Defeat The Press - The State Silences Dissent! - By Ted Lang - Price of Liberty
Defeat The Press - The State Silences Dissent!
By Ted Lang © 2004

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October 19, 2004

Rapidly escalating manifestations of the state's growing paranoia, exemplified by the ever increasing production of hastily executed draconian legislation and the overzealous array of unsubstantiated prosecutions, are all the more noticeable now as the public increasingly comes to grips with the lost, unjust and unnecessary war in Iraq. It is viewed as just another byproduct of a corrupt political system generating increasing voter realization of the lack of choice in this year's presidential election.

Freedoms once taken for granted have eroded in a Darwinian-like time warp devolution totally unnoticed by a general public distracted by "reality TV," NASCAR, the World Series and the new football season. Celebrated media figures of neoconservative right-wing blather, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, have been subjected to muck attacks following revelations about their personal lives. On the wrong-headed "left," Dan Rather follows the Jayson Blair disgrace of The New York Times by being "fooled" relying heavily upon forged documents to discredit President Bush, cursorily examined in a fashion similar to President Bush's dependency on bogus WMD intelligence to discredit Saddam Hussein.

The Bush and Rather dependencies upon flimsy documents raise other questions: Was this really an honest mistake attributable to professional sloppiness, or did the users of the information overly depend upon it in hopes of both justifying an agenda while also devising a fallback position? The liberal biases of the Times and their network TV news dependents, and the neoconservative "right-wing conspiracy" proclivities of FOX and Limbaugh, are now both recognized by the general voting public. But even more overarching in influence over the news and information that is communicated to the public by a polarized press that aligns itself with its political party of choice, is the growing danger of total government control of news releases.

It is already widely known that the Bush administration has ordered the American press not to take photographs of the caskets of military dead being returned home. Additionally, military operations in Iraq that are videotaped for newsreel presentation must be cleared by the military. Visual reports and videotapes of Iraqi civilians killed are prohibited unless approved by the American military. And fleeing and disoriented refugees are never seen or heard of.

As usual with the Bush administration, the explanations offered for this suppression of public information is "national security." Accurate reporting of the suffering of both our military and Iraqi civilians is offered as being counterproductive to the war effort and dangerously unpatriotic.

It is becoming increasingly safe to say that a growing majority of Americans are now opposed to the war, and want the American military pulled out of Iraq. If this is the way the majority feels, then suppressing the realities of Iraq serves only to deprive the American public of the real facts enabling our government to ignore the will of the people. This is not conducive to a truly safe, secure and free society.

Increasing complaints originating from rank and file members of our military are breaching the wall of secrecy shrouding the Bush administration's military operations. And, of course, the military is retaliating against whistleblowers. Many in the military are becoming more aware of the injustice of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and are finding it difficult to continue maiming and killing Iraqi civilians.

They are also aware of the danger to themselves and the immorality of the war against those civilians who are fighting only to rid themselves of the American invaders. This realization, communicated largely via the Internet, the new communications and information source, has encouraged rank and file members of the American military to begin asking questions and resisting orders they find either immoral or unnecessarily dangerous.

Many ground troops have publicly expressed their disgust with the Iraqi war, and entire units are beginning to balk. Information is getting out in spite of the state's objective to exercise its authority of force over both soldiers and civilians. In the Valerie Plame case, where reporters are being pressured to reveal their sources, Time reporter Matthew Cooper is being pressured by the Federal District Court to reveal government sources.

Around the time Henry Makow cited an article from Indymedia Hawaii, which makes a case of the deliberate destruction of the World Trade towers, and after a flap involving photos taken at a G8 conference, the US, representing the Swiss Government, demanded the seizure in London of the news collective's servers. The state's war on the press continues to expand, and is doing so globally far beyond both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Theodore E. Lang

© THEODORE E. LANG 7/12/04 All rights reserved

Ted Lang is a political analyst and a freelance writer. Visit his new website soon

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