Meet Amber Lyon: Former Reporter Exposes Massive Censorship at CNN

I saw first-hand that these regime claims were lies, and I couldn’t believe CNN was making me put what I knew to be government lies into my reporting.
– Amber Lyon

The Amber Lyon story is just the latest in a series of articles that expose the total Joseph Goebbels like censorship rampant in mainstream media today.  The first one I posted several weeks ago exposed how the NY Times basically just regurgitates whatever government officials tell them, while the other showcased how an NPR reporter covering D.C. had to leave and do her own thing out of frustration.  This is precisely why alternative media sites are taking off.  They provide the only outlets left for genuine journalism.

So back to Amber.  Back in March 2011, CNN sent a four person team to Bahrain to cover the Arab Spring.  Once there, the crew was the subject of extreme intimidation amongst other things, but they were able to record some fantastic footage.  As Glenn Greenwald of the UK’s Guardian writes in his blockbuster article from today:

In the segment, Lyon interviewed activists as they explicitly described their torture at the hands of government forces, while family members recounted their relatives’ abrupt disappearances. She spoke with government officials justifying the imprisonment of activists. And the segment featured harrowing video footage of regime forces shooting unarmed demonstrators, along with the mass arrests of peaceful protesters. In sum, the early 2011 CNN segment on Bahrain presented one of the starkest reports to date of the brutal repression embraced by the US-backed regime.

Despite these accolades, and despite the dangers their own journalists and their sources endured to produce it, CNN International (CNNi) never broadcast the documentary. Even in the face of numerous inquiries and complaints from their own employees inside CNN, it continued to refuse to broadcast the program or even provide any explanation for the decision. To date, this documentary has never aired on CNNi.

Having just returned from Bahrain, Lyon says she “saw first-hand that these regime claims were lies, and I couldn’t believe CNN was making me put what I knew to be government lies into my reporting.”

After Lyon’s crew returned from Bahrain, CNN had no correspondents regularly reporting on the escalating violence. In emails to her producers and executives, Lyon repeatedly asked to return to Bahrain. Her requests were denied, and she was never sent back. She thus resorted to improvising coverage by interviewing activists via Skype in an attempt, she said, “to keep Bahrain in the news”.

In March 2012, Lyon was laid off from CNN as part of an unrelated move by the network to outsource its investigative documentaries.

“At this point,” Lyon said, “I look at those payments as dirty money to stay silent. I got into journalism to expose, not help conceal, wrongdoing, and I’m not willing to keep quiet about this any longer, even if it means I’ll lose those payments.”

Amber Lyons, I salute you.

Please forward this post to everyone you know.  I for one want to live in a country with some real and free press.  Not some CIA propaganda arm that pretends to be a reliable source of news.

Read Greenwald’s excellent article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

Obama’s War on Whistleblowers Accelerates: Science Itself is Now Contraband

The Obama administration is evil.  Sorry, there is no other adjective to describe it at this point.  They know they are corrupt, they embrace their corruption and now they are doing everything possible to silence anyone who dares call them out on it.  The latest case of Obama’s war on whistleblowers relates to how the Scientific Integrity Officer within the Interior Department, Dr. Paul Houser, was attacked when he started raising some scientific and environmental questions.  According to Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones:

When he raised those concerns to then-DOI press secretary Adam Fetcher, Houser says he was told that he should not write anything about them in any electronic correspondence. “He wanted a hard copy, no email,” says Houser, in order to avoid creating any internal correspondence that could be subject to a Freedom of Information Act request. (Fetcher is now the deputy national press secretary for Obama’s reelection campaign.) Houser says his boss, who was out of the office during the initial exchange, also chastised him for emailing other scientists working on Klamath regarding the release. “I was told that the secretary of interior wants to remove the dams, so my actions weren’t helpful,” says Houser.

See how Mr. Fetcher was punished for covering up the truth.  He was promoted!  How about this revelation from Glenn Greenwald’s latest article on a related topic.

