MSNBC legal analyst Daniel Goldman, Majority Counsel in the first Trump impeachment inquiry, adds to the vast TV disinformation wasteland
Goldman claimed on air that the U.S. routinely works to prevent military coups—when it is a leading perpetrator of them
In the vast wasteland that is cable television “news,” every once in a while you hear a disinformation doozy that threatens to make what passes for America’s public discourse sink even lower. Lately we have been swamped with virtuous mis-statements spewed by U.S. spokesmen and commentators vis-à-vis the Ukraine conundrum about the sanctity of sovereignty, borders and not invading nation-states by Orwellian mouthpieces who apparently have never heard of Iraq or Vietnam.
Many of these disinformation tools appear on the supposedly “liberal” MSNBC channel—you know, the cable TV network that fired Phil Donohue, canceling MSNBC’s highest rated program on February 25, 2003, because it dared dissent from the drumbeat of war propelling Washington to attack Baghdad on largely fictitious grounds.
On February 4, I heard one of these jaw-dropping whoppers fall from the mouth of Daniel Goldman on the daily MSNBC gabfest Deadline: White House, anchored by Nicolle Wallace, who (lest we forget) was the communications director for George W. “Mass Murder” Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign and then in W.’s White House.
Deadline: White House focuses much of its two hours per day on Trump’s presidential putsch plot and, while discussing the role of mendacious MAGA maniac Mike Flynn, Goldman fumed that the retired Lieutenant General and active right-wing kook was talking about “a military coup” and “a military overthrow” in regards to the 2020 Biden-versus-The-Donald donnybrook. Goldman served as majority counsel in the first impeachment inquiry against Trump and the former assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York seems qualified to hold forth on what appears to be a MAGA conspiracy to stop the peaceful transfer of power following 2020’s presidential election.
But Goldman sounds completely out of his depth when, at 2:12 p.m., he commented on foreign policy, dropping this verbal bombshell regarding the Trumpian scheme: “This is what happens in banana republics around the world where the United States takes a very active role in preventing that kind of military coup.”
Really? Is this guy bananas?
This is an example of the “Unicorn Theory of Yankee Doodle Dandy Exceptionalism,” whereby America is forever the red, white and blue exemplar of freedom, perpetually “making the world safe for democracy” by eternally defending the globe against the blue meanies of dictatorship (whether or not those invaded and attacked actually want or ask to be “protected” and placed in harm’s way).
Note that Goldman did not bother to cite a single example of the U.S. taking a very active role in preventing a military coup anywhere on Planet Earth. He simply spews an unexamined assumption without support for his assertion because it is merely a fairy tale that has little, if any, bearing on reality. Goldman does not give any examples of his assertion because they are hard to find, although if he can cite examples of Washington preventing coups, please do tell.
In researching this piece, I could not find a single instance where the U.S. successfully prevented a military overthrow. But there are many examples where the U.S. supported it. For example, in Saigon in 1963, the CIA was behind a coup against its own client, Ngo Dinh Diem, who had been installed after the Eisenhower administration refused to abide by the 1954 Geneva Accords mandating free elections in 1956, two years after the intended temporary division of the country.
Of course, there are some examples where the U.S. condemned military coups—though few if any to my knowledge where they did anything to prevent them.
Although the U.S. did not prevent the February 1, 2021, military ouster of Myanmar’s elected government including civilians such as Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced the Rangoon goons and vowed: “The United States will continue to take firm action against those who perpetrate violence against the people of Burma as they demand the restoration of their democratically elected government.”
Sanctions were imposed against high-level individuals and entities, Reuters reported: “Washington froze about $1 billion in reserves Myanmar’s central bank was holding at the New York Fed.”
As America is the world’s leading manufacturer and seller of lethal weapons (“We’re number one! USA!”), there are also cases where Uncle Sam reduces or stops arms shipments and sales to new military regimes installed through the use of force, per congressional measures, such as 1961’s Foreign Assistance Act.
