I’m privileged today to have Fred Branfman as a guest. Fred Branfman is the author of a number of books on the Indochina War. He served as Director of Project Air War and is an authority on the secret war conducted in Laos. His articles have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Harper’s. His latest article appears in Alternet this week and is titled, “The World’s Most Evil and Lawless Institution: The Executive Branch of the United States Government.”
Welcome Fred Branfman.
Fred: Thank you.
Blase: How did you get this very good title, Fred?
Fred: Well, personally I have never used the word “evil” in my life. I think it gets over-used and when you over-use it, it loses its power. But I also think that when a word is appropriate, it’s an act of moral cowardice not to use it and I think we all need to ask ourselves if killing innocent people is not evil, then what is evil? In the case of the US Executive Branch, Democrats and Republicans, Johnson and Nixon, Bush and Obama, cumulatively – this is simple arithmetic from official sources which I list in my article – I try to link every single statistic used – they’ve killed, wounded, or made homeless, over 20 million human beings over the last 50 years, most of whom were civilians, 1.2 million civilians in Vietnam alone. And what’s troubling about that is not only that act, the fact that they have killed, wounded or made homeless, far more people than any other government on earth in the last fifty years, but that it’s never discussed in our country. It’s covered up. It’s our silent shame. We’re haunted by the ghosts of all the people we’ve killed all over the world but never talk about.