While politicians, insiders and experts may be divided over how much the government should spend on the nation’s defense, there’s a
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White House & Dems Back Banks over Protests: Newly Discovered Homeland Security Files Show Feds Central to Occupy Crackdown
By Dave Lindorff
A new trove of heavily redacted documents provided by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) on behalf of filmmaker Michael Moore and the National Lawyers Guild makes it increasingly evident that there was and is a nationally coordinated campaign to disrupt and crush the Occupy Movement.
Why is the New York Times enabling a U.S. government smear campaign against reporters exposing the drone wars?
The Times let government officials anonymously attack a group of journalists and a lawyer who have uncovered evidence that belies the White House's claim that drones aren't killing many civilians. Was their rationale for that justified?
A human rights lawyer and a group of investigative journalists who have exposed the extensive civilian casualties from CIA drone strikes in Pakistan are being smeared by anonymous U.S. government officials, who have even accused them of being sympathetic to al Qaeda.
Two of the anonymous accusations came in articles in The New York Times, despite the paper's own rules against personal attacks by unnamed sources.
Pakistani human rights attorney Shahzad Akbar and the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) say the campaign is intended to deter mainstream news organizations from reporting that the White House is lying about how many innocent people are being killed by the drone strikes.
President Obama's top terrorism adviser John O. Brennan recently contended that civilian deaths were "exceedingly rare." The BIJ, though, puts total drone deaths in Pakistan since 2004 at between 2,440 and 3,113, and they say between 479 and 821 of the dead were civilians, including 174 children. Drone attacks in Pakistan have dramatically increased since Obama took office: President Bush was responsible for 52; Obama for 270 and counting.
Relying on the BIJ’s comprehensive research and his own investigations in support of a number of clients who are drone victims or families of victims and who are suing the CIA, Akbar has for the last two years sharply challenged U.S. government assertions regarding civilian casualties, most recently by filing two lawsuits in Pakistan, demanding a criminal investigation into the killings by Hellfire missile of some 50 people, including tribal elders in Waziristan in March 2011. (See Niemanwatchdog.org's May 10 story, Civilian drone victims, unrecognized by the U.S. government and public, seek justice.)
By Laura Kacere, Nation of Change
There’s a good number of us who question holidays like Mother’s Day in which you spend more time feeding money into a system that exploits our love for our mothers than actually celebrating them. It’s not unlike any other holiday in America in that its complete commercialization has stripped away so much of its genuine meaning, as well its history. Mother’s Day is unique in its completely radical and totally feminist history, as much as it has been forgotten.
Mother’s Day began in America in 1870 when Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation. Written in response to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, her proclamation called on women to use their position as mothers to influence society in fighting for an end to all wars. She called for women to stand up against the unjust violence of war through their roles as wife and mother, to protest the futility of their sons killing other mothers’ sons.
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
[Read the remainder of Howe's quote here]
The holiday caught on years later when a West Virginia women’s group led by Anna Reeves Jarvis began promoting it as a way to reunite families after the Civil War. After Jarvis’ death, her daughter began a campaign for the creation of an official Mother’s Day in honor of peace. Devoting much of her life to the cause, it wasn’t until 1914 when Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance in 1914.
The holiday flourished, along with the flower industry. The business journal, the Florists Review, actually admitted to its desire to exploit the holiday. Jarvis was strongly opposed to every aspect of the holiday’s commercialization, arrested for protesting the sale of flowers, and petitioning to stop the creation of a Mother’s Day postage stamp.
Today we are in multiple wars that continue to claim the lives of thousands of sons and daughters. We are also experiencing a still-rising commercialization of nearly every aspect of life; the exploitation of every possible human event and emotion at the benefit of corporations.
Let’s take this Mother’s Day to excuse ourselves from the pressure to consume and remember its radical roots – that mothers, or rather all women, in fact, all people, have a stake in war and a responsibility as American citizens to protest the incredible violence that so many fellow citizens, here and abroad, must suffer through.
The thousands of civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the devastating impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on our veterans are just the beginning of the terrible repercussion of war. As we saw last week an announcement of an extension of the military occupation of Afghanistan, let this mother’s day be a day after Julia Ward Howe’s own heart as we stand up and say no to 12 more years of war.
By John Grant
The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer.
- D.H. Lawrence
The realist in murder writes of a world in which gangsters can rule nations … where a judge with a cellar full of bootleg liquor can send a man to jail for having a pint in his pocket … where no man can walk down a dark street in safety because law and order are things we talk about but refrain from practicing.
