Archive for the ‘national security’ Category
As we contemplate where we were when we heard the news of the twin towers being attacked and (most of us) watched the second tower get hit and then both fall, I believe on this 10th anniversary we should try to find some perspective both on the day itself and the path our nation has taken.
Let’s first look at the basics:
- Approximately 3,000 people were killed in the attacks themselves.
- A band of murderous hijackers of middle-eastern descent, associated with radical Islam, perpetrated the attacks.
That’s a lot of people that were killed by a relative few. But some perspective is in order.
Approximately 2,500,000 Americans die every year. That is, about 7,000 people die every single day from various causes around the nation. Of those people who die every year about 600,000 expire from heart disease (1,690 a day), 563,000 expire from cancer (1,500 daily), 136,000 from strokes (~370 daily) and 124,000 from accidents (~340/day.)
The hijackers just managed to kill about one half of the nation’s daily “quota” of deaths through their heinous violence. We should never forget what they did, why they did it, or who they were.
But we should also not forget some other inconvenient facts, especially in light of our Government’s response.
- Janet Napolitano likes to trumpet “See something, say something.” What she doesn’t want you to remember is that we did see something, and we did say something. The Government fucked it up from there and nobody was held to account for doing so. Specifically, the hijackers showed up in a little town in Florida and paid a lot of money to a flight school to learn how to fly planes months before the attacks. See, big-jet simulator time is quite expensive and these “students” had no shortage of money. The problem was that they had no interest in learning how to land said planes. The owner of the school reported this to the government as ridiculously suspicious and the government sat on the information. But for our government’s abject stupidity and willful and intentional refusal to follow up on the information received in a timely manner from concerned and patriotic citizens the attacks would not have occurred.
- Our Government intentionally refuses to enforce immigration law. Not only has it refused in the past, it refuses today. There are more than twenty million potential terrorists in this nation as illegal invaders right now and we refuse to get rid of them despite being very able to do so. Let us never forget that most of these hijackers were here on expired visas and thus were not eligible to be present in the United States. Not only is our government so outrageously and willfully blind as to who is in this nation as a visitor to the point that it ignores illegal immigration and overstayed visas it actually mailed visa renewal paperwork to some of the DEAD terrorists after the attacks! But for this intentional and willful neglect of the law by our government the attacks would not have occurred.
- Our Government is more concerned with protecting coddled industries than allowing the market to punish those that are culpable when citizens are injured or killed due to the actions or inactions of those in the coddled industry. Specifically, the airlines. Post 9/11 the reason for lack of armoring cockpit doors was examined and it turned out to be, big surprise, a money issue. See, armored doors weigh quite a bit and another passenger brings revenue where a door does not. The role of this decision and others related to the events of the day were never explored in court as the airlines were granted effective immunity from lawsuit after 9/11 through both ex-post-facto protection via payments to the victims families and the establishment of the TSA. This is not isolated behavior — the government takeover of GM and Chrysler destroyed a significant number of pending legal claims for defective automobiles that were alleged to cause death or serious injury. But for the government’s willful and intentional interference in the legal process we would likely have new airlines with more-robust security procedures and a choice of airline security procedures as customers. In addition were the airlines to make mistakes leading to injury or death we or our next-of-kin could sue. Instead we are rape-scanned, groped, humiliated and abused at the hand of government while the airlines and owners of airports are absolved not only of their retrospective culpability but in advance of possible future incidents.
- Not only has our government used this incident as a pretext to violate our 4th Amendment Rights (such few as remained after the “War On Drugs” was escalated in the 1980s and 1990s) it thinks it’s perfectly fine to sell guns to people when it knows they’re prohibited persons – and “Gunwalker” is not the only example. We are uncovering more exmples of sales to known felons in gangs across the country, specifically approved by government override of what would otherwise be NICS denials. Oh, the government also covers up these incidents whenever possible, especially when the guns are then used to shoot innocent people. If we’re going to have the government doling out firearms to people who are legally prohibited from buying them we should simply drop the pretext of “gun laws” altogether and instead embrace The Second Amendment. Indeed one of the primary purposes of The Second Amendment is recognition of every person’s unalienable (that means it’s your right and cannot taken from you by a government) to self-defense – no matter who’s committing the offense. It’s only been 225 years since we had to learn this one the hard way. How many terroristic actions domestically have involved someone walking into somewhere and starting to shoot, irrespective of their motivation? Of those, how many had an armed law-abiding citizen present who had the ability to stop the assailant? The answer to that one is easy: Not anywhere near enough. For those who claim that Americans are incapable of dealing with such a situation properly and would either fire wildly in response (killing innocents) or cower in fear I remind you of the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93, and ask that you please not defecate on their graves. “Piloted bombs” expired as a potential terrorist weapon within approximately one hour of their first use directly due to the heroic and patriotic acts of Americans. This nation is full of people who repeatedly demonstrate the ability to properly respond to such circumstances, given the opportunity, even at the risk and actual cost of their own lives.
