash of cultures; with Army intelligence analysts saluting generals following politically dictated orders, and Sam Adams aghast at the dishonesty — consequential dishonesty. From time to time I would have lunch with Sam and learn of the formidable opposition he encountered in trying to get out the truth.

Commiserating with Sam over lunch one day in late August 1967, I asked what could possibly be Gen. Westmoreland’s incentive to make the enemy strength appear to be half what it actually was. Sam gave me the answer he had from the horse’s mouth in Saigon.

Adams told me that in a cable dated Aug. 20, 1967, Westmoreland’s deputy, Gen. Creighton Abrams, set forth the rationale for the deception. Abrams wrote that the new, higher numbers (reflecting Sam’s count, which was supported by all intelligence agencies except Army intelligence, which reflected the “command position”) “were in sharp contrast to the current overall strength figure of about 299,000 given to the press.”

Abrams emphasized, “We have been projecting an image of success over recent months” and cautioned that if the higher figures became public, “all available caveats and explanations will not prevent the press from drawing an erroneous and gloomy conclusion.”

No further proof was needed that the most senior U.S. Army commanders were lying, so that they could continue to feign “progress” in the war. Equally unfortunate, the crassness and callousness of Abrams’s cable notwithstanding, it had become increasingly clear that rather than stand up for Sam, his superiors would probably acquiesce in the Army’s bogus figures. Sadly, that’s what they did.

When the media finally started reporting—and showing Americans images on their televisions—of what was really happening in Vietnam, it got more difficult to send off young Americans to kill and die. The response? Blame the media for losing the war in Vietnam.

Now, 40 years later, the only lesson learned appears to be better control of the message. Yet once again it’s getting more difficult to sell Americans more wars. Even with a more articulate Democrat as President, and the repackaging of wars as “humanitarian interventions”, it’s just not going to fly with a populace that has the lived experiences of definitely NOT recovering from the Wall Street Casino blowing up 7 years ago.

Also, this pie chart:

Over half the pie for the military is insane. And what has it gotten us? New havens in Iraq, Syria and Libya for jihadists, radicalized survivors of drone strikes in places like Pakistan and Yemen, and an integration of Russia and China that will shape the 21st century.

Good job, America.


  1. steve kelly

    Empire is hiding in plain sight. Those who serve the system have many more problems to work out than just bad eyesight.

    “The almost constant discourse in US politics around individuals, personalities and leaders is nauseating. Unfortunately, many liberals are looking for the next JFK or FDR. Indeed, the mythologies surrounding liberal leaders are akin to the mythologies surrounding conservative heroes such as Ronald Reagan or Barry Goldwater. Regardless of their official political orientations, and minor policy differences, these political leaders agreed on one very basic maxim: the US Empire will not be challenged. Hence, Global Capitalism will remain unchallenged in any serious manner.

    Today, same is true, whether we’re talking about Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush, any serious discussion of the US Empire is still off the table, and will remain so as long as the US doesn’t have an antiwar movement capable of articulating, and organizing around, these basic truths.” – Vincent Emanuele http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41750.htm

  2. JC gave some really informative historical background to Ukraine yesterday on my blog, which I shamelessly link here. http://pieceofmindful.com/2015/05/04/recommended-reading/
    JC does big picture stuff.

    Ray McGovern sounds good and talks the talk, but I do not trust “ex” or “retired” CIA agents. They are forced to sign a monstrous secrecy agreement that has real teeth – that is, remedies for breach including loss of benefits, jail, and since CIA is essentially our Murder, Inc., that too. Therefore it is safe to say that everything he writes has been cleared. I don’t know that, of course, but operate on that assumption and treat him with great caution.

    And Chomsky/Herman did a nice job on the supposed awakening of the media over Vietnam in their 1988 book Manufacturing Consent. The American media was essentially allowed to do some real reporting in Vietnam once a split among the elites developed after Tet, wherein a number of our oligarchs felt that the war was becoming too costly to us. So the media temporarily doing its job only reflected a fractured oligarchy.

    • Correct, you have no shame.

  3. Let’s look at the big picture, shall we?

    http://www.weddingmu.info/read/federal-budget-pie-chart-2014

    • That’s a misleading graph – what the hell, we’ve covered this with you for at least 50 times, so let’s do 51.

