Thursday, May 28, 2009


"Yes, we will be naming names -- myself included."
~ Sibel Edmonds.

Sibel Edmonds has a new article about the swindling of the American voter:

Despite all the promises Mr. Obama made during his campaign, especially on those issues that were absolutely central to those whose support he garnered, so far the President of Change has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor. Not only that, his administration has made it clear that they intend to continue this trend. Some call it a major betrayal. Can we go so far as to call it a ‘swindling of the voters’?

She goes on to enumerate the Obama flip-flops on NSA warantless wiretapping, accountability on torture, teh revival of the military commission, and the continuation of war--also known as democracy by force--and more. Take a look for more change you can believe in.

She also remarks on the self-censorship of journalists with regard to her case, although she refers to it as "fear-induced censorship":

Yes, I am going to begin with the issue of State Secrets Privilege; because I was the first recipient of this ‘privilege’ during the now gone Administration; because long before it became ‘a popular’ topic among the ‘progressive experts,’ during the time when these same experts avoided writing or speaking about it; when many constitutional attorneys had no idea we even had this "law" - similar to and based on the British ‘Official Secret Act; when many journalists did not dare to question this draconian abuse of Executive Power; I was out there, writing, speaking, making the rounds in Congress, and fighting this ‘privilege’ in the courts. And because in 2004 I stood up in front of the Federal Court building in DC, turned to less than a handful of reporters, and said, ‘This, my case, is setting a precedent, and you are letting this happen by your fear-induced censorship. Now that they have gotten away with this, now that you have let them get away, we’ll be seeing this ‘privilege’ invoked in case after case involving government criminal deeds in need of cover up.’ Unfortunately I was proven right.

Now it looks like she will be leading the charge in exposing the worthless American media with a new project, the Project Expose MSM:

We all have been tirelessly screaming about issues related to Congressional leaders abdicating their main responsibility of 'oversight.' We have been outraged for way too long at seeing 'no' accountability whatsoever in many known cases of extreme wrongdoing. I, and many of you, believe that the biggest reason for this was, and still is, the lack of true journalism and media coverage -- which acts as the necessary pressure and catalyst for those spineless politicians on the Hill and in the Executive branch. Or, at least it's supposed to. So, in our book, the MSM has been the main culprit.

Well, here is a chance to turn the tables.

At my new blog, 123 Real Change, I'm happy to present an experimental project, Project Expose MSM, created to provide readers with specific mainstream media blackout and/or misinformation cases based on the documented and credible first-hand experiences of legitimate sources and whistleblowers.123 Real Change is inviting all members of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), other active (covert or overt) government whistleblowers, and even reporters themselves, to publish their experiences in regard to their own first-hand dealings with the media, where their legit disclosures were either intentionally censored, blacked out or tainted.

Yes, we will be naming names -- myself included.

For an initial example of naming names, check the rest of her post.

Recently there has been much crying and hand-wringing, mainly from journalists, who worry about the fact that newspapers in the US are folding. The problem that these journalists fail to acknowledge is that they are the main cause of their own demise for many of the very reasons that Sibel discusses in her post. It boils down to a betrayal of public trust. They do not investigate to expose corruption and alert the public to the wrongdoing of those the public have elected. The death of professional journalism as we know it in the US is richly deserved.

Here are the comments of an old-school American journalist on the problem:

. . . Unfortunately, a few huge corporations now dominate the media landscape. And the news business is at war with journalism. Virtually everything the average person sees or hears outside of her own personal communications is determined by the interests of private, unaccountable executives and investors whose primary goal is increasing profits and raising the company's share price. One of the best newspaper groups, Knight Ridder - whose reporters were on to the truth about Iraq early on - was recently sold and broken up because a tiny handful of investors wanted more per share than they were getting.

Almost all the networks carried by most cable systems are owned by one of the major media conglomerates. Two-thirds of today's newspaper markets are monopolies, and they're dumbing down. As ownership gets more and more concentrated, fewer and fewer independent sources of information have survived in the marketplace. And those few significant alternatives that do survive, such as PBS and NPR, are under growing financial and political pressure to reduce critical news content.

[ , , , ]

At the same time we have seen the rise of an ideological partisan press that is contemptuous of reality, serves up right-wing propaganda as fact, and attempts to demonize anyone who says otherwise. Its embodiment is Rush Limbaugh. Millions heard him take journalists to task for their reporting on the torture at Abu Ghraib, which he attempted to dismiss as a little necessary sport for soldiers under stress. He said: "This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation. . . . You ever heard of people [who] need to blow some steam off?"

So we can't make the case today that the dominant institutions of the press are guardians of democracy. They actually work to keep reality from us, whether it's the truth of money in politics, the social costs of "free trade," growing inequality, the resegregation of our public schools, or the devastating onward march of environmental deregulation. It's as if we are living on a huge plantation in a story told by the boss man.

There is no difference between right-wing propaganda and so-called left-wing propaganda in the US, despite the fact that there are those who ignorantly refer to Obama and his administration as "socialist"; there is no left wing in the American political arena.

In these issues of the media and the one-party system lie the two main differences between the US and the old Soviet Union: in the Soviet Union, there was dissent and everyone knew that the state lied to them. Not so in the US, not so.


Phil West said...

Actually, Mizgin, I beg to disagree with you, with respect to your assertion that there is absolutely no left wing in the American political arena. There is a left wing, however it is marginalized and small and limited in organizational scope these days. If you want to see what this left wing looks like, check out The rest of your analysis concerning the monopolization of the MSM by corporate interests is quite accurate, but I would point out that this is an inevitable product of the way the capitalist system evolves, and to call for an alternative media can lead to socialist or communist conclusions.

Phil West

Mizgîn said...

Phil, I suppose I didn't make myself clear enough. When I said there is absolutely no left wing in the American political arena, I meant that it is not part of the political discussion that is carried in the media. Even in so-called "progressive" alternative media, you rarely see anything that would be considered true Left in other countries.

Some states were fortunate to have the Green Party on their ballots during the presidential election, but even the Green Party got nowhere near the same coverage that the state's official party (i.e. the Democrats/Republicans) got at the time.

Then there are the Socialists who have a voice in Socialist Worker and International Socialist Review, and who have a conference every year (two this year, I believe) but you have to seek out this news but how many people actually do that? How many people actually give the Left a hearing in the US? They are still "innoculated" against a viable alternative due to so many decades of Red Scare.

Otherwise, yes, I agree with you, there is an American Left, but "it is marginalized and small and limited in organizational scope these days" as you say. I agree with that 100%. Even labor unions are marginalized by official state propaganda organs.

You would think people would be fed up what with the scandal of the Wall Street vermin and the rest of the economy, but I guess they haven't suffered enough yet.

As for media corporate interests and the capitalist system, I think one of the best analysis of this was made by Chomsky and Herman in Manufacturing Consent. It should be required reading for anyone who wants to negotiate the minefield that is the corporate media in the US.