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Saturday, December 31, 2005
 

All the News . . . ?


by Mumia Abu-Jamal
DEC.1, 2005
produced by Prison Radio Project

In the wake of this wretched war, we have more than enough reason to look, with jaundiced eye, at the American major media.

The adjectives that have been used to describe their performance, in the face of fake `evidence', scare tactics, and global state terrorism against
the poor and the weak; and their abject servitude to the centers of
political and economic power, have been terms like supine, servile, and
genuflective.

The corporate media became an instrument through which the White House worked its way upon the public, threatening dissidents, locking up
innocents, threatening other countries, all in pursuance of madness.

The media, afraid of alienating its audiences, and more importantly, of
upsetting government officials, opened its pages, its airwaves, and its
microphones, serving only as amplifiers for the State.

Few mainstream papers have the heft and influence of the New York Times, yet even there, their star reporter became little more than a stenographer for the neocons at the highest levels of power. They served, not the interest of their readers, nor their children, but of power.

Remember the spectacle of a vampirish Vice President Dick Cheney, citing the "Times", of all sources, in support of his claims of WMDs?

Now, trapped by the very real threat of civil war, U.S. politicians find
themselves pinned to the wall, like monarch butterflies, forced to support
the unsupportable. Now, comes word of secret prisons, in the lands of the former Soviet Union, run by the CIA, where God knows what is being done to people, in the name of a nebulous `war on terror.'

Does anybody really believe that American forces aren't engaged in torture? The new U.S. appointed regime in Iraq has learned well the lessons of its American paymasters. In the shadow of Abu Ghraib, dozens of Sunnis are tortured, and caged in secret prisons!

What, pray tell, are the Americans to say? "Don't do as we do"?

We've virtually forgotten the case of the Chinese-American Muslim chaplain James Yee. New Jersey-born, a West Point graduate, it was during his tour in Saudi Arabia that he learned about Islam, where he was intrigued by the cultural diversity.

For complaining about the treatment that he saw and heard at the Guantanamo Bay naval station { prison camp--WW} , he found himself labeled, and soon treated, as an "enemy combatant," charged with espionage, and called a "known terrorist sympathizer." He was put in the `three-piece suit': shackled hands, feet, and belly. He was thrown into solitary confinement. See his book: "For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire", by James Yee with Aimee Molloy (publ., Political Affairs).

He was in solitary for 76 days, before charges were dropped.

All of this comes back to the role of the press. It either serves the
interests of freedom, or it serves the interests of Empire. It can't serve
both.

It is the reporting now that should've been done before the outbreak of war.

Most reporters knew that there was absolutely no link between 9/11 and Iraq. Most reporters knew, if they'd done their research, that there was
absolutely no connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Yet, through fear or the ingrained instinct to serve power, they allowed the Bush Regime to "let slip the dogs of war."

Unless I miss my guess, it will be plenty of years before we really see the
end of this adventure. That's because it will be many years before things
will even begin to quiet down in Iraq.

Perhaps 100,000 Iraqis have been killed, many by the U.S. Army and Air
Forces. Over 2,000 Americans have died. Billions of dollars have been
wasted, or ripped off by corrupt Iraqi politicians or American corporations.
And Americans have done little more than stoke the fires of anti-American
hatred throughout the region. Recently, the Muslim Brotherhood, a staunch opponent of the Mubarak Regime in Egypt, won more than five times its previous seats in Parliament. Islamic parties are stronger than ever in the Muslim world, largely as a direct reaction to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The media could've prevented much of this, if it only had done its job.




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