Recently disclosed emails revealed that Jim Messina — then-former White House deputy chief of staff, now the Obama campaign manager – deliberately met with lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry at coffee houses rather than the White House when drafting the health care bill, and used his personal rather than official email account to communicate with them, in order to evade record-preservation and transparency obligations).

Wow.  We are in very big trouble.  This is not the time for silence; this is the time for action.  The United States is progressing into a mindset best characterized by the Middle Ages.  Spread this info far and wide.

Here is the Kate Sheppard article.

Here is Glenn Greenwald’s.

In Liberty,
Mike

NY Times Admits: Mainstream News is Basically Censored Propaganda

Important article from the NY Times demonstrating how real journalism covering the criminal political elite in America is basically dead.  Even better, is Glenn Greenwald’s article at Salon slamming the complete joke that is the mainstream media, and he shows us all exactly why alternative media is taking over.  After all, only an incredible 21% of Americans have confidence in television news, a new low according to a recent Gallup poll.

Key quotes from the Greenwald article discussing the NY Times piece (both are worth reading):

A common criticism of establishment journalists entails comparing them to stenographers, on the ground that most of them do little more than mindlessly write down and uncritically repeat what government officials say. But stenography is a noble and important profession: they’re the court-licensed officers who, with astonishing speed and accuracy, transcribe the statements of all witnesses, lawyers and judges in judicial proceedings. If establishment journalists were to replicate actual stenography, it would be an improvement on most of the work they produce.

It is beyond dispute that President Obama and his aides have an extreme, even unprecedented obsession with concealing embarrassing information, controlling the flow of information, and punishing anyone who stands in the way. But, at least theoretically speaking, it is the job of journalists to impede that effort, not to serve and enable it. Agreeing to grant veto power over quotes — whereby officials can literally alter what they actually said, and then have newspapers report the doctored, inaccurate quotes — is about as journalistically subservient and reckless as it gets. It’s not merely stenography: it’s inept stenography. No actual, ethical stenographer would ever agree to that.

Agreeing to grant veto power over quotes — whereby officials can literally alter what they actually said, and then have newspapers report the doctored, inaccurate quotes — is about as journalistically subservient and reckless as it gets. It’s not merely stenography: it’s inept stenography. No actual, ethical stenographer would ever agree to that.

Quote approval is something that publicists and lawyers give to their clients (I promise not to attribute anything to you publicly without your advance consent); in other words, it’s reflective of a relationship between those in a service profession and those who are served. And that explains why establishment journalists provide this service to these political officials: because they serve them as spokespeople, not report on them adversarially.

Full article here.

Leon Panetta Get Your Head Out of the Saudi Princes’ Arse

Glenn Greenwald is one of the best journalists operating in the United States today.  The more I read his stuff, the more I am impressed.  Unlike most automatons out there in the mainstream media, he is able to call out the “red team” vs. “blue team” wrestling match rhetoric for the nonsense it is.  The real battle is the 0.01% oligarchy vs. the rest of humanity.  They use the Republican and Democratic sham to divide and conquer the sheeple on “social” or “emotional” issues that distract the masses from the real issues.

In his latest piece, Greenwald blasts the obvious hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy, particularly related to how our politicians have their heads up the asses of Saudi royalty.  They are somehow great partners in the war on terror despite 15 of 19 of the 9/11 hijackers being Saudis.  How soon we forget…

This line from our Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, is my favorite:

The president wanted me to express his personal regrets at not being able to be here, but wanted all of us in this delegation to convey to you not only our sorrow for your loss, but also our best wishes to you in your new position and to reaffirm the great relationship and partnership that the United States has with the great nation of Saudi Arabia.”

“The great nation of Saudi Arabia.”  WTF is great about Saudi Arabia?  A handful of decadent prices own this giant sandbox, which would be the backwater of planet earth and the entire solar system if not for billions of barrels of oil.  The people are paid off and repressed and that’s the men.  The women aren’t’ allowed to drive, and they require a male guardian’s permission to travel abroad, to undergo some types of medical surgery and to work in certain jobs.  Panetta, if you like Saudi Arabia so much why don’t you stay there and leave us alone.