- Raymond Chandler
American pop culture is certainly not unique in having a love affair with killers. Since the first cave man cracked his neighbor’s head open to control a water hole, eliminating others has been top on the list of problem-solving techniques.
Manufactured False Flag Bomb Plot Exposed, Officials Irate Over Leak Proving CIA Ran Entire Operation
From Pakalert Press
The supposed al Qaeda bomb plot to blow up a U.S. bound plane has completely fallen apparent with recent revelations that the terrorist was actually working for the CIA and Saudi Intelligence the entire time.
By NEWS Unspun
Many victims of acts of terrorism or state aggression receive the sympathy they deserve from the international media. In the case of certain aggressors however, the victims are 'unworthy'. On behalf of these victims, our media has little interest in consulting with experts on terrorism or international relations. Nor do they speculate about what the punishment or international response should be to the attackers.
By Charles M. Young
In journalism and in life, it is best to admit it when you’re wrong, and I was wrong last week. In my haste to write something timely about the triumphant return of Occupy Wall Street to the front lines of protest on May 1, I assumed that Fox Five New York and the NYPD were uniquely stupid as they colluded on a story about the possibility of Arab terrorists secreting bombs in their “cavities,” as the reporter referred to certain familiar orifices that are usually unmentioned on television. Fox Five led their 10:00 pm newscast with the story and I, in my cynicism, thought that only the minions of Rupert Murdoch could lead the news with an imaginary explosion of fecal matter and viscera on a day when Occupy Wall Street had tied up traffic all over Manhattan.
Boy, was I naive.
New York Times Publishes Hate Ad
by Stephen Lendman
The Times notoriously provides one-sided Israel/Palestine coverage. Jewish rights and all things Israel matter. Palestinians don't count.
World Press Freedom Day
by Stephen Lendman
America's First Amendment affirms it. So does Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
By Michael Collins
When things don't work out, doing business with Murdoch can be the kiss of death.
No matter how hard you try, how loyal you are, if something goes wrong, you can be sure it will be your fault.
Reporting has failed to lay the proper foundation for understanding Rupert Murdoch's remarkable testimony before the Leveson Inquiry in London and his behavior of late.
Rupert Murdoch is a nihilist.
Murdoch’s television outlets in the United States stoked the fires for the 2003 invasion of Iraq based on outrageous misrepresentations like the idea that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The war cost tens of thousands of dead and seriously injured U.S. soldiers, several hundred thousand dead Iraqi civilians, and $3 trillion. (Image: acb)
Last summer, Murdoch went full throttle to support Republicans in the U.S. Congress as they fabricated a debt ceiling crisis that seriously damaged the credit rating of the United States of America.
Murdoch’s support of the Tea Party created an utterly irrational voice in U.S. politics that prevents even the most modest necessary reforms. Created by right wing lobbyists, this pseudo party blocks every vital project, from reviving the economy to an effective, coordinated response to the crisis created by climate change.
by Stephen Lendman
Quelle surprise! Britain's parliament discovered what media critics and people wanting real news and information knew decades ago.
By Charles M. Young
I got home at 10:00 pm on the nose, and the first thing I did was take off my shoes after 14 hours of May Day marching with 30-40,000 other conscientious objectors to capitalism. My feet hurt, okay? My second priority was turning on the local news, which happened to be Fox Five New York. According to my watch, it was 10:02. I didn’t see the first few seconds of the story, but it must have have been the lead. There was Ray Kelly, the chief of police, talking about...not Occupy Wall Street?...no, it was a video of him on some talk show, warning of the apparently imminent threat of Arab terrorists “implanting” bombs in their bodies and blowing up airplanes and buildings.
Scott Camil, a veteran of the second-longest U.S. war in history, that on Vietnam, radically changed a discussion of the longest war in U.S. history, that on Afghanistan, on CNN on Sunday.
CNN's Don Lemon tried repeatedly to explain troops posing with body parts as an inscrutable result of war, without questioning the justification of that war. Repeatedly, Lemon instructed viewers not to judge soldiers.
A guest to whom Lemon devoted a great deal of time, Dr. Terry Lyles, followed Lemon's leads and was praised by Lemon as the best guest he'd heard from on the topic. Lyles suggested the problem was one of public relations: "We need to do a better job," he said, "you know, with them psychologically to help them understand that the world is watching. Be careful about what you do and what you capture while what you're doing every day is very difficult."
Scott Camil took a different tack, saying: "Well no we don't know what it's like to be in combat unless you've been in combat, but I think the real question is: you're nit picking when you're talking about things like people posing with bodies. The real question should be why are we at war in the first place? Why are we killing so many people in the first place? The concern over posing with someone that's dead, it seems to me the fact that that person is dead and that we're killing people is more important than what happens after they're dead."
