Archive for August, 2007
OK – she’s a flustered teen…what’s his excuse?
“In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.”
“In a stunningly narrow interpretation of FCC rules, the Florida Appeals court claimed that the FCC policy against falsification of the news does not rise to the level of a “law, rule, or regulation,” it was simply a “policy.” Therefore, it is up to the station whether or not it wants to report honestly.”
“During their appeal, FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves. Fox attorneys did not dispute Akre’s claim that they pressured her to broadcast a false story, they simply maintained that it was their right to do so.”
This is truly amazing – please read the entire story. Here’s the really disturbing part – this isn’t about politics – it’s about a product that has the potential to harm your body and the bodies of your children.
It’s all about the money.
We’ve had so many e-mails about the History Channel’s 9/11 show we can’t believe it – they are either “we told you so” or “I believed you until I saw it on tv.” We do not presume to know what happened on 9/11 – the official story has too many holes in it. If the official version is the truth, what harm is there in questioning it?
Please read the following from NowPublic.com:
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The History Channel 9/11 special that aired last night was by far the worst hit piece we have ever witnessed, a completely savage, dishonest and deceptive abomination, replete
with dirty tricks, malicious lies and a level of journalistic fraud that goes way beyond simple bias.
Bradley Davis, the producer of the show, is a paid liar and a hit piece specialist who deceives people by gaining their confidence and then attacking them behind their
He is famous for the smear job documentary on Michael Jackson and makes a career out of conning people and then stabbing them in the back. His tongue is so smooth, that even the Loose Change crew were prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt on his impartiality before last night’s hit piece was aired, with Davis having tricked them into believing he was a friend.
Before filming began, Alex Jones asked Davis point blank if the documentary was going to be a hit piece, which Davis denied. After we brought attention to the History Channel’s blurb on their website, which clearly characterized the show as a hit piece, Davis panicked and promised to alter the promo, calling it a “misrepresentation,” as well as re-edit the entire program to make it more balanced. The promo temporarily disappeared from the website and the broadcast of the show was put back by a week.
During the course of this second exchange, Davis again promised Jones that the show was not going to be a hit piece and was very upset that we had discovered he was behind the NBC hit piece on Jackson – seemingly frightened that his cover might be blown and his next victim would be alerted to his scheming tricks. He was terrified and kept repeating that he didn’t want to be quoted on anything he said.
Just like Popular Mechanics swore that their straw man smear job wouldn’t be a hit piece, Davis engaged in journalistic fraud and complete dishonesty by lying directly to Alex Jones’ face in claiming the documentary was to be neutral just so he could secure the interview.
Just like William Randolph Hearst, the progenitor of the term “yellow journalism,” Davis will go down in history as a liar and a fraud.
The show itself was deliberately crafted, edited, shot and manipulated to portray the 9/11 truth movement in a completely negative light, while exalting the so-called experts
to almost God-like status.
– The program makers pulled out all the stops to hire nationally renowned NBC news anchor Lester Holt to narrate the show, a trusted voice that was utilized to brutally
debunk 9/11 truth representatives.
– The debunkers, people like James Meigs whose scientific expertise stretches as far as being the editor of Video Review and Entertainment Weekly, were labeled as experts while real experts like Physicist Professor Steven Jones were stripped of any such description.
– The debunkers’ interviews were pristinely shot and framed, with beautiful backdrops and highly sympathetic camera angles and filters, whereas the truthers were shot from
bizarre positions, their images were deliberately distorted and even the color filter of the shot had been manipulated to make their appearance look tainted, blurred and contorted. This was an intentional ploy and a crude act of manipulation to detract credibility from the truthers and violates all known ethical standards of journalism.
– The producers of the show failed to offer the proviso that Hearst Publishing, the owner of Popular Mechanics, also holds a controlling stake in the History Channel (via its stake in the A & E Television Network), therefore concealing from the viewer a blatant conflict of interest that negated the neutrality of the show before it had even begun.
– The debunkers were afforded far more time on camera while the truthers were sidelined.
– The narrator of the show would dismiss the questions and evidence raised by the truthers as unproven or debunked in an ad hominem manner without providing any evidence to justify the assertion.
– The truthers were edited so that only hesitant responses to questions were broadcast, casting doubt on the veracity of their claims in the mind of the unsuspecting viewer.
