Black People Politics : new movie: KILL the MESSENGER -- CIA, drugs

Discussion in 'Black People Politics' started by writer33, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. writer33

    writer33 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is sort of an update from my post and discussions on Ebola....

    New Film: KILL THE MESSENGER
    It has everything: CIA, drug trafficking and minority communities, and the destruction of the investigative journalist who exposed it all.

    This is about government corruption at the highest levels....

    There’s an expression about the savagery of animals who eat their own young. This is a case of a journalist devoured, and ruined, by those in his own profession. This movie is also an indictment of the mainstream media.

    The new Hollywood film "Kill the Messenger" tells the story of Gary Webb, one of the most maligned figures in investigative journalism. Webb’s explosive 1996 investigative series "Dark Alliance" for the San Jose Mercury News revealed ties between the CIA, Nicaraguan contras and the crack cocaine trade ravaging African-American communities.

    Webb’s exposé of the ruthlessness of CIA-controlled drug trade during the Iran-Contra affair provoked protests and congressional hearings, as well as a fierce reaction from the media establishment, which went to great lengths to discredit Webb’s reporting.

    One of the biggest news stories of the 1980s was the explosion of crack cocaine in the United States. The crack epidemic not only destroyed lives in the sense that people were addicted to this powerful drug, but also it set off gang wars. Certain communities, like the African-American communities, were disproportionately hurt.

    Gary Webb began investigating that.

    Here are other observations made of how this riveting true story developed:

    The Reagan administration wanted to be proactive in sticking it to the communists around the world. President Ronald Reagan authorized the CIA to spend hundreds of millions of dollars building, supporting, directing the contras against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

    As Webb looked at the suppliers of the crack trade in Los Angeles, the trail led back to a U.S.-sponsored war a decade earlier in Central America. While the CIA attempted to topple the democratically elected government in Nicaragua, Webb discovered the contras had ties to the crack explosion in Los Angeles.

    After a year-long investigation, Webb’s story was published on the front page of the San Jose Mercury News. As a consequence, even though the San Jose Mercury News is considered a regional newspaper, it was able to get national traction, and even international traction on this story, because it was now on the web.

    As Webb himself was said to have put it: “We’ve got all the DEA undercover tapes. We’ve got the FBI reports. We’ve got the court records. They’re all posted for people to see.”

    From investigative colleague Robert Parry who covered much of the Iran-Contra story, “You have the fact that the San Jose Mercury News, being in Silicon Valley, was sort of challenging the gatekeeper function that The New York Times, the L.A. Times, The Washington Post and other big papers had assumed was theirs.”

    “If you go into the actual nitty-gritty of them, what you find is that there was a serious problem, that the U.S. government knew about, and that the contras were far more guilty of drug trafficking and the CIA was more guilty of looking the other way than even Gary Webb had suggested.”

    THEN IT GETS UGLY….

    Notes Parry: “The New York Times, they do a story that is half kind of mea culpa, we should have done more with this, it was worse than we thought, and half Gary Webb’s still an idiot. The Washington Post waits several weeks and does a rather dismissive article. And the L.A. Times never reports on the CIA’s findings. So even though Webb was proven correct, he’s still considered a flake who got a story wrong.”

    Said another: “Gary felt betrayed by his own brethren, if you will. In his mind, journalists were supposed to expose the truth, not do the opposite, not try to quash it.”

    When he was interviewing with another job, they’d always say, "Aren’t you the guy who wrote 'Dark Alliance'?" And then they would kill the interview. He couldn’t make a living being a journalist anymore, and that ripped his heart out.

    SOME OTHER COMMENTS ABOUT “KILL THE MESSANGER”
    These comments, I think, are of particular interest about the movie,
    and apparently from some who knew what was going on....


    I saw Kill the Messenger last night, and it is a pretty good film. Not great, because it tries to do too much and as a result it winds up feeling both diluted and diffusive, but it gets across its central message of how Gary Webb was assailed by the establishment for simply doing what he thought his job as a reporter was supposed to be.


