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Judge for yourself, but I turned my tv off after the election vote disenfranchisement in our own USA was non-news. I don't want to be fed the reports the administration wants reported as "news" nor do I want to be culpable of permitting the propaganda to paint a portrait of reality. 
 
 As I remember it there was a time when "news" was intended to propagate in the mind of the public the need to rid a country of the vermin, no better than rats it was said while the country targeted a population for extinction. You might recall that time in history, it's referred to now as political propaganda orchestrated to infuse a German populace with hatred or failing that, at least fear, and failing even that an enforced silence in which one dared not speak to truth or reality.  Are we there yet?  We are sure on our way to getting there if we haven't arrived already.   

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Shooting the Messenger
The real issue in the Eason Jordan controversy is the US military's killing of journalists in Iraq
 
by Jeremy Scahill
 
from the March 7, 2005 issue of The Nation
 
One of the most powerful executives in the cable news business, CNN's Eason Jordan, was brought down after he spoke out of school during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in January. In a rare moment of candor, Jordan reportedly said that the US military had targeted a dozen journalists who had been killed in Iraq. The comments quickly ignited a firestorm on the Internet, fueled by right-wing bloggers, that led to Jordan's recanting, apologizing and ultimately resigning after twenty-three years at the network, "in an effort to prevent CNN from being unfairly tarnished by the controversy."
 
But the real controversy here should not be over Jordan's comments. The controversy ought to be over the unconscionable silence in the United States about the military's repeated killing of journalists in Iraq.
 
Consider the events of April 8, 2003. Early that morning, Al Jazeera correspondent Tareq Ayyoub was reporting from the network's Baghdad bureau. He was providing an eyewitness account of a fierce battle between US and Iraqi forces along the banks of the Tigris. As he stood on the roof of the building, a US warplane swooped in and fired a rocket at Al Jazeera's office. Ayyoub was killed instantly. US Central Command released a statement claiming, "Coalition forces came under significant enemy fire from the building where the Al-Jazeera journalists were working." No evidence was ever produced to bolster this claim. Al Jazeera, which gave the US military its coordinates weeks before the invasion began, says it received assurances a day before Ayyoub's death that the network would not be attacked.
 
At noon on April 8, a US Abrams tank fired at the Palestine Hotel, home and office to more than 100 unembedded international journalists operating in Baghdad at the time. The shell smashed into the fifteenth-floor Reuters office, killing two cameramen, Reuters's Taras Protsyuk and Josť Couso of Spain's Telecinco. The United States again claimed that its forces had come under enemy fire and were acting in self-defense. This claim was contradicted by scores of journalists who were in the hotel and by a French TV crew that filmed the attack. In its report on the incident, the Committee to Protect Journalists asserted that "Pentagon officials, as well as commanders on the ground in Baghdad, knew that the Palestine Hotel was full of international journalists."
 
In a chilling statement at the end of that day in Iraq, then-Pentagon spokesperson Victoria Clarke spelled out the Pentagon's policy on journalists not embedded with US troops. She warned them that Baghdad "is not a safe place. You should not be there."
 
Eason Jordan's comment was hardly a radical declaration. He was expressing a common view among news organizations around the world. "We have had three deaths, and they were all non-embedded, non-coalition nationals and they were all at the hands of the US military, and the reaction of the US authorities in each case was that they were somehow justified," David Schlesinger, Reuters's global managing editor, said in November. "What is the US's position on nonembeds? Are nonembedded journalists fair game?" One of the BBC's top news anchors, Nik Gowing, said recently that he was "speak[ing] for a large number of news organizations, many of whom are not really talking publicly about this at the moment," when he made this statement about the dangers facing reporters in Iraq: "The trouble is that a lot of the military--particularly the American...military--do not want us there. And they make it very uncomfortable for us to work. And I think that this...is leading to security forces in some instances feeling it is legitimate to target us with deadly force and with impunity."
 
The US military has yet to discipline a single soldier for the killing of a journalist in Iraq. While some incidents are classified as "ongoing investigation[s]," most have been labeled self-defense or mistakes. Some are even classified as "justified," like the killing of Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana, shot near Abu Ghraib prison when his camera was allegedly mistaken for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Also "justified" was the killing of Al Arabiya TV's Mazen al-Tumeizi, blown apart by a US missile as he reported on a burning US armored vehicle on Baghdad's Haifa Street.
 
