Posts Tagged ‘manipulation’

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Media manipulation

By Greg Mitchell

Published: April 20, 2008 1:25 PM ET

Source: Editor and Publisher
NEW YORK The New York Times today published a massive piece by David Barstow on how the Pentagon for years has secretly deployed a large crew of retired military officers to flood the airwaves – network and cable – to offer pro-war talking points to the unsuspecting viewers (see other E&P articles on this site).

The focus is on TV, not print, but Barstow does reveal that the Times itself published “at least” nine op-eds by members of the Pentagon’s military/media cabal, and the Pentagon helped two of them craft a Wall Street Journal piece. What may go overlooked, however, is that all of the leading newspapers also frequently quoted the same cabal members, always in support of the war and the administration.

This is not to place the papers in the same category as the TV outlets which used these people 1) regularly 2) gave them true prominence and never asked questions and 3) often paid them per appearance. However, it will be interesting to trace how these same “analysts” got the talking points delivered via newspapers, as well.

What follows are just some examples that E&P has identified so far, which happen to emerge from the pages of The New York Times. Other papers widely quoted the retired military officers, but the Times’ archives is easier to search for this purpose. And, in fact, most of the “analysts” identified by name in the Barstow article today were never quoted much if at all by the paper previously.

But the search finds, for example, that Gen. James A. Marks (a Cnn analyst with deep ties to a contractor) wrote an op-ed for the Times on November 10, 2004, offering an optimistic view of gains that might follow our attack on Fallujah. He was quoted in numerous other Times stories.

Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who has often been critical of the conduct of the war, was quoted often in 2002 and early 2003 when he was major advocate of the invasion.

One of the prominent cabal members in Barstow’s Times article is Thomas G. McInerney, a Fox News analyst with deep ties to contractors. He shows up in several Times articles since 2002 – as late as 2006 he is quoted as still believing Saddam had WMD and simply hid them in Syria and elsewhere.

But most prominently he figured as the counter voice when three generals, including Gen. Wesley Clark, raised questions about attacking Iraq at a key moment in September 2002. Here is an excerpt from Eric Schmitt’s Times article on September 24, 2002.
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Three retired four-star American generals said today that attacking Iraq without a United Nations resolution supporting military action could limit aid from allies, energize recruiting for Al Qaeda and undermine America’s long-term diplomatic and economic interests. ”We must continue to persuade the other members of the Security Council of the correctness of our position, and we must not be too quick to take no for an answer,” Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The officers’ testimony came on a day when both those who appear to be rushing toward a military confrontation with Saddam Hussein and those who advocate more caution were raising their voices in support of their positions.

At a campaign stop in New Jersey, President Bush prodded the United Nations to demonstrate its relevance by standing up to Mr. Hussein. Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, who plans to issue a 55-page intelligence dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction on Tuesday, joined Mr. Bush today in demanding tough action against Mr. Hussein.

Back in Washington some House Democrats prepared alternate resolutions to authorize the use of force with Iraq and others issued a detailed report on how much the war would cost. In California, former Vice President Al Gore, the man Mr. Bush defeated for president, harshly criticized the administration’s push for war against Iraq, saying it had hurt the United States’ standing and could dangerously undermine the rule of law around the world.

In their testimony before the Senate committee, the officers, including Gen. Wesley K. Clark, a former NATO military commander, and Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, a former chief of the United States Central Command, said the United States should retain the right to act unilaterally to defend its interests.

”It’s a question of what’s the sense of urgency here, and how soon would we need to act unilaterally?” said General Clark, an Army officer who commanded allied forces in the 1999 Kosovo air war. ”So far as any of the information has been presented, there is nothing that indicates that in the immediate, next hours, next days, that there’s going to be nuclear-tipped missiles put on launch pads to go against our forces or our allies in the region.”

A fourth military leader, Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney, the former assistant vice chief of staff of the Air Force, offered a different opinion, saying the United States should act quickly in Iraq. ”We should not wait to be attacked with weapons of mass destruction,” he said.

