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Old 07-04-2008, 06:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
Banned
 
Happy 232nd Birthday, America! But, isn't it again time to work for Independence?

On this 232nd anniversary of our declaration of independence from British rule, I think it is fitting to begin a general discussion on the idea of corporate "reform" in the US, here at TFP, a non-commercial, discussion forum. Even without yet adding some of the evidence of the influence that the defense industry in the US and in the world plays in deliberate efforts to maintain a perception of tension between nations, because it is "good for the bottomlines" of armament producting corporations, I think the small amount of information I am including in this OP, outlines the size and scope of "the problem".

A drive for US independence from corporate dominance, or a defense of corporations and their influence on our lives? What is your opinion?

I think it is time to say "no more" to these "takings", time to assert ourselves to insist on reform of corporate practice and influence:
Quote:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwa...ain/index.html

...our political establishment is doing what it now habitually does: namely, ensuring that the political and corporate elite who break our laws on purpose are immune from consequences....

....The excuses offered by our political establishment for this rampant lawbreaking have been systematically rejected by the institution the Founders intended to adjudicate these legal issues -- our courts -- and it's for exactly that reason that our establishment is now conspiring to take away from the courts the responsibility they were assigned to hold lawbreakers accountable......
We have incontrovertible evidence of Multinational Oil companies at work recently, to DIMINISH the domestic petroleum exploration and production, and of the refining of gasoline:
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthr...LD#post2447974

http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthr...34#post2447734 (See post #9)

http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthr...34#post2447734 (See post #30)

,,,,and, there is this assault to our sensibilities, our environment, to "justice", to our future as a nation:

Could it be that a political "hack" appointee, Collister W Johnson Jr., is arguing that it is better to risk the complete environmental destruction of the great lakes to avoid incurring $55 million in annual shipping costs increases, and avoid renegotiating a treaty with Canada, versus ending the risks of additional damage by banning foreign sea going freighters from the St. Lawrence Seaway? That is supposed to pass as the argument that "balances" the best interests of Americans, vs. corporate shipping interests?
Quote:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv...s_high_low.htm

White House Paychecks

Johnson, Collister W. Associate Director of Political Affairs $55,000

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll...OINS/307070079

.....Once Mr. Noe was in the White House on Feb. 24, 2003, his itinerary included an “Ohio political strategy session’’ with Ken Mehlman, who was later named Mr. Bush’s campaign manager and Collister “Coddy’’ Johnson, later named the campaign’s field director.

Quote:
Seaway administrator to visit north. | Watertown Daily Times ...
Collister W. Johnson Jr., now in his third week as administrator of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., said he will spend Thursday and part of ...
http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2...6-21882972_ITM
Quote:
http://blog.mlive.com/chronicle/2008..._invaders.html
Seaway acts to flush Great Lakes invaders
Posted by Jeff Alexander | The Muskegon Chronicle May 06, 2008 09:38AM

....The number of foreign species in the lakes has soared since 1959, when the St. Lawrence Seaway's manmade locks gave ocean freighters access to the Great Lakes. Exotic species cause about $4 billion damage annually in the Great Lakes basin, according to a Cornell University study.

Ocean ships account for nearly half of the 185 known exotic species in the lakes, according to independent research data. Two of the most destructive invaders, zebra mussels and quagga mussels, hopscotched the Atlantic Ocean in the late 1980s in the ballast tanks of transcontinental freighters...


....A Grand Valley State University study said banning ocean freighters from the lakes would add $55 million, or six percent, to the cost of moving cargo around the region. Such a move also would create about 1,300 new jobs for truckers and train operators, according to the GVSU study....

....Collister has said there is no way the Seaway will ban international freighters. He said such a move makes no sense and would require renegotiating the 1908 Boundary Waters Treaty between the U.S. and Canada.
Quote:
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=766864

Quote:
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=767107
U.S. Seaway boss resists efforts to bar overseas vessels
By DAN EGAN
degan@journalsentinel.com
Posted: June 28, 2008

U.S. Seaway boss Collister Johnson Jr. was new to the job in early 2007 when he called the study that pegged the annual savings tied to allowing oceangoing vessels into the Great Lakes at $55 million “ridiculous.”

But he could not specifically say what was wrong with the study that was co-written by Grand Valley State University professor John Taylor and funded by the Joyce Foundation.

More than a year has passed and Johnson still can’t say what’s wrong with the study. He hasn’t read it.

“And the reason I haven’t read it is it is just pure hypothetical, you know, academia — no practical value,” says Johnson, who was nominated for the Seaway job by President Bush, a classmate from Yale University. “We’ve got to focus on things that are real.”


Johnson says talk of blocking oceangoing traffic on the Great Lakes isn’t realistic because the U.S. jointly owns the Seaway with Canada, so the U.S. could not unilaterally close the door to oceangoing ships.

“It’s just not going to happen,” he says.

It isn’t just Americans who have floated the idea of locking out overseas vessels. In May last year a binational coalition of 90 environmental groups endorsed the idea of a shipping moratorium until those vessels can prove they will not further pollute the lakes.....

Quote:
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=594384
Ban ocean vessels in lakes? Some are floating the idea
As invasive species multiply, plan no longer looks radical
By DAN EGAN
degan@journalsentinel.com
Posted: April 21, 2007

...The group argues that the idea of slamming shut the Seaway to oceangoing "salties" has become an environmental and economic no-brainer, like padlocking a struggling little factory that is ruining life for everyone in town because it won't fix its oversize smokestack....

...Evidence suggests that the costs of the biological pollution gushing from the ship-steadying ballast tanks far outweigh the benefits of maintaining the world's largest freshwater system as a nautical highway for saltwater traffic.

A draft study from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, meanwhile, indicates that recreational boats dwarf overseas freighters in terms of economic importance to the region
, yet the recreation industry is entirely dependent on the very waters the salties continue to irreversibly pollute.

The overseas shipping industry acknowledges there is a problem and says it's time to pass a new federal law to phase in ballast treatment systems. But the industry is burning much of the lingering sympathy it has enjoyed by suing the State of Michigan over its efforts to address the ballast problem on its own with a new law restricting contaminated discharges....
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=766864
GREAT LAKES, GREAT PERIL: A SPECIAL REPORT
'The beach speaks for itself'
What price would you put on our Great Lakes - the sand beaches and rocky shores; the salmon, perch and rainbow trout; the smell of a freshwater breeze? Should we give it all up so that international shippers can save about $55 million a year? What if we already have?
By DAN EGAN
degan@journalsentinel.com
Posted: June 28, 2008

First of two parts. Also read Part 2: Ecological problem, economic distress
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=767291

When Ohio's Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969 near where it oozed into Lake Erie, pictures of the flames shamed Congress into passing the Clean Water Act, resuscitating the Great Lakes after a century of industrial abuse.

Two decades later, when the Exxon Valdez ran aground and spewed 10.8 million gallons of crude into Alaska's pristine Prince William Sound, images of cleanup crews spooning up goo and wiping off tarred birds pressed the government into ordering double-hulled oil tankers.

But you won't find any network camera crews in front of Pat Nell's Lake Michigan home just north of Sturgeon Bay. The 72-year-old retired physician and Air Force Reserve colonel is suffering the consequences of a biological pollution far more destructive than the Cuyahoga fire and far more persistent - and ultimately more costly - than the $2.2 billion it cost to clean up the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Her sand beach this spring is smothered by a two-foot-high pile of rotting algae - a mucus coughed ashore by an ailing Lake Michigan.

The rancid slime known as cladophora is just one nasty byproduct of an invasive mussel population discovered in the Great Lakes 20 years ago this month. And the mussels are just one kind of invader. The Great Lakes today are home to more than 185 exotic species, and the overwhelming majority of those that have colonized the world's largest freshwater system in recent decades did it the same way as the mussels. They arrived as accidental cargo aboard overseas freighters sailing up the St. Lawrence Seaway, a system of channels and concrete-lined canals that form an artificial shipping link between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.

The scope of the ecological damage of the biological pollution linked to overseas shipping is matched by its staggering economic toll.

• The cost comes in lost tourism on beaches unsuitable for swimming and in the empty recreational fishing boats that are the backbone of a Great Lakes fishery valued at over $7 billion a year. Recreational fishing from Michigan's 10 busiest fishing ports on Lake Huron, for example, has plummeted from around 1.2 million hours in 2003 to about 300,000 last year - because of a crash in salmon. And there are early but ominous signs Lake Michigan's sport fishery could be headed in the same direction.

• The cost comes in power and water bills as part of never-ending programs to keep water intake pipes free of mussel and algae buildup. We Energies alone spent well over $3 million on structures to keep cladophora out of intake pipes at just two power plants, in Port Washington and Oak Creek. It is spending an additional $2.6 million on special mussel-proof screens as part of its expansion at Oak Creek, and its overall operating costs for controlling mussels - which cluster and clog industrial intake pipes like plaque in a carotid artery - is estimated at $500,000 a year. That's just one company. The most comprehensive survey to date indicates the pipe-clogging costs to industry and government since 1988 approach $1.5 billion.