There have also been several questionable killings of journalists at US military checkpoints, such as the March 2004 shooting deaths of Ali Abdel-Aziz and Ali al-Khatib of Al Arabiya. The Pentagon said the soldiers who shot the journalists acted within the "rules of engagement." And Reuters freelancer Dhia Najim was killed by US fire while filming resistance fighters in November 2004. "We did kill him," an unnamed military official told the New York Times. "He was out with the bad guys. He was there with them, they attacked, and we fired back and hit him."
 
The military has faced almost no public outcry at home about these killings. In fact, comments by Ann Cooper of the Committee to Protect Journalists have been used to discredit Jordan's statement at Davos. "From our standpoint," Cooper was widely quoted as saying, "journalists are not being targeted by the US military in Iraq." But as CPJ's Joel Campagna acknowledges, the Pentagon has not been cooperative in the investigations of many of these journalist killings. The fact is that CPJ doesn't know that the military has not targeted journalists, and there are many facts that suggest that it has. These include not only the events of April 8, 2003, but credible accounts of journalists being tortured by the US military in Iraq, such as Salah Hassan and Suheib Badr Darwish of Al Jazeera [see Christian Parenti, "Al Jazeera Goes to Jail," March 29, 2004] and three Reuters staffers who say they were brutalized by US forces for seventy-two hours after they filmed a crashed US helicopter near Falluja in January 2004. According to news reports, the journalists were blindfolded, forced to stand for hours with their arms raised and threatened with sexual abuse. A family member of one journalist said US interrogators stripped him naked and forced a shoe into his mouth.
 
In many of these cases, there is a common thread: The journalists, mostly Arabs, were reporting on places or incidents that the military may not have wanted the world to see--military vehicles in flames, helicopters shot down, fierce resistance against the "liberation" forces, civilian deaths.
 
In his resignation letter, Jordan wrote, "I never meant to imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent when U.S. forces accidentally killed journalists." The families and colleagues of the slain journalists believe otherwise. And it is up to all journalists, not just those in Europe and the Middle East, to honor the victims by holding their killers responsible. In Spain, the family of cameraman Josť Couso has filed a lawsuit against the US soldiers who killed him, and they plan to travel to the United States for the anniversary of his death this spring. Will any network have the courage to put them on the air?
 
Jeremy Scahill, who has spent extensive time reporting from Iraq, is a journalist with the national radio and TV program Democracy Now! www.democracynow.org. He can be reached at jeremy@democracynow.org
© 2005 The Nation
 

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The Jeff Gannon/Guckert news is well reported and I don't have much interest in adding to the frenzy, yet it is significant so I will just copy/paste a report from Media Matters which about covers it.  Personally, it wasn't that difficult to see through the framing of the "news reporter" questions to know it wasn't anything resembling hard news or hard questions or even remotely passing as the function of news journalists at press conferences. 

But hey, if you want to pile on, be my guest.  I put it here just to show that news has moved a long way into becoming strictly propaganda, pure and simple.  And warning ought to be that those who think they have a grip on what's going on by following mainstream news have permitted themselves to be swallowed up in the propaganda machine, repeating, ad nauseum, the prepared talking points of this administration and not much else.  Does that constitute analytical thinking to recite the propaganda, then work hard to find ways to support it and "make it so" as Jean' Luc Picard is prone to say?  The answer is rather obvious, need I say more.  (my comments) 
 
"Media Matters," week ending February 18, 2005 by Jamison Foser
 
 
Week ending February 18, 2005

Quote of the Week:
Bush officials have divorced themselves from reality. They flipped TV's in the West Wing and Air Force One to Fox News. They paid conservative columnists handsomely to promote administration programs. Federal agencies distributed packaged "news" video releases with faux anchors so local news outlets would run them. As CNN reported, the Pentagon produces Web sites with "news" articles intended to influence opinion abroad and at home, but you have to look hard for the disclaimer: "Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense." The agencies spent a whopping $88 million spinning reality in 2004, splurging on P.R. contracts.
 