9/11 was a serious incident of international Islamic terrorism. We must never forget that. But most of the economic harm and damage to our freedom that has come since has been self-inflicted. 3,000 dead Americans at the hand of religious nutjobs are 3,000 too many, but in context it is less than half of the number who die of natural and accidental causes each and every day in this nation.
Our response to this incident has been a travesty. Rather than make clear that such incidents will bring retaliation against those who it is traced to (which was inconvenient given what that government sells us) in the provision of funds and the nationality of those who participate we instead created a monstrous hundred billion dollar a year apparatus that shielded those who were partially responsible for the success of these attacks and provided cover for future liability.
809 million people flew on airplanes in the United States in 2010. If we assume that the imposition of TSA screening imposed a 10 minute additional wait on each passenger, on average, the total amount of lost time is 135 million hours. If each of those persons’ time is worth $10/hour then TSA screening alone results in an economic loss of $1.4 billion simply in passenger time, not counting a nickel of their salary and benefit expense. Over the last ten years that’s $14 billion just in direct economic impact on the passengers.
Further, of those 809 million people in the last year, exactly zero of them attempted to blow up an airliner or hijack it while in the air. There have been a couple of attempts at blowing up planes by a terrorist on board since 9/11, with the Shoe Bomber and the Underwear Bomber being your examples. But at least one of those (the underwear bomber) was again a colossal US Government fuckup, in that this individual boarded a plane for the United States and that flight was cleared into US airspace despite him not having a valid passport and visa. Exactly how that happened has never been answered nor has anyone in our government been held to account.
This record, however, belies the truth — out of somewhere north of five billion passengers on US airline flights since 9/11 the total number of suicide-intending passengers that tried to blow up or commandeer an airliner can be counted as two. That is, the odds of an attempted terrorist being on the plane with you, assuming the average plane holds 200 people, is 1 in 12.5 million every time you get on board. The odds of you being struck by lightning in the US are approximately one in a million per year, so if you fly once a year you’re 12 times more likely to be hit by lightning than share a plane with an attempting terrorist. You are nearly 1,000 times more likely to die in your car due to a crash on the way to the airport than to share a plane with an attempting terrorist. The odds since 9/11 of a successful terrorist killing you on an airliner (remember, Reed was stopped by the passengers as was the underwear bomber) have been (thus far) zero. The TSA refuses to tell us if they’ve ever caught an actual terrorist attempting to hijack or blow up an airplane, despite the fact that every single one of those offenses would be a serious felony and subject the perpetrator to a very public trial in a US courtroom. I do not recall reading of any such trials anywhere in the United States, while both the underwear bomber and shoe bomber were publicized. The only conclusion we can reasonably draw from the record is that the TSA has not caught one single suicidal terrorist. The shoe and underwear bombers were the only two since 9/11 and the TSA caught neither — both were caught by citizens on the plane itself! They have, however, groped millions and millions of balls and breasts and will continue to do so each and every year until you demand they stop.
Further, if there are so many people willing to die in order to kill why haven’t any of them showed up in a security line and blown themselves up before they got to the checkpoint? There’s absolutely nothing that we can do about that, just as searching people going into a subway station doesn’t prevent the bad guy from walking up to the searcher and detonating himself, killing dozens or even hundreds. In fact exactly that does happen in other nations with disturbing regularity. But it hasn’t happened here, and it’s not for lack of ability on the part of the so-called terrorists. One must therefore deduce that while there may be many murderous thugs there simply aren’t very many people willing to die themselves in order to commit their murders.
