Friday, April 25, 2014

Guardian UK:
“The New York Times did not report that a young Palestinian journalist had been arrested in Israel because it obeyed a gagging order issued by an Israeli court. The paper's delayed publication of the story about the detention of Majd Kayyal (see below) was revealed by its public editor, Margaret Sullivan.

She quoted the NY Times's Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, as explaining that the acceptance of gag orders is analogous to abiding by traffic rules or any other laws of the land. 

… It is also the case that some Israeli publications have not obeyed gag orders, such as Haaretz, as did an Australian outlet. And it was Haaretz that petitioned against the gag order on Kayyal's arrest.“

—>The NYT obeying Israeli gag orders on news stories. Quite amazing for what we like to think is freedom of the press in this country. Our newspaper of record didn’t even think the story about the Israeli gag order was worth publishing, and only commented on it in the Public Editor’s Journal blog. 


Common Dreams:
"Industrial waste from fracking sites is leaving a ‘legacy of radioactivity’ across the country as the drilling boom churns out more and more toxic byproducts with little to no oversight of the disposal process, critics warn.

According to a new report in Bloomberg Wednesday, the controversial oil and gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing is ‘spinning off thousands of tons of low-level radioactive trash,’ which has spawned a ‘surge’ in illegal dumping at hundreds of sites in the U.S.

‘We have many more wells, producing at an accelerating rate, and for each of them there’s a higher volume of waste,’ Avner Vengosh, a professor of geochemistry at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, told Bloomberg. Without proper handling, ‘we are actually building up a legacy of radioactivity in hundreds of points where people have had leaks or spills around the country.’ “

-->The NYT avoids bad press when it comes to fracking. It is almost as if the Gray Lady obeys a gag order from the petroleum industry. It didn't print this story.


Common Dreams:
"A military judge has ordered the disclosure of never-revealed information detailing the experience at secret CIA ‘black sites.’

The defense team for Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri argued during pretrial motions at the Cuban prison that the Guantanamo detainee's time spent in secret CIA prisons—during which he was waterboarded and threatened with a gun and a power drill—has ‘tainted’ his testimony, and thus the case against him.

The Saudi Arabian has been held at the U.S. military prison since 2006 after being held in a series of secret CIA prisons. He is being accused of orchestrating the Oct. 12, 2000, bombing of the USS Cole in the port of Aden in Yemen. …

The rules for military commissions bars prosecutors from using any evidence or testimony obtained by coercion or torture.”

—>A search on CIA “black sites” confirms the fact that the NYT didn’t publish this story. Maybe our premier newspaper obeys gag orders from the Pentagon as well. Torture by the US government is never deemed “fit to print.”

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Common Dreams:
“Following news of the (Pulitzer for Public Service), Snowden released a statement thanking the Pulitzer committee for recognizing those involved in the NSA reporting. He wrote:

‘Today's decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognizes was work of vital public importance.

This decision reminds us that what no individual conscience can change, a free press can. My efforts would have been meaningless without the dedication, passion, and skill of these newspapers, and they have my gratitude and respect for their extraordinary service to our society. Their work has given us a better future and a more accountable democracy.’ “

—>The US media avoids statements from Edward Snowden, no matter how newsworthy. Practically no newspaper in the country printed his commentary on the Pulitzer that his leaks made possible. 


Common Dreams:
"The American intelligence community is forcefully denying reports that the National Security Agency has long known about the Heartbleed bug, a catastrophic vulnerability inside one of the most widely-used encryption protocols upon which we rely every day to secure our web communications. But the denial itself serves as a reminder that NSA's two fundamental missions – one defensive, one offensive – are fundamentally incompatible, and that they can't both be handled credibly by the same government agency.

In case you've spent the past week under a rock, Heartbleed is the name security researchers have given to a subtle but serious bug … that would allow a hacker to trick sites into leaking information – including not only user passwords, but the master encryption keys used to secure all the site's traffic and verify that you're actually connected to rather than an impostor.
It's exactly the kind of bug you'd expect NSA to be on the lookout for, since documents leaked by Edward Snowden confirm that the agency has long been engaged in an ‘aggressive, multi-pronged effort to break widely used Internet encryption technologies’. In fact, that effort appears to have yielded a major breakthrough against SSL/TLS way back in 2010, two years before the Heartbleed bug was introduced – a revelation that sparked a flurry of speculation among encryption experts, who wondered what hidden flaw the agency had found in the protocol so essential to the Internet's security.“

-->The NYT avoids connecting the dots for its readers when it comes to NSA spying using computer viruses and bugs. All NYT readers got was a statement from Obama.


Common Dreams:
"Responding to geologists who claim they have made direct links between fracking operations and seismic activity in the state, Ohio regulators on Friday pulled permits for at least one drilling operation.

According to the Associated Press: ‘State Oil & Gas Chief Rick Simmers told The Associated Press on Friday that the state has halted drilling indefinitely at the site near Youngstown where five minor tremors occurred in March following investigative findings of a probable link to fracking.

A deep-injection well for fracking wastewater was tied to earthquakes in the region in 2012.

Simmers says Ohio will require sensitive seismic monitoring as a condition of all new drilling permits within three miles of a known fault or existing seismic activity of 2.0 or greater. Drilling will pause for evaluation with any tremor of 1.0 magnitude and will be halted if a link is found.’ ”
—>The NYT avoids negative articles like this about fracking, although it did cover the earthquakes in 2012 that were tied to deep-injection wells.