Furthermore, Public Law 116-260, Division K, Section 7008, passed in 1986, states: “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to titles III through VI of this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d’etat…”
That is, after the deed is done, Washington may withhold military and other types of aid, but frequently resumes providing the weaponry that feeds the insatiable military-industrial complex, as in the case of Egypt, where Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi forcibly overthrew the elected president on July 3, 2013. According to Reuters, “Aid was frozen after the Egyptian army overthrew former President Mohamed Morsi. Obama resisted calling that a coup because it would have resulted in aid being cut completely.” President Obama began relaxing restrictions by 2014 and, in March 2015: “Obama directed the release of 12 Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft, 20 Boeing Harpoon missiles, and up to 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits… Obama told Sisi he would continue to ask the U.S. Congress for $1.3 billion in military aid for Egypt per year…”
On January 25, 2022, CNN reported that the Biden administration “formally notified Congress of the intended sales of 12 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and related equipment for $2.2 billion and three SPS-48 Land Based Radar and related equipment for $355 million” and “In September, the administration released $170 million in military aid to Egypt,” which the Biden (you know, the hawk who voted to authorize Bush’s “shock and awe” at Iraq when he was a senator) regime calls “a strategic partner,” although, as of press time, el-Sisi still rules Cairo’s iron-fisted regime. However, the U.S. did withhold $130 million in military aid due to concerns over human rights, which is mighty democratic of them.
By Feb. 10, 2022, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul opposed giving aid to the al-Sisi regime, asserting: “The United States cannot proudly affirm human rights to be at the center of our foreign policy, while it arms a regime at war with its own people… That is why I will force the Senate to vote on a resolution that would cancel the latest military sale to Egypt’s criminal masters. Partially taking away some military aid while offering new sales is weakness in the face of repression. Mere slaps on the wrist cannot hide the inescapable fact that the United States has handsomely rewarded Egypt as it degenerated into one of the most autocratic places on the globe. America should in no uncertain terms demonstrate that we will no longer strengthen a strongman.”
In any case, even if and when Washington implements these restrictions, it is after a military coup has already taken place, and does not “prevent” an overthrow by the armed forces from occurring. Be that as it may, this misses the point, which is that not only is Goldman’s assertion on national TV a mere fable, but indeed, like other Big Lies, his contention is, in an Orwellian sense, the very opposite of the truth.
“ALWAYS BLAME THE AMERICANS”
The fact of the matter is that, far from “preventing” military coups, since 1945 the U.S.A. (you know, the Undemocratic States of America) has been the world’s worst perpetrator of armed overthrows of democratically elected, as well as other “inconvenient,” governments.
Reverend King may have accurately identified “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government,” in his 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” speech.
But one can also truthfully declare that Imperial America is “the greatest purveyor of coups” on Earth. When it comes to invading, bombing and attacking other countries, the U.S. holds the world record and is truly peerless, especially against lands that are not remotely border states, such as Iraq and Vietnam.
Meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, whether via putsches, “regime change,” drone warfare and other bombing, plus countless covert actions has become a national pastime, the distilled essence of “American exceptionalism” in the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st century.
With 750-plus military bases straddling the globe in 80 countries (whether they want the Yanks there or not), one-third of a million troops occupying Europe and currently amping up potential conflict there (where forever-expanding NATO outspends the Russian military 14 to 1), with its forward-basing policy plus intel operations, the U.S. is nonpareil as the world’s international intruder and busybody.
In Costa-Gavras’s 1969 Oscar-winning movie masterpiece Z—about the assassination of peace candidate Grigoris Lambrakis (played by Yves Montand) and the 1967 Greek Colonels’ junta led by Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos that toppled democracy in the Western birthplace of democracy—the left-wing militant Manuel (Charles Denner) quips: “Always blame the Americans. Even if you’re wrong!”
One interpretation of this is that Washington was so ubiquitous in its behind-the-scenes interference via clandestine acts and overt military presence in order to pursue U.S. geopolitical concerns, that when one asks “whodunit?” it is a safe bet to blame the Yanks for any dastardly deed, from the liquidation of a Greek politician to the activities described below. Because the odds are, like the butlers in those whodunits, the U.S. did it.
Far from “preventing” military coups, America is the Olympic champion of staging and supporting armed ousters, bar none. How many overthrows has the U.S. government instigated, perpetuated and supported? To paraphrase that great political philosopher Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Let me count the coups.”
