NYT's Iraq War History, Still Misleading By Peter Hart

16 October 2013 — FAIR Blog

nyt-oustedThe New York Times had an interesting piece on October 14 telling the story of José Bustani, the former director general of the intergovernmental Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, who was ousted by the United States as part of the run up to the Iraq War.

As the story goes (and was reported at the time), Bustani had been working on getting Iraq  to agree to join the Chemical Weapons Convention. This was an unwelcome development for the Bush administration, since it could complicate efforts to invade Iraq based in part on its chemical weapons stockpile.

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When It Comes to State Violence, Too Much Is Never Enough By Jim Naureckas

7 September 2013 — FAIR Blog

U.S. warship firing one of 110 cruise missiles at Libyan forces (photo: DoD)

U.S. warship firing one of 110 cruise missiles at Libyan forces (photo: DoD)

Time magazine’s Michael Crowley (9/9/13) offers an analysis of how the Syrian situation reflects on Barack Obama’s presidency:

Whatever comes of Obama’s confrontation with Assad, an even more dangerous confrontation lies in wait–the one with Iran. If another round of negotiations with Tehran should fail, Obama may soon be obliged to make good on his vow to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. “I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests,” Obama told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2012. Continue reading

The Strange Thing About Cluster Bombs By Jim Naureckas

6 September 2013 — FAIR Blog

These are not the bad kind of cluster bomb, because they are dropped on and not by official enemies. (photo: US Air Force)

These are not the bad kind of cluster bomb, because they are dropped on and not by official enemies. (photo: US Air Force)

The New York Times has an article today (9/5/13) about a Human Rights Watch report charging Syria’s government with the use of  cluster bombs, a “widely prohibited weapon.”  Cluster bombs are munitions that release hundreds of miniature explosives; as the Times‘ Rick Gladstone writes, “Each bomblet detonates on impact, spraying shrapnel in all directions and killing, maiming and destroying indiscriminately.”

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John Kerry's Very Precise Death Toll: Where Does It Come From? By Peter Hart

4 September 2013 — FAIR Blog

9631681704_f8ba5770aeWhen the PBS NewsHour covered John Kerry’s dramatic presentation on the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria on August 21, reporter Jeffrey Brown (8/30/13) zeroed in on the death toll:

KERRY: The United States government now knows that at least 1,429 Syrians were killed in this attack, including at least 426 children.

BROWN: The chilling numbers stood out from the U.S. intelligence assessment released this afternoon. And, lest anyone doubt, the secretary of State insisted, its findings are as clear as they are compelling.

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Which Syrian Chemical Attack Account Is More Credible? By Jim Naureckas

1 September 2013 — FAIR Blog

Let’s compare a couple of accounts of the mass deaths apparently caused by chemical weapons in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta on August 21. One account comes from the U.S. government (8/30/13), introduced by Secretary of State John Kerry. The other was published by a Minnesota-based news site called Mint Press News (8/29/13).

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On Syria, Intelligence and Evidence By Peter Hart

30 August 2013 — FAIR Blog

FireShot Screen Capture #599 - 'World News 8_27_ American Warships Moving Closer to Syria Full Episode - World News with Diane Sawyer - ABC News' - abcnews_go_com_watch_world-news-with-diane-One would hope that the lessons of Iraq might inform more of the coverage of Syria. But that’s not always the case. Over the course of the past week, the White House and various officials have been adamant that they have evidence that shows the Syrian government was responsible for the horrific attack last week that likely killed hundreds, and very well could have been a chemical or gas attack of some sort.

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Media Advisory: Heading to War With Syria By Peter Hart

27 August 2013 — FAIR Blog

Horrific scenes of dead and injured civilians in Syria have been a part of the conflict there over the past several years, but the reports of a chemical attack of some sort last week in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta have led U.S. policymakers and the Obama White House to threaten to attack in a matter of days.

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The Accelerating Assault on Journalism

27 August 2013 — FAIR Blog

Some media figures applaud the criminalization of investigative reporting

U.S. soldier Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning’s 35-year sentence represents the harshest punishment issued to date for providing media with evidence of government wrongdoing (Forbes8/21/13). She is the first whistleblower to be convicted under the Espionage Act, ratifying the new reality that those who give the press information that the government wants to keep secret will henceforth be treated as spies.

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Bait-and-Switch on Stop-and-Frisk By Jim Naureckas

23 August 2013 — FAIR Blog

As Peter Hart has pointed out (FAIR Blog2/25/138/20/13), there’s a lot of misinformation coming from the media on the unconstitutional police strategy known as stop-and-frisk. There’s a powerful urge to believe, it seems, that abusing the Fourth Amendment rights of young men of color somehow makes the rest of us safer.

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FAIR TV: Snowden the 'Spy,' Stop-and-Frisk Factcheck, Student Loan Rates By Peter Hart

23 August 2013 — FAIR Blog

cbsen-snowdenOn FAIR TV this week: CBS tries to call Edward Snowden a “spy,” and Bill Kristol makes his ABC comeback with a bogus defense of New York’s stop-and-frisk police searches. Plus: Student loan rates are slashed, say the TV reports. But are they actually…going up?

Watch it all this on this week’s episode: Continue reading

When the State Attacks Journalism By Peter Hart

20 August 2013 — FAIR Blog

FireShot Screen Capture #580 - 'UK Media Crackdown_ Greenwald’s Partner Detained, Guardian Forced to Destroy Snowden Files I Democracy Now!' - www_democracynow_org_2013_8_20_uk_media_crackdowOn August 15 Progressive magazine editor Matt Rothschild was arrested at the Wisconsin state capitol building in Wisconsin for the act of reporting on the arrest of a protestor. As he told Democracy Now! (8/19/13):

I get out my iPhone and take pictures. I was doing that, and then they were moving Bonnie Block out down a hallway toward an elevator—this is in the Capitol, a public space—and I was following them down there, and I was taking pictures. Continue reading