Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fantasyland Media:

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.


The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia):
"This month, the Pentagon and the Iraqi government are finally closing the books on the program that handled funding for reconstruction in postwar Iraq.

But despite years of investigations, US defense officials still cannot say what happened to $US6.6 billion ($6.3 billion/Australian) of the cash. Federal auditors are now suggesting that some or all of the cash may have been stolen, not just mislaid in an accounting error.

After the US-led invasion in March 2003, the Bush administration flooded Iraq with so much cash that a new unit of measurement was born.

Pentagon officials determined that one giant C-130 Hercules cargo plane could carry $US2.4 billion in shrink-wrapped bricks of $US100 bills. They sent an initial full planeload of cash followed by 20 other flights by May 2004 in a $US12 billion haul that US officials believe to be the biggest ever international cash airlift.

Stuart Bowen, special inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction, said the missing $US6.6 billion might be 'the largest theft of funds in national history.' "

-->Stories about the extreme corruption of the US empire never make much of an appearance in the US media. The Sydney Morning Herald thought this story was fit to print, but not The NY Times.


The Guardian UK:
"The Gaza Strip enters its fifth year of a full Israeli blockade by land, air and sea on Tuesday with unemployment at 45.2%, one of the highest rates in the world, according to a UN aid agency report.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) found that by the second half of 2010, real wages had fallen 34.5% since the first half of 2006, when sanctions were imposed by Israel after Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip, won a Palestinian legislative election. The UN says the strict blockade began a year later.

'These are disturbing trends,' said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, 'and the refugees, who make up two-thirds of Gaza's 1.5 million population, were the worst hit.'

He said: 'It is hard to understand the logic of a man-made policy which deliberately impoverishes so many and condemns hundreds of thousands of potentially productive people to a life of destitution.' "

-->In the heart of the empire, few stories about apartheid Israel see the light of day. The NY Times, in particular, censors out information critical of Israel's blockade of Gaza. It didn't print this story. UPDATE: The NY Times printed this story several days later, under the heading of "U.N. Charts High Jobless Rate in Gaza, Despite Israel’s Easing of Blockade." The story by Ethan Bronner, whose son served in the Israeli Defense Force, does its best to obscure the reason behind the unemployment figures. Most of The NY Times story talks about Hamas. Of course, the UN spokesman's quote about Israel "deliberately" impoverishing so many people was deemed unfit to print.


Common Dreams:
"On May 17, 2011 at 5:00 AM the SWAT Team of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and members of the FBI raided the home of Carlos Montes, a long time Chicano activist and active member of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression. The SWAT Team smashed the front door and rushed in with automatic weapons as Carlos slept. The team of Sheriffs and FBI proceeded to ransack his house, taking his computer, cell phones and hundreds of documents, photos, diskettes and mementos of his current political activities in the pro-immigrant rights and Chicano civil rights movement. Also taken were hundreds of historical documents related to Carlos Montes’ involvement in the Chicano movement for the past 44 years.

Carlos was arrested on one charge dealing with a firearm code and released on bail the following morning. His first court appearance is set for June 16, 2011.

This attack on Carlos Montes is part of the campaign of FBI harassment taking place against the 23 peace and justice activists which has until now been centered in the Midwest. Carlos Montes’ name was listed on the subpoena left in the office of the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee last September 24. When Carlos Montes was placed in the LA County Sheriff's car, an FBI agent approached and asked him questions about the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

-->FBI crackdown on dissent? Peace and social justice activists harassed and arrested? Our newspaper of record, The NY Times, would never sully itself by printing stories about our emerging police state.

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