Friday 18th of January 2019

person(s) of the time... operating as press agents for wealth, power and privilege — and the CIA...

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On Tuesday, Time magazine announced its annual Person of the Year Award, honoring what it called "Guardians...who have taken great risks in pursuit of greater truths."

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)



Time's editors ignored the most highly deserving investigative, muckraking, truth-telling journalists of our time, focusing on major issues mattering most - polar opposite establishment reporting Time and other major Western media feature exclusively, suppressing what's most important to report.

The late William Blum was excluded from consideration. His books, Empire Report, and other writings documented US high crimes throughout the post WW II period - hard truths Time and other establishment media suppress. 

Nor was WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange a candidate for person of the year. He's a virtual prisoner inside Ecuador's London embassy, unable to leave its confines for over six years, fearing arrest and extradition to the US for the crime of truth-telling journalism the way it's supposed to be, taking an enormous risk "in pursuit of greater truths," not risk enough for Time's editors.

Two Reuters journalists were honored for running afoul of Myanmar's despotic regime, sentenced to seven years imprisonment for allegedly revealing state secrets.

The suburban Washington-based Gazette Journal was honored for the killing of five of its staffers in a mass shooting last June.

 Former CNN bureau chief Maria Ressa was an honoree over her struggle to prevent Philippine President Duterte from shuttering her online Rappler news website.

Jamal Khashoggi was a posthumous honoree, a longtime Saudi insider/turned critic, a neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post columnist - recognized solely for the international turmoil over his murder, not for journalism the way it's supposed to be.


In announcing this year's award, Time's editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said "(a)s we looked at the choices, it became clear that the manipulation and abuse of truth is really the common thread in so many of this year's major stories - from Russia to Riyadh to Silicon Valley."


War on truth-telling journalism begins at home. Time magazine, along with other major print and electronic media, are part of the problem, operating as press agents for wealth, power and privilege.

Digital democracy is largely all that remains of journalism the way it's supposed to be. Free and open societies are threatened. State-sponsored censorship is the new normal.

Fiction substitutes for vital facts in the mainstream, news carefully filtered, dissent marginalized. Supporting powerful interests substitutes for full and accurate reporting on issues mattering most.

Wars of aggression are called liberating ones. Social justice, human and civil rights are eroding for our own good. Patriotism means going along with government lawlessness - internally and abroad.

 


See more at http://www.pravdareport.com/news/business/14-12-2018/142119-time_hypocrisy-0/?

gus's persons of the times: blum, corbett, assange, pilger, ...

 

Mr. Blum had been a freelance journalist in the United States, Europe and South America.  His stay in Chile in 1972-3, writing about the Allende government’s “socialist experiment” and its tragic overthrow in a CIA-designed coup, instilled in him a personal involvement and an even more heightened interest in what his government was doing in various parts of the world.

In the mid-1970’s, he worked in London with former CIA officer Philip Agee and his associates on their project of exposing CIA personnel and their misdeeds.

His book on U.S. foreign policy, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, first published in 1995 and updated since, has received international acclaim.  Noam Chomsky called it “far and away the best book on the topic.”

In 1999, he was one of the recipients of Project Censored’s awards for “exemplary journalism” for writing one of the top ten censored stories of 1998, an article on how, in the 1980s, the United States gave Iraq the material to develop a chemical and biological warfare capability.

Blum was also the author of America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy – The Truth About U.S. Foreign Policy and Everything Else (2013), Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower (updated edition 2005), West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir (2002), and Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire (2004).  His books have been translated into more than 15 languages.

During 2002-2003, Blum was a regular columnist for the magazine The Ecologist, which is published in London and distributed globally.

In January 2006, a tape from Osama bin Laden stated that “it would be useful” for Americans to read Rogue State, apparently to gain a better understanding of their enemy.

William Blum passed away on December 9, 2018.

 

https://williamblum.org/about

 

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The Corbett Report is an independent, listener-supported alternative news source. It operates on the principle of open source intelligence and provides podcasts, interviews, articles and videos about breaking news and important issues from 9/11 Truth and false flag terror to the Big Brother police state, eugenics, geopolitics, the central banking fraud and more.

 

The Corbett Report is edited, webmastered, written, produced and hosted by James Corbett.

