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Dead Babies: The Obfuscator Press PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Saturday, 19 August 2006 16:13

Dead Babies: The Obfuscator Press

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- Danny Schechter - Warning. No JonBenet Ramsey Murder coverage below. Can you live without it?



A Judge Speaks Up For Our Rights

Danny Schechter

August 18, 2006

It was a big blow to Bush World as a Federal judge said no way to warrantless wiretaps. AP reported

?DETROIT - A federal judge on Thursday struck down President Bush's warrantless surveillance program, saying it violated the rights to free speech and privacy, as well as the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit is the first judge to rule on the legality of the National Security Agency's program, which the White House says is a key tool for fighting terrorism that has already stopped attacks.

"Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution," Taylor wrote in her 43-page opinion.

The administration said it would appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati."

Center for Constitutional Rights: ?Particularly encouraging was the Court's overruling of the state secrets privilege, striking down one of the pillars of the Administration's argument in advance of oral arguments on 5 September in CCR v. Bush.

The Court struck down the program on both statutory and constitutional grounds, agreeing with CCR that it violates the FISA statute and both the First and Fourth amendments.?

Russ Feingold comments:

Declan McCullagh wrote:

"The real question on NSA tapping: How do we know if Bush complies with court order? - Now for the next question: How will we know whether the illegal spying has stopped? Also let's see if the judge grants a temporary stay of her order while the DOJ appeals..."



Via Forest Dvorkak:

"The New York Times has publicly admitted that it decided not to publish its groundbreaking expose on the Bush administration's secret domestic surveillance program until after the presidential 2004 election. The paper?s Executive Editor Bill Keller said "the climactic discussion about whether to publish was right on the eve of the election." The paper decided not to run the story until this past December.

When the story finally ran on December 16, 2005, the paper admitted that it had delayed publication for a year after concerns were raised by senior administration officials. But at the time the paper did not reveal the story had been held from before the 2004 election."

Tonight, the PBS program NOW's David Brancaccio talks with "The American Prospect" Senior Editor Tara McKelvey, one of the case's plaintiffs, about the ruling's implications.


Robert Fisk in Beirut: Lebanon's pain grows by the hour as death toll hits 1,300

"Across Lebanon, they are systematically lifting the tons of rubble of old roofs and apartment blocks and finding families below, their arms wrapped around each other in the moment of death as their homes were beaten down upon them by the Israeli air force."



Jeffrey Laurenti writes from the UN for MaximsNews.com

"For Israelis, the finger-pointing is freighted with the usual posturing of parties jockeying for political advantage. In Lebanon, the debate is existential. A political movement that won just 14 seats out of 128 in the country?s parliament last year was able to drag the entire country into an unwanted month-long war wreaking death and destruction far beyond the territory where it is dominant.

For a while, to be sure, Hezbollah will be cushioned by the gauze of pan-Arab pride in having fended off the blows of an Israeli war machine in overdrive. But for Lebanese, the stark losses and the pain of rebuilding will prove far more enduring than an evanescent pride.

Indeed, for all their stalwartness in fighting Israelis to a standstill?in a war on Lebanese soil their rashness had provoked?Hezbollah?s fighters could not imagine taking a square centimeter of Israeli territory. Extremists may fantasize about driving Jews into the sea, but even Sheik Nasrallah knows Israel is there to stay.

The deployment of 15,000 normally pacific Lebanese government soldiers, along with an equal number of troops in the substantially reinforced U.N. force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), provides the Beirut government with an opportunity to regain authority that it cannot afford this time to fritter away."


"The brain-washing by the military commentators and the ex-generals, who dominated the media at the time, has turned the foolish--I would almost say "criminal"--operation into a rousing victory parade. The decision of the political leadership to stop it is now being seen by many as an act of defeatist, spineless, corrupt and even treasonous politicians.?



Orit Weksler writes on AlterNet:

"If Israel is doomed to be a nation that lives by the sword, as is commonly proclaimed on the streets of Tel Aviv these days, then I opt out.?



