Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

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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"The last person to see Syed Mehmood Hashmi as a free man was his friend Mohammed Haroon Saleem, who on June 6, 2006, drove Hashmi to London's Heathrow Airport, walked him to the security checkpoint, and watched him hoist his bag and head for the gate. But Hashmi never made his flight. At passport control, constables pulled him from the line and told him they had an extradition warrant on behalf of the US government. He was to be charged with aiding Al Qaeda.

Today Hashmi, who is 29, sits in a windowless cell, in solitary confinement. He is not allowed to watch television or listen to the radio or read a newspaper unless it is at least 30 days old and censored. He is not allowed to speak to guards, other inmates, or the media, or to write anyone but his attorney and his family (once a week on three single-sided pages). The only people cleared to visit, besides his lawyer, are his mother and father. Hashmi's lawyer, Sean Maher, says the isolation is slowly driving his client mad.

Hashmi is not in Guantanamo Bay, nor is he an enemy combatant. He's a US citizen, born in Pakistan and raised in Flushing, Queens, facing trial in federal court in Manhattan. His home for the past two years has been the Special Housing Unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a stone's throw from the Brooklyn Bridge. Hashmi might be guilty, he might not. We may never know-because when he goes before judge and jury later this year he won't get a fair trial. Much of the government's evidence against him is secret, and he can't see it because he doesn't have a security clearance. Maher, who does have a security clearance, can't see much of it either. Maher finds this incredible."
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/07/thousand-little-gitmos

-->A thousand little Gitmos around our country imprisoning US citizens without due process? One right in NY City? Not newsworthy according to the NY Times, which has never covered this story.

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"WASHINGTON - The U.S. government continues to withhold even the most basic information about prisoners in the Bagram detention facility in Afghanistan, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a New York-based legal rights organization.

An April 2009 ACLU Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents and information about the detainment of prisoners at Bagram has yielded dead ends with both the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)...

Bagram is a major topic of interest for several human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the International Justice Network, which have criticized the Obama Administration's record on promoting justice in its overseas prisons, comparing conditions at Bagram to those at the much- criticized U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/08/15-2

-->Readers of the NY Times haven't read about these human rights criticisms. Our newspaper of record follows the Pentagon's advice on which countries to investigate. Of course, we get tons of reports about supposed human rights abuses in Iran. US media in service of empire.

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"Why is Afghanistan so important? A glance at a map and a little knowledge of the region suggest that the real reasons for Western military involvement may be largely hidden.

Afghanistan is adjacent to Middle Eastern countries that are rich in oil and natural gas. And though Afghanistan may have little petroleum itself, it borders both Iran and Turkmenistan, countries with the second and third largest natural gas reserves in the world. Russia is first...

Rivalry for pipeline routes and energy resources reflects competition for power and control in the region. Pipelines are important today in the same way that railway building was important in the 19th century. They connect trading partners and influence the regional balance of power. Afghanistan is a strategic piece of real estate in the geopolitical struggle for power and dominance in the region."
http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/679670

-->Is there another reason for our occupation of Afghanistan? One would think that the NY Times would at least cover this motivation for the recent US surge in troops. But US imperialism is never a subject the NY Times deems "Fit to Print."

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