James Corbett has been living and working in Japan since 2004. He started The Corbett Report website in 2007 as an outlet for independent critical analysis of politics, society, history, and economics. Since then he has written, recorded and edited thousands of hours of audio and video media for the website, including a podcast and several regular online video series. He is the lead editorial writer for The International Forecaster, the e-newsletter created by the late Bob Chapman.

His work has been carried online by a wide variety of websites and his videos have garnered over 50,000,000 views on YouTube alone. His satirical piece on the discrepancies in the official account of September 11th, “9/11: A Conspiracy Theory” was posted to the web on September 11, 2011 and has so far been viewed nearly 3 million times.

https://www.corbettreport.com/about/

 

See also: 

the WW1 conspiracy...

 

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Assange has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than six years amid fears he will be extradited to the US if he leaves.

He was visited on Thursday by his father John Shipton and two German MPs who are campaigning for him to be allowed to leave the embassy without being extradited.

Shipton, who lives in Sydney, said his family wanted to see Assange in normal circumstances again.


"It is time for this torment to end," he said.


"His health is declining after years of ongoing stress, no sunlight and restricted access to visitors."

Shipton has been visiting his son every Christmas since 2012.

He said he was not yet certain if he could see his son on Christmas Day because of restrictions to visitors imposed by the Ecuador government earlier this year.

German MPs Heike Haensel and Sevim Dagdelen spent more than an hour inside the embassy meeting with Assange.

They called on European governments to help break the deadlock and prevent his extradition to the US.

They also accused the British government of not taking steps to secure Assange's safety if and after the leaves.

"His situation is extremely precarious and inhuman. He is isolated for 80 per cent of the time and cannot speak about issues," Dagdelen said.

 

Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/time-for-julian-assange-s-torment-to-end-father-20181221-p50nlb.html

 

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John Pilger was born and grew up in Bondi, Sydney, Australia. He launched his first newspaper at Sydney High School and later completed a four year cadetship with Australian Consolidated Press. "It was one of the strictest language courses I know," he says. "Devised by a celebrated, literate editor, Brian Penton, the aim was economy of language and accuracy. It certainly taught me to admire writing that was spare, precise and free of cliches, that didn't retreat into the passive voice and used adjectives only when absolutely necessary. I have long since slipped that leash, but those early disciplines helped shape my journalism and writing and my understanding of moving and still pictures".

Like many of his Australian generation, Pilger and two colleagues left for Europe in the early 1960s. They set up an ill-fated freelance 'agency' in Italy (with the grand title of 'Interep') and quickly went broke. Arriving in London, Pilger freelanced, then joined Reuters, moving to the London Daily Mirror, Britain's biggest selling newspaper, which was then changing to a serious tabloid.

He became chief foreign correspondent and reported from all over the world, covering numerous wars, notably Vietnam. Still in his twenties, he became the youngest journalist to receive Britain's highest award for journalism, Journalist of the Year and was the first to win it twice. Moving to the United States, he reported the upheavals there in the late 1960s and 1970s. He marched with America's poor from Alabama to Washington, following the assassination of Martin Luther King. He was in the same room when Robert Kennedy, the presidential candidate, was assassinated in June 1968.

His work in South East Asia produced an iconic issue of the London Mirror, devoted almost entirely to his world exclusive dispatches from Cambodia in the aftermath of Pol Pot's reign. The combined impact of his Mirror reports and his subsequent documentary, Year Zero: the Silent Death of Cambodia, raised almost $50 million for the people of that stricken country. Similarly, his 1994 documentary and dispatches report from East Timor, where he travelled under cover, helped galvanise support for the East Timorese, then occupied by Indonesia.

In Britain, his four-year investigation on behalf of a group of children damaged at birth by the drug Thalidomide, and left out of the settlement with the drugs company, resulted in a special settlement.

His numerous documentaries on Australia, notably The Secret Country (1983), the bicentary trilogy The Last Dream (1988), Welcome to Australia (1999) and Utopia (2013) all celebrated and revealed much of his own country's 'forgotten past', especially its indigenous past and present.

He has won an American TV Academy Award, an Emmy, and a British Academy Award, a BAFTA for his documentaries, which have also won numerous US and European awards, such as as the Royal Television Society's Best Documentary. The British Film Institute includes his 1979 film, Year Zero: the Silent Death of Cambodia among the ten most important documentaries of the twentieth century.