• The cost comes in tax bills - $358 million has been spent by the U.S. and Canadian government since 1958 killing just sea lampreys, an almost-forgotten bloodsucking parasite that swam into the lakes through the shipping canals and still must be controlled with annual doses of poison or it will devastate what's left of the lakes' prized predator fish.

• The cost comes in shrinking property values and our ability to enjoy the lakes. Just one county in Wisconsin gives a glimpse of the fortune at stake. Property records show shoreline properties in Door County, where Nell lives, have an assessed value of $2.6 billion.

It is an ecological tragedy that didn't ignite like a fire or gush like oil from a cracked hull.

It's been a slow-motion accident, spanning decades and growing rather than dissipating. Its tentacles are strangling the Great Lakes' natural food web, trashing beaches, plugging water intakes at power plants and municipal drinking systems and, scientists suspect, triggering botulism outbreaks that have killed thousands of birds.

Yet the damages are so insidious and diffuse that there is no iconic image to focus public outrage - and political attention.

That's why Pat Nell wants you to see what's become of her beach.

The filter-feeding mussels are fueling an explosion of the sunlight-loving cladophora, which grows on the lake bottom, washes ashore and rots in front of her house - and on untold miles of shoreline across the Great Lakes.

"I was going to come here, park my keister and have a good time," Nell says of her mind-set when she retired to the property six years ago after a globe-hopping career.

She initially coped by raking the "green muck," but the problem has grown way beyond manageable. She says a group of neighbors even tried bulldozers and dump trucks to haul the stuff away. It was back in a month.

Now Nell, with no small amount of sadness, tries adapting to the stink.

She stopped swimming.

She quit trying to push her boat through the slop to go fishing.



She takes her dogs for walks inland, so they don't get covered or stuck in the muck.

Nell lives in a house with super-sized windows designed to catch the cool, sweet breezes that blow off the world's fifth largest lake, a body of water that is 307 miles long, more than 100 miles wide and rarely warmer than 70 degrees.

And she's planning to buy an air conditioner.

Biologists thought they had seen the worst of the mussels in their first decade here. But their numbers in the past three years have ballooned beyond anything scientists could fathom.

The estimated population of invasive mussels in Lake Michigan has increased three- to fourfold in just the past three years and now stands at more than 1 quadrillion.

That's more than 1,000,000,000,000,000 mouths stripping the formerly plankton-rich lake almost Perrier-clear. These filter feeders aren't cleaning up the water; they're sucking the life out of it.

And fresh invaders continue to arrive with distressing regularity; a new one is discovered in the Great Lakes, on average, about every six months.

Scientists say the only way to stanch the shipborne onslaught is to somehow sterilize the freighter-steadying ballast water sloshing in the bellies of the 700-foot-long behemoths that lumber up the Seaway. It's a tall order, given how difficult it is to sanitize a hospital room.

But there is another simple, radical and potentially cheap way to address this problem - shut oceangoing ships out of the lakes until they can prove they won't pollute them.

The shipping industry claims a ban could deal a brutal economic blow to the Midwest. But the relatively tiny amount of overseas cargo that flows on the Seaway likely could be absorbed at a relatively small cost by a handful of daily trains, or transferred before the ships reach the Seaway door to a Great Lakes-based freighter fleet.

The shipping industry bristles at the notion. But the industry also balked at the mandate for double-hulled oil tankers; now it boasts about its safety record.....
Quote:
http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/447078.html

Alaskans less than happy
DAYDREAMS OVER: At least, some say, the stress of waiting is over.

By TOM KIZZIA and MEGAN HOLLAND
Anchorage Daily News

(06/26/08 00:04:25)

Reactions from Alaska plaintiffs to the Supreme Court's Exxon decision Wednesday ranged from disappointment to cynical outrage -- mixed, for some, with a tinge of relief that a two-decade ordeal had come to an end.

"It kind of sends the message that big corporations that have the right money and political power can throw safety and responsibility to the wind," said Mark Witteveen, a former Kodiak fisherman turned fisheries biologist. "I mean, $500 million for Exxon? That's not even a blip on their radar."

"This is a total slap in the face," said Andy Wills of Homer, a former Prince William Sound salmon and herring fisherman. "It just shows how corrupt our country has become. This won't even pay off a credit card."

The punitive damage limit set by the Supreme Court, including interest, should pay out just less than $1 billion when the paperwork is settled in the coming months. For commercial fishermen with the biggest shares, that could add up to $100,000 apiece or more.

But it's a far cry from the life-changing amounts dangled by the original $5 billion jury award in 1994. That award, 10 times the number approved Wednesday by the Supreme Court, became the stuff of daydreams, of big new boats and retirement homes in Mexico.

Over the years, those turned to dreams deferred as the legal case meant to bring closure to the 1989 oil spill became instead a major source of stress in coastal communities.

"Everybody has just got to shift gears again," said Frank Mullen, a Cook Inlet driftnet fisherman who also works as a financial planner. He got steady calls Wednesday from fishermen seeking advice.

"For a lot of people, I'm recommending they zero out their credit card balance and get rid of high-interest debt, then fund their IRAs to the max," Mullen said. "Many fishermen who hoped to retire soon because of the graying of the fleet are going to have to keep fishing and hope the price of fish is high."

'GRAPES OF WRATH' REVISITED

Dave Kubiak of Kodiak, a former English teacher turned commercial fisherman, said he was disappointed but not surprised at the Supreme Court decision. The court is "part of owned-and-operated corporate America," he said.

"It's 'The Grapes of Wrath' all over again. (John) Steinbeck was a visionary with that," said the former teacher. "Where do you punch your fist to pierce the corporate mask to really make anybody hear you? Nowhere. It doesn't exist. Just like in 'The Grapes of Wrath' when the farmer said, 'Well, I'll take my shotgun to town and find the banker that took my land.' It's not the banker. He's just a figurehead."

Gov. Sarah Palin said she is extremely disappointed with the decision. She said the court "gutted the jury's decision on punitive damages" and undercut one of the principal deterrents for marine shipping accidents in Alaska.

"It is tragic that so many Alaska fishermen and their families have had their lives put on hold waiting for this decision," Palin said. "My heart goes out to those affected, especially the families of the thousands of Alaskans who passed away while waiting for justice."

Palin's Fish and Game commissioner, Denby Lloyd, said the harmful effects of the spill are still being felt in Prince William Sound.

Limiting punitive damages this way sets a bad precedent, said Mary Jacobs of Kodiak, one of relatively few women commercial fishing in 1989.

"This is just saying that the oil companies aren't accountable for doing really bad stuff," she said. "Punitive damages is what keeps some businesses in line from taking risks, and the cost of operations just got less."

POLLUTION AND PEBBLE

Some plaintiffs related the Exxon spill to a current big issue for commercial fishing, the proposed Pebble mine in Bristol Bay.

"What makes me worried on the Pebble mine, it makes it pretty wide open that these guys can pollute," said Dan Winn of Homer, a former Cook Inlet drifter.

Lloyd Miller, a lawyer for Native subsistence villages that were part of the lawsuit, said he was shocked that the justices would not use the term "malicious" to describe Exxon's tolerance of what he called an alcoholic culture in its shipping arm.

The ruling Wednesday recounted how witnesses testified that Hazlewood, an alcoholic who had dropped out of a treatment follow-up program and had stopped going to AA meetings, downed at least five double vodkas in the waterfront bars of Valdez the night the ship left port. "Although Exxon had a clear policy prohibiting employees from serving onboard within four hours of consuming alcohol ... Exxon presented no evidence that it monitored Hazelwood after his return to duty or considered giving him a shoreside assignment," the ruling said.

The company showed disregard for small villages that suffered lasting devastation to their subsistence, Miller said.

"I think it's a tragedy," he said. "Justice has not been done."

In the small Kenai Peninsula village of Nanwalek, people stopped hunting and gathering on the beaches for years after the spill. A generation of young people grew up without subsistence and it has been difficult to revive, said Nanwalek council chief Wally Kvasnikoff.

"All the game that lived along the shoreline was licking up all that crude," said Kvasnikoff. "Subsistence kind of died. And they gave their retired guy $400 million."

Indeed, Exxon Mobil's retirement package for company CEO Lee Raymond was on many lips Wednesday, as was Exxon's profit of $40 billion last year.

On reflection, though, some coastal residents said they were glad at least some money was headed their way.

"It was just dragging on and on and on. I didn't have the feeling it was going to turn out good," said Rolf Christiansen, a fisherman and general store owner from the Kodiak village of Old Harbor, where he said local seabirds have still not recovered fully.

State Sen. Tom Wagoner, R-Kenai, was a plaintiff as a former Cook Inlet driftboat fisherman. He said the case speaks poorly for the American justice system: 20 years to resolve what one lawyer described to him as "just a drunk driving case."

"I was telling a friend last week, I'm hoping to get enough for a new four-wheeler out of this," Wagoner said. He'll do a little better than that, he said, if the average payout for Inlet driftboats under the new figure extends to $150,000 or so.

Some fishermen said the amount of money to be deducted by their lawyers for expenses could cause friction in the coming weeks, given the smaller total award. .....

