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Jonathan Kwitny was one of the few, and perhaps the only, mainstream reporter(s) doing any real reporting on this part of the world.
Scott Simon of NPR on the other hand seems to have fallen into the Bill O'Reilly camp here .. along with most of the other mainstream reporters. I recall at the time that it sounded as though Simon was doing mostly solid reporting from that region.
Looking back at it now though and given what we now know really went (goes) on down there it's clear that the reporting from the likes of Jonathan Kwitny was the exception.
Posted by MinM | Sat Feb 14, 2015, 08:14 AM (1 replies)
...On January 16, 1975 he held a White House luncheon for the editors of the NY Times. Someone asked why Ford had picked such a conservative and defense minded panel to make up the Rockefeller Commission (e.g. Ronald Reagan was a member). The president said he needed people who would not stray from the straight and narrow. If they did, they could stumble upon matters that might hurt the national interest. The editor asked "Like what?" Ford replied with, "Like assassinations!" (Schorr, p. 144) Ford added that this was off the record. But reporter Daniel Schorr deduced that since the Rockefeller Commission was investigating domestic matters, Ford must have meant American assassinations. (ibid) But later CIA Director William Colby effectively spun Ford's comment . He told Schorr that the CIA had run assassination plots abroad, but not in America. (ibid) This deftly neutralized Ford's slip. The committees would now look at CIA assassination plots against foreign leaders. In regards to the JFK case, the Church Committee would only investigate the performance of the intelligence agencies in investigating Kennedy's murder.
But even Colby was too much for Ford. He was deemed too open with congress. After all, when mobster Sam Giancana was murdered before testifying, Colby went out of his way to say the CIA had nothing to do with it. (ibid, p. 155) Colby was later fired for being too forthcoming. Ford picked George Bush to replace him. And as further signal of his new "get tough" policy, Ford made a young Dick Cheney his Chief of Staff, and moved Donald Rumsfeld into the Pentagon.
With all these elements in place, Ford decided to use the 1975 murder of a CIA officer as a way to squelch and smear any further investigation. Richard Welch was the CIA station chief in Athens. The CIA and Ford blamed his death on the fact that his name had been exposed by an American journal called Counterspy. In fact, the leftist rebel group who killed him had issued a communiqué beforehand that revealed they knew his name then. (Schorr, p. 191) In a classic case of political propaganda, Ford and the CIA pulled out all the stops in using Welch's funeral as psychological warfare against the committees. Welch's body was flown into Andrews Air Force Base. But the plane circled the base for 15 minutes to time the landing for the morning news shows. (ibid) Ford attended the chapel service. But the press was barred in order to suggest that they were to blame for Welch's murder. Colby issued a statement saying that Welch's death was the result of a "paranoiac attack on ... Americans serving their country." David Phillips was interviewed by CBS and said, American agents are in less danger today from the KGB than from the "moral primitives" who "condemn my label". (ibid) Welch's body was buried at Arlington with full military honors. His coffin was carried on the same horse-drawn caisson that carried President Kennedy's. Colby gave the flag draped over it to Welch's widow. As Schorr wrote, "This is the CIA's first secret agent to become a pubic national hero." (ibid)
It worked. Henry Kissinger jumped on the committees: "I think they have used classified information in a reckless way ... " (ibid p. 194) Both committees closed up shop shortly after. Ford and the CIA held veto power over what could be published. When Otis Pike defied that agreement, Congress bottled up his report. A copy was smuggled to Daniel Schorr. As he was arranging to have it released, his boss, Bill Paley, lunched with Bush. (ibid, p. 201) The Pike Report was published in a special issue of The Village Voice. Forgetting his own use of classified material for his Oswald book, Ford now proposed an FBI investigation to find out who gave the report to Schorr. (ibid, p. 208) After Paley's meeting with Director Bush, Schorr was taken off the air by CBS. After a two hour impromptu interrogation – during which he was not represented by counsel – Schorr was fired by the network. He was later investigated by the House but refused to reveal his source for the report...
William Colby stipulated to "foreign assassination plots"
Posted by MinM | Sun Feb 8, 2015, 08:25 PM (0 replies)
A Man Of Substance
Which of this country's greatest sports legends is clenched-teeth
against the Iraq war and the death penalty and is for gay rights?
Bill Bradley? Jim Brown? Bill Walton? Try Dean Smith.
In today's scandal-dripping land of college basketball, couldn't
we all use a little Dean Smith? He wasn't just the winningest
coach in history, he was one of the cleanest. In 36 years at
North Carolina, he never had an NCAA violation. He was and is a
man who stands tall for what he believes--fans, talk show hosts
and his accountant be damned.
Smith is Abe Lincoln in a sports world of Stepford Jocks, where
speaking out on social issues is likened to a Class A felony,
where taking a stand is a good way to blow your car dealership
endorsement, where somebody pressed mute on the social
consciences of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.
