Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fantasyland Media:

http://www.fantasylandmedia.org

Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want keep from the public eye.

---------

Guardian UK:
"Numerous US officials are calling for a resurrection of the US Espionage Act as a tool for prosecuting WikiLeaks. The dusting-off of the old law is all but certain. But the outcome of the constitutional dust-up that is sure to follow will result in triumph or tragedy for the US bill of rights.

In 1917, in the midst of a war hysteria, the United States passed the Espionage Act. The law has nothing to do with prosecuting spies. From its inception, it had everything to do with suppressing dissent. The Great War was unpopular with many Americans, very like today's engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Make no mistake about it. The Espionage Act targeted political dissidents...

The Espionage Act wreaked havoc on the American political left, destroying the young American Socialist party and one of its most progressive unions, the Industrial Workers of the World. Many others, including intellectuals, journalists, film producers and pacifist religious figures were also prosecuted. Prison terms were long, and some political prisoners died in federal jails. The abuses under the law were legendary, and mark a sad day in US history."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/dec/15/wikileaks-us-espionage-act

-->The US media, including The NY Times has written very little about the impending use of the US Espionage Act. Free speech in America is of much less interest to our corporate controlled press.

----------

Independent UK:
"A New Jail for Bradley Manning – But the Controversy Rages On...

The last straw may have been a letter due to appear in the next issue of The New York Review of Books, signed by almost 300 US and foreign legal scholars. It denounces Pte Manning's treatment as a violation of the US Constitution's Eighth Amendment ban on 'cruel and unusual punishment', and on the Fifth Amendment guarantee against punishment without trial.

As a former professor of constitutional law, it notes, Mr Obama of all people should be aware of these dangers: 'The question now is whether his conduct as Commander-in-Chief meets fundamental standards of decency.'

It also gives a graphic description of how Pte Manning was held at Quantico, locked alone in his cell for 23 hours each day: "During his one remaining hour, he can walk in circles in another room, with no other prisoners present. He is not allowed to doze off or relax during the day, but must answer the question 'Are you OK?' verbally and in the affirmative every five minutes. At night, he is awakened to be asked again, 'Are you OK?' every time he turns his back to the cell door or covers his head with a blanket so that the guards cannot see his face.

At one point, he was forced to sleep naked and stand naked for inspection in front of his cell for a week. In the day, he also had to undress and wear a kind of smock – all because Pte Manning was considered a suicide risk, a claim that the prisoner himself and military psychiatrists have disputed."
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/04/21-0

-->Readers of The NY Times might wonder what controversy was being reported on. The letter signed by 300 US and foreign legal scholars was not covered. Nor has The NY Times done a very good job specifying the degrading treatment of Bradley Manning while in prison.

----------

Foreign Policy in Focus:
"A secret operation to run guns across the border to Mexican drug cartels — overseen by U.S. government agents — threatens to become a major scandal for the Obama administration.

The operation, called 'Fast and Furious,' was run out of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) office in Phoenix, Arizona. ATF sanctioned the purchase of weapons in U.S. gun shops and tracked the smuggling route to the Mexican border. Reportedly, more than 2,500 firearms were sold to straw buyers who then handed off the weapons to gunrunners under the nose of ATF.

But once across the border, the agency seemed to lose track of the weapons. Hundreds of AK-47s and Barrett .50 caliber rifles — favorites of warring drug cartels —made it easily into the hands of some of Mexico’s most ruthless crime organizations."
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/20-11

-->The NY Times did not cover this story, although the events have been well documented by "CounterPunch" on the left and Fox News on the right. Perhaps the story was seen as damaging to US relations with Mexico. Foreign policy objectives of the empire routinely trump the readership's right to know.

No comments: