What Passes for Journalism and Opinion in America – by Stephen Lendman
On the 10th 9/11 anniversary, a September 9 Washington Post editorial highlights what readers hungry for news and information face. Titled, “Ten years after Sept. 11: The gains outweigh the mistakes,” it says:
“(C)onventional wisdom (suggests) “We will be hit again” to “Osama bin Laden won by provoking us into a decade of overreaction.”
Bin Laden had nothing to do with a US state-sponsored attack. Criminal militarists, in fact, planned permanent war on humanity “overreaction.”
America “made big mistakes over the past decade…But the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon alerted Americans to genuine dangers that only a relative few had previously noticed.”
Americans only are endangered by rogue government elements, not “crazed Arabs” wanting to harm them.
“The overreaction argument holds that al Qaeda goaded the nation to curtail civil liberties and construct a monstrous homeland security apparatus while bungling into adventures abroad that birthed new enemies….”
Clinton’s 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act followed the 1995 false flag Oklahoma City bombing.
Air Force General Benton K Partin (a noted explosives and ordnance expert) revealed that high-grade military explosives, detonators, and proper internal placements heavily damaged the Murrah building and 300 others within a sixteen-block radius.
The 300 + page USA Patriot Act was written well in advance of 9/11 as were plans to establish a “monstrous homeland security apparatus” now in place.
Moreover, “adventures abroad” weren’t “bungl(ed) into.” They were planned months or years in advance, ready to be launched at a chosen moment.
“The United States went to war in Iraq on the basis of faulty intelligence.”
US lies became pretexts for wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other nonbelligerent states. Lies launch all wars, not “faulty intelligence.”
With America at war, “(t)here’s a danger that the nation will, once again, withdraw too soon from the challenges. Al Qaeda (is) a well-organized, capable organization intent on causing America mortal harm.”
America’s wars create problems. They never solve them.
In the 1980s, Al Qaeda was a US creation to fight Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Ronald Reagan called them “freedom fighters.” Today they’re “terrorists.”
“Confronted with those realities, (Bush and Obama) accepted the same strategic truths: the United States must protect itself at home as much as it sensibly can while taking the fight to its enemies overseas….”
America’s had no enemies since Japan surrendered in August 1945, except manufactured ones to justify permanent wars, because the business of America is war.
“Given the scope of the challenge, the country should give itself some credit for what it has achieved.”
America’s “achieve(ments)” can be simply explained. They’re lawless, preemptive, permanent imperial wars on humanity, causing millions of deaths and injuries, as well as vast destruction.
On this 9/11 day or any other, it’s hardly a legacy to exude pride. It’s far worse than shame. It monstrously describes the rotting stench of out-of-control imperialism, ravaging planet earth to achieve hegemony.
“There was in fact no large-scale assault on personal freedoms – no equivalent to the Supreme Court-sanctioned roundup of Japanese Americans, no repeat of the Red Scare infringements on freedom of speech and association.”
A monstrous police state apparatus followed 9/11, including repressive legislation, presidential directives and executive orders, a total surveillance society, and virtual war on democratic freedoms.
Muslims and so-called undocumented immigrants (mainly Latinos) are today’s Japanese!
Latinos are persecuted, detained, then deported for needing work to support their families back home because NAFTA destroyed their livelihoods.
Muslims have been targeted, hunted down, rounded up, held in detention, kept in isolation, denied bail, restricted in their right to counsel, tried on secret evidence, and convicted on bogus charges.
Afterwards they’ve been incarcerated for extra harsh treatment as political prisoners in segregated Communication Management Units (CMUs), in violation of US Prison Bureau regulations and the Supreme Court’s February 2005 Johnson v. California decision.
That’s police state harshness, also unleashed ruthlessly against other designated domestic and foreign targets.
“The Patriot Act enabled a modest, mostly court-supervised expansion of law enforcement vigilance.”
Both Bush and Obama administrations insisted “that the US war (is) not against Islam.
And though it took too long, (political Washington) eventually made clear that torture is not acceptable.”
The editorial’s concluding comment praised those “who have fought and worked to keep the country safe.”
The Patriot Act eroded four Bill of Rights Freedoms, including due process; free expression, association and assembly; legal representation; and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Moreover, state-sponsored Islamophobia rages, and torture is official US policy. It continues out of sight and mind in numerous prison hellholes, including in America.
That’s today’s state of the nation, but it didn’t happen by chance. It was well-planned long in advance and carefully implemented. As a result, in America’s post-911 world, no one anywhere is safe, including at home.
Fundamental international and constitutional laws are in tatters, replaced by out-of-control rampaging to advance America’s imperium.
As a result, the nation never has been less safe or free, and the worst is yet to come.
The Post editorial can be summarized in two words – disgraceful and scandalous.
But what else could be expected from a leading US broadsheet, infamous for publishing managed news, commentaries and opinions, especially about what’s most important.