– The show included a clip of Alex Jones’ appearance at the University of Texas, at which around 500 people packed the lecture hall to hear his speech, but deliberately and maliciously edited the footage to include shots taken during recess, so as to make it appear that the lecture hall was mostly empty. In addition, lingering shots of empty chairs were included to further deceive the viewer into thinking few had attended the speech. This is journalistic fraud of the worse kind – a blatant misrepresentation and deliberate skewing of actual events.
– In a similar vein, footage from 9/11 truth protests was broadcast but the angle of the shot was always tight, so as to make out that few people had attended the demonstration,
when in fact thousands were present.
– Davin Coburn of Popular Mechanics, mirroring a dirty trick that was also employed in the BBC hit piece, maliciously lied and smeared Alex Jones and others in the program
by claiming that most of the 9/11 families hate them and that they are responsible for causing the families more pain. Coburn and the show’s producers know this is an outright lie and that the majority of the family members are asking the same questions as Alex Jones and others. Bill Doyle, representative of the largest group of 9/11 family members
told the Alex Jones Show directly that over half of the family members have questions about the official story. Alex Jones and the Loose Change crew offered contact details for
numerous 9/11 first responders, firefighters and family members that were asking questions of the official version, but absolutely none were interviewed by Brad Davis and the rest of the show’s producers.
– The producers of the show tried to make out that Loose Change had recanted their position on the issue of controlled demolition, when in fact Dylan Avery and the other
members of the crew were merely using their Final Cut version to focus on other topics, having already covered controlled demolition at length in previous versions. This trick was used to claim that evidence for bombs and controlled demolition, which is attested to by scores of firefighters and first responders, none of which were interviewed by the producers, had been debunked.
– Articles and text from 9/11 truth websites were shown, but the actual URL addresses of the sites were blurred out, with the History Channel obviously frightened that people
might actually visit such websites and find out that the program was a pack of lies.
– The debunkers attempted to wriggle out of Secretary Norman Mineta’s bombshell testimony about Cheney’s actions in the Emergency Operations Center, by claiming that
Mineta was talking about Flight 93 and not the plane that hit the Pentagon. In reality, Mineta makes it clear in his testimony that he is talking about Flight 77, “the airplane coming in to the Pentagon,” and this is then confirmed by Commissioner Lee Hamilton.
– The debunkers admitted that temperatures inside the twin towers were not hot enough to melt steel, but claimed that they were hot enough to weaken steel and cause the collapse. The debunkers uniformly failed to address the fact that firefighters
and first responders described witnessing molten steel beneath the rubble of the towers and they also ignored Professor Steven Jones’ scientific analysis of the iron-rich microspheres found in the rubble. In a website posting last night, Professor Jones stated that he emphatically pushed the dust analysis during his interview with the producers,
but the topic was completely overlooked. The New York Times reported that the molten steel was “perhaps the deepest mystery uncovered” but the History Channel, mirroring NIST, failed to address the issue.
– The debunkers mentioned WTC 7 only in passing and completely failed to address why the building, which wasn’t hit by a plane, collapsed in 7 seconds into its own footprint
after suffering only limited fire damage from falling debris. They also failed to mention why news outlets were reporting the collapse of Building 7 over an hour before it actually fell.
– The wargames that dovetailed 9/11 and deliberately confused NORAD personnel so as to slow response to the real attack were completely excluded.
– The Able Danger program and how the hijackers were discovered before 9/11 was completely excluded.
– The fact that the money man behind the hijackers, Pakistan’s ISI Chief Mahmoud Ahmad, was meeting with U.S. government and intelligence officials before and on the morning of 9/11, was completely excluded.
– William Rodriguez’ first-hand testimony of explosions prior to the impact of the planes was completely excluded, as was the testimony of numerous firefighters who attested to bombs and explosions.
– NBC reporter Pat Dawson claimed that FDNY Chief of Safety Albert Turi had only described explosions, not bombs, going off, contradicting Dawson’s own report at the time which stated, “Reports of a secondary device, that is another ‘bomb’ going off.”
After watching this two hour charade, Alex Jones was left stunned and irate that the producers had deliberately set out to create something that goes way beyond the scope of
bias – an intentional propaganda attack piece strewn with manifestly provable lies, dirty tricks and misrepresentation, and that the show’s producers, and in particular Brad Davis, had purposefully lied all along in order to shield the fact that this was a savage
hit piece of the highest order.
