Tuesday, January 25, 2011

NPR Black Sites ***Updated***

UPDATED below [1-26-11]

Just checking in on the torture and authoritarian-watch clock at NPR.

Remember Gulet Mohamed - that young US citizen held, probably tortured, illegally prevented from travelling, and grilled and harassed by the FBI? A week ago I posted on NPR's silence regarding his treatment. Since then, the ACLU sued to get Mohamed off the no-fly list and succeeded in getting him home. Even the Washington Post covered his return. How's NPR doing with on-air coverage? Still nothing, not a word...

And what about Bradley Manning, the young army private - convicted of no crime - who is being held in conditions that are so atrocious that even Amnesty International has weighed in on his case. NPR's on-air coverage? Absolutely nothing about his ill treatment - zilch.

As if to prove that it is nothing but a pro-torture mouthpiece for the new, enhanced Yes We Can Security States of America, NPR finally gets around to covering Gulet Mohamed by covering up his torture, and providing FBI disinformation as a bonus! On Wednesday ME [1-26-11] Jamie Tarabay discusses Gulet Mohamed's situation of being on the no-fly zone - but the fact that he was tortured by the Kuwaitis (with likely US approval) and then grilled relentlessly by the FBI is NEVER mentioned! Tarabay also states as fact that the numbers on Big Brother's no-fly list are "smaller than you think." She's speaking with FBI propagandist, Timothy Healy, director of its Torture Screaming Center Terrorist Screening Center :
Tarbay: "The actual number of people on the no-fly list isn't as high as you might think."
Healy: "About ten thousand. And then the U.S. citizens on the no-fly list is even much smaller, between 500 and 1,000."
Several commenters at the NPR site noted that there are mainstream news reports that show these numbers are probably off by a factor of about 50!


Porter Melmoth said...

There is no reason to go to NPR for Bradley manning news or anything else. Just go to DN! or firedoglake.

NPR is for the upper muddle class who wish to remain oblivious while posing as caring, sharing types, and for neocon/corporatists to utilize for their aggressive agendas.

I hate to sound so dualistic about this issue, but there you are.

Channel flipping on TV after the State of the Onion, I heard references to Obama's speech as 'Reaganistic' (as a compliment) on at least three of the networks, PBS included (Shields, no less). Everyone after and including Reagan is a Corporatist first, and American second. At least it's a recognizable trait.

Patrick Lynch said...

Agree about Firedoglake. There is a great diary there about how I felt not watching or listening to the STFU address aka the State of the Union.


Anonymous said...

You couldn't pay me enough to listen to any more BS from Obama.

He's a total tool of the corporate elites.

geoff said...

He's a total tool of the corporate elites.

Yeah, still I found myself grasping for straws. If he can play the financiers over the oil men, then at least maybe the oil men will be taken down a notch? The budget proposals he put forward are making oil men mad...so that's something...

Anonymous said...

With Obama (as with all con artists), appearances can be very deceiving.

At the same time he was talking about "fat cat bankers" and criticizing their lavish bonuses, he was handing them hundreds of billions in direct aid and trillions in interest free loans from the Fed with no strings attached.

Talk is cheap. I'll believe the cuts in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry when I see them.

Until then it's just more BS from a Chicago 3 card Monte player.

Even when Obama seems to be achieving something for ordinary Americans, you always gotta wonder what he traded away to get what little he got.

And while he is talking about cuts to fossil fuel, he is pushing for MORE subsidies to the nuclear industry (if you want to cut CO2, investing billions in nuclear is the LEAST cost effective way of doing it)

geoff said...

My dear mother still holds some small hope for Obama - when I told her I've come to regard him as just another Cheney, she said, "I'm not ready to go there yet." I'm pretty much there.


This AM on Morning Edition:

"Sudan Wants Improved Relations With U.S."

Bizarre that NPR ignores the fact, that less than 24-hours ago, Yemen was imprisoning and torturing an innocent US citizen, Gulet Mohamed. Performed at apparent the request of the US government (FBI agents participated in his interrogation).

"The U.S. role in Gulet Mohamed's detention
By Glenn Greenwald

I guess since NPR whitewashes the US Government's murder and torture of hundreds of innocent suspects (latter released) both at Gitmo and other sites, it can be expected that "outsourced torture" by the US government would be ignored.

When Iran tortures NPR joins the Neocons in war-mongering, when the US and it's allies do worse, NPR is a memory-hole.



Re: President Obama.

I thought I voted for a liberal and I'm getting Clinton. Pro-corporate sell-out that could care less about the Party or the people who elected him.

Anonymous said...

RE: subsidies for fossil fuel industry.

