Friday, July 3, 2009

U.S. Invasion of Panama Revisited

(December 20, 2009 will mark the 20th Anniversary of the 1989 invasion of Panama by 24,000 Pentagon troops).

In The U.S. Invasion of Panama: The Truth Behind Operation `Just Cause,’ an Independent Commission of Inquiry described what happened in Panama during the Pentagon’s 1989 invasion:

“Thousands of Panamanians were killed and wounded during the invasion. The bulk of these casualties were civilians. Estimates of the numbers killed range from over 1,000 to as many as 4,000. A precise figure is hard to arrive at because the U.S. government has carried out a deliberate and systematic cover-up of the numbers killed…

“During the invasion U.S. troops carried out the destruction of the offices of almost every political organization and newspaper known to oppose U.S. policy. The U.S. invasion force destroyed Panama’s National Radio and another radio station, Sistema Radial De Onda Popular. Two television stations, Channel 2 and 5, were also taken over by U.S. troops. The newspaper La Republica, which reported on the extensive death and destruction caused by the invasion, was ransacked and looted by U.S. troops. La Republica publisher Escolastico `Fuelela’ Calvo was arrested and taken by U.S. troops to Fort Clayton…”

The Independent Commission of Inquiry project directors, Gavriella Gemma and Teresa Gutierrez, also noted that as of 1991 there was “not one hearing or congressional investigation into this monstrous event, even though it violated…the U.S. Constitution” and described the role the Big Media played in manipulating U.S. public opinion to support the Pentagon’s invasion of Panama in 1989:

“The media, every television station, every major newspaper participated in a virtual orgy of applause while covering up what was really taking place in Panama. One less experienced anchorman attempting an analysis was summarily shut up while on the air…”

(Downtown 12/21/94)