"There is a fierce battle going on over what kind of a CIA director Barack Obama should appoint, when he should close the prison camp at Guantanamo, and whether there should be a full scale investigation (and possible prosecution) of the torture advocates in the Bush administration," notes Charles Kaiser in the Columbia Journalism Review. Unfortunately, reporting on this issue in the New York Times and elsewhere has been flagrantly one-sided, from a position that falsifies the facts and defends torture. "Most of the Times's sources don't think that anyone who formulated or acquiesced in the current administration's torture policies should be excluded as a candidate for CIA director, or prosecuted for possible violations of criminal law," Kaiser writes. A recent story by Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, for example, falsely repeated John O. Brennan's description of himself as a "strong opponent" of torture, even though "most experts on this subject agree that Brennan acquiesced in everything that the CIA did in this area while he served there."
The Louisiana Senate has appointed former veteran Hill & Knowlton (H&K) lobbyist and Democratic congressional aide Gary Hymel to the Louisiana Board of Ethics. The board's role is to "interpret and enforce" ethical standards for the state's government employees and electoral campaign finance and lobbyist disclosure laws. "I have seen the government from a lot of different angles," Hymel said.
The second-largest U.S. oil company sees itself as a victim, and it's going on a PR offensive to explain why.
In a scathing review of the Chinese government's handling of the Olympics, Jacquelin Magnay writes "there has been the fake singer, the fake fireworks, the fake minority kids (they were all Han, and not from the 55 different ethnic groups as portrayed), the fake press freedoms, fake internet access, fake promises. ...
When China submitted its bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, it promised that journalists would have "complete freedom to report" from the country. However, "sites such as Amnesty International or any search for a site with Tibet in the address could not be opened at the Main Press Center [in Beijing], which will house about 5,000 print journalists when the games open Aug.
Human rights and labor activists protested outside the Washington DC offices of Public Strategies, Inc., claiming that the public relations firm helps the Bridgestone / Firestone Tire Company "deflect attention away from the company's long history of exploiting workers and the environment on its rubber plantation in Liberia." The protest comes shortly after the publication of a