Read Greenwald’s piece here.

The United States of Drones

The following article from the UK’s Telegraph is a perfect follow up to the fantastic piece by Glenn Greenwald about how much pleasure Obama gets from murdering people with a joystick from halfway across the world using drones that I posted on Tuesday.  This expansion of drone usage is extraordinarily disturbing, not only from a moral point of view in that you are desensitizing killing in such a way that it become like a video game, but also from the karmic point of view in that what comes around goes around.  Let’s not forget 30,000 drones are planned to enter U.S. airspace by 2020 (thanks Congress, you can’t pass a budget, but when it comes to spying on and potentially murdering your own people there’s no hold up).  Do you really think these will stay unarmed?

Key quotes:
President Obama has reportedly allowed his CIA chief to deepen the connection between Special Forces and secret intelligence, a potentially unconstitutional move because it can mean that military operations are no longer answerable to Congress. More important still, the CIA also seems to mastermind and direct the drone strikes which have suddenly become the central element of US (and therefore British) military strategy.

Second, US soldiers and airmen are not placed in harm’s way. This is very important in a democracy. In America, the killing of a dozen military personnel is a political event. The death of a dozen Afghan or Pakistani villagers in a remote part of what used to be called the north‑west frontier does not register, unless a US military spokesmen labels them “militants”, in which case it becomes a victory.

We need a serious public debate on drones. They are still in their infancy, but have already changed the nature of warfare. The new technology points the way, within just a few decades, to a battlefield where soldiers never die or even risk their lives, and only alleged enemies of the state, their family members, and civilians die in combat – a world straight out of the mouse’s tale in Alice in Wonderland: “ ’I’ll be judge, I’ll be jury’, said cunning old Fury. ‘I’ll try the whole cause and condemn you to death.’ ” Justice as dealt out by drones cannot be reconciled with the rule of law which we say we wish to defend.

The article also points out that more than two thirds of Pakistanis now consider the United States an enemy.  I suppose they must be getting increasingly jealous of our freedoms.  My message…We the People of the United States don’t like our government much either.

Full article here.

Barack O’Romney

Great article here from Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com, one of the guys that has been leading the charge on the “left” to call out Obama and the two party system for the sham it is.  Please pass this along to any brain dead Obama sheep that you may know…

Key quotes:
Miller devotes himself to debunking one of the worst myths in Washington, propagated out of self-interest by conservatives and progressives alike: namely, that there is a vast and radical difference between the parties on most key issues and that bipartisanship is so tragically scarce. In the foreign policy context which is his expertise, Miller explains that — despite campaign rhetoric designed to exaggerate (or even invent) differences in order to motivate base voters — the reality is exactly the opposite:

Earlier today, I wrote about one specific revelation from the article that I most wanted to highlight — the way in which Obama, in order to conceal the civilian casualties he causes and justify the raining down of death he orders, has re-defined “militant” to mean “all military-age males in a strike zone” – but there are numerous other revealing passages in this article meriting attention.

No late-night wrestling with conscience for this Nobel Peace laureate. Even his most radical decision — ordering an American citizen assassinated without a whiff of due process or transparency — is “easy” for him, and he’s so very “comfortable” with ordering people killed, say his aides who believe this to be a compliment.

As I’ve written about many times before, Obama — by leading blind-partisan Democrats and progressives to cheer for these policies rather than denounce them — has converted what were just recently highly divisive and controversial right-wing Assaults on Our Values into fully entrenched bipartisan consensus. But worse than that, he has put a prettier and more palatable face on extremely ugly policies.

Just to underscore the level of right-wing extremism which Obama has normalized, consider his deceitful re-definition of the term “militant” to encompass ”all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants,” which I wrote about earlier today.

And it’s all justified by this definitively warped premise: we have to keep doing things we know will result in large-scale civilian deaths in order to stop the Terrorists, who are really terrible because they keep killing civilians.

Full article here.