Last edited by host; 07-04-2008 at 07:40 AM..
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
ring's Avatar
 
Location: ❤
I have difficulty expressing exactly what I am thinking,
partially due to my lack of formal education.

What first comes to mind when I read your post....
is Kudzu...then cholera introduced by explorers (interlopers?)
tree-sparrows...starlings and vegetative plants that are
considered 'foreign', here in the US.

The rabbit deal in Australia.

I don't know what else we can expect really...
The rapid rise in population and technology in just the past hundred
years is going to play out somehow.

How do we propose to stem this tide?

Should we?

Last edited by ring; 07-04-2008 at 10:52 AM..
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
Deliberately unfocused
 
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Location: Amazon.com and CDBaby
The sea lampreys should have been enough of a wake up call that we are not being suitable stewards of the Great Lakes. When the zebra mussels were discovered in Lake Erie, that should have been the last straw.

For decades, developers have been required to make environmental impact studies before erecting shopping malls, housing subdivisions or routing new roads. It's way past time to take action to halt, and hopefully reverse the unfolding tragedy in the Lakes. It's time to shut out the ocean-going freighters. Agreement with Canadian authorities should not be hard to negotiate.

The US rail system has been underutilized and allowed to fall into disrepair. Investment into upgrading and expanding this segment of our infrastructure could be an economic boon for the nation. An increase in business for railway companies, freight handlers and local independent trucking firms would all spark a round of job growth, new orders for durable goods, and possibly, start a revival in the economies of our struggling "rust belt" states.

There would be loud howling from the multinationals, but they should be made to understand that this would be in their own long-term best interest. Healthy economies create more demands for goods and services. If it costs and extra dollar to get their goods to market, they'll make an extra $1.50 once they get there. Getting their stuff there cheaper has no payoff, if the market is stagnant due to rampant unemployment. It's time to be smart, fellas, not merely greedy.

ps. Happy Independence Day, Americans! Our founding fathers did a great and noble thing. We need to work harder at building on that legacy!
__________________
"Regret can be a harder pill to swallow than failure .With failure you at least know you gave it a chance..." David Howard

Last edited by grumpyolddude; 07-04-2008 at 11:32 AM..
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have to confess that I made a mistake in the description of Seaway Admin., Collister Johnson, in my last post, because I confused this experienced maritime industry and politcal hack Mr.Johnson, with his inexperienced political hack son!

Reading the descritpion if this Mr. Johnson's job responsibilities and experience, it becomes clear that, even though he is appointed to administer a federally owned corporation his duties are:
Quote:
http://www.dot.gov/bios/johnsonc.htm
Collister ("Terry") Johnson, Jr.
Administrator, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

Collister ("Terry") Johnson, Jr.Collister (“Terry”) Johnson, Jr. was sworn in by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters on October 7, 2006 as the ninth Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC). He was nominated by President George W. Bush on August 29 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 29, 2006.

Mr. Johnson brings to the position three decades of experience in the transportation industry working diverse marine, rail, and air jobs that focused on capital investment, research and development, and strategic planning.

As Administrator, Mr. Johnson leads the federal government corporation responsible for maintaining and operating the two U.S. Seaway locks located in Massena, N.Y., and vessel traffic control in areas of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, in collaboration with its Canadian partner, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. The SLSDC is responsible for providing safe, efficient, reliable marine services on this critical binational waterway and marketing the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System.

Most recently a senior consultant at Mercer Management Consulting, Inc. in Washington, D.C., he helped craft innovative solutions to financial, planning and corporate structure challenges for railroad, port, airline and shipping projects throughout the last decade. During that period President Bush appointed him to serve on the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) where his economic development background proved useful in mobilizing private capital for investment in developing countries.

He served as chief executive officer of FastShip Atlantic, Inc., a company licensed to operate container ships designed to reduce cross-Atlantic delivery times. His maritime credentials also include service as chairman of the Virginia Port Authority, the Commonwealth’s largest economic development agency. During his eight-year tenure, the Port of Hampton Roads cargo tonnage more than tripled,....
....so, an oft politically appointed, industry executive is appointed to "market" the Seaway....to.... in effect, bring more toll revenue through the locks....more ships of all kinds, and NOT to protect the eco-system of the freshwater lakes...

Bear in mind that this is a corporation owned by our government, and it is led by a man and by policy counter to the best interests of most of us. So you see where I am going with this thread?

Oil companies that buy back $15 billion of their own stock, instead of investing in petroleum exploration and increasing refining capacity in the US, while farmers in North Dakota, in close proximity to new crude oil production, must hunt for diesel fuel for their farm equipment during fall harvest time.
Quote:

Chevron's $15B stock buyback pleases shareholders, riles critics

Sep 26, 2007 ... Article:Chevron's $15B stock buyback pleases shareholders, ... Chevron Corp. will spend up to $15 billion buying back its own stock — a ...
http://www.sfgate.com/.../n/a/2007/0...sn=001&sc=1000

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/n...,1761702.story
Million-dollar homes, billion-dollar oil patches make uneasy neighbors

By Michael Martinez | Tribune correspondent
6:47 PM CDT, May 4, 2008

...Long Beach drilled 70 new wells last year and is planning to drill about 60 more this year where it owns mineral rights. A shortage of engineers, geologists and drilling rigs keeps the city from additional drilling, said Curtis Henderson, manager of the city's oil operations.....
Quote:
http://www.10news.com/news/9844620/detail.html
Shell CEO Speaks On Controversial Refinery Closure

POSTED: 8:55 pm PDT September 13, 2006
UPDATED: 8:33 pm PDT September 14, 2006
Shell workers told 10News there was an alleged plan to drive up gas prices by closing a California refinery.

“They’ve lied and led people to believe there is an inadequate supply of crude oil to run that refinery,” said one Shell worker.

10News showed internal Shell documents talking about how “operations were running well” and Shell was “taking advantage of very high profit margins.”

The company said there was no future in Bakersfield, Calif., because the nearby oil fields were drying up.

After the 10News investigation, the state attorney general forced Shell to sell the refinery.

Now, the CEO of Shell Oil in the U.S. is speaking up on the issue.

“Bakersfield was too small. It was too small, too old,” said John Hofmeister.

Despite the profits detailed in Shell’s own internal documents, Hofmeister said the operation was not big enough and thus not profitable enough.

"We're, for example, looking at an expansion in Port Arthur, Texas, of 350,000 barrels a day in a 250,000 barrel-a-day refinery, creating the world's, or the nation's, largest refinery of more than 600,000 barrels,” added Hofmeister.

Hofmeister said that makes better financial sense than running an old, small refinery in California regardless of the profit margins.

Flying J Oil, which bought the Bakersfield plant, does see a future in it. Right now, the company is putting $500 million into updating the refinery.
Citizen protests and California's state government forced Shell Oil Corp, to sell iit's Bakersfield, CA refinery, instead of dismantling it, as Shell insisted it would do. Shell had to be forced to sell for $13o million, and, even then, the oil corp. tried to sabotage the sale by insisting on not including pipelines and storage tanks at and leading to the refinery. Flying J bought it anyway, agreeing to lease the tanks and pipelines from Shell.....

You're paying $4.05 per gallon today for fuel for your vehicle, but you don't think government should punish or take over the assets of corporations that are caught doing what Shell Oil was trying to do....close one of only ten California refineries to further tighten fuel supplies and raise prices....would you change your mind if you were paying $8.00 per gallon?

Things got this way because corporations spent the money on lobbying, campaign contributions, investing in media ownership and in PR and other advertising....it worked....it convinced many of the idea that "free" markets work best with least regualtion and government "interference". Many bought into the idea that what was good for corporations, was good for them, too.

It's looking like a lot of that "thinking" is pro[agandist bullshit. Think about what Shell and Exxon and Chevron have been doing, the next time you're paying for fuel at the pump.

An oil company that spends 19 years in court to avoid paying restitution for the damage caused to Alaska fisheries and ecology, after it allows a tanker captain it clearly knew was impaired, to command a single hulled super tanker that ran aground and spilled 10 million gallons of crude oil.

...and shipping companies and a publicly owned Seaway corp., making the decision to destroy the great lakes ecosystem because they do not have the notion of decreasing or ending their shockingly damaging shipping and port operations, in their culture.

All of the while that this has been happening, the corporate owned media, teamed with it's corporate allies and the government it so effectively lobbies, extols the "clear" advantages of "free markets" and of regulatory "reforms".

Who benefits, and who is exploited? Or is their constant, self promotional message that "eveyone wins", the accurate result?

Last edited by host; 07-04-2008 at 01:36 PM..
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Cottage Grove, Wisconsin
Quote:
Originally Posted by ring

How do we propose to stem this tide?

Should we?
So, because we fucked up in the past, we should just give up?

The idea of having ocean-going vessels transfer their cargo to Lakes-only ships seems pretty simple. They must love the idea in Montreal.
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Old 07-04-2008, 04:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Location: ❤
I see decades and centuries of footprints that have trampled
over any and all, in pursuit of the grail at the time.

In the past it was called other myriad names, some more
romantic to our ears at times...propaganda raised its head even before
our ancestors raised the first club.

