Saturday, June 21, 2008
It all started early on June 10th 2008, when anti-war activist, Mark Dice appeared on Fox News to explain why he and others are sending letters to US troops in Iraq. Later that day, radio talk show host Michael Reagan called for his listeners to track down and murder Mark Dice. After Dice downloaded the show's free podcast and posted the 3 minute and 21 second clip on YouTube, Reagan filed a copyright infringement claim to remove the clip in an attempt to prevent it from circulating.
On Friday June 13th Dice received a call from Reagan's producer demanding the clip be removed, claiming they hold the copyright, and Dice explained that it falls under fair use laws, and the clip is evidence of a crime.
The clip was available at the following URL, until Wednesday June 18th at 3:43pm Pacific Time.
Reagan also removed the entire hour of his show from his podcast directory so others can't download that part of his show and hear his statements. Hour number two of the June 10th show is now missing from the directory, located at http://www.radioamerica.org/POD_mrp.htm.
Reagan's statements were made after he heard that Dice and others were sending letters and DVDs to troops stationed in Iraq which support the idea that U.S. officials allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen on purpose and aided in their execution for political leverage. According to a 2006 Scripts Howard News Service poll, 36% of Americans believe this.
Transcript of Reagan's statements:
"Excuse me folks, I'm going to say this. We ought to find the people who are doing this, take them out and shoot them. Really. You take them out, they are traitors to this country, and shoot them. You have a problem with that? Deal with it. You shoot them. You call them traitors, that's what they are, and you shoot them dead. I'll pay for the bullets."
Reagan continued, "How about you take Mark Dice out and put him in the middle of a firing range. Tie him to a post, don't blindfold him, let it rip and have some fun with Mark Dice."
The statements were made June 10th and came to Dice's attention a few days later. Dice immediately filed a report with the FBI, the FCC, and is considering legal action against Reagan.
He is demanding that Reagan be fired immediately. "Calling for the murder of someone because you disagree with their political stance is absolutely unacceptable, un-American, and illegal," says Dice.
Radio America, which syndicates Reagan's show, told Dice that no disciplinary action will be taken.
Reagan called Dice and apologized but Dice says, "The Pandora's box that Reagan has opened can never be closed. The ramifications of his threats and suggestions are enormous and frightening. In an age where a few clicks of a keyboard can result in anyone's home address being found, his comments open the door for stalking, vandalism, and worse."
"What kind of a country have we become when a radio host with millions of listeners can call for the murder of someone, and not lose their job?" Dice asks. "He didn't say that he hoped I am killed, or that he thought I should be killed, he specifically said I should be found and shot, and that he would pay for the bullets. This is a violation of California's penal code 422."
Please report this criminal conduct to the police, and also the FCC: (firstname.lastname@example.org) http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgb/fcc475B.cfm
Please also contact Reagan's boss on 703-302-1000.
Here's a good link on how to properly make a complaint with the FCC:
Thanks to gangsterdrester for providing the link :)
Mark Dice's entire YouTube account, containing over 60 of his videos, have been deleted :( His channel was http://www.YouTube.com/TheResistance, and had thousands of subscribers, and his videos had been viewed over a million times.
Dice is the author of a book titled, The Resistance Manifesto, which details how people involved in secret societies hold tremendous power in American politics. He has been featured in major media outlets around the world for various issues ranging from political activism to boycotts and pop culture criticism.
Contact: Mark DiceMark@TheResistanceManifesto.com
Jim Roberts, President of Radio America 703-302-1000 ext 215.
A nationwide campaign to have Mike Reagan fired from his show and possibly arrested on criminal charges began soon after his comments become public. The FCC, his radio affiliates, and his representative at Premier Speakers Bureau have been inundated with complaints. Perhaps Mikey is trying to hang on to his job and what little is left of his reputation.
For the full updated story, including videos, please go to:
Personal Note: By Stewart Brennan
If Mike Reagan is not off the air and in jail by the beginning of this week, The Radio station and its executive management and sponsors should be accused for supporting hate crime. This Radio station should loose its licence! Please make the complaint to the FCC and let them know that they too can be accused of aiding in hate crimes by not taking swift action.
