Category Archives: Hypocrisy

Mexican gov’t Aytozinapa claims hit once again


The disappearance of 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College of Ayotzinapa after police opened fire on them on the night of 26 September 2014 [previously] remains an open sore on the Mexican body politic.

President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration has been eager to sweep the presumptive massacre under the rug, or at least relegate the whole bloody mess to the past, but their own incompetence in stage-managing the coverup has been nothing less than inflammatory.

The government claims it has discovered the “historical truth,” claiming all the students were slain byu drug gang members and the bodies then incinerated in a dumping group with the ashes tossed into a nearby stream.

The latest revelation via teleSUR English:

An inquiry published Saturday has revealed that there is virtually no physical evidence to support the Mexican government’s version of the 2014 disappearance of 43 students traveling by bus to Mexico City. Government officials insist that a drug gang kidnapped the students at gunpoint, killed them and burned the bodies at a dumpsite near the southwestern town of Iguala, but the report, based on forensic records requested by the Associated Press, revealed no signs of a fire on the night in question.

But the notes of a forensic examination of the Cocula dumpsite in Guerrero state in western Mexico shows that investigators could not confirm a fire on the night that the students vanished on September 26, 2014. The AP obtained the documents under a freedom of information request permissible under Mexican law,

The AP inquiry is the latest in a series of independent investigations that undermines the Mexican government’s version of events. Police say that five suspects have confessed to the crimes but an international panel of experts earlier this year concluded that the confessions were obtained by torture.

Earlier this year the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) found animal and human remains at the dumpsite but said none of the remains corresponded to the government’s allegation that the bodies were incinerated by members of the Guerreros Unidos cartel. The Attorney General’s Office in April presented evidence of a huge fire and the discovery of the remains of at least 17 adults but the bone fragments were too badly burned to identify, the Argentine team said.

The government’s handling of the case has triggered massive protests that include parents and friends of the students, trade unions and grassroots organizations who believe that law-enforcement authorities are complicit in the slayings of the 43 students, who had effectively stolen a bus, ironically enough, to attend the commemoration of a 1968 police massacre of students.

More from the Associated Press report:

The report from international fire experts convened by the government was obtained by The Associated Press through an open records request. It shows the experts found evidence the Cocula dump had been the site of at least five fires, but could not determine when. Remains of 17 people were also found, but it was unknown when they were burned.

“The duration and dates of the fires could not be established based on the available physical data,” the report said.

>snip<

There was no information about the identities of the 17 remains found, but it was known that the remote dump had become a place to dispose of bodies for some time in an area where hundreds have gone missing.

>snip<

The Argentine team had previously advised of shell casings that suddenly appeared at the site and were later touted by the government as evidence that the students were executed at the dump.

Santiago Aguirre, deputy director of the nonprofit Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Center for Human Rights, which is representing the students’ families, said Friday the report displayed serious deficiencies and was part of “a deliberate attempt to fabricate a version not supported by scientific evidence.”

Before departing Mexico at the end of April, the team from the Inter-American Human Rights Commission urged the government to drop its theory and explore details in the investigation that point to other possible destinations for the students’ remains.

And because authorities failed to maintain control of the site, fabricated evidence could have been added to the already chaotic mix

Anti-federal Republicans: Federalize cop-killing


The Republicans are hypocrites.

Their continual calls for reducing the power of federal goverment are designed to destroy the power of the national government to oversee corporations and banks.

It’s that simple.

They want to privatize all healthcare, eliminate federal gun laws, strip Washington’s power to ensure the fair and equal treatment of all citizens, gut the Environmental Protection Agency, and otherwise reduce Uncle Sam to the status of Globocop [got to keep that cash flowing to military contractors, keep control of the world’s oil supplies, and ensure the flow of corporate products from their overseas factories].

So why is it that Republicans want to strip states of the power to prosecute cop-killers?

Could it be because they have to keep racism inflamed to blind their followers to their real agenda?

Whatever the reason, two of the most anti-federal members of the U.S. Senate are calling for just that in the wake of the Dallas shootings.

From United Press International:

Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, both Republicans, co-sponsored the Black and Blue Act of 2016, which would make it a federal crime to kill a law enforcement office, public safety officer, or federal judge, and carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years and the possibility of the death penalty.
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The bill also increases penalties for the attempted murder of a police officer, and would make it legal for officers to carry their firearms into federal buildings.

“Law enforcement officers selflessly put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities, and in return they deserve our unparalleled support for the irreplaceable role they serve,” Cornyn said in a statement . “The Back the Blue Act sends a clear message that our criminal justice system simply will not tolerate those who viciously and deliberately target our law enforcement.”

