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08/05/08

Permalink 06:55:16 am, Categories: Voices, 2685 words    

What You Should Know About The Associated Press and What You're Not Learning From Them

DetainThis

The Associated Press is a monstrous contradiction. On one hand, the 162-year-old, corporate-media collective feigns high concern for accuracy, objectivity, and other journalistic principles; on the other hand, it operates at the expense of same.

By way of its being a corporate collective, its top priority is to maximize revenues of its members. While this is not an illegal goal in and of itself, no corporate enterprise should be able to get away with accomplishing that goal at any cost and by any means, including deception and flat-out lies.

Too many people in the world are fooled by AP’s self-styled image of being the most trustworthy source for breaking news the world over. Sure, it is the world’s largest and most widely-distributed news service; but in light of certain patterns of shoddy and sometimes blatantly fraudulent reporting, this only makes it the most dangerous and subversive.

Here are a few facts you may not know about the “largest and most trusted” news service:

1. The Associated Press is the largest mouthpiece for the U.S. government and the Military-Industrial Complex in their militaristic enterprise known as the “War on Terror.”

Have you ever noticed that, when AP releases tallies of Iraq War statistics, nearly all AP’s sources come from the U.S. government and government-affiliated think tanks and NGOs? Who else has more motivation to lie about the illegal carpet-bombing and occupation of Iraq? Is it not odd that in most cases, their stats are greatly at odds with the consensus of independent sources?

AP released a July 26 headline, ”Analysis: US now winning Iraq war that seemed lost,” wherein unproven U.S. government talking points are stated as facts, while the dubious way in which the so-called war was carried out are omitted. (See this brilliant satirical review of the apple-polishing report.)

In that report, the neocons and their media mouthpieces declare that the U.S. is “winning” in Iraq. But did you know that just a few years ago, the U.S. government — ahem — ”lost” hundreds of thousands of automatic weapons and munitions on heavily-guarded, shrink-wrapped pallets? Where is AP when those turn up on the battle field?

Did you know that the U.S. government has been arming, and literally buying the loyalty of, tens of thousands of Sunni fighters — the “awakening groups” — many of whom were supposedly members of “al-Qaeda in Iraq” who have since turned against U.S. forces? And that their actions amount to a campaign of fratricidal ethnic cleansing? Did you know that the U.S. presence in Iraq is a belligerent occupation?

Not if you’ve been getting your news from AP all this time.

AP is never bothered by the issue of legality when it comes to the U.S. occupation. Heck, it’s not even an occupation anyway. It’s a “war” of “liberation” against “terrorists” and “al-Qaeda” (according to “U.S. officials”); both of whom apparently carry name tags or have the words “al-Qaeda” or “Iran” tattooed on their foreheads.

Only the neocons and other supporters of the so-called war on terror believe that an organized militant group named al-Qaeda actually exists, at least in its alleged capacities.

Why won’t AP ever tell us how U.S. officials corroborate their assertions that those killed on the battle field were in fact what they claim they were? Why do so many Americans believe these baseless assertions? Because AP and other corporate media trumpet them as if they were facts.

2. The conscience of AP is its board of directors; on that board sits tabloid mogul Rupert Murdoch, president and CEO of News Corporation, which owns Fox News, among many other tabloids.

With very few exceptions, all media outlets represented by the AP BoD assume pro-war, pro-Israeli, and pro-unitary Executive stances in their editorial positions.

Did you know that Murdoch’s major holdings — Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, the New York Post, etc. — openly advocate violent insurrection in Iran, preemptive war against non-aggressing nations, the use of torture, the denial of due process and habeas corpus, and even nuclear-first strikes against Iran and Syria?

Did you know that the U.S. government is giving away hundreds of millions in U.S.-taxpayer dollars to U.S.-designated terrorist groups such as the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MeK) and Jundallah, for insurrection and general terrorist operations in Iran — and that News Corporation (via Fox, the WSJ, etc.) employs Alireza Jafarzadeh, who promotes illegal regime-change in Tehran by the MeK, which is already carrying out its illicit activities in Iran? Did you know that on several occasions, AP has uncritically reported Mr. Jafarzadeh’s fraudulent agitprop without revealing these criminal conflicts of interest?

Did you know that fellow aggressive corporatist vulture, Sam Zell, sits on the AP BoD as well? And that both Murdoch and Zell have publicly expressed disregard and disdain for honest, conscientious journalism, in favor of lying to the public in order to maximize revenues? This type of journalism is perfectly acceptable to the conscience of the worlds “most trusted source of independent news and information.”

