Sunday, February 10, 2008

Top ignored stories of the year

Greatreporter.com has an excellent piece on the top 25 censored stories of 2006-07. While the corporate media was bombarding the citizenry with an avalanche of triviality like Britney Spears and random-kidnaped-middle class-photogenic-white girl-of-the-month, many real stories were ignored.

Such as:

-The Military Commissions Act of 2006 elimination of habeas corpus protection, the most basic, fundamental liberty in any society that calls itself free. It was the lynchpin of western civilization going back nearly 800 years.

-The same act granted impunity to US war criminals for actions taken in the previous ten years.

-How human traffic built the US embassy in Baghdad. The enduring monument to US liberation and democracy in Iraq is being built by forced labor. Contractors subcontracting to the US State Department are using bait-and-switch recruiting practices to smuggle Asian workers into brutal and inhumane labor camps—in the middle of the US-controlled Green Zone.

-The scam of rebuilding Afghanistan. Much of the US tax money earmarked to rebuild Afghanistan actually ends up going no further than the pockets of wealthy US corporations. Paychecks for overpriced, and often incompetent, American “experts” under contract to USAID go directly from the Agency to American bank accounts. Seventy percent of the aid that does make it to a recipient country is carefully “tied” to the donor nation for further fraud and exploitation.

-Toxic chemical poisoning can be genetic. Research suggests that our behavior and our environmental conditions may program sections of our children’s DNA. New evidence about how genes interact with the environment suggests that many industrial chemicals may be more ominously dangerous than previously thought. One researcher points to a revolution in medicine: “You aren't eating and exercising just for yourself, but for your lineage.”

-America's drinking water is contaminated by corporations and the military. Corporations, municipalities, and the US military are using America’s waters as their dumping ground —often with little or no accountability. The average major facility discharges pollutants in excess of its permitted limit by over 275 percent, nearly four times the legal limit, while more than 40 percent of US waterways are already unsafe for swimming and fishing.

-A popular movement in Latin America is challenging US exploitation of those countries. In Latin America, massive opposition to US economic domination has demanded that populist leaders and parties take control of national governments, building powerful alternatives to neo-liberal exploitation.

-But calling all of US trade policy neo-liberal isn't quite accurate. The US likes to protect subsidies of its own. The July 2006 Doha round of WTO negotiations broke down over the contentious issue of farm trade and the unrestricted opening of markets to agricultural products. In a last-minute proposal, one not included on the original agenda, the US insisted that all trade agreements include a special “Peace Clause” that would make its use of illegal farm subsidies immune from prosecution by the countries affected.

-There's no evidence linking Osama bin Laden to 9/11. At least according to none other than the FBI.

-And speaking of frauds, you know that war with Iran that the neo-conservatives want so badly? One of the fake justifications for that war is a comment by Iran's president that he wants "Israel wiped off the face of the map." But there's one little problem: he never said it. I don't expect this to be a hindrance to the war machine. Saddam Hussein's lack of weapons of mass destruction, an absence many people commented on BEFORE the invasion, didn't stop the far right from aggressing that country. But when they try to perpetuate their next aggression based on a fraud, don't say you weren't warned.

No comments: