JOHN PILGER: One of my favorite stories about the Cold War concerns a group of Russian journalists who were touring the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by the host for their impressions. “I have to tell you,” said the spokesman, “that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV day after day that all the opinions on all the vital issues are the same. To get that result in our country we send journalists to the gulag. We even tear out their fingernails. Here you don’t have to do any of that. What is the secret?”
Vietnamese battalion commander Captain Thach Quyen interrogates a captured Viet Cong suspect. The US “satellite armies” are notorious for their villainy and brutality, often outdoing their masters, amply meriting the old appellative, “running dogs of capitalism”. Photo Credit: Huynh Thanh My, 1965 (AP). Online Source: http://digitaljournalist.org/issue9711/req10.htm
What is the secret? It is a question seldom asked in newsrooms, in media colleges, in journalism journals, and yet the answer to that question is critical to the lives of millions of people. On August 24 last year the New York Times declared this in an editorial: “If we had known then what we know now the invasion if Iraq would have been stopped by a popular outcry.” This amazing admission was saying, in effect, that journalists had betrayed the public by not doing their job and by accepting and amplifying and echoing the lies of Bush and his gang, instead of challenging them and exposing them. What the Times didn’t say was that had that paper and the rest of the media exposed the lies, up to a million people might be alive today.
Even the corporate media have to focus on this phenomenon now. We inhabit a sick society, sick by dint of man-made rules, not an unfathomable “act of God.” Note the select readers’ comments indicating a high degree of awareness of the social causes of this disaster. This article is republished as a public service.—Eds.
By TARA PARKER-POPE, The New York Times, May 2, 2013
Among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.
by Stephen Lendman
As far as Syria is concerned, Washington is reading from the same “regime change” manual it has perfected over decades of malicious meddling in other nations’ affairs. Now the sanctimonious mask and pretext is intervention on behalf of “human rights”. The hypocrisy is sickening, but most Americans are not able to see through it due to stunning political ignorance and a constant barrage of lies dispensed by the mainstream media. Plus a sizable segment is simply indifferent to what this government does “to others.”—Eds
The Consequences of Runaway Executive Power
by RALPH NADER
In watching the massive media coverage and the reaction to the brutal bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the wise poem “To A Louse…” composed in 1785 by the Scottish poet Robert Burns came to me:
“O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!”
[From our archives, originally published 12/08/2010]
BY STEVEN JONAS
Wikileaks is all the rage right now — in two senses. The substantive rage is among those U.S. people who care about the nefarious and sometimes illegal schemes that its government has perpetrated on the U.S. and around the world for so many years; among the peoples of other countries who suffered from those schemes; and the foreign governments who were complicit on the schemes and now stand exposed. The process rage is on the part of U.S. officials and media who want to totally distract the U.S. people from the content of the leaks onto whether Mr. Assange is a spy, an unsafe modern Casanova, a terrorist, or worse. (Can’t be treason, folks, because he ain’t a U.S. citizen and likely never will be.) And they are surely succeeding in the U.S., although hardly abroad.