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Where's the criminal investigation of the Murdoch Empire? Shareholders to the rescue

By Michael Collins

There was something tawdry and disgusting about the phone hacking by Rupert Murdoch's News of the World. The News Corporation owned tabloid hacked the phone mails of several thousand citizens of Great Britain. Victims included celebrities, politicians, and even a murdered eleven year old kidnap victim.

But that wasn't enough to generate type of criminal investigation of News Corporation that would topple Rupert Murdoch and his clan from the throne of the $30 billion News Corporation.

The current revelations of cable television hacking, laid out in detail by Australia's Financial Review and the BBC, provide a more concrete connection between outright criminality and the Murdoch run media giant. This alleged criminal behavior involves hackers on the payroll of a former Murdoch controlled Israel based company, NDS, and the demise of cable television competitors in Great Britain, the United States, and Australia due to that activity.

These allegations are reinvigorating the institutional shareholders revolt that may be the end of the Murdoch clan's control of News Corporation.

Catching Rachel Maddow's Drift

People who know better gave Rachel Maddow's new book unqualified praise in blurbs on the dust jacket. Maybe they see more good than bad in the book, which is called "Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power."  That's a fair assessment.  I'd love for a hundred million Americans or so who never read books to read this one.  It wouldn't be the first book I'd pick, but it would probably do a lot more good than harm. 

Student Photographer's Arrest: Snapshot of Systemic Police Abuse

 

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

I don’t know Temple University photojournalism major Ian Van Kuyk, despite his enrollment in Temple’s Journalism Department, where I teach.

I do know that dynamics embedded in the recent arrest of Van Kuyk by Philadelphia police--an arrest now generating news coverage nationwide--provide yet another snapshot of the systemic abuses I’ve reported and researched during three decades spent examining and documenting the lawlessness of supposed law enforcers.

I also know that police attacking civilians for lawfully photographing public spaces, police routinely employing unlawful excessive force and prosecutors too frequently turning a blind eye to such police misconduct are all nationwide problems.

Lawyers Guild Expects More Documents: Evidence Homeland Security Coordinated Occupy Crackdown

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

If you want to know where the real government of the United States is located, just check out one of the documents received by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund in response to their Freedom of Information Act request to the Dept. of Homeland Security relating to surveillance of the Occupy Movement. That document, from the Secret Service, dated September 17, 2011, the day the Occupy movement began on Wall Street, from the US Secret Service Intelligence Division, titled Prism Demonstrations Abstract, list the location as “Wall Street Bull” -- a reference to the bronze statue of a bull on Wall Street in front of the

 New York Stock Exchange, and the “protectee” as “The United States Government.”

New York Times Promotes War on Syria and Iran

  New York Times Promotes War on Syria and Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

As America's leading broadsheet, what it reports matters, especially on war and peace. 

 

Instead of accuracy, full disclosure, and supporting right over wrong, The Times consistently cheerleads US wars and prospective ones.

Asking the Wrong Questions About War

  Asking the Wrong Questions About War

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller now writes Times op-eds on alternate Mondays, as well as articles for The New York Times Magazine.

 

Too bad his columns get failing grades. Scoundrel journalism is featured. Truth and full disclosure are excluded. His March 18 article is typical. 

Ad Time's a Terrible Thing to Waste: Strange But True Twists In Limbaugh Scandal

 

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

The continuing exodus of advertisers from the Rush Limbaugh radio show following his vulgar rants about a female law school student is generating many strange twists.

One exodus-related twist is the filling of the air-time ad void on Limbaugh’s program with public service announcements.

Ironically, that void is now being filled by public service announcements from entities Rush loves to hate like the federal Environmental Protection Agency – the entity responsible for regulating the toxic polluters Limbaugh’s always so quick to defend.

One of the stranger twists in having PSAs fill the paid-ad void on Limbaugh’s program is broadcasting PSAs from the United Negro College Fund.