Take the Toni Smith issue. She's the Manhattanville College guard
who turned her back to the flag to protest what she calls the
"inequalities that are embedded into the American system." Dean
Smith would fight to the death to protect her right to do it.
"I'm sure it took a lot of courage," says Smith, who won 879
games at UNC. "Just as it took a lot of courage for Tommie Smith
and John Carlos to in the U.S.] at the '68 Olympics." ...
RIP Dean Smith
Sports Illustrated @SInow: Dean Smith was our 1997 Sportsman of the Year. Read @alexander_wolff's feature story: http://on.si.com/16GJPiy
Posted by MinM | Sun Feb 8, 2015, 11:26 AM (2 replies)
Thanks for the heads up, Octafish.
It's interesting because The Nation has come out with a negative review ..
Tim Shorrock @TimothyS · Feb 5
"How Rory Kennedy’s ‘Last Days in Vietnam’ Distorts History." By @NickTurse in @thenation: http://bit.ly/1C3RHWd
Now this is nothing new for The Nation .. especially with regard to the Kennedys.
Although as that piece mentions The Nation has produced far more good than bad. A current example would be Greg Grandin's excellent piece on the assassination of Alberto Nisman.
BTW an excellent read on the origins of the Vietnam War comes from John Newman ..
James Douglass' book is another good one on Vietnam too.
Looking forward to Rory's film.
Posted by MinM | Sat Feb 7, 2015, 10:51 AM (0 replies)
Kareem is awesome.
The Lansing City Pulse had a good piece on this subject too ..
Posted by MinM | Mon Feb 2, 2015, 12:19 PM (0 replies)
What a crazy case. Crazier yet when you consider the role played by Nisman as documented in this piece from The Nation seven years ago ..
article | posted January 18, 2008 (web only)
Bush's Iran/Argentina Terror Frame-Up
...Team Bush's latest tactic is to play up a thirteen-year-old accusation that Iran was responsible for the notorious Buenos Aires bombing that destroyed the city's Jewish Community Center, known as AMIA, killing eighty-six and injuring 300, in 1994. Unnamed senior Administration officials told the Wall Street Journal January 15 that the bombing in Argentina "serves as a model for how Tehran has used its overseas embassies and relationship with foreign militant groups, in particular Hezbollah, to strike at its enemies." ...
In September 2004, a Buenos Aires court acquitted Telleldin and the police officials who had been jailed years earlier, and in August 2005 Judge Galeano was impeached and removed from office. But Galeano's successors, prosecutors Alberto Nisman and Marcelo Martinez Burgos, pressed on, hoping to convince the world that they could identify Berro as the bomber. They visited Detroit, Michigan, where they interviewed two brothers of Berro and obtained photos of Berro from them. They then turned to the only witness who claimed she had seen the white Trafic at the scene of the crime--Nicolasa Romero.
In November 2005, Nisman and Burgos announced that Romero had identified Berro from the Detroit photos as the same person she had seen just before the bombing. Romero, on the other hand, said she "could not be completely certain" that Berro was the man at the scene. In court testimony, in fact, she had said she had not recognized Berro from the first set of set of four photographs she had been shown or even from a second set. She finally saw some "similarity in the face" in one of the Berro photographs, but only after she was shown a police sketch based on her description after the bombing.
Bernazzani told me that the FBI team in Buenos Aires had discovered DNA evidence that was assumed to have come from the suicide bomber in an evidence locker, and Nisman took a DNA sample from one of Berro's brothers during his visit in September 2005. "I would assume, though I don't know, that once we got the brother's DNA, they compared them," he said. But Nisman claimed to a reporter in 2006 that samples had been contaminated. Significantly, the Argentine indictment of the Iranians makes no mention of the DNA evidence.
Despite a case against Iran that lacked credible forensic or eyewitness evidence and relied heavily on dubious intelligence and a discredited defector's testimony, Nisman and Burgos drafted their indictment against six former Iranian officials in 2006. However, the government of Néstor Kirchner displayed doubts about going forward with a legal case. According to the Forward newspaper, when American Jewish groups pressed Kirchner's wife, Christina, about the indictments at a UN General Assembly in New York in September 2006, she indicated that there was no firm date for any further judicial action against Iran. Yet the indictment was released the following month...
Although this backstory does fit in with the admonition from the op not to fall for the far right's version of events. Clearly there seems to be a case of political payback at work here .. among other things.
Posted by MinM | Sat Jan 31, 2015, 08:02 PM (0 replies)
Thanks for posting this, JL. It's a good followup piece to his Murdoch, Scaife and CIA Propaganda.
Speaking of followup pieces .. the following might make a good companion piece to the op ..
Canada’s quiet coup: How a CIA off-shoot helped install Stephen Harper as Canada’s prime minister
By Mark Taliano
Posted on January 9, 2015
The biggest threat to Canada’s national security is internal. It is the offshoot of an extraordinarily successful—because it remains largely undetected—coup that imposed itself on the country with the federal election of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) in 2006, and solidified its impacts with the election of a Conservative majority in 2011.
