Thursday, August 25, 2016

"NYT Touts Honduras as Ad for ‘American Power’–Leaving Out Support for Murderous Coup Regime. 'How the Most Dangerous Place on Earth Got Safer' was the headline over the lead article in the New York Times‘ 'Week in Review,' with the teaser reading, 'Programs funded by the United States are helping transform Honduras. Who says American power is dead?'

But [the author] failed to explain how American power paved the way for the shocking rise in violence in Honduras. ... in June 2009, Honduras’ left-leaning President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in a military coup, kidnapped and flown out of the country via the joint US/Honduran military base at Palmerola. ...

With a corrupt, drug-linked regime in place, thanks in large part to US intervention, murder in Honduras soared, rising to 70.7 per 100,000 in 2009, 81.8 in 2010 and 91.4 in 2011—fully 50 percent above the pre-coup level. While many of the murders involved criminal gangs, much of the post-coup violence was political, with resuscitated death squads targeting journalists, opposition figures, labor activists and environmentalists—of whom indigenous leader Berta C├íceres was only the most famous."

-->Ever the cheerleader for US interventionist policies, the NYT tries to brag about what this country has done for Honduras. Death squads and repressive policies, of course, are never mentioned.


Common Dreams:
"As Resistance Mounts, TPP Becoming 2016 Election's Third Rail. As the White House prepares for its final 'all-out push' to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress, lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are being made vulnerable due to growing opposition to the controversial, corporate-friendly trade deal. 

'In 2016,' the Guardian reported on Saturday, 'America's faltering faith in free trade has become the most sensitive controversy in D.C.'

Yet President Barack Obama 'has refused to give up,' wrote Guardian journalists Dan Roberts and Ryan Felton, despite the fact that the 12-nation TPP 'suddenly faces a wall of political opposition among lawmakers who had, not long ago, nearly set the giant deal in stone.'

-->The NYT is still pushing this horrendous trade deal, mostly by not running stories about how unpopular it is with voters. Big business wants the deal, so what does it matter that the vast majority of voters oppose it?


The Guardian UK:
"It was the first time that the world has seen Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Husayn, also known as Abu Zubaydah, since his capture in Pakistan 14 years ago. He is one of three men that the CIA admits it waterboarded at an unknown prison in Thailand. ...

Abu Zubaydah was a human guinea pig for the CIA torture regimen drawn up by contractor psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, now facing a federal lawsuit brought by later victims. Initially thought to possess vital information on al-Qaida and its plots, Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times, kept awake, held naked and forced into a wooden box little bigger than a coffin.

He now describes himself as a 'broken man', [one of his lawyers] added. 'I once had hopes that the US would have a thoughtful, fair examination of Abu Zubaydah’s torture but no longer because of the lengths this administration has gone to protect the CIA.' "

-->The NYT carried this sordid story of mindless torture and endless detention without charges. What was missing? Any mention of the lengths that the Obama administration has gone to protect the CIA from criminal charges. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Intercept:
"Leaked internal emails from the powerful Democratic think tank Center for American Progress (CAP) shed light on several public controversies involving the organization, particularly in regard to its positioning on Israel. They reveal the lengths to which the group has gone in order to placate AIPAC and long-time Clinton operative and Israel activist Ann Lewis — including censoring its own writers on the topic of Israel. ...

For years, CAP has exerted massive influence in Washington through its ties to the Democratic Party and its founder, John Podesta, one of Washington’s most powerful political operatives. The group is likely to become even more influential due to its deep and countless ties to the Clintons. ... CAP founder John Podesta is set to run Clinton’s presidential campaign, and current CAP president Neera Tanden is a longtime Clinton confidante and adviser.

The recent CAP announcement of the Netanyahu event [A Conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on ways to strengthen the partnership between Israel and the United States] has generated substantial confusion and even anger among Democratic partisans. Netanyahu 'sacrificed much of his popularity with the Democratic Party by crusading against the Iran nuclear deal,' the Huffington Post noted. Netanyahu has repeatedly treated the Obama White House as a political enemy. ...”