      Social Security is entirely self-funded, and does not belong on the graph. It should be shown separately. The inclusion of Social Security payments (and taxes) in the budget (the “Unified” budget”) goes all the way back to LBJ, who needed a way to hide the cost of the Vietnam War.

      Medicare is only partially a budget item, as it too is to a large degree a self-duded and separate program. But not entirely, of course.

      Removal of those items leaves you with a budget that is primarily military spending. And that would be the true picture.

      OK then. Next time we go through this, since you didn’t read this anyway, will be the 52nd time.

      • JC

        I think that some people have a knee-jerk reaction to the word “entitlements” and its connotations in the federal budget. It is the “socialist” part of “social security” and medicare that gets to them.

        They want all entitlements excised from the budget and left in the pockets of workers. A worthy discussion to have, but the real question it begs is: do we want to live in the 21st century or the 19th century?

    • JC

      Most people understand the difference between discretionary and total spending, Swede. You can attempt to obfuscate the issue if you want, but to what ends? Did you notice that both graphs were from the OMB National Priorities Project? Wanna talk about black budgets not included in either?

  4. JC

    Peter Pomerantsev (from above):

    “Democracies are singularly ill equipped to deal with this type of warfare. For all of its military might, NATO cannot fight an information war. The openness of democracies, the very quality that is meant to make them more competitive than authoritarian models, becomes a vulnerability.”

    So, let me get this straight: if freedom of the press — or freedom of the public to access whatever information or culture it wants — is a liability during an information war, then what are “democratic” governments to do? Well, Obama is waging his own information war. Except in addition to targeting our “enemies” we target our own populace.

    And I didn’t think that the defining quality of a democracy is being “more competitive” — a sidelong allusion to capitalism being the holy grail of democracy. And since when did the openness of a democracy become a vulnerability?

    So it sounds like Pomerantsev is willing to trade the essential ingredients of democracy (its vulnerability???) — freedom and liberty — in order to fight an undemocratic information war against our enemies (both domestic and abroad) to protect “capitalism” and its subservience to american empire.

    I’d call that resorting to fascism to save democracy and make the world safe for western hegemony.

    Empire needs not democracy nor capitalism to survive. It needs a populace that has been propagandized through information warfare; that capitalism is more important than freedom or liberty, and the latter shall be sacrificed to protect the former.

    Pure lunacy!

    • I understand that “democracies are singularly ill equipped to deal with this type of warfare…

      But I wonder and would ask Pomerantsev about fake democracies, like ours. Are they better equipped? Seems so to me.

  5. Simple as this, collectivists. Money in, Money out.

    Actually I’m surprised at your restraint, you pie graph should have been titled non-domestic discretionary spending.

    • I don’t get it! I don’t get it Swede! Don’t you have a cartoon to show us?

      Right wing economics is so complex!

      • If you insist.

        • It’s brilliant! F*****G brilliant! It expresses only one side of a debate, obviously by someone not knowing anything of the other side.

          That’s you, my man! You know only your own mind, and very little of that.

  6. Turner

    Some random thoughts: We Americans, especially if we’re white, have lived more or less comfortably under the protection of our empire for some time now. We’re empire’s beneficiaries, even if it’s only in a trickle-down way.

    As 60s radicals used to say, we live in the belly of the beast.

    As we complain about our empire, maybe we should think about how much we’re willing to give up not to have it. Are we willing to pay three or four times as much for clothes and other products not produced by child labor in some third world country we control? And what happens to the millions of Americans currently employed in the military-industrial-security complex? What kind of useful work can those trained in war, exploitation, and deceit (including propaganda) be taught to do?

    • JC

      “Are we willing to pay three or four times as much for clothes and other products not produced by child labor in some third world country we control?”

      If they are not affordable if produced by american workers, are they worth owning? Or if American workers were not paid more for their work, would they not be able to afford american-produced goods?

      “And what happens to the millions of Americans currently employed in the military-industrial-security complex?”

      They can go the way of the dodo… sort of like the oligarchs have treated skilled American workers

      “What kind of useful work can those trained in war, exploitation, and deceit (including propaganda) be taught to do?”

      Why is that our problem? Who took responsibility for the retraining of union workers displaced by the move to production and services located in third/second world economies?

      Who is taking responsibility for all of the people who went to college thinking that a degree would give them the promise of an upwardly mobile career?

      This sort of talk is the same sort of talk that the HCAN put out there; how can we have single payer when we’d have to disrupt the current system that relies so heavily on an entrenched bureaucracy filled with mid-level administrative paper pushers, and bill payment deniers?

      American capitalism is based on the theory that when an innovative product or system of production comes along, that previous products/systems will be swept aside, and the new product/system will take over. It either is a good theory, or it doesn’t work. In my book, it isn’t working (is failing horribly), thus free market capitalism isn’t a proper method by which to structure global economies.

      The high tech revolution beginning in the 60s promised a new economy where americans would have to work less, make more money, have greater disposable income, and devote more of their time to pleasurable, intellectual, or social pursuits.

      Now that we have high tech, and our manufacturing base has been off shored, what is the economy of the future — beside illegal drugs and prisons?

      I’m sorry Turner, but an economy held together by the exploitation of second/third world workers to provide cheap goods to american consumers, and record profits to build and maintain an oligarchy is an economy I prefer to have as little to do with as I can.

      • If you owned Apple stock like Mark maybe you wouldn’t view the world’s transfer of labor so harshly.

        Then again maybe you should ask your self why the desertion? Over regulation and the highest corp. income tax perhaps?

        By the way our poorest are in the top 1% in the world.

        • OK, Swede, for the 51st time, US corporate tax rates are very low by international standards, if you look at what is paid rather than statutory rates.

          Corporations need only be forced to pay them.

          • BS Mark. If the corporate rate was 10% or lower all those I-pads and I-phones would’ve been made domestically.

            • This is where we part company, you to disappear and reappear to make outrageous claims in a future thread.

              Exaordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You just made an extraordinary claim. Back it up with evidence, buddy, and it better be more than some right-wing pundit agrees with you. Hard numbers, projections, solid underlying theory based on evidence for other economies – hop to it! What I’ve seen of the connection between tax rates and economic activity is that there isn’t much until taxes pass a very high threshold, over 70%.

              Just as with minimum wage and marginal federal rates, taxation of dividends and capital gains, right-wing economics is a make-believe land of true believers who operate without evidence. You’d better get some, and soon, Jack. You got diddly.

              till we meet again.

              • Ensco’s off shore move is saving them $100M/yr.

                http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10000872396390444230504577615232602107536

              • And Ensco is a hundred times smaller than Apple.

              • lizard19

                are you advocating for bringing the third world to American workers so crony capitalists can expand their wealth and control of that federal government you’re so scared of?

              • Anecdotal, Googlehead, anecdotal. You know the meaning of that word, right? You always end up doing something anecdotal. What about GE? Citibank, IBM, Exxon, Apple, Microsoft? Did you find a Google on their effective tax rates?

                Ensco, my ass. Were numbers not available for Jim’s Barber Shop?

              • Don’t read the WSJ then Mark. I’m sure we can correlate the increased desertions with the increases in taxes.

              • Liz, I will answer you below.

              • Swede, you got nuthin’. You got nuthin’. It looks like dodging and darting, but you’re really just reaching in a grab bag for something, anything that looks like an argument.

                It’s pointless.

              • 2.4 million outsourced jobs in the last decade.

                http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/04/19/159555/us-corporations-outsourced-americans/

              • I don’t think you have a clue why.

              • From TP.

                “Another question asked of the executives found that the top reason for companies to outsource was to “reduce operating costs” (46 percent of respondents). Only 12 percent of respondents said their reason for outsourcing was “access to world class capabilities.” This means companies are outsourcing to save themselves money, not make better products.”

              • They reduce operating costs and do what with the money? They pocket it.

                You presume to know that given lower tax rates, which they don’t even pay, that they turn around and hire more employees and pay higher wages. That is underpants thinking. That they self-report to your satisfaction means nothing. I want hard evidence of such behavior, as it is the first I’ve heard of it. You have none.

                As usual, Swede, with you, we are up against having a vast body of knowledge, much of it contained, unfortunately, in books, and your inability and refusal to access it. It’s impossible to argue with you under these circumstances, as you’ll always be in the other room listening to the radio while the real debate is going on. They you report back with some morsel. You are functionally illiterate.