Below is a list of some of the devastation and damage Washington wrought on a global scale through coups while making the world safe for imperialism. Mind you, these are just highlights; I would detail all of the U.S.-supported overthrows only if I were paid by the word (in which case this report would likely be longer than War and Peace and I’d be richer than Bezos).
PARTIAL LIST OF 200-PLUS YEARS OF U.S.-SUPPORTED OVERTHROWS
NUKU HIVA, 1813
America became the world’s undisputed world champion of military coup perpetrators and plotters in the post-WWII era, but U.S. conniving and intervening outside the continent began long before then. In what may be the first example of the U.S. seizing territory beyond North America, Navy Captain David Porter sailed to the remote Marquesas Islands during the War of 1812. At Nuku Hiva Porter and his naval forces, armed with artillery and muskets, militarily backed one tribe against the rival Taipis, who were armed with war clubs, spears, slingshots, bows and arrows. After helping to defeat the Taipis and upsetting the tribal balance of power in Nuku Hiva, Porter declared Nuku Hiva to be a U.S. colony and hoisted the stars and stripes over the far-flung South Pacific island in 1813.
THE KINGDOM OF HAWAII, 1893
Once the continent was conquered and Indigenous armed resistance suppressed, the voracious settler-state turned outward. Only two years after the Wounded Knee Massacre, the empire’s “Manifest Destiny” set its sights on lands overseas. Acting in cahoots with white plantation owners and businessmen (many of them descended from American missionaries), the U.S. minister plenipotentiary and invading troops from the USS Boston at Honolulu Harbor backed the overthrow of Queen Lili’uokalani in January 1893. Five years later, what had been the independent Kingdom of Hawaii was annexed as a U.S. territory in the wake of the Spanish-American War, when Washington seized other colonies in the Pacific and Caribbean, spurred on by unrepentant imperialists such as “Rough Rider” Theodore “Big Stick” Roosevelt.
The “Golden Age” of U.S.-instigated and supported military coups began following the establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency and the national security state as the Cold War heated up. According to Time, after “the 1946 conclusion of French control of Syria… was shortly followed by the overthrow of Shukri al-Quwatli, the country’s first elected president and a leader of the drive for Syrian independence.
The March 30, 1949, coup by Syrian Army Chief of Staff Col. Husni al-Zaim was “one of the first covert actions that the CIA pulled off,” since it had been created in 1947, according to Douglas Little, professor of history at Clark University.”
Of course, America remains enmeshed in Syria, where Navy SEALs purportedly killed the latest in an endless procession of ISIS bogeymen, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, in a raid at Atmeh where civilians, including children—aka “collateral damage”—also died on February 3, 2022.
The CIA played a decisive role in toppling Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, who had the temerity to “nationalize an Iranian oil industry previously operated by British companies…”
Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of arch-imperialist Theodore, was a pivotal player in “Operation Ajax,” which ousted Mosaddegh. As any sentient being knows, this brazen, anti-democratic overthrow has had profound reverberations; almost 70 years later, the U.S. is still grappling with the blowback from meddling in Iran’s internal affairs, and Operation Ajax is “Exhibit A” as to why the factually inaccurate narrative espoused by Daniel Goldman and others has to always be challenged by the truth.
Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz launched an agrarian program of “land reforms that threatened the holdings of the U.S.-owned United Fruit Company,” according to Foreign Policy. The magazine adds: “A coup in 1954 forced Árbenz from power… the CIA’s involvement in the ouster of the Guatemalan leader… included equipping rebels and paramilitary troops while the U.S. Navy blockaded the Guatemalan coast.”
As waves of refugees and migrants sweep northward from Central America, D.C. decision makers and immigration foes should reflect on how decades of massive U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of these nations besieged by CIA, Contra and Death Squad counter-insurgencies have caused untold thousands to flee and seek refuge in the Yankee Colossus that consistently undermined movements to democratize Guatemala and its neighbors.
According to Foreign Policy, Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the newly independent Congo who wanted to assert local control over the country’s rich mineral wealth, “was targeted by the CIA once the agency determined he was a threat to the newly installed government of Joseph Mobutu. The Church Committee, an 11-senator commission established in 1975 to provide oversight of the clandestine actions of the U.S. intelligence community, found that the CIA ‘continued to maintain close contact with Congolese who expressed a desire to assassinate Lumumba,’ and that ‘CIA officers encouraged and offered to aid these Congolese in their efforts against Lumumba…’ [T]he CIA alerted Congolese troops to Lumumba’s location and noted roads to be blocked and potential escape routes. Lumumba was captured in late 1960 and killed.”