Bio on Michael Reagan
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba (now retired) served as the deputy commanding general for support for the Third Army for ten months in Kuwait during the early days of the Iraq occupation. In a statement released today, he bluntly accuses the Bush administration of war crimes and lays down a challenge for prosecution.
In 2004, Taguba released a classified report detailing abuses committed at Abu Ghraib Prison. The "Taguba Report" (executive summary) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4894001/ urged Pentagon officials to follow up on its findings by enforcing adherence to the Geneva Conventions in interrogations.
Taguba retired in January 2007, later alleging that Pentagon officials had ordered him to retire for being "overzealous" in his criticisms of the military.
In light of ongoing Congressional investigations into so-called harsh interrogation techniques, and on the heels of Congressman Dennis Kucinich recently issuing articles of impeachment accusing President Bush of, among other offenses, authorizing torture, we present Taguba's latest statement for your consideration.
The full Physicians for Human Rights report outlining the medical evidence of torture perpetrated by the United States can be read at their website.
physicians for Human Rights
Preface to Broken Laws, Broken Lives
By: Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, USA (Retired)
Maj. Gen. Taguba led the US Army's official investigation into the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and testified before Congress on his findings in May 2004.
This report tells the largely untold human story of what happened to detainees in our custody when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture. This story is not only written in words: It is scrawled for the rest of these individuals' lives on their bodies and minds. Our national honor is stained by the indignity and inhumane treatment these men received from their captors.
The profiles of these eleven former detainees, none of whom were ever charged with a crime or told why they were detained, are tragic and brutal rebuttals to those who claim that torture is ever justified. Through the experiences of these men in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, we can see the full scope of the damage this illegal and unsound policy has inflicted - both on America's institutions and our nation's founding values, which the military, intelligence services, and our justice system are duty-bound to defend.
In order for these individuals to suffer the wanton cruelty to which they were subjected, a government policy was promulgated to the field whereby the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice were disregarded. The UN Convention Against Torture was indiscriminately ignored. And the healing professions, including physicians and psychologists, became complicit in the willful infliction of harm against those the Hippocratic Oath demands they protect.
After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.
The former detainees in this report - each of whom is fighting a lonely and difficult battle to rebuild his life - require reparations for what they endured, comprehensive psycho-social and medical assistance, and even an official apology from our government.
But most of all, these men deserve justice as required under the tenets of international law and the United States Constitution.
And so do the American people.
Also See: Human Rights Group Says It Has Proof of Detainee Abusehttp://www.truthout.org/article/human-rights-group-says-it-has-proof-detainee-abuse
Original Story Web site (Truthout)
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Tuesday, June 10th, 2008
by: Christopher Kuttruff, t r u t h o u t
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush late on Monday during a speech on the House floor.
Kucinich, a former contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, pointed to "high crimes and misdemeanors" committed by the Bush administration, including misrepresenting intelligence in the lead-up to the war, violating domestic and international laws against torture, illegally spying on American citizens, obstructing justice and governmental oversight, and dozens of other violations.
The impeachment resolution came four days after a June 5 Senate Select Intelligence Committee report that vigorously challenged statements made by the Bush administration regarding military intelligence in the runup to the invasion of Iraq. Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee John D. Rockefeller said in a press release, "Before taking the country to war, this Administration owed it to the American people to give them a 100 percent accurate picture of the threat we faced. Unfortunately, our Committee has concluded that the Administration made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence."
"It is my belief that the Bush Administration was fixated on Iraq, and used the 9/11 attacks by al Qa'ida as justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein," Rockefeller noted.
While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and other members of the Democratic leadership maintain that such a resolution is "off the table," Kucinich, along with a group of his colleagues, has consistently pressed for a more urgent and direct response to the often unilateral and controversial actions of the Bush administration.
Despite the unlikeliness of impeachment gaining much traction in Congress, advocates of such a resolution continue to demand greater accountability of the executive branch.
As Kucinich began to issue his remarks, shuffling and talking could be heard in the background of the House chamber. Responding to the disarray, Kucinich objected to the Speaker, "The House is not in order." After several strikes of Pelosi's gavel, Kucinich started reading his articles into the record.
"In violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of president ..." Kucinich stated, "George W. Bush ... both personally and through his subordinates ... illegally spent public dollars on a secret propaganda campaign to manufacture a false cause for war against Iraq."
