Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The Guardian UK:
"The overstretched US military has hired hundreds of private-sector contractors to the heart of its drone operations to analyse top-secret video feeds and help track suspected terrorist leaders, an investigation has found.

Contracts unearthed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveal a secretive industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars, placing a corporate workforce alongside uniformed personnel analysing intelligence from areas of interest.

While it has long been known that US defence firms supply billions of dollars’ worth of equipment for drone operations, the role of the private sector in supplying analysts for combing through intelligence material has remained almost entirely unknown until now."

-->Interesting secrets about the US drone wars. Looks like the private sector may be very interested in keeping them going. Readers of The NYT, however, did not get to read this story. 

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Aljazeera:
"The Israeli army indiscriminately and deliberately targeted civilians during a brutal 2014 assault known as "Black Friday", according to a new report on last summer's Gaza war. The joint study by Amnesty International and Forensic Architecture, released on Wednesday, cites "strong evidence" of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity on August 1, 2014, as Israeli forces bombarded residential areas in Rafah in retaliation for the capture of one of its soldiers.

"There is overwhelming evidence that Israeli forces committed disproportionate, or otherwise indiscriminate, attacks which killed scores of civilians in their homes, on the streets and in vehicles and injured many more," notes the report.

"This includes repeatedly firing artillery and other imprecise explosive weapons in densely populated civilian areas… In some cases, there are indications that they directly fired at and killed civilians, including people fleeing."

-->The NYT had to report this story, but in the hands of their veteran pro-Israeli journalist, Isabel Kershner, things look quite different. It starts with a picture of an Israeli graveyard being visited by heartbroken parents of a fallen IDF soldier. The first five paragraphs explain Israel's side of the story, without even a pretense of verification. Amnesty International then gets a few paragraphs, with charges always denied by Israeli authorities. One sentence at the very end of the article quotes a Palestinian saying "It was a black day; I cannot think of a worse day." I cannot think of worse coverage; shame on The NYT for this piece of pro-Israel propaganda. 

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The Guardian:
"Hypocrisy on Display as US Lavishes Military Aid on Egypt. In a visit to Cairo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pledged that the Egyptian government's atrocities will not prevent increased U.S. backing. ...

The backing comes as al-Sisi oversees an increase in authoritarianism that some analysts warn is the worst the country has seen in 60 years—including during the regime of former U.S.-backed President Hosni Mubarak who was toppled by a popular uprising in 2011.

A report released by Amnesty International in June warned the Egyptian government is funneling an entire generation of young activists, journalists, and even bystanders from the streets into prisons: 'More than a year after he came to power, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government has shown no sign of easing its repressive rule. The crackdown has seen more than 41,000 people arrested, charged or indicted with a criminal offense, or sentenced after unfair trials, according to the last available estimates by Egyptian human rights activists.'

-->This is the type of imperial hypocrisy that The NYT protects its readers from. Our newspaper of record's headline reads, "Kerry Warns Egypt Human Rights Abuses Can Hurt Fight Against Terrorism." Of course, the NYT focuses on talk about human rights rather than the billions in arms being sent to another dictator in the Middle East.

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