BAY OF PIGS, 1961
The CIA infamously trained, financed and backed Cuban exiles in a disastrous effort to overthrow Fidel Castro’s government via a botched armed invasion in April 1961.
An eyewitness to the removal of Árbenz, Che Guevara helped make sure the Cuban Revolution would be more resolute: Once the exiles’ incursion began, Castro immediately left to command revolutionary forces at Playa Girón, and the CIA-supported attempted overthrow was defeated.
A direct outgrowth of the Bay of Pigs debacle was the Cuban Missile Crisis, whereby Cuba’s attempt to defend itself from the North American colossus with Soviet nukes almost triggered World War III. Operation Mongoose (CIA plots to liquidate Fidel) ensued and, in defiance of almost unanimous international opposition, Washington persecutes the Cuban people with a harmful blockade to this day.
SOUTH VIETNAM, 1963
According to The Pentagon Papers: “For the military coup d’état against Ngo Dinh Diem, the U.S. must accept its full share of responsibility. Beginning in August of 1963 we variously authorized, sanctioned and encouraged the coup efforts of the Vietnamese generals and offered full support for a successor government. In October we cut off aid to Diem in a direct rebuff, giving a green light to the generals. We maintained clandestine contact with them throughout the planning and execution of the coup and sought to review their operational plans and proposed new government. Thus, as the nine-year rule of Diem came to a bloody end [on November 2, 1963], our complicity in his overthrow heightened our responsibilities and our commitment in an essentially leaderless Vietnam.” Note that, in this case, the “cut off aid” served to trigger a coup and assassination, not to “prevent” it.
DALLAS, TEXAS, 1963
In turn around fair play, three weeks after Diem’s demise the same U.S. forces practiced in the arts of deception and overthrows abroad appear to have brought the war home, turning their nefarious expertise inward. When President John F. Kennedy, a cold warrior for much of his presidency, began to speak in favor of détente with the Soviet Union and started developing plans to reduce the American military involvement in South Vietnam, while advancing civil rights at home, the chickens, as Malcolm X quipped, came home to roost at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas.
The CIA’s longest serving Director, Allen Dulles (whom JFK had fired after the Bay of Pigs fiasco), and future CIA Director Richard Helms are widely suspected to have been among right-wing renegade extremist elements implicated in the assassination of Kennedy, who had refused to provide U.S. air support during the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.
JFK’s murder elevated Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson to the presidency and, instead of reversing U.S. military engagement in Vietnam, LBJ disastrously escalated Pentagon intervention in “the Big Muddy.”
A new book, with a foreword by Oliver Stone, written by Dr. Cyril Wecht—the pathologist who discovered that JFK’s brain was missing in 1972—alleges Dulles hired Oswald to kill Kennedy. It only stands to reason that those trained in overthrowing governments overseas would eventually do the same thing domestically—and with similar motives.
As part of America’s “good neighbor policy,” it was determined that left-leaning Brazilian President João Goulart had to go and a savage military junta ruthlessly ruled South America’s largest country for 21 years.
According to Foreign Policy, “the United States backed a 1964 coup led by Humberto Castello Branco, then chief of staff of the Brazilian Army. In the days leading up to the coup, the CIA encouraged street rallies against the government and provided fuel and ‘arms of non-U.S. origin’ to those backing the military. ‘I think we ought to take every step that we can, be prepared to do everything that we need to do,’ President Lyndon Johnson told his advisors planning the coup…”
Perhaps the deadliest U.S.-backed overthrow took place in Indonesia during the anti-communist auto-de-fé of 1965. During that CIA-supported bloodbath, nationalist President Sukarno was ousted and “between five hundred thousand and one million people were slaughtered,” according to Vincent Bevins’s The Jakarta Method: Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade & the Mass Murder Program That Shaped Our World. The CIA cleverly initiated a black-flag operation where they staged a revolt by communist generals, whom right-wing butcher Mohammed Suharto claimed to be saving the nation from. The death toll from the pogroms that ensued was even higher than was officially reported if we consider Suharto’s invasions of East Timor, Aceh and Papua to subdue separatist movements.
