CIA torture report and corporate media

This video from the USA says about itself:

Torture Report Causes Awesome Eruption From Fox News Anchor

10 December 2014

“That the CIA used interrogation methods on detainees that bordered on torture isn’t a particularly new story, but the report released today by the Senate Intelligence Committee was the first one to describe it in brutally graphic detail. But Fox News’s Andrea Tantaros challenged that narrative, asking on Outnumbered: why is it that the Democrats want to portray America as not awesome?

Dianne Feinstein wants to get this off her desk,” she argued, pointing out that the Californian Senator would no longer be Chairwoman of the Committee come January, and that the Democrats were likely using the torture report for political reasons.

“The United States of America is awesome,” she continued. “We are awesome. But we’ve had this discussion. We’ve closed the book on it. The reason they want the discussion is not to show how awesome we are. It’s to show us how we’re not awesome. They apologized for something.” The Young Turks hosts John Iadarola (TYT University), Steve Oh and Jimmy Dore (The Jimmy Dore Show) break it down.

Read more here.

Everywhere, there is disgust about the horrible torture by the CIA, as revealed partly in the redacted report published recently by the United States Senate.

Well .. not everyone is horrified. Marine Le Pen, leader of the French neo-fascist party the National Front, is not.

And a Dutch political ally of Marine Le Pen is not (or: was not? as we have seen) either.

Rupert Murdoch is not horrified by torture either. His employees defend torture at Fox News and in other parts of Rupert’s empire. As we have seen in the first video of this blog post. And as we shall see now in the second video.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Megyn Kelly Freaks On Torture But Her Guest Totally Surprises

9 December2014

“The Senate Intelligence Committee is putting out a report tomorrow on the CIA usage of torture techniques under the Bush administration. There is some security concern over the report going public, which is why thousands of U.S. Marines all over the world have been put on alert and the CIA has bolstered security for people worried the report’s release might make them a target.

And so tonight Fox News’ Megyn Kelly asked the question: is it “worth risking the lives of these Americans?”

Judge Andrew Napolitano argues that yes, they should, because “the American people have a right to know what’s been done in their name, especially when they’re misled about it.” He also said it’s not the report that will endanger lives, it’s what the report will reveal people did. Kelly said, “I’m sure that’s gonna comfort the families of the dead analysts we’re gonna see.”” The Young Turks hosts Dave Rubin (The Rubin Report), Ben Mankiewicz and Jimmy Dore (The Jimmy Dore Show) break it down.

Read more here.

By Niles Williamson in the USA:

Senate report on torture exposes collusion between corporate media and CIA

11 December 2014

The executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report sheds light on the manner in which the corporate media knowingly served as a conduit for the CIA to selectively and anonymously leak favorable reports on its interrogation program to the public. The Senate document also discloses that the media acceded to requests from CIA officials and Vice President Dick Cheney to withhold information about the program that was deemed unfavorable.

The report makes clear that the so-called “free press” in America functions as a propaganda arm of the state, with journalists serving as stenographers of official lies. Through the input of the CIA, the media sought to obscure the heinous character of the actions being carried out and condition public opinion to tolerate, if not support, so-called “enhanced interrogation” methods.

An entire section toward the end of the Senate report is devoted to the role of the media. It explains that the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs (OPA) fed information to journalists on the torture program while the program was still officially classified in order to undercut critics and project a more favorable image of the program to the public. When such classified information was published, the CIA did not press for criminal investigations, as the leaks had been approved by the agency itself.

Classified information on the torture regime was provided to journalist Ronald Kessler, who used the information in his book The CIA at War, published in 2003. The Senate report states that the CIA decided not to investigate this as a leak of classified information because “the book contained no first time disclosures,” and “OPA provided assistance with the book.”

Senior Deputy General Counsel for the CIA John Rizzo is quoted as saying that an investigation was not opened because the transfer of information to Kessler had been “blessed” by then-CIA Director George Tenet.