                The only point I want to get across to you, that is worth getting across to you, is that you are swimming in a vast pool of ignorance, and as usual with people of your ilk, you don’t know it and cannot be reached.

                I resign.

              • The mobility of capital allows corporations to jump from place to place in search of lower wages, environmental and human rights standards.

                The inevitable result of mobility capital is lower wages globally, and sweatshops in those places where government is too weak to protect workers.

                And the ultimate end of mobility of capital, which you call the “free market,” is slavery. It is a race to the bottom. But I am of the opinion that sweatshops are worse than slavery, as slave owners had to at least feed and house their slaves.

                TETL.

              • Free vs. Unfree? Kinda like N/S Korea?

                See below.

              • The US, since the end of WWII, has been involved in overthrow of countless democratic governments, and installation of fascist regimes. In South Korea 126,000 Americans were killed and wounded to install a fascist regime there. Your notion of “free” versus “unfree” is American state propaganda.SK was never free.

      • Turner

        JC, I don’t know anything about your life. But I’ll bet your comfort and security depend to a significant extent on the discomfort and insecurity of millions of oppressed people elsewhere in the world.

        I’m not defending empire. Mainly what I’m saying is that critics of empire need to recognize how they’re benefitting personally from that which they’re criticizing.

        And I really wonder what a transformation of our country from capitalist-empirialist power to something more morally defensible would look like. Wouldn’t there be a dangerous period of social dislocation and chaos? How much of these new and not necessarily temporary conditions would people in our country be willing to tolerate?

        • JC

          So, I can only criticize from a cave, wherein I do not benefit from our country’s exploitations? Maybe I should take up cave painting and another generation in another millennia will hear me out?

          I am a minimalist living in a 400 sq. foot log cabin in the middle of nowhere on a reservation. If an EMP were to take out the grid and all electronics and accessories, I’d do just fine.

          As to transformation, there are those of us who are — and have been — building the world we wish to live in as the old crumbles around us. We are not in control of this process, but we accept it as inevitable.

          The society we live lacks the necessities for long term survival. All empires perish. Ours will too.

          Are you ready? I am.

        • Steve W

          It’s not as much about moral defensability as it is about general sustainability and happy existence, Turner.

          Your argument for empire reminds me of Monsantos et al argument that GMOs are necessary to feed the world.

          About half the food produced in the world currently is wasted. So producing more food won’t alleviate hunger. That argument, while seductive, is bogus.

          The bigger and more powerful our Empire becomes, the lower our standard of living. Or haven’t you noticed?

          So your argument is bogus. Empire is draining our prosperity. Just like it always has everywhere it happens. Read some history about empires, Turner. They are counter productive to la pura vida no matter how you slice it.

          • Turner

            My argument for empire? WTF are you talking about?

          • Long before the US was an empire, it was a wealthy country due to a huge land base and immense natural resources. Colonies, generally, are expensive to maintain. But the beneficiaries of colonies are the oligarchies of various states, while the population has to foot the bill.

            In other words, even if it costs $100 a barrel to maintain Iraq as an Exxon holding, it doesn’t matter. Exxon will spend any amount of taxpayer money to protect its holdings.

            This notion that we are the beneficiaries of empire needs to be tested.

            • Turner

              It’s true that the costs of sustaining an empire are huge. But I don’t think we can deny that money spent on military weaponry to sustain the empire, for example, is as stimulative to our economy as any other kind of spending.

              I don’t like this, but I think it’s a fact. I suspect that Keynes would’ve agreed.

              Other kinds of spending, of course, would be equally stimulative and more beneficial. But, you know, the military-industrial complex must have its way. Military installations and arms manufacturers have been located around our country in a way that would make their closings economically disastrous for the areas where they’ve been located.

              I’m more of a peacenik than most people. And while I’m not willing to take a vow of abject poverty, I’d be happy to live a more Spartan life if I thought it would help others in the world.

  7. steve kelly

    Per capita consumption is hardly a measure of living a life with meaning — i.e. one worth living. The psychology of American consumption is something to behold. Why can’t we trade in our nukes, F-35s and chemical weapons for organic food, or modest, affordable housing for our citizens, for example? Or universal health care? The opportunity cost of maintaining a $600 billion war budget is high, very high. Guns or butter.

