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WikiLeaks Shows Diplomats Lie to Themselves Before They Lie to Journalists

"How is the world ruled and led to war? Diplomats lie to journalists and believe these lies when they see them in print."

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Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

Today (12/2/10) the New York Times has another report based on the latest WikiLeaks cables. The focus is on U.S. policy toward the former Soviet republic of Georgia, and the upshot is that diplomats based there exercised little to no scrutiny of the claims made by Georgian government regarding South Ossetia and Russia. The conflict there led eventually to a brief war in 2008, which was often inaccurately portrayed in U.S. media as unprovoked Russian aggression against a U.S. ally. The Times reports:

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The cables show that for several years, as Georgia entered an escalating contest with the Kremlin for the future of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two breakaway enclaves out of Georgian control that received Russian support, Washington relied heavily on the Saakashvili government's accounts of its own behavior. In neighboring countries, American diplomats often maintained their professional distance, and privately detailed their misgivings of their host governments. In Georgia, diplomats appeared to set aside skepticism and embrace Georgian versions of important and disputed events.

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By 2008, as the region slipped toward war, sources outside the Georgian government were played down or not included in important cables. Official Georgian versions of events were passed to Washington largely unchallenged.

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CBS almost reported Reagan was mentally unfit in 1986

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  • "I now believe [Reagan aides and his wife Nancy] covered up his condition, and many continued to as they wrote their memoirs. But then, the public knew something wasn't right. There were all sorts of signs. We all looked the other way," Leslie Stahl concluded in her book.
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  • Mission Accomplished: The Reagan Occupation and the Destruction of the American Middle Class
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  • How Republicans created the myth of Ronald Reagan
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David Edwards, Raw Story

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

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Two sons of former President Ronald Reagan have been engaged in a public disagreement over whether their father exhibited early signs of Alzheimer's disease while still in the White House.

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Veteran CBS reporter Leslie Stahl, who saw Reagan have mental lapses in 1986, could possibly play a role in settling that feud -- or cause it to become even bigger than it already was.

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In his new book, titled "My Father at 100," Ron Reagan, who's identified himself as a liberal and an atheist, wrote that in 1984, he began to "experience the nausea of a bad dream coming true" with regards to his father's mental condition.

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The younger Reagan added that as early as 1986, his father had become alarmed at his growing lack of certain memories. "[He] had been alarmed to discover, while flying over the familiar canyons north of Los Angeles, that he could no longer summon their names," Reagan wrote.

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Mission Accomplished: The Reagan Occupation and the Destruction of the American Middle Class, David Michael Green, Buzzflash
The middle class is on its knees and shrinking fast.  Unions have been broken into irrelevance.  Government, supposedly an agent of the public interest, has become a complete tool of those it is meant to monitor.  Both political parties are fully owned by the oligarchy.  The public has been brainwashed into seeing its allies as enemies and its enemies as allies.  We have been drained of hope that any actor on the horizon can come to our rescue.

How Republicans created the myth of Ronald Reagan, Will Bunch, Salon.com
With the Gipper's reputation flagging after Clinton, neoconservatives launched a stealthy campaign to remake him as a "great" president.

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The World's Crisis in War Reporting

At this complex and dangerous moment in history, we must recognize that journalists around the world are failing in their duty as watchdogs of the people and that – combined with economic stresses – the traditional role of journalism is diminishing.

Don North, Middle East Online

iStockphoto/Salon

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As journalists are laid off and newspapers cut back or shut down, whole sectors of our civic life disappear from public view and go dark. Much of local and state governments, whole federal departments, and the world itself are neglected.

Politicians are working increasingly without independent scrutiny and without public accountability. Perhaps most alarmingly, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism abroad go underreported despite the billions of dollars spent and the tens of thousands of lives lost.

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Seymour Hersh unleashed

U.S. foreign policy had been hijacked by a cabal of neoconservative "crusaders" in the former vice president's office and now in the special operations community.

Blake Hounshell, Foreign Policy

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David Remnick, call your office.

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In a speech billed as a discussion of the Bush and Obama eras, New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh delivered a rambling, conspiracy-laden diatribe here Monday expressing his disappointment with President Barack Obama and his dissatisfaction with the direction of U.S. foreign policy.

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"Just when we needed an angry black man," he began, his arm perched jauntily on the podium, "we didn't get one."

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It quickly went downhill from there.

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Hersh, whose exposés of gross abuses by members of the U.S. military in Vietnam and Iraq have earned him worldwide fame and high journalistic honors, said he was writing a book on what he called the "Cheney-Bush years" and saw little difference between that period and the Obama administration.

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When Generosity, Love, and Kindness are Public Policy, the Violence We Saw in Arizona Will Dramatically Diminish

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  • Our society is bursting with the silent screams of tens of millions of people suffering systematic and daily assaults on their dignity, their humanity, and their capacities to be loving, kind, gentle, and generous. So much unrecognized and pervasive pain! Until we transform this big picture, all the little efforts, all the noble reforms, all the good intentions, will amount to little.
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  • Duty to Warn: Approaching Spiritual Death
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Rabbi Michael Lerner, Tikkun Daily

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The attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gifford and the murder of so many others in Arizona has elicited a number of policy suggestions, from gun control to private protection for elected officials, to banning incitement to violence on websites either directly or more subtly (e.g., Sarah Palin’s putting a bull’s-eye target on Gifford’s congressional district to indicate how important it would be to eliminate her from the Congress).

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On the other hand, we hear endless pleas to recognize that the assassin was a lonely and disturbed person whose choice of Hitler’s Mein Kampf as one of his favorite books reflects his own troubled soul, not his affinity to the “hatred of the Other” that has manifested in anti-immigrant movements that have spread from Arizona to many other states and in the United States has taken the form of anti-Islam, discrimination against Latinos, and the more extreme right-wing groups that preach hatred toward Jews.

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Duty to Warn:  Approaching Spiritual Death, Gary Kohls, Evergreene Digest
Is it Too Late to Mend America’s Dying Soul?

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Wal-Mart Is Not a Person

The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. —John Stuart Mill

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Thom Hartmann, Berrett-Koehler Publishers/Truthout

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(Image: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; Edited: to)

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In 2003, after my book Unequal Protection was first published, I gave a talk at one of the larger law schools in Vermont. Around 300 people showed up, mostly students, with a few dozen faculty and some local lawyers. I started by asking, “Please raise your hand if you know that in 1886, in the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad case, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons and therefore entitled to rights under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”

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Almost everyone in the room raised their hand, and the few who didn’t probably were new enough to the law that they hadn’t gotten to study that case yet. Nobody questioned the basic premise of the statement.

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And all of them were wrong.

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A Liberal Dose of Reality

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams

John Cory, Reader Supported News

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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A supporter at a Sarah Palin/Tea Party rally, Boston Commons, MS, 04/14/10. (photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters)

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So far there is no direct factual connection between the violence in Tucson and the toxic GOP and its subsidiary Tea Party screaming mobs, or the despicable daily spewing of hate-radio or the crazy chalkboard diagrams of the coming end times.

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The false equivalency by the right wing and corporate media that the left does it too is merely a deflection intended to distract and shift focus away from them and their tactics. You can't connect the dots, they say.

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A drop of ink on porous paper slowly seeps across the sheet. Multiple drops in multiple locations eventually bleed together without any external help. No one has to connect the dots; they connect themselves.

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