Saturday 31st of July 2021

wiping history...

loo paploo pap                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biden Erased Decades of Historic Crimes in His Speech to Congress

 

 

Biden's claim that the Capitol Riot was the "worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War" is ahistorical garbage.

 

Sure enough, the President delivered on this. Opening his address, Biden stated, "I took the oath of office — lifted my hand off our family Bible — and inherited a nation in crisis. The worst pandemic in a century. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War."

Yes, the January 6th siege on the U.S. Capitol building, often alluded to as an "insurrection," was an embarrassing day for our country. But to suggest that it was "the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War" is disingenuous at best. At worst, it's a malicious attempt to whitewash the history of attacks carried out both by and on the government that have had much more catastrophic results.

Apart from the September 11th terrorist attacks that targeted the country's financial system, Al Qaeda terrorists attacked the defenders of our democracy when a hijacked American Airlines flight 77 flew into the Pentagon. Were it not for the heroes who resisted against the hijackers of United flight 93, Al Qaeda’s attempt to fly a commercial airline into the White House or U.S. Capitol building would have come to fruition. Despite being a horrific tragedy, 9/11 has been dismissed by some as being explicitly a "foreign attack," not one from within.

So, let's explore attacks on our democracy from within.

Following 9/11, the Bush administration, in conjunction with Congress, expedited the passage of the Patriot Act (as written by Joe Biden) a wide-sweeping national security law that infringed on the civil liberties of every American in the name of fighting terror. The Fourth Amendment became a relic of the past as the government's power to surveil and spy on its own citizens reached its peak. Individuals who shared names with persons of interest or suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens, landed on government no-fly lists, restricting their right to freely move about the country for dubious reasons and with no due process or recourse. And even worse, many had their right to due process eviscerated when they were detained by the newly-created Department of Homeland Security and found themselves at Guantanamo Bay without even being charged with a crime.

Yet this is not the first time that American citizens, or even permanent residents for that matter, had their rights infringed upon by the government.

As the FBI was formed in the early 20th century, Americans whose ideologies were at odds with the government's interests were often targeted by the agency's longest-serving director, J. Edgar Hoover. In the eyes of the FBI Director, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a suspected communist given his ties to Stanley Levison, whose suspected pro-communist activities were monitored by the FBI in the 1950s. Although Dr. King has been viewed as one of the most consequential leaders in American history due to his role in the civil rights movement, at the time, Hoover and many in the FBI viewed him as a threat to our democracy, ushering in communism under the guise of “civil rights.” The FBI infamously blackmailed Dr. King by sending him a letter advocating he commit suicide.

The Red Scare was so severe in the United States that the government actively sought to chip away at Americans' First Amendment rights to prevent the spread of such ideas. And through the Lavender Scare in the early 1950s, thousands of people were forced out of government service for simply for being suspected of being homosexual. 

When the United States entered the First World War, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Espionage Act of 1917 into law, which then gave way to the Sedition Act of 1918. These two laws worked in conjunction to strip away the First Amendment rights of every American and demand undying fealty towards the U.S. government. Expressing even the slightest bit of criticism of the U.S. or associating with groups like the Communist Party could result in, at the very least, a government wiretap, and, at worst, a hefty prison sentence and possible execution. In the same token that President Franklin Roosevelt interned approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II in fear that they might side with the Japanese Empire, the Espionage and Sedition Acts under President Wilson explicitly targeted German-born American residents during World War I, with over 2,000 arrested and sent to internment camps.

While the FBI has had its fair share of attacking our democracy, its intelligence counterpart, the CIA, has interfered in the affairs of other countries countless times. As Americans decry countries like Russia, China, and Iran for interfering in our electoral process, the CIA has had a hand in interfering in the affairs of well over a dozen nations. For as many autocratic regimes as the CIA tried to topple in places like Cuba, Indonesia, and the Dominican Republic, the CIA had a hand in the overthrow of democracies as well in countries like Iran, Chile, and Guatemala.

For decades, the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover — the notorious FBI Director after whom the law enforcement's DC headquarters continues to be named — assaulted democracy in every way imaginable. Hoover kept dossiers on political leaders to enforce his will over them. FBI agents routinely infiltrated anti-war and civil rights groups as part of its COINTELPRO program and other similar domestic spying activities. And the NSA notoriously spied on millions of American citizens without warrants.

There is a strong argument to be made that the CIA is responsible for interfering in American democracy, too.

The first impeachment of President Donald Trump in 2019 occurred when a whistleblower within the CIA filed a complaint after Trump had a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden, in exchange for $400 million in military aid.

But it didn't end there.