His articles appear worldwide. In 2001, he curated a major exhibition at the London Barbican, Reporting the World: John Pilger's Eyewitness Photographers, a tribute to the great black-and-white photographers he has worked alongside. In 2003, he was awarded the prestigious Sophie Prize for '30 years of exposing injustice and promoting human rights.' In 2009, he was awarded Australia's human rights prize, the Sydney Peace Prize. He has received honorary doctorates from universities in the UK and abroad. In 2017, the British Library announced a John Pilger Archive of all his written and filmed work.

Read more: http://johnpilger.com/biography

 

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And Andre Vitchek:

see: 

understanding andré...

 

 

and Thierry Meyssan

 

 

And Margo Kingston, without whom this site would not exist...

 

See also: 

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/32971%23comment-43352

http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/32957

satire? 'fraid not...

Journalist John Pilger has recapped major events and crises that unfolded across the globe this year in an interview to RT.

The recent emerging scandal around the shadowy UK government-funded Integrity Initiative (II) leaked by Anonymous hacktivists has been hitting the headlines over the past month. Commenting on the II motto which is ‘Defending Democracy against Disinformation’ Pilger said: “I would say ‘satire’ but it isn't satire.”

"It's been dug from a hole marked Cold War. It sounds like 1950,” the investigative journalist told RT's Going Underground, apparently referring to the notorious CIA-led Operation Mockingbird which pursued similar aims.

“But it's sort of more serious now because it does tell us where so much journalism has gone,” he added.

Posed as a charity fighting disinformation, the Integrity Initiative has been revealed to be conducting secret influence campaigns across Europe and working hand-in-glove with selected journalists to maintain high levels of anti-Russian sentiment within the mainstream media.

“This is what I call Vichy journalism. This is journalism of those who are going along with the state.”

Pilger told RT's Afshin Rattansi that he finds it “difficult to believe” how some journalists “should allow themselves to be indulged” by the British government “at a time when there is a litany of lies about Russia, about China — about so many issues that endanger us.”

According to Pilger, the Cold War doesn't exist in the most of the world. “Most of the world doesn't know what it is about. It exists in the enlightened centers of London and Washington, and perhaps in Berlin or Brussels,” the legendary journalist said.

Saudi destruction of Yemen

Speaking on the major events of 2018, Pilger pointed at the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen that claimed thousands of lives since the start of the Saudi-led operation in 2015. The journalist recalled that Riyadh “whose aircraft and logistics are supplied by the US and Britain wreaked the most hideous havoc on one of the poorest countries in the world.”

“Why isn't the sufferings of Yemenis absolutely burned into the consciousness of the readers and viewers and listeners of Western media?” he wondered.

READ MORE: Millions in Yemen are starving and UK, US & France are ‘behind this’ – Oxfam representative to RT

Western states have been widely criticized by human rights groups for their continued arms sales to Riyadh. In November, Oxfam accused the US, UK, and French governments of being behind the starvation of 14 million people in Yemen because they are “supporting this war.” That's about half Yemen's population.

Also more than 22 million out of Yemen's population of 27 million are in need of humanitarian and security aid as a result of the Saudi-led blockade and bombardment.

‘George H.W. Bush was one of the leading great criminals of the time!’

Commenting on the legacy of recently-deceased President George H.W. Bush, Pilger was quite categorical: “[He] was undoubtedly one of the leading great criminals of the time!” The investigative journalist recalled that while being a CIA director, Bush was overseeing the infamous Operation Condor, a US-backed campaign of political repression aimed at eradicating communists and leftists in the Southern Cone of South America.

“He was in charge of operation Condor which was a continent-wide assassination program which caused an enormous amount of death and mayhem.”

Bush’s political landscape during his presidency also wasn't smooth as he ordered what is known as the First Gulf War.“There was no war, in fact, there was an enormous assault by overwhelming forces led by General [Norman] Schwarzkopf and of course President Bush in Iraq,” Pilger said.

George H.W. Bush, the last Cold War-era US president, passed away December 1 at the age of 94.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/447257-pilger-talks-2018-highlights/

 

And let's mention Bush Junior, Tony Blair and John Howard...

the kingdom of the unjust...