Afghanistan: The Wheels Are Coming Off

 

By John Grant

 

When does a determination to look on the bright side turn into a state of denial? That is, when do leaders of a secrecy-obsessed US government admit the decision-making surrounding the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan was misguided from the beginning and the endgame is a mess because of it?

While the leadership of America is mud-wrestling with itself in the election "silly season," the nation is watching the wheels come off its military occupation of Afghanistan. It feels like that special effects TV ad for a new SUV in which, as the SUV speeds forward, thousands of its parts magically come flinging loose until we see nothing but the truck chassis speeding ahead.

New York Times Wages War on Palestine

  New York Times Wages War on Palestine

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Like all US major media scoundrels, longstanding New York Times policy features one-sided pro-Israeli reports, commentaries, and opinions. 

 

Its coverage of Israel's latest Gaza aggression is one of many examples. More on that below.

Waging War on Truth

  Waging War on Truth

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Major media scoundrel reports, commentaries, and editorials distort, misreport, censor, and suppress. Truth and full disclosure lose out. Readers and viewers deserving better are cheated.

 

Goebbels Would Stand in Awe: The US Corporate News Media are Rank Propagandists on Iran

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The sorry state of American journalism is on full display in the coverage by the corporate media of the ongoing crisis surrounding Iran’s nuclear fuel program.

 

The leaders of both Israel and the U.S. have publicly threatened to attack Iran -- Israel saying it could do so within weeks, President Obama warning that he would consider attacking Iran militarily if he were convinced that that nation was building an atomic bomb. 

 

Lies, Damn Lies and Major Media Scoundrel Journalism

  Lies, Damn Lies, and Major Media Scoundrel Journalism

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Merriam-Webster's defines journalism as involving "writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation."

 

In other words, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else.

Israel Lobby Beats the Drums For War

 

By John Grant

 

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (or AIPAC) is having its three-day annual meeting in Washington DC beginning Sunday March 4th. AIPAC is arriving in an atmosphere of beating war drums and rattling sabers against Iran.

Israel preemptively starting a war with Iran would be bad enough, but the assumption that the United States will be part of that war should be very disturbing to Americans -- who are just getting over one misguided, costly war in Iraq and are still involved in another in Afghanistan.

Unemployment Mumbo-Jumbo and Rank Propaganda

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The US stock market jumped up today on word that the number of new unemployment applications fell to the lowest level in four years.

Sounds good, right? It's meant to sound good, but if you look at the number, and if you think about what it really means, it's not good news at all.

What the US Labor Department reported was that new unemployment claims filed for the week ended Feb. 24 totaled 351,000, which was slightly lower than the 353,000 new claims filed the prior week. "Slightly indeed! a better term for this 0.57% decline is "statistically insignificant!

The idea that such a "drop" in new claims would spark a jump in the Dow or the S&P shows how completely divorced from reality investors really are.

President Barack Obama and His Key Advisors are a Gang of War Criminals

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

If a bunch of street toughs decided to gang up and beat the crap out of some guy in the neighborhood because they feared he might be planning to buy a gun to protect his family, I think we’d all agree that the police would be right to bust that crew and charge them with conspiracy to commit the crime of assault and battery. If they went forward with their plan and actually did attack the guy, injuring or killing him in the process, we’d also all agree they should all be charged with assault and battery, attempted murder, or even first-degree murder if he died.

 

So Many Prisons and No Room for War Propagandists?

Article VI of the US Constitution makes treaties the United States signs and ratifies the supreme law of the land.  The United States has signed and ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 20 of which reads:

1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.

2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.

But the United States has ratified that with this reservation:

 "(1) That article 20 does not authorize or require legislation or other action by the United States that would restrict the right of free speech and association protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States."

So, in a sane world in which freedom of speech had not already been stretched to include the bribery of elected officials, there would be a serious question to place before our courts, or our legislature, or -- better -- our people: Does the First Amendment protect this?

Better You Shouldn't Ask...

