Category: media distortion

News Corp again scoops the pool at News Awards as Walkleys reveal nominations | Amanda Meade | The Guardian

Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch at the 2019 News awards, where they hand out prizes to News Corp journalists.

The Biggest Fantasy Show in Australia’s News Industry.The Murdoch News Corp’s own News Awards. Always presented before the Media’s true event the Wakeleys

Fri 14 Oct 2022 14.11 AEDT  There’s one thing guaranteed at the annual “prestigious” News awards for journalism. A News Corp Australia journalist will win every category. Judged by News Corp editors, and usually attended by Rupert and/or Lachlan Murdoch, the in-house awards will be handed out across company mastheads at a gala ceremony on 8 November.

Source: News Corp again scoops the pool at News Awards as Walkleys reveal nominations | Amanda Meade | The Guardian

Rex Patrick: will Timor Leste become China’s latest aircraft carrier? – Michael West

Meanwhile the demented idiots on Sky News Kenny and Dean were spruiking that the Conflict Islands, privately owned, are up for sale. “where’s Penny Wong where’s Wong” both screamed. In fact the islands aren’t up for sale and never were according to their owner. It seems Kenny and Dean were demanding Australia buy them and some 800 other islands between us and NG.

These claiming to be balanced news jocks just fall over and over every night for the amusement of the same audience of less than 30k half of which are probably their opposition and the other half sitting with their food trays in their laps with the TV on for their amusement.

In the wake of Scott Morrison and Marise Payne’s disastrous foreign affairs stewardship, Penny Wong jets to Timor-Leste today in what may be another rescue mission to save a Pacific neighbour from China’s expansion in the region. Rex Patrick has long warned the young nation might spurn Australia in favour of Chinese investment.

Rex Patrick: will Timor Leste become China’s latest aircraft carrier? – Michael West

Plibersek Shows The Way: Labor, The Media and The Future – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Just imagine the 2nd Debate was between Tanya Plibersek and Scott Morrison and you would seen a Misogynistic Neanderthal v Rationality and Steadiness in an event sponsored by, and in Media’s Side Show Alley. “Don’t let me interrupt you Scott”

Conclusion: Sass to The Max The hostility of the media, along with its total hypocrisy (deficits are now an issue again just in time for a Labor government) is hereby exposed. Your role, Mr Albanese and the Labor team, is to no longer take the crap that media dishes out. Scott Morrison has cowered the media through his screeching about bias when confronted with facts he does not like, and they are compliant lapdogs instead of the watchdogs they are meant to be. Now, I am not suggesting that Mr. Albanese manipulate the press as his counterpart has done, but I do want him to say when confronted with some partisan BS question framed in some crap fashion Nice gotcha question there. Does anyone have a serious question they would like to ask? This is not hostile to the media broadly, but it does send the message ‘serious questions only, folks’. It will be necessary for Mr. Albanese to put the media in their place from the start, because if Labor is elected on May 21st, the media will commence Operation Restore Legitimate Government from May 22nd.

Source: Plibersek Shows The Way: Labor, The Media and The Future – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Sikh Volunteers Australia Drove 34 Hours To Assist Flood-Affected Victims In NSW

Sikh Volunteers Australia preparing food deliveries

Peter Costello’s AGE spent yesterday attempting to smear Dan Andrews for his relationship with the Sikh Community in Victoria. They seemingly tried to suggest that a positive and progressive relationship  was nefarious and suspicious in nature the equivalent of what we have seen done in LNP’s rorts scandals. The Age was acting more as a PR agent in an effort of damage control for the shambles Matthew Guy and the Liberals had found themselves in. However, even Pr agents can be idiots and chose the wrong community and the wrong relationship to focus on even one one dating back to 2018.

But it’s during difficult times like these that Australians bond together to help each other out — and that can be seen by the efforts of Sikh Volunteers Australia, an organisation that aims to reduce distress in the community by providing free food to people in need. Sikh Volunteers Australia preparing food deliveries

Source: Sikh Volunteers Australia Drove 34 Hours To Assist Flood-Affected Victims In NSW

Cable News Military Experts Are on Defense Industry Dole

US Army armored humvees and MRAPs driven by soldiers from 1-506 Infantry Division patrol in Paktika province, situated along the Afghan-Pakistan border, on November 27, 2008. Afghanistan is not in a security crisis and disillusionment and recriminations about its situation should be avoided, a UN Security Council team said Thursday at the end of a three-day assessment tour.   AFP PHOTO/DAVID FURST (Photo credit should read DAVID FURST/AFP via Getty Images)

Jim Naureckas, an editor at Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, or FAIR, a progressive media watchdog, said such conflicts of interest put a premium on potential atrocities over existing ones. “The imaginary future bloodshed of the Taliban has so much more emotional weight in the coverage than the actual people who have been killed by the U.S. in the last 20 years,” he said. “There’s a symbiotic relationship between media outlets who need sources, the weapons industry that needs favorable news coverage, and the former military officials who need jobs, and it all works out together.”