Did you know that, if hauled off the International Criminal Court (ICC) today, Mr. Murdoch and most of the ideological monsters he hires as pundits and anchors could be tried for incitement to war crimes and crimes against humanity under the Nüremberg Principles and other international laws? Not if you’ve been getting your news from AP.

3. AP’s West Jerusalem bureau is a mouthpiece for the hard-line, genocidal Israeli government and its illegal settler movement.

The bureau’s editorial staff is comprised of Israelis who live in Israel Proper, and Jewish immigrants who are living as illegal settlers in the Palestinian West Bank. Perhaps this helps to explain why the real terrorists, and their daily attacks on Palestinians, are never revealed by AP or any other major news source. No wonder so many Americans have no idea who is the illegal occupying state (Israel) and who are the occupied people (Palestinians).

Consider this: The Jerusalem bureau releases all AP reports dealing with news originating out of the region. Editorial duties are solely in the hands of Israelis. Add to that the fact that NO news gets out of the Israeli-Occupied Palestinian Territories (IOPTs) without passing through Israeli military censors, and you may begin to realize why Palestinian suffering is concealed by The Associated Press and other corporate news media.

Did you know that the army touted as the “most moral army in the world” is actually one of the most immoral? Did you know that AP refused to run a story about the terroristic assault and battery of Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer at the hands of some of those uniformed Israeli thugs? Or that when they finally ran the story — two weeks later and after constant barrage of requests — it read like an Israeli government press release, practically blaming the victim and exonerating the assailants?

Did you know that the state of Israel has NO legal claim over East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Golan Heights (Syria), or the Sheba Farms (Lebanon), and that any Israeli presence in the Palestinian side of the 1967 Green Line is illegal under international law?

Did you know that Israel’s intentional destruction of Gaza’s only power plant in June 2006; it’s restrictions on Palestinian movement; its cut-off of humanitarian aid, fuel, imports, and exports; and its lockdown of Gaza’s fishing industry constitute collective punishment and a belligerent occupation?

Did you know that as a result of the current, two-year-long, Israeli-U.S.-E.U. blockade of Gaza, hundreds of Palestinians of all ages have died for lack of medical care, food, potable drinking water, and electricity? Did you know that those responsible for imposing the blockade would easily be found guilty of every war crime in the book?

Not if you read AP.

Did you know that Israeli soldiers are blackmailing sick and dying Palestinians — bullying them into collaborating with Israel at the cost of being able to travel in and out of Gaza to receive adequate (sometimes, life-saving) medical care? Did you know that thousands of Palestinians are held as political prisoners without formal charges? And that scores of them are women, children, and elderly? And that they are routinely tortured?

Did you know that the 8-meter-high concrete separation wall in the West Bank is illegal according to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and that the wall intentionally separates Palestinians from their land, their jobs, each other, and the outside world? Did you know that Israeli politicians have admitted as much?

Not if you’ve been reading AP. Instead, you’re led to believe that it’s a “security fence” or “security barrier”; the legality and morality of which is ”disputed” or “controversial” or just an “inconvenience” to the Palestinians. According to AP and corporate media, the Palestinian territories under illegal Israeli occupation are actually “disputed” territories — a notion with which only the most fringe of society (neocons, Zionists, AP BoD, etc.) agree.

Did you know that the Israel army has been targeting charitable and educational institutions in the West bank; closing down and ransacking orphanages, food kitchens, mosques, Nablus’ city hall, medical centers, shopping malls, and beauty salons; destroying valuable furniture and equipment; vandalizing public and private property; and that Israeli officials are even bragging about it?

Did you know that all the above atrocities perpetrated against the defenseless, starving, and illegally-occupied Palestinian population constitute every war crime and crime against humanity imaginable?

Not if you read AP. According to AP’s Jerusalem editors, the Israeli Army is simply carrying out security operations in self-defense. How do they know? Israel officials said so. But who corroborates their testimony? U.S. officials. Case closed.

4. AP perpetuates neocon-Likudnik lies about Iran’s nuclear program and the contrived “existential threat” Iran poses to Israel, the USA, and the world.

AP sides with U.S. and Israeli war hawks by concealing facts that contradict the hard-line rhetoric coming out of D.C. and Tel Aviv.

Did you know that Iran never really had a nuclear weapons program? Or that the source of the so-called intelligence against Iran, from 2002–present, comes from the Israeli-assisted MeK (you know, that aforementioned terrorist group)? Or that the alleged evidence allegedly supporting the charges leveled in the so-called findings from said “intelligence” were not even made available to the Iranians, and much of it was not made available to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)?

