Sunday, November 5

White House Assaults Media Foes on Way to Knocking Over Voting Booths

The Bush administration cites its bogus “war on terrorism” as justification for ramping up its National Security State, which by 2005 included an estimated 14 million new official secrets each year—a four-fold increase since those heady days of Oval Office blow jobs and blue stained dresses way back in 1995.

If access to timely information is essential for a nominal democracy, the elevated post-9/11 secrecy is a dark indicator of the business-friendly White House’s success in realizing Italian dictator Bernito Mussolini’s dream of a corporate-styled fascist Police State.

In its relentless war against the American public’s right to know, the neo-con White House recently scored one victory while positioning itself to take on those pesky nay-saying bloggers with the help of the Pentagon, CIA and Google.

Air America “Armstronged” Right

An internal ABC Radio Network memo dated 25 October 2006 obtained by Media Matters for America revealed that roughly 100 ABC advertisers—to include “Bank of America, Exxon Mobil, Federal Express, General Electric, McDonald's, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and the U.S. Navy—insist that their commercials be blacked out on Air America Radio affiliates.”

Predictably struggling in an industry awash with right-wing talk hosts and money, Air America filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy last month (Friday, the 13th), a development market analysts would have tracked for Fortune 500 companies cited in the memo. Withholding advertising dollars will produce, of course, its intended censoring effect on radio content at a time commercial radio is experiencing declining listeners, revenues (and here) greater competition from subscription-supported satellite radio.

Air America’s front office also apparently saw the memo and the writing on the wall and recently signaled its willingness to play ball by Corporate Amerika’s rules. According to The Hill (1 November), a newsletter that tracks congress, the network will announce after midterm elections that conservative African-American radio and TV host/journalist Armstrong Williams will join Air America Radio’s stable of talk show hosts.

In January 2005, Williams, 46, a former aide to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, was discovered to be a White House policy shill receiving $240,000 through the US Department of Education to publicly advocate—as objective news— the besieged No Child Left Behind education bill. Although a Government Accountability Office probe determined Williams’ taxpayer-funded contract violated the ban on “covert propaganda” the U.S. Justice Department did not investigate.

Nor did DoJ investigate corporate conspiracy, racketeering and extortion to undermine Air America Radio’s progressive mission. Air America management’s capitulation should augur an impending exodus, either voluntary or forced, by liberal talk show hosts like Al Franken, Thom Hartman et al.

Pentagon and CIA Chokehold Bloggers

In a related development of free-speech suppression and taxpayer-supported propaganda, the Pentagon appropriately announced on Halloween (31 October) it was launching a “raid response” multimedia public relations team to counter media coverage Defense Secretary Rumseld and his lackeys deem inaccurate or, worse, offensive.

In spinning this story for public dissemination, Pentagon spokesman Eric Ruff poured moonshine on a gaggle of “reporters” covering the announcement when he suggested their keen sense for a story would be a target of their public relations news scrubbing team. According to the UPI News Service

Many of the additional staff at the Pentagon Public Affairs Office will be dedicated to booking television news appearances for DOD officials and their representatives, and to trying to convince reporters and newspapers to cover the stories that the Pentagon wants to see more of.

Like that’s really a problem Pentagon public relations. Of course, you recall the investigative prowess of those journalistic bloodhounds of mainstream newspapers and “television news” in the run-up to the Iraq War. They were on point ferreting out all that partisan distortions promulgated by the Pentagon’s Office of Speical Plans (OSP) about Saddam’s WMD’s and mushroom clouds on the morning horizon.

Rummy's real concern instead is “citizen journalism,” a post-9/11 development in news reporting after it became painfully obvious mainstream media rewrote reporters’ job descriptions to be scribes for the Bush administration. Again, the UPI:

Others will be dedicated to monitoring the Internet, creating podcasts and responding to reports on blogs, negative stories and terrorist propaganda.

The Pentagon press office in the last few weeks has also inaugurated a new blog on its Web site defenselink.mil to respond immediately to news reports it objects to.

Like me, I wager Bush- bashing bloggers at Blogger.com, Google’s free blogging service, also have received unusually literate emails pointing out flawed thinking on the Iraq War and the administration’s Official 9/11 Story. My suspicions about Agent Jones' latest e-missive were partially confirmed October 26 when ex-CIA intelligence case officer Richard Steele, recently implicating Dick Cheney in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, told radio talk show host Alex Jones and listeners that Google representatives informed him “that the company is ‘in bed with’ the intelligence agency and the U.S. government.”

"I think that Google has made a very important strategic mistake in dealing with the secret elements of the U.S. government - that is a huge mistake and I'm hoping they'll work their way out of it and basically cut that relationship off," said Steele, an “acknowledged expert on computer and information vulnerabilities.”

Okay, Blogger.com techies, since I’m now onto to you, stop fudging with my posts and website. And turn off that word verification torture trick you have forced on me in order to save and publish posts. You know who you are.

These continuing preemptive neo-con assaults on constitutionally-protected speech and the right to know reveal no eleventh hour desperation of career criminals at all concerned about the Democrats’ projected reclamation of congress on November 7. Instead, they appear to be part of a well-devised strategy by confident thugs that wholesale election theft again will ensure their grubby hands remain on Washington’s power levers after Tuesday.

With pre-election polls showing voters’ clear preference for Democrat over GOP congressional candidates, what other strategy could the evil genius Karl Rove have had in mind last month when, touting his own “research,” he reported “I’m confident we are going to keep the Senate; I’m confident were are going to keep the House.”

Vintage Remix: Your Right Not to Know How Government Botched Katrina Relief

While a September 2005 CNN/USA Today poll revealed 70% of American adults surveyed favored appointment of a bipartisan congressional panel to investigate what went wrong in the government’s emergency response to Hurricane Katrina, a U.S. Senate measure failed that month along party lines—54 Republicans voted against with 44 Demos (and one Independent) in favor—to garner the two-thirds majority needed to appoint a panel.




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