Source: Cable News Military Experts Are on Defense Industry Dole

Right-wing shock jock stoush reveals the awful truth about COVID, politics and media ratings

A COVID-induced rancour that has broken out between Sydney’s commercial radio shock jocks and the Sky News night-time ravers over Sydney’s lockdown would be funny if it were not so serious.

Source: Right-wing shock jock stoush reveals the awful truth about COVID, politics and media ratings

Republicans take trolling to “trigger the libs” to the next level |

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But these kinds of tactics from conservatives shouldn’t be understood as arguments. Instead, it’s all just flat-out trolling. None of these “arguments” are offered in good faith. The point is, as Steve Bannon once famously said, “to flood the zone with shit,” which is to say to derail efforts to inform and engage the public by pumping out so many dumb arguments, trolling tactics, and other distractions that few people can pay attention to what really matters.

Source: Republicans take trolling to “trigger the libs” to the next level |

Doxxing the Whistle Blower – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In return for this disclosure to the public, in our interests, the whistle blower has today been doxxed by Chip le Grand, who has described his disclosures as a “hit job” against the government. Le Grand also does a good job of maligning the whistle blower in an attempt to discredit him. It is not a huge stretch to speculate that le Grand and the Sydney Morning Herald under the chairmanship of former Liberal treasurer, Peter Costello, are acting in the interests of a besieged LNP government, and not the public. Regardless of your personal opinion of the man, there can be no doubt that he acted in the public interest in taking his story, with videos and texts as proof, to van Onselen. Whatever his other motives are, and is there one among us without complex motives for much of what we do, he acted in the public interest, which is all that need concern us as citizens struggling to deal with the outrages visited upon us by a government entirely bereft of all morality.

Doxxing the Whistle Blower – » The Australian Independent Media Network

How Democrats successfully silenced Republican opposition to Biden’s COVID relief bill |

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If you consumed exclusively right-wing media this week — which is normal in red state America — you’d get the impression that the Amerian Rescue Plan is a minor bill, and that the biggest problem facing this country is the onslaught of “woke” people that are stepping on the god-given right of every red-blooded white American to be shielded from criticism for saying racist and sexist things.

How Democrats successfully silenced Republican opposition to Biden’s COVID relief bill |

Crikey’s malicious attempt to discredit victim in Porter rape allegation

Crikey has published an appalling confection, promoted by others in the media, to cast doubt on the victim’s account and engender sympathy for alleged perpetrator Attorney-General Christian Porter, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.

Crikey’s malicious attempt to discredit victim in Porter rape allegation

Australia’s newspaper ownership is among the most concentrated in the world | News | The Guardian

exterior of News Corp building with advertiser and sunday mail signs
If not for the ABC what hope for Democracy?

The results show that in 2011 Australia had the most concentrated newspaper industry out of any country studied with the exception of China and Egypt:

Australia’s newspaper ownership is among the most concentrated in the world | News | The Guardian

‘Press release journalism’ favours Morrison and the Liberal Party


Media ethics and journalistic integrity

During times of relative stability and peace, poor journalism is an annoyance. But during times of crisis, mediocre reporting has far greater consequences.

‘Press release journalism’ favours Morrison and the Liberal Party

More than 150 Australian newsrooms shut since January 2019 as Covid-19 deepens media crisis | Media | The Guardian

The logo of news website BuzzFeed

The worst remain. So while shrinking they have greater control of non-news and persuasion while the LNP has spent 7 years cutting the ABC budget after Abbott  promising NO CUTS TO THE ABC (ODT)

via More than 150 Australian newsrooms shut since January 2019 as Covid-19 deepens media crisis | Media | The Guardian

Five myths about Palestine’s youth activists – debunked

While Hamas did provide logistical support throughout the protests, nearly all young activists I have interviewed saw their resistance as distinct from any political party – Fatah or Hamas, neither of which has served Palestinian civilians well.