Camil's comment was so effective that the next panelist to speak shifted to his topic. Holly Hughes remarked: "Scott hit the nail on the head because now we've opened a dialogue. What are we talking about now? Shouldn't we be more upset that we're out there killing people? . . . Maybe we need to assess why we're there in the first place."
Camil continued: "What I understand is what it's like to be in a war zone and I understand the behavior in a war zone. And I would say that, first of all, that war is really an institution made up of criminal behavior. When we as civilians want to solve our problems, we're not allowed to murder people and burn their houses down. I don't see why war is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. And furthermore, the majority of people that die are innocent civilians."
Some fundamental truths are rarely spoken on television.
Watch the video:
Scott Camil was honorably discharged with 13 medals including 2 purple hearts following 20 months voluntarily spent as a Marine in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967. He testified at the Winter Soldier Investigation in 1971, and was a founding member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War Inc. He is an active member of Veterans For Peace and serves as the President of Chapter 014 in Gainesville, Florida.
was founded in 1985 and has approximately 5,000 members in 150 chapters located in every U.S. state and several countries. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the United Nations, and is the only national veterans' organization calling for the abolishment of war.
By Joseph P. Blake
I believe that absolutely nothing happens in a vacuum.
There is always a connection between why things happen and the something (or someone) that made it happen. All too frequently that connection is not easily apparent, and that creates problems.
I’m convinced there is a connection between the contemporary television shows like “Axe Men,” “Ice Road Truckers”, “Swamp People”, “Hillbilly Noodling”, "Sarah Palin’s Alaska” and a play entitled, “Puddin’ Head.”
The Department of Theater at Temple University in Philadelphia, staged that play – containing racist content – as its contribution to Black History Month this year.
Rupert Murdoch's reign over the $33 billion News Corporation hinges on events surrounding the company's ownership share of Britain's dominant pay TV network, BSkyB (Sky). As Business Insider said, "it's the only asset that really matters" in the News Corp collection of media properties.
As a result of Murdoch scandals, News Corp lost the chance to buy 100% of Sky's shares. More troubling for the media monarch, the company may lose the 39% interest it already holds if British regulators determine that Murdoch is not a fit and proper owner. This would fuel the major News Corp shareholder suits in Delaware and New York that seek to remove Murdoch as board chairman and vastly diminish his power and that of his family and cronies.
Sky reaches 25 million viewers in 10 million homes. Revenues are growing at 10% a year with adjusted operating profit growth averaging around 16% of revenues (see 2009 through 2011). Revenues from 2012 through 2016 should top $70 billion total with adjusted operating profits around $11 billion. What happens with Sky really matters.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has delivered a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that calls for a resumption of peace negotiations.
Look at the image the Washington Post (4/18/12) used to accompany its story about this :
I will admit that a letter might not lend itself to an interesting graphic, but it sure seems odd to use a fiery Molotov cocktail instead.
By John Grant
Whore: (verb) To debase oneself by doing something for unworthy motives, typically to make money.
-The New Oxford American Dictionary
It’s a challenge to make adult sense of the absurdities coming out of Colombia right now.
By Michael Collins
Rupert Murdoch is in big trouble. It is not a perfect storm but we're getting there.
British attorney Mark Lewis is in New York to take legal action in behalf of clients who may have had their phones hacked in the United States.
More significantly, News Corp withdrew its bid to buy the remaining 61% of BSkyB, the highly profitable British cable TV franchise (£1.1 billion 2011, News Corp owns 39% now). (Murdoch images: left, right)
Last week, James Murdoch stepped down as chairman of BSkyB after surviving a challenge to his position just weeks ago.
By Danny Schechter
New York: Mike Wallace lived a long life and became one of America’s best-known non-anchor news stars, whose frequent appearances stirred controversies and broke countless stories.
The picture in the New York Times obit showed his wall of Emmys—I am sure he had a museumfull—all thanks to his relentless drive and unlimited energy.
Later in life, he would acknowledge that he was a manic depressive, but it was that manic part that pushed him to interview a who’s who of who was, and expose endless bad guys often with gimmicky confrontational interviews that showcased his considerable talents on 60 Minutes, for decades. America’s most watched news magazine.
My earliest memory of him was not on CBS where he achieved iconic status but on a network that came and went called Dumont, where he did an interview show for many years before he went national.
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.
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.
Get the latest edition free right here: PDF.
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.
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
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
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.