Even the Nixon White House didn't do anything this creepy. It's worse than hating the press. It's an attempt to reinvent it.
-- New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, February 17
 
 
This week:
New information in "Jeff Gannon" saga raises even more questions
"Gannon" story fits into a growing pattern of White House propaganda
Is Rush Limbaugh the next Armstrong Williams?
 
FOX's Hume committed "premeditated, historical fraud" in distorting FDR
 
More evidence of Swift Boat Vets' ties to Bush campaign
 
New information in "Jeff Gannon" saga raises even more questions
This week brought an avalanche of new information about the fake White House reporter who used the fake name "Jeff Gannon," worked for the fake news organization "Talon News" and may have made his own fake White House press pass ... but that information raises more questions than it answers. Below is a rundown of recent developments about the man known as "Jeff Gannon" but really named James Guckert:
 
A simple solution: Media Matters for America President and CEO David Brock wrote to White House press secretary Scott McClellan and the White House Correspondents' Association, suggesting one simple step that would help lessen the likelihood of another Gannon situation arising:
 
I understand that Mr. McClellan recently met with WHCA President Ron Hutcheson, and that neither is eager to take on the role of deciding who is and is not a journalist. I can appreciate this hesitancy -- though in Mr. Gannon's case, the decision does not seem a difficult one, and though refusing to make a decision is, in effect, a decision in the affirmative. Nevertheless, I can well understand why, in cases that are less clear-cut than that of Mr. Gannon, the White House and the WHCA are reluctant to take responsibility for making these decisions.
 
There is a simple, partial solution that is worth considering: limiting the number of times per year a person may use a "daily pass" to attend a press briefing. Mr. Gannon apparently used these "daily passes" to attend press briefings nearly every day for two years, presumably because he was unable to obtain a "hard pass." If use of a "daily pass" was limited to twelve times per year per person, out-of-town reporters would still be able to attend briefings while in Washington; news organizations that don't have full-time White House correspondents would still be able to send a representative on occasion; and new or "alternative" media outlets that are unable to obtain a "hard pass" would still be able to attend occasional briefings. But the "daily pass" could no longer be used as an "end-around" to the "hard pass" procedures, and somebody like Mr. Gannon would not be able to attend every briefing for two years while, to use The New York Times' Richard Stevenson's apt description, "hijacking" the press room.
 
A simple solution, part two: Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz complained on the February 17 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360: "I didn't go into journalism, frankly, to be looking at websites like hotmilitarystud.com." There are other options. At MediaMatters.org, we have detailed Gannon's tendency to reprint White House talking points verbatim without identifying their source, and explained that Talon News -- which Kurtz has described as a "straight news site" -- is nothing more than a portal to GOPUSA.com. Perhaps Kurtz has spent too much time at Hotmilitarystud.com --and not enough time reading Editor & Publisher, Salon.com, MediaMatters.org, or the comments of his Post colleagues Dana Milbank and Dan Froomkin. That would explain why Kurtz hasn't written about those details, or many of our other critiques of Gannon and GOPUSA -- critiques which are not based on Gannon's apparent extracurricular activities.
 
But did he know before Colin Powell? AmericaBlog's John Aravosis wrote "A news producer for a major network just told me that Gannon told the producer the US was going to attack Iraq four hours before President Bush announced it to the nation." While it would ordinarily be surprising if a fake reporter using a fake name was given advance notice of such a major military action, it isn't completely unbelievable, given the way the Bush administration made the attack known: Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia was reportedly told of the plans before then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, for example.
 
Who invited Gannon to White House Christmas parties? According to Editor & Publisher:
 
When asked if anyone in the White House staff or leadership planted, offered, or suggested questions to ask, Guckert said "absolutely not." He said, "I only met Karl Rove once, at the media Christmas party at the White House in 2003. I was waiting in line for my 'grip and grin' [photo] with the president and he passed by. I introduced myself to him, he said hello, and he moved on."
 
He said he also attended the 2004 Christmas party.
 
So how did Jeff Gannon get into these parties? Who invited him? What role did McClellan and his staff play in handing out invitations? McClellan told The New York Times: "The credentialing is all handled at the staff assistant level." Is that true of invitations to White House parties as well?
 
