Why Spy?

"I'm astonished that anyone's astonished" at the failures of the American intelligence community to detect or prevent terrorism, writes information guru John Perry Barlow. "After a decade of both fighting with and consulting to the intelligence community, I've concluded that the American intelligence system is broken beyond repair, self-protective beyond reform, and permanently fixated on a world that no longer exists." How could it be otherwise, he asks, in institutions that were designed to be paranoid and secretive?


Coughing Up the Truth

A week after the 9/11 attacks, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Director Christie Whitman issued a news release claiming that air pollution caused by the collapse of the World Trade Towers was no big deal. "I am glad to reassure the people of New York and Washington, D.C. that their air is safe to breath and their water is safe to drink," she said.


September 11 and the Internet

The Pew Internet Project has published a report examining how September 11 affected public attitudes and use of the Internet. Perhaps the most disturbing change has been that more Americans support greater government secrecy, along with monitoring of people's email and online activities.


Al-Qaeda Stronger Than Ever

A year has passed since the U.S. launched its war on terrorism. "Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that most of the initial 'war aims' have not been achieved," reports Jane's Intelligence Digest, a leading publisher of military and security analyses. "In fact, in the view of many within the Western intelligence community, Al-Qaeda is probably stronger now than it was before 11 September. The reasons for this are complex, but key factors include the enormous growth in grassroots support for the group throughout much of the Islamic world. ...


What's Good for Exxon Is Bad for Terrorism?

The U.S. State Department is seeking dismissal of a human rights lawsuit against Exxon Mobil's activities in Indonesia, where villagers say that they were victims of murder, torture, kidnapping and rape by the military unit guarding the company's gas field. "In response to a request by the corporation for an opinion, the department declared that pursuit of the case would harm Washington's campaign against terrorism," reports the New York Times.


Doctor Spin and Mr. Hyde

Ever since September 11, politicians like Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde have been wondering why "the popular press overseas, often including the government-owned media, daily depict the United States as a force for evil." Hyde thinks that "public diplomacy" (the government's term for "public relations") can turn the tide.


Myanmar Hires PR Help

"The Union of Myanmar, which is ruled by a ruthless military junta, has retained Washington, D.C.-based DCI Assocs. to improve its relationship with the U.S.," trade publication O'Dwyer's PR writes. "DCI is to brief members of the Bush Administration and Congress that the former Burma is now committed to democracy and human rights. It also wants to be considered a foot soldier in President Bush's so-called 'war on terror.' DCI received a $100,000 retainer from Myanmar in early April, which will cover work through July 15. It will then bill Myanmar $35K a month. ...


The Treasonous Press

"I accuse the media in the United States of treason," says a State Department official in a Washington Post opinion piece. Dennis Pluchinsky, a senior intelligence analyst with the Diplomatic Security Service in the U.S. Department of State, goes on to propose that the American press be censored in its coverage of the war on terrorism. "If there were an 'Osama bin Laden' award given out by al Qaeda, I believe that it would be awarded to the U.S news media for their investigative reporting," he says. "This type of reporting -- carrying specifics about U.S.


News Blackout Aids & Abets FBI Frame-Up of Judi Bari

The news media is generally failing to report the historic verdict against the FBI in the 1990 bombing of non-violent environmental activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney. That would not surprise Judi, were she alive today. In her book Timber Wars she described how the news media eagerly parroted the FBI's lies and deception, casting Bari and fellow bomb victim Cherney as terrorists. "The news quickly went national, with newspapers across the country screaming about Earth First!ers carrying bombs. It was the only time we ever made the front page of the New York Times.



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