Skip to comments.***Operation Infinite Freedom - Situation Room - 5 JUN 03/Day 78***
Posted on 06/04/2003 11:04:33 PM PDT by null and void
Welcome to the daily thread of Operation Infinite Freedom - Situation Room.
It is designed for general conversation about the ongoing war on terror, and the related events of the day. Im addition to the ongoing conversations related to terrorism and our place in it's ultimate defete, this thread is a clearinghouse of links to War On Terrorism threads. This allows us to stay abreast of the situation in general, while also providing a means of obtaining specific information and mutual support.
June 4, 2003 -- GERALDO Rivera, who covered the Iraqi war for Fox News Channel, says it's "embarrassing" that weapons of mass destruction - the primary reason given for attacking Iraq - haven't been found. In fact, Geraldo says, they don't even exist in that country.
"The weapons of mass destruction apparently do not exist, so our main justification [for going to war] was probably not true - it was false, not intentionally false but, I think, a failure of intelligence," Rivera said yesterday on "Live with Regis & Kelly."
"It's going to be more and more embarrassing as time goes by, both to the Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair, and to our own secretary of state," Rivera said.
"Remember, Colin Powell made that impassioned presentation to the United Nations, 'Here's where they [WMDs] are . . . I think that will be very embarrassing."
"You believe [Saddam Hussein] had [no WMDs] at all?" host Regis Philbin asked Rivera.
"None," Rivera answered. He did say, however, that he feels the war was totally justified.
"What we did was rid the world of a hideous dictator who was in a constant, murderous rage," Rivera said to wild applause from the "Live" audience.
Freedom of information in American society is in danger because corporate media needs to maintain access to official sources of news. Consolidation of media has brought the total news sources for most Americans to less than a handful and these news groups have an ever-increasing dependency on pre-arranged content.
The 24-hour news shows on MSNBC, Fox and CNN are closely interconnected with various governmental and corporate sources of news. Maintenance of continuous news shows requires a constant feed and an ever-entertaining supply of stimulating events and breaking news bites. Advertisement for mass consumption drives the system and pre-packaged sources of news are vital within this global news process. Ratings demand continued cooperation from multiple-sources for on-going weather reports, war stories, sports scores, business news, and regional headlines. Print, radio and TV news also engages in this constant interchange with news sources.
The preparation for and following of ongoing wars and terrorism fits well into the visual kaleidoscope of pre-planned news. Government public relations specialists and media experts from private commercial interests provide on going news feeds to the national media distributions systems. The result is an emerging macro-symbiotic relationship between news dispensers and news suppliers. Perfect examples of this relationship are the press pools organized by the Pentagon both in the Middle-East and in Washington D.C., which give pre-scheduled reports on the war in Iraq to selected groups of news collectors (journalists) for distribution through their individual media organizations.
Embedded reporters (news collectors) working directly with military units in the field must maintain cooperative working relationships with unit commanders as they feed breaking news back to the US public. Cooperative reporting is vital to continued access to government news sources. Therefore, rows of news story reviewers back at corporate media headquarters rewrite, soften or spike news stories from the field that threaten the symbiotics of global news management.
Journalists who fail to recognize their role as cooperative news collectors will be disciplined in the field or barred from reporting as in the recent celebrity cases of Geraldo Rivera and Peter Arnett.
Journalists working outside of this mass media system face ever-increasing dangers from "accidents" of war and corporate-media dismissal of their news reports. Massive civilian casualties caused by US. troops, extensive damage to private homes and businesses, and reports that contradict the official public relations line were downplayed, deleted, or ignored by corporate media, while content were analyzed by experts (retired generals and other approved collaborators) from within the symbiotic global news structure.
Symbiotic global news distribution is a conscious and deliberate attempt by the powerful to control news and information in society. The Homeland Security Act Title II Section 201(d)(5) specifically asks the directorate to "develop a comprehensive plan for securing the key resources and critical infrastructure of the United States including 'information technology and telecommunications systems (including satellites), emergency preparedness communications systems'."
Corporate media today is perhaps too vast to enforce complete control over all content 24 hours a day. However, the government's goal is the operationalization of total information control and the continuing consolidation of media makes this process easier to achieve.
Freedom of information and citizen access to objective news is rapidly fading in the United States and the world. In its place is a complex entertainment-oriented news system, which protects its own bottom-line by servicing the most powerful military-industrial complex in the world.
For the majority of Americans who depend on corporate media for their daily news, this monolithic news structure creates intellectual celibacy, inaction and fear. The result is a docile population, whose principal function within society is to simply shut-up and go shopping. The powerful would like us quiet and consumptive and the corporate media is delivering that message on a daily basis.
Peter Phillips is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and Director of Project Censored a media research organization.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A woman suicide bomber blew up a bus carrying Russian air force pilots in a southern region bordering rebel Chechnya on Thursday, killing at least 15 people, interior and defense ministry officials said. A defense ministry spokesman said the attack occurred in the region of North Ossetia when the bus carrying the pilots and a group of civilians attached to the air force slowed down at a railway crossing.
"Just as the bus was going over a railway crossing the woman walked up to it and blew herself up," the spokesman said in Moscow.
Coming a week after an Australian, armed with sharpened wooden sticks, allegedly tried to hijack and crash a Qantas plane, police and security staff reacted quickly and took the man off the Melbourne to Brisbane flight as it taxied before takeoff.
''There's no indication that there was any weapon on board. We're going to conduct a search of the plane as a precaution, but there were no injuries sustained or anything like that,'' a police spokeswoman said.
MOSCOW: The Russian foreign ministry on Wednesday welcomed the upcoming return of UN nuclear inspectors to Iraq.
The IAEA is the only international authority endowed with special powers to assess any states observance of its obligations in the nuclear non-proliferation field, spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said in a statement.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors were due to leave for Iraq Wednesday to search the Al-Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Centre south of Baghdad.
One of Iraqs main nuclear complexes, the site was pillaged in the looting that followed the fall of Baghdad, raising fears that radioactive material went missing.
Sat May 31,10:22 AM ET VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia - A rebel ambush and other attacks killed five Russian soldiers and wounded 11 others in and around the breakaway republic of Chechnya, officials said Saturday.
The latest bloodshed in the region which nearly every day sees small but deadly rebel attacks came as Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to convince world leaders gathered in St. Petersburg that his policies would bring peace to Chechnya.
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Are the terrorist in Chechnya a small percentage like the Ba'aths in Iraq. Or are they most of the Chechnians? Anyone?
Gen. Tommy Franks, center, commander in chief of U.S. Central Command, introduces President Bush to Command Sgt. Maj. Dwight Brown, left, as the president arrived at Al-Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday June 4, 2003. Bush will visit American military servicemen based in at the U.S. Central Command Headquarters in Doha on Thursday.
DOHA, Qatar - President Bush argued Thursday the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was justified and pledged that "we'll reveal the truth" on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.
"We've made sure Iraq is not going to be used as an arsenal for terrorist groups," Bush said, his coat off and shirt sleeves rolled up as he spoke to a sea of tan camouflage-clad U.S. soldiers at the command center for the Iraq war.
An Iraqi university student walks over stencilled paintings of toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein at Baghdad University. University students emblazoned Saddam headshots on the floor in an act of recall of the famed tiled floor showing former US president George Bush at the entrance of the Rashid Hotel, once host to VIP guests of Saddam's regime.(AFP/Timothy A. Clary)