Are you ready to be outraged, my darlings? I hope you are. There's plenty to be outraged about.
Even PZ's outraged, and I don't usually hear him rip into our nation's political media. But the information Glenn Greenwald dug up on the Military Analyst scandal heated him up to a full boil, and after reading Glenn's post, I'm putting off some steam myself:
On the question of whether the Pentagon maintained an illegal covert domestic propaganda program -- and on the broader question of whether the American media's political coverage is largely shaped and controlled by the U.S. Government -- I don't believe it's possible to obtain more conclusive evidence than this:
These are excepts from a memorandum sent on January 14, 2005 -- just before President Bush was to be inaugurated for his second term -- from Capt. Roxie T. Merritt, the Director of DoD Press Operations, to several top Pentagon officials, including Larry Di Rita, the top aide to Donald Rumsfeld (pp. 7815-7816 (.pdf)). It reports on Merritt's conclusions and proposals in the wake of a Pentagon-organized trip to Iraq for their military analysts:
1.) I recommend we develop a core group from within our media analyst list of those that we can count on to carry our water. They become part of a "hot list" of those that we immediately make calls to or put on an email distro list before we contact or respond to media on hot issues. We can also do more proactive engagement with this list and give them tips on what stories to focus on and give them heads up on issues as they are developing. By providing them with key and valuable information, they become the key go to guys for the networks and it begins to weed out the less reliably friendly analysts by the networks themselves . . . .
Or, to put this more simply: the military singled out pro-war analysts, spoon-fed them information that would make them more valuable to the networks, and thus shut military analysts who dissented from the party line completely out.
And the bastards at the networks, instead of actually investigating, just took the sweet ripe apples the military handed them in the form of these spoon-fed analysts, and fed the propaganda to the public undigested.They left those who could have given a more balanced perspective rotting.
Some commenters over at PZ's want to claim this is business as usual. I call bullshit. When the Pentagon can deliberately feed some analysts and starve others, and be absolutely assured that this will manage the message for them, you know that our media has become nothing more than a tool of the Administration. There's no fucking way in a free society the military should be able to count on the press to do exactly what they want. No. Fucking. Way.
I know we were doing the Carnival of the Elitist Bastards this month, but I think we should jump on the Media Clowns immediately afterward. With spiked boots.
And that's not all. Oh, no. As Chris at PZ's place pointed out, "there's no bottom to this Administration." He's too fucking right:
New York – Last night, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel filed an opposition brief in Wilner v. NSA, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on behalf of 24 attorneys who represent detainees at Guantánamo – including CCR staff attorneys Gitanjali Gutierrez and Wells Dixon, as well as law professors and partners at prominent international law firms. These attorneys believe they may have been targeted by the government’s warrantless wiretapping program that began shortly after September 11, 2001 because of their representation of Guantánamo prisoners labeled “enemy combatants” by the government. They seek access to records showing whether the government has intercepted communications relating to their representation of these clients.
“The existence of the spying program inhibits our ability to do our work,” said CCR attorney Gitanjali Gutierrez, a plaintiff in the case. “We sometimes have to warn clients and potential witnesses that their communications with us may be monitored by the government. The NSA program prevents us from assuring them of confidentiality, making clients and witnesses less likely to want to participate in any cases against the government.”
Although CCR argues that any warrantless surveillance of the plaintiffs would be illegal, not only have the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) refused to turn over the relevant records, they have refused to confirm or deny whether the plaintiffs were in fact subject to surveillance under the program.
When the Administration refuses to "confirm or deny," you know they're up to their elbows in illegal shit. In this case, they're using their noxious warrantless wiretapping program to ensure that the sometimes innocent people they detained, tortured, and have held without charge for years don't get a chance to make the abuse stop.
And yet John McCain wants to give us another four years of the same lying, reality-denying bullshit. Not just that, he can't answer a simple question put to him by Jon Stewart:
John McCain appeared on The Daily Show this week, and Jon Stewart raised a point that conservatives generally don’t want to hear. “Don’t you think, these past few years, in terms of a recruiting tool for bin Laden and al Qaeda, I mean, let’s say al Qaeda is trying to fire up their base,” Stewart said. “Isn’t President Bush kind of, and our policies there, their Rev. Wright? Isn’t [Bush] the guy they throw out there and inflame their base and get support? Don’t you think he’s actually been okay for al Qaeda?”
McCain dodged the question, talking about a “transcendent evil,” not about whether we’ve inadvertently helped those who wish to commit acts of “transcendent evil.” But Stewart’s point is incontrovertible — Bush administration policies have helped al Qaeda raise money and recruit new members.
What does the right have to say to that? "Eh, who cares!"
As to whether Bush is a recruiting tool for terrorists — who cares? Al Qaeda was recruiting before Bush was in office and they will continue to do so after he’s gone. The important thing is that we keep killing those recruits. Eventually, one side will give up. And if Obama wins in November, we know which side that will be.
That, my darlings, was the Weekly Standard, the very voice of the conservatives, informing the American public that nobody should care if our government's policies is pouring gasoline on al Qaeda's fires, because we can just kill all the recruits.
Obama won't keep pouring gasoline, and that somehow means he'll let the terrorists win.
These fucking... these stupid motherfucking... they take my breath away. How fucking retarded do you have to be to think that you can simply keep killing your way to happiness and freedom for all?
I have news for Michael "Dumbshit" Goldfarb over at the Weekly Standard, there: we will never be able to kill enough of them to win. NEVER. We cannot afford to keep killing an endless stream of terrorists. This is the kind of myth that destroys empires, you stupid fucking piece of neocon shit. Read fucking history. Read up on insurgencies. Try to absorb some of that history into your little pea brain and tell me again that we are going to win against al Qaeda by helping them recruit new terrorists we then have to hunt down and kill.
Somebody grab me a bottle. I'm shaking too hard to get it myself.