Thursday, September 29, 2011

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed and encouraged.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Police Brutality Shielded by NPR

Anthony Bologna - NYPD thug

(Update below)
As readers have commented in the Q-Tips section below, NPR is following the rest of the police state media in offering ZERO on-air coverage of the Occupy Wall Street actions in NYC that were launched on September 17, 2011.  This is especially galling now that the police have resorted to basic thuggery against peaceful protesters and have targeted the relatively small and spirited demonstrators with dozens of frivolous arrests.

Activists have identified one of the chief perpetrators of police violence - Anthony Bologna (see graphic above) - and since the NYPD website gives the places where citizens can demand that action be taken against this criminal in uniform, I thought I'd post it here for anyone wanting to email, mail or call:
"The IAB Command Center office is open for complaint, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A complaint may also be called in by phone to (212) 741-8401, by E-Mail to, or By postal mail to Occupant, P.O. Box 1001, New York 10014; to the Internal Affairs Bureau, located at 315 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013 or in person at any Police Department facility." 
FAIR asks the obvious question of how the media would cover Tea Party extremists in a similar scenario, but - regarding NPR - one doesn't have to wonder: just take a look at some of the enhanced promotions that NPR has given to them.

Given the assault on many of our constitutional liberties and the rise of paramilitary tactics by police forces around the country when confronting dissent, one would think that liberals and progressives would be calling for a boycott of NPR for its near complete lack of investigative work on any abuses of power by US police, military, or corporate forces.  Unfortunately, as in the past, the opposite seems to be the case with individuals and organizations like Free Press reacting to proposed funding cuts to NPR with this kind of misinformation that I recently received in an email:

"Taking down NPR and PBS has been a decades-long goal of political extremists in Washington who are threatened by public media’s brand of facts-based investigative reporting." [my emphasis added] 
Josh Stearns
Associate Program Director
Free Press Action Fund 

If one wants to make the case for preventing government spending cuts to NPR because it represents a victory for the take-no-prisoners brown shirts of the right that is one thing, but to claim that NPR offers anything resembling "facts-based reporting" is such delusional thinking that it would be funny if the reality weren't so downright depressing.

Update, September 28 - NPR's newest tool Ombudsman weighs in on NPR's censorship.  He decides it's not a problem...surprise!
"As ombudsman, I don't weigh in on daily news judgment unless its totally egregious or part of a long term trend, and this one is neither. But the complaints have validity, too."

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed and encouraged.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

NPR Covers(up) Torture...Again

When hard evidence of the criminality of US officials in torturing, disappearing, and torturing to death human beings falls into the hands of the so-called journalists at NPR, you can be certain that every effort will be made to obscure (or completely ignore) the laws that were broken, the horrors that were committed, and the guilt of US officials.

Two recent stories highlight NPR's longstanding commitment to the enabling of US torture policy. In the first, a civil lawsuit in New York State exposes details of the CIA's longstanding rendition/torture program.   The second story - which is creating headlines and investigations in the UK - involves the discovery of documents in Libya's Intelligence and Foreign Ministry offices which clearly show that the CIA was sending kidnapped suspects to Libya to be tortured.

The first story is dispensed with on ATC on September 1, and features NPR's intellectual heavyweight, Robert Siegel interviewing WaPo reporter, Peter Finn about the "details."  There is a lot of discussion about the millions spent on the CIA's rendition (kidnapping) flights and the focus of the story is Siegel's amazement that the US government even allowed this case to come to light: 
(Siegel) "Now, the mystery in all this is the absence of mystery. You quote the saying that he kept on waiting for the government to step into this case. Don't they usually do that, and why didn't they do it in this case?"
What is completely absent is any indication that kidnapping people and flying them around the world to be tortured and disappeared is completely illegal (and morally reprehensible). 

The second, more recent story - coming out of Libya - reveals documented evidence that the CIA flagrantly violated the US Convention Against Torture.  On Weekend Edition Sunday, September 4, NPR runs cover for the US/CIA.  There is no gray area in the law - unless one supports the the US being able to torture suspects: 
"It shall be the policy of the United States not to expel, extradite, or otherwise effect the involuntary return of any person to a country in which there are substantial grounds for believing the person would be in danger of being subjected to torture, regardless of whether the person is physically present in the United States."
NPR is well aware of  Libya's systemic use of torture: 
(Melissa Block on September 1) "Under Moammar Gadhafi's rule, tens of thousands of people disappeared into prisons. According to human rights groups, the Libyan state security apparatus tortured detainees and held them without due process."
If it's common knowledge that Libya, under Gadhafi, tortured prisoners, that means there are "substantial grounds" for believing anyone handed over to Libya then would be tortured, and therefore makes the US and CIA officials guilty of violating both US and international law, right?  Not on NPR.  It's worth reprinting Sunday's interchange between Cornish and coup-cozy Beaubien:  
Cornish: "And, of course, we're seeing reports about files uncovered in the Interior Ministry and the Foreign Ministry." 
Beaubien: "Yes, that's right. And actually Human Rights Watch got a hold of an entire batch of documents....And these documents show that clearly, you know, from what was in these documents, apparently the CIA was using Libya as a place of rendition; to move the suspects in, have them interrogated in Libya." 
Cornish: "And, of course, at this point these documents have not been authenticated. But the idea that the - that even the idea that the U.S. might be having suspects moved to this country with the traditional - with a tradition of brutal questioning is something that's raising a lot of eyebrows
Beaubien: "Yeah. And I should add that in these documents it does explicitly say - these communications between the CIA and the Gadhafi regime, it does say that Libya, you must respect the human rights of these people. So I should add that. But it certainly does raise questions about who the U.S. and the British intelligence services were using to interrogate terror suspects in (t)his global war on terror."
How's that for hedging, qualifying, minimizing, and excusing? If torture weren't such a perverted, disgusting, pornographic, and pathological practice, then Beaubien's straight-faced assertions that the CIA-linked document "does explicitly does say...'you must respect the human rights of these people'" would be laughable naivete, instead of what it is: an intentional and ethically bankrupt attempt to obscure the fact that the US and CIA willingly participate in the torture of human beings.