-->One of the horrors of Hillary is her close ties to the warlike, far right in Israel. No mention of this in the mainstream media, including the NYT. Would Hillary get us into war faster than the demented Trump? Don't worry about this; just read about the Olympics.


The Guardian UK:
"A war of words has erupted between groups affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement and pro-Israel commentators over the characterization of Israel in their policy document released last week.

The policy platform titled A Vision for Black Lives, is a wide-spanning document that was drafted by more than 50 organizations known as the Movement for Black Lives. It goes beyond criminal justice and touches on many issues including education and economics.

In the Invest/Divest section of the platform, the group criticizes the US government for providing military aid to Israel.

'The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people,' the platform says. 'Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people.' ”

-->The NYT, didn't print this story. Why remind readers that Israel's oppression of the Palestine people has many similarities to America's Jim Crow treatment of Blacks. A news item like this just gets airbrushed out by our pro-Zionist newspaper of record.


"Microsoft has inadvertently demonstrated the intrinsic security problem of including a universal backdoor in its software after it accidentally leaked its so-called 'golden key'—which allows users to unlock any device that's supposedly protected by Secure Boot, such as phones and tablets.

The key basically allows anyone to bypass the provisions Microsoft has put in place ostensibly to prevent malicious versions of Windows from being installed, on any device running Windows 8.1 and upwards with Secure Boot enabled.

And while this means that enterprising users will be able to install any operating system—Linux, for instance—on their Windows tablet, it also allows bad actors with physical access to a machine to install bootkits and rootkits at deep levels. Worse, according to the security researchers who found the keys, this is a decision Microsoft may be unable to reverse."

-->Yes, anyone running a Windows computer or device has a secret backdoor, and Microsoft just leaked the key! This is a telling example of what the Internet would look like if the NSA or the FBI had a back door to every device in the US. Microsoft probably put the back door on for the NSA. No sign of this story in the NYT. You would get more information about government data collection watching the new film, "Jason Bourne."

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Common Dreams:
"The pharmaceutical lobby is gearing up for a massive, multi-million-dollar post-election ad blitz to fight the shifting rhetoric surrounding drug prices, Politico reports.

Skyrocketing drug prices have become a central issue in the 2016 election cycle, bolstered by recent bipartisan legislation that aims to wrangle back control of the market and outspoken criticism from Bernie Sanders and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Now, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) is planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to push back on politicians from both sides of the aisle—a campaign that 'will dwarf the $20 million that health insurers spent on the iconic 'Harry and Louise' campaign credited with sinking...Clinton's health reform plan in the early 1990s,' reports Politico's Sarah Karlin-Smith."
-->No mention in the NYT of this campaign by Big Pharma to undermine democracy for a few billion more in profits. The media hides the real reason for outrageous drug prices in the US.


Common Dreams:
"Pope Francis surprised reporters on a flight from Krakow to the Vatican late Sunday when he blamed the 'god of money' for extremist violence in Europe and the Middle East, saying that a ruthless global economy leads disenfranchised people to violence.

'Terrorism grows when there is no other option, and as long as the world economy has at its center the god of money and not the person,' the pope told reporters, according to the Wall Street Journal. 'This is fundamental terrorism, against all humanity.' ...

The remarks followed similar comments made last Wednesday, when Pope Francis argued that the current Middle East conflicts are wars over economic and political interests—not religion or so-called 'Islamic terrorism.'

'There is war for money,' he said on Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. 'There is war for natural resources. There is war for the domination of peoples. Some might think I am speaking of religious war. No. All religions want peace; it is other people who want war.' "

-->So the conflicts in the Middle East are all wars for money, for natural resources and for domination of other peoples? This story was too much for the neoliberal cheerleader, the NYT. It didn't cover the Pope's comments.


Common Dreams:
"There is little doubt that the global one percent is winning. In fact, a new study has found that the number of billionaires reached an all-time high in 2015 at the same time that their portfolios and piggy banks also continued to grow to record proportions.

According to the 2015-2016 Billionaire Census by international market research firm Wealth-X, which bills itself as 'the global authority on wealth intelligence,' the billionaire population grew by 6.4 percent last year and now totals 2,473 people worldwide. ...