Something in my post must of given the flavor of giving up,
not so...I was simply asking host...what can one person do,
to help eradicate decades and decades of poisonous greed.
The purposely
selfish motives cloaked in ever so elegant garb, while they oil
their tounges, has taken its toll on the strongest of us.


we know the facts.

All I was asking is what can I do.
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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you know, there's an advantage i suppose to the deep abiding dullness that tiny town can conjure from within itself.

my 4th of july evening was spent watching this:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/twodays/


have a look.
it's hard to say how i feel, except that it's more about the reality we are still surrounded by than any number of littletown parades and fireworks displays.
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy
you know, there's an advantage i suppose to the deep abiding dullness that tiny town can conjure from within itself.

my 4th of july evening was spent watching this:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/twodays/


have a look.
it's hard to say how i feel, except that it's more about the reality we are still surrounded by than any number of littletown parades and fireworks displays.
didn't know that was on, RB...i spent the afternoon pitchin' shoes with some iraqi/afghani vets, shootin' the shit, commiserating, generally enjoying life away from a war zone...when i came back from viet-nam, all we wanted to do was head for the nearest bar and drink to the downfall of RMN...

my niece's husband is due back from afghanistan tonight at 10:30...
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- Robert S. McNamara
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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you know, watching this affected me because it made me remember. not that day in october 1967, not any of the events it talks about--i was alive but not anywhere near and have no memory of where i was but i think i was somewhere----what i remembered was the split between the various levels of official narrative and the time-bound world we move through, the degrees of conflict between the two and the violence that can accompany attempts on the part of those who live in the official narrative to erase not just the actions but the entire reality of those who stray outside it along any number of trajectories--and this was what made the program interesting, really, this doubling of trajectories of straying outside the official narratives, that which followed doing what there was no choice but to do and that which followed from trying to protest what was happening both to the people locked into the former situations and because of those situations.

i remembered something of the fear of contamination that follows from investment in a metaphysical notion of purity. the violence that is shaped by the fear of contamination.
there has to be a better way to say that---and this is not appropriate for this thread perhaps: contamination becomes metaphor in a thread which is about contaminations in a more literal sense, regard for the effects of this literal contamination are stood on their head in the drift into metaphor.

but both are at play i suppose. reversibility is a continual possibility. one choices follows from another.

between the last post and this one i stood on the edge of the river again, as i do maybe too much these days, looking out toward the ocean, at fires burning on the backside of cranes beach, at the edges of fireworks exploding off castle hill, off annisquam, over the water, a microscopic world...it is low tide, unusally low it seems----i was standing over the surface of the moon. everything seems upside down.

i came back inside to erase the previous post, move it somewhere, turn things right-side up again in the microscopic world inside the microscopic world and here as there as everywhere else, previous choices are not reversible though meanings continually reverse, are reversed, are reversing.

i had the impression that the fireworks and such were about the opposite.
tonight they seemed more an axis around which the world was spinning.

it's all terribly odd.

i dont think i should watch television.
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Last edited by roachboy; 07-04-2008 at 05:40 PM..
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
comfortably numb...
 
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but, ya know, here we are...and there they are...and we're not going anyplace...and they're not going anyplace...and all we can do is speculate on what we think they're going to do to us, or what we think we're going to do to them, and...aren't we wasting a lot of synapse power?
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"We were wrong, terribly wrong. (We) should not have tried to fight a guerrilla war with conventional military tactics against a foe willing to absorb enormous casualties...in a country lacking the fundamental political stability necessary to conduct effective military and pacification operations. It could not be done and it was not done."
- Robert S. McNamara
-----------------------------------------
"We will take our napalm and flame throwers out of the land that scarcely knows the use of matches...
We will leave you your small joys and smaller troubles."
- Eugene McCarthy in "Vietnam Message"
-----------------------------------------
never wrestle with a pig.
you both get dirty;
the pig likes it.
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle phil
didn't know that was on, RB...i spent the afternoon pitchin' shoes with some iraqi/afghani vets, shootin' the shit, commiserating, generally enjoying life away from a war zone...when i came back from viet-nam, all we wanted to do was head for the nearest bar and drink to the downfall of RMN...

my niece's husband is due back from afghanistan tonight at 10:30...
That is great! My stepson returned from there a few weeks ago, and then got the surprise of his life !


Needless to say...his mother and I stifled our first reaction, when he showed us the photo, and hugged him and told him how proud of him we are and how relieved we are to have him back home.....for the second time since autumn, 2006.....

Last edited by host; 07-04-2008 at 06:31 PM..
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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...and what about Iraq? Is it accurate to say that "corporate influences" and agendas had a significant hand in "bombing Iraq back into the stone age"?

The Firefox 3 download map shows downloads of the new internet browser version are more than 500,000 in Iran, and, in Iraq, with a population a bit more than 1/3 the size of Iran's.... Iraqi downloads of the software are.... just 2000 sessions:

http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord/

Could these be accurate explanations of what has been going on, since 2002?

Quote:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20030421/interns
TV's Conflicted Experts
By Daniel Benaim, Priyanka Motaparthy & Vishesh Kumar

This article appeared in the April 21, 2003 edition of The Nation.
April 3, 2003

Perhaps Americans can be excused for imagining that "regime change" in Iraq would be a cakewalk. So did Don Rumsfeld, who lashed back at critics accusing him of approving a too-optimistic war plan. Like Rumsfeld, a veritable army of ex-generals playing military analysts on TV seem to have gotten the story wrong, too, and are only now, very belatedly, changing their tune.

One might have expected a pro-military slant in any former general's initial estimation of the US invasion. But some of these ex-generals also have ideological or financial stakes in the war. Many hold paid advisory board and executive positions at defense companies and serve as advisers for groups that promoted an invasion of Iraq. Their offscreen commitments raise questions about whether they are influenced by more than just "a lifetime of experience and objectivity"--in the words of Lieut. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, a military analyst for NBC News--as they explain the risks of this war to the American people.

McCaffrey and his NBC colleague Col. Wayne Downing, who reports nightly from Kuwait, are both on the advisory board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a Washington-based lobbying group formed last October to bolster public support for a war. Its stated mission is to "engage in educational advocacy efforts to mobilize US and international support for policies aimed at ending the aggression of Saddam Hussein," and among its targets are the US and European media. The group is chaired by Bruce Jackson, former vice president of defense giant Lockheed Martin (manufacturer of the F-117 Nighthawk, the F-16 Fighting Falcon and other aircraft in use in Iraq), and includes such neocon luminaries as former Defense Policy Board chair Richard Perle. Downing has also served as an unpaid lobbyist and adviser to the Iraqi National Congress, an Administration-backed (and bankrolled) opposition group that stands to profit from regime change in Iraq.

NBC News has yet to disclose those or other involvements that give McCaffrey a vested interest in Operation Iraqi Freedom. McCaffrey, who commanded an infantry division in the Gulf War, is now on the board of Mitretek, Veritas Capital and two Veritas companies, Raytheon Aerospace and Integrated Defense Technologies--all of which have multimillion-dollar government defense contracts. Despite that, IDT is floundering--its stock price has fallen by half since March 2002--a situation that one stock analyst says war could remedy. Since IDT is a specialist in tank upgrades, the company stands to benefit significantly from a massive ground war. McCaffrey has recently emerged as the most outspoken military critic of Rumsfeld's approach to the war, but his primary complaint is that "armor and artillery don't count" enough. In McCaffrey's recent MSNBC commentary, he exclaimed enthusiastically, "Thank God for the Abrams tank and... the Bradley fighting vehicle," and added for good measure that the "war isn't over until we've got a tank sitting on top of Saddam's bunker." In March alone, IDT received more than $14 million worth of contracts relating to Abrams and Bradley machinery parts and support hardware.

Downing has his own entanglements. The colonel serves on the board of directors at Metal Storm Ltd., a ballistics-technology company that has contracts with US and Australian defense departments. The company's executive director told the New York Times on March 31 that Metal Storm technologies would "provide some significant advantage" in the type of urban warfare being fought in Iraq.

At Fox News, military analysts Lieut. Col. Bill Cowan and Maj. Robert Bevelacqua are CEO and vice president, respectively, of wvc3 Group, a defense consulting firm that helps arms companies sell their wares to the government. It recently inked an exclusive deal with New Zealand's TGR Helicorp and will help the company hawk its military aviation equipment to the United States. The firm trades on its inside contacts with the US military, and a message on its website reads, "We use our credibility to promote your technology" (accompanied by the sound of loud gunfire).

The networks don't seem too concerned about what the analysts do on their own time. "We are employing them for their military expertise, not their political views," Elena Nachmanoff, vice president of talent development at NBC News, told The Nation. She says that NBC's military experts play an influential role behind the scenes, briefing executive producers and holding seminars for staffers that provide "texture for both on-air pieces and background." Defense contracts, she adds, are "not our interest."

