Is Journalism Being Criminalised?

Jeremy Scahill

Journalism is the activity, or product, of journalists or others engaged in the preparation of written, visual, or audio material intended for dissemination through public media with reference to factual, ongoing events of public concern. It is intended to inform society about itself and to make events public that would otherwise remain private.”(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The  catchword of “freedom” in the western democratic world has lost its crystal ringing . . . drowning all aspects of privacy, human rights & civil liberties. Big corporations, money & power rule at the expense of human lives so preciously enshrined constitutionally & propagated. All sense of human values is turned topsy turvy & disregarded under the guise of national security. This is so profoundly pursued in the recent “Snowden” surveillance whistle-blowing phenomenon. There appears to be new sets of law of convenience & interpretation to meet the objectives of Obama Administration, as they did previously with Bush-Cheney Programs.

In the following video interview, Jeremy Scahill, Dirty Wars author & journalist, simply and plainly describes what is happening to the privacy and freedoms of all human beings on planet Earth under the Obama Administration.

He says, “Unless we, as a society make it our business to address the root cause of the problem, which is that corporations are running the the show in the United States, then I don’t have any faith that [any] bill passed by Congress . . . is going to have any meaningful impact . . .”

“One of the fundamentals of a democratic society is a free and vibrant press and the role of journalists in a free and democratic society should be to hold those in power accountable . . . to give a voice to the voiceless, to fill in parts of the story that aren’t being covered by those in power, and to provide information the people can use to make decisions about what policies to support or oppose. 

“What is happening under Obama – and was certainly happening under Bush, is that journalism is being criminalized.

“If you are cutting too close the heart of the National Security State – we have whistle-blowers that are being prosecuted in record numbers by the [so-called] ‘Constitutional Law Expert’ – President, you have journalists that are having their phone records seized, that are being surveilled, are having their discussions intruded upon – the end result of this is an attempt to chill whistle-blowers and to stop . . . people from talking to journalists.

“When you have a White House such as we have right now . . . that engages in official leaks . . . they will leak Classified information or stories that make them look like the great defenders of peace, freedom and democracy around the world. [However,] almost everything they leaked in the immediate aftermath of the Osama Bin Laden raid turned out to be false – but they were managing the story.

“If journalists only have access to the official leaks and the pronouncements of the PR people, spinning for the White House, the Pentagon or the CIA, that’s not a democratic press. That’s not independently-verifiable information.

 “What that is, is propaganda.”

US Democracy is but a name . . . 

Video (6:27 mins)

http://youtu.be/5XhHvZ11O60

Harry Truman

Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953). As President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States (1945), he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his unprecedented fourth term.

Known by his popularized phrases as “The buck stops here” and “If you can’t stand the heat, you better get out of the kitchen”, his approval ratings in the polls started out very high, then steadily sank until he was one of the most unpopular men to leave the White House. Popular and scholarly assessments of his presidency eventually became more positive after his retirement from politics.(Wikipedia)

But what do we really know of a politician such as he? Little is known of Harry Truman. Believe me they don’t make politicians like him anymore & we certainly could do with a few like him in our parliament.

The “Bushy’ & “Blaring” type of politicians should never be allowed to take centre stage on world affairs ever again!

Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation’s history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri. His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.



When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance’ and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.



When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, “You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale.”



Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, “I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.”

As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.



Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale (cf. Illinois).



Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, “My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician.” And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!



What a man!

There is, however, his one great controversial legacy in the nuclear bombing destruction of Hiroshima & Nagasaki in August 1945 to end WW2.

Play Video

Who Owns The U.S.?

By P Chong 2 March 2011

Google Image: Obama

Who owns the U.S.? Certainly not the Congress nor the White House nor the U.S. citizens. Read on this short concise & shocking report & find out . . .

U.S. NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK

The Outstanding Public Debt as of 01 Mar 2011 at 07:37:14 AM GMT is:

$14,152,979.452.299.10

The estimated population of the United States is 310,121,353 so each citizen’s share of this debt is $45,636.91

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $4.12 billion per day since September 28, 2007!
 Concerned? Then tell Congress and the White House!

Seven generations from now we will all be owned by the banks and be impoverished if this continues!

(This debt clock is maintained by Ed Hall (edhall@brillig.com). It was last calibrated using information obtained from the U.S. Department of the Treasury dated 25 February 2011. Population figures are derived from the U.S. Bureau of the CensusPopulation Clock.)

Whatever the rhetoric that Obama or the politicians or economists offer, figures speak louder than words. Facts & figures won’t lie. Without inputs & only withdrawals the coffers soon run dry. It can only disasters! Regardless of how much closer Obama’s budget brings U.S. economy into a balance of payments not seen since 2001, it will continue to run deficits for the next decade, and the national debt will just keep growing every year.

The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board estimate that while most of the country’s $14 trillion debt is held by private banks in the U.S., as of December 2010r, about $4.4 trillion of it was held by foreign governments that purchase its treasury securities much as an investor buys shares in a company and comes to own his or her little chunk of the organization.

Looking at the list of our top international creditors, a few overall characteristics show some interesting trends: Three of the top 10 spots are held by China and its constituent parts, and while two of our biggest creditors are fellow English-speaking democracies, a considerable share of our debt is held by oil exporters that tend to be decidedly less friendly in other areas of international relations.

China $891.6 billion 20.40%
Japan 883.6 billion 20.20%
United Kingdom 541.3 billion 12.40%
Oil Exporters 218 billion 5.00%
Brazil 180.8 billion 4.10%
Caribean Banking

Centres

155.6 billion 3.60%
Hong Kong 138.2 billion 3.20%
Canada 134.6 billion 3.10%
Taiwan 131.9 billion 3.00%
Russia 106.2 billion 2.40%
Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (2009)    

Let’s hope Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, the least of the 10 creditors, doesn’t come to collect.

Over the years, America’s status as a creditor or debtor has changed enormously. In the early 1980s, America’s net international investment position averaged $350 billion, or 11 percent of GDP, making the United States the world’s largest creditor. Today, it is the world’s largest debtor – by far.

Foreign governments have taken notice – in particular, China, which now holds more U.S. Treasury debt than any other country. In the 12 months through April, China’s portfolio of Treasury debt securities has soared by more than a quarter of a trillion dollars to over $800 billion.

In its annual financial stability report issued on Friday, China’s central bank once again declared there were serious problems with the global monetary system’s reliance on a single dominant currency – the dollar. An estimated 65 percent to 70 percent of China’s $2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, the world’s largest stockpile, is held in dollar-denominated assets.

Google Image

The People’s Bank of China is taking steps in the right direction with its expansionary monetary and fiscal policies. It is making available & possible for its trading partners to use the Yuan as the currency of exchange instead of solely dependent upon the U.S. dollar.

The people in the Middle East . . . the Tunisians, the Egyptians, the Libyans . . . their loss as compared to the American citizens are but pittance. Now it looks like the upheaval, riot & civil unrest are spreading to other parts of the Middle East . . . Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yeman and others.

Google Image: Middle East Unrest

It’s democracy gone crazy!

Or is it just a ploy & secret agenda of vested party (or parties) to wrest & control the wealth of oil in the region?