Thursday, August 09, 2007

AP Pushes False News

This is just crazy. Greg Sargent reports on an emerging theme from the news media as shown in the AP story, "Iraq critics concede military progress." This storyline says that war critics are conceding

How does this keep happening? Did Republicans get the business office on board to bear pressure?

The Associated Press should drop their arrogance and respond directly to such strong criticisms. My experience is that they have an infallibility complex that prevents them from rationally considering criticism. All the more reason to keep after a response on the substance.

Journalism is on the run at the AP, increasingly replaced with a fearful pro-war and Bush-friendly slant.

p.s. Gotta love this Edwards line:
"I am not the candidate of glitz. I am not the candidate of glamor; nor do I claim to be. But what I am — I am the candidate for president of the United States that is the peoples' candidate."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Finally, someone asks about Saudi militia support in Iraq!

Atrios catches a hopeful story indicating enclaves of journalists still exist in the nation's news media.

Listening to George Bush, Dick Cheney, Joe Lieberman and the other war advocates inflate the Iranian role in Iraq has been frustrating. Another nation bordering Iraq is also involved in supporting militias hostile to US forces; Saudi Arabia.

The press almost never asks a challenging follow-up question to Iranian-induced paranoia: "Should the United States also care about Saudi Arabian support for Sunni militias?"

Editor and Publisher highlights a journalism outbreak at the LA Times. The Times lays out the facts that would stir a chorus if we still had an active press corps:

Saudis' role in Iraq insurgency outlined
Sunni extremists from Saudi Arabia make up half the foreign fighters in Iraq, many suicide bombers, a U.S. official says.
BAGHDAD — Although Bush administration officials have frequently lashed out at Syria and Iran, accusing it of helping insurgents and militias here, the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia, according to a senior U.S. military officer and Iraqi lawmakers.

About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures made available to The Times by the senior officer. Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he said.

Fighters from Saudi Arabia are thought to have carried out more suicide bombings than those of any other nationality, said the senior U.S. officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the subject's sensitivity. It is apparently the first time a U.S. official has given such a breakdown on the role played by Saudi nationals in Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgency.

He said 50% of all Saudi fighters in Iraq come here as suicide bombers. In the last six months, such bombings have killed or injured 4,000 Iraqis.

The situation has left the U.S. military in the awkward position of battling an enemy whose top source of foreign fighters is a key ally that at best has not been able to prevent its citizens from undertaking bloody attacks in Iraq, and at worst shares complicity in sending extremists to commit attacks against U.S. forces, Iraqi civilians and the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.
No wonder the Bush-Cheney Command run such a secretive government when the facts are so at odds with their warmaking logic. Expect Lieberman to somehow blame US citizens for the Saudi role in violence against American troops and Iraqis.

A nation that can't have a rationale discussion cannot behave responsibly. The journalists need to forcefully re-assert their role and continue to provide reports such as this from the LA Times. The journalists need to prevail over the hucksters, cowards, and whores who have so wrecked American journalism.

This LA Times story shows there is still hope for American journalism, after all.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Nothing is sacred

Apparently, nothing is sacred after all...

White House Rebuffs Congress on Tillman Papers

By Josh White
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The White House has refused to give Congress documents about the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman, with White House counsel Fred Fielding saying that certain papers relating to discussion of the friendly-fire shooting "implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests."
Just when you think the Bush Command can't sink any lower, it's blub, blub, blub all over again. These guys are the slimiest of the slime.

Not only do the Republicans out covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, but they also lie to the families of fallen soldiers, and then refuse to come clean when their lies are known.

And they proclaim themselves our moral superiors? Am we really living through this?


Monday, July 02, 2007

Longer sentences for all - but Republicans

Republicans and their media courtesans are aghast that their nice friend I Lewis "Scooter" Libby would be sentenced to jail for lying to federal investigators and blocking their investigation.

Many people point to the Republican hypocrisy in calling for Clinton's impeachment when Clinton was never even convicted of perjury or anything else, yet excusing what Bush pere called "the most insidious of traitors". Libby was convicted in the same legal system we all use, but must not suffer the same consequences (lest he sing).

For years Republicans have pandered their way to office by ratcheting up prison sentences across the board. Their answer was "longer sentences" no matter what the criminal justice problem.

Now, one of their own is caught up in their own prescription and they simply find it too horrid to endure.

Hypocrites can be very annoying to live with.

Joe Klein tries a different approach

Down below, I have a post ripping on Joe. However, I must say the quality and righteousness of Joe's writings that I've been seeing lately have improved. He seems to have lost the reflexive liberal-bashing. And he's been saying the words! (I'd show links, but they're not all available just now).