In comparison, The History Channel makes Fox News look fair and balanced!
Framing Alex Jones as a demon and making out that he is causing pain to 9/11 families, when in fact during our last visit to ground zero most of the firefighters and police
personally thanked us, is a very serious allegation and we are waiting to see what kind of damages will accrue as a result while we consider our next step.
As we expected all along, Brad Davis and the rest of the charlatans at NBC, the History Channel and Popular Mechanics, have pleased their corporate masters by unleashing the most twisted, distorted, dishonest and savage hit piece in television history. They have shown their hand by deliberately abandoning any pretense at ethical journalism and delivering exactly what their Hearst “yellow journalism” Publishing and GE bosses demanded – a bias, malicious, deceptive, and manipulative tissue of lies and another reason for Americans to disengage from an establishment media empire that continues to hemorrhage viewers on a daily basis due to its ceaseless lies and propaganda.
We have no idea whether or not Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) is gay – and we honestly don’t care.
And whether he’s guilty or not of soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in a men’s restroom is truly none of our concern.
We do, however, think Mr. Craig should be removed from office simply because of incredible stupidity.
He has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He was Student Body President at the University of Idaho. He’s been in politics since 1974. (He had this to say about Iraq and New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina – “Fraud is in the culture of Iraqis. I believe that is true in the state of Louisiana as well.“)
Until now, we would have also presumed he had the intelligence to watch and follow shows on television.
However, any school child who has watched a single episode of a law-and-order-style show KNOWS that, regardless of your innocence or lack thereof, you plead “not guilty” to any crime with which you are charged! You never, EVER, plead “guilty…just to make it all go away”!!!!!!!
That’s truly one of the stupidest excuses we’ve ever heard! If Mr. Craig is not lying through his teeth, we suggest he be removed for being as dumb as a post!
From The Village Voice:
Leaked Red Cross report sets up Bush team for international war-crimes trial
by Nat Hentoff
August 28th, 2007 6:30 PM
If and when there’s the equivalent of an international Nuremberg trial for the American perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Guantánamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the CIA’s secret prisons, there will be mounds of evidence available from documented international reports by human-rights organizations, including an arm of the European parliament—as well as such deeply footnoted books as Stephen Grey’s Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program (St. Martin’s Press) and Charlie Savage’s just-published Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy (Little, Brown).
While the Democratic Congress has yet to begin a serious investigation into what many European legislators already know about American war crimes, a particularly telling report by the International Committee of the Red Cross has been leaked that would surely figure prominently in such a potential Nuremberg trial. The Red Cross itself is bound to public silence concerning the results of its human-rights probes of prisons around the world—or else governments wouldn’t let them in.
But The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer has sources who have seen accounts of the Red Cross interviews with inmates formerly held in CIA secret prisons. In “The Black Sites” (August 13, The New Yorker), Mayer also reveals the effect on our torturers of what they do—on the orders of the president—to “protect American values.”
She quotes a former CIA officer: “When you cross over that line of darkness, it’s hard to come back. You lose your soul. You can do your best to justify it, but . . . you can’t go back to that dark a place without it changing you.”
Few average Americans have been changed, however, by what the CIA does in our name. Blame that on the tight official secrecy that continues over how the CIA extracts information. On July 20, the Bush administration issued a new executive order authorizing the CIA to continue using these techniques—without disclosing anything about them.
If we, the people, are ultimately condemned by a world court for our complicity and silence in these war crimes, we can always try to echo those Germans who claimed not to know what Hitler and his enforcers were doing. But in Nazi Germany, people had no way of insisting on finding out what happened to their disappeared neighbors.
We, however, have the right and the power to insist that Congress discover and reveal the details of the torture and other brutalities that the CIA has been inflicting in our name on terrorism suspects.
Only one congressman, Oregon’s Democratic senator Ron Wyden, has insisted on probing the legality of the CIA’s techniques—so much so that Wyden has blocked the appointment of Bush’s nominee, John Rizzo, from becoming the CIA’s top lawyer. Rizzo, a CIA official since 2002, has said publicly that he didn’t object to the Justice Department’s 2002 “torture” memos, which allowed the infliction of pain unless it caused such injuries as “organ failure . . . or even death.” (Any infliction of pain up to that point was deemed not un-American.) Mr. Rizzo would make a key witness in any future Nuremberg trial.