    Director Michael Cuesta and his screenwriter Peter Landesman have three main themes for Kill the Messenger: Webb's investigation into the connection between contra leaders Danilo Blandon and Norwin Meneses, who helped to fund the contra counter-insurgency in Nicaragua by importing cocaine into the United States, and "Freeway" Ricky Ross, who became a drug kingpin in South Central Los Angeles by taking the Blandon-Meneses cocaine and converting it into crack, thus helping to fuel the crack epidemic in the US; the ensuing mainstream media backlash against Webb and his newspaper the San Jose Mercury News (and the discreet withdrawal of his editors once the heat was on); and the toll that the events took on Webb's family.

    People dont know that Reagan and Ollie North are solely responsible for the crack epidemic in los angeles in the late 80's, and all the crack babies born. We heard this story back then, when there was so much blow around LA, that people were doing lines at restaurants with the coke spoons around their neck.”

    Also dealing with over population in ghettos, they are filling the prisons now. The new solution is probably enlist and fight in worthless wars if you want a chance to get ahead.

    As for suicides (a despondent Webb took his own life over this), they can be provoked by more than just losing a job. And investigative journalism like Watergate. Well, Watergate was just a set-up, too. But you can see why Donahue no longer has a job after opposing the Iraq War and why few discouraging words are ever said.

    The Vietnam Era is Dead! It is back to like the red-baiting era of the 50's and secret blacklists, now even more effectively spread with Homeland Security databases on multitudes of people and the secrets of their lives.

    The irony is that one of the mainstream media voices assailing Gary Webb was the Washington Post when two decades previously that newspaper and its "Woodstein," reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, were instrumental in exposing the Nixon Administration's many crimes revealed by the Watergate break-in, the very thing that Webb and the San Jose Mercury News had done.

    By contrast, and as far as we know, Gary Webb had no such inside help. That is the fundamental difference between the two scenarios: Watergate was the establishment's policing its own (Nixon) with the help of the Post, whether witting or unwitting (I will note that Woodward came from naval intelligence), while Webb's "Dark Alliance" series confronted the establishment.

    Which may be why Webb is dead while Woodward is considered a grand old man of investigative journalism.

    Flash forward to the current morass of Middle Eastern & Central Asian conflicts and the heroin trade is once again booming. While Afghanistan was bombed and invaded 13 years ago because of the Taliban supporting and harboring al Qaeda, opium growing had been nearly eradicated under Taliban rule.

    Once the U.S. & NATO forces occupied Afghanistan and the Taliban fled, the country was having bumper crops of opium again.

    During those dark, dismaying days of the Bush/Cheney regime, heroin became an epidemic drug problem in the U.S. (and probably Europe too).

    Note: underlining my own emphasis. I definitely plan to see this movie when it's available here. I had read a brief about Gary Webb and the San Jose Mercury News, not far from Stockton. The storyline of this movie intrigues the hell out of me....and from the standpoint of alleged suspect US defense department bio-warfare connections to Ebola and AIDs, not to mention 9/11 and the lies and official corruption in US foreign policy and the fraud called the "war on terror" and living under the repression of our "national security" police state, I hope we all can find solutions and the means to make our lives meaningful, and free.
     
  2. Keita Kenyatta

    Keita Kenyatta going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thank you for bringing Gary Webb back to the forefront of social media. With a pro-American, pro white mentality posessed by many of our people, I seriously doubt if they will grasp the reality of that persons life and works anymore than they grasp our own peoples.
     
  3. writer33

    writer33 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Many thanks, Keita! The more I browse through my alternative news sources, and from Kill the Messenger to the Ebola crisis, and sources there that indicate US involvement in bioterrorism research projects, it seems everywhere we turn there is corruption in deep places that is running our government, and tearing apart the way American life has been idealized and portrayed.

    And I also have to recognize that you, and most everyone here on Destee, are way ahead of that curve that white people are only just beginning to learn, and have been the cause of many of its ills.

