By John Pilger,opednews.com – In the week Lord Leveson published more than a million words about his inquiry into the “culture, practice and ethics” of Britain’s corporate press, two illuminating books about media and freedom were also published. Their contrast with Leveson’s Punch and Judy show is striking. For 36 years, Project Censored, based in California, has documented critically important stories unreported or suppressed by the media most Americans watch or read. This year’s report is Censored 2013: Dispatches From the Media Revolution by Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth (Seven Stories Press). They describe the omissions of “mainstream” journalism as “history in the unmaking.” Unlike Leveson, their investigation demonstrates the sham of a system claiming to be free.
Among their top 25 censored stories are these:
—The emerging police and prison state
Since 2001, the US has erected a police state apparatus including a presidential order that allows the military to detain anyone indefinitely without trial. FBI agents are now responsible for the majority of terrorist plots, with a network of 15,000 spies “encouraging and assisting people to commit crimes.” Informants receive cash rewards of up to $100,000.
—War crimes, al-Qaeda and drug money
The bombing of civilian targets in Libya in 2011 was often deliberate and included the main water supply facility that provided water to 70 percent of the population. In Afghanistan, the murder of 16 unarmed civilians, including nine children, attributed to one rogue US soldier, was committed by “multiple” soldiers and covered up. In Syria, the US, Britain and France are funding and arming the icon of terrorism, alQaeda. In Latin America, one US bank has laundered $378bn in drug money.
In Britain, this world of subjugated news and information is concealed behind a similar facade of a “free” media, which promotes the extremisms of state corruption and war, consumerism and an impoverishment known as “austerity.” Leveson devoted his so-called inquiry to the preservation of this system. My favorite laugh-out-loud quote of His Lordship is: “I have seen no basis for challenging at any stage the integrity of the police.”
Those who have long tired of deconstructing the cliches and deceptions of “news” say: “At least there’s the internet now.” Yes, but for how long? Alfred W McCoy, the great US chronicler of imperialism, quotes Barack Obama in a recent election debate. “We need to be thinking about cyber security,” said Obama. “We need to be talking about space.”
McCoy calls this revolutionary. “Not a single commentator seemed to have a clue when it came to the profound strategic changes encoded in the president’s sparse words,” he writes. “Yet, for the past four years, working in silence and secrecy, the Obama administration has presided over a technological revolution … moving the nation far beyond bayonets and battleships to cyber warfare, the weaponization of space [and] a breakthrough in what’s called “information warfare’.”
This is hacking on a vast scale by the state and its intelligence and military arms and “security” corporations. It was unmentionable at the Leveson inquiry, even though the internet was within Leveson’s remit. It is the subject of Cypherpunks (OR Books) by Julian Assange with Jacob Appelbaum, Andy Muller Maguhn and Jeremie Zimmermann. That the Guardian, a principal gatekeeper of liberal debate in Britain, should describe their published conversation as “dystopian musings” is unsurprising. Understanding what they have to say is to abandon the vicarious as journalism and to embrace the real thing. Read more…