'It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world's population owns no more than a few dozen super-rich people who could fit onto one bus,' Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, said at the time. 'The richest can no longer pretend their wealth benefits everyone—their extreme wealth in fact shows an ailing global economy. The recent explosion in the wealth of the super-rich has come at the expense of the majority and particularly the poorest people.' "

-->No word of this new study in the NYT, were stories that might make one "feel the Burn" about income distribution are routinely ignored.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

The Intercept:
"FOR ALL THE chatter about animosity between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Washington Post reports that 'a senior Israeli official will arrive in Washington next week for a final round of negotiations involving the largest military aid package the United States has ever given any country and that will last more than a decade after President Obama leaves office.' The U.S. already transfers $3.1 billion in taxpayer money every year to Israel — more than any other country by far — but the new agreement Obama is set to sign 'significantly raises' that amount, and guarantees it for 10 years.

In response to this massive windfall, Netanyahu is angry that he is not getting even more. For some time, 'Netanyahu was holding out for as much as $5 billion a year.' Also, Israel has been opposed to efforts to direct more of that aid to U.S. military contractors rather than Israeli ones (so this 'aid' package is as much a transfer of U.S. taxpayer money to weapons manufacturers in both countries as it is to Israel itself). ...

Usually, when someone hands you billions of dollars in aid, you’re not in much of a position to demand more. But the rules for Israel when it comes to U.S. policy, as is so often the case, are simply different. Even as Israel has aggressively expanded settlements of the West Bank (often in a way designed to most humiliate the U.S.) and slaughtered civilians in Gaza, U.S. aid simply increases more and more."

-->leave it to a source outside the US media to give us straight talk about the billions of US dollars going to Israel each year. Who voted for that? Only the elites running this country.


Lobe Log:
"As the drama-filled Democratic National Convention wraps up, political analyst Donna Brazile will take the reins of the party. Following Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s exit as chair of the Democratic Party after the release of emails revealing efforts to undermine Bernie Sanders’s campaign, Brazile will be tasked with leading the party through the rest of the election cycle. On stage in Philadelphia this week, the message pushed by speakers has been party unity. On the issue of U.S. policy towards Israel/Palestine, however, this appointment will not likely have the desired effect.

Donna Brazile has long had a close relationship with the far-right wing of the Israel lobby. A long-time friend of AIPAC, Brazile spoke at AIPAC’s annual policy conference several times, including in 2012, 2014, and 2015. She also traveled to Israel in 2013 with an AIPAC-affiliated group. Until 2008, she sat on the board of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. As John Judis noted in Slate in August 2015, the FDD is specifically dedicated to defending one particular democracy, Israel. A neoconservative think tank whose positions on the Israel/Palestine conflict align most with the far-right Israeli Likud party, the FDD was also one of the loudest opponents of the Iran deal."

-->Hillary's new DNC is as tight with Israel as her old one, despite the replacement of Debbie Wasserman. To the NYT, however, Donna Brazile is only a "longtime Democratic political adviser and TV pundit." What links to the Likud Party is that?


RealClear Politics:
"Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at NYU and Princeton, spoke with CNN's 'Smerconish' Saturday morning about Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and the 'New Cold War.'

Cohen says the media at large is doing a huge disservice to the American people by ignoring the substance of Trump's arguments about NATO and Russia, and buying the Clinton campaign's simplistic smear that Trump is a Russian 'Manchurian candidate.'

'That reckless branding of Trump as a Russian agent, most of it is coming from the Clinton campaign,' Cohen said. 'And they really need to stop.'

'We're approaching a Cuban Missile Crisis level nuclear confrontation with Russia,' he explained. 'And there is absolutely no discussion, no debate, about this in the American media.' "

-->No debate at all, thanks to US media like the NYT that runs story after story speculating about how the Russians could have hacked Hillary Clinton's emails. Very little proof is offered, but that doesn't matter. Why not bring Chalabi back for a little more warmongering leaks? It's a specialty of our newspaper of record.