    Like a couple of quotes. This one from Global Research:

    "Today, more than ever before, war depends on deception. To oppose war without seeing through the deceptions currently being practiced by governments of the West is to act in vain. I have visited many websites that attempt to offer alternatives to the mainstream media, but I have been disappointed repeatedly by their inability or refusal to challenge these myths and deceptions."

    Or TruthOut that explains how coverage of Malaysian MH17 shoot-down over Ukraine shows “blatant propaganda in mainstream media coverage of the events in Ukraine.”

    Or even a former Reagan Administration cabinet official who refers to America's "Lie Machine" on free trade agreements.

    Almost everywhere I look, I'll come across commentary of this nature, from US foreign policy and military expansion, to banking and corporate control over our economic lives.

    Best regards to you....
     
  4. Deacs

    Deacs Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    thanks
     
  5. UBNaturally

    UBNaturally Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Well, the way American life has been idealized and portrayed has often been scripted propaganda.

    There are two movies that relate in counter-intuitive ways...

    The Birth of a Nation
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    And


    The Island

    theisland.jpg

    theislandscreen2[1].png
    [​IMG]



    The Ku Klux Klan was an offshoot of British Militia agents that hid their identity for obvious reasons.
    Great Britain supported the south and confederacy... while also secretly supporting the Union, thus creating the "Invisible Empire" that would later become a "Red" agenda or a "Blue" agenda.

    Creating a controlled division for the purposes of a buffer in order to allow citizens the illusion of inclusion.

    [​IMG]

    This symbol is layered with tones of the interwoven empire system
    The ability to have one sector of the empire kill or harm, while another sector can heal.

    "Good Cop/Bad Cop"

    The 13 moons and 9 stars

    13 colonies in the new foundlands

    [​IMG]

    9 colonies including Great Britain

    [​IMG]

    That was then, this is now...

    [​IMG]

    The "Empire" has expanded around the 13 original colonies still shown in the image/sigil above.

    Also while on symbolisms of Great Britain and the like, the Red Cross is based from the Rosi Crucians
    640px-Templeofrosycross[1].png

    Which derived from The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
    Wont go into "Hermes", but the Order like many of them blossomed in Great Britain (Scotland, Ireland, and England)

    [​IMG]

    The flag of "Great Britain" (more commonly referred to as the United Kingdom) consists of the all three flags/sigils

    upload_2014-10-28_20-45-1.png


    If you follow the timeline, the CIA was established from the OSS a few years after the Ku Klux Klan disbanded for the second time around the 1940s I believe.

    In the late 1940s, news media began to be televised until the FCC was created to "regulate" the content.

    So much of anything that is shown on the "N.E.W.S." is based out of OSS, CIA, or MI6 parameters to keep many people on "The Island". Even the installed actors that pose are elected officials are assets of this OSS/CIA/MI6 conglomerate that attempts to manipulate information for the benefit of the "Corporations".

    Think of the pResident as the CEO, and the Corporations as the Owners... the Owners can vote to select or remove a CEO when they feel it is in their best interest, Reagan, John Kennedy, Lincoln all went against the "Corporation"... Reagan survived and changed his platform to "States Rights" in order to return power to the "Owners".

    TMI, I know but when it comes down to it, tracing history in it's tightly woven and sometimes edited storyline is the best bet to determining if there are still "messengers" around that are not part of the "Invisible Empire".


    Stay woke
     
  6. writer33

    writer33 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    UBNaturally, I have this feeling you'd be a great teacher of history....which I confess was one of my poorest subjects. Maybe I just had history teachers who sometimes put me to sleep! I wish I had a better historical perspective about things, and your timeline (with illustrations) is interesting.

    Like I had no idea the KKK emerged out of British origins.

    It's very late here, so I will thank you and call it a night for now. But I will be back to share a journalist's perspective I came across earlier today, "How the Washington Press Turned Bad," by investigative reporter Robert Parry.

    He speaks of how the Washington press corps has sunken so far from the glory days of Watergate, and how he speaks of a successor to The Post's Ben Bradlee as "regularly behind the curve on the biggest scandals of the 1980s: Ollie North’s operation, the Contra-cocaine scandal and the Iran-Contra Affair."

