Category Archives: America

Conflicts of Interest: The CIA and the Washington Post

Hello, again Insights.

The corporate media leaves out important issues and events. One that went through quietly was a $600 million contract between the CIA and the Washington Post in 2013. Keep in mind this: Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon who purchased the Washington Post for $250 million. The contract that Amazon will work on is on web services and cloud computing.

When someone or an agency such as the CIA gives an organization millions of dollars, they are expecting something in return. No doubt.  The CIA wants cloud computing among other things. This claim is proved through the “reporting” that the Washington Post has done in recent months. For example, the Russia election hacking story was broken by the Washington Post naming the secret CIA assessment but doesn’t give any substantial evidence. What makes matters even worse is that the Post has refused to disclose their ties to the CIA while reporting.  There is a petition that has gone around since late 2016 that would force the Washington Post to disclose its CIA ties while reporting on them. That’s the minimum what should happen. There shouldn’t be a contract between the media and government in the first place. The Mainstream Media won’t talk about this because it would hurt their bottom line. Another point that I would like to make is that the Washington Post’s new slogan is “Democracy Dies in Darkness” and they are engaged in this dilemma.

Stories like the Amazon-Washington Post/CIA  are the real outrage. It isn’t a Trump tweet or Russia election hacking or any other sensationalist stories that the corporate media pushes. As I have stated, there isn’t any evidence of Russia election interference. Yes, this happened four years ago, but a $600 million contract is worth much more than four years in this case. This is the same corruption that floods our politicians. There is no difference. I say this in every post, and I will hammer this until the cows come home, Independent media is the only way to get the real news. Wherever you are, read more and support independent media!

 

What the Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You(and Why) Part 5: Wikileaks Dumps and False Claims of Russian Election Tampering

Hello, again, Insights.

About two weeks ago, Wikileaks began releasing confidential documents of the CIA. The series has been called “Vault 7”. These documents show how the CIA has the capabilities to hack into smartphones, computers, and even televisions. Here is the link to the home of Vault 7. I encourage you to check it out.

Yes, there has been coverage on the Vault 7 dumps from mainstream networks. However, it isn’t a focus for the networks to cover it. We know why that isn’t a focus. The Mainstream Media operates on behalf of corporate interests, which isn’t exposing the truth.

There is no question that the America populous has the right to know what the government and corresponding agencies are doing. The Vault 7 leaks correspond to the likes of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. They exposed vital information of the corruption by the United States government.

There has been a larger focus, however, on Russia, alleged ties to Trump, and the alleged election tampering, which is baseless. The CIA claimed this, as well where the media is running with it. The FBI agrees that Russia rigged the election to favor Trump.

Russia has been a focus in corporate and establishment circles since mid-July when they were accusations of hacking the DNC and then leaked emails and other documents to Wikileaks who published them. This is part of the so-called “election tampering.” They exposed information where the DNC colluded with Hillary Clinton from the beginning. After the leaks, many in the Democratic Establishment attempted to play the victim, but they didn’t have a good argument because they were clearly corrupt and were covering it.

Let’s get something straight: There have been many stories on what Russia allegedly did. The two biggest ones were the DNC leaks and election hacking. The latter claim muddies the waters and encourages sensationalism by the mainstream media.

These are baseless claims. The current Russia story is a textbook definition of McCarthyism which is making accusations without evidence. The corporate media won’t call anything out because they are a part of the corrupt system. Six major companies control 90 percent of the Media in the United States. The networks are Comcast, Time Warner, CBS, Newscorp, Viacom, and Disney.

Members of Congress, particularly Democrats, are pushing the Russia narratives. Just because the CIA says something is true, it doesn’t mean that it is true. The CIA doesn’t provide evidence. In January, US Intelligence released their declassified report on the alleged Russia election tampering. Read it for yourself with the link provided. From what I read, it is empty and vacuous and has no substantial evidence. There has not been ANY evidence given to support the claims of a Russia election hacking or them hacking the DNC. If there was evidence, I would present it to you.