"We expect the analysts to keep their other interests out of their commentary, or we stop using them," says Kim Hume, Fox Washington bureau chief, though she concedes that the network has yet to sever its relationship with any analyst for this reason. She says the network is aware of various political and financial ties (Fox's website mentions wvc3 in Cowan's and Bevelacqua's bios) but refused to discuss the issue. Hume says only that Fox military analyst Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, who represents several information-technology companies, is valuable as a commentator on psychological operations.

Shortly after the Vietnam War, Vallely pioneered a concept he called MindWar, a strategy that uses "electronic media--television and radio" in the "deliberate, aggressive convincing of all participants in a war that we will win that war." With the televised version of Operation Iraqi Freedom, we may be watching his theory at work--and at a tidy profit, too.
Fast forward five years, and "NBC has still yet to disclose":

Quote:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwa...4/30/williams/
Wednesday April 30, 2008 07:00 EDT
Brian Williams' "response" to the military analyst story

(updated below)

It has now been more than 77 days
http://home.comcast.net/~d.leedle/news/ since the New York Times exposed the Pentagon's domestic propaganda program involving retired generals and, still, not a single major news network has even mentioned the story to their viewers, let alone responded to the numerous questions surrounding their own behavior. This steadfast blackout occurs despite the fact that the Pentagon propaganda program almost certainly violates http://www.prwatch.org/node/7261 numerous federal laws; http://letters.salon.com/opinion/gre...16a539362.html both Democratic presidential candidates sternly denounced the Pentagon's conduct; http://www.thenation.com/blogs/campa..._mccain_silent and Congressional inquiries http://utdocuments.blogspot.com/2008...elauro-to.html are already underway, all of which forced the Pentagon to announce http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/26/wa...gg&exprod=digg that it suspended its program.

Still, there has not been a peep from the major news networks at the center of the storm, the integrity of whose reporting on the Iraq war is directly implicated by this story. Even establishment media defender Howard Kurtz called their ongoing failure to cover this story http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwa...8/04/28/kurtz/ "pathetic."

Like Fox and CBS, NBC News outright refused to answer any questions about the allegations when asked by the NYT's David Bartsow, and its prime time anchor, Brian Williams, has delivered seven broadcasts since the story was published and has not uttered a word to NBC's viewers about any of it. Yesterday, I wrote about http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwa...ams/index.html an entry on Williams' blog http://dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com/ar...28/953442.aspx -- which he calls "The Daily Nightly" -- in which Williams found the time to mock one frivolous cultural puff piece after the next in the Sunday edition of the NYT, even as he still had refused even to acknowledge the expose in last Sunday's NYT that calls into serious question the truthfulness and reliability of his "journalism."

After I wrote about Williams' blog item yesterday, his blog was deluged with commenters angrily demanding to know http://dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com/ar...53442.aspx?p=2 why he has failed to address the NYT expose. In response, Williams wrote a new blog item last night http://dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com/ar...29/958477.aspx in which he purports -- finally -- to respond to the story, and I can't recommend highly enough that it be read by anyone wanting to understand how our establishment journalist class thinks and acts.

The essence of Williams' response: he did absolutely nothing wrong. Nor did any of the military analysts used by NBC News. Nor did his network. These are all honest, patriotic men whose integrity is beyond reproach. Here's but a sampling of Williams' defense:
Quote:
Originally Posted by NBC's Brian Williams
A few of you correctly noted I’ve yet to respond to the recent Times front-page article on the military analysts employed by the television networks, including this one.

I read the article with great interest. I've worked with two men since I've had this job -- both retired, heavily-decorated U.S. Army four-star Generals -- Wayne Downing and Barry McCaffrey. As I'm sure is obvious to even a casual viewer, I quickly entered into a close friendship with both men. . . .

All I can say is this: these two guys never gave what I considered to be the party line. They were tough, honest critics of the U.S. military effort in Iraq. If you've had any exposure to retired officers of that rank (and we've not had any five-star Generals in the modern era) then you know: these men are passionate patriots. In my dealings with them, they were also honest brokers. . . .

At no time did our analysts, on my watch or to my knowledge, attempt to push a rosy Pentagon agenda before our viewers. I think they are better men than that, and I believe our news division is better than that.
Williams argues that the two retired Generals whom he identified in particular -- Downing and McCaffrey -- voiced "harsh criticism of the Rumsfeld Pentagon and the war effort." As proof, he cites a McCaffrey quote from 2006 -- more then 3 years after we invaded Iraq -- in which McCaffrey said there was a civil war there and that "it's a very bad situation, and it's getting worse." He also said Downing was angry that we didn't use more troops for the invasion.

That is the sum and substance of Williams' response to allegations that these analysts were presented as "independent" despite having multiple political and financial ties which negated their independence. There is no indication that he has any plans to tell his viewers about the story. And he seems to think that this smug, dismissive response resolves the questions surrounding the behavior of NBC News. It doesn't. If fact, Williams' response -- and his citation to these two specific retired Generals -- raises far more questions than it answers.

* * * * *

Both McCaffrey and Downing were about as far from "independent" as a news analyst could possibly be. On November 15, 2002, a press release http://utdocuments.blogspot.com/2008...raq-press.html was issued announcing the formation of something called "The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq," which was devoted "to advocat[ing] freedom and democracy in Iraq." Its list of 25 members was filled to the brim with the standard cast of war-hungry neocons -- including Bill Kristol, Newt Gingrich, Richard Perle, Leon Wieseltier, Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, Eliot Cohen, and anti-Muslim "scholar" Bernard Lewis. Both Barry McCaffrey and Wayne Downing -- the two extremely independent "news sources" hailed yesterday by Brian Williams -- were two of its 25 founding members.

On the day of its formation, the group announced that they would meet later that day with then-National Security Adviser Condolleeza Rice to discuss Iraq. The group's President was quoted in the Press Release as follows: "We believe it is time to confront the clear and present danger posed by Saddam Hussein's regime by liberating the Iraqi people." Here was its stated purpose:

The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq will engage in educational and advocacy efforts to mobilize domestic and international support for policies aimed at ending the aggression of Saddam Hussein and freeing the Iraqi people from tyranny. The Committee is committed to work beyond the liberation of Iraq to the reconstruction of its economy and the establishment of political pluralism, democratic institutions, and the rule of law.

So this was a group devoted to building domestic support in the U.S. for the invasion of Iraq through so-called "educational and advocacy efforts." And NBC News then hired both Barry McCaffrey and Wayne Downing as supposedly "independent analysts" to opine to NBC's viewers about the war, and did so without ever once disclosing this affiliation to their viewers, without ever disclosing that they were dedicated to propagandizing on behalf of the Bush administration's desire to invade Iraq.

Beyond their ideological affiliations that negated their "independence," both McCaffrey and Downing had substantial ties to the defense industry which gave them strong financial incentives to advocate for the war. ...

.....Just consider what is going on here. The core credibility of war reporting by Brian Williams and NBC News has been severely undermined by a major NYT expose. That story involves likely illegal behavior by the Pentagon, in which NBC News appears to have been complicit, resulting in the deceitful presentation of highly biased and conflicted individuals as "independent" news analysts. Yet they refuse to tell their viewers about any of this, and refuse to address any of the questions that have been raised.

More amazingly still, when Brian Williams is forced by a virtual mob on his blog yesterday finally to address this issue -- something he really couldn't avoid doing given that, the day before, he found time to analyze seven other NYT articles -- Williams cited McCaffrey and Downing as proof that they did nothing wrong, and insists that his and their credibility simply ought to be beyond reproach because they are good, patriotic men. But those two individuals in particular had all kinds of ties to the Government, the defense industry, and ideological groups which gave them vested interests in vigorous pro-war advocacy -- ties which NBC News knew about and failed to disclose, all while presenting these individuals to their millions of viewers as "independent." Is there anyone who thinks that behavior is anything other than deeply corrupt?
As of today, no American television broadcast network, including NBC....has reported anything about the NY Times April 20 expose, or about their own failure to inform their viewers/listeners about the conflicts of interests of the "military experts" they hired and put on the air to "inform" the American public about the war in Iraq.

There is also this reporting of intentional government policy to "enhance" the bottom lines of military contractors via the use of a retired general who is now
serving on the boards of directors of three of these contractors:
Quote:
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/edi...p1=MEWell_Pos2
An undiplomatic conflict of interest

By Kevin McKiernan | November 1, 2006

MOST PEOPLE would agree that it's bad ethics for government officials to invest in companies that they regulate. But what about a US special envoy to a Middle East trouble spot who happens to be a director of an arms company selling weapons to one of the parties in the conflict?

That's the case of retired Air Force General Joseph Ralston, who was appointed by the Bush administration in August to help US ally Turkey counter the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK , the Kurdish rebels who are seeking autonomy from Turkey and have bases in northern Iraq. Ralston, a former NATO supreme allied commander, has been negotiating with Turkish generals and Iraqi leaders since his appointment to develop measures to eliminate the bases.

The problem is that General Ralston is on the board of Lockheed Martin, the world's largest arms maker, which just last month finalized a $2.9 billion sale for advanced F-16 fighters that may well be used in the Kurdish region (the State Department acknowledges that F-16 s were involved in human rights abuses in Turkey in the 1990s). This gives the ex-general the appearance of holding a financial interest in his shuttle diplomacy.