How, exactly, did Texas Republican activist Bobby Eberle come to hire auto repairman "Jeff Gannon" to work at Talon News? According to E&P,
 
Gannon/Guckert "said he came across Talon News while researching and liked its approach. The Texas Republican activist who runs it also manages the site GOPUSA. 'I had submitted my writings to Talon and saw they were looking for people to write news, and it was something I was interested in. I moved to Washington after Sept. 11, 2001, because I was so affected by [the attacks].' Guckert said he first went to work for Talon News in February 2003 after writing several test stories for them, becoming a stringer at first and later a full-time salaried reporter."
 
But the blog World O' Crap suggested that explanation may not be true: "Um, no. See, on January 15, 2003 the first Jeff Gannon byline appears at at [sic] GOPUSA. And it's not until April 1, 2003 that Talon News is publishing. So, since Jeff wrote for GOPUSA before there was a Talon News, he would have surely known about the creation of its "news division," Talon, without having to "come across it" while doing research."
 
Question: If Jeff Gannon got in to White House press briefings, just who were they turning away? Writing for Salon.com, Sidney Blumenthal noted:
 
Thus a phony journalist planted by a Republican operation, used by the White House press secretary to interrupt questions from the press corps, called on by the president for a safe question, protected from FBI vetting by the press office, disseminating innuendo and smears about critics and opponents of the administration, some of them gay-baiting, was unmasked not only as a hireling and fraud but as a gay prostitute, with enormous potential for blackmail.
 
Answer: Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd: New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd pointed out that not everyone has found it as easy to get into press briefings as Mr. Gannon did:
 
I'm still mystified by this story. I was rejected for a White House press pass at the start of the Bush administration, but someone with an alias, a tax evasion problem and Internet pictures where he posed like the "Barberini Faun" is credentialed to cover a White House that won a second term by mining homophobia and preaching family values?
 
Gannon attended White House press briefings before Talon even existed? According to Salon:
 
Guckert, using his alias "Jeff Gannon," once boasted online about asking then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer a question at the Feb. 28, 2003, briefing. ... what's significant about the February 2003 date is that Talon did not even exist then. The organization was created in late March 2003, and began publishing online in early April 2003. Gannon, a jack of all trades who spent time in the military as well as working at an auto repair shop (not to mention escorting), has already stated publicly that Talon News was his first job in journalism. That means he wasn't working for any other news outlet in February 2003 when he was spotted by C-Span cameras inside the White House briefing room.
 
On February 18, Editor & Publisher reported:
 
Former Talon News reporter James Guckert obtained his first White House press credentials as a representative of the pro-Republican Web site, GOPUSA, not as a Talon News reporter, as previously believed, Press Secretary Scott McClellan told E&P today.
 
McClellan said White House Press Office staffers considered the obviously partisan site to be a legitimate news organization when they gave Guckert, a.k.a. Jeff Gannon, the first of numerous day passes in February 2003.
"He faxed a letter in on his [GOPUSA] letterhead, they checked that it was a Web site he worked for," McClellan explained, referring to his staffers who handled such credentialing at the time. "There was a check to make sure it was a news organization and a news Web site. There was a determination made at that point [that it was legitimate]."
 
Was Talon created to address Fleischer's concerns? Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer told Editor & Publisher that he "was so concerned about Talon News reporter James Guckert's potential ties to the Republican Party that he stopped calling on him at press briefings for about a week in 2003. 'I found out that he worked for a GOP site, and I didn't think it was my place to call on him because he worked for something that was related to the party,' Fleischer said in a phone interview. 'He had the editor call me and made the case that they were not related to the Republican Party. He said they used the GOP name for marketing purposes only.'"
 
It isn't clear when Fleischer raised his concerns about Gannon, but given that Gannon apparently attended White House press briefings before Talon even existed, and given that Fleischer had concerns about calling on someone from "GOPUSA," was Talon created specifically to give cover to Fleischer? Even if Talon wasn't created in response to Fleischer's concerns, it still seems to have been created after Gannon began attending briefings; was it created in anticipation of such concerns?
 
That might explain why, as Media Matters has noted, Talon is nothing more than a portal to GOPUSA:
 
Articles on TalonNews.com consist of brief introductory paragraphs, followed by a link to "Read more"; clicking on that link takes you to a page that announces, "This story can be found on our #1 client -- GOPUSA!" Readers are then redirected to the GOPUSA.com site.
 
