Friday, February 28, 2014

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 to keep from the public eye.


The Guardian, UK:
"Western Spy Agencies Infiltrating, Warping World of Online Activism. Latest Snowden documents show extent to which GCHQ has gone to 'manipulate, deceive, and destroy reputations' of online targets...

According to newly published documents, Western spy agencies like the GCHQ and NSA have developed sophisticated online operations in which covert agents infiltrate online communities, networks and forums in order to 'manipulate, deceive'—even destroy the reputations of—targeted individuals and groups even if those people have not be charged, or necessarily accused, of a crime...

Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, a close Obama adviser and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote a controversial paper in 2008 proposing that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-'independent' advocates to 'cognitively infiltrate' online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups.

Sunstein also proposed sending covert agents into 'chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups' which spread what he views as false and damaging 'conspiracy theories' about the government. Ironically, the very same Sunstein was recently named by Obama to serve as a member of the NSA review panel created by the White House.

'The 'broader point' about the program's implications,' writes Greenwald, 'is that far beyond hacktivists, these surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they’ve been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats.' "

-->All quiet at The NY Times. This covert infiltration and manipulation of the Internet by our government to squash dissent was never reported on.


Common Dreams:
"As US Media Mangles Venezuela Coverage, Maduro Calls for 'Peace Conference.' As violence continues to threaten Latin American country, US media continues to replace nuance with familiar anti-Chavista narrative. ...

According to Rebecca Hanson, who lives in Venezuela while studying the nation's politics as a graduate student, one of most notable things about the protest movement is where it is not occurring.

'These protests have not engulfed the entire country or even the entire capital, despite coverage and photographs that might suggest otherwise. Recent articles in Ultimas Noticias have declared the western side of the city, which normally grabs headlines for its high homicide rates, as tranquil and quiet in comparison to the east.' "

-->Sad to see our newspaper of record consistently report the Pentagon's version of what is going on in Venezuela. It's as if freedom of information stops for The NY Times when it comes to reporting on America's "enemies." 


The Guardian, UK
"US ambassadorial nominees face more backlash over appointments. Association of diplomats considers criticising the giving of posts to donors who had little or no knowledge about assigned countries. ...

A Guardian investigation in July revealed that the controversial practice of rewarding donors with plum foreign postings has accelerated under Obama, leaving the average 'price' paid by his donors for ambassadorships in the last election cycle at nearly $2m.

Now the American Foreign Service Association, an independent professional body representing US diplomats, is considering making its first formal complaint about a US ambassadorial nominee’s suitability since 1992, in a sign that recent appointments may have proven the final straw for the diplomatic community."

-->Democratic donors paying to become American ambassadors? Why wouldn't The NY Times report on this? Must we go to a foreign newspaper to learn about the corruption in our own system of government?

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