BEN NORTON: It’s The Real News Network and I’m Ben Norton.

The U.S.-Saudi relationship has come under scrutiny after the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi. This has really inspired a wave of criticism throughout the entire world and really called into question, for the first time, U.S. support for the Saudi monarchy.

Well, we have an activist here in the studio who has actually been challenging the U.S.-Saudi monarchy for many years. Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the women-led peace group Code Pink and also the author of the book, The Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S. Saudi Connection, which–you know, she’s very prescient. She wrote this book well before the killing of Khashoggi. Thanks for joining us, Medea.

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Thanks for having me, Ben.

BEN NORTON: So now, for the first time in a kind of mainstream discussion, we see people really challenging the U.S.-Saudi relationship. You, several years ago, as leader of Code Pink, organized a summit calling for people to reconsider the U.S.-Saudi relationship. Can you speak about the work you’ve been doing and how now, suddenly, there’s been an increased interest in this topic?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: One would think after the 9/11 attacks there would have been a whole rethinking of the U.S.-Saudi relationship given that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. But for a number of different reasons, that never happened, and the U.S.-Saudi relationship continued to be very tight. And I think the American public is totally unaware. I mean, the American public doesn’t pay much attention to foreign policy until it hits us like it did on the attacks, but the U.S. administrations continue to have that very close relationship. And we started questioning it as Code Pink when we saw what was happening in the Middle East and looked around, and saying so much of the extremist groups were based on Saudi religion, on Wahhabism.

Whether you looked at Al Qaeda, or after that ISIS, or other extremist groups in Africa, or the creeping fundamentalism that you found in places like even Indonesia, you saw the tracks of Saudi Arabia, the billions of dollars that the Saudis were spending on setting up schools around the world, they money they were sending on bringing in clerics and training them and then sending them back out into the world with this very intolerant perversion of Islam. And so, it felt to us at Code Pink that we really had to start speaking out against the U.S.-Saudi relationship if we wanted to see any kind of end to the conflicts and the war on terror.

BEN NORTON: And we talked about the war in Yemen in another segment here at The Real News, which you can find at therealnews.com. But aside from the war in Yemen, we’ve also seen the spread of Wahhabism throughout much of the region during the Cold War. Talk more about what Wahhabism is, maybe the historical origins.

And you mentioned Indonesia, this is actually a very interesting example. I’ll mention quickly, The Atlantic published a fascinating article about a Saudi-funded school in Indonesia, that it’s free for everyone to attend. However, at the school, everyone has mandatory classes in Wahhabi-infused Islam, which many Muslims see as a distortion of Islam. All the classes are gender segregated, you can’t play music in the school. I mean, I think this really provides an insight into … Saudi Arabia has all of this oil money that it does spread sometimes throughout the Muslim world, but it’s not for free, it’s not without a cost, it’s not carte blanche. They spread Wahhabism when they fund these charities and schools.

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Absolutely. And when you look at the case of Indonesia, it’s the most populous Muslim country in the world. And even Obama, who spent time in Indonesia in his childhood, said that it was this very moderate, very tolerant version of Islam until you saw the creeping Saudi influence in there. And Wahhabism goes back to the founding of Saudi Arabia, which was a deal that was made between the Saud family and the Imam Wahhab. And this perversion of Islam that Wahhab had been propagating was a very convenient addition to the Saudi desire to conquer the Arab Peninsula because it gave a religious reason for doing this. And as time evolved, they not only took over most of the Arabian Peninsula, but then when oil was discovered, had all of this money to be able to use it to be spreading this intolerant interpretation of Islam that says that anybody that doesn’t interpret it in this very fundamentalist way is a heretic.

And that also put a tremendous spotlight on this version versus the more tolerant versions of Sunni Islam and the Shia version. And it has, over the years, and especially since the time of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 when there was more of a fear inside Saudi Arabia that the Islamic State in Iran was going to be seen as upholding Islam throughout the world, that they put a lot more of their energy, their funds into spreading Wahhabism. And we are still living that. We, as the world now, are living with the consequences of that today. You see in cables that were leaked by WikiLeaks with Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State saying that the Saudis were the number one funders of fundamentalist extremist groups in the world. And yet, at the same time, the U.S. continued to have this close relationship with Saudi Arabia.