A September 9 New York Times editorial matched the Post’s reinterpretation of hard truths neither paper will address. Headlined “A New Start for Libya,” it says:
It “would be unrealistic to expect a smooth transition in the early days of Libya’s post-Qaddafi era.” However, “(t)here are also signs of progress on military, diplomatic, economic and political fronts.”
Dozens of previous articles explained reality on the ground in Libya, described as:
— a Nuremberg level crime;
— US/NATO state terror on a ferocious scale;
— NATO called a killing machine;
— initiated was months of planned bloodbath;
— the genocidal rape of Libya;
— NATO’s latest charnel house;
— besieging and terror bombing cities;
— carving up the Libya corpse for profit;
— Libya, Inc.: coming waste, fraud and other forms of plunder on a grand scale; and
— American and Western media cheerleading war and its fallout, inflicting daily crimes and atrocities on a massive still ongoing scale.
Libya pre-March 19 no longer exists. It’s been laid waste by US-led NATO terror bombing and paramilitary killers on the ground.
They were enlisted, armed, funded, and licensed to slaughter, maim, terrorize and loot. They’ve taken full advantage.
As a result, minimally over 100,000 Libyans were killed, multiples that number injured, and many more aggrieved family members affected.
Moreover, war keeps ravaging Libya, inflicting many more daily casualties.
With a population 50 times Libya’s, if America experienced a similar catastrophe, the toll would be five million dead, perhaps another 25 million injured, and multiple numbers of aggrieved family members.
It would be an unprecedented disaster.
Imagine if a foreign journalist or opinion writer called it “a new start.”
The Times said “there is reason to be encouraged,” despite migrant African workers being terrorized and slaughtered, while admitting “(m)uch hard work remains.”
Two late August Times op-eds were just as disgraceful. On August 29, Roger Cohen headlined, “Score One for Intervention.” He compared Libya’s “successful Western invention” with its 1990s Balkan wars and 1999 Serbia/Kosovo terror bombing.
From March 24 – June 10, NATO’s “success” included around 600 aircraft flying about 3,000 sorties. They dropped thousands of tons of ordnance plus hundreds of ground-launched cruise missiles. To that time, the attack’s ferocity was unprecedented, given the destructiveness of modern weapons and technology.
Nearly everything was struck, causing massive destruction and disruption. Included were known or suspected military sites and targets; power plants; factories; transportation; telecommunications facilities; roads, bridges, rail lines, and other infrastructure; fuel depots; schools; a TV station; China’s Belgrade Embassy; hospitals; government offices; churches; historical landmarks; and more in cities and villages throughout the country.
An estimated $100 billion in damage was inflicted. The humanitarian disaster was horrific. Environmental contamination was extensive. Large numbers were killed, injured or displaced. Two million people lost their livelihoods. Many their homes and communities, and for most their futures from what America planned and implemented jointly with NATO.
They replicated it in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
“Score One for Intervention.”
For years, Cohen’s produced numerous pro-war trash pieces like other corporate media scoundrels, selling their souls for a buck.
On August 31, so did Nicholas Kristof in his op-ed titled, “Thank You, America!” claiming fake Tripoli celebrations portray Americans and NATO partners as “heros.”
He, in fact, was there and knows, but lied, calling it “a historic moment….a rare military intervention for humanitarian reasons….a model (for future) intervention(s).”
Ignoring reality on the ground, he claimed “no looting (and) little apparent retaliation,” despite Tripoli streets strewn with corpses and its residents cowering inside homes in fear.
Instead, he hailed “great progress in the last few days. Tripoli now feels reasonably safe….Pro-Americanism now is ubiquitous.”
His contempt for civil values and intellectual dishonesty didn’t even match the level of a B horror movie script.
A previous article said corporate media scoundrels like him prostitute themselves daily, making street whores, pimps, and dope peddlers look respectable by comparison.
They indeed reveal the shocking state of America’s journalism and opinion.
Another article imagined freedom from all managed news and commentaries. Avoid them and make it happen.
Final 9/11 Comments
On September 9, a Washington Blog.com posting headlined:
“High-Level Officials Eager to Spill the Beans About What REALLY Happened on 9/11….But No One in Washington or the Media Want to Hear”
“9/11 Commission Admits it Never Got the Facts….But No One Wants to Hear From the People Who Know What Happened”
9/11 Commission co-chairman Lee Hamilton said:
“I don’t believe for a minute we got everything right,” adding that the commission was set up to fail.
Commission member Bob Kerrey said:
“There are ample reasons to suspect that there may be some alternative to what we outlined in our version,” adding commission members didn’t have access to important information.
Other commission members also expressed frustration because key facts were suppressed, misrepresented, and military officials lied.
Commission member Max Cleland resigned in disgust, calling the inquiry “a national scandal.”
Senior Commission counsel John Farmer said “At some level of the government, at some point in time….there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened,” adding:
“I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described.” A “culture of concealment” describes the spin that became the official story.
All Commission members and various other present and past government officials knew that 9/11 mythology substituted for full disclosure.
To this day, nothing changed as Americans commemorate what’s best described as “The Big Lie of Our Time.”
As a result, the price they keep paying is incalculable.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.