The theme of today’s column is suppression – of antiwar voices, of news that doesn’t fit into preconceived narratives, and of our very ability to raise our voices in protest.
If you’re paying attention, you’ve probably already heard about the banning from Twitter of anti-interventionist author and former US diplomat Peter van Buren, a whistleblower whose book on the Iraq war exposed the lies at the heart of that devilish enterprise. When van Buren tweeted that his tenure at the State Department required him to lie to reporters, and that the paladins of the Fourth Estate were all too ready to passively record these lies as truth, the Twitter brouhaha took on seismic proportions. Several journalists were involved, attacking van Buren for showing them up, and one – Jonathan M. Katz, supposedly a New York Times writer – reported van Buren to the Twitter Authorities for allegedly threatening “violence.” Van Buren did no such thing: it was a mere pretext to get him banned. And ban him they did – for life. His account was scrubbed: years of informative tweets were erased.