The administration hopes the Ralston appointment will boost US-Turkish ties, which soured on the eve of the Iraq war after Turkey refused to allow American troops to deploy from Turkish soil. But the issue of PKK guerrillas, who have been battling the US-equipped Turkish army for 22 years, is complicated, and efforts to impose a military solution without causing more regional instability may backfire.

The Kurdish uprising in the 1990s in Turkey accounted for approximately 37,000 deaths, most of them ethnic Kurds. Whatever happens next will be closely watched by the restive population of 25 million stateless Kurds who spill across the borders of Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria.

Both the United States and the European Union regard the PKK as terrorists, but the group finds support among Turkey's long-abused Kurds. At the same time, Kurds who hoped the Turkish government would grant educational and broadcasting rights were disappointed in 2004 when the PKK ended its unilateral, five-year cease-fire and went back to war.

Now Turkey and the Kurds appear to be on a new collision course, and Lockheed Martin, General Ralston's company, may play a pivotal role. Last spring, Turkey moved 200,000 troops to its southern border, and its generals have been pressing Washington for a green light to enter Iraq to attack the rebel sanctuaries. Iraq's government opposes the threatened incursion, arguing it would only add to existing chaos in the country.

Iraqi Kurdish leaders fear local Kurds would join Turkish Kurds to fight the Turkish army -- the largest NATO power (after the United States) -- and the result would be a Kurdish bloodbath. Privately, Iraqi Kurdish leaders complain that the issue of PKK bases is only a pretext. They claim that Ankara's real target is Kirkuk, the multiethnic, oil-rich city that Iraqi Kurds vow to incorporate into their semi-autonomous zone by 2007.

Iraq's president, Jalal Talabani, who is a Kurd, recently played a key role in behind-the-scenes negotiations to disarm the guerrillas. The result was a cease-fire announcement on Oct. 1 by the rebels, who also declared they might hand over weapons to US forces in Iraq in exchange for Turkish concessions that include human rights reforms and amnesty for rebels. In a speech in Istanbul last month Ralston opposed amnesty and dismissed the cease-fire, declaring he would never "negotiate with terrorists."

General Ralston is on the board of the American Turkish Council, the powerful Capitol Hill lobby, and he is vice chairman of the Cohen Group, a corporation founded by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, with close ties to the Turkish military. Unfortunately, Ralston carries too much baggage to be special envoy, and he should step down before he alienates the Kurds of Iraq, the best -- and perhaps only -- friend the US government has in the country.

With the looming threat of civil or even wider war in the region, the United States needs a skilled, disinterested negotiator to resolve the PKK issue, while finding a peaceful solution to legitimate Kurdish grievances.

Our new man in Ankara will be seen as an arms merchant in diplomat's clothing. He should be replaced.

Kevin McKiernan has covered the Iraq war for ABC News. He is the author of "The Kurds: A People in Search of Their Homeland."

Quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Ralston#cite_note-4
Corporate career

He is currently director of the Timken Company http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timken_Company and the URS Corporation, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URS_Corporation is on the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin and has been Vice Chairman of The Cohen Group, since March 2003.[2] He also sits on the advisory board of the American Turkish Council, an American-Turkish lobby group.
Air Force General Joseph Ralston served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was expected to succeed Gen. Hugh Shelton as chairman, in 2001, but, because he had had an publicized extramarital affair with a CIA employee in the 1980's, over the public objections of his then estranged wife, and was being considered for the promotion to chief while the USAF was forcing the first female B-52 pilot to resign her commission because of an extramarital affair.......Gen. Ralston only had the clout to "bump" Gen. Wesley Clark into premature transfer out of the NATO command, and early retirement from his assignment as supreme allied commander of NATO.

We need to raise public awareness about what is being done, organize peaceful protests against these companies and boycotts of their consumer products, broadcasts, etc. We need to vote for people committed to holding these corporations responsible. The FCC has a strict policy against the broadcasting of "fake news", and it has the power to revoke the broadcast licenses of TV and radio stations owned by these networks!

Last edited by host; 07-06-2008 at 11:02 AM..
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Old 07-06-2008, 11:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
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as I read the OP and all the replies, I don't understand what the "work for Independence" from means.

In my lifetime alone I've seen swings of the winds of change, back and forth, I don't see how we are locked into anything really.
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Old 07-06-2008, 11:32 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq
as I read the OP and all the replies, I don't understand what the "work for Independence" from means.

In my lifetime alone I've seen swings of the winds of change, back and forth, I don't see how we are locked into anything really.
If you owned the lake front property pictured in the thread's OP, maybe you would better see "how we are locked into anything".

This concept hasn't changed since it was studied beginning in 1924:

(My reference to "independence" in the thread's title, refers to "independence" from this!)
Quote:
http://www.pbs.org/fmc/interviews/caplow.htm
New River Media Interview with: Theodore Caplow
Commonwealth Professor of Sociology, University of Virginia Co-Author, The First Measured Century

.. QUESTION: What kind of criteria were used to select Muncie?

THEODORE CAPLOW:....The Middletown one study does not really contain a critique of consumerism. It contains a critique of class stratification, and the fact that the business class as they saw it were not only exploiting the working class, but also attempting to control them ideologically....
Quote:
http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_s...-card---a.html
White House chief of staff Andrew Card, quoted in the NY Times on 9/7/2002:

“From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.”
Cynthetiq, the examples in the next quote box illustrate the lack of "independence" of the corporate news media from the government. The "star" NY Times "war correspondent", Michael Gordon, continues to "get away with", being nothing more than an effing stenographer for the penatgon/Bush administration....and the NY Times is viewed by conservatives as "too liberal".

Just read Michael Gordon's June 20 article, posted near the bottom of the next quote box......
Quote:
Quote:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/07/09/hoyt/
Monday July 9, 2007 06:50 EDT
The ongoing journalistic scandal at the New York Times

....And most significantly of all, Hoyt's criticisms are grounded not in a technical violation of some petty rule or failure to adhere to some debatable journalistic custom, but rather, involve the worst journalistic sin of all: namely, a failure to treat government claims with skepticism and a willingness mindlessly to recite such claims without scrutiny. If a newspaper simply prints government claims without skepticism, what remote value does it have other than as a propaganda amplifier? None. And yet, as Hoyt's column potently demonstrates, that is exactly what the NYT is doing in Iraq -- yet again......

... Just consider the record of Michael Gordon -- who, I want to stress, is not personally the problem but merely the most vivid manifestation of the ills of American political journalism. Based exclusively upon what has appeared in the Times itself -- thus excluding all external criticisms of his reporting -- this is Gordon's record of shame over the last four years:

* A May 26, 2004 NYT Editors' Note http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/26/in...&ex=1184126400 identifies several articles written or co-written by Gordon about the Bush administration's pro-war Iraq claims and says about that reporting "that it was not as rigorous as it should have been"; that the war-fueling case "was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged"; and the reporting was flawed because "Administration officials were allowed to hold forth at length" with virtually no challenge or dissent.

* On January 28, 2007, NYT Public Editor Byron Calame reports http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/op...erland&emc=rss that "Times editors have carefully made clear their disapproval of the expression of a personal opinion about Iraq on national television by the paper's chief military correspondent, Michael Gordon," in which Gordon expressed clear support for President Bush's "surge" plan. The Times Washington Bureau Chief, Philip Taubman, said that Gordon "stepped over the line" by admitting that he supported escalation in Iraq.

* On February 27, 2007, Calame gently though clearly criticized http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...=&pagewanted=2 an article by Gordon written about the Bush administration's "saber-rattling about Iranian intervention in Iraq" (and other articles on the same topic) on the ground that (a) Gordon's article violated the paper's rules on the use of anonymous government sources; (b) the reported government claims about Iran "needed some qualification" about whether they were based on evidence or inference; (c) readers "deserved a clearer sense" of whether such a belief about the Iranian leadership's involvement in Iraqi insurgent attacks is shared by a consensus of intelligence officials (which, as even the President subsequently admitted, http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/02/...ipt/index.html it was not); and, most incriminatingly (given its obvious similarity to Gordon's pre-war failures), (d) "editors didn't make sure all conflicting views were always clearly reported" and the "story also should have noted . . . that the president's view on this point differed from the intelligence assessment given readers of [Gordon's] Feb. 10 article."

* Hoyt's column yesterday identifies a series of articles about Iraq, many written or co-written by Gordon, which "slipped into a routine of quoting the president and the military uncritically about Al Qaeda's role in Iraq," and further criticized the articles because "in using the language of the administration," these articles presented a misleading picture of Iraq.

Does anyone at the NYT really need help seeing the clear pattern here? What more does Gordon need to do in order to show how journalistically irresponsible he is, how either incapable or unwilling he is to treat Bush administration claims about the war with skepticism and do anything other than serve as an obedient vessel for pro-war government claims?

This is a disgraceful record that continuously exhibits the same journalistic sins and the same exceedingly transparent pro-war, pro-Bush bias, not just bias that Gordon harbors personally but bias which time and again permeates his "reporting." And again, this is the record as established by the Times itself. There are countless other instances where Gordon does this that do not make it into the pages of his newspaper, but which are nonetheless egregious.