At the same time we ceded more and more of our freedom – freedom to travel, freedom to associate, freedom to communicate. Our 4th Amendment is now a bad joke, being reduced to nothing more than soiled toilet paper in the dustbin of history. Our police forces have gone from being an extension of the citizen posse to a jackbooted group that breaks into homes via dynamic entry on the flimsiest of pretext and far too often kill animals and people, then reach ex-post-facto for justification not through citizen review but their own biased and internal process. There is a dead woodcarver along with several dead mentally-compromised individuals who could not be reasonably perceived as a threat to the officer(s) in question just in the last year standing testament to a justified hatred and fear of police forces by this nation’s citizens. Never is it asked, from David Koresh to the man wanted in Detroit (that led to the death of an innocent pre-teen girl at the hands of the cops who fired indiscriminately into her home while she was sleeping on a couch) why it is that the cops couldn’t do basic police work and wait for their wanted individual to emerge from wherever he is, making possible his arrest where he has no reasonable cover or concealment and thus grossly reducing the risk of violence. Further, as in the case of the woodcarver, why is it that such an arrest, if it was necessary, couldn’t be undertaken by remaining far enough beyond the reach of the person that his penknife could not be used as an effective weapon? After all the cops are supposed to deliver the accused to a courtroom for trial and adjudication of guilt or innocence, not serve as summary executioners, right?
In short 9/11 was a monstrous act committed by some very twisted individuals. But the vast majority of the damage that came from 9/11 to this country is both self-inflicted and ridiculously misdirected. We would have been far better off had we ejected from government, including voiding all pensions and benefits, of everyone who willfully ignored the information presented that could have stopped the attack, and we’d be far safer today were we to shut down the open border and enforce immigration law. Were the formalities that are in that observed 9/11 would not have happened and the underwear bomber never would have gotten on the plane – that leaves simply Reed with his attempted shoe bomb over the last ten years, and he failed in his murderous quest.
As we remember 9/11 let us turn from stupidity to intelligence, and demand more and better from our government. It is within our power to so demand and enforce through the political system, and by doing so we honor those who lost their lives on this day to never forget.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. — Benjamin Franklin, February, 1775
Supporters of an escalation of the Afghanistan war often ask that we give military options a chance. They also respond to criticism of the surge by asking “okay smart guy, what would YOU do to fight Al Qaeda in Afghanistan?” Several pro-war posters also asked that pro-military arguments be given a chance.
Well, initially, the U.S. admits there are only a small handful of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. As ABC notes:
U.S. intelligence officials have concluded there are only about 100 al Qaeda fighters in the entire country.
100,000 troops in Afghanistan at an estimated yearly cost of $30
billion, it means that for every one al Qaeda fighter, the U.S. will
commit 1,000 troops and $300 million a year.
probably more than 100 homicidal maniacs in any large American city.
But we wouldn’t send soldiers into the city to get those bad guys.
Indeed, a leading advisor to the U.S. military – the very hawkish Rand Corporation – released a study
in 2008 called “How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al
Qa’ida”. The report confirms what experts have been saying for years:
the war on terror is actually weakening national security.
As a press release about the study states:
should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors, and
our analysis suggests that there is no battlefield solution to
There are additional reasons why prolonging the Afghan war may reduce our national security, such as weakening our economy.
But if you want a military solution anyway, Andrew J. Bacevich has an answer.
is no dove. Graduating from West Point in 1969, he served in the United
States Army during the Vietnam War. He then held posts in Germany,
including the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the United States, and the
Persian Gulf up to his retirement from the service with the rank of
Colonel in the early 1990s. Bacevich holds a Ph.D. in American
Diplomatic History from Princeton University, and taught at West Point
and Johns Hopkins University prior to joining the faculty at Boston
University in 1998. Bacevich’s is a military family. On May 13, 2007,
Bacevich’s son, was killed in action while serving in Iraq.
Last year, Bacevich wrote in an article in Newsweek:
the chief effect of allied military operations there so far has been
not to defeat the radical Islamists but to push them across the
Pakistani border. As a result, efforts to stabilize Afghanistan are
contributing to the destabilization of Pakistan, with potentially
devastating implications. September’s bombing of the Marriott hotel in
Islamabad suggests that the extremists are growing emboldened. Today
and for the foreseeable future, no country poses a greater potential
threat to U.S. national security than does Pakistan. To risk the
stability of that nuclear-armed state in the vain hope of salvaging
Afghanistan would be a terrible mistake.
