Pack Journalism Anti-Gaddafi Propaganda – by Stephen Lendman
Western media, especially America’s, mostly ignore multiple Obama wars (including against Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia), focusing mainly on promoting terror bombing Libya, slaughtering civilians to save them.
Ongoing since March 19, killing and destruction continue daily. NATO’s second in command, US Admiral Samuel Locklear, told Congress that Washington wants Gaddafi assassinated. Earlier, one of his sons and three grandchildren were murdered, as well as around 40 Libyan imans, attending a peace conference to end the carnage. Ruthlessly, Obama, the peace candidate, wants it continued, claiming lawless executive privilege to do it.
On the Progressive Radio News Hour, live Tripoli reports discussed hospitals, schools, residential homes, and other non-military targets bombed, civilians killed, anti-NATO anger, and growing popular Gaddafi support, including a million Libyans rallying in Tripoli on his behalf.
On air, Cynthia McKinney said she saw it all, including fishermen killed at sea, food and medicine imports blocked, evidence that mercenary rebels murdered, tortured, harassed and raped dark-skinned residents like herself, and daily terror bombings – war crimes by any standard to conquer, colonize and plunder Libya for profit and greater regional control.
Like McKinney and other Progressive Radio guests, Tripoli-based Western journalists also witness NATO crimes. Nonetheless, their reports airbrush them, providing a sanitized version of war, detached from reality they conceal, no matter the daily horror enough to give anyone nightmares and second thoughts about who’s right and wrong in this conflict.
Is there any doubt? Does it take keen perceptiveness to know? Can human misery be blocked in turning out daily copy? Apparently so, ignoring professional standards, including the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics Preamble, stating:
“….public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility.”
In addition, the Radio-Television News Directors Association Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct stresses public trust, credibility, accuracy, truth, “reporting anything known to be false,” avoiding bias, fairness, integrity, independence, accountability, and meeting their “responsibility to the profession of electronic journalism.”
Clearly major media reporting fails on all counts, serving power at the expense of principle and honor, performing like lapdogs, not providers of real news, information and analysis. Those trying it, in fact, are fired, media bosses intolerant of anything in print or on air contrary to mainstream consensus, supporting wealth and privilege, not truth, integrity and honor.
As a result, America’s media promote war, including bloodlust killing and destruction, prettifying it to seem just, no matter how much lying, distortion, and deceit it takes to do it. It comes with the territory.
For example, Kareem Fahim’s June 30 New York Times article headlined, “Tripoli Refugees Stream Into Libya’s Mountains,” saying:
Ignoring reality, he claims “people (are) fleeing Tripoli,” hundreds leaving to escape “the dreaded People’s Guard carr(ying) long lists of wanted men….Their numbers – more than a hundred families on a recent day alone – suggest a quickening exodus from the capital.” His source – mercenary rebels providing falsified information, not verified accounts from independent sources.
Instead, Fahim quoted a man named Ali Mohammed Rahaybi, saying “he saw signs of resistance to (Gaddafi’s) rule everywhere: in graffiti on schools, at occasional demonstrations, and in the flags drawn on neighborhood walls.”
Apparently he didn’t notice one million pro-Gaddafi Libyans, rallying in Tripoli for him. No Times report covered, or even mentioned, what was too obvious to miss. Instead, Fahim, other Times writers, and all major media ones provide managed news propaganda, violating their profession’s ethical code that’s required to keep their jobs.
A same day Times editorial headlined, “The Libya Campaign,” saying:
“Four months into the NATO air campaign, (Gaddafi’s still) protected by loyalists and mercenaries.” “Loyalists?:” yes, a growing majority of Libyans. “Mercenaries?:” in fact, those there are Western recruited cutthroats, armed, trained, funded and directed to ravage, not liberate, Libya for NATO.
Nonetheless, the editorial claims if Gaddafi “ha(s) his way, thousands more Libyans will die. The credibility of NATO would also be severely damaged. (Gaddafi), who has a long history of sponsoring international terrorism, is not one to let bygones be bygones.”
In fact, most Libyans support him, more than ever now against NATO terror bombings, Times hyperbole notwithstanding. Moreover, no humanitarian crisis or mass slaughter happened until America, Britain, France, and other co-conspirators showed up, what no Times editorial or report explains.