As Jane Mayer told National Public Radio on August 6, what she found in the leaked Red Cross report, and through her own extensive research on our interrogators (who are cheered on by the commander in chief), is “a top-down-controlled, mechanistic, regimented program of abuse that was signed off on—at the White House, really—and then implemented at the CIA from the top levels all the way down. . . . They would put people naked for up to 40 days in cells where they were deprived of any kind of light. They would cut them off from any sense of what time it was or . . . anything that would give them a sense of where they were.”
She also told of the CIA interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, who was not only waterboarded (a technique in which he was made to feel that he was about to be drowned) but also “kept in . . . a small cage, about one meter [39.7 inches] by one meter, in which he couldn’t stand up for a long period of time. [The CIA] called it the dog box.”
Whether or not there is another Nuremberg trial—and Congress continues to stay asleep—future historians of the Bush administration will surely also refer to Leave No Marks: Enhanced Interrogation Techniques and the Risk of Criminality, the July report by Human Rights First and Physicians for Social Responsibility.
The report emphasizes that the president’s July executive order on CIA interrogations—which, though it is classified, was widely hailed as banning “torture and cruel and inhuman treatment”—”fails explicitly to rule out the use of the ‘enhanced’ techniques that the CIA authorized in March, 2002, “with the president’s approval (emphasis added).
In 2002, then–Secretary of State Colin Powell denounced the “torture” memos and other interrogation techniques in internal reports that reached the White House. It’s a pity he didn’t also tell us. But Powell’s objections should keep him out of the defendants’ dock in any future international trial.
From the Leave No Marks report, here are some of the American statutes that the CIA, the Defense Department, and the Justice Department have utterly violated:
In the 1994 Torture Convention Implementation Act, we put into U.S. law what we had signed in Article 5 of the UN Convention Against Torture, which is defined as “an act ‘committed by an [officially authorized] person’ . . . specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering . . . upon another person within his custody or physical control.”
The 1997 U.S. War Crimes Act “criminalizes . . . specifically enumerated war crimes that the legislation refers to as ‘grave breaches’ of Common Article 3 [of the Geneva Conventions], including the war crimes of torture and ‘cruel or inhuman treatment.'”
The Leave No Marks report very valuably brings the Supreme Court— before Chief Justice John Roberts took over—into the war-crimes record of this administration. I strongly suggest that Human Rights First and Physicians for Social Responsibility send their report—with the following section underlined—to every current member of the Supreme Court and Congress:
“The Supreme Court has long considered prisoner treatment to violate substantive due process if the treatment ‘shocks the conscience,’ is bound to offend even hardened sensibilities, or offends ‘a principle of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental.'”
Among those fundamental rights cited by past Supreme Courts, the report continues, are “the rights to bodily integrity [and] the right to have [one’s] basic needs met; and the right to basic human dignity” (emphasis added).
If the conscience of a majority on the Roberts Court isn’t shocked by what we’ve done to our prisoners, then it will be up to the next president and the next Congress—and, therefore, up to us—to alter, in some respects, how history will judge us. But do you see any considerable signs, among average Americans, of the conscience being shocked? How about the presidential candidates of both parties?
Interesting numbers – at this very moment, 4:00 PM Eastern Time, August 29, Ron Paul leads Barack Obama 13,400+ to 10,600+. Dennis Kucinich is third with 2,400+ and Hillary is fourth with 2,000+. See how your favorite is doing and put in your vote.
Even I question the ‘truth’ about 9/11
25 August 2007
Each time I lecture abroad on the Middle East, there is always someone in the audience – just one – whom I call the “raver”. Apologies here to all the men and women who come to my talks with bright and pertinent questions – often quite humbling ones for me as a journalist – and which show that they understand the Middle East tragedy a lot better than the journalists who report it. But the “raver” is real. He has turned up in corporeal form in Stockholm and in Oxford, in Sao Paulo and in Yerevan, in Cairo, in Los Angeles and, in female form, in Barcelona. No matter the country, there will always be a “raver”.
