Sunday, June 24, 2007

Media News Roundup- Sunday June 17th to Sat June 23rd

Keeping an eye on the failing Fourth Estate and looking for some TRUTH in journalism.

Media under reports CIA release of documents pertaining to illegal operations of the past few decades. News blackout on report by Global Policy Forum highlighting U.S. role in war-torn Iraq. Bright spot of the week: In the midst of simplistic media readings of the issues relating to the recent Palestinian internecine conflict, Adam Entous at Reuters provides some illuminating context.

Media Under reports CIA Release of Documents Pertaining to Illegal Operations of the Past Few Decades

One would think that in this sensationalist driven news culture--where Paris Hilton and missing blond women are considered "lead stories"--that at the least something as drama filled as espionage would make the cut. Tragically, that doesn't seem to be case. For when the CIA this past week stated it would soon declassify some 700 pages of previously heavily guarded secrets relating to illegal operations in its past, the major news outlets carried the story--but only briefly, and with little depth. Anyone interested would have to read local print journals or foreign publications to catch more than a passing mention. From DemocracyNow:

[T]he CIA is preparing to declassify hundreds of documents that detail some if its most infamous and illegal operations. The records are believed to cover the period from the 1950s to the 1970s. They include details on domestic spying, infiltrating leftist groups, drug tests on US citizens and assassination plots against foreign leaders. In advance of the release, the National Security Archive has published a new set of documents revealing the Ford administration was concerned about the documents’ eventual disclosure. In a memo to Ford, then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said a 1974 article by the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on the CIA’s infiltration of anti-war groups was “just the tip of the iceberg.” Kissinger also warned that “blood will flow” if several other operations were exposed, including the Kennedy administration’s attempts to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro. Kissinger says former Attorney General Robert Kennedy personally managed the assassination plot. Announcing the release on Thursday, CIA Director Michael Hayden said: “Most of it is unflattering, but it is CIA’s history."

News Blackout on Global Policy Forum Report Detailing U.S. Role in Iraq

This past week the independent Global Policy Forum released a 117-page report titled "War and Occupation in Iraq." Executive Director James Paul summed up the purpose of the report:

While most people focus on the sectarian bloodshed, our report highlights the enormous violence of the occupation forces. There is an increasing air war that results in heavy casualties as well as the daily killing of civilians at checkpoints, during house searches, by snipers, and by ground bombardment. Nearly a million Iraqis have died due to the effects of the occupation and 4 million have fled from their homes. A dozen cities have been destroyed by U.S. attacks.
While the report was well received overseas and throughout the blogosphere, it remained almost invisible to the mainstream news media--which seems unwilling to hold the U.S. responsible for its central role in the chaos that is Iraq.

Bright Spot of the Week

Entous of Reuters Provides Context on Palestinian Conflict

In the midst of simplistic media readings of the issues relating to the recent Palestinian internecine conflict, Adam Entous at Reuters provides some illuminating context, most notably the role of the U.S. and Israel, sorely lacking in most depictions.

After Gaza, Some Question Who was Overthrowing Whom

Mon Jun 18, 2007
By Adam Entous

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The U.S. government began to lay the ground for President Mahmoud Abbas to dismiss the Hamas-led Palestinian government at least a year before the Islamist group's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip last week.

Western, Israeli and Palestinian official sources said over the weekend that, far from being an ad hoc response to Hamas's offensive, Abbas's declaration of a state of emergency and his replacement of a Hamas prime minister with Western favourite Salam Fayyad marked the culmination of months of backroom deliberations, planning and U.S. prodding.

In the end, pressure on Abbas to act against Hamas was as great -- if not greater -- from within his own Fatah faction as from Washington, which is seeking to play down its own role.

Only the triggering event, resulting in total Hamas control of the Gaza Strip, can be said to have come as a nasty surprise to the Americans. It left in tatters plans by U.S. and Arab allies to build up Abbas's own forces in Gaza against Hamas.

Many Western officials and analysts see the offensive as a pre-emptive strike by Hamas before Washington could build up Fatah. Hamas says it made its move against a U.S.-backed "coup".

for full article:


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