Thursday, January 01, 2009

Fantasyland Media: Dec. 18

http://www.fantasylandmedia.org

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.

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"International Action Center founder Ramsey Clark, a former US Attorney General and internationally renown human rights defender, received the respected United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights on the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 10 December 2008...

The award is given to individuals and organizations in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Previous recipients have included Nelson Mandela, Amnesty International, Jimmy Carter, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Reverend Dr. Martin L. King...

The UN announcement described Ramsey Clark as “a veteran human rights defender and rule of law advocate, (who) played a key role in the civil rights and peace movements in the US, and more recently has spoken out against abuses committed in the name of “counter-terrorism.”
http://getoffthis.blogspot.com/2008/12/ramsey-clark-receives-un-human-rights.html

-->To the NY Times, the fact that a former attorney general of the United States was awarded the UN Prize for Human Rights was not newsworthy. Was it because Ramsey Clark has been critical of US foreign policy? But that would mean the NY Times is simply part of the US government's propaganda machine.

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"As Possible Afghan War-Crimes Evidence Removed, US Silent
Afghanistan - Seven years ago, a convoy of container trucks rumbled across northern Afghanistan loaded with a human cargo of suspected Taliban and al Qaida members who'd surrendered to Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, an Afghan warlord and a key U.S. ally in ousting the Taliban regime.

When the trucks arrived at a prison in the town of Sheberghan, near Dostum's headquarters, they were filled with corpses. Most of the prisoners had suffocated, and others had been killed by bullets that Dostum's militiamen had fired into the metal containers.

Dostum's men hauled the bodies into the nearby desert and buried them in mass graves, according to Afghan human rights officials. By some estimates, 2,000 men were buried there.

Earlier this year, bulldozers and backhoes returned to the scene, reportedly exhumed the bones of many of the dead men and removed evidence of the atrocity to sites unknown..."
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2008/12/12-0

-->War crimes committed by a US ally in Afghanistan? One that U.S. special forces and CIA operatives working closely with in late 2001? Such things don't happen for readers of the NY Times. It didn't report the story.

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"A Defense Department project, supposedly designed to support U.S. troops, was used instead to channel millions of dollars to personal friends and allies of its chief. The "America Supports You," or ASY, program was led in a "questionable and unregulated manner," according to a Department of Defense Inspector General report, obtained by Danger Room. At least $9.2 million was "inappropriately transferred" by the project's managers. Much of that money served only to further promote ASY, instead of assisting service members...

From fiscal years 2004 to 2007, the Inspector General's report notes, Barber funneled $8.8 million in contracts to the public relations firm Susan Davis International — to set up the myriad events, and to promote the ASY "brand." The work was incredibly lucrative; Davis' executives made as much as $312,821 to $662,691 per year...

Worse still, in the eyes of many, was that Barber used the Stars & Stripes newspaper as a kind of money-laundering service, to pay Davis and Semel. The paper is partially financed by the Pentagon, and was part of Barber's American Forces Information Service..."
http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/12/asy.html

-->The NY Times covered the beginning of the Inspector General's investigation of ASY. The final report may have been too critical of the Pentagon. The story appeared in the Wired Magazine blog, but not in the NY Times.

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