    "After that litany of failures, he was promoted to be the Post’s executive editor, one of the top jobs in American journalism, where he was positioned to oversee the takedown of Gary Webb in 1996."

    It's a fascinating piece of journalism....about journalism, and its fall from grace,
    "from the more aggressive press corps of the 1970s into the patsy press corps of the 1980s and beyond – is an important lost chapter of modern American history."

    "Much of this change emerged from the political wreckage that followed the Vietnam War, the Pentagon Papers, the Watergate scandal and the exposure of CIA abuses in the 1970s (that) didn’t require much arm-twisting to get the mainstream news media to bend into line and fall on its knees."

    I'll plan to get back here tomorrow with the whole thing....and maybe unload a small amount of visual art.
     
  7. UBNaturally

    UBNaturally Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    There are two politicians, maybe three that I try to pay attention to more so than journalists, as most journalism is censored for "National Security" reasons.

    The "Wikileaks" guy, which I haven't really got much into because there was too much attention put on it, similar to Michael Moore, Alex Jones, and other mainstream shock journalists, are often control men for public outrage of corporate/government misgivings.

    Glen Beck was good for FOX as he was edgy and attacked, which brought ratings.

    But as soon as Beck began to attack the oligarchy of the "Invisible Empire", both sides of the politricks and flipped when he started having conversations with Ron Paul, FOX and Rupert Murdock had no choice but to remove him before he had his audience doing too much research.

    Cynthia McKinney grilled Donald Rumsfield about events that lead up to the exploding of 3 buildings in New York and the missile that hit the Pentagon building.

    On 2/25/2005, then Rep. Cynthia McKinney asked Donald Rumsfeld about the exercises that were taking place on 9/11, but did not get an answer on that day.



    Tried to get the answer to her questions again on March 10, 2005.


    Soon after, McKinney had a handful of run ins and the media was pounding her for her hair and not wearing an "American Flag" pin. She never saw another term as a Congress woman.

    On August 8, 2006, she was removed after a sham runoff reversed her victory over Hank Johnson, to a landslide defeat.

    So when artificial journalism that is essentially funded by the same corporations and managed by the FCC, attempts to put on a show, sometimes they get shabby and reveal the show for what it is.


    Read the excerpt from Jan 2000 from the NY Times

    Virtual First Down [Source: Princeton Video Image]Following the publication of a front-page article in the New York Times on the use of fake, digitally-created images in some CBS programs like “The Early Show”, CBS executives call a press conference to defend and explain the practice.

    While the technology has been used in sports broadcasting for several years now (see 1999 and After), many are troubled by its use in news programs. CBS Television used the technology developed by Princeton Video Image to superimpose a digitally created CBS logo to block out an NBC-sponsored sign in Times Square during its news coverage of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

    Dan Rather, the CBS anchor, calls that “a mistake”. “At the very least we should have pointed out to viewers that we were doing it.” Both NBC and ABC told the New York Times that they had not used the technology in their news broadcasting. But CBS defends the practice. “Anytime there’s an NBC logo up on our network we’ll block it again”, says Leslie Moonves, the president of CBS Television. Andrew Heyward, the president of the news division, acknowledges the potential for abuse or deception: “He said that he understood the argument against the use of the technology—which is widely employed in sports and some entertainment shows—on news programs.

    The danger is ‘that it looks too real and therefore it’s wrong or potentially wrong,’ he said. ‘I certainly agree it’s potentially subject to abuse.’ He noted that advances in computer-generated techniques had made things like missiles hitting Baghdad and airplanes crashing look so real that it was incumbent on networks to underscore that these were not real images.


    Here is a decent example of how "journalism" is often paid acting, and when the script writers miss story board meetings, some get ahead of the story line... and get cut quickly to avoid messing up the rest of the story.



    "Jane Standley" claims it was just a small and honest mistake (sniff sniff)



    Once again, feed is cut or loss when this building was mentioned on air again.