Kucinich started his speech by referencing a variety of news and intelligence reports regarding White House communications, specifically the White House Iraq Group, which was composed of senior officials (then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, Karl Rove, then-Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes, former chief of staff Andrew Card, then-chief of staff to the Vice President I. Lewis Libby, then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan and others) who "produced white papers detailing so-called intelligence of Iraq's nuclear threat that later proved to be false." These papers included later-debunked claims that Iraq sought uranium and specialized centrifuges for enrichment.
These claims, which were central to the administration's rationale for preemptive action against Iraq, were used, according to Kucinich, to "market an invasion of Iraq to the American people."
Kucinich also noted that the White House Iraq Group papers "were written at same time and by the same people as speeches and talking points prepared for President Bush and for some of his top officials."
Congressman Kucinich went on to challenge the administration's policies toward Iran, as well as its conduct regarding military interrogations.
The resolution comes days after a sharply written letter by 56 Congress members requesting that Attorney General Michael Mukasey investigate potential crimes committed by the Bush administration during the course of its interrogation program. The letter, signed by House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Barney Frank, Jan Schakowsky, Dennis Kucinich and other House Democrats, urged that the seriousness of the evidence on the program warrants a thorough investigation by a special counsel.
Revelations about the Bush administration's interrogations policies, along with its systematic practice of controlling information provided to the media and the American people, led Kucinich to conclude that the president has "misled the Congress and the citizens of the United States" and should be held accountable for violating his oaths of office to "faithfully execute the office of the president" and "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution."
Monday, June 9, 2008
Saturday June 7th, 2008
By: Dan Rather, Free Press
Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather delivered a blistering critique of corporate news on Saturday night at the National Conference for Media Reform hosted by Free Press.
The following are Dan Rather's prepared remarks:
I am grateful to be here and I am, most of all, gratified by the energy I have seen tonight and at this conference. It will take this kind of energy - and more - to sustain what is good in our news media... to improve what is deficient... and to push back against the forces and the trends that imperil journalism and that - by immediate extension - imperil democracy itself.
The Framers of our Constitution enshrined freedom of the press in the very first Amendment, up at the top of the Bill of Rights, not because they were great fans of journalists - like many politicians, then and now, they were not - but rather because they knew, as Thomas Jefferson put it, that, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was and never will be."
And it is because of this Constitutionally-protected role that I still prefer to use the word "press" over the word "media." If nothing else, it serves as a subtle reminder that - along with newspapers - radio, television, and, now, the Internet, carry the same Constitutional rights, mandates, and responsibilities that the founders guaranteed for those who plied their trade solely in print.
So when you hear me talk about the press, please know that I am talking about all the ways that news can be transmitted. And when you hear me criticize and critique the press, please know that I do not exempt myself from these criticisms.
In our efforts to take back the American press for the American people, we are blessed this weekend with the gift of good timing. For anyone who may have been inclined to ask if there really is a problem with the news media, or wonder if the task of media reform is, indeed, an urgent one... recent days have brought an inescapable answer, from a most unlikely source.
A source who decided to tell everyone, quote, "what happened."
I know I can't be the first person this weekend to reference the recent book by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, but, having interviewed him this past week, I think there are some very important points to be made from the things he says in his book, and the questions his statements raise.
I'm sure all of you took special notice of what he had to say about the role of the press corps, in the run-up to the war in Iraq. In the government's selling of the war, he said they were - or, I should say, we were "complicit enablers" and "overly deferential."
These are interesting statements, especially considering their source. As one tries to wrap one's mind around them, the phrase "cognitive dissonance" comes to mind.
The first reaction, a visceral one, is: Whatever his motives for saying these things, he's right - and we didn't need Scott McClellan to tell us so.
But the second reaction is: Wait a minute... I do remember at least some reporters, and some news organizations, asking tough questions - asking them of the president, of those in his administration, of White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and - oh yes - of Scott McClellan himself, once he took over for Mr. Fleischer a few months after the invasion.
So how do we reconcile these competing reactions? Well, we need to pull back for what we in television call the wide shot.