To suggest that young activists are passive pawns manipulated by the parties undercuts the agency and leadership that young Palestinians have expressed in the absence of strong leaders.

via Five myths about Palestine’s youth activists – debunked

News Corp taxes David Speers with pro-business roadshow | The Weekly Beast | Media | The Guardian

David Speers

Just how many Cabinet Ministers and LNP Politicians are paid up menmbers of the IPA Fifeild is ? Why can Murdoch’s Pay to view Channels be allowed to also take in advertising revenue and when is it obvious that programs are little more than advertorials? (ODT)

You’d think the relationship between News Corp and the business lobby was cosy enough already. But the Business Council of Australia wanted more favourable coverage of its campaign for big business tax cuts. After talking to, but not using, Cambridge Analytica to improve its campaigning style, the BCA began raising funds and locked in the support of News Corp Australia.

As part of its political campaign, For the Common Good, the business lobby inked a media deal with News Corp and Sky News for which it paid Rupert Murdoch’s empire a reported $1m.

For the cash the business lobby gets coverage of its agenda in the form of a series of television programs over 12 months, newspaper articles and community events to promote the “positive contribution of business” to the nation.

via News Corp taxes David Speers with pro-business roadshow | The Weekly Beast | Media | The Guardian

Sinclair and the midterms: New York edition


If you live in a midsize city or battleground state, you are now more likely than ever to see pro-Trump propaganda and conservative spin on your local news — just in time for the 2018 election season — thanks to conservative media giant Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Media Matters has identified communities that will see competitive congressional midterm races and that have Sinclair-owned or -operated news stations. Many Sinclair stations are already airing national news programming with a conservative slant, and they will be ramping up coverage of their local races.

We’ve already tackled Nevada and Tennessee. Now, we’re taking a look at New York.

via Sinclair and the midterms: New York edition

VIDEO: John Pilger On The ‘Carefully Constructed Drama’ Of Skripal Nerve Agent Attack – New Matilda

Watch John Pilger in this commentary on Russia Tonight on the British Government’s accusations against Russia over the poisoning of the double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.

via VIDEO: John Pilger On The ‘Carefully Constructed Drama’ Of Skripal Nerve Agent Attack – New Matilda

Right-wing media’s outrageous coverage of Muslims in 2017



Anti-Muslim hate crimes increased for the second consecutive year in 2016, according to the latest FBI numbers. During this climate of bigotry, the right-wing media figures used their platforms to blatantly spread fear and misinformation, demonizing Muslims all over the world. Some explicitly called for American Muslims to be put in internment camps, while others denied the existence of Islamophobia in our schools (Islamophobia actually increased in 2016), and claimed that Muslim immigration means more terrorism (there’s no connection).

Here is a glimpse of some of the most absurd things the right-wing media figures said about Muslims in 2017

via Right-wing media’s outrageous coverage of Muslims in 2017

In urban Sweden and heartland America, xenophobic fake news looks the same|

Bolt successfully mobilizes and enables anti-Muslim and racist extremists. His far-right media, and fake news sites are coordinated campaigns to promote misinformation. Their motivation may stem from an ideological agenda, the desire to create chaos, And though his misinformation is usually later debunked, the truth generally fails to travel as far or penetrate as deep as his original story, allowing a steady drumbeat of misinformation to continue.

Andrew Bolt’s approach to penetration of mass media is rape of the psyche, the promotion and enablement of hate

via In urban Sweden and heartland America, xenophobic fake news looks the same

For Turnbull, Dastyari is a gift that keeps on giving

Image result for Images of Mainstream Media rubbish

The issue we face isn’t Turnbull, Abbott Shorten or Sam Dastyari the problem is the paucity of media and it’s self indulgent approach to presenting only some  facts and carefully avoiding others as Tony Walker does here.

1) The LNP accepted donations from the same Chinese gentleman as the ALP

2) His Chinese staff member is currently working for John Alexander in Bennelong

3) Until busted the LNP accepted a swathe of Rolex watches as gifts valued at $250K from a Chinese developer “Tony Abbott returned a Rolex given to him by a Chinese billionaire …

4) The Chines government has every reason to be “pissed off “with the quality of the Australian Press which we have seen and Malcolm Turnbull’s use of it in the abuse of the China Australia  diplomatic relationship for simplistic and puerile political games that threaten an otherwise stable and mutually beneficial friendship between the two countries. Trump couldn’t have done better

One might well ask:

Why Main Stream media offers so little in the way of information? The media self indulgence can be seen clearly see here just read this article.  For what it’s worth the banner might as well have said:

For Shorten, Abbott is a gift that keeps on giving


For Turnbull, Dastyari is a gift that keeps on giving

Sinclair’s Right Wing TV Takeover Adds To Breitbart/Fox Circle Of Lies | Crooks and Liars

An Alabama Fox News viewer might not notice that his local news is lying to him.