As you all know, Congress is bought and controlled by wealthy special interests. Check out Open Secrets to see where the money is going. This is the reason why they don’t pass legislation, let alone discuss legislation that would benefit the American people. Republicans in the Senate broke the filibuster record under Obama, however having few legislative ideas of their own. The same applies to Democrats. Both parties have a similar message that is filled with vague, empty platitudes because they actually cater to Corporate America.

The United States, while technically a democracy, is effectively an oligarchy. Unsupported claims are riddled all over the mainstream press while ignoring the real issues. These reasons are why independent media is more important than ever.

What the Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You(and Why) Part 4: The Corporate Media in Conflict with Government

It’s been a long time since I have made a segment on this, and there have been a lot of news in the political universe. The major one was the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. The mainstream media has been at fault for its coverage. What isn’t the mainstream media telling you, though?

The Mainstream Media as we all know are corporate owned conglomerates, and there are only six major media companies in the U.S. These are Viacom, Time Warner, CBS, Newscorp, Comcast, and Disney. The Telecommunications Act of 1996, which deregulated the industry and allowed for mass mergers to occur easier, creating the current media system.

In an ideal world, the media would be the watchdog of the government and those in power. However, we know that the media is corporate-owned, and thus represent corporate interests.

During the Primary, then-DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was unhappy with the coverage Hillary Clinton, the choice for the DNC and the Democratic Establishment on several channels, Particularly Morning Joe on MSNBC. She contacted MSNBC President Phil Griffin as Emails shown from the DNC leaks this summer.

A similar story between power and the media has been brewing. Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, and top adviser held a meeting with executive VP of Time Warner  Gary Ginsberg where he critiqued CNN’s coverage of Trump.

Disclaimer: Time Warner owns CNN, so Kushner was doing what Wasserman Schultz was doing when she contacted Phil Griffin about alleged negative coverage.

These are just two prime examples of media and government interfering with each other.  In these examples, power is telling the media what to do so they are placed in a favorable light. This is a direct conflict with freedom of the press. Freedom of the press is in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. However, the United States runs as an oligarchy as a Princeton study found out. The study collected over 20 years of data and found virtually no correlation between public opinion and policy. However, the top 10% saw some significant correlation. The Mainstream Media is, as we have said, six companies and represents the corporate interests. The “Big 3” of Cable News, CNN(owned by Time Warner), Fox News(owned by Newscorp) and MSNBC(owned by GE) are all owned by a major media company, and thus the talking points of the establishment are conveyed. The other large networks such as ABC, CBS, and NBC are all part of the “Big 6” of the Media.

Here are some examples of topics covered to stray away from the main issues.

  • Propaganda based on little or no evidence:  An example is Russia. Russia is accused of interfering with the election to help Donald Trump win. The CIA came out and said it was true, and as a result, the media and many figures in government are running with the story. The issue is that there hasn’t been sufficient evidence to prove the claim of the CIA. In conjunction with the CIA, the FBI are in agreement that Russia rigged the election to favor Trump. The Washington Post first reported about the Secret CIA Assessment back in December. While reading through the articles, there was no substantial evidence given. U.S. intelligence has repeatedly stated that Russia had a role in undermining the election, but they need evidence to back it up. To be fair, some of the Russia talks is justified such as calling for an investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia. That is better that saying something is true without backing it up. That is similar to McCarthyism, which is making accusations or assertions without evidence to back it up. The term coincidentally rose during the Second Red Scare of the Soviet Union.
  • Tweets by Trump: Some tweets by Trump or other figures can be newsworthy, but they are a constant focus, and it seems like a daily affair, if not a few times per week across almost all of the Mainstream Networks.
  •  Debates over wedge topics and/or settled topics: Topics such as abortion, same-sex marriage, or climate science: These topics are non-issues or settled.
  • Identity politics: The two-party system has led to two different sides: Democrat and Republican. The topic of political polarization is one of the most common themes heard from mass media networks, particularly on cable news networks. Votes in Congress such as those on cabinet selections which are largely along party lines are overmagnified.