CNN Silences War-Skeptical Soldier

February 27, 2012

Consortiumnews.com Editor's Note: By obsessing over Iran gaining a nuclear weapon “capability” – even with no actual bomb – while ignoring Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal, the U.S. news media proves the point of its own bias. There’s also the usual hostility toward dissenting voices, as Ray McGovern notes.

By Ray McGovern

When CNN interviews a U.S. Army corporal preparing for his third deployment to Afghanistan, should TV viewers be permitted to hear him out on a front-burner issue like Iran’s alleged threat to Israel? For those who might think so, watch what happens when 28-year-old Cpl. Jesse Thorsen touches a neuralgic nerve by suggesting that Israel can take care of itself.

ACTA 2.0

  ACTA 2.0

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) "a secretive, multi-nation agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property laws across the globe."

 

The US and Its Dark Passenger, Part II: Act of Valor

 

By John Grant

 

The United States is finding the occupation of other nations more and more challenging. Consider the burning of Korans in Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, the bombing deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers and a host of other recent disasters. Economic challenges at home only add to the difficulty.

In such a frustrating quandary, Washington and Pentagon leaders are falling back on what they feel the US does best: Secret killing.

The New York Times: America's Unofficial Propaganda Ministry

  The New York Times: America's Unofficial Propaganda Ministry

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

For over a century, The Times played America's lead role disseminating state/corporate propaganda duplicitously. 

 

Its daily diet features managed, not real, news, information and analysis. Readers don't get what they pay for. They're cheated on what matters most. 

The US and Its Dark Passenger

 

By John Grant

 

I could have been a vicious raving monster who killed and killed and left towers of rotting flesh in my wake. Instead, here I was on the side of truth, justice and the American way. Still a monster, of course, but I cleaned up nicely afterward, and I was OUR monster, dressed in red, white and blue 100 percent synthetic virtue.
 
-Jeff Lindsay
Dearly Devoted Dexter

 


I teach creative writing in a maximum security prison in Philadelphia. During the week I scour two thrift shops for 35-cent paperbacks that I haul in to stock a small lending library I created for inmates. Amazingly, the prison had no library.

Drones and Special Forces Invite Payback: Time for a Return to Sanity and Peace

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The attacks and attempted attacks this week on Israeli embassy personnel in Georgia, India and Thailand should serve as a serious warning to the people of both Israel and the US that there will be an increasingly heavy price to pay for the kind of government-sponsored terror that both countries have long practiced, and that too many Americans and Israelis have mindlessly cheered on.

 

The technology of terror has become so wide-spread, and the materials needed to construct magnetically-attached  car bombs, cell-phone detonators, armor-piercing IEDs, diesel/fertilizer bombs and the like, so accessable at consumer shops, hardware stores and local junkyards, that any government, and even any relatively savvy non-government group, can assemble and employ them.

BBC: Caught in the Act

  BBC: Caught in the Act

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On February 11, the London Independent headlined, "BBC to issue global apology for documentaries that broke rules," saying:

 

Do We Approve of Murder Based on Political Party? Pollsters Don't Want You to Know.

A poll published on Wednesday at the Washington Post finds that a majority of even "liberal Democrats" approves of Obama killing US citizens.  Of course, this would almost certainly be different if Obama were a Republican. 

What if an organization with money but no partisanship (are there some?) were to commission a poll from a pollster willing to face a firestorm of attacks from the political parties (are there any such pollsters?), a poll that would ask people all their demographic info, including politics and party identification if any, and ask some of them:

If President Obama had to kill a US citizen to protect the nation, based purely on the word of the President, would you approve?

If President Obama had to imprison a US citizen with no trial to protect the nation, based purely on the word of the President, would you approve?

If President Obama had to launch a war without congressional authorization in order to protect the nation, based purely on the word of the President, would you approve?

If President Obama determined it to be necessary to deploy a nuclear bomb and did so, would you approve?

