(Fremantle W. A.) On Monday, Dec. 22, 2008, on page 16, the Western Australian newspaper ran a story about a new book, "Target Patten," written by Robert Wilson, described as a military historian, which suggests that the Office of Strategic Services may have deliberately staged an automobile accident that critically injured General George S. Patton and that subsequently the Americans may have ignored a Russian assassination plot against the injured American general.
The article, datelined Washington D. C., recounts the fact that the driver of the truck that hit the car carrying Patton was whisked out of the area and that no autopsy was performed.
The story provides the historic background for the death because many Americans were displeased with the famous American general because of his criticism of the Russians and the decision to let them be the ones to capture Berlin.
Two days after the article appeared, a search of Google-news provided several suggested links to other stories on the same topic, but they were for sources outside the United States.
Fact checking the details of this allegation while many miles away from the familiar surroundings of the Santa Monica Public Library is very difficult and so this columnist can only ask why isn't this story appearing in publications and on web sites operating inside the United States?
Doesn't the United States brag about freedom of the press and freedom of speech?
Why then isn't this story being reported by the Huffington Post and/or the New York Times so that a Google-news search can prove that it isn't up to a bloging columnist in Australia to bring this newsworthy new book to the attention of an American web site's audience?
Could it be that the managing editors of the most influential newspapers have suffered a plague of simultaneous misjudgment or what?
It should be obvious to most of this site's regular readers why the conservative talk show hosts would ignore this interesting bit of history, but why aren't the newspapers trying extra hard to be vigilant after their disgraceful performance during the Bush years?
The conservative talk show hosts always maintain that the lunatic left journalists in the United States never miss a chance to make America look bad. If Bill O'Reilly's assessment of American Journalism was accurate, wouldn't the New York Times and the Washington Post be all over this new book and putting reviews on the front pages?
A blogger traveling in Australia can cover anything that catches his fancy. He could choose to cover the automotive event called the Summer Nats (http://www.summernats.com.au/) and his friends back in the States would know he was having a good time. It's doubtful that this car event will get coverage in the USA and there will be no outrage, but is it OK for American media to drop the ball on the possibility that the U. S. may have changed history by hushing up a dissatisfied American general?
Readers of this column can urge American sources to investigate the possibility of a cover-up back in 1945 and they may or may not inspire some action and reaction in the media.
Bill O'Reilly will continue to criticize the New York Times and the stories it runs, but it seems very unlikely that he will plug this column and this website.
Do Americans who lost relatives in the late stages of WWII care about things like the possibility that General Patton may have been prevented from closing the Falaise Gap?
All a columnist in Fremantle can do is bring up the topic and then perhaps go to South Beach to work on getting a better suntan. (Does Jalopnik want photo coverage of an event in Australia?)
The Western Australian quotes Charles Province, president of the George Patton Historical Society as saying "There were a lot of people who were pretty damn glad that Patton died."