Jews in America are organizing a petition of ?Jewish solidarity.? It reads in part:

"As Jews of conscience living in the United States, we are outraged by the violence being perpetrated in our name both as Jews and as U.S. citizens. We, the undersigned, represent Jews across the United States who are choosing to stand in solidarity with the peoples of Gaza and Lebanon.

We are appalled by the blatant self-interest revealed in the U.S.'s leveraging of Israel's actions towards a "New Middle East" agenda, which it has advanced in Afghanistan and Iraq in order to serve an increasingly unilateral economic and political program enforced through military aggression. With Israel as its military proxy, this destructive U.S. foreign policy agenda seeks to establish puppet governments across the Middle East, in a grand effort to ensure continued oil supplies to the West at devastating cost to civilian lives and democracy across the Middle East and beyond??

To add your name:

Petition wants U.N. reparations for Israel

Israeli journalist reports from Gaza:



The World Security Foundation reports:

"Middle East experts and political commentators in Washington assert that in his cable to the State Department (June 6, 2006), U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, depicted a gloomy picture of Iraq. The cable reported that there was a belief that ?the U.S. ? which is widely perceived as fully controlling the country and tolerating the malaise?is punishing populations as Saddam did? and ?the central government . . . is not relevant. . . . People no longer trust most neighbors.?

For those who are intimately familiar with the current affairs in Iraq, the situation is much darker than what has been conveyed by Khalilzad. The Los Angeles Times (June 28, 2006) almost captured the sad picture when it reported: ?Bloodshed has turned Iraq into a country defined by disguise and bluff. Violence in the streets has begun to defy logic, and this is part of the fallout: A lively city where people used to butt gleefully into one another's business has degenerated into a labyrinth of disguises, a place where neighbors brush silently past one another like dancers in a macabre costume ball.?

Some Iraqis believed that the American invasion of their country in March 2003 would place Iraq on a path of healthy recovery and that Iraq would regain its recent past. In fact, the majority of Iraqis sincerely trusted President Bush and his public pronouncements to turn Iraq into a functional democratic model in the Middle East. Since the invasion, however, those same Iraqis have, with bewilderment, witnessed their country degenerating into a slaughterhouse. Terrorists have started to freely roam throughout their country spreading misery and bloodshed wherever they move and the never ending presence of foreign troops has become an intolerable nightmare."


Iraq, one of the world?s biggest oil producers now says it is having a fuel crisis and will import fuel. The reason: attacks on the pipelines.


"BANOS, Ecuador (Aug. 17) - A volcanic eruption in Ecuador's Andes mountains showered incandescent rock and lava on nearby villages, smothering houses and burning residents as thousands tried to flee to safety. At least one person was killed and 60 were missing."


Do not try this on a plane. Do not try it, period. But could that fierce British terror tribe actually have pulled off the catastrophe they are being accused of planning, if that is what they are being accused of, since we still don't know what, if anything, they are being accused of. But no matter: a British newspaper assesses the 'better bombing through liquids terror-in-the-toilet' scenario. Here's what they came up with:



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Media: The News We See and Don't




"'Hostage: The Jill Carroll Story,' an 11-part multimedia series for the Christian Science Monitor, has millions of readers flooding the website.

According to WebSideStory's HBX Analytics, the Christian Science Monitor's website analyser, the reporter's series had more than 450,000 unique visitors on its first day of publication (Aug. 14), more than 1m page views on that day, and 1.5m page views the following day. Normally, the Christian Science Monitor's website attracts an average of 121,247 page views per day in July.

'Hostage: The Jill Carroll Story' includes online videos, image galleries, RSS feeds and podcasts, as well as Carroll's own accounts of her 82-day experience as one of the many kidnapped journalists in Iraq."

- Editor and Publisher


There is a difference between fantasy and reality. With my fixation with Hurricane Katrina, I feel qualified to tell you the basic places where they split, and why they split.

