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The Washington Post Will Kill Us All

When you're starting wars … on the grounds that if you don't start a war now someone else could theoretically start one later, you have set up a logic of Armageddon. And it may kill us all. ... But we won't all die, I feel fairly certain, without the Washington Post cheering death through the door.

davidswanson, davidswanson.org

 

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16 March 2015 | "War with Iran is probably our best option." This is an actual headline from the Washington Post.

Yes it's an op-ed, but don't fantasize that it's part of some sort of balanced wide-ranging array of varied opinions. The Washington Post wouldn't print a column advocating peace to save its life -- as such an act just might help to do. And you can imagine the response if the headline had been: "Racism is probably our best option," or "Rape is probably our best option," or "Child abuse is probably our best option." Nobody would object: "But they've probably had lots of columns opposing child abuse. Surely they can have one in favor, or do you want to shut down debate?" No, some things are rightly considered beyond the range of acceptability. War, in Washington, is not one of them.

Now, war propaganda is illegal under the International Covenant on Civic and Political Rights. War itself is illegal under the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the United Nations Charter. But the Washington Post isn't one to worry about legal niceties.

David Swanson is an American activist, blogger and author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union."

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Did Bill O’Reilly Cover Up a War Crime in El Salvador?

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  • Brian Williams isn’t the only one telling fibs. 
  • Did Bill O’Reilly Cover Up a War Crime in El Salvador?
  • CBS Has Released the Falklands Protest Footage Bill O'Reilly Asked For. It Doesn't Support His Claims.

SOA Watch

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grandin42577_mp4.pngFebruary 24 | It's a shame how the media has chosen to cover the issue of Bill O'Reilly's war zone reporing.

This whole issue arose because of an article by Greg Grandin (http://www.thenation.com/…/did-bill-oreilly-cover-war-crime…) which looked at O'Reilly's coverage of the Mozote massacre in the context of US coverage of the Salvadoran civil war.

David Corn then cribbed from the article, moving on to the question of where O'Reilly was during the Falklands.

But all this misses the point.

The problem with O'Reilly's record as a war reporter is that he appears to have covered up the SOA graduate-led Mozote massacre -- a tragic and scarcely known crime, for which the US shares culpability. When we become obsessed with the question of O'Reilly's personal bravery, we throw more dirt over that crime.

SOA Watch, founded by Fr. Roy Bourgeois in 1990,  is an independent organization that seeks to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas, under whatever name it is called, through vigils and fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protest, as well as media and legislative work.

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Related:

Did Bill O’Reilly Cover Up a War Crime in El Salvador? Greg Grandin, the Nation

Before Bill O’Reilly was, well, Bill O’Reilly, he worked for a time as a foreign correspondent for CBS Evening News, anchored by Dan Rather. O’Reilly talks about that period of his career in two of his books, and in both mentions that in early 1982 he reported from northeastern El Salvador, just after the infamous El Mozote Massacre. When the CBS News bureau chief asked for volunteers to check out an alleged massacre in the dangerous Morazán Territory, a mountainous region bordering Nicaragua, I willingly went.”

El Mozote is a small, hard-to-reach hamlet. The massacre took place on December 11, 1981, carried out by US-trained Atlacatl Battalion, which was not just trained but created by the United States as a rapid response unit to fight El Salvador’s fast-spreading FMLN insurgency. The killing was savage beyond belief: between 733 and 900 villagers were slaughtered, decapitated, impaled and burned alive.

Greg Grandin is the author of Empire's Workshop, Fordlandia, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history and the National Book Award, and, most recently, The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World.   He teaches at New York University.

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CBS Has Released the Falklands Protest Footage Bill O'Reilly Asked For. It Doesn't Support His ClaimsDavid Corn and Daniel Schulman, Mother Jones

The Fox News host says he was in a "war zone" where police gunned down civilians. The video doesn't show that.

