Posted by: quiscus | December 11, 2010

December 11, 2010

1.  “Why Are Wars Not Being Reported Honestly?

In the US Army manual on counterinsurgency, the American commander General David Petraeus describes Afghanistan as a “war of perception… conducted continuously using the news media.” What really matters is not so much the day-to-day battles against the Taliban as the way the adventure is sold in America where “the media directly influence the attitude of key audiences.” Reading this, I was reminded of the Venezuelan general who led a coup against the democratic government in 2002. “We had a secret weapon,” he boasted. “We had the media, especially TV. You got to have the media.”

Never has so much official energy been expended in ensuring journalists collude with the makers of rapacious wars which, say the media-friendly generals, are now “perpetual.” In echoing the west’s more verbose warlords, such as the waterboarding former US vice-president Dick Cheney, who predicated “50 years of war,” they plan a state of permanent conflict wholly dependent on keeping at bay an enemy whose name they dare not speak: the public.

In the wake of this “war to end all wars,” Edward Bernays, a confidante of President Woodrow Wilson, coined the term “public relations” as a euphemism for propaganda “which was given a bad name in the war.” In his book, Propaganda (1928), Bernays described PR as “an invisible government which is the true ruling power in our country” thanks to “the intelligent manipulation of the masses.” This was achieved by “false realities” and their adoption by the media. (One of Bernays’s early successes was persuading women to smoke in public. By associating smoking with women’s liberation, he achieved headlines that lauded cigarettes as “torches of freedom.”)”

2.  “State Dept Decides: Julian Assange Not a Journalist

Agenda of Seeing Truth Released Incompatible With Being Journalist

The protection of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange under the umbrella of freedom of the press has been a surprisingly controversial subject in the United States. But the US State Department has weighed in today and ruled that Julian Assange doesn’t count as a journalist but is rather a “political actor.”

The claim, which was announced by US Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley came with the justification that Assange has an “agenda” behind his activities, which in this case appears to be the goal of seeing the truth revealed to the public, which is wholly incompatible with being a “journalist.

It is a doubly bizarre claim, both because the historical concept of a journalist involves exactly this, revealing true information to the public, and in that the United States does not formally license journalists nor does there seem to be any basis for deciding who does or doesn’t count.”

3.  “Military Bans Disks, Threatens Courts-Martial to Stop New Leaks

the U.S. military is telling its troops to stop using CDs, DVDs, thumb drives and every other form of removable media — or risk a court martial.”

4.  “Assange accuser flees to Middle East, may not be cooperating with police”

5.  “FAA loses track of 119,000 aircraft”

6.  “How far down the U.S. has slid can be seen, ironically enough, in a recent commentary in Pravda (that’s right, Russia’s Pravda):

“What WikiLeaks has done is make people understand why so many Americans are politically apathetic… After all, the evils committed by those in power can be suffocating, and the sense of powerlessness that erupts can be paralyzing, especially when … government evildoers almost always get away with their crimes. …

“So shame on Barack Obama, Eric Holder and all those who spew platitudes about integrity, justice and accountability while allowing war criminals and torturers to walk freely upon the earth. … The American people should be outraged that [their] government has transformed a nation with a reputation for freedom, justice, tolerance and respect for human rights into a backwater that revels in its criminality, cover-ups, injustices and hypocrisies.”

7.  “Halliburton May Pay $500 million to Keep Cheney out of Prison: Report”


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