The story of the Russian Bounty program on U.S. troops in Afghanistan that broke publicly in the summer of 2020 made a significant impact in tipping the scales during the 2020 presidential election. The CIA produced the initial intelligence assessment in 2019, which later broke publicly in the summer of 2020, further cementing the perception that Trump was in the pocket of Russian President Vladimir Putin––a claim that was exacerbated when then-President Trump dismissed the allegations outright, calling it "fake news." However, in April 2021, Trump would be vindicated as the U.S. government revealed that the Intelligence Community had "low to moderate confidence" in the intelligence assessment. In other words, there was little evidence to prove that it was real.

On top of these government abuses that took place on a wide scale impacting every American, there was a long-drawn-out period since the Civil War that impacted millions of Americans that has had consequences that last to this day: Jim Crow.

Following the Civil War and Reconstruction, the implementation of Jim Crow laws in Southern former slave states not only segregated black people from the white population, but also barred them from fully participating in society as equal members. Through policies like poll taxes, literacy tests, and increased residency requirements, black people had their right to vote stripped away, essentially removing them from the political process, keeping them further ostracized from society. It was authoritarianism in the most sinister manner, targeting a racial group that was perceived to be subhuman to their white counterpart, all in the name of protecting democracy.

Despite all these examples in which our democracy––and the democracies of other nations––were attacked with our government playing the central antagonist, there were a half dozen times where the sitting U.S. president and, by extension, our democracy were attacked from within. Since the Civil War, four U.S. presidents were assassinated (Lincoln in 1865, Garfield in 1881, McKinley in 1901, and Kennedy in 1963) and two presidents were injured in assassination attempts (Roosevelt in 1912 and Reagan in 1981). These were six attacks on the duly elected leaders of the people of the United States. Not only does changing the leadership alter the trajectory for a nation, but due to its status, it has lasting effects for the rest of the world.

If President Biden is to suggest that the siege on Capitol Hill on January 6th was "the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War," then we should demand that our leaders be honest about what does and does not constitute an "attack on our democracy." Attacks on our democracy aren't just reserved for storming the U.S. Capitol and targeting U.S. lawmakers with historically low approval ratings. If that's the case, that a certain set of rules only applies to the political elite and not the people, then it's safe to say that we do not truly live in a democracy.

 

Siraj Hashmi is a journalist based in Washington, DC. He is the co-host of Habibi Bros. with Mujahed Kobbe, and creator of the List.

 

 

 

 

media CIA...

 

By Glenn Greenwald

 

...

 

The most important axiom for understanding how the U.S. corporate media functions is that there is never accountability for those who serve as propagandists for the U.S. security state. The opposite is true: the more aggressively and recklessly you spread CIA narratives or pro-war manipulation, the more rewarded you will be in that world. 

The classic case is Jeffrey Goldberg, who wrote one of the most deceitful and destructive articles of his generation: a lengthy New Yorker article in May, 2002 — right as the propagandistic groundwork for the invasion of Iraq was being laid — that claimed Saddam Hussein had formed an alliance with Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. In February, 2003, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, NPR host Robert Siegel devoted a long segment to this claim. When he asked Goldberg about “a man named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,” Goldberg replied: “He is one of several men who might personify a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda.”

Needless to say, nothing could generate hatred for someone among the American population — just nine months away from the 9/11 attack — more than associating them with bin Laden. Five months after Goldberg's New Yorker article, the U.S. Congress authorized the use of military force to impose regime change on Iraq; ten months later, the U.S. invaded Iraq; and by September, 2003, close to 70% of Americans believed the lie that Saddam had personally participated in the 9/11 attack.

Goldberg's fabrication-driven article generated ample celebratory media attention and even prestigious journalism awards. It also led to great financial reward and career advancement. In 2007, The Atlantic's publisher David Bradley lured Goldberg away from The New Yorker by lavishing him with a huge signing bonus and even sent exotic horses to entertain Goldberg's children. Goldberg is now the editor-in-chief of that magazine and thus one of the most influential figures in media. In other words, the person who wrote what is arguably the most disastrous article of that decade was one most rewarded by the industry — all because he served the aims of the U.S. security state and its war aims. That is how U.S. corporate journalism functions.

Another illustrative mascot for this lucrative career path is NBC's national security correspondent Ken Dilanian. In 2014, his own former paper, The Los Angeles Times,acknowledged his "collaborative” relationship with the CIA. During his stint there, he mimicked false claims from John Brennan's CIA that no innocent people were killed from a 2012 Obama drone strike, only for human rights groups and leaked documents to prove many were. 

