Posted tagged ‘CIA’

The Anonymity Files, #2

March 29, 2009

The Washington Post, “Detainee’s Harsh Treatment Foiled No Plots,” by Peter Finn and Joby Warrick, March 29, 2009:

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Isn’t It Ironic?

March 10, 2009

Don’t you think?

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to devalue and undermine the U.S. diplomatic tradition of human rights advocacy. On her first foreign trip, to Asia, she was dismissive about raising human rights concerns with China’s communist government, saying “those issues can’t interfere” with economic, security or environmental matters. In last week’s visit to the Middle East and Europe, she undercut the State Department’s own reporting regarding two problematic American allies: Egypt and Turkey.

According to State’s latest report on Egypt, issued Feb. 25, “the government’s respect for human rights remained poor” during 2008 “and serious abuses continued in many areas.” It cited torture by security forces and a decline in freedom of the press, association and religion. Ms. Clinton was asked about those conclusions during an interview she gave to the al-Arabiya satellite network in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Her reply contained no expression of concern about the deteriorating situation. “We issue these reports on every country,” she said. “We hope that it will be taken in the spirit in which it is offered, that we all have room for improvement.”

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Rendition Still on the Table

February 1, 2009

I don’t like the sound of this:

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Pres. Obama To Order Guantanamo Closed

January 22, 2009

On his inauguration day, Barack Obama directed military prosecutors at Guantanamo to suspend trial proceedings so that cases could be reviewed. Today, on only his second full day in office, Pres. Obama indicated that he and his staff were readying an order to close Guantanamo:

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Anonymous Sources

February 7, 2008

MSM refers to the Main Stream Media meaning periodicals such as Time and Newsweek, newspapers such as WaPo, NY Times, LA Times, Chicago Trib and the broadcast networks ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. This list is not all inclusive, but you get the idea.

And what do you think when you see the statement, “According to senior administration officials” or “a senior administration official says” or “on condition of anonymity .” Certainly, it must occur to readers that someone high in the administration is leaking info in order to ‘spin’ an item a certain way. It occurs to me, but I never know exactly which official is trying to influence public opinion in which way.

Well, this info comes a little late to do anything more than to be illustrative of how the press and the public are manipulated by government officials. I quote from “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA” by Tim Weiner. The following is from about 1953 which explains how Allen Dulles ran the CIA.

From his first days in power, Allen Dulles polished the public image of the CIA, cultivating America’s most powerful publishers and broadcasters, charming senators and congressmen, courting newspaper columnists. He found dignified publicity far more suitable than discreet silence.

Dulles kept in close touch with the men who ran The New York Times, The Washington Post and the nations leading weekly magazines. He could pick up the phone and edit a breaking story, make sure an irritating foreign correspondent was yanked from the field or hire the services of men such as Time’s Berlin bureau chief and Newsweek’s man in Tokyo. It was second nature for Dulles to plant stories in the press. American newsrooms were dominated by veterans of the government’s wartime propaganda branch, the Office of War Information, once part of Wild Bill Donovan’s domain. The men who responded to the CIA’s call included Henry Luce and his editors at Time, Life and Fortune; popular magazines such as Parade, the Saturday Review, and Reader’s Digest; and the most powerful executives at CBS News. Dulles built a public-relations and propaganda machine that came to include more than fifty news organizations, a dozen publishing houses, and personal pledges of support from men such as Axel Springer, West Germany’s most powerful press baron.

Yes, there have been many anonymous sources, beyond the Deep Throat of Watergate fame, that have provided a public good. But I would much rather read a story or see a video where the reporter named the source(s) for the story.