Independent media is more important than ever. Polls consistently show distrust in mass media, and we can see why. Viewership of television news is down, largely due to the mistrust by the people. Please tune out the mainstream networks and support independent media that is publicly financed, unlike corporate networks. By nature, whoever is funding a project, a politician, or an organization will represent who donates to them.

#NoDAPL- The Latest and Why the Mainstream Media Rarely Covers It

Over the past few months, the Dakota Access Pipeline protests have been very significant. An earlier post detailed the facts and the dangers of the protests itself. Typically non-violent protesters have been violently attacked by police forces.

Last weekend, even though it was in the mid-20s, Police used water cannons on protesters, and they defended it, many people went to the hospital because they got hypothermia.

The major issue is that there is a near-media blackout by the mainstream outlets. There has virtually nothing done about the DAPL violence against protesters. Real, objective facts need to be given by these outlets, and not just from independent media sources who have done an excellent job covering the protests. To get a quick background, click here to see the earlier post on the DAPL.

To summarize the facts beyond the violent attacks, the pipeline itself is going through Native American land according to The Treaty of Fort Laramie, signed in 1851. Some sacred Native American burial grounds have been, and not could be bulldozed over, and the oil pipeline can result in a contaminated water supply. Additionally, unlike what Energy Transfers is saying, much of the oil is likely to be exported whereas Energy Transfers states that the oil will be 100 percent domestically consumed.

The DAPL protests have led to dozens of human rights violations and the United States government hasn’t done anything to help it. Don’t listen when politicians say we care about humanitarian causes and altruism. On some cases, that may be true, but we neglect domestic abuses, and then we get ourselves into offensive wars as well as funding our allies who also commit human rights violations. We have to stand up. Change comes from the bottom up, as we have seen a little with the rise of Bernie Sanders. We have to continue that in larger quantities to truly create the change we need.

Presidential Debates and How the Media is Ruining the Country

The first Presidential Debate was a few nights ago and unfortunately met expectations. Although the debate lasted an hour and a half, several key topics had no discussion time. Some undiscussed topics included poverty, climate change, immigration, and healthcare.

A recent Harvard study showed that on Mainstream outlets such as ABC, NBC, CNN, and Fox, policy discussion was nearly absent from the coverage. The horserace aspect of the election is what the mainstream media overwhelmingly covers. One major issue is poverty, and a 2013 report showed that 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Something that big should receive coverage, but the media sees things through a different lens than the average American. The Mainstream Media is often referred to as the Corporate Media due to corporate ties, which influences their reporting. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 deregulated the industry, allowing several companies to merge. There used to be around 50 major media companies; Today, that number is at six.

The United States has a rigged debate system. Third-party candidates are rising in the polls, but it’s not enough. They need to reach at least 15 percent in at least five national polls to qualify for the debates. In August, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit allowing for third parties to participate in the Presidential debates. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein of the Libertarian and Green parties respectively are the main third-party candidates.

One “dilemma” that moderators have is should they fact check the candidates? The answer is yes. The American people have the right to know what the candidates say is accurate or not. Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who will moderate a later debate, was interviewed by Howard Kurtz about his debate strategy. One of the questions that came up was about if a candidate says something that he knows to be false; he responded that his role is not to be a truth squad. The director of the Presidential Debate Commission also appears to agree with the strategy of not fact-checking. The media now has a “neutrality” bias, giving both sides of a particular issue equal say even though one side could be completely right and the other completely wrong.

This problem has risen over the years. In one of the 2012 Presidential debates, CNN moderator Candy Crowley fact-checked Mitt Romney on Benghazi. Republicans accuse the media of having a liberal bias, but that is false. The reason behind that claim is that corrupt corporations control the media.

