What was Left Behind

28 10 2010

The American press ignores crucial pieces of a statement made by General Petraus… but indie media doesn’t:

As Laura Flanders of GRITv explains in this video, the media’s coverage is often completely dependent on their biases.

The issue of US-Israel relations  got completely buried by the possible repeal of the DADT policy.

It was hardly the first time the mainstream media has missed a story. Here’s a slideshow Fox News did on stories the MSM missed in 2009 (seeing as this is Fox, take it with more than a few grains of salt– and what is with their obsession with the word “Czar?” And for that matter here’s an even funnier post an apparently avid Fox viewer “created,” for all of us who were keeping up with “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”)

Bearing that in mind (ha), every year, the Daily Censored, releases a list of the “Top 25 Censored Stories” that bears looking at. Here’s the link to this year’s list that also give more information about each point.

For the sake of argument, here’s this year’s top 5 most censored stories:

1. Global plans to replace the dollar. As Michael Hudson wrote in the site’s explanation of the point,

There has been almost no press discussion of my story or indeed of the issue itself. US and European media have successfully ignored the proposal of an alternative to the existing state of affairs.

2. US Department of Defense is the world’s worst polluter. Project Censored writes that the DoD’s environmental footprint is not discussed or reported by the media. There remains scant documentation about the effect the DoD has had on the environment. The military’s effect on greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum usage. One estimates sets the Iraq War’s emission of carbon dioxide between March 2003 and December 2007 at a level in excess of 60 percent of emissions by all countries. That statistic went under reported by the US, Project Censored reports.

3. Risks to internet privacy and personal access. The government under both the Bush and Obama administrations has drastically increased its ability to snoop without notification or permission. Private corporations are gaining what Liz Rose at Free Press calls unprecedented control over the internet, giving these countries the power to suppress the internet, similarly to Iran.

4. The operation of secret detention camps by US Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE). While this topic does bear significant elaboration (the use of what are essentially secret, unmarked prisons in the US ala North Korea) one of the more striking parts of the explanation part of this issue was by journalist Jacqueline Stevens. She writes:

I have been writing for the Nation magazine, as well as on my blog States Without Nations, about unlawful and largely secret detention and removal operations by agencies within the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice (DOJ). My research on US citizens in ICE custody has been reported in the SanFranciscoChronicle, the CharlotteObserver, CNN (online), the HuffingtonPost, and MotherJones, among other publications, and I have been interviewed for National Public Radio’s LatinoUSA, Public Radio International’s TheWorld, WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show, DemocracyNow!, and the HenryRainesShow in Tampa Bay, Florida.

My articles have sparked some responses among local activists as well as journalists. For instance, in January an immigrant rights group in Grand Junction, Colorado, paid a visit to an address from a list of subfield offices I obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. In a memorandum, the group wrote that the building they located was “in the industrial section of Grand Junction [and] is non-descript with no signs identifying it as government office or ICE facility.” (An agent said the absence of a sign was because of budget cuts.) For more on this, see http://stateswithoutnations.blogspot.com/2010/01/neighbors-visit-ice-office- in-grand.html.

One policy consequence of investigations into ICE detaining and deporting US citizens appears to be a November 2009 policy requiring agents to report claims of US citizenship to a special ICE email address. I submitted a FOIA request for this e-mail correspondence and was informed of four thousand pages of documents. I have recently received the first hundred pages and am appealing redactions. Clearly ICE’s detention of US citizens continues to be a problem.

I am presently conducting research on unlawful actions taken by immigration judges. This research has proven difficult because of retaliation against me by top ICE public affairs officers Kelly Nantel and Brian Hale—they unlawfully ordered agents to block my access to ICE facilities around the country. In April, a DHS-contracted guard in Atlanta assaulted me pursuant to an order from William Cassidy, the immigration judge who deported a US citizen. (While I was in a waiting area, Mr. Cassidy told a guard to remove me from the federal building.) I have filed a misconduct complaint; in response Mr. Cassidy’s cronies at the EOIR are not answering questions—documents I have received indicate a cover-up campaign is underway.

5. The secret US war in Pakistan using Blackwater forces. The reporting of journalist Jeremy Scahill has been integral in nailing down this story. The US military and Blackwater, as the bio notes, have consistently contradicted themselves over the matter. The US military denies that Blackwater works in Pakistan, while Blackwater’s founded Erik Prince told Vanity Fair in an interview that the company has done work with US Special Forces “identifying targets and planning missions”– planning assassinations of the Taliban and al-Qaeda who have fled into Pakistan.

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