If you’ve been reading AP all this time, you’d think that Iran is the only party protesting the baseless allegations; but did you know that Iran is in good standing with the IAEA, which has repeatedly stated that there is no evidence that Iran is weaponizing?

Did you know that it takes takes at least an 85% rate to enrich uranium to weapons grade, and that currently, Iran is having trouble maintaining even a 3–4% level? Did you know that, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) in good standing, Iran has the right to operate its nuclear program free of interference from the U.N. Security Council, and that the UNSC sanctions currently imposed upon the Iranian people are unlawful but for U.S. and Israeli coercion in the U.N.? Not if AP is your prime source of “news.”

AP even breaks most of its own stated principles, especially those pertaining to the treatment of quotes.

Did you know that the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, never said “Israel should be wiped off the map”? Or that he never said that the Holocaust itself was a “myth”? And that he has no authority to wage war or manage the nuclear program? And that the person with the final say in those matters — Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — has issued decrees stating that preemptive war and nuclear weapons are un-Islamic (illegal)?

Not if you’ve been reading AP these last 2–3 years.

5. AP habitually conceals the hideous illegality and immorality of U.S. and Israeli actions in Iraq, the IOPTs, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran.

Through editorial shape-shifting, AP makes what is black and white appear grey; in every case, this has benefited the belligerent party, namely the Israeli and U.S. governments.

Instead of citing independent, third-party sources like the the IAEA, international law, and reputable human rights groups, AP plays the “he said/she said” game, citing only directly-opposing sides of the story. This allows AP to appear as though they are presenting an objective picture, when in fact they are concealing information which would tip the scales (rightfully so) in favor of the oppressed party. And even on the rare occasions when AP cites one of those third parties, it is made to seem that the afflicted side is only asserting their rights.

But did you know that all U.S.-involved economic, military, and political measures against Iran are not only unconstitutional, but are also in gross violation of the 1981 Algiers Accords and international laws?

Did you know that the September 6, 2007, Israeli bombing of a Syrian construction site is a supreme war crime? And that the Israeli allegations that the site was an illegal nuclear facility are baseless. And that, in the face of Israel’s war crime, they are also moot — regardless of their perceived plausibility? Did you know that Syria is in good standing with the IAEA, and hasn’t violated the NPT?

Did you know that the U.S. military and its mercenary contractors have destroyed and looted mosques, hospitals, schools, national treasures, and other civilian institutions and infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan — not for security reasons or self-defense, but out of sheer personal desire and corporate enrichment? Did you know that U.S.-led NATO forces are intentionally targeting civilians and other unarmed human beings in Afghanistan: wedding parties, families, and others who are trying to escape a war zone?

Did you know that each of those acts are supreme war crimes?

Did you know that the main reason for the so-called success of the "surge" in Iraq was merely a U.S.-funded, internecine, ethnic-cleansing campaign (the genocidal handiwork of those aforementioned “awakening groups”), supplemented by the indiscriminate carpet-bombing of the poorest and most densely-populated Shia neighborhoods?

Did you know that the Iraqi parliament has voted more than once to impose a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops? Or that over the last few years, at least 80% of Iraqis and at least 65% of Americans polled have been in favor of withdrawal? And that Congress’ refusal to de-fund the occupation all these years makes them unfit to serve?

Not if you’ve been relying upon AP and corporate media for your news all this time.

It’s time to let AP know that we are tired of being lied to in order to facilitate the demise of the U.S. Republic and innocent people the world over.

Boycott AP. Find out whom the major corporate sponsors of your local AP affiliates are, and make an effort not to buy their products and services. If you own a subscription to any major newspaper or online journal affiliated with AP, cancel it.

And for bloggers: When writing about current events, do not give an active hyperlink to the source if that source is The Associated Press, Reuters, the New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, or any other major corporate media lie machine. If you have no other choice, make sure the attribution you give is not in hypertext format. Do not give these imperial propaganda mills (and their war-profiteering corporate sponsors) the benefit of even one more hit on their websites.

Let’s do what we can to bring the war criminals to justice; that means not only exposing and isolating these empire-apologists, but also praising and donating to honest and conscientious news outlets such as the one you’re reading now, so that the press in this country begins to function as a check on government power, as it should be.

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August 5, 2008 © By DetainThis. Permalink: http://detainthis.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/what-you-should-know-about-the-associated-press/ Permission granted to repost with URL attribution to ThePeoplesVoice or DetainThis.

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