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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oil is Motivation for War; The War You Don't See; Fox 'News' Lies About Climate Change; WikiLeaks is GOOD; Tax Cuts for the Rich Kill Jobs; Ralph Nader; Cheney the Criminal; more

- Oil or Terrorism: Which Motivates U.S. Policy More? The protection of some of the world’s most virulent authoritarian regimes thus became integral to maintaining Anglo-U.S. geopolitical control of the world’s strategic hydrocarbon energy reserves. Our governments have willingly paid a high price for this access – the price of national security.

- FOXLEAKS: Fox Boss Ordered Staff to Cast Doubt On Climate Science In the midst of global climate change talks last December, a top Fox News official sent an email questioning the "veracity of climate change data" and ordering the network's journalists to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question."

The directive, sent by Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, was issued less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was "on track to be the warmest [decade] on record."

- Majority of One by Ralph Nader On Friday, December 10, 2010, Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent Socialist, of Vermont,  tore the covers off an oligarchic driven Congress and a concessionary President with eight-and-a-half hours of non-stop presentations of facts and figures and a plea for fairness and justice.

Obama has frittered away his comfortable majority in Congress on many accounts for two years. And millions of people and their children will be paying the bill for his failure to fight for them.

- Journalists Begin, Finally, to Stand Up in Defense of WikiLeaks and Freedom of Information While most US journalists have been slow to defend WikiLeaks-and some have been openly critical of the website's distribution of leaked US diplomatic cables-their Australian peers are pushing back against attempts to constrain freedom of information and the press.

- Nigeria Mulls $250 Million Deal to Drop Cheney Charges Nigeria has negotiated a 250 million dollar settlement deal that would see it drop charges against US ex-vice president Dick Cheney and others over a bribery scandal, an official said Tuesday.

- ...And Justice For Few Poor defendants on death row, immigrants in unfair deportation proceedings, torture victims, domestic violence survivors and victims of racial discrimination - all these groups are consistently being denied access to justice while those responsible for the abuses are protected, according to a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union.

- Tax Cuts Create Jobs? Prove It ...the period between 2001 and 2004, when George W. Bush pushed through a series of tax cuts for investors and corporations in the name of creating jobs, actually saw some of the weakest job creation rates on record following a recession.

- Who is Better on Taxes, Republicans or Democrats? Democrats, Clearly A simple chart explains why.

- The Republicans' Fatal Misreading of FDR -- and How It Would Worsen The Depression It's almost forgotten now, but FDR ran for election promising a balanced budget and big spending cuts. By the time he assumed the Presidency, however, public protests against the economic collapse were so huge that he was forced to change course and launch his public spending push. The result? Unemployment began to slide down from its 25 per cent peak.
But then, in 1936, FDR wobbled. He listened to [Republicans] and slashed spending. Unemployment rose again - producing the spike in unemployment that [Republicans] now perversely cite as evidence that the New Deal didn't work. But the reality stands. When FDR spent, unemployment fell. When FDR cut back, unemployment rose.

Pilger: Wikileaks is Necessary 'Revolution in Journalism'
WikiLeaks, Web to Revolutionize Reporting, says Journalist and Filmmaker John Pilger
Published on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 by Reuters
by Mike Collett-White

LONDON - Revelations on the WikiLeaks website which have enraged governments around the world should force the traditional media to rely less on official sources, award-winning journalist John Pilger said.
[In an interview to discuss his film "The War You Don't See," the veteran Australian reporter, John Pilger, told Reuters the internet, and more specifically WikiLeaks, would bring about a "revolution" in journalism which too often failed to do its job properly.]In an interview to discuss his film "The War You Don't See," the veteran Australian reporter, John Pilger, told Reuters the internet, and more specifically WikiLeaks, would bring about a "revolution" in journalism which too often failed to do its job properly.
In an interview to discuss his film "The War You Don't See," the veteran Australian reporter told Reuters the internet, and more specifically WikiLeaks, would bring about a "revolution" in journalism which too often failed to do its job properly.

One reason the media did not challenge the U.S. and British governments' justification for going to war in Iraq in 2003, later shown to be misplaced, was their eagerness to believe the official version of events, Pilger argued.

He said the same was true of television coverage of the Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, when British broadcasters appeared willing only to use Israeli video rather than trawling the internet for alternative footage.

"That mindset that only authority can really determine the 'truth' on the news, that's a form of embedding that really now has to change," said Pilger, who has covered conflicts in Vietnam and Cambodia, written books and made several acclaimed documentaries.
"There's no question about the pressure on it to change coming from the internet and coming from WikiLeaks -- it will change," he added in the interview ahead of Tuesday evening's broadcast of his new film.

"That is the canker in all of this, it's the compulsion to quote, not necessarily believing the authority source. But then once you quote it and you put it out on the wires or you broadcast it, it takes on a sort of mantle of fact and that's where the whole teaching of journalism is wrong.

"Authority has its place, but the skepticism about authority must be ingrained in people."
In The War You Don't See, Pilger interviews leading broadcast journalists including Dan Rather and Rageh Omaar, who agree that journalists failed in their basic duties during the build-up to the Iraq conflict.

It seeks to highlight how British television reporters based in London were quick to accept what they were being told by officials in Westminster, which did not necessarily reflect what was happening on the ground in Iraq.


The film shows how independent journalists occasionally provided evidence that countered the official version, while WikiLeaks was a relatively new source of sometimes disturbing information with the potential to embarrass the authorities.

The documentary opens with extended clips from classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff. WikiLeaks released the footage in April.

Pilger also interviews WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, remanded in custody in Britain last week after Sweden issued a European arrest warrant.

Assange jokes that since it is officially wrong to retain information and to destroy it, his only choice was to publish.

Pilger, one of several prominent figures who offered a surety to secure bail for Assange, praised the recent publication of secret U.S. embassy documents which have attracted global media coverage.

"I think the WikiLeaks disclosures have been like watching a great parade of wonderful scoops," Pilger said in the interview.

"(It is) basic rich journalism that is telling people how the world works. It's not just telling them what a prime minister said. It's not framing it in how governments or other vested interests want us to think about something.

"It's giving us the story in their words. I think it's a revolution in journalism."
The War You Don't see is aired on ITV on Tuesday evening and is being screened at select theatres across Britain.