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Octafish

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 45,091

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LBJ reversed JFK in Africa



From helping ensure democracy took a foothold -- basic for self-determination, justice and everything else -- LBJ returned back to the Dulles Brothers/BFEE Pro-Colonialist Model.

Details in Richard D. Mahoney's book:

No conviction was more basic to JFK's foreign policy than his belif that America had to recognise the historic sweepnof the Third World nationalism. It was in Africa, one of the key crisis areas of the early 1960's that Kennedy used the full powers of his presidency to influence the course of self-determination The story of his African odyssey, told here for the first time is set forth in penetrating detail by Richard Mahoney. T his is a compelling account of how foreign policy is made at the highest level and will influence any future judgement of the quality of JFK's statesmanship in the Third World. The narrative is drawn from the raw materials of Kennedy's diplomacy, secret telephone conversations, which no scholar has used before the declassified minutes of white house meetings, state dpt memoranda, and CIA and embassy cable traffic. From these sources, as well as more than 200 interviews with the principles involved Mahoney reconstructs the full complexity of JFK"s response to the momentous events of those years.

http://www.amazon.com/JFK-Ordeal-Richard-D-Mahoney/dp/0195033418?tag=viglink20776-20

Do you ever get the feeling you're being watched?

It makes getting smeared understandable.

ETA: As for my sources, go through my journals on DU3 or DU2 you will find what's needed to indict the warmongers and banksters who make a killing off wars without end for profits without cease.

Court: NSA Spying May Continue Even if Congress Lets Authority Expire

The Persistence of Liberty after Salvador Dali



Court: NSA Spying May Continue Even if Congress Lets Authority Expire

By Dustin Volz
National Journal/NextGov, March 19, 2015

The National Security Agency may be allowed to continue scooping up American phone records indefinitely even if congressional authority for the spying program expires later this year, according to a recently declassified court order.

The legal underpinning of the NSA's bulk collection of U.S. call data resides in a provision of the post-9/11 USA Patriot Act that is scheduled to sunset on June 1. The common understanding among lawmakers and the intelligence community is that the surveillance program will halt unless Congress reauthorizes Section 215 of the Patriot Act in some fashion.

But a passage buried on the last pages of an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court declassified last week leaves open the door for the program—exposed publicly by Edward Snowden nearly two years ago—to continue even if lawmakers let Section 215 lapse.

"If Congress, conversely, has not enacted legislation amending (Section 215) or extending its sunset date," writes Judge James Boasberg, "the government is directed to provide a legal memorandum … addressing the power of the Court to grant such authority beyond June 1, 2015."

The possibility of the NSA program continuing absent congressional reauthorization was raised last year by The New York Times, which pointed to an obscure provision of the Patriot Act that allows the government to continue indefinitely a foreign intelligence investigation that is ongoing and that began before the bill's expiration.

CONTINUED...

http://www.nextgov.com/defense/2015/03/court-nsa-spying-may-continue-even-if-congress-lets-authority-expire/107961/

Freedom is Slavery.

Victoria Nuland serves to bridge that Then to this Now.

From ISP's RightWeb:

Our woman in Ukraine, Victoria Nuland, is married to PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan

Robert Kagan's brother is Frederick Kagan

Frederick Kagan's spouse is Kimberly Kagan

Brilliant people, big ideas, etc. The thing is, that's a lot of PNAC. And the PNAC approach to international relations means more wars without end for profits without cease, among other things detrimental to democracy, peace and justice.

From 2002: The Rumsfeld Intelligence Agency



The Rumsfeld Intelligence Agency

How the hawks plan to find a Saddam/al-Qaida connection.

By Fred Kaplan
Posted Monday, October 28, 2002, at 2:42 PM PT

You've got to hand it to Donald Rumsfeld and his E-Ring crew at the Pentagon. They know all the stratagems of bureaucratic politics, and they play the game well. In their latest maneuver, reported on the front page of last Thursday's New York Times, the secretary of defense has formed his own "four- to five-man intelligence team" to sift through raw data coming out of Iraq in search of evidence linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida terrorists.

