Monday, February 20, 2006


Media and Propaganda edition + official crimes
Fox News fearmongeringexcessive spin
And finally, the "news" channel everyone loves to hate wasn't just
covering Dick Cheney's ass last week, they were stepping up to the plate
for Our Great Leader too. We noted in last week's list
<> that George W.
Bush recently made a rather pathetic attempt to put a scare into the
American people by claiming to have foiled a 2002 terror plot to blow up
the Library Tower in Los Angeles. Whether or not the Bush administration
actually foiled that plot is highly debatable - but let's give a big
hand to Fox News for doing their best to dress the story up.

The problem for Fox News, of course, was that the Library Tower in L.A.
isn't very exciting. It just sort of sits there, like any other large
building. How could they make their coverage of this particular
non-event a little more... engaging?

And then they had it! If you've seen the movie Independence Day, you may
recall that when the aliens attack Earth, one of the first things they
blow up is - yes - the Library Tower. And so big props to Fox for coming
up with this <>:

That's right, folks! Not the actual Library Tower being destroyed by
terrorists, but a remarkable simulation of the Library Tower being
destroyed by, er, aliens.

Perhaps Fox should start illustrating all their news stories with clips
from science fiction movies...

What It Means To Be A Republican

by Larry Beinhart

The vice president shoots you in the heart and in the face. Then you
apologize for all the trouble it's caused him. That's what it means to
be a Republican.

Despite almost hysterical warnings the president stays asleep at the
wheel. He does nothing about terrorism and 9/11 happens. He responds by
running away to Nebraska. Three days later he makes a supposedly
impromptu speech with a bull horn on the rubble of the World Trade
Center. He is universally cheered as a hero. That's what it means to be
a Republican.

The president puts together false claims to go to war with the wrong
country. His party universally supports him. That's what it means to be
a Republican.

The administration mismanages the war in Iraq so that it creates chaos,
a breeding ground for terrorists and political opportunities for Islamic
fundamentalists. Along the way, the reasons for going to war are exposed
as false. The president runs on national security as his main issue. He
is re-elected. That's what it means to be a Republican.

The president cheerfully gives away the surplus to the richest people in
the country. Then he runs up record debts, just to throw more money
their way. He claims it has helped America's economy. People act like
they believe him. That's what it means to be a Republican.

The administration continues it's magnificent tradition of going to
sleep when it is warned of disaster. It does nothing when Katrina is
coming. It continues its record of doing nothing when disaster arrives.
As New Orleans was lost, just as when the World Trade Center was lost,
the president got as far away as possible. But he can't be blamed for
what nature did. That's what it means to be a Republican.

The president orders wiretaps without warrants, a straightforward
violation of the constitution. When the Attorney General is called to
testify, the head of the Judiciary Committee insists that his testimony
not be under oath. The head of the intelligence committee suggests that
the law be changed, now, to make it legal after the fact. That's what it
means to be a Republican.

Alberto Gonzales helped come up with the program that rejected the
Geneva Conventions, that permits torture, that says that the president
is above the law and that "I was only following orders" should be a
defense against a charge of war crimes. Ah, if only the Nazi war
criminals who were hung at Nuremberg had Gonzales there to defend them.
The president nominates Gonzales to be his new Attorney General. He is
confirmed with little debate and no outrage. That's what it means to be
a Republican.

This needs to be understood.

What it implies is that Republicans can't be dealt with as if reason and
facts will sway them. Because it won't. It's hard for reality-based
people, regular Democrats and Liberals, to understand that.

What it lets us know is that reality-based people -- Democrats,
Liberals, real Conservatives, old-fashioned Republicans and non-profit
Christians -- have to take more vigorous and rigorous stands. Or reality
and real American values and the American landscape will disappear, not
just temporarily, but forever.


Larry Beinhart is the author of Wag the Dog
<>, The Librarian
<>, and Fog Facts:
Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin
<>. All available at

The Media dumb
And what is the media focusing on while the vice president feloniously
declassifies top secret information, Congressional Republicans cover up
the Bush administration's illegal wiretapping operation, our ports are
sold to the UAE, and yet more photos belying the claim that "we do not
torture" are released to the public?

This unedited screenshot
from MSNBC last week should give you a clue:

Click on above hypertext for an example of fake news.

NSC, Cheney Aides Conspired to Out CIA Operative
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Investigative Report

Lower than snakes

Monday 20 February 2006

The investigation into the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame
Wilson is heating up. Evidence is mounting that senior officials in the
office of Vice President Dick Cheney and the National Security Council
conspired to unmask Plame Wilson's identity to reporters in an effort to
stop her husband from publicly criticizing the administration's pre-war
Iraq intelligence, according to sources close to the two-year-old probe.

In recent weeks, investigators working for Special Prosecutor Patrick
Fitzgerald have narrowed their focus to a specific group of officials
who played a direct role in pushing the White House to cite bogus
documents claiming that Iraq attempted to purchase 500 tons of uranium
from Niger, which Plame Wilson's husband, former Ambassador Joseph
Wilson, had exposed as highly suspect.

One high level behind-the-scenes player who has been named by witnesses
in the case as a possible source for reporters in the leak is Robert
Joseph, formerly the director of nonproliferation at the National
Security Council. Joseph is responsible for placing the infamous
"sixteen words" about Iraq's attempt to purchase uranium from Niger in
President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address.


Sources close to the probe said witnesses involved in the case told FBI
investigators that Joseph was one of the recipients of a classified
State Department memo in June 2003 that not only debunked the Niger
allegations but also included a top-secret reference to Valerie Plame
Wilson's work for the CIA, and that she may have been responsible for
recommending that the CIA send her husband to Niger to investigate the
uranium claims in February 2002.



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