And yet, the Editors of the NYT continue not only to make Gordon their featured star reporter when it comes both to Iraq and related stories about Iran, but also to approve of the same defective, corrupt journalistic methods that are his hallmark. The deficiencies in his reporting are not complex or hidden. They are all right there out in the open, easy to see. All one has to do is read Gordon's articles and it is immediately apparent that, time and again, they do nothing other than recite highly questionable and highly inflammatory claims from the military and the Bush administration, and he conveys them with no meaningful question, challenge, dissent, or qualification.

And he does this not once, but over and over. This is exactly what the NYT claims to be so ashamed of its having done prior to the war, and yet it so plainly continues to do it, four years later -- in the form of the same reporter and likely the same editors. After all, as Hoyt's column demonstrate, it is not just Gordon who is guilty of these failures. If bloggers can see it, and Hoyt sees it, isn't it safe to assume that the editors who approve of these articles see it, too? How can they not? ....
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t...avx0qT3nZkbstg
June 20, 2008
U.S. Says Israeli Exercise Seemed Directed at Iran
By MICHAEL R. GORDON and ERIC SCHMITT

WASHINGTON — Israel carried out a major military exercise earlier this month that American officials say appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Several American officials said the Israeli exercise appeared to be an effort to develop the military’s capacity to carry out long-range strikes and to demonstrate the seriousness with which Israel views Iran’s nuclear program.

More than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters participated in the maneuvers, which were carried out over the eastern Mediterranean and over Greece during the first week of June, American officials said.

The exercise also included Israeli helicopters that could be used to rescue downed pilots. The helicopters and refueling tankers flew more than 900 miles, which is about the same distance between Israel and Iran’s uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, American officials said.

Israeli officials declined to discuss the details of the exercise. A spokesman for the Israeli military would say only that the country’s air force “regularly trains for various missions in order to confront and meet the challenges posed by the threats facing Israel.”

But the scope of the Israeli exercise virtually guaranteed that it would be noticed by American and other foreign intelligence agencies. A senior Pentagon official who has been briefed on the exercise, and who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the political delicacy of the matter, said the exercise appeared to serve multiple purposes.

One Israeli goal, the Pentagon official said, was to practice flight tactics, aerial refueling and all other details of a possible strike against Iran’s nuclear installations and its long-range conventional missiles.

A second, the official said, was to send a clear message to the United States and other countries that Israel was prepared to act militarily if diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from producing bomb-grade uranium continued to falter.

“They wanted us to know, they wanted the Europeans to know, and they wanted the Iranians to know,” the Pentagon official said. “There’s a lot of signaling going on at different levels.”

Several American officials said they did not believe that the Israeli government had concluded that it must attack Iran and did not think that such a strike was imminent. ....

....Israeli officials have told their American counterparts that Mr. Mofaz’s statement does not represent official policy. But American officials were also told that Israel had prepared plans for striking nuclear targets in Iran and could carry them out if needed.......

....“They are clearly nervous about this and have their air defense on guard,” a Bush administration official said of the Iranians.......

....Pentagon officials said that Israel’s air forces usually conducted a major early summer training exercise, often flying over the Mediterranean or training ranges in Turkey where they practice bombing runs and aerial refueling. But the exercise this month involved a larger number of aircraft than had been previously observed, and included a lengthy combat rescue mission......

.......“They rehearse it, rehearse it and rehearse it, so if they actually have to do it, they’re ready,” the Pentagon official said. “They’re not taking any options off the table.”
As can be clearly seen in Michael Gordon's June 20 article above, coming a full year after Glenn Greenwald's scathing criticism of Michael Gordon's "stenography", and of the apparent approval of his reporting by the NY Times editors who claim to condemn it but publish it anyway....there is a problem with the most prominent newspaper in the US acting as a PR outlet to distribute, verbatim, whatever the pentagon or the administration recites to it, even anonymously, without qualification or challenge, by the NY Times!

If the Times reporting is "too liberal", where do you suppose conservatives are going to get a "truer" view? Could it be to some source so far to the right that it influences the views of conservatives to the point that they are so far right, that they "fall over" the edge?

Isn't raising awareness that ALL mainstream news coverage is compromised by the corporate interests who own it, the first step of a new drive for independence of the American people, beginning with more independence in the way that they think?

The "independent" news media.... "silent" in 2003, silent for the next five years, silent, all the way to today.

Quote:
Judith Miller, The New York Times , and the Propaganda Model
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
tor Bill Keller, apologizing for aspects of NYT ...... (2004) “The Times and Iraq”, New York Times, 26 May, http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/26/international/ ...
http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/papers/pmt/ex...boydbarret.pdf

View as html (html page= #4)
From page #v 438:

The Case of The New York Times 2002–2004

By late June 2003, it was increasingly clear to
most commentators that the Bush administration
had lied about weapons of mass destruction
(WMD) in Iraq in order to justify the
March invasion. A Washington Post (WP) story
(Kurtz, 2003) dissected the stories of Judith
Miller of the NYT arguing that Miller had acted
as conduit for stories originating in US military
and intelligence agencies. Miller was connected
to right-wing and pro-Zionist think tanks such
as the American Enterprise Institute, Hudson
Institute, Washington Institute for Near East
Policy, and Middle East Forum. She had cultivated
a relationship with Ahmed Chalabi, a
convicted embezzler and head of the Iraqi
National Congress (INC), a US-financed exile
group with close ties to the Pentagon’s civilian
leadership. Miller functioned as liaison between
the US military and the INC. Chalabi had provided
her with misleading information that was
to form the basis of many front-page NYT stories
concerning WMD. Yet Miller never quoted
Chalabi in those stories and both State Depart......
Despite the NY Times editor, Bill Keller's "apology", the co-author of at least two of Judith Miller's WMD "articles", is "still at it".... acting as an uncritical steno-conduit of military/Bush admin, propaganda, to this day:
Quote:
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthr...on#post2432081
....More Official US "Iran bashing":
Quote:
Then there was the Explosively Formed Projectile (EFP) story of Iranians supplying Shia militias with especially lethal IEDs which the military and intelligence community pitched to credulous journalists. On February 10, 2007, Michael Gordon came out with the first of several pieces at the New York Times which were notable for their anonymous sourcing and unsubstantiated claims. These articles were heavily criticized in the blogosphere but it didn't stop Gordon from revisiting the subject on March 27, 2007 and August 8, 2007 and recycling many of the previous charges.
....<h3>In Gordon's original piece the accusation was made that the smuggling of EFPs into Iraq was "approved by Supreme Leader Khamenei and carried out by the Quds Force." This claim quickly fell apart but it did not stop Bush without any additional evidence from asserting</h3> in a February 14, 2007 Valentine's Day presser:

I can say with certainty that the Quds Force, a part of the Iranian government, has provided these sophisticated I.E.D.'s that have harmed our troops . . . And I'd like to repeat, I do not know whether or not the Quds Force was ordered from the top echelons of the government. But my point is, what's worse, them ordering it and it happening, or them not ordering it and its happening?

Blaming the Iranians for American deaths in Iraq provided a useful excuse for Bush's failures there and helped gin up the case for a future conflict with Iran.
<h3>Boys, how many times will the NeoCons manipulate your concern and emotions, your patriotic "fervor"? They can only do it to you if you're already open to it, and you let them.....</h3>

The editor, Bill Keller, and the public editor of the NY Times admit that they willingly allowed themselves to be fooled by Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney concerning justification for invading Iraq. Surely these NY Times staffers are not men of greater integrity, higher principle, than you guys are?
Quote:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/25/opinion/25pubed.html
February 25, 2007
The Public Editor
Approaching Iran Intelligence With Intelligent Skepticism
By BYRON CALAME

COVERAGE of the American saber- rattling about Iranian intervention in Iraq posed an important test for The New York Times, <h3>given the paper’s discredited pre-war articles about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.</h3> And it has triggered a rash of complaints from readers who believed The Times was again serving as a megaphone for the White House.

I decided to review The Times’s articles of the past month, focusing on two key aspects of newsroom culture that affect the coverage of intelligence and national security. The degree of skepticism was an obvious choice, given the lack of it during the pre-war embarrassment. The other was the level of editing vigilance reflected in the stories.

This time the issue is whether the Iranian government is providing weapons and support to Shiite militias in Iraq. The Times and other media had frequently mentioned, as early as 2005, the military’s belief that some sophisticated roadside bombs were coming from Iran. By late 2006 these bombs, known as explosively formed penetrators, or E.F.P.’s, were killing a larger number of Americans. The growing death toll caused the commanders in Iraq to call for action.

The problem came front and center early this year after President Bush had authorized raids on Iranian facilities in Iraq in an attempt to confirm and disrupt the suspected flow of E.F.P.’s. When the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, among others, called for an explanation of the raids, the Bush administration promised to provide one shortly. Then a Page 1 story in <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/10/world/middleeast/10weapons.html">The Times on Saturday, Feb. 10</a>, reported an intelligence community consensus that Iran is providing the deadly E.F.P.’s, and offered fresh details. That Sunday in Baghdad, military officials gave an anonymous briefing about the bombs. Later in the week, at a news conference, the president addressed the issue.