    Just some things to consider... there is an interesting video that I will add in the next post
     
  8. writer33

    writer33 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yes, Cynthia McKinney has become a Facebook connection. One sharp lady.

    My follow-up from yesterday, long but worth the read, from Consortium News. The underlining is mine for emphasis:

    How the Washington Press Turned Bad

    Exclusive: There was a time when the Washington press corps prided itself on holding the powerful accountable – Pentagon Papers, Watergate, Vietnam War – but those days are long gone, replaced by a malleable media that puts its cozy relations with insiders ahead of the public interest, writes Robert Parry.

    By Robert Parry

    Following the death last week of legendary Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee at age 93, there have been many warm remembrances of his tough-guy style as he sought “holy **** stories,” journalism that was worthy of the old-fashioned demand, “stop the presses.”

    Many of the fond recollections surely are selective, but there was some truth to Bradlee’s “front page” approach to inspiring a staff to push the envelope in pursuit of difficult stories – at least during the Watergate scandal when he backed Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the face of White House hostility. How different that was from Bradlee’s later years and the work of his successors at the Washington Post!

    Coincidentally, upon hearing of Bradlee’s death on Oct. 21, I was reminded of this sad devolution of the U.S. news media – from its Watergate/Pentagon Papers heyday of the 1970s to the “On Bended Knee” obsequiousness in covering Ronald Reagan just a decade later, a transformation that paved the way for the media’s servile groveling at the feet of George W. Bush last decade.

    On the same day as Bradlee’s passing, I received an e-mail from a fellow journalist informing me that Bradlee’s longtime managing editor and later his successor as executive editor, Leonard Downie, was sending around a Washington Post article attacking the new movie, “Kill the Messenger.”

    That article by Jeff Leen, the Post’s assistant managing editor for investigations, trashed the late journalist Gary Webb, whose career and life were destroyed because he dared revive one of the ugliest scandals of the Reagan era, the U.S. government’s tolerance of cocaine trafficking by Reagan’s beloved Nicaraguan Contra rebels.

    “Kill the Messenger” offers a sympathetic portrayal of Webb’s ordeal and is critical of the major newspapers, including the Washington Post, for denouncing Webb in 1996 rather than taking the opportunity to revisit a major national security scandal that the Post, the New York Times and other major newspapers missed or downplayed in the mid-1980s after it was first reported by Brian Barger and me for the Associated Press.

    Since I knew Downie slightly during my years at the Associated Press – he had once called me about my June 1985 article identifying National Security Council aide Oliver North as a key figure in the White House’s secret Contra-support operation – I sent him an e-mail on Oct. 22 to express my dismay at his “harsh comment” and “to make sure that those are your words and that they accurately reflect your opinion.”

    I asked, “Could you elaborate on exactly what you believe to be a lie?” I also noted that “As the movie was hitting the theaters, I put together an article about what the U.S. government’s files now reveal about this problem” and sent Downie a link to that story. I have heard nothing back. [For more on my assessment of Leen’s hit piece, see Consortiumnews.com’s “WPost’s Slimy Assault on Gary Webb.”]

    Why Attack Webb?

    One could assume that Leen and Downie are just MSM hacks who are covering their tracks, since they both missed the Contra-cocaine scandal as it was unfolding under their noses in the 1980s.

    Leen was the Miami Herald’s specialist on drug trafficking and the Medellin cartel but somehow he couldn’t figure out that much of the Contra cocaine was arriving in Miami and the Medellin cartel was donating millions of dollars to the Contras. In 1991, during the drug-trafficking trial of Panama’s Manuel Noriega, Medellin cartel kingpin Carlos Lehder even testified, as a U.S. government witness, that he had chipped in $10 million to the Contras.

    Downie was the Washington Post’s managing editor, responsible for keeping an eye on the Reagan administration’s secretive foreign policy but was regularly behind the curve on the biggest scandals of the 1980s: Ollie North’s operation, the Contra-cocaine scandal and the Iran-Contra Affair. After that litany of failures, he was promoted to be the Post’s executive editor, one of the top jobs in American journalism, where he was positioned to oversee the takedown of Gary Webb in 1996.

