Monday, November 01, 2010





Barack Undocumented?




Today the Wheeling News-Register's editorial board notes Barack Obama declared the Iraq War "at an end on Aug. 31st" and that, "In fact, US troops continue to be wounded and killed in Iraq. As we have pointed out, Obama may say the war is over, but those being killed are still just as dead." The Iraq War continues and it may continue well beyond 2011. As noted in last Monday's "Iraq snapshot," at the US State Dept, spokesperson Philip J. Crowley declared:
"Well, we have a Status of Forces Agreement and a strategic framework. The Status of Forces Agreement expires at the end of next year, and we are working towards complete fulfillment of that Status of Forces Agreement, which would include the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of next year. The nature of our partnership beyond next year will have to be negotiated. On the civilian side, we are committed to Iraq over the long term. We will have civilians there continuing to work with the government on a range of areas – economic development, rule of law, civil society, and so forth. But to the extent that Iraq desires to have an ongoing military-to-military relationship with the United States in the future, that would have to be negotiated. And that would be something that I would expect a new government to consider. [. . .] Should Iraq wish to continue the kind of military partnership that we currently have with Iraq, we're open to have that discussion."

That should have been big news but we don't get news, we get whoring. Example,
Saturday two corporate monkies -- failed actors who, late in life, lucked into jobs they are now desperate to hold onto, held a rally in DC. As David Swanson (War Is A Crimes) observed early last month, "Stewart opposes activist messages and their messengers. The problem seems to be, not so much accuracy as inappropriateness and volume. You should not shout anything or say 'war criminal,' but you especially should not shout 'war criminal!'" When old comedians -- middle aged ones desparate to be hip -- starting trying to police taste and run the "morality" beat, they not only stop being funny, they stop having any value. They're now the tired whores who sucked up to Nixon and completely cut off from the people. At Huffington Post, Will Bunch sees the country's tipping point as when the Iraq War were sold by a media that refused to question or probe the claims (lies) put forward by the Bush administration:
That's why I thought Iraq and its central role in American insanity was in many ways that dog that did not bark in Stewart and Stephen Colbert's big rally on Saturday. Watching it play out on TV, it felt like the two comedians and the 200,000 strong who gathered in their names had drifted so far from the original roots of the "sanity movement" in American politics that the ultimate message -- that the only answers lie in toning things down a notch and in looking for a brand of moderation that finds equal fault with vaguely defined "extremism" on either side -- was a perhaps unintended 180-degree U-turn.
From the stage we saw a tacit endorsement of the dangerous notion of false equivalencies -- the very concept that in a phony quest for journalistic balance caused the news media to give equal weight or greater weight to unsupported spin, not just for the war in Iraq but its cheerleading financial coverage before the 2008 crisis that Stewart demolished on his own show. "The press is our immune system," Stewart said in his closing speech on Saturday. "If it overreacts to everything, we actually get sicker--and, perhaps, eczema." But that's only part of the puzzle -- on way too many critical issues the last 10 years, neither the press nor the public has reacted enough, particularly to ideas that are lacking in reason. It's stunning that Stewart of all people -- who became a national comedic icon in that 2003-04 era, in large part by calling attention to that "Mess O' Potania" that the mainstream media was largely content to ignore -- would forget where the road to insanity started.
The scary part is that central to Stewart's message on Saturday was what one of best media critics around -- the New York University professor Jay Rosen -- calls "the view from nowhere," the same kind of high-minded pooh-pooing of the messy fray of actual democracy, including passion and commitment that involves fighting in the muck of ideas, that the kind of people who gathered on the National Mall once detested from the likes of the punditocracy's naysayer-in-chief, David Broder.
Bunch declares that it's difficult to criticize Stewart. No, it's not at all unless you've dressed him up as a god. Stewart is a basic cable fixture. MTV made him one repeatedly and his ratings at Comedy Centeral really aren't significantly higher than when he was doing his Free Willy parodies on MTV (or, for that matter, when he failed with his late night Fox talk show). It's just Comedy Central will treat "two million viewers!" as a success when it's failure. Jon Stewart is a failed actor. Years ago, he and Parker Posey played roller bladers in Mixed Nuts. Parker's gone on to deliver many amazing performances. Stewart knows he's the closest to a success he's ever going to be and he's not going to let anything risk that. So he's corporate monkey who dances for his bosses.
And Viacom - home of suppression and fear -- attacked Tom Cruise for publicly speaking of love, fired Ed Gernon for comparing Bush to Hitler, kicked the Reagan mini-series over to cable (Showtime) because they are such cowards, If that's who signs your paycheck, if that's who holds your contract, you're not going to such much bravery but you are going to preach rigid conformity -- advocate for a return to the Eisnehower era while distracting from real issues which is what took place Saturday. It was the sort of event where Lily Tomlin's reactionary character Suzie Sorority would have felt at home.
In other news of self-debasement, Amy Goodman and pleasure slave Denis Moynihan do a column on WikiLeaks with Goody still playing Last Reporter Standing as she castigates Big Media:
Sunday's network talk shows barely raised the issue of the largest intelligence leak in U.S. history. When asked, they say the midterm elections are their main focus. Fine, but war is an election issue. It should be raised in every debate, discussed on every talk show.
I see the media as a huge kitchen table, stretching across the globe, that we all sit around, debating and discussing the most important issues of the day: war and peace, life and death. Anything less than that is a disservice to the servicemen and -women of this country. They can't have these debates on military bases. They rely on us in civilian society to have the discussions that determine whether they live or die, whether they are sent to kill or be killed. Anything less than that is a disservice to a democratic society.

