Monday, September 22, 2003

Back from the dead or . . . ? 

Absent any way of verifying the administration's latest tale that has the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the US, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, singing like a canary, how quickly the corporate media have forgotten that Mohammed was reportedly killed on Sept. 11. 2002,in a shootout with police at his Karachi, Pakistan, apartment.

The corporate media also failed to remember that Mohammed was allegedly dead when the New York Times reported last March 2 that Mohammed had been detained by Pakistani authorities and turned over to American officials. Reuters on the same day claimed that Pakistan Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat denied Mohammed had been handed over to the Americans. But Rashid Qureshi, spokesman for President Pervez Musharraf, claimed he was being interrogated by both Pakistani and American agents.

So a man reportedly dead was now reportedly alive and in the hands of the Pakistanis or the Americans or being shared by interrogators for both countries, or . . .

After a brief flurry of "news" reports about the "grand capture" of a man supposedly dead, that was the last we heard of Mohammed until now.

Confused? Credit the Bush administration and its eager corporate media helpers. They can confuse, infer, obfuscate and lie without having to say they are sorry. Remember, these are the same people who led nearly 70 percent of your fellow Americans to believe that Iraq had ties to al Qaeda and, therefore, bore responsibility for 9/11. The more they muddy the waters, with the aid of progressives in denial about what their government would or would not do to its own people, the more difficult it becomes to get to the truth about who was behind the 9/11 attacks.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Ashcroft locks print reporters out of news conference 

In Philadelphia, the city where the Declaration of Independence was crafted, the United States Constitution was written and the Bill of Rights drawn, Attorney General John Ashcroft decided only television newsfakers would be admitted to his so-called news conference at the National Constitution Center, no less, as part of his mission to get the American people to swallow the benefits of losing their freedoms to the USA PATRIOT Act* and PATRIOT Act II renamed -- make that misnamed -- the VICTORY Act**. No print reporters allowed!

Of course, the irony of this would escape Reichsfuehrer-SS Ashcroft, or as Howard Altman of the Philadelphia City News wrote, "Pens may no longer be as mighty as the camera, but apparently they make Ashcroft and his guardians squeamish." Right, TV will convey (report would also be a misnomer) only the 20 or so seconds approved by Ashcroft's goons. That eliminates worries about some print reporter pointing out all the apples on the cart are rotten, even if that story were buried in the back pages.

Altman, who was trotting behind a "flock of television reporters" was blocked by a Secret Service agent who told him, "You can't go in there."

When he protested, he received an apology of sorts from a bespectacled female guardian in a black dress (an appropriate color): "'I am sorry,' she says as the last of the camera crews whiz by. 'But he is not talking to print. Only talking to television.'"

Read the rest of Altman's article and weep.

*USA PATRIOT Act is an acronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act. It has nothing to do with patriots or patriotism.

**VICTORY Act is an acronym for Vital Interdiction of Criminal Terrorist Organizations Act. The only victory in the VICTORY Act, should it become law, is in the Bush administration's further erosion of our liberties.

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