Green Left Weekly's $250,000 Fighting Fund

Issue 

Peter Boyle

As this column is written, the tally of civilian casualties from the war on Iraq is estimated by Iraq Body Count (<http://www.iraqbodycount.net>) at between 41,041 and 45,613 — and rising fast. This is a war that the Australian government joined on the basis of the lie that the Iraqi government possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that it planned to use against the rest of the world.

Most people in this country did not believe this, and a million took to the streets in February 2003 to express their dissent.

Last week, we had a reminder of this lie-with-bloody-consequence when former weapons inspector Dr John Gees revealed that the Howard government had suppressed his March 2004 resignation letter, which explained in detail the systematic interference by the CIA and the Bush administration in reports about the search for the non-existent Iraqi WMDs. The Howard government even refused to release Dr Gee's letter to a Senate inquiry last year.

While the public has had to become accustomed to being lied to, the Howard government doesn't even bother to pretend to worry about the truth when it comes to its alleged "war on terrorism". So, in making out its control order on Jack Thomas, who was recently acquitted of terrorism-related charges, the government named Osama bin Laden, several dead people and others incarcerated without trial in the US Guantanamo Bay concentration camp on a list of about 50 people and organisations that Thomas could not contact.

"In my view it makes the order look somewhat silly in putting the name on the list", said federal magistrate Graham Mowbray. He added, "It makes it look almost a bit farcical, and this is a very serious proceeding".

In George Orwell's novel 1984, the chief bureaucrats at the Ministry of Truth shared this arrogant belief that spin can prevail over the truth. But this is true only if no-one fights the lies of the powerful.

That's a core mission of Green Left Weekly, which relies on the support of all of you — readers who are disgusted by the systematic lying by the governments of the rich. To help keep this important project going strong, make a donation to our Fighting Fund. Post your cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway, NSW 2007, phone it through on the toll-free line 1800 634 206 (within Australia only), or donate online at <http://www.greenleft.org.au/fogl.htm>.

Last week, supporters raised $3051 for the Green Left Weekly fighting fund. This brings the total raised so far this year to $118,434, or 47% of our $250,000 target.