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Archive for January 18th, 2009

Israel Under Fire for Gaza Killings

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 18th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Israel Under Fire for Gaza Killings

UN school

As Israel’s Security Cabinet prepared to vote Saturday on a possible cease-fire in Gaza, the Israeli army drew criticism for the killing of two boys who were taking cover at a United Nations school in northern Gaza, according to The New York Times.


The New York Times:

The deaths brought a new round of sharp condemnation for Israel from the United Nations, including aid officials who raised questions about whether the attack, and others like it, should be investigated as war crimes. The Israeli Army said that it was investigating the reports at the highest level but that initial inquiries indicated that troops were returning fire from near or within the school.

The military said that it struck hundreds of targets overnight, including rocket-launching sites, about 70 smuggling tunnels, and weapons caches, and that its troops tightened the encirclement of Gaza City.

Hamas officials outside Gaza vowed to fight on, regardless of any Israeli cease-fire declaration. The group’s representatives were scheduled to meet Egyptian officials in Cairo who are trying to pull together a lasting truce in this three-week-old war, in which more than 1,200 Palestinians, and 13 Israelis, have died.

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Obama-Lincoln Parallel Examined By Presidential Scholars (VIDEO)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 18th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

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Pentagon Releases Report On TV Pundits Program

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 18th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Pentagon Releases Report On TV Pundits Program
It’s Friday at 4pm on the last business day of the Bush administration. So of course, the Pentagon has just released its report on its TV pundit program, which it used to promote the Iraq war, that the New York…

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J Street Under Attack…Will The Other Gaza War Opponents Be Next?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 18th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

J Street Under Attack…Will The Other Gaza War Opponents Be Next?
I haven’t posted about this yet because I thought it not particularly significant. It is not news when, during a war, it suddenly becomes hunting season for doves. Anyway, those who are familiar with my work know that the right…

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Network VP Dismisses Military Pundits Scandal: ?Everyone Understands? Pentagon Spreads Propaganda

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 18th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

Network VP Dismisses Military Pundits Scandal: ?Everyone Understands? Pentagon Spreads Propaganda
Yesterday, the Department of Defense Inspector General released its report on the military analyst program first revealed by the New York Times last April. The report said there was “insufficient evidence to conclude that OASD(PA) conceived of or undertook the type of disciplined public relations effort” alleged by the program’s critics. The report concluded that […]

nyt-generals.jpgYesterday, the Department of Defense Inspector General released its report on the military analyst program first revealed by the New York Times last April. The report said there was “insufficient evidence to conclude that OASD(PA) conceived of or undertook the type of disciplined public relations effort” alleged by the program’s critics. The report concluded that the program “was not a secret or covert effort,” and thus not propaganda, which it defined as activities that “are covert, that is, the communications do not reveal to the target audience the government’s role in sponsoring the material.”

However, the report never addressed the fact that the news networks never disclosed that their military analysts were being briefed by the Pentagon. Indeed, the report seemed to accept such non-disclosure as business as usual:

As a network vice-president with 40 years of media experience told us, “Everyone understands that the Pentagon gives out information that is not harmful to its interests. It can’t be expected to put out information that is harmful. I consider that fair.

The point, seemingly lost on the network VP and the DoJ IG, is not whether the Pentagon is expected to distribute negative news; it’s that everybody did not “understand” that the Pentagon was the source for the analysts’ knowledge. The public did not know this because the networks were hazy on the details themselves and, according to the New York Times, the Pentagon discouraged the analysts from volunteering the information:

Some network officials, meanwhile, acknowledged only a limited understanding of their analysts’ interactions with the administration. They said that while they were sensitive to potential conflicts of interest, they did not hold their analysts to the same ethical standards as their news employees regarding outside financial interests. The onus is on their analysts to disclose conflicts, they said. […]

The access came with a condition. Participants were instructed not to quote their briefers directly or otherwise describe their contacts with the Pentagon.

Even after the story broke, the media refused to acknowledge its complicity in the scandal. ABC News head David Westin insisted, “I am satisfied that ABC News has acted responsibly and has served its audience well.” Most media outlets — likely out of embarrassment, according to media critic Howard Kurz — ignored the story completely. A Project for Excellence in Journalism story found that “out of approximately 1,300 news stories [following the Times story], only two touched on the Pentagon analysts scoop — both airing on PBS’s ‘NewsHour.’”

Bush?s 2001 inaugural pledge: I will ?call for responsibility and try to live it as well.?
Almost eight years ago, President Bush took the oath of office and solemnly swore to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” (Listen here.) It was a cold, overcast, and rainy day in Washington, DC, devoid of much of the excitement surrounding this weekend’s festivities. In Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore captured the […]

Almost eight years ago, President Bush took the oath of office and solemnly swore to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” (Listen here.) It was a cold, overcast, and rainy day in Washington, DC, devoid of much of the excitement surrounding this weekend’s festivities. In Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore captured the scene:

After taking the oath, Bush delivered an inaugural address that contained this pledge: “I will live and lead by these principles: to advance my convictions with civility, to pursue the public interest with courage, to speak for greater justice and compassion, to call for responsibility and try to live it as well.” Watch the entire speech here.


Inauguration Is Climax to Two Years Of Increasing Security Around Obama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 18th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

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