Fox Has a Brand New Newsroom Bringing You Lots Of Nothing, Faster

October 16, 2013

You’ve been newsed! Cool big screens, and giant iPads, give Fox News the veneer of actual fact-checking credibility. Says Stephen Colbert: “It’s like they’re playing ‘Wii Tragedy.'” This 8 minute take-down employs kittens and robots for your viewing enjoyment.

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Kerry, Kissinger and the Other September 11

September 12, 2013

by Amy Goodman

Op-Ed published first by Nation of Change

As President Barack Obama’s attack on Syria appears to have been delayed for the moment, it is remarkable that Secretary of State John Kerry was meeting, on Sept. 11, with one of his predecessors, Henry Kissinger, reportedly to discuss strategy on forthcoming negotiations on Syria with Russian officials. The Kerry-Kissinger meeting, and the public outcry against the proposed attack on Syria to which both men are publicly committed, should be viewed through the lens of another Sept. 11 … 1973.

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Kissinger (right) shakes hands with Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet

On that day, 40 years ago, the democratically elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende, was violently overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup. Gen. Augusto Pinochet took control and began a 17-year dictatorial reign of terror, during which more than 3,000 Chileans were murdered and disappeared—about the same number killed on that later, fateful 9/11, 2001. Allende, a socialist, was immensely popular with his people. But his policies were anathema to the elites of Chile and the U.S., so President Richard Nixon and his secretary of state and national-security adviser, Henry Kissinger, supported efforts to overthrow him.

Kissinger’s role in plotting and supporting the 1973 coup in Chile becomes clearer as the years pass and the documents emerge, documents that Kissinger has personally fought hard to keep secret. Peter Kornbluh of the nonprofit National Security Archive has been uncovering the evidence for years, and has recently updated his book, “The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability.” Kornbluh told me that Kissinger was “the singular most important figure in engineering a policy to overthrow Allende and then, even more, to embrace Pinochet and the human-rights violations that followed.” He said that Kissinger “pushed Nixon forward to as aggressive but covert a policy as possible to make Allende fail, to destabilize Allende’s ability to govern, to create what Kissinger called a coup climate.”

The Pinochet regime was violent, repressive and a close ally of the United States. Pinochet formed alliances with other military regimes in South America, and they created “Operation Condor,” a campaign of coordinated terror and assassinations throughout Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and Brazil. Operation Condor even reached onto the streets of Washington, D.C., when, on Sep. 21, 1976, a former Chilean ambassador to the U.S. during the Allende government, Orlando Letelier, along with his assistant, a U.S. citizen named Ronni Moffitt, were killed by a car bomb planted by Pinochet’s secret police on Embassy Row, just blocks from the White House.

Eventually, under increasing global condemnation and growing internal, nonviolent resistance, the Pinochet regime was forced to hold a plebiscite, a national vote, on whether Pinochet would continue as Chile’s dictator. With a resounding “No!” the public rejected him, ushering in the modern, democratic era in Chile.

At least two U.S. citizens were murdered during the 1973 coup. Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi were in Chile to observe the democratic experience there, working as writers and journalists. Their abduction and murder by Pinochet’s forces, with the likely collaboration by the U.S. government, is depicted movingly in the 1982 Oscar-winning film “Missing,” directed by Costa Gavras, starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek. On the week of the coup’s 40th anniversary, Charles Horman’s widow, Joyce Horman, held a commemoration. The event, hosted in New York City by the Charles Horman Truth Foundation, attracted hundreds, many who were personally involved with the Allende government or who were forced into exile from Chile during those terrible years.

Among those in attendance was Juan Garces, a Spanish citizen who was President Allende’s closest adviser. Garces was with Allende in the presidential palace on Sept. 11, 1973. Just before the palace was bombed by the air force, Allende led Garces to the door of the palace and told him to go out and tell the world what had happened that day.

Allende died during the coup. Garces narrowly escaped Chile with his life. He led the global legal pursuit of Pinochet, finally securing his arrest in Britain in 1998, where Pinochet was held for 504 days. While Pinochet was eventually allowed to return to Chile, he was later indicted there and, facing trial and prison, died under house arrest in 2006, at the age of 91.

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Today, Garces sees alarming similarities between the repression in Chile and U.S. policies today: “You have extraordinary renditions. You have extrajudicial killings. You have secret centers of detentions. I am very concerned that those methods … were applied in Chile with the knowledge and the backing of the Nixon-Kissinger administration in this period. The same methods are being applied now in many countries with the backing of the United States. That is very dangerous for everyone.”

Rather than meeting with Kissinger for advice, John Kerry would better serve the cause of peace by consulting with those like Garces who have spent their lives pursuing peace. The only reason Henry Kissinger should be pursued is to be held accountable, like Pinochet, in a court of law.