If we look at the wide shot, we can see, in one corner of our screen, the White House briefing room filled with the White House press corps... and, filling the rest of the screen, the finite but disproportionately powerful universe that has become known as "mainstream media" - the newspapers and news programs, real and alleged, that employ these White House correspondents - the news organizations that are, in turn, owned by a shockingly few, much larger corporations, for which news is but a miniscule part of their overall business interests.
In the wake of 9/11 and in the run-up to Iraq, these news organizations made a decision - consciously or unconsciously, but unquestionably in a climate of fear - to accept the overall narrative frame given them by the White House, a narrative that went like this: Saddam Hussein, brutal dictator, harbored weapons of mass destruction and, because of his supposed links to al Qaeda, this could not be tolerated in a post-9/11 world.
In the news and on the news, one could, to be sure, find persons and views that did not agree with all or parts of this official narrative. Hans Blix, the former U.N. chief weapons inspector, comes to mind as an example. But the burden of proof, implicitly or explicitly, was put on these dissenting views and persons... the burden of proof was not put on an administration that was demonstrably moving towards a large-scale military action that would represent a break with American precedent and stated policy of how, when, and under what circumstances this nation goes to war.
So with this in mind, we look back to the corner of our screen where the White House Press Corps is asking their questions. I have been a White House correspondent myself, and I have worked with some of the best in the business. You have an incentive, when you are in that briefing room, to ask the good, tough questions: If nothing else, that is how you get in the paper, or on the air. There is more to it than that, and things have changed since I was a White House correspondent - something I want to talk about in a minute. But the correspondents - the really good ones - these correspondents ask their tough questions.
And these questions are met with what is now called, euphemistically and much too kindly, what is now called "message discipline."
Well, we used to have a better and more accurate term for "message discipline." We called it "stonewalling." Now, cut back to your evening news, or your daily newspaper... where that White House Correspondent dutifully repeats the question he asked of the president or his press secretary, and dutifully relates the answer he was given - the same non-answer we've already heard dozens of times, which amounts to a pitch for the administration's point of view, whether or NOT the answer had anything to do with the actual question that was asked.
And then: "Thank you Jack. In other news today... ."
And we're off on a whole new story.
In our news media, in our press, those who wield power were, in the lead-up to Iraq, given the opportunity to present their views as a coherent whole, to connect the dots, as they saw the dots and the connections... no matter how much these views may have flown in the face of precedent, established practice - or, indeed, the facts (as we are reminded, yet again, by the just-released Senate report on the administration's use of pre-war intelligence). The powerful are given this opportunity still, in ways big and small, despite what you may hear about the "post-Katrina" press.
But when a tough question is asked and not answered, when reputable people come before the public and say, "wait a minute, something's not right here," the press has treated them like voices crying in the wilderness. These views, though they might be given air time, become lone dots - dots that journalists don't dare connect, even if the connections are obvious, even if people on the Internet and in the independent press are making these very same connections. The mainstream press doesn't connect these dots because someone might then accuse them of editorializing, or of being the, quote, "liberal media."
But connecting these dots - making disparate facts make sense - is a big part of the real work of journalism.
So how does this happen? Why does this happen?
Let me say, by way of answering, that quality news of integrity starts with an owner who has guts.
In a news organization with an owner who has guts, there is an incentive to ask the tough questions, and there is an incentive to pull together the facts - to connect the dots - in a way that makes coherent sense to the news audience.
I mentioned a moment ago that things have changed since I was a White House correspondent. Yes, presidential administrations have become more adept at holding "access" over the heads of reporters - ask too tough a question, or too many of them, so the implicit threat goes, and you're not going to get any more interviews with high-ranking members of the administration, let alone the president. But I was covering Presidents Johnson and Nixon - men not exactly known as pushovers. No, what has changed, even more than the nature of the presidency, is the character of news ownership. I only found out years after the fact, for example, about the pressure that the Nixon White House put on my then-bosses, during Watergate - pressure to cut down my pieces, to call me off the story, and so on... because, back then, my bosses took the heat, so I didn't have to. They did this so the story could get told, and so the public could be informed.
But it is rare, now, to find a major news organization owned by an individual, someone who can say, in effect, "The buck stops here." The more likely motto now is: "The news stops... with making bucks."
