Too many bystanders

This entry was posted on
Thursday, January 5th, 2006
10:33 am and is filed
under It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!.

You’ll want to start here:

BlairWatch – The Failings of the Press

Different incident, same issue, same problem:

Obsolete – To publish or not to publish, that is the question: Why is this Labour government so obsessed with secrecy, and our newspapers and media so inclined to carry out their non-binding orders in not naming the suspects? Apparently Nick Langham is entitled to his privacy, although the police and media freely name those who are wanted for offences, and occasionally “name and shame” others. In this supposed age of freedom of information, it seems odd that the British media is still prepared to give the government the benefit of the doubt, despite the fallout from the Hutton inquiry.

(Note to Strobes…. publish some of this stuff online. Please.)

At the same time, we have the sheer absurdity of the Bush administration proudly proclaiming themselves to be above the use of torture, after months of actively trying to block McCain’s anti-torture bill:

Guardian – White House drops long-standing opposition to torture legislation

But I have to rely on blogs and websites, not my regular glut of national newspapers, to relay the following information:

Boston Globe – Bush Could Bypass New Torture Ban: When President Bush last week signed the bill outlawing the torture of detainees, he quietly reserved the right to bypass the law under his powers as commander in chief. (Latest development here.)

So he was for torture, but is now against it, unless he wants to use it. And that’s not a front-page headline? FFS…

And on the subject of discretion (and whistle-blower slap-downs and media complicity)…. you’ll want to start here on wiretapping and move along to this piece:

The Nation – The Hidden State Steps Forward: When the New York Times revealed that George W. Bush had ordered the National Security Agency to wiretap the foreign calls of American citizens without seeking court permission, as is indisputably required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), passed by Congress in 1978, he faced a decision. Would he deny the practice, or would he admit it? He admitted it. But instead of expressing regret, he took full ownership of the deed, stating that his order had been entirely justified, that he had in fact renewed it thirty times, that he would continue to renew it and — going even more boldly on the offensive — that those who had made his law-breaking known had committed a “shameful act”… Secret law-breaking has been supplanted by brazen law-breaking. The difference is critical. If abuses of power are kept secret, there is still the possibility that, when exposed, they will be stopped. But if they are exposed and still permitted to continue, then every remedy has failed, and the abuse is permanently ratified. In this case, what will be ratified is a presidency that has risen above the law… The Administration of George W. Bush is not a dictatorship, but it does manifest the characteristics of one in embryonic form. If Congress accepts his usurpation of its legislative power, they will be no Congress and might as well stop meeting. Either the President must uphold the laws of the United States, which are Congress’s laws, or he must leave office.

Liberal bias at work? Hardly. Check this out: What follows, from an Associated Press rundown on September 15, 1998, is a long list of newspapers that “called for President Clinton’s resignation.” AP added that some of those listed “did so before the release of Kenneth Starr’s report on Sept. 11.”

And while we’re looking at lists and the media lying down, Jack Abramoff deserves a mention. Here’s a list of people he made formal donations to. It includes George W. Bush… it includes Oliver bloody North!

That list leads us to this:

Independent – Bush hands back tainted funds from disgraced lobbyist

Why? Under scrutiny of the law, there’s no way to reverse a criminal relationship, even when you return some of the gains. But it’s not the scrutiny of law that Bush fears… it’s scrutiny of the media.

But how can one claim that the media is shackled by this administration, yet feared at the same time?

Because it’s been transformed from watchdog to rescue dog.

It’s been slapped about the face with false claims of bias by those who are shameless users of bias.

It’s been bashed about the body by claims of complicity in terrorism, by those who themselves who shamelessly torture and terrorise others.

Above all, it’s been effectively leashed by claims of national and international security.

And the same pattern repeats itself in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

That’s three administrations that have nothing to earn the benefit of the doubt, but still enjoy that privilege because of people in mainstream media who fear a legal/media savaging if they turn on their new masters. It’s almost as if they’ve forgotten the purpose of their canine incisors.

And speaking of the benefit of the doubt… here’s yet another false claim about Iraq that was followed by perhaps two editorials on Blair’s stupefying statement that; “There is no justification for Iran or any other country interfering in Iraq.”

Where are the front page headlines that read; ‘BLAIR LIES ABOUT IRAQ – AGAIN’…?

Independent – Anger as Britain admits it was wrong to blame Iran for deaths in Iraq: Britain has dropped the charge of Iranian involvement after senior officials had repeatedly accused the Tehran regime of supplying sophisticated explosive devices to insurgents. Government officials now acknowledge that there is no evidence, or even reliable intelligence, connecting the Iranian government to the infra-red triggered bombs which have killed 10 British soldiers in the past eight months. The twist comes three months after British officials first made strong assertions, widely reported in the media, of an Iranian hand in killing British soldiers. The highly publicised allegations emerged as America was locked in tense confrontation with Iran over its nuclear policy… A former Labour defence minister, Peter Kilfoyle, accused the Blair government of following President George Bush’s obsession with Iran. “Is this intelligence or is it propaganda?” he asked. “This is what happened in Iraq. I have a deep, abiding mistrust of what is put out by the Government and a deep, abiding mistrust of what is put out by the intelligence services. This is part of an almost unconscious urge to support whatever the American policy of the moment might be.”

About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
This entry was posted in It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to "Too many bystanders"