Last post, I discussed the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, the first of my reasons for saying that we should assume that the US government is lying anytime their lips are moving. Today, my topic is the RMS Lusitania--the excuse for the US entering World War I.
In 1915, Britain and France had been at war with Germany for some time. They were deep in debt from the issuance of war bonds financing the conflict, and the war was not going well due to the Germans' use of submarines, or U-Boats, which had established near impenetrable control of British shipping lanes. Britain and France of course wanted the US involved in the war, as did business interests in the US, which faced losses if Britain and France defaulted on their bond debt. But the American people wanted nothing of the war.(1)
At the time, the shipping lanes around Britain were virtually alive with German U-Boats, but the Lusitania was preapred for launch from the US to Britain.. Germany had made no secret that it would attack any ship attempting to bring war materials to Britain. In fact, before the launch of the Lusitania, the German Embassy actually placed ads warning Americans not to board the ship because it would be attacked. The US State Department, interestingly, prevented most of these ads from running.
The Lusitania was taken into hostile waters, where a German U-Boat was known to have been operating, and was ordered to travel at reduced speed, to save coal, of all things. In the midst of the most dangerous phase of the trip, First Lord of Admiralty, Winston Churchill, ordered the destroyer protecting the Lusitania to abandon her, and the Lusitania was sunk with a single torpedo from a German U-Boat, followed by a massive secondary explosion, the source of which was the subject of debate and conjecture for many years. Almost 1200 people were lost.
Of course, the sinking was portrayed in American media as unprovoked attack on a civilian vessel, and outrage over the incident eventually led to authorization for war. Posters ran with a drawing of a woman and her baby drowning, together with the word "Enlist." German officials at the time said that the Lusitania had been a legitimate military target, because it had been trying to run the German blockade of British ports with armaments, in violation of treaties. Britain and the US denied this staunchly.
But in 2008, when divers reached the wreck of the Lusitania off the Irish coast, almost a century of lies by the British and American governments were exposed. The ship indeed contained arms--some four MILLION rounds of large caliber amunition, plus other war materiel, all in disguised crates marked "butter," "oysters" and "cheese." And so it became clear that the US and British governments had at least recklessly, and more probably intentionally, caused the sinking of the Lusitania and the killing of 1200 people and then cynically exploited it to incite outrage in the American public that would allow the US' entry into the war.
This lie of the US government cost over 117,000 Americans their lives, and resulted in the wounding of more than 205,000 more.
Are you getting the picture?
(1) See, Griffin, G. Edward, The Creature From Jekyll Island, American Media, c. 1994-2002