The CIA again provided Kessler with classified information in 2007 in an attempt to undercut FBI agents who had begun to openly criticize the intelligence agency’s torture program. Kessler provided a draft of his book, The Terrorist Watch, to the CIA for editing. The CIA’s director of public affairs, Mark Mansfield, suggested revisions that would make the book less favorable to the FBI and its agents’ criticisms of the CIA and “more balanced” in favor of the agency and its torture program.

The CIA also worked closely with Douglas Jehl, the current foreign editor of the Washington Post, who was then a deputy Washington bureau chief for the New York Times. The report details one instance in which classified information concerning the torture program was passed from the CIA to Jehl and published in the Times in 2005.

Concerns were subsequently raised by the House Committee on Intelligence about the publication of an article containing classified information related to the torture program. The CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center legal team replied that the information had been provided by the OPA and thus did not warrant an investigation.

Jehl once again turned to the CIA in December 2005 for assistance with a new story concerning the agency’s torture program. Jehl submitted a detailed outline of his proposed article to the agency, assured them that the article would reiterate that the “enhanced interrogation techniques” were effective, and that the program had been authorized by the White House and Department of Justice. That article was never published.

However, another New York Times reporter, David Johnston, contacted the CIA with a proposal for a story on the interrogation program the following year, and his article did appear in the Times.

The Senate report asserts that both Kessler’s book and Jehl’s published article from 2005 contained “inaccurate claims about the effectiveness of CIA interrogations” which were largely consistent with information being provided to Congress by the CIA.

The CIA sought to control the media and public perception of its interrogation program not only through selective leaks to journalists, but also by requesting that news outlets sit on information it did not want to reach the public.

The CIA as well as Vice President Cheney pressured the New York Times in November 2002 not to reveal the fact that terrorism suspect Abu Zubaydah was being held at the intelligence agency’s secret prison in Thailand. The CIA feared that if the information was released, the Thai government would not accept future detainees. The newspaper complied with the request and concealed these facts until March 2003, after the prison had been shut down and Zubaydah and other detainees had been transferred to other black sites.

Zubaydah was held at various CIA black sites for four-and-a-half years, until he was transferred in 2006 to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, where he is still being held. While in US custody, he was waterboarded approximately 83 times and subjected to a host of other forms of torture, including sleep deprivation, confinement in a small coffin-like box, and being repeatedly slapped, hit and slammed against a wall. Zubaydah, who lost his left eye at some point while in the custody of the CIA, has yet to be charged with a crime after more than 12 years of detention.

The reports on Kessler, Jehl and Johnston are the just tip of the iceberg. They point to the integration of the mass media, including supposedly authoritative outlets such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, into the military-intelligence apparatus. Prominent and highly paid “journalists” on a routine basis voluntarily allow their articles to be vetted by CIA censors.

The American corporate media is an accessory to the immense crimes carried out and covered up by both the Bush and Obama administrations, aiding and abetting torture, abductions, targeted assassinations and other atrocities.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Obama Strongly Against Torture & Prosecuting Torturers

10 December 2014

“President Barack Obama criticized the torture techniques exposed by a Senate report in an interview with Fusion host Jorge Ramos, but stopped short of directly blaming his predecessor, George W. Bush and his administration.

“The CIA cannot act alone,” Ramos said on Tuesday. “Is this the responsibility of President Bush? Did he betray American values?”

John Brennan Defends Torture; CODEPINK Calls on President Obama to Fire Him: here.

CIA torture report: British spy agencies discussed redactions. David Cameron says UK intelligence only discussed influencing the Senate report on the grounds of national security: here.

Now Britain accused of using evidence obtained by torture of Guantanamo inmate: here.

REVELATIONS in a damning report into CIA torture of detainees led to renewed calls yesterday for the release of the last British resident held in Guantanamo Bay. The fresh demand for Shaker Aamer’s release follows the publication of a report earlier this week by the US Senate intelligence committee which said that interrogations of terror suspects by the CIA were “far worse” than the agency had portrayed: here.

One day after the release of the US Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture in Washington, the government of Brazil officially unveiled a nearly 2,000-page report detailing the political murders, torture and other crimes carried out during two decades of dictatorship that began with a US-backed military coup in 1964: here.

John Pilger: Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers? Here.

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