A FOIA request produced documents published by The Intercept in 2015 that showed Dilanian submitting his "reporting” to the CIA for approval in violation of The LA Times’ own ethical guidelines and then repeating what he was told to say. But again, serving the CIA even with false "reporting” and unethical behavior is a career benefit in corporate media, not an impediment, and Dilanian rapidly fell upward after these embarrassing revelations. He first went to Associated Press and then to NBC News, where he broadcast numerous false Russiagate scams including purporting to “independently confirm” CNN's ultimately retracted bombshell that Donald Trump, Jr. obtained advance access to the 2016 WikiLeaks archive.

On Monday, CNN made clear that this dynamic still drives the corporate media world. The network proudly announced that it had hired Natasha Bertrand away from Politico. In doing so, they added to their stable of former CIA operatives, NSA spies, Pentagon Generals and FBI agents a reporter who has done as much as anyone, if not more so, to advance the scripts of those agencies.

Bertrand's career began taking off when, while at Business Insider, she abandoned her obsession with Russia's role in Syria in 2016 in order to monomaniacally fixate on every last conspiracy theory and gossip item that drove the Russiagate fraud during the 2016 campaign and then into the Trump presidency. Each month, Bertrand produced dozens of Russiagate articles for the site that were so unhinged that they made Rachel Maddow look sober, cautious and reliable.

In 2018, it was Jeffrey Goldberg himself — knowing a star CIA propagandist when he sees one — who gave Bertrand her first big break by hiring her away from Business Insider to cover Russiagate for The Atlantic. Shortly thereafter, she joined the Queen of Russiagate conspiraciesherself by becoming a national security analyst for MSNBC and NBC News. From there, it was onto Politico and now CNN: the ideal, rapid career climb that is the dream of every liberal security state servant calling themselves a journalist. Her final conspiratorial article for The Atlantic before moving to Politico is the perfect illustration of who and what she is:

 

(screenshot)

 

CNN's new national security star was no ordinary Russiagate fanatic. There was no conspiracy theory too unhinged or evidence-free for her to promote. As The Washington Post's media reporter Erik Wemple documented once the Steele Dossier was debunked, there was arguably nobody in media other than Rachel Maddow who promoted and ratified that hoax as aggressively, uncritically and persistently as Bertrand. She defended it even after the Mueller Report corroborated virtually none of its key claims. 

In a February, 2020 article headlined “How Politico’s Natasha Bertrand bootstrapped dossier credulity into MSNBC gig,” Wemple described how she was rewarded over and over for "journalism” that would be regarded in any healthy profession with nothing but scorn: 

 

Where there’s a report on Russian meddling, there’s an MSNBC segment waiting to be taped. Last Thursday night, MSNBC host Joy Reid — subbing for “All In” host Chris Hayes — turned to Politico national security reporter Natasha Bertrand with a question about whether Trump “wants” Russian meddling or whether he can’t accept that "foreign help is there.“ Bertrand responded: “We don’t have the reporting that suggests that the president has told aides, for example, that he really wants Russia to interfere because he thinks that it’s going to help him, right?”

No, we don’t have that reporting — though there’s no prohibition against fantasizing about it on national television. Such is the theme of Bertrand’s commentary during previous coverage of Russian interference, specifically the dossier of memos drawn up by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. With winks and nods from MSNBC hosts, Bertrand heaped credibility on the dossier — which was published in full by BuzzFeed News in January 2017 — in repeated television appearances.

 

Wemple systematically reviewed the mountain of speculation, unproven conspiracies and outright falsehoods Bertrand shoveled to the public as she was repeatedly promoted. But it was the document that gave us deranged delusions about pee-pee tape blackmail and Michael Cohen's trip to Prague that was her crown jewel: “The Bertrand highlight reel features a great deal of thumb-on-scale speculation regarding the dossier,” Wemple wrote.

And when information started being declassified that proved much of Bertrand's claims about collusion to be a fraud, she complained that there was too much transparency, implying that the Trump administration was harming national security by allowing the public to know too much — namely, allowing the public to see that her reporting was a fraud. A journalist who complains about too much transparency is like a cardiologist who complains that a patient has stopped smoking cigarettes, or like a journalist who voluntarily rats out her own source to the FBI or who agitates for censorship of political speech: a walking negation of the professional values they are supposed to uphold. But that is Natasha Bertrand, and, to the extent that there are some people who still believe that working at CNN is desirable, she was just rewarded for it again yesterday — just as journalists who rat out their own sources to the FBI and advocate for internet censorship are now celebrated in today's rotted media climate.

 

Read more:

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/cnns-new-reporter-natasha-bertrand

 

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