All this means that the
proper U.S. priority for Afghanistan should be not to try harder but to
change course. The war in Afghanistan (like the Iraq War) won’t be won
militarily. It can be settled—however imperfectly—only through politics.
new U.S. president needs to realize that America’s real political
objective in Afghanistan is actually quite modest: to ensure that
terrorist groups like Al Qaeda can’t use it as a safe haven for
launching attacks against the West. Accomplishing that won’t require
creating a modern, cohesive nation-state. U.S. officials tend to assume
that power in Afghanistan ought to be exercised from Kabul. Yet the
real influence in Afghanistan has traditionally rested with tribal
leaders and warlords. Rather than challenge that tradition, Washington
should work with it. Offered the right incentives, warlords can
accomplish U.S. objectives more effectively and more cheaply than
Western combat battalions. The basis of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan
should therefore become decentralization and outsourcing, offering cash
and other emoluments to local leaders who will collaborate with the
United States in excluding terrorists from their territory.
doesn’t mean Washington should blindly trust that warlords will become
America’s loyal partners. U.S. intelligence agencies should continue to
watch Afghanistan closely, and the Pentagon should crush any jihadist
activities that local powers fail to stop themselves. As with the
Israelis in Gaza, periodic airstrikes may well be required to pre-empt
brewing plots before they mature.
Were U.S. resources unlimited
and U.S. interests in Afghanistan more important, upping the ante with
additional combat forces might make sense. But U.S. power — especially
military power — is quite limited these days, and U.S. priorities lie
Rather than committing more troops, therefore, the
new president should withdraw them while devising a more realistic —
and more affordable — strategy for Afghanistan
words, America’s war strategy is increasing instability in Pakistan.
Pakistan has nuclear weapons. So the surge could very well decrease not
only American national security but the security of the entire world.
I think that diplomatic rather than military means should be used to
kill or contain the 100 bad guys in Afghanistan. But if we are going to
remain engaged militarily, Bacevich’s approach is a lot smarter than a
surge of boots on the ground.
Moreover, it would save hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars…
War hawks also ask “what would YOU have done after 9/11?” Gee, I don’t know . . . maybe gotten the Taliban to turn over Bin Laden?
BONUS UPDATE 2-FOR-1 AFTER THANKSGIVING PACKAGE DEAL SPECIAL: If you don’t hear about alternative plans such as Bacevich’s from the corporate media, here is why …
There are five reasons that the mainstream media is worthless.
1. Self-Censorship by Journalists
Initially, there is tremendous self-censorship by journalists.
For example, several months after 9/11, famed news anchor Dan Rather told the BBC that American reporters were practicing “a form of self-censorship”:
was a time in South Africa that people would put flaming tires around
peoples’ necks if they dissented. And in some ways the fear is that you
will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of
patriotism put around your neck. Now it is that fear that keeps
journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions…. And
again, I am humbled to say, I do not except myself from this criticism.
What we are talking about here – whether one wants to recognise it
or not, or call it by its proper name or not – is a form of
Keith Olbermann agreed that there is self-censorship in the American media, and that:
can rock the boat, but you can never say that the entire ocean is in
trouble …. You cannot say: By the way, there’s something wrong with
our …. system.
As former Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin wrote in 2006:
political journalism is in danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant,
but not because of the Internet, or even Comedy Central. The threat
comes from inside. It comes from journalists being afraid to do what
journalists were put on this green earth to do. . . .
the intense pressure to maintain access to insider sources, even as
those sources become ridiculously unrevealing and oversensitive.
There’s the fear of being labeled partisan if one’s bullshit-calling
isn’t meted out in precisely equal increments along the political
If mainstream-media political journalists don’t start
calling bullshit more often, then we do risk losing our primacy — if
not to the comedians then to the bloggers.
I still believe that
no one is fundamentally more capable of first-rate bullshit-calling
than a well-informed beat reporter – whatever their beat. We just need
to get the editors, or the corporate culture, or the self-censorship –
or whatever it is – out of the way.
2. Censorship by Higher-Ups
journalists do want to speak out about an issue, they also are subject
to tremendous pressure by their editors or producers to kill the story.