The bill is being publicly supported by the National Fraternal Order of Police, the National District Attorneys Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Major County Sheriffs Association, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, and the Department of Justice’s VALOR program.

Gotta play to the base, right fellas?

What a bunch of effin’ hypocrites. . .

Farewell to one of American journalism’s greatest


Sydney Schanberg was the greatest boss I never got to work for.

Back in 2001, I talked extensively with Schanberg about a new weekly newspaper he was preparing to launch in New York. He agreed to hire me, though the pay wouldn’t be much at first.

No problem, I said, eager to work in the most powerful city on earth for a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for whom I had deep respect.

We had a lot in common, two stubborn men who had each been driven out of prestigious journalism jobs, his at the New York Times and mine as the lead investigative reporter for the Sacramento Bee, because we had dared to ask important questions about very important people.

But then came 9/11/ and with it, funds for the new venture evaporated.

Schanberg went on to write columns for the Village Voice and I would soon be hired as managing editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet.

And today, Sydney Schanberg is gone.

From today’s New York Times obituary by Robert D. McFadden:

Sydney H. Schanberg, a correspondent for The New York Times who won a Pulitzer Prize for covering Cambodia’s fall to the Khmer Rouge in 1975 and inspired the film “The Killing Fields” with the story of his Cambodian colleague’s survival during the genocide of millions, died on Saturday in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He was 82.

His death was confirmed by Charles Kaiser, a friend and former Times reporter, who said Mr. Schanberg had a heart attack on Tuesday.

A restive, intense, Harvard-educated newspaperman with bulldog tenacity, Mr. Schanberg was a nearly ideal foreign correspondent: a risk-taking adventurer who distrusted officials, relied on himself in a war zone and wrote vividly of political and military tyrants and of the suffering and death of their victims with the passion of an eyewitness to history.

Indeed, if folks today remember Shcanberg it’s probably because of the hit film based on his book about the Cambodian genocide.

Here’s the trailer for the critically acclaimed 1984 feature film:

The Killing Fields

Program notes:

OSCAR WINNER: Best Supporting Actor – Haing S. Ngor, Best  Cinematography, and Best Editing.

A New York Times reporter and his Cambodian aide are harrowingly trapped in Cambodia’s 1975 Khmer Rouge revolution. After the war, the adviser is imprisoned in Pol Pot’s work camps in Cambodia, and the journalist lobbies for his release. Sam Waterston, John Malkovich and Oscar winner Haing S. Ngor star in this shattering true story.

Schanberg won a Pulitzer for International Reporting for his coverage of the Cambodian killing fields, and his return to the Big Apple should have marked the beginning and a rise to the top.

But Schanberg had a problem as one of his Times colleagues explained to me: “He covers the city like a damned foreign correspondent.”

Indeed.

Consider this excerpt from journalist Edwin Diamond’s 1993 book From Behind the Times: Inside the New New York Times:

In the fall of 1977. . .Sidney Schanberg, his distinguished overseas service behind him, was back in New York, on a senior editing track, and being talked about as the “next Abe Rosenthal.” Like Rosenthal a decade before, Schanberg was running the Times Metro desk and seeing New York with the fresh eye of a a foreign correspondent. In a memo to Rosenthal, Schanberg proposed major new treatment of the homosexual community of New York, which he described as “ large and increasingly middle class. According to Schanberg, “many people still think of homosexual life in terms of interior decorators, Fire Island, and leather bars, but increasingly it’s also very much a world of lawyers, physicians, teachers, politicians, clergymen and other middle-class professional men and women who, aside from their sexual experience, live like their ‘straight’ counterparts,”

Rosenthal replied that while he would always give attention to Schanberg’s ideas, he didn’t “want a whole bunch of stories or a series. A great amount of coverage at this time would simply seem naive and deja vu. It was “a question of perspective” for the Times. “Yes, there are many homosexuals, just as there are many of almost everything in New York, I have a gut feeling that if we embark upon a series for now or a bunch of pieces, it would be overkill. And here he set down his principle of inclusion-exclusion, old hand instructing the new man: There is also a question of what we want to do with our space. Space is gold, The proper use of space is the essence of our existence, because it reflects our taste and judgment. . .It is the areas of taste and judgment that, in the long run, are our most important areas of responsibility.” Schanberg’s ambitious series never appeared.

