Hat tip: The Real News
Bio: Peter Dale Scot a former Canadian diplomat and Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, is a poet, writer, and researcher. His most recent books are Drugs, Oil, and War (2005), The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (2007), The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11 and the Deep Politics of War (2008) and Mosaic Orpheus (poetry, 2009).
Peter David Scott Interview (Part 1)
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay, coming to you from Washington. Now joining us from Berkeley, California, is Peter Dale Scott. He’s a former Canadian diplomat, professor of English at the University of California Berkeley. He’s a poet, writer, and a researcher. His books include Drugs, Oil, and War; The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America; and The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War. Thanks for joining us, Peter.
PETER DALE SCOTT: I’m glad to be here.
JAY: So, Peter, it’s been a year of Obama’s presidency. He promised in the election campaign a new mindset for American foreign policy. How has he done?
SCOTT: Well, I’m afraid that by my analysis of things it’s not in the power of a president to announce a new mindset out of Washington. The mindset in Washington chooses the people who become president.
JAY: You spoke to this or you wrote to this in a piece you did recently called “Obama in Afghanistan: America’s drug-corrupted war”. You wrote, “the war machine that co-opted Obama into his escalation of a drug-corrupted war is not just a bureaucratic cabal inside Washington. It’s solidly grounded in and supported by a wide coalition of forces in our society.” Further on you wrote, “the determining factor is less likely to be either the will of a reluctant president, or the reigning strategic doctrines of the Pentagon, but a third factor: the dominant mindset in Washington of a drug-corrupted war machine.” Explain what you mean by that, Peter.
By Paul Craig Roberts
Obama’s dwindling band of true believers has taken heart that their man has finally delivered on one of his many promises—the closing of the Guantanamo prison. But the prison is not being closed. It is being moved to Illinois, if the Republicans permit.
In truth, Obama has handed his supporters another defeat. Closing Guantanamo meant ceasing to hold people in violation of our legal principles of habeas corpus and due process and ceasing to torture them in violation of US and international laws.
All Obama would be doing would be moving 100 people, against whom the US government is unable to bring a case, from the prison in Guantanamo to a prison in Thomson, Illinois.
Are the residents of Thomson despondent that the US government has chosen their town as the site on which to continue its blatant violation of US legal principles? No, the residents are happy. It means jobs.
The hapless prisoners had a better chance of obtaining release from Guantanamo. Now the prisoners are up against two US senators, a US representative, a mayor, and a state governor who have a vested interest in the prisoners’ permanent detention in order to protect the new prison jobs in the hamlet devastated by unemployment.
Neither the public nor the media have ever shown any interest in how the detainees came to be incarcerated. Most of the detainees were unprotected people who were captured by Afghan war lords and sold to the Americans as “terrorists” in order to collect a proffered bounty. It was enough for the public and the media that the Defense Secretary at the time, Donald Rumsfeld, declared the Guantanamo detainees to be the “780 most dangerous people on earth.”
Radio Free Oklahoma which is broadcast on 23 stations and the internet will have sherry clark as their guest. She will discuss the second-anniversary of her paper, The Liberty Voice.
The fiercely independent newspaper out of Central Ohio, clark has distributed over 300,000 free copies of her paper to the public in over 200 locations scattered across 36 cities in 10 states. She will discuss why she does what she does and how she got started in the newspaper business.
The live broadcast will be aired on Wednesday, November 18 from 9pm to 11 EST. Ms. clark will be interviewed at 10:15 EST.
Listeners can call in during the show. The number is 512-646-1984.
Or just listen live or via podcast at RadioFreeOklahoma.net.
Ms clark will discuss the reasons she believes the newspaper format may die as printed by the corporate printing companies of the world, but why the newspaper outperforms other media forms as an activist tool of outreach to the ever-growing number of concerned Americans.
She will list other independent newspapers that are popping up all over the country and describe why this trend should be actively supported and funded by those who truly value liberty.
“George Washington’s” blog
Adolph Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf:
All this was inspired by the principle — which is quite true in itself — that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have such impudence. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.
Similarly, Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, wrote:
That is of course rather painful for those involved. One should not as a rule reveal one’s secrets, since one does not know if and when one may need them again. The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.
Science has now helped to explain why the big lie is effective. Specifically, sociologists from four major research institutions investigated why so many Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, years after it became obvious that Iraq had nothing to do with it.
According to analysts featured on page one of yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch PRINTING COMPANY, the Recession is OVER! I guess some people just can’t stop quoting those analysts that have given us news speak like, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!”, “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction!”, “Osama bin Laden did it!”, “We don’t torture!”, and finally… “we only used ‘enhanced interrogation for terrorists!”
Of course, “those terrorists” are innocent! Ever heard of the Constitution? Due process? Innocent until PROVEN guilty? Oh, that’s right! We’re torturing INNOCENT men, women and children!
But I digress because… “we don’t torture!”
As I passed out The Liberty Voice across Columbus yesterday, never was there such consensus — The Columbus Dispatch Printing Company is either naive or delusional.
Of course it is probably worse… they could be lying.
Ahhh…those sweet lies — so satisfying and delicious!
Amid obvious controversy, WaPo cancels lobbyist event
Hat tip: Politico
Mike Allen, Michael Calderone Mike Allen, Michael Calderone – Thu Jul 2, 9:04 am ET
Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth said today she was canceling plans for an exclusive “salon” at her home where for as much as $250,000, the Post offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record access to “those powerful few” — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and even the paper’s own reporters and editors.