Because now that Sinclair Broadcasting is buying up local news stations, they are pushing right wing propaganda into homes nightly in the guise of local coverage.

So Breitbart says the Moore charges of child molestation are baloney.

Fox News says so too.

Then a local Alabama reporter interviews three people and says “I can’t find anybody who thinks Roy Moore’s past is an issue.”

And Breitbart / Fox then report that a local reporter “on the ground” says support for Moore is tremendous. Zurawik raises the alarm on this echo chamber:

v Sinclair’s Right Wing TV Takeover Adds To Breitbart/Fox Circle Of Lies | Crooks and Liars

Hyperventilation over Hyde Park statues is misplaced outrage

And then there’s Adam Goodes’ plaque on the Australian of the Year walk in Canberra. As the ABC reported last year, there are 56 plaques on the walk but only one was shielded by perspex. Goodes’ face has previously been crossed out with a deep scratch. According to the National Capital Authority, the perspex was installed to prevent further damage.But where is the widespread outrage over these incidents? Where is the buy-in from political leaders? The sustained media interest? The hand-wringing about what it all means for national identity?Here’s hoping it just got lost and ended up somewhere else by mistake. The alternative isn’t very flattering to contemplate.

Source: Hyperventilation over Hyde Park statues is misplaced outrage

Burst your bubble Australia: marriage equality edition starring Bolt, Jones, Latham and Devine | Jason Wilson | Australia news | The Guardian

Rather than directly disputing the idea that same-sex couples should have the right to marry, they are highlighting the left’s allegedly intemperate rhetoric and dirty tricks. Rather than asking whether it’s anyone’s business who marries whom, they are trying desperately to make it into a question about something else.

Source: Burst your bubble Australia: marriage equality edition starring Bolt, Jones, Latham and Devine | Jason Wilson | Australia news | The Guardian

NY Times’ Glenn Thrush blasts the White House’s ongoing coordination with Fox News and conservative media

NY Times’ Glenn Thrush blasts the White House’s ongoing coordination with Fox News and conservative media

Source: NY Times’ Glenn Thrush blasts the White House’s ongoing coordination with Fox News and conservative media

Kasia Anderson: Website Spreads Doctored Video to Pin 2015 Beating on Current Post-Election Protesters – Truthdig

On Saturday, a false report was posted online. It was based on footage of a beating that took place in North Philadelphia last year, and it was altered to give the impression that the event had just happened—and that anti-Trump demonstrators were the perpetrators.

Source: Kasia Anderson: Website Spreads Doctored Video to Pin 2015 Beating on Current Post-Election Protesters – Truthdig

CNN Caught Staging News Segments on Syria With Actors | Friends of Syria

Anderson Cooper and CNN have been caught staging fake news about Syria to justify military intervention. The primary “witness” that the mainstream media is using as a source in Syria has been caugh…

Source: CNN Caught Staging News Segments on Syria With Actors | Friends of Syria


I spent two days consuming news exclusively from the rightwing website and found its genius lies in the clever packaging of far-right narratives


The American Media: Pandering to Bias and Ignorance

The Texas board of education didn’t find anything wrong with a world geography textbook that said slaves from Africa were workers, but that immigrants from northern Europe were indentured servants.…

Source: The American Media: Pandering to Bias and Ignorance

World Class Journalist Spills the Beans, Admits Mainstream Media Is Completely Fake

Dr. Udo Ulfkotte is a top German journalist and editor and has been for more than two decades, so you can bet he knows a thing or two about mainstream media and what really happens behind the scenes. Recently, Dr. Ulfakatte went on public television stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents […]

Source: World Class Journalist Spills The Beans & Admits Mainstream Media Is Completely Fake | Collective-Evolution

Some hard facts about terror

Some hard facts about terror. 53847.jpeg

We are having an outbreak of reports in the Canadian press about “home grown” terrorists, “radicalized” young men of Muslim faith traveling out of the country to participate in extremist groups abroad – a relatively insignificant phenomenon which has received inordinate publicity. In any event, if you give the matter some thought, you realize that this “news” is a kind of empty publicity, noise about something as old and familiar as human life itself, although it has been bestowed with a new name intended to frighten us into supporting measures outside the framework of a society of laws.

