Monday, January 30, 2012

What the huh?

Robert Burns (AP) reports this morning Michele Flournoy, outgoing Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, explained to reporters that talks will be kicking off shortly between the US and Iraq -- part of the reason the White House strong-armed Ayad Allawi on Friday and over the weekend -- and "to start thinking about how they [Iraqis] want to work with" US troops

What the huh?

That can't be. We all saw on the TV. Over and over. And in the papers. All US troops were leaving. Talks were over. All US troops were home.

How can this be? And why couldn't we have anticipated this?

Why! Oh, the humanity!

Actually, some of us did anticipate it.

That would be those of us who didn't focus on trivia. Those of us, for example, attending a November Armed Services Committee hearing and taking it seriously. Reporting what was said. Reporting the exchanges that took place.

That Armed Services Committee hearing was probably the most covered -- if badly reported -- 2011 hearing by the press. What did they cover from that hearing?

They went off on a gleeful spree about Senator John McCain, Ranking Member on the Committee, asking tough questions and having some harsh words on the policies to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. That was in the first round of questioning. It was right after the opening statements, it was right after Senator Carl Levin (Chair of the Committee) had asked his questions. So they got to sit there for less than 40 minutes and get some "McCain Be Cuh-razy!" footage and then rush off and play somewhere else for the rest of the day.

But that hearing was over two hours long. And not only did they distort McCain -- who was laughing with Panetta in his second round of questions and noting his respect for Panetta -- but they also missed all the important developments in the hearing.

And it wasn't by accident. It really wasn't. If it's by accident, the next day, you start fixing your reporting. You refile, you add to. They never did.

It was a deliberate distortion of a hearing possibly because they decided reality might hurt their Beloved's chances at re-election. Barack was down in the polls and maybe the press wanted to deliver the leader of empire a little boost. (Then again, they've never needed an excuse to be juvenile so it might have just been them self-indulging at the public's expense yet again.)

So they lied. Just as they lied that all US troops are out of Iraq. (They're not.) Just as they lied that all US troops are home. (They're not. Many are in surrounding areas.) These issues were all addressed in that hearing. And the press didn't want to report on that. These are serious issues and ones that actually matter.

And even those not eager to pimp Barack were wasting everyone's time by focusing on shallow gossip instead of reality. That's where John Glaser 'reported' on the hearing that he surely did not attend by relying on the gossip posts put out by the press.

Pretend for a moment that McCain and Panetta engaged in a catfight (they didn't), that still would have been a secondary story to the future for the US in Iraq as outlined by the testimony of Secretary of Defense Panetta and Gen Martin Dempsey, Chair of the Joint-Chiefs.

We treated the hearing seriously here. We covered it in three continuous snapshot's:
November 15th's "Iraq snapshot," November 16th's "Iraq snapshot," November 17th's "Iraq snapshot," while other community coverage by those attending the hearing was Ava's "Scott Brown questions Panetta and Dempsey (Ava)," Wally's "The costs (Wally)" and Kat's "Who wanted what?" and at Third in "Enduring bases, staging platforms, continued war" and "Gen Dempsey talks "10 enduring" US bases in Iraq."

But so many, for a variety of reasons, didn't want to tell the truth. They wanted to treat the hearing as an episode of Dynasty with Panetta as Krystal and McCain as Alexis. I hope it fed their fantasies and that maybe they even got some good sex out of it. But don't for one minute pretend that it informed a single person about what was discussed in that hearing.

It misled the American people. It was the most appalling coverage and, as noted, it wasn't just the mainstream media, it was also other outlets including

(Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times actually got real news into her report. One of the few MSM reporters who didn't appear to think they were filing for Rona Barrett's Hollywood.)

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Arm Grab" went up last night.
On this week's Law and Disorder Radio -- a weekly hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) -- topics explored include the Armenian Genocide, the Supreme Court ruling on the GPS tracking device, and a lengthy interview with Tariq Ali covering a number of topics including OWS, the JFK assassination, Barack's claiming the right to assassinate any American citizen and more. In addition, Isaiah posted "David Fitzsimmons and David Horsey are liars" at his site explaining how he ended up drawing last night's comic.

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