"Gannon" story fits into a growing pattern of White House propaganda
When Media Matters first wrote about Gannon, we noted that Gannon fit into the "growing scandal surrounding conservatives' use of fake 'news' reports, secret government propaganda, and payola to conservative commentators." That pattern is the real significance of the Gannon story, and what more reporters should focus on, rather than the salacious details of Gannon's side businesses.
Fortunately, an increasing number of journalists are doing just that.
New York Times columnist Frank Rich noted:
 
By my count, "Jeff Gannon" is now at least the sixth "journalist" (four of whom have been unmasked so far this year) to have been a propagandist on the payroll of either the Bush administration or a barely arms-length ally like Talon News while simultaneously appearing in print or broadcast forums that purport to be real news.
 
The Christian Science Monitor likewise tied the Gannon matter in with other examples of White House manipulation of the media:
 
First came video "news releases" produced by the Bush administration using a TV news format. Then came three conservative columnists who got big paychecks from federal agencies. Now, there's Jeff Gannon (not his real name), a journalist (maybe) who gained surprisingly easy access to the president, only to lob a sympathetically slanted question.
 
No evidence has surfaced that Mr. Gannon was directed by the White House, but the circumstances ignited a debate over the inner workings of the White House press room.
 
Since President Bush took office, contracts for public relations work with the federal government have jumped from $39 million to $88.2 million last year, according to a report by Democratic staff of the House Government Reform Committee. These contracts cover everything from promoting the newly revised food pyramid to funding major initiatives from schools to Social Security.
The Monitor went on to note an historical parallel to the current White House's treatment of the media:
 
Deeply frustrated by the coverage of the Watergate scandal, President Nixon directed his staff to ban any representative from the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, Newsweek, CBS, and a UPI reporter from the press pool - an order his staff largely ignored. But during the 2004 campaign, a New York Times reporter assigned to cover Vice President Cheney was routinely excluded from the press plane.
 
Meanwhile, Armstrong Williams, the conservative commentator who took nearly a quarter of a million dollars to promote Bush administration policies he had previously criticized, attended a Howard University forum where he addressed the controversy:
 
In the interview that followed, Mr. Williams repeated his apology for his work for the Education Department but expressed bitterness over the criticism he has received since news of it broke. He said he had revised two chapters of his book "The New Racism," to reflect his belief that "the liberal elite despise black conservatives," a factor that he thinks helped fuel the controversy.
 
"I am a conservative who does not know his place," he said. "If I were white, they wouldn't care."
 
Is Rush Limbaugh the next Armstrong Williams?
According to Reuters:
 
Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh is expected to visit Afghanistan with the top U.S. aid official to spotlight America's aid work there, officials said on Thursday.
 
"It's trying to get people to pay attention to all the good things we are doing in Afghanistan," a U.S. official who asked not to be named said of the trip, which is expected to take place next week. "This is just a different kind of outreach."
While it isn't clear who is paying for Limbaugh's trip, or if he is being paid for his time, the comments by the "U.S. official" certainly suggest the Bush administration is using Limbaugh to promote its agenda.
 
Limbaugh -- who said in April 2004 that women "actually wish" to be sexually harassed, said in March 2004 that "[a] Chavez is a Chavez. We've always had problems with them," claimed last year that "John Kerry really doesn't think 3,000 Americans dead in one day is that big a deal," and asserted that the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. military personnel at Abu Ghraib was no worse than a fraternity prank -- is a close ally of the Bush White House. So close, in fact, that he "got a big hug from the president" at a White House Christmas party.
 
FOX's Hume committed "premeditated, historical fraud" in distorting FDR
On February 3, FOX News anchor Brit Hume distorted a 1935 statement by former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, falsely claiming that Roosevelt supported privatization of Social Security. Media Matters pointed out the distortion, leading Al Franken to call on Hume to resign, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann to describe Hume's actions as "premeditated, historical fraud," and FDR grandson (and former Social Security commissioner) James Roosevelt Jr. to say Hume's "outrageous distortion ... calls for a retraction, an apology, maybe even a resignation."
 
