Suppressing Truth and Promoting War: A New York Times Tradition - by Stephen Lendman
According to media scholar/critic Robert McChesney, today's corporate journalism is co-opted, corrupted, gutted, and virtually worthless as a source of real news, information and analysis.
As a result, a free and open society is at risk because fiction substitutes for fact. News is carefully managed. Dissent is marginalized, and supporting wealth and power interests replace full disclosure and accurate reporting. No wonder imperial wars are called liberating one. Civil liberties are suppressed for our own good, and patriotism means going along with lawless governments. America's under both parties certainly qualifies.
A previous article explained that for many decades, The Times has been America's closest equivalent to an official ministry of information and propaganda, masquerading as real news, commentary, analysis and opinion.
Its long history reveals a record of suppressing truth, supporting powerful interests, backing corporate predators, and endorsing imperial wars, no matter how much killing, destruction, and human misery they cause, let alone why they're waged.
In Times logic, America's are legitimate, liberating and just when, in fact, they're lawless, brutal, exploitive wealth and power grabs, intolerant of democratic values, including at home.
As a result, an April 7 editorial headlined, "Keeping Ahead of Qaddafi" doesn't surprise, saying:
America should use A-10 Warthogs to attack tanks and armor and AC-130 gunships to escalate killing on the ground, explaining they "can fly slow enough and low enough" to destroy targets better than "highflying supersonic French and British jets." American ones as well still participating.
In fact, AFRICOM's General Carter Ham, commanding the Libyan war, not NATO, said these and other strike aircraft are deployed and available to provide close air-ground support. Recent bad weather and threats from Gaddafi's mobile surface-to-air missiles restricted their use so far, he explained.
Claiming this will avoid civilian casualties, Times reasoning ignores the historic record that democratic and authoritarian governments willfully kill large numbers of civilians strategically to win wars at all cost, especially imperial ones to colonize conquered foes, control their resources, and exploit their people ruthlessly for profit.
During and since WW II alone, America killed millions of mostly civilian Japanese, Germans, Italians, Koreans, Southeast Asians, Central Americans, Africans, Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, and now Libyans.
In fact, its rules of engagement (ROE) stress one strategy only - win without restraint. All targets are fair game to defeat adversaries. In other words, civilian lives are of no consequence, and at times become strategic targets.
"Wars are messy business," said The Times, a disdainful comment mindless of the cost as long as not to Americans, at least not enough to make headlines.
To remove Gaddafi and control the entire Mediterranean Basin, expect a future Times editorial to endorse ground troops, suggested by General Ham before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
Asked if deploying them was planned, he said:
"I suspect there might be some consideration of that. My personal view at this point would be that that's probably not the ideal circumstance, again for the regional reaction that having American boots on the ground would entail."
Unmentioned was UN Resolution 1973 prohibiting their use, besides Obama and Defense Secretary Gates repeatedly saying no ground forces will be used. Nonetheless, credible information revealed that US and UK Special forces, as well as CIA and MI 6 intelligence operatives have been there for weeks or months as well as Egyptian commandos, arming and training so-called rebels.
They include elements of popular resistance, Gaddafi defectors (perhaps bribed and/or intimidated to switch sides), and violent Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) insurgents, the same or latter day ones who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan and Americans in Iraq, ideologically allied with Al Qaeda (in fact, a CIA creation).
In December 2004, the US State Department designated LIFG a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), accusing its members of being allied with "Usama bin Ladin and believed to be part of al-Qaida's leadership and structure or active in the international terrorist network."
In August 2007, the State Department said "Libyans associated with the LIFG are part of the broader international terrorist movement. The LIFG is one of the groups believed to have planned the Casablanca suicide bombings in May 2003....The LIFG constitutes a serious threat to US interests and personnel."
The State Department also said they were responsible for a 1996 failed Gaddafi assassination attempt, and during the 1990s clashed with Libyan security forces.
They're not people readers would invite to dinner or want in their neighborhood, let alone running their country. Quite the opposite.
In three decades, they shifted from US allies to enemies to again allies, and perhaps enemies ahead when their usefulness ends, and they're abandoned or used short-term repressively to solidify control. Not freedom fighters or democrats, they're, in fact, cutthroat killers used by America exploitively to win at all costs for imperial, not liberating reasons.
New York Times Downplays Fukushima's Threat
Numerous previous articles explained the grave danger from Japan's nuclear disaster, accessed in chronological order at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Nonetheless, since the March 11 earthquake/tsunami caused it, Times reports and editorials supported the notion that damage is contained and Americans face no threat when, in fact, quite the opposite is true.
Its April 8 editorial continued the subterfuge headlined, "How Much of a Threat? saying:
"People in Japan and in this country are rightly concerned. But, as of now, potential health risks appear to be limited in Japan and virtually nonexistent in the United States."
False and Times management knows it, willfully lying to readers to support a dangerous technology and nuclear proliferation previous articles called ticking time bombs, assuring inevitable new Fukushimas or worse.
Japan's disaster will persist for months or years. Two distinguished nuclear experts, Marion Fulk and Chris Busby, publicly said northern Japan (one-third of the country) is uninhabitable and should be evacuated.
Moreover, Europe and North America are affected. Sampled San Francisco rainwater showed Iodine-131 readings 181 times normal. Measures up to that level also showed up in Idaho, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. It's also showing up in milk, but not in Times reports, suppressing vital information everyone needs to know.
Instead, The Times said:
"Top officials from American health agencies said this week that Americans are in no danger from trace amounts of radiation being detected in this country's air, water or food supplies."
According to Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC - one of many US corporate controlled agencies):
"There is no threat to health in the US from radiation from Japan," when, in fact, the threat is real and increasing the longer the crisis persists.
A Final Comment
Times reporters and management represent wealth and power, willfully lying to suppress vital information detrimental to their interests, no matter the harm to readers who rely on journalism for truth.
Unfailingly, the "paper of record" won't provide it, nor does the entire corporate media establishment and other sources, co-opted by dubious funding to buy their cooperation, selling their souls and honor for a buck.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.