Pulitzer prize-winning reporter who uncovered the Iraq prison torture
scandal and the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam, Seymour Hersh, said:
of the institutions we thought would protect us — particularly the
press, but also the military, the bureaucracy, the Congress — they
have failed. The courts . . . the jury’s not in yet on the courts. So
all the things that we expect would normally carry us through didn’t.
The biggest failure, I would argue, is the press, because that’s the
Q: What can be done to fix the (media) situation?
pause] You’d have to fire or execute ninety percent of the editors and
executives. You’d actually have to start promoting people from the
newsrooms to be editors who you didn’t think you could control. And
they’re not going to do that.”
And a series of interviews with award-winning journalists also documents censorship of certain stories by media editors and owners (and see these samples).
There are many reasons for censorship by media higher-ups.
One is money.
The media has a strong monetary interest to avoid controversial topics in general. It has always been true that advertisers discourage stories which challenge corporate power.
Indeed, a 2003 survey reveals that 35% of reporters and news executives
themselves admitted that journalists avoid newsworthy stories if “the story would be embarrassing or damaging to the financial interests of a news organization’s owners or parent company.”
In addition, the government has allowed tremendous consolidation in ownership of the airwaves during the past decade.
Dan Rather has slammed media consolidation:
media consolidation to that of the banking industry, Rather claimed
that “roughly 80 percent” of the media is controlled by no more than
six, and possibly as few as four, corporations.
This is documented by the following must-see charts prepared by:
And check out this list of interlocking directorates of big media companies from Fairness and Accuracy in Media, and this resource from the Columbia Journalism Review to research a particular company.
This image gives a sense of the decline in diversity in media ownership over the last couple of decades:
large media players stand to gain billions of dollars in profits if the
Obama administration continues to allow monopoly ownership of the
airwaves by a handful of players. The media giants know who butters
their bread. So there is a spoken or tacit agreement: if the media
cover the administration in a favorable light, the MSM will continue to
be the receiver of the government’s goodies.
3. Drumming Up Support for War
In addition, the owners of American media companies have long actively played a part in drumming up support for war.
is painfully obvious that the large news outlets studiously avoided any
real criticism of the government’s claims in the run up to the Iraq
war. It is painfully obvious that the large American media companies
acted as lapdogs and stenographers for the government’s war agenda.
Veteran reporter Bill Moyers criticized
the corporate media for parroting the obviously false link between 9/11
and Iraq (and the false claims that Iraq possessed WMDs) which the
administration made in the run up to the Iraq war, and concluded that
the false information was not challenged because:
[mainstream] media had been cheerleaders for the White House from the
beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the
President — no questions asked.”
And as NBC News’ David Gregory (later promoted to host Meet the Press) said:
think there are a lot of critics who think that . . . . if we did not
stand up [in the run-up to the war] and say ‘this is bogus, and you’re
a liar, and why are you doing this,’ that we didn’t do our job. I
respectfully disagree. It’s not our role”
But this is nothing new. In fact, the large media companies have drummed up support for all previous wars.
And an official summary of America’s overthrow of the democratically-elected president of Iran in the 1950′s states, “In
cooperation with the Department of State, CIA had several articles
planted in major American newspapers and magazines which, when
reproduced in Iran, had the desired psychological effect in Iran and
contributed to the war of nerves against Mossadeq.” (page x)
The mainstream media also may have played footsie with the U.S. government right before Pearl Harbor. Specifically, a highly-praised historian (Bob Stineet) argues
that the Army’s Chief of Staff informed the Washington bureau chiefs of
the major newspapers and magazines of the impending Pearl Harbor attack
BEFORE IT OCCURRED, and swore them to an oath of secrecy, which the
media honored (page 361) .
And the military-media alliance has continued without a break (as a highly-respected journalist says,
“viewers may be taken aback to see the grotesque extent to which US
presidents and American news media have jointly shouldered key
propaganda chores for war launches during the last five decades.”)
As the mainstream British paper, the Independent, writes:
is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass
media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist
it and to expose it. The sheer ease with which this machinery has been
able to do its work reflects a creeping structural weakness which now
afflicts the production of our news.
The article in the
Independent discusses the use of “black propaganda” by the U.S.
government, which is then parroted by the media without analysis; for
example, the government forged
a letter from al Zarqawi to the “inner circle” of al-Qa’ida’s
leadership, urging them to accept that the best way to beat US forces
in Iraq was effectively to start a civil war, which was then publicized
without question by the media..