But while even some conservatives who originally touted Hume's "scoop" have now acknowledged that Hume's characterization of FDR is incorrect, Hume still hasn't issued a retraction, or an apology, and he still has his job.

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February 14, 2005

Media Held Guilty of Deception
 
 Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail
 
ROME, Feb 14 (IPS) - A peoples tribunal has held much of Western media guilty of inciting violence and deceiving people in its reporting of Iraq.
The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI), an international peoples initiative seeking the truth about the war and occupation in Iraq made its pronouncement Sunday after a three- day meeting. The tribunal heard testimony from independent journalists, media professors, activists, and member of the European Parliament Michele Santoro.
 
The Rome session of the WTI followed others in Brussels, London, Mumbai, New York, Hiroshima-Tokyo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Lisbon. The Rome meeting focused on the media role.
 
The informal panel of WTI judges accused the United States and the British governments of impeding journalists in performing their task, and intentionally producing lies and misinformation.
 
The panel accused western corporate media of filtering and suppressing information, and of marginalising and endangering independent journalists. More journalists were killed in a 14-month period in Iraq than in the entire Vietnam war.
The tribunal said mainstream media reportage on Iraq also violated article six of the Nuremberg Tribunal (set up to try Nazi crimes) which states: "Leaders, organisers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes (crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity) are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such a plan."
 
The panel that heard testimonies included Francois Houtart, director of the Tricontinental Centre in Belgium that has backed several peoples movements in Latin America, and Dr. Samir Amin, director of the Third World Forum in Dakar, Senegal. Dr. Haleh Afshar, who teaches politics and women's studies at the University of York in Britain, and Italian author and newspaper editor Ernesto Pallotta witnessed the proceedings.
 
"This is not simply an exercise to denounce the mainstream media for their bias and incompetence," said Dr. Tony Alessandrini, a human rights activist who has published several articles on the U.S. colonisation of Iraq. "These denunciations have been going on for months. Here in Rome, we must go further.."
 
Alessandrini, who helped organised the WTI added, "What we are being asked to consider is not simply media bias, but rather the active complicity of media in crimes that have been committed and are being committed on a daily basis against the people in Iraq."
 
Several experts gave strong testimony. Dr. Peter Philips, director of 'Project Censured' at Sonoma State University in California where he teaches media censorship provided taped testimony. He said that at no time since the 1930s has the United States been so close to "institutionalised totalitarianism", and added, "U.S. society has become the least informed, best entertained society in the world."
 
The WTI Rome session also heard testimony from Dr. David Miller from Scotland, author of 'Tell Me Lies: Propaganda and Media Distortion in the Attack on Iraq'. "This is about condemning journalistic complicity of war crimes," said Dr. Miller, who is also co-editor of Spinwatch, a group that monitors public relations and propaganda.

Miller said the Pentagon "does not recognise the concept of independent journalists, because they are providers of unfriendly information", and that mainstream media in the United States and in Britain was "complicit in furthering the selling of the invasion, and ongoing occupation. All studies conducted on mainstream media show dominance by government policies, and wartime coverage of TV news in the UK was generally sympathetic to the government's case.."
 
Fernando Suarez, who lost his son Jesus during the invasion of Iraq when he is said to have stepped on an illegal U.S. cluster bomb, also testified at the tribunal.
 
Suarez testified that he was first told by the Pentagon that his son died from a gunshot to the head, then that he died in an accident, and then that he had died in 'friendly fire'.
 
On inspecting his son's body Suarez said he discovered that his son had died from stepping on a cluster bomb.
 
"I never had the truth from them," Suarez added. "I found the truth, and the truth was very simple. On March 26 the Army dropped 20,000 cluster bombs in Iraq, but only about 20 percent exploded. The other 80 percent are in the cities and the schools and acting like mines."
 
Suarez said: "Bush sent my son because he said Iraq had illegal weapons, and my son died from an illegal American weapon, and nobody has spoken about this. The media will not talk about the illegal American weapons."
 
Several witnesses testified about media disinformation over the siege of Fallujah. They were presented copies of the award winning documentary 'Weapons of Mass Deception' by journalist and film-maker Danny Schechter, who is also executive editor of Mediachannel.org, an online media issues network.
Alessandrini said evidence of active complicity of the mainstream media in wrongs committed against the people of Iraq, and the wrongs of deception and incitement, was now overwhelming.
 