The largest subsidy they get (by far) is actually a hidden one: they pay ZERO for the release of carbon dioxide and lots of other crap (like mercury) into the atmosphere.

It's like someone who gets paid to clean your house and craps all over the place inside and neither cleans it up nor pays a penny to have someone else do it.

It's important to eliminate the direct subsidies to the fossil fuel industry so that renewables become more competitive, but what we REALLY need is a CARBON TAX on the producers with the proceeds distributed to the public and invested in energy efficiency and non-carbon sources of energy (as Climate Scientist James Hansen has proposed), NOT this Crap and Trade stuff (which Obama could not even manage to get passed), which is so full of loopholes that a supertanker could navigate through it.
Even the guys who invented Cap and Trade have expressed doubts that it would work to reduce CO2 emissions on a worldwide scale needed to stop or even significantly reduce climate change.

Crap and Trade is just another "free-market" scheme dreamed up by Wall Street to get rich off the public. It's just another Ponzi scheme like the one we just witnessed with mortgage derivatives speculation that will leave emissions essentially unchanged but a lot of speculators very rich -- and future generations that much poorer.

miranda said...

I agree with you, geoff. Disappointing as Obama is, I'm not ready to give up altogether. There have been achievements, though they seem lost in the clamor for corpo/millionaire tax cuts, endless imperial wars, slaughter of civilians, Wall St./corporate giveaways and other horrors.

I thought this interview in the Nation with ousted Sen. Russ Feingold was illuminating regarding the impulse to throw out Obama. (Sorry, my hyperlink efforts were unuccessful.)


Porter Melmoth said...

Lo and behold, Chris Hedges was allowed onto ME this morn, but only on the pretense that he’s a critic of the left, but FROM FURTHER LEFT. That is, it’s OK to have a weirdo crackpot on if he’s willing to slam the mainstream lefties (Hedges of course is a model of measured rationalism and sanity). Inskreep, with calculated best-behavior, lets Hedges talk, expecting him to do Neocon-level work in putting liberals in their place for tender NPR ears. Chris does not take the bait that he knows is being dangled before him. For the record, he denies being Marxist/Communist/Anti-Capitalist, but goes on to target essential problems in Obama’s speech (e.g. obedience to Wall St., etc.).

It goes without saying that NPR is no decent venue for Chris to really be allowed to speak his mind, but I imagine he agreed to an NPR interview so as to, at the very least, introduce certain notions to NPR listeners. It was certainly a much more cogent analysis of the SOTU than NPR’s little smuggy ‘fact check’ of the speech the day before - typically laughable. He also has a book to market, but he knows what that circus is all about. The important thing is that he got to deliver a mini-critique, and he did it with a finesse that avoided any planned NPR pitfalls, so that any strategy cooked up by Neocon Publicity Radio would naturally backfire. In short, to any listeners who are still critical thinkers, Chris’ message got through, loud and clear. Thank you, NPR, for facilitating.

Porter Melmoth said...

Harry Belafonte on Obama, superbly eloquent:


Anonymous said...

We have all heard this "You must make me do it" story about FDR many times before.

Frankly, it is becoming cliche.

But despite what he may have siad (I have doubts that the conversation even happened) FDR did not need to be prodded to do the things he did.

Reminded, perhaps, but not prodded.

FDR was not in the pcoket of the bankers and others the way Obama is. In fact, FDR made no bones about the fact that he was against the "vultures" in our society who were out to benefit at the expense of ordinary workers and others.

While Obama has at times SAID things that indicate a similar belief, what he has DONE has proved otherwise.

Look, we elected this guy to work for US.

He NEVER would have gotten elected without the votes of MILLIONS of ordinary Americans who thought they were voting for someone who would look out for THEM.

The idea that we have to now FORCE this guy to do the job that he was CLEARLY elected to do is absurd.

And quite frankly, despite the fact that I was fooled, I don't think Obama ever had any intention of being the champion of ordinary Americans.

This guy left his meager uprbringing behind LONG ago.

He's basically another spoiled ivy league brat who believes he is ENTITLED to everything he has -- and to another term.

Not only does he not consider the people who elected him as a threat. He considers them to be a joke.

Obama does not fear us because he beleives we have no other choice than to re-elect him. His attitude is that "Ha, you guys have no other choice than to re-elect me. What are you going to do? Vote for palin?

You can see this attitude in the condescending way he (or at least his staff) refers to progressives: "retarded", "ungrateful", "ought to be drug tested" etc.

Obama sees no threat not because people are not protesting his policies, but because he knows that the one who controls the money controls the election. That's why he is far more interested in (and worried about) making the bankers happy than he is about those protesting his policies.