So why has the American press has consistenly served the elites in disseminating their false justifications for war?
One of of the reasons is because the large media companies are owned by those who support the militarist agenda or even directly profit from war and terror (for example, NBC – which is being sold to Comcast – was owned by General Electric, one of the largest defense contractors in the world — which directly profits from war, terrorism and chaos).
Another seems to be an unspoken rule that the media will not criticize the government’s imperial war agenda.
the media support isn’t just for war: it is also for various other
shenanigans by the powerful. For example, a BBC documentary proves:
was “a planned coup in the USA in 1933 by a group of right-wing
American businessmen . . . . The coup was aimed at toppling President
Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The
plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families
in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse &
George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should
adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great
See also this book.
Have you ever heard of this scheme before? It was certainly a very large one. And if the conspirators controlled the newspapers then, how much worse is it today with media consolidation?
$25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post has offered lobbyists and
association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to
“those powerful few”: Obama administration officials, members of
Congress, and — at first — even the paper’s own reporters and editors…
offer — which essentially turns a news organization into a facilitator
for private lobbyist-official encounters — was a new sign of the
lengths to which news organizations will go to find revenue at a time
when most newspapers are struggling for survival.
be one reason that the mainstream news commentators hate bloggers so
much. The more people who get their news from blogs instead of
mainstream news sources, the smaller their audience, and the less the
MSM can charge for the kind of “nonconfrontational access” which leads
to puff pieces for the big boys.
5. Censorship by the Government
as if the media’s own interest in promoting war is not strong enough,
the government has exerted tremendous pressure on the media to report
things a certain way. Indeed, at times the government has thrown media owners and reporters in jail
if they’ve been too critical. The media companies have felt great
pressure from the government to kill any real questioning of the
For example, Dan Rather said, regarding American media, “What you have is a miniature version of what you have in totalitarian states”.
Tom Brokaw said “all wars are based on propaganda.
And the head of CNN said:
was ‘almost a patriotism police’ after 9/11 and when the network showed
[things critical of the administration's policies] it would get phone
calls from advertisers and the administration and “big people in
corporations were calling up and saying, ‘You’re being anti-American
Indeed, former military analyst and famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg said that the government has ordered the media not to cover 9/11:
Ellsberg seemed hardly surprised
that today’s American mainstream broadcast media has so far failed to
take [former FBI translator and 9/11 whistleblower Sibel] Edmonds up on
her offer, despite the blockbuster nature of her allegations [which
Ellsberg calls "far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers"].
Edmonds has also alluded, Ellsberg pointed to the New York Times, who
“sat on the NSA spying story for over a year” when they “could have put
it out before the 2004 election, which might have changed the outcome.”
will be phone calls going out to the media saying ‘don’t even think of
touching it, you will be prosecuted for violating national security,’” he told us.
* * *
“I am confident that there is conversation inside the Government as to ‘How do we deal with Sibel?’” contends Ellsberg. “The
first line of defense is to ensure that she doesn’t get into the media.
I think any outlet that thought of using her materials would go to to
the government and they would be told ‘don’t touch this . . . .‘”
Of course, if the stick approach doesn’t work, the government can always just pay off reporters to spread disinformation.
Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein says the CIA has already bought and paid for many successful journalists. See also this New York Times piece, this essay by the Independent, this speech by one of the premier writers on journalism, and this and this roundup.
in the final analysis, the main reason today that the media giants will
not cover the real stories or question the government’s actions or
policies in any meaningful way is that the American government and
mainstream media been somewhat blended together.
Can We Win the Battle Against Censorship?
cannot just leave governance to our “leaders”, as “The price of freedom
is eternal vigilance” (Jefferson). Similarly, we cannot leave news to
the corporate media. We need to “be the media” ourselves.
“To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men.”
- Abraham Lincoln
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
and silence go together. We…should use our privileged positions not
as a shelter from the world’s reality, but as a platform from which to
speak. A voice is a gift. It should be cherished and used.”
– Margaret Atwood
is no act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is
the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at
points in history and creating a power that [nothing] cannot suppress.”
- Howard Zinn (historian)
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent”
- Thomas Jefferson