Saturday, October 16, 2010

CBS on the government's right to hide

The Pentagon is bracing for the possible release of as many as 400,000 potentially explosive secret military documents on the U.S.-Iraq war by WikiLeaks.
The self-described whistleblower website could release the files as early as Sunday.
CBS News national security analyst Juan Zarate says part of the fear about the potential release is the unknown: Defense officials are not sure exactly what documents WikiLeaks has.

The above is from CBS News' "WikiLeaks May Release 400,000 Iraq War Document" and how very nice of CBS News to do what the press is supposed to do and sell the story from the angle of the Pentagon, a government institution. That is, after all, what a free press is supposed to do: Protect the government and screw the people. It's all about the government's right for the people not to know. For those who might, for example, point to CBS Evening News' ratings which put them in last place among the viewers, that's okay. They're not about the viewers, they're not about the people. CBS cares . . . about serving the government.

Everyone's favorite little whore Juan Zarate declared on CBS TV today -- The Morning Show, so no one saw it -- that this could harm the US government's relationship with . . . foreign governments: "You have a building of distrust with the U.S. Government [. . .] Can you trust the U.S. government to not only hold information but to, you know, keep it safe?"

Yes, that is the great bond of trust, the US government with . . . other governments. Not the US government with its own people?

Little Juan still suffering from the effects of tongue bathing George W. Bush as part of the Bully Boy Bush administration.

If you wonder how the US ended in not one but two illegal wars, there's your answer: A screwed up press that doesn't appear to know the first thing about the job they're supposedly doing.

They're so inept, they're such f**k ups that they don't even grasp foreign officials? That's not even in their target audience.

You're selling news, you're selling it to viewers, you're supposed to tailor it to your audience.

Forget that they're supposed to be watchdog, forget they're supposed to perform a public service, they can't even make money at CBS News because they're so damn stupid they don't even know how to tailor the news to their targeted audience.

That's why the only people they reach are the people who've been watching their news for decades.

Out of habit, they have viewers.

They'll never build new ones until they learn how to do their damn job. But maybe they can't? Maybe it's about time for the house to be cleaned? Full-scale firings?

In Iraq, the political stalemate continues. March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. The Guardian's editorial board noted last month, "These elections were hailed prematurely by Mr Obama as a success, but everything that has happened since has surely doused that optimism in a cold shower of reality." 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government. In 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. It's seven months and nine days and counting.

Meanwhile the Tehran Times reports Nouri will make an official visit to Iran Monday. This is Nicole Gaouette (Bloomberg News) reports Ayad Allawi went on Fareed Zakaria GPS (CNN) and stated, "We know Iran is trying to wreak havoc on the region and trying to destabilize the region by destabilizing Iraq and destabilizing Lebanon and destabilizing the Palestinian issue." And as the stalemate continues, Press TV reports, Iraqis take to the streets to protest the continued US presence in Iraq and attempts by the US to influence their government:

Iraq witnesses thousands-strong protests against the presence of American forces on its soil and Washington's interference in Baghdad's affairs.
The protesters, supporters of the senior Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who leads the national Sadrist Movement, gathered in the Sadr City, a suburb district of the capital, Baghdad, on Friday, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Chanting anti-US slogans and trampling on the American and Israeli flags, they condemned the US for retaining its troops in the country.

Reuters notes a Baghdad mortar attack which left four people injured, a Baghdad sticky bombing which injured two people and a Balad bombing injured four members of a family.

We'll close with this from Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan's "Injustice in the age of Obama" (Al Jazeera):

Since being the defendant in about six trials after I was arrested for protesting the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations, it’s my experience that the police lie. Period.
However the lies don’t stop at street law enforcement level. From lies about WMD and connections to "al Qaeda," almost every institution of so-called authority - the Pentagon, State Department, CIA, FBI, all the way up to the Oval Office and back down - lie. Not white lies, but big, Mother of all BS (MOAB) lies that lead to the destruction of innocent lives. I.F Stone was most definitely on the ball when he proclaimed, "Governments lie".
Having clarified that, I would now like to examine a case that should be enshrined in the travesty of the US Justice Hall of Shame.
In February of this year, Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani mother of three, was convicted in US Federal (kangaroo) Court of seven counts, including two counts of "attempted murder of an American." On September 23, Judge Berman, who displayed an open bias against Dr. Siddiqui, sentenced her to 86 years in prison.
The tapestry of lies about Dr. Siddiqui - a cognitive neuroscientist, schooled at MIT and Brandeis - was woven during the Bush regime but fully maintained during her trial and sentencing this year by the Obama (in)Justice Department.
Before 9/11/2001, Aafia lived in Massachusetts with her husband, also a Pakistani citizen, and their two children. According to all reports, she was a quietly pious Muslim (which is still not a crime here in the States), who hosted play dates for her children. She was a good student who studied hard and maintained an exemplary record, causing little harm to anything, let alone anyone.
After 9/11, when she was pregnant with her third child, she encouraged her husband to move back to Pakistan to avoid the backlash against her Muslim children - which was a very prescient thing to do considering the Islamophobia that has only increased in this country since then.

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