The truth is that young men, at least a certain portion of them, have always traveled abroad to join causes and wars. It’s about as ordinary a phenomenon as playing team sports or joining clubs. In many cases, we end up praising them for their bravery and idealism, as was certainly the case with the many thousands of Europeans, Americans, and Canadians who traveled to Spain in the 1930s to volunteer in the civil war against General Franco. In other cases, we condemn and imprison them and sometimes even execute them as part of the losing side, as America has been doing in its rampage through the Middle East.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the emergence of new, independent nations from the British Empire drew thousands of young men to Africa to fight as mercenaries or volunteers. Apartheid South Africa used to run classified ads in newspapers abroad to attract young men in its battle against the African National Congress. Young Jewish men in the past went to Israel to join the IDF out of some sense of brotherhood, and they do so still. The French Foreign Legion gained almost mythical status as a place for young men to leave things behind, embracing an undefined sense of purpose and brotherhood. Young European adventurers, often young noblemen with hopes of gaining glory, sailed across the Atlantic in the 1770s to volunteer in the American colonies’ revolt against the British Empire, far more of them than Washington’s meagre army could use

Magnetic leaders like Napoleon or Castro or Nasser attracted countless volunteers from abroad in their heyday. Our history books don’t dwell on the fact but large numbers of young men from many countries volunteered for Hitler’s invading legions. The phenomenon does not depend on the high or noble nature of the cause, although the luster and publicity around grand causes undoubtedly attracts a still wider range of young men.


Young men often just want to escape from every-day, humdrum life, a boring marriage, a nothing job, or, as in the case of the Foreign Legion, to leave a criminal or failed past behind in hopes of high adventure, a new identity, and a fresh start in life. The genuine nature of a cause often matters little because young men’s fantasies convert grubby deeds into mythic stuff at least for a time. Young men in the Foreign Legion were actually fighting for a brutal imperialism in North Africa. Volunteers to the IDF only assist in the oppression of an abused people, not in the protection of the Jewish people. Those who joined Napoleon thought they were spreading liberté, égalité et fraternité across a mummified old-order Europe, but they were helping one of history’s great bloody soldier-conquerors glorify himself and do what it was he lusted after doing.

Mental illness also intrudes into terrorist matters, all things unusual or different being grist for the big dumb mill of the press. In Canada, during the wave of empty chatter about “home-grown terrorists,” there were two isolated incidents of murder in different parts of the country, one of a policeman and one of a reservist in the military. Immediately the press began a completely uninformative and patience-exhausting round of speculation about the dark nature of the perpetrators, complete with interviews of various self-proclaimed “terrorism experts,” men, as it generally turns out, who run security firms and are out drumming up business. In both cases, we finally learned through the fog of misinformation generated by the press, that the young dead men were deeply mentally disturbed, their acts having no more political significance than the crazed men set on suicide who first kill their wives or children or the boys who periodically show up heavily armed at school, shooting their way through classmates.

And of course, it is almost invariably males who do these things, our prisons containing about ten men for every woman. The violence we see in professional football, hockey, or boxing being almost an exclusive male domain. Woman rarely commit murder, males being responsible for almost all of it, with young males being responsible for an extraordinarily disproportionate share.

Aside from the psychotic and deeply depressed, there is a certain segment of young men in every society who are simply attracted to opportunities for legal killing, rape, and mayhem – this being the truly ugly side of every war and conflict that we never mention in our sentimental world-war memorial services or high school textbooks. These men are variously termed sociopaths or psychopaths, and they appear to exist naturally in some proportion in any population. They enjoy killing, inflicting pain, and the sense of supreme power over the lives of others, and they are incapable of sympathy for their victims or remorse for their acts. They only fear being caught, and war provides a wonderful legal playground for them.

The bloodiest, most brutal and pointless war of the last half century, America’s grotesque slaughter in Vietnam, attracted thousands of volunteers from other countries to join in the gruesome fun – acts which included everything from raping girls and then shooting them to throwing men out of helicopters. Even then-peaceful Canada, whose prime minister, Lester Pearson, bravely turned down Lyndon Johnson’s bullying demands to send troops (charmer that Johnson was, he is said to have grabbed our Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader by the lapels during a meeting and pushed him against a wall), saw hundreds of adventure-seeking young men, on their own, join the American holocaust, which would see three million horribly slaughtered, countless wounded, and an ancient agricultural land overwhelmed with America’s landmines, cluster bombs, and poisons.

