The US government still continues to defy calls for an independent investigation into the attacks on the MSF hospital in Kunduz that destroyed the main facility and killed so many, and the US media are not putting any pressure on them to do so. What is worse, as Glenn Greenwald points out, some in the media are pre-emptively exonerating the government by declaring that the attack was an ‘accident’ or ‘mistake’ when there are many indications that the attack on the hospital was deliberate.
As Greenwald says:
The point here isn’t that it’s been definitively proven that the U.S. attack was deliberate. What exactly happened here and why won’t be known, as MSF itself has said, until there is a full-scale, truly independent investigation — precisely what the U.S. government is steadfastly blocking. But MSF’s Stokes is absolutely correct to say that all of the evidence that is known means that “mistake” is “quite hard to believe at this stage” as an explanation and that the compilation of all known evidence “points to … a war crime.”
Nonetheless, many U.S. journalists immediately, repeatedly and authoritatively declared this to have been an “accident” or a “mistake” despite not having the slightest idea whether that was true, and worse, in the face of substantial evidence that it was false.
What possible motivation would the U.S. government have for submitting to an independent investigation when — as usual — it has an army of super-patriotic, uber-nationalistic journalists eager to act as its lawyers and insist, despite the evidence, that Americans could not possibly be guilty of anything other than a terrible “mistake”? Indeed, the overriding sentiment among many U.S. journalists is that their country and government are so inherently Good that they could not possibly do anything so bad on purpose. Any bad acts are mindlessly presumed to be terrible, unintended mistakes tragically made by Good, Well-Intentioned People (Americans). Other Bad Countries do bad things on purpose. But Americans are good and do not.
An attack being deliberate means that the US military, for whatever reason, targeted the facility and carried out the attack knowing full well that it was a hospital and thus a protected facility under the laws of war. It does not require malicious intent, in that they knowingly killed innocent people just for the hell of it.
But the word ‘accident’ or ‘mistake’ means that they did not mean to hit a hospital or did not know what it was and that is highly doubtful. They knew that it was an MSF hospital. The fact that they may have thought that some Taliban were holed up there, even though there is no evidence to support that claim, and decided to attack does not make it an ‘accident’ or a ‘mistake’. It was still a deliberate attack.
Once again we see elements of the US media serving as a propaganda arm for the US government, lapdogs rather than watchdogs.