SNIP...

In 1969, President Richard Nixon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted to build an anti-ballistic-missile (ABM) system to intercept incoming Soviet warheads. They had several motives, but one of them—and the easiest to sell publicly—was to protect our ICBMs from being destroyed in a Soviet first-strike. The problem was, the Soviets had no first-strike capability. A new version of the Soviet SS-9 missile, then in development, could carry three warheads apiece. If each of those warheads could be fired at a separate target—if they were MIRVs (multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle)—a case could be made that they posed a first-strike threat. But the CIA concluded that the warheads were just MRVs (not independently targetable); each missile could lay down only a cluster of explosions over a single area. So, National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird arm-twisted the CIA to change its analysis and describe the SS-9s as MIRVs. The pressure worked. The sales pitch for the ABM could proceed. (It turned out the SS-9s were MRVs. The Soviets would not deploy MIRVs until 1976, six years after we did.)

Vested interests can be ideological as well as institutional. In the mid-1970s, a group of well-known hawks, mainly former policy-makers and retired officers, started clamoring that the Soviets were acquiring a first-strike capability and that the CIA was gravely underestimating their prowess and might. President Gerald Ford, under growing pressure from the right, succumbed to what seemed a modest demand—to let a team of their analysts examine the same data that the CIA had been examining and come up with alternative findings. It was sold as an "exercise" in intelligence analysis, an interesting competition—Team A (the CIA) versus Team B (the critics). Yet once allowed an institutional footing, the Team B players presented their conclusions—and leaked them to friendly reporters—as the truth, which the pro-detente administration was trying to hide.

The Team B report read like one long air-raid siren: The Soviets were spending practically all their GNP on the military; they were perfecting charged-particle beams that could knock our warheads out of the sky; their express policy and practical goal was to fight and win a nuclear war. (One Team B member, former Air Force Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. George Keegan, had briefed officials on the thousands of hidden Soviet missiles back in the '50s.)

Almost everything in the Team B report turned out to be false. Yet it provided the rallying cry for a movement against detente and arms-control accords. Its spokesmen became outspoken figures of opposition during the Jimmy Carter years (most notably, Paul Nitze and his Committee on the Present Danger) and senior officials in the Ronald Reagan administration and beyond.

Paul Wolfowitz was one of the 10 senior staff members on Team B. Another member of Rumsfeld's intelligence team, Douglas J. Feith, was counsel to Reagan's Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle, a longtime impresario of anti-detente forces. (Perle is still influential as chairman of the advisory Defense Policy Board.)

CONTINUED...

https://web.archive.org/web/20021129211149/http://slate.msn.com/?id=2073238

Lot of reading, yes, but if you care about democracy, it's worth knowing.

Guiding Obama into Global Make-Believe



Guiding Obama into Global Make-Believe

Exclusive: The Orwellian concept of “information warfare” holds that propaganda can break down enemies and decide geopolitical outcomes, a strategy that has taken hold of the U.S. government’s approach to international crises, especially the Ukraine showdown, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

By Ray McGovern
ConsortiumNews, March 14, 2015

CIA Director John Brennan told TV host Charlie Rose on Friday that, on assuming office, President Barack Obama “did not have a good deal of experience” in intelligence-related matters, adding – with remarkable condescension – that now “he has gone to school and understands the complexities.”

If that’s the case, I would strongly suggest that Obama switch schools. Judging from his foreign policy team’s inept and increasingly dangerous actions regarding Ukraine and the endless stream of dubious State Department and senior military cry-wolf accusations of a Russian “invasion,” Obama might be forgiven for being confused by the “complexities.”

He should not be forgiven, though, if he remains too timid to bench his current foreign policy team and find more substantively qualified, trustworthy advisers without axes to grind. He is, after all, President. Has he no managerial skill … no guts?

This U.S. pattern of exaggeration – making scary claims about Ukraine without releasing supporting evidence – has even begun to erode the unity of the NATO alliance where Germany, in particular, is openly criticizing the Obama administration’s heavy-handed use of propaganda in its “information warfare” against Russia.