Mon Feb. 23, 2015 | CBS News today posted its reports from Buenos Aires at the end of the Falklands war, in response to a request from Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who has been seeking to counter reports that he mischaracterized his wartime reporting experience. But rather than bolstering O'Reilly's description of the anti-government protest he says he covered as a "combat situation," the tape corroborates the accounts of other journalists who were there and who have described it as simply a chaotic, violent protest.

On his Monday night show, O'Reilly broadcast clips from the CBS video and maintained that the footage proved "I reported accurately the violence was horrific." But the issue has not been whether violence occurred at the demonstration. O'Reilly had previously claimed this protest—triggered when Argentines angry at the ruling junta's surrender to the Brits in the 1982 war gathered near the presidential palace—was a massacre, with Argentine troops gunning down civilians. O'Reilly has relied on that description to support his claim that he was in a "war zone…in the Falklands." The video does not show civilians being mowed down.

David Corn: Washington Bureau Chief,  Corn has broken stories on presidents, politicians, and other Washington players. He's written for numerous publications and is a talk show regular. His best-selling books include Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War.

Daniel Schulman: Senior Editor, Mother JonesBased in DC, Dan covers politics and national security. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine, the Village Voice, the Columbia Journalism Review, and other publications. He is the author of the new Koch brothers biography, Sons of Wichita (Grand Central Publishing).

Net neutrality activists score landmark victory in fight to govern the internet

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  • FCC says ‘we listened and we learned’, and passes strict broadband rules that represent ‘a red-letter day for internet freedom’
  • How activism won real net neutrality

Dominic Rushe, Guardian US

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1d43d0d2a584265e5c610eea890bf943a2fac34b/0_273_3044_1828/1000.jpgProtesters hold a rally at the FCC headquarters in Washington to support net neutrality. Photograph: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Thursday 26 February 2015 | Internet activists scored a landmark victory on Thursday as the top US telecommunications regulator approved a plan to govern broadband internet like a public utility.

 

Following one of the most intense – and bizarre – lobbying battles in the history of modern Washington politics, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed strict new rules that give the body its greatest power over the cable industry since the internet went mainstream.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler – a former telecom lobbyist turned surprise hero of net neutrality supporters – thanked the 4 million people who submitted comments on the new rules. “Your participation has made this the most open process in FCC history,” he said. “We listened and we learned.”

Net-neutrality-meme-e1398433124309.jpgDominic Rushe is technology editor, east coast for the Guardian US.

Full story … 

Related:

How activism won real net neutrality, Jay Cassano, Waging Nonviolence 

“This is a classic example of how history gets written,” said Kevin Zeese, an organizer with Popular Resistance.“ Down the road, 50 years from now, people will say that Obama saved the Internet, that he was the president who said what needs to be done and made it happen. But the reality is that Obama was forced to save the Internet by the people.”

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How activism won real net neutrality

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“This is a classic example of how history gets written,” said Kevin Zeese, an organizer with Popular Resistance.“ Down the road, 50 years from now, people will say that Obama saved the Internet, that he was the president who said what needs to be done and made it happen. But the reality is that Obama was forced to save the Internet by the people.”

Jay Cassano, Waging Nonviolence

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14557082400_351d1a47f1_z-615x410.jpgOn July 23, 2014, hundreds of Free Press activists, allies and volunteers rallied for REAL Net Neutrality on President Obama’s motorcade route as he attended a big fundraiser in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. (Free Press/Stacie Isabella Turk)

February 26, 2015 | Today the Federal Communications Commission has adopted strong net neutrality rules that will require all traffic on the Internet to be treated equally. There will be no fast lanes for large corporations and slow lanes for independent voices. In the days and weeks to come a lot of ink will be spilled about the significance of the FCC’s new rules and the legal nuances of where they might fall short. But for the moment, it is worth reflecting on how this victory was won.

This time last year, it looked like all bets were off for net neutrality. A Washington, D.C., district court had just shot down the FCC’s previous net neutrality rules in a lawsuit brought by Verizon. The task then fell to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist and former head lobbyist for both the cable and wireless industries, to draft new rules that would stand up in court. What followed was one of the most sustained and strategic activist campaigns in recent memory.