Author, poet, academic, and former Canadian diplomat Prof. Peter Dale Scott recently disclosed a WikiLeaks cable indicating that the International Republican Institute (IRI), an off-shoot of the CIA, and a subsidiary of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) helped install Stephen Harper as Canada’s Prime Minister. This was the coup.
Point 12 of the cable explains that “In addition to the campaign schools, IRI will be bringing in consultants who specialize in party renovation to discuss case studies of political parties in Germany, Spain, and Canada which successfully carried out the process.”
The “party renovation” referenced in the cable is the “renovation” of Canada’s indigenous Progressive Conservative Party into a Republican-inspired Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) that is largely subservient to the U.S Empire south of the border.
A similar, but more violent, “renovation” process occurred in 2009 when the democratically-elected government of Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in a U.S-orchestrated coup. It is also the same illegal “renovation” that is destabilizing Venezuela today, as the US interferes in the internal politics of that country, in what is often described as a “soft coup”...
- See more at: http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/14891
Posted by MinM | Sat Jan 10, 2015, 12:54 PM (1 replies)
Posted by MinM | Sun Jan 4, 2015, 11:50 AM (0 replies)
Here's an interesting timeline of events since DeBlasio took over as Mayor of New York from the comment section of a piece in Gawker ..
The NYPD's been running a silent coup against De Blasio since the day he stepped in office. They have deep ideological and institutional reasons (to say nothing of financial) to loathe him and have been trying to take his knees out since the beginning. The first weeks in office there were a series of scandals that, in all likelihood were leaked by the NYPD, after de Blasio doubled down on his campaign promise to address inequality and get rid of stop and frisk:
De Blasio's buddy sprung from jail after mayor calls NYPD
(who else would have known about that call?)
CBS 2 Exclusive: De Blasio's Caravan Caught Speeding, Violating Traffic Laws
(guess who handles de Blasio's driving detail!)
While he actually managed to get rid of stop and frisk (because it's so goddamn unpopular) these petty, narrative-driven pseudo-scandals took the wind out of sails and relegated him to photo-ops and good-government busy work. After what happened today and the uninviting de blasio to dead police officers' funeral, when will the media start calling the NYPD's brazen insubordination what it is: an assault on democracy. They work for him (and, by extension, the voters) not any bullshit "code" or "blue blood" shit they may have concocted into their heads. If Obama's generals did this to him in such a flagrant manner, we'd call it unconstitutional if not outright fascism, but when it's the NYPD - a department larger than the FBI - the press covers it as a goddamn personality dispute.
Posted by MinM | Sun Jan 4, 2015, 09:25 AM (0 replies)
Slightly off topic but interesting piece from the San Diego Reader. The story sort of serves as a microcosm of the cozy relationship corporate media and the CIA have shared over the years..
Copley's deadly Cuba ties
Tales of JFK assassination and CIA link haunt paper at center of San Diego journalistic spy nexus
By Matt Potter, Dec. 18, 2014
JFK at SDSU commencement
...Calling the nation's nearly six-decade covert battle against Castro a "chill" might be considered more than a bit of an understatement, conveniently obscuring the key roles that the newspaper's antecedents under previous ownership — the San Diego Union, Evening Tribune, and the Copley News Service — all played in a deadly intelligence war waged by the Central Intelligence Agency on behalf of a succession of U.S. presidents, beginning with Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.
The story broke back in August 1977, in a Penthouse magazine exposé, by one-time San Diego investigative reporter Joe Trento and Dave Roman, of Union-Tribune publisher Jim Copley's alleged connection to some of history's darkest espionage and assassination plots.
As Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame noted in October, 20 1977’s Rolling Stone, "According to Trento and Roman, Copley personally volunteered his news service to then‑president Eisenhower to act as 'the eyes and ears' against 'the Communist threat in Latin and Central America' for 'our intelligence services.'
“James Copley was also the guiding hand behind the Inter‑American Press Association, a CIA‑funded organization with heavy membership among right‑wing Latin American newspaper editors."
The Penthouse story related that "The current Latin American editor for , William Giandoni, a former psychological warfare officer, admitted that he not only tried to join the CIA in 1950 but also actually fed information to CIA operative William Kelly in 1961 concerning the coming Bay of Pigs invasion."
"In addition to placing stories for the CIA, Copley News Service acted as the 'eyes and ears' for the CIA when it came to reporting on what other publications might be picking up on agency activities in Latin America," the pair wrote...
@MiamiHerald · Dec 16 · Cuban music producer denies having ‘worked’ for USAID http://hrld.us/1uQJvlR
Michael Beschloss @BeschlossDC · Dec 17 · Michael Beschloss in New York Times—“When J.F.K. Secretly Reached Out to Castro”: http://ift.tt/1x0c1sE
Posted by MinM | Sun Dec 21, 2014, 10:56 AM (2 replies)