    Though Downie’s note to other Arizona State University professors called the Contra-cocaine story or “Kill the Messenger” or both a “lie,” the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim recounted recently in an article about the big media’s assault on Webb that “The Post’s top editor at the time, Leonard Downie, told me that he doesn’t remember the incident well enough to comment on it.”

    But there’s more here than just a couple of news executives who find it easier to pile on a journalist no longer around to defend himself than to admit their own professional failures. What Leen and Downie represent is an institutional failure of American journalism to protect the American people, choosing instead to protect the American power structure.

    Remember that in the mid-1980s when Barger and I exposed the Contra-cocaine scandal, the smuggling was happening in real time. It wasn’t history. The various Contra pipelines were bringing cocaine into American cities where some was getting processed into crack. If action had been taken then, at least some of those shipments could have been stopped and some of the Contra traffickers prosecuted.

    Yet, instead of the major news media joining in exposing these ongoing crimes, the New York Times and Washington Post chose to look the other way. In Leen’s article, he justifies this behavior under a supposed journalistic principle that “an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.” But any such standard must also be weighed against the threat to the American people and others from withholding a story.

    If Leen’s principle means in reality that no level of proof would be sufficient to report that the Reagan administration was protecting Contra-cocaine traffickers, then the U.S. media was acquiescing to criminal activity that wreaked havoc on American cities, destroyed countless lives and overflowed U.S. prisons with low-level drug dealers while powerful people with political connections went untouched.

    That assessment is essentially shared by Doug Farah, who was a Washington Post correspondent in Central America at the time of Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series in 1996. After reading Webb’s series in the San Jose Mercury News, Farah was eager to advance the Contra-cocaine story but encountered unrealistic demands for proof from his editors.

    Farah told Ryan Grim: “If you’re talking about our intelligence community tolerating — if not promoting — drugs to pay for black ops, it’s rather an uncomfortable thing to do when you’re an establishment paper like the Post. … If you were going to be directly rubbing up against the government, they wanted it more solid than it could probably ever be done.”

    In other words, “extraordinary proof” meant you’d never write a story on this touchy topic because no proof is 100 percent perfect, apparently not even when the CIA’s inspector general confesses, as he did in 1998, that much of what Webb, Barger and I had reported was true and that there was much, much more. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Sordid Contra Cocaine Scandal.”]

    What Happened to the Press?

    How this transformation of Washington journalism occurred – from the more aggressive press corps of the 1970s into the patsy press corps of the 1980s and beyond – is an important lost chapter of modern American history.

    Much of this change emerged from the political wreckage that followed the Vietnam War, the Pentagon Papers, the Watergate scandal and the exposure of CIA abuses in the 1970s. The American power structure, particularly the Right, struck back, labeling the U.S. news media as “liberal” and questioning the patriotism of individual journalists and editors.

    But it didn’t require much arm-twisting to get the mainstream news media to bend into line and fall on its knees. Many of the news executives that I worked under shared the view of the power structure that the Vietnam protests were disloyal, that the U.S. government needed to hit back against humiliations like the Iran-hostage crisis, and that the rebellious public needed to be brought back into line behind more traditional values.

    At the Associated Press, its most senior executive, general manager Keith Fuller, gave a 1982 speech in Worcester, Massachusetts, hailing Reagan’s election in 1980 as a worthy repudiation of the excesses of the 1960s and a necessary corrective to the nation’s lost prestige of the 1970s. Fuller cited Reagan’s Inauguration and the simultaneous release of the 52 U.S. hostages in Iran on Jan. 20, 1981, as a national turning point in which Reagan had revived the American spirit.

    “As we look back on the turbulent Sixties, we shudder with the memory of a time that seemed to tear at the very sinews of this country,” Fuller said, adding that Reagan’s election represented a nation “crying, ‘Enough.’ …

    “We don’t believe that the union of Adam and Bruce is really the same as Adam and Eve in the eyes of Creation. We don’t believe that people should cash welfare checks and spend them on booze and narcotics. We don’t really believe that a simple prayer or a pledge of allegiance is against the national interest in the classroom.

