Mar 19, 2008

News in the Shadows

I started this blog after returning from Memphis in January 2007. I had attended the Third National Conference on Media Reform and was enthusiastic about the work that needed to be done on correcting the continuing failures of the mainstream media to cover essential issues of the day. Few friends were aware, when I spoke to them, of the many stories that go without coverage.

Over this past weekend, friends dropped by for a Saint Patty's Day party and lots of refreshments, food, and conversation. And over the course of the party, despite the political talk, no one seemed aware of one of the bigger uncovered stories, the Winter Soldier 2008 Conference held outside of Washington D.C. in Silver Spring Maryland.

"Winter soldier" is a term derived from Thomas Paine, who spoke of "summer soldiers and summer patriots" who did not want to fight in the Revolution when the cold weather came. It was the name used by Vietnam veterans testifying about the atrocities that they had committed and had witnessed during the Vietnam War. And the name has been recast for this year with veterans of the War in Iraq and Desert Storm testifying to the abuses and atrocities that have occurred during this misbegotten adventure in Iraq under the leadership of George W. Bush.

More on this later: but for now it is enough to suggest some additional stories that do not appear in the mainstream media or that have received only scant attention:

First, the efforts of the CIA and the Bush Administration to finance a coup in Gaza, the thwarting of which was the real story behind the violence of Hamas against Fatah;

Second, the story of the suppression of evidence and investigation on the part of the United States into the death of Rachel Corrie, killed as she was attempting to stop the demolition of a Palestinian house. She was crushed by a
Caterpillar Corporation bulldozer driven by a soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces;

Third, Winter Soldier 2008, which brought hundreds of veterans to the Washington, D.C. area but received so little coverage you would have thought it took place in the wilds of Indonesia;

Fourth, the failure of the United States government to uphold its International obligation in the case of Luis
Posada Carilles, a known terrorist who has been given sanctuary in the United States;

Fifth, the story of the continuing settlement building by the Israeli government in the Occupied Territories and Israel's clear violation of International law and the Geneva Conventions, the collective punishment of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories.

Sixth and finally for now, the subject of my next post, the unjust treatment here in the United States of a Palestinian activist--and it should be noted, a Florida supporter of George W. Bush in the 2000 election--named
Sami al-Arian. The Justice Department and Federal judges have kept him in incarceration despite his acquittal by a jury. This travesty of justice is our version of the Dreyfus Affair, and it should be shouted in all the atriums of every courthouse in the United States until justice prevails.

On this last matter, there is important news to be gotten in the morning, and when that news breaks I will be able to present the full story.

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