I'm still a bit concerned he doesn't critique official "news tips" sufficiently, but one step at a time.

Attaboy, Joe! Keep it up!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ann Althouse: Aiding the forces of torture

Ann Althouse has, once again, taken to attacking torture's critics and coddling torture's advocates, in her attack on Glenn Greenwald.

Last night I read a good portion of this report from Sy Hirsch in the New Yorker about General Taguba, who conducted the Pentagon investigation of Abu Ghraib. The article discusses some more of what he found, how he was punished for trying to do his duty in this investigation and some of the twisted shit the Cheney Command has our troops doing at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and God knows where else. (Taguba is one of many generals fired by Cheney-Bush).

They're visiting this torture upon innocent people. I suspect a majority of the people tortured are innocent. This torture I regard as a stain upon our nation's good name. Pisses me off.

Glenn Greenwald looks closely at the torture, the legal rationale used to promote it and the "unitary executive" theory and the people who help the practice continue.

Ann Althouse praises Glenn Instaputz who makes excuses for torture and the Cheney Command that promotes the barbaric practice that we beat hitler and Tojo without.

So when I see Ann Althouse posing as voice of moderation and reason all the while serving the torture movement and attacking it's critics, I get pissed off. She is, effectively, pro-torture.

Like I say, a disgrace for the UW.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Joe Klein's Filters: Recipe for Dupedom?

One link leads to another debate and we learn something odd and alarming about how pundit Joe Klein shuts out views critical of the Bush Administration while basing his portrayal of events to the American people on military and intelligence sources.

When national pundits make a standing policy to shun and ignore critics (even those proved right on the invasion and occupcation of Iraq) while proudly stating their basis of views on some sanitized "middle" and official srouces, we have a pretty good example of a flawed and dangerous filter on our discourse and decisionmaking. (Allowing that may Joe was just pandering to Hewitt's base).

Here's my question for Joe:

Hey, Joe, my question here is relevant to how you filter in and out your information sources and what kind of a filter you apply to each.

This weird conversation you had with Hugh Hewitt is the basis of the question:

You say that "I don’t believe in much of the crap that’s coming from the left or right on this stuff..." Your filter is set to entirely shut out these people (me included, apparently).

Instead you get your information and views from "the middle" (do you ignore Juan Cole?) and the military and intelligence establishment: "I talk to our generals, I talk to our intelligence community,"

What kind of filter do you apply to the military and intelligence sources? Do you think they may have reasons to spin you one way or another, to emphasize some problems (Iranian influence increasing Iraq Shia violence) while ignoring other problems you may not ask about (Saudi influence increasing Iraq Sunni violence).

Or, they could be supporting one MidEast interest over another in other ways (see: Israel). They might even, who knows, hide their mistakes from you (which the people you ignore pont out).

Good reporting demands the toughest filter on official news sources. You do not sound like a skeptical, critical reporter when dealing with the government. The tactics you describe are those of an official dupe.

So many times the official version of events are at odds with realty. Do you see how alarming your portrayal of reality on official sources can be?

Monday, May 07, 2007

The AP shows their cluelessness

Glenn Greenwald nails the obvious cluelessness of our major media. In this article Friday, the AP buys into the Republican-Giuliani spin that Keith Olbermann should be excluded from reporting on debates.

The headline in the Boston Herald says: "Can Keith Olbermann straddle the line between news and opinion?"In the same article, say "Fox has never done that, perhaps mindful of the immediate controversy that would result." Whaa? Earth to Planet AP: Fox's anchors are deeply partisan people who constantly slip partisan bias into their news "reporting.'

They manage to overlook Olberman's co-host Chris Matthews' many blatantly partisan statements in their hatchet job. This is the same Chris Matthews who said people who opposed the Iraq invasion and occupation were "kooks" and that Bush shows a "sunny nobility." Yeah, that's objective.

American new reporting is in a sad and sorry state. The big unspoken factor is the role of moneyed interests in deciding what gets covered and why.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Death Squads are unAmerican

There was a time in my younger days when we all shared the same assumptions about our country.

We're the good guys who won World War II without stooping to torture and by respecting the Geneva Convention. Our parents told these stories with pride. But now the Cheney-Bush Administration wants to repeal rights of Habeus Corpus won in the fracken medieval days!

We've known for months of reports that US-trained death squads may be active in Iraq. This should be the final act of stupidity and ideological incompetence that denies any benefit of the doubt for waging a surge, escalation or anything above looting to this crowd.

Time chose to address this issue in their own understated and deferential way. AlphaLiberal is thankful for the attention to the issue. No doubt this deserves mention to the rest of the nation in some type of news magazine. hint, hint...