©  Amy Goodman

For a terrific summary of Kissinger’s war crimes, go to this Salon article.

More detailed account of Kissinger’s shenanigans in South America, including newly declassified transcripts of meetings with generals in Argentina from 1976.


Tom Tomorrow: The NSA Comes Clean…

August 9, 2013

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Media Watchdog Group Sides With RNC On Hillary Clinton Miniseries

August 7, 2013

Media Matters, a non-profit media watchdog group that is often accused of having a liberal bias, is supporting the RNC (Republican National Committee) in asking NBC and CNN to drop movies about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that are set to air in 2014 — leading up to a potential presidential bid by the former First Lady. Media Matters founder, David Brock, argues that a fictionalized miniseries (NBC) and a documentary (CNN) opens the door to critics questioning the channels’ objectivity, equal time doctrine, and commitment to reality — especially when it comes to producing a fictionalized movie — that is a disservice to the voting public if Clinton does indeed run for president in 2016.

The letter to NBC is below.

 

 

 


The Hell Of A Repressive Government: Edward Snowden Flees Hong Kong, Michael Hastings’s Car Explodes

June 25, 2013

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Edward Snowden, who leaked documents  showing the US government is indiscriminately spying on millions of Americans through their phone records, emails, and other methods, has escaped from Hong Kong and is now believed to be in Moscow.

According to ABC News, cars with the Ecuadoran flag were there to greet Snowden’s plane, but the Ecuadoran diplomat had no comment.

Ecuador offered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asylum, but for the past year Assange has been stuck in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.

Authorities in Moscow say that Snowden will not leave the customs area, so does not need a passport or visa. Nor will Moscow stop him if he tries to leave. (The State Department revoked Snowden’s passport on Saturday – from a distance.)

The media, in their same old slimy way, is not questioning whether or not the government should have the authority to arrest anyone who exposes government wrongdoing. Instead, they are wondering why the journalist who broke the story, Glenn Greenwald, isn’t being arrestedSeriously?

Buzz Feed’s Ben Smith said it best: “Snowden’s flight and its surrounding geopolitics are a good story; what he made public is a better one.”

As most media wonders which journalists deserve imprisonment, they have the nerve to criticize other countries’ lack of  freedom of the press.

 

Michael Hastings, RIP

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Most famous for his Rolling Stone article  that got a general recalled from Afghanistan, Michael Hastings died last week when his car blew up at 4:30 am in Los Angeles.

He was working on a story about the FBI. Hours before he died, Hastings sent an email to friends that read, in part, that if the FBI came knocking on their door to get a lawyer. Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, with whom Hastings was embedded in Afghanistan in 2008, said he was very disturbed by the panicked tone of the email, and that it didn’t sound typical of his friend. The full email is here. The crash is still under investigation.


Welcome To The Suspect List

June 8, 2013

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I’m viewing with some sense of irony, and not a little derision, the outcry over the government spying on all our telephone calls.

That’s because this news broke over ten (10) years ago, when the USA Patriot Act first passed. Under section 215, the government gets to spy on/listen to/search—yes, search your home, your person, your car, your email — whenever it wants. Everyone is a potential suspect. Authorities no longer need “probable cause,” and a warrant from a judge. You, me, the world, is a suspected criminal.

But there was nary a peep ten years ago. The USA Patriot Act passed both Houses of Congress almost unanimously (Russ Feingold (D-WI) was the only Senator to vote no).

That was October, 2001, when most of America assumed the Government was only going to spy on Muslims. But now “that Muslim” – as our President is erroneously called by some – is spying on all of us, and a collective gasp is heard, right before the wailing and the beating of breasts.

So guys, I have to ask: “What took you so long?”

The USA Patriot Act obliterates the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment is the only thing standing between us and illegal searches and seizures, warrantless wiretapping, and IMPRISONMENT without “probable cause.”

How does it feel to be treated like a criminal when you haven’t done a thing?

What happened to “innocent until proven guilty?” That was obliterated by drones.

It didn’t matter when it was only people who somehow “deserved” to be suspected…is that it? People of another religion or ethnicity? I hate to use the word racism here, but why not use it? If the shoe fits…

About the sudden outcry, and demands for an investigation, Senator Diane Feinstein, who sits on the Intelligence Committee, said: “We are always open to changes. But that doesn’t mean there will be any. It does mean that we will look at any ideas, any thoughts, and we do this on everything.

There, there, now. Don’t you feel better?


The Boston Globe Temporarily Lowers Pay Wall

April 16, 2013

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The Boston Globe has suspended its pay wall so that everyone can get the latest information on the Boston Marathon bombings that occurred yesterday at and near the finish line.

BostonGlobe.com connects directly to a feed about the ongoing investigation.