The German magazine Der Spiegel has just published a highly unusual article critical of the NATO military commander, Air Force General Philip Breedlove, entitled “Breedlove’s Bellicosity: Berlin Alarmed by Aggressive NATO Stance on Ukraine.”

It is becoming clearer day by day that the Germans are losing patience with unsupported and alarmist U.S. statements on Ukraine, particularly in the current delicate period when a fledgling ceasefire in eastern Ukraine seems to be holding tenuously.

The Spiegel story was sourced to German officials who say Breedlove and his breed are making stuff up, adding that the BND (the CIA equivalent in Germany) “did not share” Breedlove’s extreme assessment of Russian actions. Spiegel continued:

“For months now, many in the Chancellery simply shake their heads each time NATO, under Breedlove’s leadership, goes public with striking announcements about Russian troop or tank movements. … False claims and exaggerated accounts, warned a top German official during a recent meeting on Ukraine, have put NATO — and by extension, the entire West — in danger of losing its credibility.”

Scaring the Europeans

The Obama administration’s erratic and bellicose approach to Ukraine caused German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande to take matters into their own hands in February to press for a ceasefire and an agreement on how to resolve the crisis politically, rather than following the U.S. strategy of having the regime in Kiev escalate its “anti-terrorist operation” against ethnic Russian rebels in the east who are supported by Moscow.

Fearing the conflict was spinning out of control – with the prospects of a showdown between nuclear-armed Russia and the United States on Russia’s border – Merkel traveled to the White House on Feb. 9 seeking assurances from President Obama that he would not fall in line behind his tough-talking aides and members of Congress who want advanced weaponry for Ukraine.

Though Obama reportedly assured Merkel that he would resist the pressure, he continues to keep slip-sliding into line behind the war hawks and letting his subordinates feed the propaganda fires that could lead to a more dangerous war, especially Gen. Breedlove and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, a former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 4, 2015, Nuland presented her usual black-and-white depiction of the Ukrainian civil war, claiming Russia had “manufactured a conflict controlled by the Kremlin, fueled by Russian tanks and heavy equipment.” She added that Crimea and eastern Ukraine live under a “Reign of Terror.”

Of course, the core problem with how Nuland and pretty much the entire U.S. establishment present the Ukraine crisis is that they ignore how it got started. Nuland, Sen. John McCain and other U.S. officials egged on western Ukrainians to destabilize and overthrow the elected President Viktor Yanukovych, whose political base was in the south and east, including Crimea.

The coup opened historic fissures in this deeply divided country where hatreds between the more European-oriented west and the ethnic Russian east go back many generations, including the unspeakable slaughter during World War II when some western Ukrainians joined with the Nazis to fight the Red Army and exterminate Jews and other minorities.

Despite the U.S. claims over the past year about unprovoked “Russian aggression,” Russian President Vladimir Putin was not the instigator of the conflict, but rather he was reacting to a violent “regime change” on his border and to Russian fears that NATO would seize the historic Russian naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea.

But Nuland and other neocon hardliners have never been interested in a nuanced presentation of reality. Instead, they have treated Ukraine as if it were a testing ground for the latest techniques in psychological or information warfare, although the propaganda is mostly aimed at the U.S. and European publics, getting them ready for more war.

Mocking Merkel

As for Merkel and her peace efforts, Nuland was overheard during a behind-closed-doors meeting of U.S. officials at a security conference in Munich last month disparaging the German chancellor’s initiative, calling it “Merkel’s Moscow thing,” according to Bild, a German newspaper, citing unnamed sources.

Another U.S. official went even further, the report said, calling it the Europeans’ “Moscow bullshit.”

The tough talk behind the soundproof doors at a conference room in the luxurious Bayerischer Hof hotel seemed to get the American officials, both diplomats and members of Congress, worked into a lather, according to the Bild account.

Nuland suggested that Merkel and Hollande cared only about the practical impact of the Ukrainian war on bread-and-butter issues of Europe: “They’re afraid of damage to their economy, counter-sanctions from Russia.”

