Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

MSNBC: No Time for Obama’s Kill List?

By Peter Hart | FAIR | June 1, 2012

The New York Times lengthy report (5/29/12) on Barack Obama’s drone “kill list” should provoke serious questions: Is such a program legal? How does it square with Obama’s criticism of the Bush administration’s “war on terror” policies? What does it tell us about how the administration identifies “militants” who are targeted for assassination?

But those questions have been raised only in fits and starts–and are basically absent from the liberal cable news channel MSNBC. In fact, a far more interesting discussion of these questions can be heard on Fox News Channel.

It’s not all good on Fox, naturally. Host Bill O’Reilly and guest Dennis Miller (5/29/12) joked about  whether they were on the kill lists . Geraldo Rivera defended the program on Fox & Friends (6/1/12). Fox “liberal” Bob Beckel did the same on Fox‘s The Five (5/29/12):

To even suggest that somehow there is something wrong with a kill list, for you to suggest that shows you how rabidly anti-Obama you are.

Part of that discussion focused on what the reaction would be if we were reading about George W. Bush’s drone kill list–a contrast that was raised on other Fox shows, and a legitimate one.

It wasn’t just that angle that Fox covered, though. On Special Report (5/30/12), James Rosen looked at the White House’s “fuzzy math” at counting civilian deaths from drone strikes. A Special Report panel (5/29/12) used a soundbite from the ACLU to illustrate criticism from the left.

But what about the channel that would seem the natural place for some of that left-leaning analysis? MSNBC has been mostly quiet. A search of the Nexis news database turns up nothing on Obama’s kill list. The program Morning Joe had one discussion (5/29/12) where the panelists mostly supported the program, though host Joe Scarborough expressed some reservations.

What was more newsworthy? MSNBC‘s prime time shows seemed to have plenty of coverage of “birther” Donald Trump.

And it is worth noting one left-leaning TV host who did present a critical take on the Obama drone program was Current host Cenk Uygur (5/29/12). Some might remember that he briefly hosted a show on MSNBC but left amidst disputes over whether management wanted him to tone it down. Draw your own conclusions.

*Also: Kevin Gosztola has a good piece about drones and media coverage at FireDogLake (6/1/12). And it should be noted that ABC correspondent Jake Tapper (5/29/12) asked some strong questions to White House press secretary Jay Carney, particularly about civilian deaths and how the administration was defining “militants.” As best I can tell, Tapper’s exchange with Carney was not included in any ABC broadcasts, but can be viewed at the link above (starting around the 13:00 mark)

June 3, 2012 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Comments Off on MSNBC: No Time for Obama’s Kill List?

Sergei’s Law — Revenge of the Oligarchs

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | June 3, 2012

In the Brave New World of digital activism, government legislation often comes with its own promotional video. In response to a seemingly ingenuous question by ABC’s Jake Tapper about whether a “remarkable viral video” had anything to do with the decision to send U.S. special forces to Central Africa, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney intimated that “Kony 2012” was most likely on President Obama’s mind as he signed the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. And if the president one day signs the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, don’t be surprised if some “pushy” reporter like Tapper asks if anyone in the White House has seen “Sergei’s Law.”

According to film’s website, the seven-minute video is the work of “a group of Russian and American students pushing for justice” in the case of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer “tortured to death in 2009 for exposing a $230 million heist … [whose] killers got away clean.” Visitors to the site are invited to watch the video and “make a difference” by signing its petition — Pass the Magnitsky Act! A click on the “About Us” section, however, reveals that this is no ordinary group of students:

The College-100 (C-100) is a network of student presidents from elite schools (including the Ivies, Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Oxford, Cambridge, McGill, top liberal arts schools, and flagship state schools); Rhodes, Truman, and Gates scholars; Olympians; and other distinguished young people.

Moreover, this elite student network has benefited from the counsel of some rather extraordinary mentors:

The C-100′s advisors include Ambassadors Ed Perkins, Stape Roy and Tom Pickering; US senators; Governor Bill Richardson; and other distinguished national figures.

Edward J. Perkins has served as Director of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Corps, a position that would have required a close working relationship with America’s intelligence services. J. Stapleton Roy was Assistant Secretary of State for intelligence and research from 1999 to 2000 and is currently Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc. Thomas R. Pickering served as U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Russia, India, Israel, Jordan, Nigeria, and El Salvador — a posting that led to the dubious distinction of being called “a Reagan point man in Central America’s dirty wars.” Pickering currently chairs the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group, an NGO financed by George Soros, who could hardly be described as a disinterested party in the “push for justice” in Russia.

To be continued…

June 2, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sergei’s Law — Revenge of the Oligarchs

Annan Spokesman Says Syria Peace Plan on Track, White House Claims Opposite

Al-Manar | May 4, 2012

UN-Arab League Envoy Kofi Annan’s spokesman stated that Annan’s plan for Syria is on track, even though progress in implementing the ceasefire is slow.

Speaking before reporters in Geneva on Friday, Ahmad Fawzi said that “the Annan plan is on track and the crisis that has been going on for over a year is not going to be resolved in a day or a week.”

“There are signs on the ground of movement, albeit slow and small,” he added, indicating that “some heavy weapons have been withdrawn, some heavy weapons remain. Some violence has receded, some violence continues. And that is not satisfactory; I’m not saying it is.”

Moreover, AFP quoted the spokesman as saying that “Annan would brief the UN Security Council on Tuesday by video teleconference from Geneva to give an update on progress implementing the plan… Overall, the plan and the UN military observers who are on the ground overseeing it have had an impact.”

On the other hand, the White accused Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad of making “no effort” to implement Annan’s peace plan.

“If the regime’s intransigence continues, the international community is going to have to admit defeat and work to address the serious threat to peace and stability being perpetrated by the Assad regime,” White House Spokesman Jay Carney said, adding that “political transition is urgently needed in Syria. It is certainly our hope that the Annan plan succeeds.”

May 4, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Comments Off on Annan Spokesman Says Syria Peace Plan on Track, White House Claims Opposite