America's biggest, most important news organizations have, over the past 25 years, fallen prey to merger after merger, acquisition after acquisition... to the point where they are, now, tiny parts of immeasurably larger corporate entities - entities whose primary business often has nothing to do with news. Entities that may, at any given time, have literally hundreds of regulatory issues before multiple arms of the government concerning a vast array of business interests.
These are entities that, as publicly-held and traded corporations, have as their overall, reigning mandate: Provide a return on shareholder value. Increase profits. And not over time, not over the long haul, but quarterly.
One might ask just where the news fits into this model. And if you really need an answer, you can turn on your television, where you will see the following:
Political analysis reduced to in-studio shouting matches between partisans armed with little more than the day's talking points.
Precious time and resources wasted on so-called human-interest stories, celebrity fluff, sensationalist trials, and gossip.
A proliferation of "news you can use" that amounts to thinly-disguised press releases for the latest consumer products.
And, though this doesn't get said enough, local news, which is where most Americans get their news, that seems not to change no matter what town or what city you're in... so slavish is its adherence to the "happy talk" formula and the dictum that, "If it bleeds, it leads."
I could continue for hours, cataloging journalistic sins of which I know you are all too aware. But, as the time grows late, let me say that almost all of these failings come down to this: In the current model of corporate news ownership, the incentive to produce good and valuable news is simply not there. Good news, quality news of integrity, requires resources and it requires talent. These things are expensive, these things eat away at the bottom line.
Years ago, in the eighties and the nineties, when the implications of these cost-trimming measures were becoming impossible to ignore, and the quality of the news was clearly threatened, I spoke out against this cutting of news operations to the bone and beyond. Even then, though, I couldn't have imagined that the cost-cutting imperatives would go as far as they have today - deep into the marrow of what was once considered a public trust.
But since the financial resources always seem to be available for entertainment, promotion, and - last but not least - for lobbying... perhaps there is an even more important reason why the incentive to produce quality news is absent, and that is: quality news of integrity, by its very nature, is sure to rock the boat now and then. Good, responsible news worthy of its Constitutional protections will, in that famous phrase, afflict the powerful and comfort the afflicted.
And that, when one feels the need to deliver shareholder value above all, means that good news... may not always mean good business - or so goes the fear, a fear that filters down into just about every big newsroom in this country.
Now, I have spent my entire life in for-profit news, and I happen to think that it does not have to be this way. I have worked for news owners who, while they may have regarded their news divisions as an occasional irritant, chose to turn that irritant into a pearl of public trust. But today, sadly, it seems that the conglomerates that have control over some of the biggest pieces of this public trust would just as soon spit that irritant out.
So what does this mean for us tonight, and what is to be done?
It means that we need to be on the alert for where, when, and how our news media bows to undue government influence. And you need to let news organizations know, in no uncertain terms, that you won't stand for it... that you, as news consumers, are capable of exerting pressure of your own.
It means that we need to continue to let our government know that, when it comes to media consolidation, enough is enough. Too few voices are dominating, homogenizing, and marginalizing the news. We need to demand that the American people get something in exchange for the use of airwaves that belong, after all, to the people.
It means that we need to ensure that the Internet, where free speech reigns and where journalism does not have to pass through a corporate filter... remains free.
We need to say, loud and clear, that we don't want big corporations enjoying preferred access to - or government acting as the gatekeeper for - this unique platform for independent journalism.
And it means that we need to hold the government to its mandate to protect the freedom of the press, including independent and non-commercial news media.
The stakes could not possibly be higher. Scott McClellan's book serves as a reminder, and the current election season, not to mention the gathering clouds of conflict with Iran, will both serve as tests of whether lessons have truly been learned from past experience. Ensuring that a free press remains free will require vigilance, and it will require work. Please, take tonight's energy and inspiration home with you. Take it back to your desks and your workplaces, to your colleagues and your fellow citizens. magnify it, multiply it, and spread it. Make it viral. Make it something that cannot be ignored - not by the powers in Washington, not by the owners and executives of media companies. Write these people. Call them. Send them the message that you know your rights, you know that you are entitled to news media as diverse and varied as the American people... and that you deserve a press that provides the raw material of democracy, the good information that Americans need to be full participants in our government of, by, and for the people.
There is energy here, that can be equal to that task, but this energy must be maintained... if the press - if democracy - is to be preserved.
Thank you very much, and good night.