Another U.S. politician was heard adding: “It’s painful to see that our NATO partners are getting cold feet” – with particular vitriol directed toward German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as “defeatist” because she supposedly no longer believed in a Kiev victory.

Sen. McCain talked himself into a rage, declaring “History shows us that dictators always take more, whenever you let them. They can’t be brought back from their brutal behavior when you fly to Moscow to them, just like someone once flew to this city,” Munich, a reference to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s “appeasement” of Adolf Hitler.

According to the Bild story, Nuland laid out a strategy of countering Merkel’s diplomacy by using strident language to frame the Ukraine crisis in a way that stops the Europeans from backing down. “We can fight against the Europeans, we can fight with rhetoric against them,” Nuland reportedly said.

NATO Commander Breedlove was quoted as saying the idea of funneling more weapons to the Kiev government was “to raise the battlefield cost for Putin, to slow down the whole problem, so sanctions and other measures can take hold.”

Nuland interjected to the U.S. politicians present that “I’d strongly urge you to use the phrase ‘defensive systems’ that we would deliver to oppose Putin’s ‘offensive systems.’” But Breedlove left little doubt that these “defensive” weapons would help the Ukrainian government pursue its military objectives by enabling more effective concentration of fire.

“Russian artillery is by far what kills most Ukrainian soldiers, so a system is needed that can localize the source of fire and repress it,” Breedlove reportedly said. “I won’t talk about any anti-tank rockets, but we are seeing massive supply convoys from Russia into Ukraine. The Ukrainians need the capability to shut off this transport. And then I would add some small tactical drones.”

Nuland’s Rhetoric

Before the Ukraine coup in February 2014, Nuland was overheard in a phone conversation with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt discussing who should become the country’s new leaders – “Yats is the guy,” she said about Arseniy Yatsenyuk who became the post-coup prime minister – while also criticizing the less aggressive European approach with the pithy phrase, “Fuck the EU.”

Nuland’s tough-gal rhetoric continues, including her bellicose testimony before Congress this month, along with the alarmist (and unproven) reports from Gen. Breedlove, who claimed that “well over a thousand combat vehicles, Russian combat forces, some of their most sophisticated air defense, battalions of artillery’ having been sent to the Donbass” in eastern Ukraine.

The Nuland-Breedlove allies in Kiev are doing their part, too. Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko recently claimed that around 50 tanks, 40 missile systems and 40 armored vehicles entered east Ukraine’s breakaway Luhansk region from Russia via the Izvaryne border crossing.

This “rhetoric” strategy follows the tried-and-true intelligence gambit known as the Mighty Wurlitzer, in which false and misleading information is blasted out by so many different sources – like the pipes of an organ – that the lies become believable just because of their repetition.

The Ukraine story has followed this pattern with dubious claims being made and repeated by U.S. and Ukrainian officials and then amplified by a credulous Western news media, persuading people who otherwise might know better — even when supporting evidence is lacking.

Similarly, Official Washington’s chorus of loud demands for ignoring Merkel and sending sophisticated weapons to Ukraine continues to build with the latest member of the choir, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

On March 4, Clapper broke the important ethos of professional intelligence officers scrupulously avoiding policy advocacy when he told an audience in New York that the U.S. should arm the Ukrainians “to bolster their resolve and bolster their morale that, you know, we are with them.”

Clapper offered this endorsement as his “personal opinion,” but who cares about James Clapper’s personal opinion? He is Director of National Intelligence, for God’s sake, and his advocacy immediately raises questions about whether Clapper’s “personal opinion” will put pressure on his subordinates to shape intelligence analysis to please the boss.

We saw a possible effect of this recently when journalist Robert Parry contacted the DNI’s office to get an updated briefing on what U.S. intelligence has concluded about who was at fault for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.

Blaming the Russians

In prepared testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Assistant Secretary Nuland had insinuated that the Russians and the ethnic Russian rebels were to blame. She said, “In eastern Ukraine, Russia and its separatist puppets unleashed unspeakable violence and pillage; MH-17 was shot down.”