Although large number of loathsome conservative commentators used the disaster in New Orleans to bash the welfare state, during September of 2005, they have not used it since then-- for anything. I cannot tell you if they *meant* what they said, but they are acting like their real attitude is: we'll defend Bush by changing the subject to welfare dependency for a few months, and then the federal government will step in with deficit spending to pay for the saving of capitalist institutions from bankruptcy and ruin.

None of this amounts to actually wanting to change the relationship between federal money and the economies of the Gulf Coast states. If there was a desire among conservatives to do this, it wouldn't have been Lieberman vs. Lamont over the Iraqi War that transfixed policy wonks in the U.S.. It would have been a Louisiana politican with Libertarian leanings versus a Louisiana politician with vested Big Money interests, fighting over the continued flow of federal money to Louisiana. Instead of compering Lamont's victory to a Stalinist "purge", they would have been complaining about "Lemon socialism in Louisiana.

But when confronted with rebuilding New Orleans, the best anyone on the right- wing could manage was an article in "The National Review" complaining about black women becoming single mothers, despite job creation by the federal government. *Not* a call for Lousiana businessmen to raise capital for rebuilding the Gulf Coast from private investors in China.

That seems to me, to be the background of *any* upcoming commentary, from any part of the politicial spectrum, about the 1st Anniversay of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.?



The Guardian reports from Beijing:

"A Chinese man goes through a copy of one of the three volumes of the book The Selected Works of Jiang Zemin at a bookstore in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, last Thursday. The book contains speeches, articles and letters related to Jiang.

It is a book promotion that puts Harry Potter in the shade: rave reviews, front-page headlines, lead stories on TV and a must-buy recommendation by the former president of the world's most populous dictatorship.

Add the distinct possibility of demotion, imprisonment or the withdrawal of publishing licenses for any critic, and there is every reason to believe that the The Selected Works of Jiang Zemin (江澤民) will be at the top of the best-seller lists in China for many months.?


Steven Hill of the New America Foundation writes:

"I have watched with amusement as the American media continues to devote the type of attention usually reserved for rock stars and champion athletes to Fidel Castro's intestinal surgery and recovery. What is this love-hate fascination with the ruler of a small island nation? When it comes to our political leaders' obsession, the answer is that, simply put, Fidel is hugely responsible for who gets elected president of the United States. And that fact illustrates the worst aspects of our peculiar system of electing the president.

Our electoral college structure gives tremendous influence to the states of Florida and Ohio, which are the two largest battleground states. And the Cuban vote is crucial to who wins Florida. Hence, both Democrats and Republicans fall all over themselves to court the Cuban vote, giving much greater influence to an aging group of Cuban exiles who love to hate Castro. Anything related to Cuba inevitably degenerates into political pandering to the anti-Fidel vote, because small shifts in the popular vote in Florida can have huge impacts. This shows how our presidential election method gives such influence to a small minority of voters.?


Jayne Stahl writes:

"Whoever called it a "free press" was wrong; it's very costly. In fact, getting information, in this country, gets more and more expensive every day, not just for those who buy the newspaper, but for those who report the news. A few days ago, in San Francisco, a federal judge ruled that two reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle, Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wadu, must satisfy a subpoena, and tell who provided them with secret testimony in the high profile Barry Bonds steroid case ...."




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Wendi Meremark says its true, all to responding to a reader who was dismissive:

"Danny, as a reference for your edit and delete skills on the Peak Oil topic, here is an archive website of scholarship work: www.fromthewilderness.com

Matthew Simmons, Bush's (ex-) chief oil expert says earth's oil runs out soon, a few years.

The President and CEO of Chevron Standard Oil, in one of those NYTimes paid op-ed ads, says that earth's oil runs out in less than 30 years.

The mountain of master facts showing oil exhaustion going on, can not be obliviated."