Amy Goodman is a brave truth-teller . . . if you're uneducated and uninformed. As Ava and I noted of Goodman on Sunday, surveying Panhandle Media's 'coverage' of WikiLeaks:
What she offered was pure crap. With the hope that she might improve later in the week, a link was offered. But she was never excerpted in the snapshot because her hour long garbage was pure garbage, pure crap that purposely misinformed.

Nir Rosen, Pratap Chatterjee and David Leigh joined her to talk about . . . Iraq and Bush. With the exception of noting that "the Obama administration has lashed out at WikiLeaks," the program couldn't include Barack in the discussion.

It was the same cowardice that
Nicole Colson demonstrated in US Socialist Worker's sole report on WikiLeaks last week. One article on WikiLeaks. They published 23 articles last week. Only one addressed the biggest document release in history. Only one. And even it pulled the punches.

Before last week started, Angus Stickler's "
Obama administration handed over detainees despite reports of torture" (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism) was already online, though you'd never know it by the way Beggar Media ignored it:

Human rights organisations have expressed outrage at the revelations. Professor Novak, the UN Rapporteur on Torture told the Bureau: "If the United States forces handed over detainees to Iraqi jurisdiction, despite the fact that they were at
serious risk of being subjected to torture, that is a violation of Article 3C of the Convention Against Torture of which the US is a signatory."
He said there should be a full and thorough investigation to ascertain whether
any of the detainees handed over to the Iraqi authorities by the US have been abused.
"The burden of proof is on the US to prove that they can categorically state that
the detainees they are handing over are not at risk of torture.There should be an investigation to look into the fate of those individuals to see whether they have
been abused."

This was picked up by human rights groups, by politicians outside the US, the details were covered by TV and radio programs and newspapers around the world. It was just the Beggar Media that couldn't inform you of it.

If you're going to lecture other outlets, Amy Goodman, then you better have been upfront on your program, which you weren't, you intentionally and repeatedly avoided the issue of turning prisoners over to Iraqi forces known/suspected of torture (it was known) and that took place under Barack Obama -- a fact you also avoided because you refuse to call him out for his War Crimes. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty both issue statements on this aspect of the release but Amy Goodman can't find it?
Really? Well it wasn't all that long ago, now was it, when she was using the inauguration as a fundraiser selling off tickets for over $1,000 to a DC inuagural ball. Don't forget she whored and she still does. She's not a trusted source, she's unable to call out the powerful. She should be used sparingly and not as the go-to reference because her record of whoring is now well known.
Over the weekend, the New York Times' public editor Arthur Brisbane attempted to 'take on' the WikiLeaks coverage. But a public editor needs to disclose. So when Brisbane quotes Thomas E. Ricks as a voice against WikiLeaks -- just like the government! -- and identifies him, he needs to offer more than a book Ricks wrote or a magazine he blogs at. Ricks is in agreement with the government? Well he belongs to a think-tank and Brisbane 'forgot' to include that fact.
Ricks belongs to the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) -- home to the homegrown terrorists in charge of counter-insurgency. Therefore, Ricks repeating the Pentagon spin isn't at all surprising. Michele Flournoy does what in the administration? She's the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (and being pushed as one of the leading nominees to replace Robert Gates when he leaves the post of Secretary of Defense). What did Michele start? Oh, that's right, she started CNAS. With Kurt Cambell, you know, the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacifica Affairs. CNAS, Thomas Ricks? Those are details a public editor needs to cover.
Friday October 22nd, WikiLeaks released 391,832 US military documents on the Iraq War. The documents -- US military field reports -- reveal torture and abuse and the ignoring of both. They reveal ongoing policies passed from the Bush administration onto the Obama one. They reveal that both administrations ignored and ignore international laws and conventions on torture. They reveal a much higher civilian death toll than was ever admitted to. The Pueblo Chieftain notes, "The documents show a weak, fractured national government in Baghdad despite a dramatic reduction of violence. This points out the need to keep forces there long after the time when President Barack Obama would want all of them removed by Dec. 31, 2011."

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Death toll rises in church siege, stalemate continues"
"The fallen and WikiLeaks"
"Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Presidential Dress Up"
"And the war drags on . . ."
"Arthur Brisband self-destructs in public, US pulls strings in Iraq"
"Rising death toll, WikiLeaks"

"You just have to know where to look for it"