The poll would ask those questions of a large enough sample to be well represented in each demographic category.  Then a similar sample would be asked the  same questions with Romney substituted for Obama.  Then others would be asked the questions about a President Santorum, and others with Gingrich. 

The results would almost certainly show that many in the United States do indeed place loyalty to political parties or elected officials above matters of life and death -- at least the lives and deaths of others.

This would, of course, be shameful, and if it made it into the corporate news it would make all types of partisanship look bad.  It might, very likely, however, make one brand of partisanship look worst.  I would predict that Republicans would each be highly approving of these abuses by at least one Republican candidate, and that their approval would diminish for the others, and especially for Obama.  Democrats, I expect, would be less approving, but still strongly approving in the case of Obama, but that there would be a particularly significant drop off in approval by Democrats of such crimes if committed by any of the Republicans. 

What pollster would be willing to test these assumptions?

Of course, in reality there is such a thing as being too late.  Opposing abuses when Bush is president, but limiting the opposition at the behest of the Democratic Party, was followed by support for Obama's protection of and continuation and expansion of the crimes.  Now shady Bush policies have become open "legal" practice.  It is too late to take them back from the next Republican president, or any president, without fundamental change to our government.  If we continue down the current path, eventually the partisanship will retreat on this issue and supporters of presidential murder will tend to support it by any president and to imagine that no alternative to that exists.

Burying Black History Month: Graffiti Defacing America's Vaunted Wall of Greatness?

 

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

Ask journalists across America what is the seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the First Amendment’s press freedom right and most with even a minimal knowledge of First Amendment history will quickly answer New York Times vs. Sullivan.

However, few journalists are aware that the Supreme Court decision significantly reinforcing their press freedom protections arose from the Civil Rights Movement, and in an action involving iconic activist Dr. Martin Luther King.

The 1964 New York Times vs. Sullivan decision is one of a number of U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the Twentieth Century where struggles by African-Americans to obtain long-denied constitutional rights succeeded in expanding constitutional protections for all Americans.

After Almost a Century Britain Decides to Bring WWI Home and Turn It on Civilians

Nerve Gas To Be Used for Crowd Control in the UK?

Royal Society scientists tell of 'incapacitating chemical agents' investigation

- Common Dreams staff

A neuroscience research team has announced that the UK may be planning on implementing nerve gas and other chemical agents for domestic law enforcement. Scientists commissioned through Royal Society, the UK's national academy of sciences, says that the government commissioned them to research new developments in neuroscience that would 'be of use to the military'. The group of scientists has become aware that the government may be preparing to use incapacitating chemical agents for crowd control.

READ THE REST.

US Iran Policy in 'Lockstep' with Israel?: President Obama Risks Becoming a Major-League War Criminal

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

It’s a relief to know that President Obama’s “preferred” solution to dealing with disagreements with Iran is diplomacy, as he said yesterday in an interview on NBC TV, but at the same time, it’s profoundly disturbing that he is simultaneously saying that, as an AP report on the interview put it: he would “not take options off the table to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”

 

The Making and Unmaking of a Film on Dick Cheney's War Crimes

By Michael Hayne, Addicting Info

So you remember how Dick Cheney and company did everything in their diabolical power to hoodwink America into going to war with Iraq and  liberating the Iraqi people from the brutal fist of Saddam Hussein pursuing a petty vendetta and building a permanent American imperialistic free-market paradise? Although a significant portion of the American electorate is still in therapy to suppress the dark Bush/Cheney years and the Statue of Liberty still suffers from acute nausea, perhaps you recall the John Yoo Torture Memo, the  infamous memo that the Bush Administration relied on in justifying its harsh interrogation “techniques” on prisoners overseas. This was the memo that was in force when the Abu Ghraib detainees were subjected to cruel treatment and torture, including “Waterboarding“, Dick Cheney’s favorite water sport that was used on a variety of essential and non-essential prisoners to extract information (and to make Cheney smile).

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