"We work from the understanding that history will recall the crimes committed against the people of Iraq by the U.S.," he said. "It is our responsibility to record these crimes in order to ensure these crimes are never again repeated.
 
Posted by Dahr_Jamail at February 14, 2005 10:10 PM

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News About Iraq Goes Through Filters 
by Dahr Jamail 
 
How is it that more than 40 percent of Americans still believe Iraq has weapons of mass destruction even though President Bush personally has admitted there are none?
 
How is it possible that millions of Americans believe the recent election in Iraq showed that Iraqis are in favor of the ongoing occupation of their country? In reality, the determination displayed by the roughly 59 percent of registered voters who participated in the election did so because they felt it would bring about an end to the U.S. occupation.
 
How do so many Americans wonder why more Iraqis each day are supporting both violent and non-violent movements of resistance to the occupation when after the U.S. government promised to help rebuild Iraq, a mere 2 percent of reconstruction contracts were awarded to Iraqi concerns and the infrastructure lies in shambles?
 
It's because overall, mainstream media reportage in the United States about the occupation in Iraq is being censured, distorted, threatened by the military and controlled by corporations that own the outlets.
 
Recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Eason Jordan, a CNN executive, told a panel that the U.S. military deliberately targeted journalists in Iraq. He said he "knew of about 12 journalists who had not only been killed by American troops, but had been targeted as a matter of policy," said Rep. Barney Frank, a Democrat from Massachusetts who was on the panel with Jordan.
 
When we hear this statement with the knowledge that 63 journalists have been killed in Iraq, in addition to the fact that in a 14-month-period, more journalists were killed in Iraq than during the entire Vietnam War, one begins to get the feeling that the military clampdown on the media is more than a myth or a conspiracy theory.
 
(Editor's note: Jordan has since resigned from CNN, telling fellow CNN staffers: "I never meant to imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent when U.S. forces accidentally killed journalists, and I apologize to anyone who thought I said or believed otherwise.")
 
I've personally witnessed photographers in Baghdad who have had their cameras either confiscated or smashed by soldiers, who were, of course, acting on orders from their superiors. And no, the journalists weren't trying to photograph something that would jeopardize the security of the soldiers.
 
Even Christiane Amanpour, CNN's top war correspondent, announced on national television that her own network was censuring her journalism.
 
Most Americans don't know that on any given day, an average of three U.S. soldiers die in Iraq as a result of 75 attacks every single day on U.S. forces or that Iraqi civilian deaths average 10 times that amount.
 
Most Americans also don't know there are four permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq, with the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root diligently constructing 10 others.
 
Most Americans don't know overall troop morale in Iraq resembles that of the Vietnam War, with tours being extended and stop-loss orders imposed.
Nor do most folks know where billions of their tax dollars have been spent that were supposed to be used in the reconstruction of Iraq.
 
But who can blame Americans when the military and mainstream media continue, day in and day out, to distort, deny and destroy the truth before it reaches the audience back home? An international peoples' initiative called the World Tribunal on Iraq met in Rome to focus on media complicity in the crimes committed against the people of Iraq as well as U.S. citizens who are paying with their blood and tax dollars to maintain the occupation. The tribunal found Western mainstream media outlets guilty of incitement to violence and the deliberate misleading of people into the war and ongoing occupation of Iraq.
 
Makes you wonder what else Americans aren't being told about Iraq. After spending eight of the past 14 months reporting from Iraq, I can tell you the points made here are just the tip of the iceberg.
 
Dahr Jamail, an independent reporter covering the Iraq war, has several current speaking engagements in Western Washington. For more info, go to www.dahrjamailiraq.com.

© 2005 Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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 Quote -- Be patient. You are not winning a game called justice, you are living a life called justice. Bertolt Brecht tells the story of a man living alone who answers a knock at the door. There stands Tyranny, armed and powerful, who asks, "Will you submit?" The man does not reply. He steps aside. Tyranny enters and takes over. The man serves him for years. Then Tyranny mysteriously becomes sick from food poisoning. He dies. The man opens the door, gets rid of the body, comes back to the house, closes the door behind him, and says, firmly, "No."

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