This may have been another example of Nuland using “rhetoric” to shape the debate, but it prompted Parry to ask the DNI’s office about what evidence there was to support Nuland’s finger-pointing in this tragic incident that killed 298 people.

Kathleen Butler, a DNI spokesperson, insisted that the U.S. intelligence assessment on MH-17 had not changed since July 22, 2014, five days after the shoot-down when the DNI’s office distributed a sketchy report suggesting Russian complicity based largely on what was available on social media.

Parry then sent a follow-up e-mail saying: “are you telling me that U.S. intelligence has not refined its assessment of what happened to MH-17 since July 22, 2014?” Butler responded: “Yes. The assessment is the same.” To which, Parry replied: “That’s just not credible.”

But the DNI’s response does make sense if later U.S. intelligence analysis contradicted the initial rush to judgment by Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior officials blaming Russia and the rebels. The Obama administration might not want to surrender a useful propaganda club to bash Moscow, or as Nuland might say, an important piece of anti-Russian “rhetoric.”

As for Brennan and his appearance before the stuffy Council on Foreign Relations fielding questions posed by Charlie Rose as the “presider,” the CIA director seemed more concerned about the flak his agency has been getting for having a cloudy crystal ball and not anticipating how the Ukraine crisis would unfold, saying:

“Now I know that many would like the CIA to predict the future — answering questions such as ‘will Crimea secede and be annexed by Russia’ and ‘will Russian forces move into Eastern Ukraine.’ But the plain and simple truth is that … virtually all events around the globe, future events — including in Ukraine — are shaped by numerous variables and yet-to-happen developments as well as leadership considerations and decisions.”

But the prospect of CIA analysts seeing events clearly – both understanding what may have caused an event in the past and perceiving the complex forces that may shape the future – are diminished when the U.S. intelligence community becomes politicized and exploited for propaganda purposes, when it gets enlisted into “information warfare.”

Obama could surely use some experienced, mature help in putting an end to this potpourri of you-pick-your-favorite-statement about “Russian aggression.” The disarray and deceit on such an important issue does nothing to bolster confidence that he has been tutored well, that he understands the value of sober intelligence work, or that he is in control of U.S. foreign policy.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He worked primarily on Russian and European issues during his 27 years as a CIA analyst; he also prepared the President’s Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. He is now a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

SOURCE w/links, details: https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/14/guiding-obama-into-global-make-believe/

NOTE: ConsortiumNews allows DUers to reprint articles in full.

Wrong. All the strawmen in the world don't diminish what Assange revealed.

The documents WikiLeaks has released show the US Government extends its services to warmongers and banksters.



How often have we been told in world-weary tones that Wikileaks has revealed nothing new - especially by those who want to appear to be in the know? Here is an aide-mémoire of a few of the highest profile revelations.

by Ryan Gallagher
17 February 2011
OpenDemocracy.net

Since 2006, whistleblower website WikiLeaks ↑ has published a mass of information we would otherwise not have known. The leaks have exposed dubious procedures at Guantanamo Bay ↑ and detailed meticulously the Iraq War's unprecedented civilian death-toll ↑ . They have highlighted the dumping of toxic waste in Africa ↑ as well as revealed America's clandestine military actions in Yemen and Pakistan ↑ .

The sheer scope and significance of the revelations is shocking. Among them are great abuses of power, corruption, lies and war crimes. Yet there are still some who insist WikiLeaks has "told us nothing new". This collection, sourced from a range of publications across the web, illustrates nothing could be further from the truth. Here, if there is still a grain of doubt in your mind, is just some of what WikiLeaks has told us:

SNIP...

•The Obama administration worked with Republicans to protect Bush administration officials facing a criminal investigation into torture (see Mother Jones ↑ )

SNIP...

•More than 66,000 civilians suffered “violent deaths” in Iraq between 2004 and the end of 2009 (see the Telegraph ↑ )


CONTINUED with LINKS...

http://www.opendemocracy.net/ryan-gallagher/what-has-wikileaks-ever-taught-us-read-on



That has nothing to do with Israel Shamir.

Reagan's PR people made ''Liberal'' the target.

Mussolini did the same thing in the 20's. In between, someone removed the US liberal leadership.

