History is written by the victor, they say. It has always been the case that nations pull the rug of time over the less pleasant parts of their past. Now though, we live in a time where history is written, rewritten, and rewritten again before our very eyes. Our eyes on the world, the media companies whom we rely upon to inform us of what occurs, tell us half-truths, pruning evidence and aspects which do not suit the agenda of their master.

I consider journalism to be one of the most noble professions, and I do not mean to disparage its practitioners, for I do not doubt that many of them are frustrated by their editors. And I equally do not doubt that sometimes their editors have little choice. Choosing between running a story, and becoming a blacklisted unemployment statistic isn’t terribly difficult.

Fortunately, there are sources of news that are either volunteer based, or at least independant of major corporations. Upon the web, it is often the case that while reporters do indeed tell another side to the stories on the mainstream press, they are equally biased to the other side. Examining both biased versions of a story does at least allow us to get at the germ of a tale. That which is agreed upon by both is most certainly true. Nevertheless, the best way to get to the truth of history has always been to read the original contemporary documents, if such exist. While certain governments have done a most excellent job of destroying records in the name of national security, sometimes one slips through the net, and todays tale is of just one such document.

The National Security Archive is not a place to get reading material for bedtime, unless you desire to never sleep again. As a library and archive of declassified U.S. documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act it sheds much light into the dark corners inhabited by the U.S. intelligence agencies.

Operation Northwoods may not be news to some of you, but I was totally unaware of it before this weekend. It’s not available in text transcript (in full at any rate, as any document should be read), so I can’t just paste the whole thing here. Thankfully, it was vetoed by President Kennedy, else I doubt very much anyone would be alive to read this. I am going to show restraint, and not comment further at this time. Simply read it, check its authenticity, and compare and contrast with the world’s current problems.

The root of the word “history” is from the greek “hist”, meaning to inquire. To understand history, even the history that unfolds before us, is not a passive act. We cannot just let information wash over us, and hope to gain wisdom. These are not times for sitting back, nor for allowing others to dictate our sources, but for active and vigourous histing!

Comments are closed.