Today we call people terrorists as easily as we more accurately might have called them reckless or mad. The word terrorist has been given an almost frightening, superstitious connotation much resembling the word witch in the seventeenth century when any poor old soul who suffered from a mental illness like schizophrenia might be burnt alive for her mumblings and delusions. Today, the same people we once burnt would be sent to a homeless shelter or a psychiatric hospital. Another aspect of the word terrorist is related to what Stalin used to say when he expected his officials to launch a new purge to keep the country terrorized into submission. The Vozhd would say something about “wreckers” or “wreckers of the revolution” and his minions would busy themselves demonstrating alacrity in finding large numbers to consign to prison or death. All of our press and government spokespeople now use terrorist with those two meanings, and to the extent that they do, we should recognize the foolishness of their speech and its danger to a free society.

Of course, anyone who commits violent crime needs dealing with, and we do have laws covering every form of violent crime and what is judged the degree of culpability. But creating a special class or type of crime, somehow understood to be different in nature from other crimes, and thereby requiring extraordinary measures of espionage and policing and imprisonment and standards of evidence, is a shabby, dishonest, and cowardly political act. It is a political act in exactly the sense best explained by George Orwell.

The template for this kind of state activity comes directly from Israel. It long ago succeeded in changing the outside perception of events since 1948 from that of a relatively powerless people having their homes and lands taken with great brutality. Everyone knows instinctively that people treated in that fashion have every right in international law and custom to fight their oppressors. We call them at various times and circumstances freedom fighters, guerillas, resistance fighters, or irregulars. But in this case, they were transformed into terrorists who seek only to destroy law-abiding, democratic Israel – unspeakably evil beings intent on attacking the imported Ozzie-and-Harriet peacefulness of white-picket fence neighborhoods constructed on other people’s property. It truly is a case of the world turned on its head.

It does make things so much easier when you shoot someone or bulldoze their home or send them to prison indefinitely with no trial and subject to torture, if you first have demonized them, much as in the case of witches or wreckers, with terrorist being this generation’s choice demonizing word. And when Israel kills some people whose identity as “terrorists” might be seen as very doubtful, the victims magically become militants, a Newspeak word which strives to make the killing of anyone from boys to grandfathers palatable, our shabby press in the West having adopted the word in its reportage without so much as blinking an eye, much less asking a question. This has been Israel’s day-in, day-out pattern of government for decades, but now it has managed to export to the United States the same pattern of behavior. The United States, after all, is a nation given to Captain Ahab-like obsessions, as it has demonstrated many times in its history, Muslims now having displaced the Communists it pursued with relentless fury for decades at home and abroad. And when the United States embraces a new obsession, its dependants in Europe, Canada, Australia, and other places are bullied into embracing it too. America has many avenues for pressuring the acceptance and recognition of its latest craze or special interest or dark operation and to quiet the criticism which would naturally flow from those who disagree and think for themselves.

Were America not enthralled with this voodoo about terror, Europe and others would quickly fall away, and Israel’s ugly behavior would be left in a glaring spotlight, much as South Africa’s once was.

It is the force of these considerations in part which leads so many to question the true nature of what happened on 9/11, for that set of events was pivotal in having American public opinion embrace extraordinary, anti-democratic, and anti-human rights measures. I do not subscribe to the (not-uncommon) conspiracy notion that the American government was complicit in 9/11, using it as a kind of Nazi Reichstag Fire to ignite the mindless war on terror and a crusade through the Middle East to overturn governments unfriendly to Israel. I do very much believe though that the full story of that event has never been told, and, as always, that can only mean highly embarrassing or compromising facts are being suppressed. The immense body of confidential information in Washington on all matters of state – literally tens of billions of documents – would largely disappear if it weren’t for considerations of embarrassment and compromise, the need for genuine government secrecy being much rarer than many assume.

A free society does not recognize crimes deemed in some way to be different or more heinous or extraordinary: it maintains and enforces sensible, well-reasoned laws which apply equally to all. It does not create criminal laws which reflect political pressure or special interests. The United States, now on a new hunt for a great white whale, has virtually re-created East Germany’s dreaded Stasi, only in a much more sophisticated and far-reaching form. It meshes with the all-pervasive secret state police apparatus Israel has constructed in the Middle East with infinite care since 1948. Now, over all our lives there is something, not answerable to any electorate, working to dissimulate, to intimidate, and to generate fear as nothing of which the Soviet Union was remotely capable. It influences all of our laws and customs, even attempting to shape the way we speak and think.

John Chuckman