 

Read more:

https://therealnews.com/stories/the-real-problem-is-the-us-saudi-relatio...

 

Read from top.

and here's the news with Jamal Khashoggi...

The Washington Post has caused itself a major scandal since it has come to light they and their martyred “reformer” Jamal Khashoggi were publishing anti-Saudi propaganda for Qatar. They tried to bury this in a pre-Christmas Saturday news dump, but that can’t stop the damage this will do to their reputation.

“Text messages between Khashoggi and an executive at Qatar Foundation International show that the executive, Maggie Mitchell Salem, at times shaped the columns he submitted to The Washington Post, proposing topics, drafting material and prodding him to take a harder line against the Saudi government,” the Post wrote December 21.

The Post says they were unaware of this, although Khashoggi’s Qatar connections were well known. They will have to answer for what is either incompetence in connecting these dots or simply not caring as Khashoggi’s attacks on President Trump and the Saudis fit right in with their narrative. The Qatar Foundation denies they were paying him to produce the anti-Saudi material.

But during Security Studies Group research for our report on the information operation after his death, we heard from reliable sources familiar with the investigation that documents showing wire transfers from Qatar were found in his apartment in Turkey. They were immediately put out of reach by Turkish security services, so they did not show the collusion between Khashoggi, Qatar, and Turkey prior to his death. We have published a new, unredacted set of findings about the case. It is damning to Qatar, Turkey, and the Washington Post.

Khashoggi may have been operating in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act by doing this on behalf of Qatar. This is the same law that caused both Gen. Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort legal jeopardy by not filing their attempts to influence the U.S. government on behalf of a foreign entity. The op-eds published in the very influential Washington Post certainly qualify as attempts to change U.S. policy against Saudi Arabia and in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Qatar supports in spite of its status as a terrorist organization with most other Gulf countries.

Turkey had control of the narrative after the killing as the only primary source for the media, with Qatar backing up their tales. Both had eager partners in western media outlets. Security Studies Group tracked this phenomenon in our paper, “Khashoggi case- Analysis of an Information Operation”: “Although Turkish-language media supported and helped to drive the narratives, as did Arabic-language media controlled by Turkish ally Qatar, the main outlets that Turkish intelligence used to execute their operation were major Western English- language journalist outlets.”

There has been a powerful effort to use this to weaken Saudi Arabia overall and especially to damage its relationship with the United States. Khashoggi’s editor at the Washington Post, Karen Attiah, led her paper’s media crusade that even called for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to be deposed: “No one is asking to throw away the relationship with Saudi Arabia. This is about putting all of our US eggs in the basket of a dangerous man, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.”

Qatar has become an increasingly malign influence in the Middle East and unfortunately now around the world. The United States has a longstanding relationship with them, including the CENTCOM Forward base there. But they have been building more and stronger alliances with a number of countries like Russia, Iran, and Turkey in ways that are counterproductive to U.S. interests. They have also decided to pull out of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a move that will further estrange it from the other Gulf Arab states and OPEC nations.

In addition, they have done things we simply should not tolerate, including hacking U.S. citizens to gain information for blackmail or influence operations. The hacking seems to have been approved and coordinated by the Qatari government, and it targeted a number of think tank and national security professionals.

The scale of the operation, as well as the targets, suggest this was a state operation. “The extent and volume of information that they were able to obtain in these subpoenas goes beyond the capabilities of an individual,” said Sam Rubin, a vice president of Crypsis Group, a cybersecurity firm.

 

Jim Hanson is president of Security Studies Group, and a former Special Forces weapons guy who soothes his savage beast with music.

Read more:http://thefederalist.com/2018/12/27/bombshell-khashoggi-foreign-governments-influence-agent/
Read from top.

NOTE: The Federalist is a right-wing conservative outlet. Gus is not endorsing The Federalist but finds this news quite amusing to see an apologist commentariator for the poor House of Saud... In this Jamal Khashoggi affair, nothing is clear cut (sorry about the pun about the way Jamal Khashoggi's body was disposed of)...
Please note that the Muslim Brotherhood is non-grata, not because it is an extremist religious group, which Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other gulf States are — Countries being ruled AND FULLY-OWNED BY ROYAL FAMILIES, but because the Muslim Brotherhood is in favour of "democratisation" of these countries — that is to say remove the ruling families ownership of these countries.