Jay Cassano is an activist and journalist currently living in Brooklyn. He is a senior writer at Fast Company, where he reports on technology and its social implications.

Full story … 

 

Related:

Net neutrality activists score landmark victory in fight to govern the internet, Dominic Rushe, Guardian US 

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  • FCC says ‘we listened and we learned’, and passes strict broadband rules that represent ‘a red-letter day for internet freedom’
  • How activism won real net neutrality

The Shame of US Journalism Is the Destruction of Iraq, Not Fake Helicopter Stories

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Here we are, over a decade later, still discussing celebrity fantasies. That isn’t just bad journalism, it’s an affront to all who lost their lives in a brutal and bloody deception. Williams is just sorry about the wrong thing.

Christian Christensen, Moyers & Company

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brianwilliams-1.png(Photo: Screenshot from NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams)

February 6, 2015 | The news that NBC’s Brian Williams was not, in fact, on a helicopter in 2003 that came under fire from an Iraqi Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) should come as a surprise to no one. Williams had repeated the lie on several occasions over the course of a decade until a veteran, who was on the actual helicopter that was attacked, had enough of Williams’ war porn and called the TV host out on Facebook. In a quite pathetic effort to cover his tracks, the anchor — who makes in excess of $10 million per year — claimed that his fairy tale was, in fact, “a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and by extension our brave military men and women” who had served in Iraq. Twelve years, it seems, is enough time for Williams to confuse being on a helicopter that came under fire from an RPG with being on a helicopter that did not.

Given that Williams works for NBC, his participation in the construction of a piece of fiction during the US invasion and occupation of Iraq is apt. US network news, together with outlets such as CNN, aggressively cheer-led an invasion predicated on a massive falsehood: the Iraqi possession of WMD. What is jarring, however, is the fact that Williams’ sad attempt to inject himself into the fabric of the violence is getting more ink and airplay than the non-existence of WMD did back in the early-to-mid 2000s: a lie that provided the justification for a military action that has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

Christian Christensen is professor of Journalism at Stockholm University.

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Not So Fast, Net Neutrality...

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No matter the outcome, extensive litigation seems unavoidable. This will wind up in the courts. As Michael Powell said at last week's hearings, "It's not a complete exaggeration to say that in ten years we could still be sitting here."

  • Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpgYou can continue to file your own comments on the net neutrality debate at the FCC website. And the website BattlefortheNet.com <http://BattlefortheNet.com> will show you how to call the FCC and members of Congress.
  • Special Report | A Free and Open Internet: The Latest from the Frontlines

Michael Winship, Moyers & Company / Huffington Post 

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Net-neutrality-meme-e1398433124309.jpg01/27/2015 | Over the last few months, things have been looking good for keeping the Internet open to everyone. A little too good, as far as Congress is concerned, which is why members and the corporate lobbyists who write them hefty checks have launched a last-ditch legislative effort to scuttle net neutrality.

Both President Obama and Federal Communications Commission Chair Tom Wheeler have stopped tiptoeing around net neutrality and seem to finally embrace the idea of using Title II of the Telecommunications Act to reclassify Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and regulate them as common carriers, like the phone companies and other public utilities. No preferential treatment to those willing to shell out big corporate bucks for a fast lane.

Michael Winship: Senior writer, Moyers & Company on public TV; Senior writing fellow, Demos; President, Writers Guild of America, East.

Full story … 

Related:

Special Report | A Free and Open Internet: The Latest from the Frontlines, January 6, 2015, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • To ensure an Internet that's open, fast, secure, and affordable, contact the FCC, call your members of Congress, and support efforts to build a network that works for everyone, and not just the few. 
  • Part 1: Four Pivotal Internet Issues as the Year Turns 2015
  • Part 2: FCC Will Vote On Net Neutrality In February

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