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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:31 AM
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War Crimes Times: Corporate media & war crimes
Corporate media & war crimes
By Linda LeTendre
Tuesday, January 20, 2009

There's a bumper sticker that's been around for a long time that reads, When the people lead, the leaders will follow. I saw evidence of that possibility this past weekend at the Veterans For Peace (VFP) action on Saturday the 17th at the Newseum, the museum of the the corporate media in Washington, DC.

More than 30 activists gathered at the Newseum to launch the inaugural edition of, The War Crimes Times, a newspaper that does what our liberal media has failed to do and that is to give the American public the information it needs to hold the Bush administration accountable for their actions and policies in the Iraq War.

About eight to ten people secretly brought a 38 foot banner into the Newseum, unfurled it from one of the balconies and it hung there for about five full minutes until museum officials requested that they take it down. The official who requested that activists take the banner down did so by saying that he agreed with what they were doing but they just could not do it in the museum.

Simultaneously, activists (many of whom were dressed as newsies and wearing Arrest Bush sweatshirts) inside and outside began shouting, Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Corporate media complicit in war crimes cover up! and handing out the War Crimes Times to passerby and people stopped in traffic.

I was outside as one of the newsies and my favorite line to call out was, Read all the news that's not in that building! while pointing to the museum.

While there were a few detractors, most people were supportive, especially on the inside where people applauded and told activists to keep up the good work.

Tarak Kauff, VFP member and coordinator of the event at the Newseum said, Our goal is to have George Bush and his administration prosecuted for war crimes, no matter how long that takes. There is no statute of limitations on war crimes.

Tarak, a Army former paratrooper, added, We have come to the Newseum, the showpiece home of the corporate media, to distribute the War Crimes Times, a newspaper created to fill the void left by the corporate medias failure to report the Bush administrations numerous and severe war crimes. We are also here to demand the Obama administration vigorously and unconditionally prosecute Bush and all members of his administration responsible for these crimes.

The War Crimes Times is actually an impressive little paper. The writers are not slouches or hacks. It features articles by:

1) Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights;
2) Colleen Rowley, former FBI agent and one of Time Magazines Persons of the Year for exposing FBI mishandling of September 11 information;
3) Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Col. and career foreign service officer (she resigned in protest of the Bush administration policies and actions);
4) Lawrence Velvel, Dean of the Massachusetts School of Law;
5) Jesselyn Radack, former U.S. Department of Justice Ethics Adviser and;
6) Elaine Brower, mother of a young Marine deployed in Iraq.

An impressive line up if you ask me.

You can read a copy by going to:

DC's Finest showed up minutes after the action began, called in by Newsuem staff. God knows you don't want people non-violently expressing their First Amendment Rights in full public view without the constabulary nearby. Heaven knows what would come of that. A cruiser and a van waited in the median of Constitution Avenue until the action was over.

The building's front facade features a four story copy of the First Amendment and I thought it would be a real interesting photograph to have people being arrested in front of that backdrop for doing exactly what the words say that we have the right to do. As it was, just having the police there was image irony enough.

Laurie Arbiter, one of the most committed activists I know, and some of the others went to Union Station after the action still wearing their Arrest Bush sweatshirts and carrying their signs and newspapers. They couldn't get out for seven hours! Seven hours! People wanted their photographs taken with them and their signs that read, Yes we can!. They also wanted copies of the newspapers. Talk about support.

Of course the police followed them around the entire time, keeping democracy safe.

Some of you will remember that I wrote about Laurie this summer. She was one of the people at the Republican National Convention who, while riding in a car, was pulled over by police for no apparent reason, and held at gunpoint (guns to her head) while the car and all of her belongings were searched sans warrant. Nothing was found.

It is interesting to note that the Newseum exhibit on 9/11 never mentions that none of the perpetrators were Iraqi in fact it never mentions the who, what, where, when or the why of the event. I found that rather odd to say the least, I always thought those questions were the mainstays of journalism.

The cost for viewing this mis or disinformation (depending on your perspective) is $22.

Article at:
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