    “We’re sick of your social engineering. We’re fed up with your tolerance of crime, drugs and pornography. But most of all, we’re sick of your self-perpetuating, burdening bureaucracy weighing ever more heavily on our backs.”

    Fuller’s sentiments were not uncommon in the executive suites of major news organizations, where Reagan’s reassertion of an aggressive U.S. foreign policy was especially welcomed. At the New York Times, executive editor Abe Rosenthal, an early neocon, vowed to steer his newspaper back “to the center,” by which he meant to the right.

    There was also a social dimension to this journalistic retreat. For instance, the Washington Post’s longtime publisher Katharine Graham found the stresses of high-stakes adversarial journalism unpleasant. Plus, it was one thing to take on the socially inept Richard Nixon; it was quite another to challenge the socially adroit Ronald and Nancy Reagan, whom Mrs. Graham personally liked.

    The Graham family embraced neoconservatism, too, favoring aggressive policies against Moscow and unquestioned support for Israel. Soon, the Washington Post and Newsweek editors were reflecting those family prejudices.

    I encountered that reality when I moved from AP to Newsweek in 1987 and found executive editor Maynard Parker, in particular, hostile to journalism that put Reagan’s Cold War policies in a negative light. I had been involved in breaking much of the Iran-Contra scandal at the AP, but I was told at Newsweek that “we don’t want another Watergate.” The fear apparently was that the political stresses from another constitutional crisis around a Republican president might shatter the nation’s political cohesion.

    The same was true of the Contra-cocaine story, which I was prevented from pursuing at Newsweek. Indeed, when Sen. John Kerry advanced the Contra-cocaine story with a Senate report issued in April 1989, Newsweek was uninterested and the Washington Post buried the story deep inside the paper. Later, Newsweek dismissed Kerry as a “randy conspiracy buff.” [For details, see Robert Parry’s Lost History.]

    Fitting a Pattern

    In other words, the vicious destruction of Gary Webb following his revival of the Contra-cocaine scandal in 1996 – when he examined the impact of one Contra-cocaine pipeline into the crack trade in Los Angeles – was not out of the ordinary. It was part of the pattern of subservience to the national security apparatus, especially under Republicans and right-wingers but extending to Democratic hardliners, too.

    This pattern of bias continued into last decade, even when the issue was whether the votes of Americans should be counted. After the 2000 election, when George W. Bush got five Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the counting of votes in the key state of Florida, major news executives were more concerned about protecting the fragile “legitimacy” of Bush’s tainted victory than ensuring that the actual winner of the U.S. presidential election became president.

    After the Supreme Court’s Republican majority made sure that Florida’s electoral votes – and thus the presidency – would go to Bush, some news executives, including the New York Times’ executive editor Howell Raines, bristled at proposals to do a media count of the disputed ballots, according to a New York Times executive who was present for these discussions.

    The idea of this media count was to determine who the voters of Florida actually favored for president, but Raines only relented to the project if the results did not indicate that Bush should have lost, a concern that escalated after the 9/11 attacks, according to the account from the Times executive.

    Raines’s concern became real when the news organizations completed their unofficial count of Florida’s disputed ballots in November 2001 and it turned out that Al Gore would have carried Florida if all legally cast votes were counted – regardless of what standards were applied to the famous chads – dimpled, hanging or punched-through.

    Gore’s victory would have been assured by the so-called “over-votes” in which a voter both punched through a candidate’s name and wrote it in. Under Florida law, such “over-votes” are legal and they broke heavily in Gore’s favor. [See Consortiumnews.com's "So Bush Did Steal the White House" or our book, Neck Deep.]

    In other words, the wrong candidate had been awarded the presidency. However, this startling fact became an inconvenient truth that the mainstream U.S. news media decided to obscure. So, the major newspapers and TV networks hid their own scoop when the results were published on Nov. 12, 2001.