His – or her – question goes like this. Why, if you believe you’re a free journalist, don’t you report what you really know about 9/11? Why don’t you tell the truth – that the Bush administration (or the CIA or Mossad, you name it) blew up the twin towers? Why don’t you reveal the secrets behind 9/11? The assumption in each case is that Fisk knows – that Fisk has an absolute concrete, copper-bottomed fact-filled desk containing final proof of what “all the world knows” (that usually is the phrase) – who destroyed the twin towers. Sometimes the “raver” is clearly distressed. One man in Cork screamed his question at me, and then – the moment I suggested that his version of the plot was a bit odd – left the hall, shouting abuse and kicking over chairs.
Usually, I have tried to tell the “truth”; that while there are unanswered questions about 9/11, I am the Middle East correspondent of The Independent, not the conspiracy correspondent; that I have quite enough real plots on my hands in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Iran, the Gulf, etc, to worry about imaginary ones in Manhattan. My final argument – a clincher, in my view – is that the Bush administration has screwed up everything – militarily, politically diplomatically – it has tried to do in the Middle East; so how on earth could it successfully bring off the international crimes against humanity in the United States on 11 September 2001?
Well, I still hold to that view. Any military which can claim – as the Americans did two days ago – that al-Qa’ida is on the run is not capable of carrying out anything on the scale of 9/11. “We disrupted al-Qa’ida, causing them to run,” Colonel David Sutherland said of the preposterously code-named “Operation Lightning Hammer” in Iraq’s Diyala province. “Their fear of facing our forces proves the terrorists know there is no safe haven for them.” And more of the same, all of it untrue.
Within hours, al-Qa’ida attacked Baquba in battalion strength and slaughtered all the local sheikhs who had thrown in their hand with the Americans. It reminds me of Vietnam, the war which George Bush watched from the skies over Texas – which may account for why he this week mixed up the end of the Vietnam war with the genocide in a different country called Cambodia, whose population was eventually rescued by the same Vietnamese whom Mr Bush’s more courageous colleagues had been fighting all along.
But – here we go. I am increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11. It’s not just the obvious non sequiturs: where are the aircraft parts (engines, etc) from the attack on the Pentagon? Why have the officials involved in the United 93 flight (which crashed in Pennsylvania) been muzzled? Why did flight 93’s debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field? Again, I’m not talking about the crazed “research” of David Icke’s Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster – which should send any sane man back to reading the telephone directory.
I am talking about scientific issues. If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time? (They collapsed in 8.1 and 10 seconds.) What about the third tower – the so-called World Trade Centre Building 7 (or the Salmon Brothers Building) – which collapsed in 6.6 seconds in its own footprint at 5.20pm on 11 September? Why did it so neatly fall to the ground when no aircraft had hit it? The American National Institute of Standards and Technology was instructed to analyse the cause of the destruction of all three buildings. They have not yet reported on WTC 7. Two prominent American professors of mechanical engineering – very definitely not in the “raver” bracket – are now legally challenging the terms of reference of this final report on the grounds that it could be “fraudulent or deceptive”.
Journalistically, there were many odd things about 9/11. Initial reports of reporters that they heard “explosions” in the towers – which could well have been the beams cracking – are easy to dismiss. Less so the report that the body of a female air crew member was found in a Manhattan street with her hands bound. OK, so let’s claim that was just hearsay reporting at the time, just as the CIA’s list of Arab suicide-hijackers, which included three men who were – and still are – very much alive and living in the Middle East, was an initial intelligence error.
But what about the weird letter allegedly written by Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian hijacker-murderer with the spooky face, whose “Islamic” advice to his gruesome comrades – released by the CIA – mystified every Muslim friend I know in the Middle East? Atta mentioned his family – which no Muslim, however ill-taught, would be likely to include in such a prayer. He reminds his comrades-in-murder to say the first Muslim prayer of the day and then goes on to quote from it. But no Muslim would need such a reminder – let alone expect the text of the “Fajr” prayer to be included in Atta’s letter.
Let me repeat. I am not a conspiracy theorist. Spare me the ravers. Spare me the plots. But like everyone else, I would like to know the full story of 9/11, not least because it was the trigger for the whole lunatic, meretricious “war on terror” which has led us to disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan and in much of the Middle East. Bush’s happily departed adviser Karl Rove once said that “we’re an empire now – we create our own reality”. True? At least tell us. It would stop people kicking over chairs.
Don’t get too excited about Alberto Gonzales stepping down – rumor has it that Michael Chertoff will be his replacement…
To quote John Edwards:
“Better late than never.”