It's hard to get the word out about that, sad to report, because "Conservatives" control, own and operate the media, lock stock and barrel.

Speaking of Capitalism's Invisible Army:



THE CIA’S MOP-UP MAN: L.A. TIMES REPORTER CLEARED STORIES WITH AGENCY BEFORE PUBLICATION

BY KEN SILVERSTEIN
The Intercept, 9/4/14

A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers prior to publication, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

Email exchanges between CIA public affairs officers and Ken Dilanian, now an Associated Press intelligence reporter who previously covered the CIA for the Times, show that Dilanian enjoyed a closely collaborative relationship with the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes sending the press office entire story drafts for review prior to publication. In at least one instance, the CIA’s reaction appears to have led to significant changes in the story that was eventually published in the Times.

“I’m working on a story about congressional oversight of drone strikes that can present a good opportunity for you guys,” Dilanian wrote in one email to a CIA press officer, explaining that what he intended to report would be “reassuring to the public” about CIA drone strikes. In another, after a series of back-and-forth emails about a pending story on CIA operations in Yemen, he sent a full draft of an unpublished report along with the subject line, “does this look better?” In another, he directly asks the flack: “You wouldn’t put out disinformation on this, would you?”



Dilanian’s emails were included in hundreds of pages of documents that the CIA turned over in response to two FOIA requests seeking records on the agency’s interactions with reporters. They include email exchanges with reporters for the Associated Press, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other outlets. In addition to Dilanian’s deferential relationship with the CIA’s press handlers, the documents show that the agency regularly invites journalists to its McLean, Va., headquarters for briefings and other events. Reporters who have addressed the CIA include the Washington Post‘s David Ignatius, the former ombudsmen for the New York Times, NPR, and Washington Post, and Fox News’ Brett Baier, Juan Williams, and Catherine Herridge.

Dilanian left the Times to join the AP last May, and the emails released by the CIA only cover a few months of his tenure at the Times. They show that in June 2012, shortly after 26 members of congress wrote a letter to President Obama saying they were “deeply concerned” about the drone program, Dilanian approached the agency about story that he pitched as “a good opportunity” for the government.

The letter from lawmakers, which was sent in the wake of a flurry of drone strikes that had reportedly killed dozens of civilians, suggested there was no meaningful congressional oversight of the program. But Dilanian wrote that he had been “told differently by people I trust.” He added:

Not only would such a story be reassuring to the public, I would think, but it would also be an opportunity to explore the misinformation about strikes that sometimes comes out of local media reports. It’s one thing for you to say three killed instead of 15, and it’s another for congressional aides from both parties to back you up. Part of what the story will do, if you could help me bring it to fruition, is to quote congressional officials saying that great care is taken to avoid collateral damage and that the reports of widespread civilian casualties are simply wrong.


Of course, journalists routinely curry favor with government sources (and others) by falsely suggesting that they intend to amplify the official point of view. But the emails show that Dilanian really meant it.

CONTINUED...

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/04/former-l-times-reporter-cleared-stories-cia-publication/



Guy still has a job in journalism, unlike a bunch of my friends who actually did their jobs and told the truth, which is the Liberal thing to do.

Detroit - Why the domestic Auto Industry 'collapsed'



I want to make plain why Detroit's number one business, cars, went into the toilet, taking jobs and the good times with it.



How the Press Helped Destroy the Auto Industry

Detroit's Collapse: the Untold Story

By EAMONN FINGLETON
CounterPunch, July 3-5, 2009

For decades East Asian competition has played a controversial role in the decline of the American car industry. Both Japan and Korea have long been accused of unfair trade and closed markets. For their part Japanese and Korean officials have argued that their markets are open and that an incompetent and heedless Detroit doesn't make the sort of cars their consumers want.

In all the charges and countercharges, little of the remarkable truth of Detroit's trade problems has come out. To see how well -- or rather how badly -- you understand the background, try this quiz:

1. What was the Detroit companies' share of the Japanese market in 1930? (a) About 90 per cent. (b) About 20 per cent. (c) Less than 4 per cent.