The situation closely parallels the pre-war period when The Times prominently reported that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Deeply shamed when they were not found, the paper <a href="http://nytimes.com/ref/international/middleeast/20040526CRITIQUE.html">publicly acknowledged</a> that its coverage had been “insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged.”

Times editors clearly were mindful of the W.M.D. coverage as they pursued the Iranian weapons issue. “W.M.D. has informed everything we’ve done on Iran,” Bill Keller, the executive editor, told me three days after the Baghdad briefing. “We don’t have to tell the reporters to be as skeptical as possible. W.M.D. restored a level of skepticism.”

The skepticism and qualification, for example, were woven into <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/12/world/middleeast/12weapons.html">The Times’s Feb. 12 article</a> about the Baghdad briefing. The result was solid journalism that helped readers sort out the physical evidence — such as captured roadside bombs with serial numbers — from the intelligence assessments based on inferences and deductions.

Consider this healthy skepticism in the third paragraph of the story by James Glanz from Baghdad: “The officials also asserted, without providing direct evidence, that Iranian leaders had authorized smuggling those weapons into Iraq for use against the Americans. The officials said such an assertion was an inference based on general intelligence assessments.”

Qualifications appropriately permeated the article. The unnamed military officials, it said, asserted “without specific evidence that the Iranian security apparatus, called the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force controlled delivery of the materials to Iraq. And in a further inference, the officials asserted that the Quds Force, sometimes called the I.R.G.C.- Quds, could be involved only with Iranian government complicity.”

The Times’s in-depth Saturday article laying out details of the E.F.P. issue contained a clear-cut qualification, prominently placed right in the second paragraph: “The assertion of an Iranian role in supplying the device to Shiite militias reflects broad agreement among American intelligence agencies, although officials acknowledge that the picture is not entirely complete.” The story by Michael R. Gordon, the paper’s chief military correspondent, had been in the works for more than two weeks and was published after The Times learned on Friday that the military briefing was scheduled for Sunday, Mr. Keller said.

(Mr. Gordon has become a favorite target of many critical readers, who charge that the paper’s Iran coverage is somehow tainted because he had shared the byline on a flawed Page 1 W.M.D. article. I don’t buy that view, and I think the quality of his current journalism deserves to be evaluated on its own merits.)

While the Saturday scoop relied heavily on anonymous sources from unnamed agencies, the article described an admirable search for those likely to have differing views. It cited interviews with “civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies,” and pointed out that group included “some whose agencies have previously been skeptical about the significance of Iran’s role in Iraq.”

One intelligence “assessment” in the Saturday article, however, needed some qualification. “As part of its strategy in Iraq,” the story said, “Iran is implementing a deliberate, calibrated policy — approved by Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei and carried out by the Quds Force. ...” To the extent that the assessment was based on inferences, readers deserved to be reminded of that. And they deserved a clearer sense of the extent to which the “broad agreement” cited high up in the article applied to this specific assessment.

The Times continued to seek reaction to the E.F.P. intelligence from a variety of government officials, turning up <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/13/world/middleeast/13weapons.html">what a Page 1 article on Feb. 13</a> termed a “healthy dose of skepticism.” The next day, President Bush addressed the credibility of the intelligence assessments at a news conference, saying he was certain that factions within the Iranian government had supplied the roadside bombs. But he carefully added: “I do not know whether or not the Quds Force was ordered from the top echelons of the government” — a point made in the lead paragraph of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/15/world/middleeast/15prexy.html">The Times’s story on Feb. 15</a>.

Editing vigilance on intelligence and national security coverage means dealing with the <a href=""http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/30/opinion/30publiceditor.html>anonymous sourcing</a> that many deem essential to bringing vital issues to light in that murky area. So editors need to ensure that unnamed sources are in a position to know and that any biases are clear to the reporter.

The Times’s most important requirement for anonymous sources — that an editor must know their identity — was followed for Mr. Gordon’s Feb. 10 story. Douglas Jehl, a deputy chief of the Washington bureau and his editor, told me he knew the name of each anonymous source in the article. The story also attempted a generalized explanation of why the officials were willing to talk. I do wish, however, that the article had found a way to comply with the paper’s policy of explaining why sources are allowed to remain unnamed.

The risk that the anonymity masked a policy-driven leak such as those that fed some of The Times’s pre-war W.M.D. coverage was reviewed before the Feb. 10 article was published. In an e-mail, Philip Taubman, the Washington bureau chief, wrote that he asked early on: “Did a tip or information come from the policy echelons of the government, from intelligence agencies, from American commanders and troops in Iraq?” In this case, he said: “Michael Gordon’s coverage started at ground level in Iraq, and has not been based on policy-driven leaks in Washington.”

Failing to reach out for dissenting views was a pre-war shortcoming, The Times has previously acknowledged. So even after Mr. Gordon had “nailed” key parts of the Feb. 10 article, according to Mr. Keller, editors specifically asked him “to talk to places in government that had been skeptical of W.M.D.,” such as the State Department.

Still, editors didn’t make sure all conflicting views were always clearly reported. For example, the article on Mr. Bush’s news conference pointed out that the position of the president — and the similar position taken earlier in the week by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — differed from the suggestion at the Sunday Baghdad briefing that the weapons effort involved top levels of the Iranian government. That story also should have noted, however, that the president’s view on this point differed from the intelligence assessment given readers of the Feb. 10 article.

On balance, The Times’s E.F.P. stories of the past month — especially the carefully qualified Baghdad briefing article — reflected healthy levels of skepticism and editing vigilance. They also showed that it’s possible for coverage not to be totally dictated by government intelligence leaks. And that lesson could serve Times readers well if the administration should ever decide to publicly invoke intelligence assessments in its simmering struggle to restrain Iran’s development of a nuclear capability.

The public editor serves as the readers' representative. His opinions and conclusions are his own. His column appears at least twice monthly in this section.
The most watched TV anchor in 2007, Brian Williams of NBC, "responded" to the criticism of NBC's failure to inform it's viewers that it's own "military experts" profited personally from the war and lobbied for it to happen.....ONLY ON WILLIAM"s blog....not "on the air", to his viewers:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenwald
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwa...4/30/williams/
Wednesday April 30, 2008 07:00 EDT

It has now been more than 77 days http://home.comcast.net/~d.leedle/news/ since the New York Times exposed the Pentagon's domestic propaganda program involving retired generals and, still, not a single major news network has even mentioned the story to their viewers, let alone responded to the numerous questions surrounding their own behavior.
Quote:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwa...4/30/williams/

After I wrote about Williams' blog item yesterday, his blog was deluged with commenters angrily demanding to know http://dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com/ar...53442.aspx?p=2 why he has failed to address the NYT expose. In response, Williams wrote a new blog item last night http://dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com/ar...29/958477.aspx in which he purports -- finally -- to respond to the story, and I can't recommend highly enough that it be read by anyone wanting to understand how our establishment journalist class thinks and acts.

The essence of Williams' response: he did absolutely nothing wrong. Nor did any of the military analysts used by NBC News. Nor did his network. These are all honest, patriotic men whose integrity is beyond reproach. Here's but a sampling of Williams' defense:
Quote:
Originally Posted by NBC's Brian Williams
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/04/30/williams/

A few of you correctly noted I’ve yet to respond to the recent Times front-page article on the military analysts employed by the television networks, including this one.

I read the article with great interest. I've worked with two men since I've had this job -- both retired, heavily-decorated U.S. Army four-star Generals -- Wayne Downing and Barry McCaffrey. As I'm sure is obvious to even a casual viewer, I quickly entered into a close friendship with both men. . . .

All I can say is this: these two guys never gave what I considered to be the party line. They were tough, honest critics of the U.S. military effort in Iraq. If you've had any exposure to retired officers of that rank (and we've not had any five-star Generals in the modern era) then you know: these men are passionate patriots. In my dealings with them, they were also honest brokers. . . .

At no time did our analysts, on my watch or to my knowledge, attempt to push a rosy Pentagon agenda before our viewers. I think they are better men than that, and I believe our news division is better than that.
Quote:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20030421/interns
TV's Conflicted Experts
By Daniel Benaim, Priyanka Motaparthy & Vishesh Kumar

This article appeared in the April 21, 2003 edition of The Nation.
April 3, 2003

....NBC News has yet to disclose those or other involvements that give McCaffrey a vested interest in Operation Iraqi Freedom.......
Cynthetiq, all of us come to "know what we know", the same way....via press reports. The major press and news gathering sources are almost all owned by major corporations. Instead of being independent of the government, and thus, able to challenge what it tells us, and to uncover and expose the non-classified information the government tries to keep secret, but has no right to keep secret, the press instead, helps the government to keep it secret and to distort what is released.....by copying down what "anonymous government sources" dictates to it, and then prints and broadcasts it all as "news".

Nothing will change until the press begins to not act in league with the government agenda, and begins to uncover and report the secrets of the powerful. That is independence.

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