The media continues to be a colossal failure because of their lack of policy substance horserace aspect of things dominates the coverage.

Illegal American Aid to Israel Breakdown

07 September 2016

The United States and Israel are considered close allies. Israel is the strongest ally to America in the Middle East. With that, the U.S. has given Israel over $200 billion in aid over the past few decades. However, the aid is considered illegal under two long-standing American law. One is the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and the other is the International Security and Arms Export Control Act of 1976(AECA). A new lawsuit, in fact, addresses this. 

Part 1: Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, International Security and Arms Export Control Act of 1976 Key Provisions and aid to Israel.

The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 focuses more on humanitarian aid.  Sections 101 and 102 of AECA state that nuclear nations who are non-signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT) aren’t allowed to receive American aid of any form. Currently, the US gives Israel approximately $3.1 billion in aid per year, which is almost exclusively military aid. That number is expected to increase. A new proposal by the U.S. would give Israel $40 billion in aid over a period of a decade. For those living in the United States who are reading this, Israel has the population and size roughly similar to New Jersey.

There has been speculation on whether or not Israel is in possession of nuclear weapons. It is now a widely known fact that Israel has nuclear weapons. The bill’s introducer, Stuart Symington, proposed an amendment that would bend the rule under certain circumstances. This amended the Foreign Assistance Act.  New Observer Online and the lawsuit also addresses the Symington Amendment. It states that the U.S. could provide aid to violators of the law if within 30 days if he determines and certifies in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.

  1. The termination of such assistance would have a serious adverse effect on vital United States interest; and
  2. He has received reliable assurances that the country in question will not acquire or develop nuclear weapons or assist other nations in doing so.

 

Part 2: Israel’s Nuclear Program:

Around 1966, Israel began its nuclear program. Western powers including France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and of course the United States have helped them with jumpstarting it. It has also refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT), which all of the countries listed above were signatories to it. They are one of four nuclear-armed states not to sign the NPT, the other three being India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Much of this was kept secret until Mordechai Vanunu, a nuclear technician who worked at the Dimona Negev reactor, but was opposed to Israel’s nuclear policy, leaked details of Israel’s nuclear program to the British press in 1986. Vanunu was eventually kidnapped and spent 18 years in prison. F-16 warheads, and ballistic missiles and neutron bombs were in Israel’s stockpile according to Vanunu. These missiles are still being produced and are collectively known as “Jericho” missiles. The most recent are the Jericho III, an intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM). The ICBM implies that it is a far-range missile which advances the Jericho I and Jericho II, which were short and medium-range missiles, respectively. Israel, as you know, most notably is occupying Palestine, and kills 80 percent civilians in bombing raids, such as a major one in Gaza. They have broke international laws several other times as well.

Part 3: The Lawsuit:

In early August,  Grant Smith, the director of Institute for Research: Middle East Policy(IRMEP) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District court of D.C. stating that it violated the AECA of 1976. Several members of the cabinet, including Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter,  Secretary of  Energy Ernest Moniz, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, Commerce Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker as well as President Barack Obama and CIA Director John Brennan have allegedly violated the Administrative Procedure Act(APA), and thus are being sued. In addition to the Symington amendment, the Glenn Amendment raises a concern. Then Senator John Glenn believed that the State of Israel was using weapons-grade uranium that was in possession of the United States government. IRMEP has created a briefing to dissect the key parts of the lawsuit.(Note: the video is long).

Part 4: What Will Happen?

Not much. Israel’s nuclear program doesn’t receive much attention, while the aid is just “standard” to shield itself from nations such as Iran. Additionally, the term “nuclear ambiguity” has been used by the United States concerning Israel’s nuclear program. Other programs such as North Korea’s and the potential of Iran’s see more coverage. This lawsuit hasn’t faced much press coverage, and the courts will likely see in the eye of the status quo.