By Paul Craig Roberts
November 03, 2010 "Information Clearing House" -- In my last column, Who Has The Crystal Ball, I questioned the existence of “the liberal media,” and I remarked that it would be interesting to know the manufacturer of the full body scanners and the company’s relationship to the US and Israeli governments.
Conservative readers wrote to me saying that, as I had not mentioned National Public Radio, I had hidden “the liberal media” under the table. Another reader, well informed on the subject, told me about the full body scanner company and its relationship to the US and Israeli governments.
Let’s begin with the latter.
The full body scanners are manufactured by Rapiscan Systems, a firm represented by the Chertoff Group. The Chertoff Group is Michael Chertoff, a dual Israeli/US citizen appointed Secretary of Homeland Security in 2005 by Puppet President George W. Bush. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) used Obama’s economic stimulus, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to purchase 150 Rapiscan machines. Much larger purchases are in the works.
Chertoff has been a federal judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and a federal prosecutor who convicted and destroyed the Arthur Andersen accounting firm, apparently illegally as the conviction was overturned by the US Supreme Court. But, of course, the firm and the careers of its employees were already destroyed by Chertoff.
Chertoff was also appointed Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice by George W. Bush. Chertoff supervised the 9/11 investigation or non-investigation.
Chertoff is also the co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act, a piece of fascist legislation that destroys American civil liberties.
Today Chertoff is using his government credentials to push full body scanners into American airports. A rights group, FlyersRights.org, has criticized Chertoff for abusing “the trust the public has placed in him as a former public servant to privately gain from the sale of full-body scanners.” http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2010/01/02/group_slams_chertoff_on_scanner_promotion/
Chertoff’s mother, Livia, was an El Al Airlines hostess and according to some a Mossad agent (see, for example, http://www.bollyn.com/michael-chertoffs-childhood-in-israel ).
Now let’s have a look at National Public Radio. Once upon a time NPR was an alternative voice. That voice was discarded during the Bush administration when Republican fundraiser Gay Hart Gaines was appointed by Dubya as vice chair for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Cheryl Feldman Halpern was appointed chair of the Corporation by Dubya, and Elizabeth Sembler was appointed by Dubya to the board of the corporation.
These women are certainly not liberals. Gaines is affiliated with right-wing and neoconservative organizations, such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the National Review Institute. According to Common Cause, Gaines was “an ardent fundraiser for Newt Gingrich.” http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Gay_Hart_Gaines
Halpern is a Republican donor and a critic of NPR. Halpern has accused NPR of anti-Israel bias and said that public broadcasting journalists should be penalized for biased programs. Biased programs are those that don’t fit Republican and AIPAC agendas. Halpern accompanied President George W. Bush to Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Israeli state in May 2008. Halpern is a board member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a spin-off organization from AIPAC tasked with focusing primarily on influencing the US executive branch while AIPAC focuses on Congress. At her confirmation hearing, Halpern expressed her opinion that Public Broadcasting System’s Bill Moyers was not objective and regretted that as chair of the corporation she lacked the authority to “remove physically somebody who had engaged in editorialization of the news.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/14/AR2005071402099.html
Sembler is director of Jewish Studies at the Jewish Day School in Clearwater, Florida. Her husband is CEO of the Sembler Company, a shopping center development firm.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting board distributes federal funds to noncommercial radio and TV stations. It became clear to NPR that their funding was in question, and NPR deserted truth for money.
The Republican takeover was completed by an infusion of corporate money into NPR. Today the station has as many advertisements for corporate donors as a commercial station. It still pretends to be financed by listeners, but NPR is now part of the corporate media and sounds like the voice of Israel.
On November 2, NPR’s news broadcast showed its new colors. Reporting on the 40-year sentence handed to Omar Khadr by a Gestapo military tribunal for “war crimes,” NPR provided commentary from a widow of a US soldier killed in the firefight that captured the wounded 15-year old Khadr and by a retired US military officer. NPR did not provide any commentary by legal experts who have shown the “trial” to be a travesty of law.
Khadr was captured in wounded condition following a four-hour firefight in the Afghan village of Ayub Kheyl, which came under US attack. He was accused of throwing a hand grenade that fatally wounded a US soldier. It is impossible to know who threw a grenade during a firefight. Moreover, the use of lethal force in military encounters does not constitute a war crime.
Khadr was held for seven years in Guantanamo where he was tortured into confession. At his trial, his confession became a plea bargain.
What Khadr’s trial was about is establishing that “enemy combatants” who resist US aggression are war criminals. The assumption is that only “terrorists” resist American invasion of their countries.
None of this information was revealed by the NPR report. Instead America’s “alternative voice” was thoroughly neoconservative. NPR presented its listeners with the self-righteous celebration of the US soldier’s widow, who, the Guardian reported (Nov. 2) “pumped her fist and cheered ‘yes.’ The widow said that now, finally, that justice was done she could get on with her life. NPR followed up with a retired US military officer, who said that Khadr’s sentence was equivalent to freeing a murderer.
Khadr’s prosecutor, Jeffrey Groharing, declared that Khadr’s sentence “will send a message to Al-Qaeda and others whose aims and goals are to kill and cause chaos around the world.” The irony in this assertion escaped the tamed NPR. The deaths that can be attributed to Al Qaeda are tiny in number compared to the deaths inflicted by gratuitous US and Israeli naked aggression against Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon, Pakistan, Yeman, and Somalia. Groharing declared the 15-year old Khadr to have been “an accomplished terrorist” who committed the offense of resisting American aggression.
Now, really, what kind of idiot would interpret NPR’s report as “the liberal media.”
What message did Khadr’s sentence send? To insouciant Americans only that finally a terrorist got his comeuppance despite the liberal media. To the rest of the world the message is: the US is a morally bankrupt, self-righteous country that believes that might is right. The American claim to world leadership is discredited.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.