Monday, May 09, 2005

Schechter on Security; Somerby on Tierney, over 1600 US military fatalities in Iraq (Maddow), via BuzzFlash, "Home From Iraq"

From Danny Schechter's News Dissector this morning, we'll note "SECURITY BOONDOGGLE CIVIL WAR IN IRAQ? A BILL OF CITIZENS MEDIA RIGHTS:"

Going through as many airports as I do, its distressing to see all the ongoing harassment and humiliating searches in the name of security by the white-shirted TSA who appear so efficient and committed to safety procedures that we follow like sheep while rationalizing its need. Never mind that old people are suspected as terrorists and terrorized and traumatized during these War on Terror games that seem to be preparing us for even more government intrusion.
And then, to read how the bozos of Home Security have made us less secure. Report after report has documented that the system is deeply flawed. And now the NY Times on Sunday reported on page 1.

"U.S. to Spend Billions More to Alter Security …After spending more than $4.5 billion, the federalgovernment has concluded that much of the antiterrorism equipment is ineffective."
Will anyone be held accountable for this boondoggle? Where is Tom Ridge? Where is his boss? Its time to open the books. Isn't it time for Congressional hearings on Terror War profiteering? How many of these companies are GOP related?
Its only money, or is it?

Last week, I reported that the State Department said it "didn't know" if convicted anti-Castro Cuban terrorist was seeking asylum in the US. Perhaps they will read today's NY Times:
"Luis Posada Carriles, who is a symbol for the armed anti-Castro movement, is seeking political asylum in the U.S".

Rachel e-mails to note Bob Somerby's Saturday Daily Howler where Somerby addresses the writing of John Tierney of the New York Times :

In these four paragraphs, Tierney restates a scripted claim that has driven our discourse for several decades. He pretends there’s something novel and strange about the process by which Congress borrows money from the SS trustees. He compares this process to familiar disasters; he makes us think it's like Uncle Festus spending the rent money down at the track. But as a matter of fact, it isn't like that. Congress doesn't simply "spend" that money. Before it "spends" the money, it borrows it--in just the same way that it has borrowed money from a wide range of entities for many years.
How should Dems respond to familiar claims--claims in which we're tediously told that the SS trust fund has already been spent? Dems should remember the logic of borrow and spend; more precisely, they should always remember to insert the word "borrow" in the discussion. Congress didn't simply "spend" the money; before it spent the money, it borrowed it. It has borrowed this way for the past forty years, from a vast array of sources. And yes, it has always paid back this borrowed money, just as it will do with the SS trustees--unless trained typists convince us that we should run out on this one narrow part of our debt.

Thanks Rachel for catching that. I completely forgot about the planned Saturday Howler.

Moving to a different Rachel, Rachel Maddow, this morning on The Rachel Maddow Show,
Maddow noted that the American military fatalities in Iraq had hit the 1600 mark. (It's at 1602 currently.)

Via BuzzFlash, Zach draws our attention to The Louisville, Kentucky's The Courier-Journal's "Home From Iraq" (by Molly Bingham):

We spent 10 months in Iraq, working on a story, understanding who the people are who are fighting, why they fight, what their fundamental beliefs are, when they started, what kinds of backgrounds they come from, what education, jobs they have. Were they former military, are they Iraqi or foreign? Are they part of al-Qaida? What we came up with is a story in itself, and one that Vanity Fair ran in July 2004 with my text and pictures. [My colleague Steve Connors] shot a documentary film that is still waiting to find a home. But the basic point for this discussion is that we both thought it was really journalistically important to understand who it was who was resisting the presence of the foreign troops. If you didn't understand that, how could you report what was clearly becoming an "ongoing conflict?" And if you were reading the news in America, or Europe, how could you understand the full context of what was unfolding if what motivates the "other side" of the conflict is not understood, or even discussed?
Just the process of working on that story has revealed many things to me about my own country. I'd like to share some of them with you: [. . .]

To read more click here.

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