This one says “signs of revolt” are evident – against NATO, not Gaddafi. Nonetheless, Times editors say “Washington and NATO must stand firmly with the rebels and reject any solution that does not involve the swift ouster of (Gaddafi) and real freedom for Libyans.”
Omitted was saying only Libyans, (not Washington, NATO, or Times editors), may decide who rules their country. For sure, they abhor the secretive, Western controlled Interim Transitional National Council and their cutthroat mercenary killers, but don’t expect America’s “newspaper of record” to explain.
Nor does Al Jazeera (AJE), waging war on Gaddafi with falsified reports like a June 29 one headlined, “Libya: War and rape,” suggesting:
Gaddafi’s forces “used rape as a weapon.” Another on June 9 headlined, “Analysis: “Gaddafi’s ‘rape weapon,’ ” saying:
International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo “said that he has evidence that (Gaddafi) ordered his soldiers to use rape as a weapon of war.” He lied, but AJE didn’t check and report accurately.
In March, AJE claimed Gaddafi supplied his forces with Viagra, saying it was found in their pockets in burned out tanks. The report surfaced in an interview with Suleiman Refadi, a Libyan doctor who claimed, “I have seen Viagra (and) condoms” as part of Gaddafi’s sexual violence campaign.
In fact, Human Rights Watch (HRW) interviewed him earlier, discounting his claims for lacking supportive evidence, including victims and/or witnesses. Moreover, HRW’s Liesel Gerntholtz confirmed that, “We have not been able to find evidence.”
In April, however, Washington’s UN ambassador Susan Rice told Security Council members in a closed door meeting the same thing, saying it’s to encourage mass rape with no corroborating evidence whatever to prove it.
She lied, based on assessments from other human rights organizations, including Amnesty International (AI), saying its investigation found no evidence that Gaddafi forces committed rapes.
Moreover, AI learned that rebel forces knowingly made bogus claims based on falsified evidence, showing Rice ICC prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo, and Hillary Clinton lied, saying, “Rape, physical intimidation, sexual harassment, and even so-called ‘virginity tests’ have taken place in countries throughout the region,” including in Libya.
AI’s Donatella Rovera disputed allegations, saying, “we have not found any evidence or a single victim of rape or a doctor who knew about somebody being raped.” In fact, the entire story was fabricated.
AI also found no evidence that Gaddafi is using African mercenaries against rebels, Rovera saying, “The politicians (keep) talking about mercenaries, which inflamed public opinion and the myth has continued” about sub-Saharan Africans in Libya to work, not fight.
Last March, however, Al Jazeera reported the mercenary hoax, citing rebel leader lies instead of investigating and presenting corroborated facts, what many of its accounts fail to do, supporting NATO’s imperial war.
Overall AJE stops short of being anti-imperialist, notably in its pro-Western Libya and Syria reporting, destroying its residual goodwill in the process. Moreover, it downplayed anti-government Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) state demonstrations and/or uprisings, notably in Bahrain with suggestions they’re linked to Iran.
On March 20, Financial Times writers Roula Khalaf and Abeer Allam headlined, “Al-Jazeera’s backing is key for coalition,” saying:
AJE’s “owners, the Qatari royal family (hosting America’s CENTCOM Doha forward headquarters), are among those backing” NATO’s Libya war. So does the Saudi monarchy and its media mouthpiece Al-Arabiya, airing anti-Gaddafi propaganda like AJE, despite Arab street opposition, exposing both operations as pro-Western tools, not reliable news, information and analysis.
Professor As’ad AbuKhalil agrees, recently saying AJE’s “sinister” regional role got “worse, much worse. Yesterday, I was seething all day because it could not break from its annoying, obsessive non-stop (Libya) coverage to report the Israeli murder of Palestinian children.” Instead it focused on Western bombing “successes.”
“It seems that (AJE) now operates according to the Western standards by which Israeli victims are more precious than Palestinian” or Libyan ones, killed by IDF, Pentagon, and NATO terrorism.
As a result, AJE’s pro-Western stance destroys whatever past credibility it had, an awareness growing numbers regionally and elsewhere understand and tune out.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.