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By ELI LAKE
Staff Reporter of the Sun
April 10, 2008

Source: New York Sun


WASHINGTON — A new U.N. Human Rights Council official assigned to monitor Israel is calling for an official commission to study the role neoconservatives may have played in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

On March 26, Richard Falk, Milbank professor of international law emeritus at Princeton University, was named by unanimous vote to a newly created position to report on human rights in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. While Mr. Falk’s specialty is human rights and international law, since the attacks in 2001, he has devoted some of his time to challenging what he calls the “9-11 official version.”

On March 24 in an interview with a radio host and former University of Wisconsin instructor, Kevin Barrett, Mr. Falk said, “It is possibly true that especially the neoconservatives thought there was a situation in the country and in the world where something had to happen to wake up the American people. Whether they are innocent about the contention that they made that something happen or not, I don’t think we can answer definitively at this point. All we can say is there is a lot of grounds for suspicion, there should be an official investigation of the sort the 9/11 commission did not engage in and that the failure to do these things is cheating the American people and in some sense the people of the world of a greater confidence in what really happened than they presently possess.”

Mr. Barrett, who is the co-founder of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth, said in an interview yesterday of Mr. Falk, “I would put him on a list of scholars who are sympathetic to the 9/11 truth movement.”

He added, “Unlike most public intellectuals today, he is both honest and very, very knowledgeable in that he understands the probable reality of 9/11. He understands that the evidence that it was a false flag operation is very strong.”

The narrative that the attacks from 2001 were a “false flag” operation is a recurring theme in the literature challenging the consensus that 19 Al Qaeda hijackers flew commercial jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. False flag refers to espionage or covert actions taken by one government made to seem like the work of another. The false flag thesis has it that the Bush administration is somehow responsible for the September 11 attacks as a pretext for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mr. Falk yesterday did not return e-mails and phone calls asking for a comment. But in 2004 he wrote the foreword to the book “The New Pearl Harbor,” by David Ray Griffin. Mr. Griffin has posited that such an inside job is the likely explanation for the attacks.

In the preface, Mr. Falk writes, “There have been questions raised here and there and allegations of official complicity made almost from the day of the attacks, especially in Europe, but no one until Griffin has had the patience, the fortitude, the courage, and the intelligence to put the pieces together in a single coherent account.”

When asked for a comment about the appointment of Mr. Falk, a former American ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton said, “This is exactly why we voted against the new human rights council.” A spokesman for the American embassy at the United Nations offered no comment yesterday when asked.

A spokeswoman at the United Nations, Nancy Groves, yesterday also declined to comment. “I would not make a comment on how the member states vote on appointments. It is their council, they make their decisions,” she said.

Mr. Falk’s selection to the post as rapporteur has already prompted the government of Israel formally to request that Mr. Falk not be sent to their country. The Israeli press has reported that he may even be barred from entering the country.

The deputy permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations in New York, Daniel Carmon said, “We are asking the U.N. not to send him. We cannot agree to Mr. Falk’s entrance into Israel in his capacity as the rapporteur.”

One reason the Israelis are concerned about his appointment is that Mr. Falk has compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs to the Nazi treatment of Jews in the holocaust. In an April 8 BBC interview, Mr. Falk said he stood by the Israel-Nazi comparison.

The national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, issued a statement yesterday saying, “This was clearly a singularly inappropriate choice for this position. Falk’s startling record of anti-Israel prejudice should have been enough to preclude him from a position where an unbiased observer is needed to report on the status of human rights in the territories.”

In a February 16, 1979, op-ed for the New York Times, Mr. Falk praised Ayatollah Khomeini and bemoaned his ill treatment in the American press. He wrote, “The depiction of him as fanatical, reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false.”Nearly nine months later, student followers of Khomeini invaded the American embassy in Tehran and held 52 diplomats hostage for the following 444 days.

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