As Costa-Gavras dramatized in Z, even the West’s ancestral birthplace of democracy was not impervious to U.S.-backed coups—which far from installing or restoring democracy always imposes harsh dictatorships, rule by the jackboot. The harsh seven-year reign of the Greek Colonels’ junta began April 21, 1967, a month before elections could take place and it was widely believed former Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou’s Centre Union would win. According to CovertAction Magazine: “The CIA had helped back the coup that brought the Greek junta to power and the Nixon administration covertly supplied it with arms. It eluded an American arms embargo by listing ‘new’ military equipment as ‘old,’ undervaluing the equipment, and shipping it to the Colonels who led the juntas as ‘surplus.’”
“In 1970, during the height of instability in the region due to the Vietnam War, Prince Sihanouk, who was head of state at the time, was on an official visit to Moscow in the Soviet Union to meet communist leaders when he was deposed. The overthrow of his leadership was done as soon as he left the country.”
The Nixon regime found Sihanouk’s neutrality to be inconvenient and General Lon Nol co-led the prince’s removal from power in March 1970 and became prime minister, then “Marshal,” of a dictatorial state that tilted in favor of Washington’s wartime policies.
According to the Khmer Times, “the Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh accus[ed] the Central Intelligence Agency of being involved in the ousting of Prince Sihanouk” and said: “In fact, the coup that plunged Cambodia into years of war [did not involve] the U.S., but it was the CIA.”
The brutal overthrow of Chile’s democratically elected socialist President Salvador Allende by General Augusto Pinochet, which was backed by U.S. President Richard Nixon, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and the CIA, on that other September 11, is the monstrous mother of all military coups in which Washington is complicit.
Sometimes a coup d’état is bloodless. According to Jacobin: “[O]n November 11, 1975, the Labor prime minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam [leader of the Australian Labor Party], was removed from office by the governor-general, Sir John Kerr. With Whitlam gone, Kerr then ‘prorogued’—dissolved—parliament and appointed the conservative opposition leader, Malcolm Fraser, in his place. When new elections came around six weeks later, the caretaker Liberal government won in a landslide. The event, known as ‘the Dismissal’ in Australia, was a soft coup.”
Jacobin goes on to note Prime Minister Whitlam’s crimes included opposing the Vietnam War and “a raid on ASIO [Australia’s domestic intelligence agency] headquarters to see if they were hiding files on the Ustaše [Croatian extremists],” which drew the ire of “CIA counterintelligence guru James Jesus Angleton.”
Controversy erupted over “three U.S. spy bases in Australia — particularly Pine Gap, near Alice Springs, which monitored the USSR,” and whose leases were to expire December 9, 1975. “Whitlam decided to reveal the secret CIA list when parliament resumed on Tuesday, November 11,” which the Agency opposed.
As John Pilger reported in The Guardian: “Victor Marchetti, the CIA officer who had helped set up Pine Gap, later told me, ‘This threat to close Pine Gap caused apoplexy in the White House … a kind of Chile [coup] was set in motion.’ … In the 1980s, senior CIA officers revealed that the ‘Whitlam problem’ had been discussed ‘with urgency’ by the CIA’s director, William Colby, and the head of MI6, Sir Maurice Oldfield. A deputy director of the CIA said: ‘Kerr did what he was told to do.’ … On 11 November – the day Whitlam was to inform parliament about the secret CIA presence in Australia – he was summoned by Kerr. Invoking archaic vice-regal ‘reserve powers,’ Kerr sacked the democratically elected prime minister.”
As Australia is part of the British Commonwealth and Queen Elizabeth is the official head of state, the crown’s representative, Governor-General Kerr, used arcane backroom maneuvers to unseat the troublesome Whitlam, who was making waves regarding Washington’s surveillance facilities Down Under and the “Five Eyes” espionage alliance of English-speaking nations. John Schlesinger’s 1985 movie The Falcon and the Snowman, starring Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton, dramatized these events.
Prompted by fanatical anti-communist National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, on July 3, 1979, President Jimmy Carter began clandestinely funding the mujahideen in their jihad against the Soviet Union and to militarily oust Afghanistan’s leftist governments led by Babrak Karmal and Mohammad Najibullah.