  8. @ Liz.

    This Adm says they want a stronger middle class. They lie. Middle classes don’t always vote their way they tend to be more self sufficient.

    Reservation living is what they desire, total dependency. They want companies to leave and take jobs with them.

    They prevent XL, railroads, off shore drilling, attic drilling, public lands drilling. They shut down coal fired plants, stall natural gas shipping.

    They’re in the process of gutting the military of experienced officers.

    The non-enforcement of the border has let in millions of under table laborers replacing once well paid jobs in the construction industries.

    None of these above items benefit capitalism as a whole so the CC’s are hoping to be the last one effected.

    Classic Cloward Piven, divide and conquer.

    • lizard19

      you want to talk about dependency, Saudi Arabia tanked oil prices to help its US/Israel partners in the showdown with non-aligned nations, like Russia, Iran and Venezuela.

      the US has greatly increased its dirty fuel production. what has that gotten us, Swede? our dirty fuel dependency is shuttering the Bakken now. the jobs building XL would be very temporary. burning coal is environmentally insane.

      let’s find common ground. the whole western-backed economic system is dependent on endless liquidity from central banks. we have a common enemy. you are apparently too corralled to see that.

      • No such thing as “endless liquidity” this dance is about over. You either strengthen the middle class with more payers or the payees with drown you.

        You’ll starve and certainly wouldn’t be buying any dirty coal or gas but those bankers will be throwing themselves out windows to the bloody streets below.

  9. Here’s your Free Market Capitalism Mark.

    South Korea free, North Korea not free. No exploitation there.

    • JC

      Thanks for the reminder that capitalists not only divided Korea with the communists, but that they lost another war there.

      I never thought anyone would ever try and correlate light pollution with freedom.

      North Dakota free, Montana and Billings not free. I guess theres no exploitation here, either.

      • Yeah except MT has a million people and the Norks have 25 million for roughly the same size (MT + 25K sq. miles).

    • You don’t know, do you, Swede, that South Korea is state fascist, with some of the accoutrements of democratic rule, by like the US, those tings are just window dressing. It is ruled by its military. But you’ve never read anything about it, don’t know anything about it, won’t read anything about it. Here’s your sign.

      Other than that, the photo may or may not be real, as photos are easily doctored. Unless you have confirmed its authenticity, you are engaged in confirmation bias for this anecdotal piece of evidence.

      Now, go back and figure the effective tax rates for our largest corporations. That would be useful information, as you claim that the stated tax rate in the U.S. is the effective rate. I don’t care,as I don’t see a connection between economic activity and tax rates until they exceed 70% or so.

      As it is, you’re bouncing around like a pong pong ball, unable to focus. It’s annoying.

      • You need to go back to the original assertion that corporations are leaving because of high taxes…period.

        You interjected all the other accounting mumbo jumbo.

        • I did not make that assertion, you did.

        • You brought in an anecdote, and I asked you to go find out what taxes our major corps actually pay. You never got around to it. I cannot argue with someone who is willfully ignorant.

          • I’ll mail you the spread sheet.

          • Right.

            Corporations outsource to pay low wages, avoid pollution and human rights laws, and engage in criminal acitivity (you think all that drug money is run through Colombian banks?) They become unaccountable private power centers, and overrule democratic governments. Because of the power they have amassed, our military is at their disposal. We attack countries that give them trouble and install governments that they like, usually fascist.

            The way you oversimplify it, say it’s just about taxes, is insulting to our intelligence.

            The way you dart and dodge and throw anecdotal shit around does too.

            The way you vamoose when the going gets tough does too.

            The way you don’t read, never look into to anything in depth … Yeah, that too.

            It’s a very big complex world. Look into that sometime, tax breath.

            And yeah, I know, you quit reading when I said …..

    • steve kelly

      Other contributing factors perhaps?

      “We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, someway or another, and some in South Korea too.… Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — twenty percent of the population of Korea as direct casualties of war, or from starvation and exposure?” – Gen. Curtis LeMay, Strategic Air Warfare: An Interview with Generals (1988)




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