The astonishing offer was detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he felt it was a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its “health care reporting and editorial staff.”
With the Post newsroom in an uproar after POLITICO reported the solicitation, Weymouth said in an email to the staff that “a flier went out that was prepared by the Marketing department and was never vetted by me or by the newsroom. Had it been, the flier would have been immediately killed, because it completely misrepresented what we were trying to do.”
Weymouth said the paper had planned a series of dinners with participation from the newsroom “but with parameters such that we did not in any way compromise our integrity. Sponsorship of events, like advertising in the newspaper, must be at arm’s length and cannot imply control over the content or access to our journalists. At this juncture, we will not be holding the planned July dinner and we will not hold salon dinners involving the newsroom. “
She made it clear however, that The Post, which lost $19.5 million in the first quarter, sees bringing together Washington figures as a future revenue source. “We do believe that there is a viable way to expand our expertise into live conferences and events that simply enhances what we do – cover Washington for Washingtonians and those interested in Washington,” she said. “ And we will begin to do live events in ways that enhance our reputation and in no way call into question our integrity.”
Editor’s note: In the Columbus area, The Liberty Voice has almost 200 hosts–businesses who distribute our newspaper for their customers to pick up. Today we lost a host because the business felt it needed to carry papers that did not “have political content that their customers might find objectionable.” Interestingly, this grocery store also carries papers like the New York Times, Columbus Dispatch and Investor’s Business Daily. When mainstream news sources can be ‘unobjectionable’ at a time when elections are stolen, habeas corpus is suspended, torture is on the table and holding our elected officials accountable to the rule of law is off the table — that alone is proof positive that the fourth estate is in need of a major overhaul.
Hat tip: Miami Herald
BY EDWARD WASSERMAN
Things have not been going well at the Chicago Tribune, where the new owner, gasping under acquisition debts, is in bankruptcy, and where circulation is falling. A few weeks ago managers there decided to ask readers what they’d like to see in the paper, and questionnaires went out to 9,000 people.
The surveys asked which of 10 prospective stories readers liked best. The problem is, those stories weren’t just some editor’s fantasy: They were actually being worked.
Bowing to a protest e-mailed by 50-some newsroom employees, The Tribune’s editor, Gerould Kern, spiked the project. ”To prematurely disseminate information about stories in progress compromises reporting,” Kern observed, a mild understatement.
Of course, they could have just asked readers about stories the paper had already published. But then, when your company is circling the drain and you reach frantically for a plug, you’re liable to grab something that fits badly.
The dustup has been framed as another tale of marketers wielding dubious influence over newsroom decisions, but I think the basic problem is more perplexing. It’s something newspeople have puzzled over for decades — and it’s a question they’ve bequeathed to the Internet sites that now compete fiercely for eyeballs: Shouldn’t journalists just find out what people want and give it to them?
That seems to be what Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, advises. Mind you, his company has grown fat from hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising sold against content it doesn’t pay for and does nothing to create. Still, it’s insanely successful, so Schmidt naturally felt entitled to offer this pearl to a recent newspaper convention: “Try to figure out what your consumer wants. If you [upset] enough of them, you will not have any of them.”
News not always welcome
Well, fine. But for journalists the hitch has always been that news, if done honestly, is routinely unwelcome and, more to the point, that it isn’t just another consumer product. It’s a kind of civic good.
HYPOCRISY IN MEDIA: SELECTIVE COVERAGE OF JOURNALISTS IN JAIL
Glenn Greenwald Roxana Saberi’s plight and American media propaganda
An Iranian appeals court this morning announced that it was reducing the sentence and ordering the immediate release of Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, who was convicted by an Iranian court last month of spying for the U.S. and sentenced to eight years in prison. Saberi’s imprisonment in January became a cause célèbre among American journalists, who — along with the U.S. Government — rallied to demand her release. Within minutes of the announcement, several of them — including ABC News’ Jake Tapper, Time ’s Karen Tumulty, The Atlantic ’s Marc Ambinder — posted celebratory notices of Saberi’s release.
Saberi’s release is good news, as her conviction occurred as part of extremely dubious charges and unreliable judicial procedures in Iran. And, as Ambinder suggested, her release most likely is a positive by-product of the commendable ( though far from perfect) change in tone towards Iran specifically and the Muslim world generally from the Obama administration. But imprisoning journalists — without charges or trials of any kind — was and continues to be a staple of America’s “war on terror,” and that has provoked virtually no objections from America’s journalists who, notably, instead seized on Saberi’s plight in Iran to demonstrate their claimed commitment to defending persecuted journalists.
Beginning in 2001, the U.S. held Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj for six years in Guantanamo with no trial of any kind, and spent most of that time interrogating him not about Terrorism, but about Al Jazeera. For virtually the entire time, the due-process-less, six-year-long imprisonment of this journalist by the U.S. produced almost no coverage — let alone any outcry — from America’s establishment media, other than some columns by Nicholas Kristof (though, for years, al-Haj’s imprisonment was a major media story in the Muslim world).
As Kristof noted when al-Haj was finally released in 2007: “there was never any real evidence that Sami was anything but a journalist”; “the interrogators quickly gave up on asking him substantive questions” and “instead, they asked him to spy on Al-Jazeera if he was released;” and “American officials, by imprisoning an Al-Jazeera journalist without charges or meaningful evidence, have done far more to damage American interests in the Muslim world than anything Sami could ever have do”
As I reported from Doha, the capital of Qatar and Al Jazeera, I met Sami and was very impressed by his ongoing commitment to human rights for all journalists