W: Did you know: Your source Michel Ruppert has gone into exile.
See: A Permanent Goodbye to the United States by Michael C. Ruppert



Eldad Benary writes about my commentary on Israel:

"Thank you for the excellent article. I forwarded it to many friends in Israel and here, totalling about 150.

Keep on the good and thankless work!"

Gillian Farell writes from the Republic of Woodstock:

"...listening to you on the radio with amy and maurice and you sound terrific. keep up the good work. excellente!"

Thanks but why can?t I get back on the radio????

Charles Kelly writes:

"I thank you for helping us to see behind the united (false) front being presented in the media. I feel "humanized" by those modern prophets who teach respect for all other humans and their rights even amid the explosions of tribal and sectarian violence.?

Tom Brown writes:

"Have no doubt Danny that you are right, and that your courage and integrity will be long remembered. I have the greatest respect for you and your work, and by God you have chosen the hard road. It is like a physical relief reading your articles. We are assured that there is sanity, and humanity still out there."

Steve Hoey writes:

"I'm a regular reader of your weblog and have been a fan since the 'BCN days. I hope you, or perhaps your readers, can help me unravel a bit of a mystery.

Yahoo! News ran an Agence France-Presse dispatch dated August 9 which lead with this sentence:

"Some 30 percent of Americans cannot say in what year the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington took place, according to a poll published in the Washington Post newspaper."

An astonishing fact, right?

I searched the Washington Post archives for several hours for *all* references to "September 11," going back to August 1, and did not find *any* reference to this story.

I also searched pollingreport.com, which claims to aggregate poll data, and did not find any evidence of this survey being conducted.

The AFP story was picked up all over the blogs, and also appeared in Australia's The Age. No major U.S. news outlets appear to have carried the story.

I'm not sure if this Yahoo! link will work, but for here it is:


Of course, the story confirms my worst suspicions about my fellow Americans -- namely, that they can't be relied upon to remember *anything* important.

But it seems like this story might actually not be true. It's not in the Washington Post. It wasn't anywhere else in the mainstream media (the American newspapers, American TV networks, BBC, British newspapers, etc.).

Any thoughts? I've always considered AFP to be a relatively reputable source of news, and they've sourced this story to the Washington Post.

If they sourced it incorrectly, shouldn't they correct/retract their original story?

Can you help?

Thanks for Dissecting!"

This may be another example of whats been called ?NEWS FROM NOWHERE,? An item that seems to be contrarian gets pick up because it doesn?t seem to make sense. It's like, don't let the facts get in the way if it sounds right. Write to AFP and see what they say. I am not sure people are all that stupid BUT as you know polls can be very unreliable. Also, TV News has a way of promoting amnesia with its contextless reporting so often devoid of background.


A big Mediachannel thank you to those who are responding to our call for help. It cost us about $3500 to handle crisis we have been experiencing and get the site back up and running with more security.

We are very thankful to those who realize that its time for all good readers to come to the aid of this website. We raised $750 in the last two days. If you can help, use pay pal or send a tax deductible check to The Global Center 575 8th Ave #2200, NYC 10018.

On this point, Wajahat Ali suggests:

"If you accepted credit cards online, a lot of people who wouldn't make a trip to their bank/ mail box and don't use Pay Pal would be able to make donations. You could even collect micro-donations - in packages running from USD10 to USD100. You'll get a lot more funds by making your payment system easier, its not that people don't want to pay, a lot of them will (several thousand I would guess), but you have to make it easy for them. Just a thought."

This is a bit of a dilemma for me having just made a film challenging the credit card industry. Check out the website: indebtwetrust.com

What do do.


Have a great weekend and enjoy the rest of the summer if you live on this continent.

Reminder: This weekend, there will be a symposium on the poem HOWL at the Bowery Poetry Caf? and, in Durban South Africa, a funeral at the Durban City Hall for South Africa?s poet laureate Mazizi Kunnene.

I am trapped in the big apple with those news blues again....

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Last Updated on Saturday, 19 August 2006 16:13

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