2. How many models do the Detroit corporations currently make with the steering wheel on the right (the standard configuration for Japan)? (a) More than 40. (b) 12. (c) 3.

3. What was the combined share of all foreign makers – American, European, and Japanese – in the Korean car market in the last decade? (a) Less than 2 per cent. (b) Around 15 per cent. (c) More than 70 per cent.
The correct answer in each case is (a).


If you flunked, don't feel bad. Just cancel your newspaper subscription.

For decades American press coverage of global car industry competition has been abysmal. Reporters and commentators have almost never dug below the surface and their idea of fact checking has too often consisted merely of "accurately" recycling previous observers' errors. Worse many commentators have displayed an almost venomously elitist bias against Detroit. In short, readers of the American press have been fed a diet of falsehoods, while key facts that give the lie to the foreign trade lobby’s special pleading have been swept under the carpet.

Much of the most egregious press coverage moreover has emanated from writers and editors at some of the most “respected” media organizations, not least the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. Reuters and Associated Press have not been far behind and even the automobile trade press has often unforgiveably spun the story to Detroit's great disadvantage.

CONTINUED...

http://www.counterpunch.org/fingleton07032009.html



What was missing from the news coverage? That Uncle Sam doesn't protect its own automotive industries, while Japan does.



What's Japan's Guiltiest Secret?: (Hint) It's Not The Comfort Women

by Eamonn Fingleton
Forbes, 4/20/2014

EXCERPT...

Top of the list is something that – at least for those of us who know Japan – is hidden in plain sight: the Japanese auto market. Fifty years after the Tokyo authorities ostensibly began opening to free trade, the Japanese auto market remains one of the world’s most closed. I don’t mean just that Detroit-made cars don’t get a look in. These are, with few exceptions, unsuitable for Japanese roads. But the Detroit Big Three’s subsidiaries in Europe, particularly subsidiaries of Ford and General Motors, make plenty of cars that – in a fair world – should do well in Japan. After all such cars compete, and in many cases compete strongly, against Japanese competition across Europe. They don’t have a prayer against Japan’s non-tariff barriers.

SNIP...

Of course, umpteen times over the years the problem of Japan’s closed market has been declared solved. Nobuhiko Ushiba, who served as Japan’s ambassador to Washington in the early 1970s, once told reporters: “There is no example in recent history of a nation liberalizing trade policy as fast as Japan.” Meanwhile in 1982, Japanese foreign minister Yoshio Sakurauchi assured a meeting of the GATT that Japan “is one of the most open markets in the world.”

A particularly impressive-sounding assurance came from President Bill Clinton in 1995. Speaking in the White House Briefing Room, with Japanese Trade Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto looking on impassively, Clinton announced that Japan had agreed “to truly open its auto and auto parts markets to American companies.”

He added: “This agreement is specific. It is measurable. It will achieve real, concrete results … we finally have an agreement that will move cars and parts both ways between the United States and Japan. This breakthrough is a major step toward free trade throughout the world.”

It was all empty rhetoric, of course, as Clinton surely knew. The interesting thing is that the American press has never revisited the record, not even the reliably anti-Clinton Wall Street Journal. Anyone who knows the Tokyo news business knows why. The Japanese authorities keep the foreign press on a remarkably tight leash and, with virtually no exceptions, foreign correspondents are induced to censor themselves. As a practical matter, Tokyo wields a panoply of carrots and sticks in controlling what Japan-based foreigners say to the outside world and most long-term foreign residents are overt or covert agents for Japan’s public relations agenda. Foreign correspondents are no exception.

CONTINUED...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/eamonnfingleton/2014/04/20/whats-japans-guiltiest-secret-hint-its-not-the-comfort-women/



All this info on national trade policy and its impact on Detroit -- from where unions and the great American middle class emerged (let alone the Arsenal of Democracy) sprang -- is missing from the news. A very similar situation is arising today with the lack of coverage of TPP.

BAe

Whatever happened to Prince Bandar Bush?

http://www.theguardian.com/baefiles/page/0,,2095831,00.html
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