    Instead of stating clearly that Florida’s legally cast votes favored Gore – and that the wrong man was in the White House – the mainstream media bent over backwards to concoct hypothetical situations in which Bush might still have won the presidency, such as if the recount were limited to only a few counties or if the legal “over-votes” were excluded.

    The reality of Gore’s rightful victory was buried deep in the stories or relegated to data charts that accompanied the articles. Any casual reader would have come away from reading the New York Times or the Washington Post with the conclusion that Bush really had won Florida and thus was the legitimate president after all.

    The Post’s headline read, “Florida Recounts Would Have Favored Bush.” The Times ran the headline: “Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote.” Some columnists, such as the Post’s media analyst Howard Kurtz, even launched preemptive strikes against anyone who would read the fine print and spot the hidden “lede” of Gore’s victory. Kurtz labeled such people “conspiracy theorists.” [Washington Post, Nov. 12, 2001]

    An Irate Reporter

    After reading these slanted “Bush Won” stories, I wrote an article for Consortiumnews.com noting that the obvious “lede” should have been that the recount revealed that Gore had won. I suggested that the news judgments of senior editors might have been influenced by a desire to appear patriotic only two months after 9/11. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Gore’s Victory.”]

    My article had been up for only a couple of hours when I received an irate phone call from New York Times media writer Felicity Barringer, who accused me of impugning the journalistic integrity of executive editor Raines.

    Though Raines and other executives may have thought that what they were doing was “good for the country,” they actually were betraying their most fundamental duty to the American people – to give them the facts as fully and accurately as possible. By falsely portraying Bush as the real winner in Florida and thus in the Electoral College, these news executives infused Bush with false legitimacy that he then abused in leading the country to war in Iraq in 2003.

    Again, in that run-up to the Iraq invasion, the major news media performed more as compliant propagandists than independent journalists, embracing Bush’s false WMD claims and joining in the jingoism that celebrated “the troops” and the initial American conquest of Iraq.

    Despite the media’s embarrassment that later surrounded the bogus WMD stories and the disastrous Iraq War, mainstream news executives faced no accountability. Howell Raines lost his job in 2003 not because of his unethical handling of the Florida recount or the false Iraq War reporting, but because he trusted reporter Jayson Blair who fabricated sources in the Beltway Sniper Case.

    How distorted the Times’ judgment had become was underscored by the fact that Raines’s successor, Bill Keller, had written a major article – “The I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-a-Hawk Club” – hailing “liberals” who joined him in supporting the Iraq invasion. In other words, you got fired if you trusted a dishonest reporter but got promoted if you trusted a dishonest president.

    Similarly, at the Washington Post, editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt, who reported again and again that Iraq was hiding stockpiles of WMD as “flat-fact,” didn’t face the kind of journalistic disgrace that was meted out to Gary Webb. Instead, Hiatt is still holding down the same prestigious job, writing the same kind of imbalanced neocon editorials that guided the American people into the Iraq disaster, except now Hiatt is pointing the way to deeper confrontations in Syria, Iran, Ukraine and Russia.

    So, perhaps it should come as no surprise that this thoroughly corrupted Washington press corps would lash out again at Gary Webb as his reputation has the belated chance for a posthumous rehabilitation.

    But how far the vaunted Washington press corps has sunk is illustrated by the fact that it has been left to a Hollywood movie – of all things – to set the record straight.

    Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. His new book, America’s Stolen Narrative
     
  9. writer33

    writer33 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Note: I wanted to include some art, but unable to access "browse" to download some visuals in my collection. I have NO idea how to access a URL to do this. DAMMIT!
     
  10. UBNaturally

    UBNaturally Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I used to research and dig up information about most of this decades ago, until I had too many binders that I had to just accept the "Invisible Empire" as an intricate web that eventually we may get caught in and be a part of wittingly and often unwittingly.

    Here is a film to add on to what you posted


    But I don't really get into all of this as I once did, for the most part because it tends to become a distraction
     
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