Chris Hedges, a former New York Times colleague and fellow Pulitzer winner, described Schanberg’s experiences in a 17 July 2013 interview with The Real News Network:

Sydney Schanberg, who worked for many years for The Times, was eventually pushed out of the paper as the metro editor for taking on the developers, who were friends with the publisher and who were driving the working and the middle class out of Manhattan (so now Manhattan’s become the playground of hedge fund managers primarily), says correctly that your freedom as a reporter is constricted in direct proportion to your distance from the centers of power. So if you’re reporting from Latin America or Gaza or the Middle East as I was, or the Balkans, you have a kind of range that is denied to you once you come back into New York and into Washington.

Hedges had more to say in a 27 June 2011 essay for Truthdig:

Many editors viewed Schanberg’s concerns as relics of a dead era. He was removed as city editor and assigned to write a column about New York. He used the column, however, to again decry the abuse of the powerful, especially developers. The then-editor of the paper, Abe Rosenthal, began to acidly refer to Schanberg as the resident “Commie” and address him as “St. Francis.” Rosenthal, who met William F. Buckley almost weekly for lunch along with the paper’s publisher, Arthur “Punch” Sulzberger, grew increasingly impatient with Schanberg, who was challenging the activities of their powerful friends. Schanberg became a pariah. He was not invited to the paper’s table at two consecutive Inner Circle dinners held for New York reporters. The senior editors and the publisher did not attend the previews for the film “The Killing Fields,” based on Schanberg’s experience in Cambodia. His days at the newspaper were numbered.

There’s lots more, after the jump. . . Continue reading

Headline of the day II: Political business as usual


From U.S. Uncut:

DNC Caught Accepting Money from Union-Busting Companies in New Leak

A new set of documents leaked by hacker Guccifer 2.0 allegedly shows the Democratic National Committee has no qualms about asking for donations from some of the most evil corporations in America — even the corporations whose values are directly in opposition to the Democratic Party’s stated goals.

Headline of the day II: Unclear on the concept


From the London Sunday Mail:

What planet are you on, Leo? DiCaprio flies his LA friends 6,000 miles around the world so they can listen to his speech on GLOBAL WARMING

  •  Leonardo DiCaprio warned about global warming in his Oscars speech
  •  Later this month he is holding a gala dinner for his foundation in St Tropez
  •  Robert DeNiro and Arnold Schwarzenegger are among those he’s invited
  •  Each guest flying 12,000 miles from LA will release seven tons of CO2 

Puerto Ricans exploited and mined for debt


The United States has always had a troubled history with Puerto Rico, a Spanish-speaking possession seized during the Spanish-American War,

Folks on the mainland weren’t prepared to embrace Puerto Ricans as equals, and used the island as a military base and a bulwark against any European ambitions towards the Americas North and South.

The darker skinned islanders because targets of one of perhaps the most ambitious eugenics campaigns ever conducted by Washington, with a third of the territory’s women subjected to involuntary sterilization.

And before the carcinogenic and birth defects-spawning Agent Orange was sprayed on the jungles of Vietnam by the American military, it was first tested on Puerto Ricans.

But any Puerto Ricans who dared protest or, even worse, openly call for independence, found themselves subjected to the harsh hand of repression, sometimes accompanied by live ammunition.

And now Puerto Rico is swamped in debt, caused in part by outlandish tax exemptions granted corporations to ensure their continuing presence [see how that worked out].

In her latest edition of The Empire Files, Abby Martin looks at Puerto Rico’s tragic past and troubled present.

From teleSUR English:

The Empire Files: Puerto Rico’s Debt to its Oppressors

Program notes:

Puerto Rico’s massive debt has been discussed at length in Congress and the media, all omitting the most important fact: the history of being a colonial subject for over 500 years, still owned and controlled by the United States. Abby Martin talks to two professors of Latin American studies, Luis Barrios and Danny Shaw, about the long struggle of Puerto Rico to break the shackles of US and Spanish colonialism—from indigenous resistance to the Young Lords in Harlem. Learn how the US Empire obscures the island’s colonial status today, who really is responsible for the so-called “debt crisis,” and how it can all be solved,

An Obama administration blow for freedom


Or maybe not [snicker]. . .

During her tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton encouraged the use of social media as a tool for overthrowing governments deemed inimical to American interests.

The State Department distributed software and security tools for to help in efforts to overthrow governments in Africa, the Mideast, and, we presume, Latin America.

All this was done in the name of “promoting freedom.”

But then how do you explain this, via the Guardian:

US border control could start asking for your social media accounts

US Customs and Border Protection proposal would see Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts requested on landing and visa forms