This clandestine financing, training and arming eventually became the largest CIA covert operation to date, and the U.S.-backed Islamist fanatics—whom President Reagan called “freedom fighters” and would continue to lavishly support—came to include Osama bin Laden. The al-Qaeda terrorist eventually used his CIA-derived expertise to blow up the World Trade Center on 9/11 in the worst act of blowback in the history of U.S. covert operations. America’s busybody foreign policy came back to bite it in the ass big time, culminating with a humiliating historic ass-kicking of biblical proportions in August 2021.
When Vernon Walters—diplomat, general, CIA Deputy Director from 1972 to 1976 and member of the Knights of Malta—came to town, coups often followed in his wake, including “Tehran in 1953 when the CIA staged a coup in support of the shah of Iran and in Brazil when a group of generals staged a coup in 1964.”
A case in point is Fiji, where the jet-setting Walters showed up two weeks after the left-leaning Bavadra government was elected at the height of the nuclear-free Pacific movement that threatened U.S. and French military and colonial stances in Oceania. Walters was on more than a sightseeing jaunt—while in Fiji he met with Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka, who shortly afterwards proceeded to overthrow Prime Minister Timoci Bavadra under the cover of an ethnic ruse on May 14, 1987, thus ending Fiji’s anti-nuclear aspirations.
Reagan’s other “freedom fighters”—the Contras and similar anti-commie zealots—wreaked havoc throughout Central America in campaigns to overthrow the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, with the use of Death Squads in El Salvador, etc.
The U.S. policy of backing military coups with the intelligence community, Pentagon, media and/or State Department pulling strings behind the scenes in the name of fighting communism or regime change has continued well into the 21st century. Examples purportedly include the attempted coup against Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in 2002; the 2009 ouster of Manuel Zelaya in Honduras; the 2011 overthrow of Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi; the unseating of Chávez’s Bolivarian compañero Evo Morales in Bolivia in 2019; and allegedly the so-called “color revolutions,” such as Ukraine’s in 2014. And so it goes.
THE UNITED STATES TAKES A VERY ACTIVE ROLE IN PERPETRATING—NOT PREVENTING—MILITARY COUPS
You do not have to take my word about this partial record of America’s relentless military interventionism and adventurism. Consider former Marine Major General Smedley Butler’s confession back in the 1930s: “War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives… I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”
The same can also be said about U.S.-backed overthrows per se: “Military coups are a racket” carried out by “gangsters for capitalism and imperialism.”
This spiral of endless intervention will not stop until Americans begin to have a reckoning with their history—an “imperial reckoning”—and build a radical movement to transform the status quo.
The disinformation commentators such as Goldman spew into the public discourse is a dangerous distortion of history that makes it harder for audiences out there in TV-land to understand and deal with the blowback caused by meddlesome policy makers.
Misunderstanding the U.S. government and ruling class role in coups abroad also makes it more likely for these extremist forces to be unleashed at home. And Goldman’s assertion of a wild inaccuracy regarding the U.S. role in coups abroad can be used to discredit and undercut his stance on the MAGA attempted insurrection at home.
When radio/TV talking heads make false statements, they must be held accountable, not for their opinions, but for their falsehoods. Insisting on corporate and government regulations, such as a restoration of the Fairness Doctrine, may be a lofty ideal and solution, but it would be time-consuming to get this passed and then implemented.
Instead, truth-tellers can take a cue from the #MeToo and #Times Up movements and resort to conventional and social media to expose these lies. Independent, alternative and left outlets can create a sort of fact-checking watchdog service or function to correct the record. These corrections can be sent to and posted on the Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, et al., accounts of the offending “news” outlets and pundits themselves, as well as published/posted by the various alternative publications, online outlets, etc., that participate in this fact-checking endeavor.
And this truth-telling should be done in the spirit of Orwell’s 1984, when protagonist Winston Smith insisted: “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four”—not five, even if the prevailing powers-that-be insist that is the case. In the same way, the doublethink of commentators like Daniel Goldman must always be challenged and held to account. Because just as two and two are not five, America is not the “preventer” of military overthrows but holds the World Cup as coup perpetrator.
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