Who would have thought it?
Norway, or to be precise, the current political leadership, who is always harping on about Israel and her obligation to be transparent in all she does, is more than reluctant to let us Norwegians in on exactly what our armed forces are doing in Libya.
Aftenposten runs a concerned article today on how difficult it is to get a full picture of this war:
Norwegian forces are participating with 6 fighter planes in the war in Libya. From April 11 to May 23, Norway has dropped 322 bombs in the course of 351 bombing raids. And that is pretty much all we know. Aftenposten has tried to get more detailed information from the MoD regarding Norway’s participation in the war, but there is little feedback to the press.
The number of casualties among Ghadaffi forces and civilians in Norwegian air raids is a defense secret, as is also which places, and which military goals Norway has bombed; even how many Norwegian fighter pilots who have been on their wings night and day is surrounded with secrecy, labeled confidential information and withheld from the public.
The political editor Stangelle expands on this:
This is very problematic. We are seeing other countries being much more open, and that Norway is among the more closed countries.
- This makes it very difficult to discuss what we are doing in this war. And it is very difficult to get a full picture of it.
A culture of silence
- Why do you think they stick to this line, in contrast to for instance Denmark?
- The defense establishment has a culture of silence and the political leaders have accepted this. We could also suspect that they [political leaders] do not wish to have an enlightened debate, and may even have a different agenda, says Stanghelle.
- We see that there is no reason to trust the picture the Army and the MoD is trying to present of this war. When we sift through the documents made available from the NATO headquarters, we see that a much more optimistic interpretation is made here at home. This is also seen internationally.
- But it is important to get access to information, precisely because we with independent assessment, old fashioned journalism, critical distance, can look into something as decisive as a war where Norway participates.
Maybe we can get an IDF representative who will stand up and tell Norway how vital it is for credibility and international trust that the armed forces and MoD operate with absolute transparency?