CBS Hypes A Measly ‘Half Dozen’ Officials Resigning Over Gaza War

News & Politics

The Tuesday edition of CBS Mornings rolled out an old-fashioned appeal to identity fallacy as correspondent Jim Axelrod interviewed former Army Maj. Harrison Mann so that the latter could use his Jewish identity to smear Israel as intentionally targeting civilians and waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Meanwhile, Axelord himself would hype a measly “more than a half dozen government officials” who have resigned in protest.

Axelrod began his report with a voiceover, “When the reports started to filter in about a Hamas attack of Israel on October 7, former Army Major Harrison Mann knew what to expect.”

Mann was then shown in the interview, explaining it was “All hands on deck. People working late hours, you know, 24/7 at the outset,” but according to Axelrod, “What was unexpected for him was Israel’s response.”

If Mann didn’t believe that an attack several times worse on the per capita scale than 9/11 wasn’t going to invite a massive response from Israel that says more about him than it does Israel, nevertheless he declared, “We saw, even from the first days of the Israeli air campaign, willingness to inflict very high civilian casualties.”

Axelrod continued, “A response this 13-year Army vet working on Middle East issues for the Defense Intelligence Agency says was enabled by U.S. weapons and indiscriminately targeted Palestinian civilians.”

Back in the interview, he asked, “Were the Israelis using American weapons against civilians in Gaza.”

After Mann replied, “almost certainly yes,” Axelrod asked if they were doing so on purpose, he added, “I don’t know how you kill 35,000 civilians by accident.”

This man was in the Army for 13 years, and he’s apparently unfamiliar with urban combat and Hamas’s tactics of maximizing the danger to civilians so that people like him go on CBS and spread their propaganda to uncritical interviewers like Axelrod.

Mann then read from his resignation letter, ‘“At some point, whatever the justification, you’re either advancing a policy that enables the mass starvation of children or you’re not.’”

After an archived clip of PBS’s Amna Nawaz reporting, “Another U.S. government official announced today she has resigned,” Axelrod added, “More than a half dozen government officials have publicly resigned in protest of U.S. support for Israel’s war. Mann is the first from the military, the first from the intelligence community, and the first who is Jewish.”

According to Reuters, the number is eight and the definition of “official” appears to be anyone who works for the U.S. government in any capacity even if it has nothing to do with national security or foreign policy. There are 2.2 million civilian employees in the federal government, even if one includes Mann, that means CBS is hyping a microscopic .0004 percent of them.

Speaking of Mann, he claimed, “I understand if people are angry that I chose to speak about this, but I didn’t really feel like I had that much of a choice.”

Axelrod then tried to put Mann above criticism, “The grandson of Jews who fled the anti-Semitism of Eastern Europe, Mann doesn’t agree that the cry of Never Again that galvanized Jews after the Holocaust warrants the current Israeli response.”

Mann then rambled, “They’re not responding in a way that is productive for the security of the state of Israel or Jews worldwide and I think using Never Again as a justification, I’m confident saying it’s certainly, you know, some measure of ethnic cleansing. I do not think it is in the spirit of Never Again.”

Back in studio, co-host Nate Burleson thought it was all very compelling, “Powerful reporting from Jim Axelrod.”

It was not. Mann and CBS should reread their copies of Hamas’s charter before claiming Never Again is being abused.

Here is a transcript for the June 4 show:

CBS Mornings

6/4/2024

8:09 AM ET

GAYLE KING: Now, our exclusive interview with a Jewish U.S. Army major who resigned to protest Israel’s war in Gaza. Until yesterday, Harrison Mann worked in the Middle East Bureau of the Defense Intelligence Agency. In his first TV interview he tells chief investigative correspondent Jim Axelrod why he can no longer serve in the Army.

JIM AXLEROD: When the reports started to filter in about a Hamas attack of Israel on October 7, former Army Major Harrison Mann knew what to expect.

HARRISON MANN: All hands on deck. People working late hours, you know, 24/7 at the outset.

AXLEROD: What was unexpected for him was Israel’s response.

MANN: We saw, even from the first days of the Israeli air campaign, willingness to inflict very high civilian casualties.

AXELROD: A response this 13-year Army vet working on Middle East issues for the Defense Intelligence Agency says was enabled by U.S. weapons and indiscriminately targeted Palestinian civilians.

Were the Israelis using American weapons against civilians in Gaza.

MANN: I can say almost certainly yes.

AXELROD: But, were they doing so intentionally?

MANN: I don’t know how you kill 35,000 civilians by accident.

AXELROD: Mann resigned in November.

This is your letter.

No longer able to justify his work to himself, which he explained to his colleagues in a letter.

MANN: “At some point, whatever the justification, you’re either advancing a policy that enables the mass starvation of children or you’re not.”

AXELROD: You felt your work was directly connected to starving children?

MANN: Yes.

AMNA NAWAZ [PBS]: Another U.S. government official announced today she has resigned.

AXELORD: More than a half dozen government officials have publicly resigned in protest of U.S. support for Israel’s war. Mann is the first from the military, the first from the intelligence community, and the first who is Jewish.

MANN: I understand if people are angry that I chose to speak about this, but I didn’t really feel like I had that much of a choice.

AXELROD: The grandson of Jews who fled the anti-Semitism of Eastern Europe, Mann doesn’t agree that the cry of Never Again that galvanized Jews after the Holocaust warrants the current Israeli response.

MANN: They’re not responding in a way that is productive for the security of the state of Israel or Jews worldwide and I think using Never Again as a justification, I’m confident saying it’s certainly, you know, some measure of ethnic cleansing. I do not think it is in the spirit of Never Again.

NATE BURLESON: Powerful reporting from Jim Axelrod.

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