Why I choose the Internet for news

Letter from Dan Bishop

Media – July 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine


Do you know who Major Charmaine Means is? Every American should recognize her name and know what she did. Yet only the Wall Street Journal dared tell her story. As far as I know, FoxNews didn’t. MSNBC didn’t. ABC and CBS didn’t. Yet Major Charmaine Means is a true American hero, a Patriot First Class. I read about her courageous action on www.commondreams.org. She deserves a medal. I’ll explain why shortly.

Do you know what depleted uranium is? Most informed citizens in developed nations around the world know about depleted uranium. Articles in major newspapers in the world’s capitals regularly carry news articles and editorials about depleted uranium. Yet throughout the intense bombardment campaign and full scale invasion of Iraq, where the U.S. expended and dispersed as much as 2000 tons of this radioactive material throughout the environment, exposing U.S. and British troops as well as innocent Iraqi civilians, depleted uranium was seldom mentioned on the American broadcast media or the U.S. press. If you don’t know about depleted uranium or its link to Gulf War Syndrome, please check out www.idust.net, which contains a wealth of information. Whenever I want information on a specific topic in the news, I use news.google.com and type in a word or two for the search engine to pull articles from over 4500 news sources from around the globe.

For daily news I now go to www.newspapers.com or www.newspaperlinks.com. These sites allow you to select from virtually any country in the world any newspaper that has an online presence. Read about the Middle East from the Egyptian and Lebanese experience and compare what you find there with reporting in the Washington Post and New York Times, which you can also get from these same Internet links. Often you will find yourself challenged to discern the truth from conflicting reports. But this, after all, is what distinguishes intelligent, thoughtful citizens from those who blindly accept what they are told by the spin-doctors whose only wish is to further their own agendas.

Did you know that every one of Colin Powell’s arguments before the UN supporting the U.S. request for approval of an Iraqi invasion were proven within a few days to be outright lies, not only by sharp foreign journalists but by the CIA itself? Evidence for weapons of mass destruction were created in the imaginations of State Department and Administration employees, with the help of a graduate student’s ten-year-old thesis. Evidence for a Hussein-Al Qaeda link was shown to be a fabrication by Condoleezza Rice and laughed at around the world for its implausibility. After all, Al Qaeda hates Saddam Hussein as much as it does the United States; is this a group Hussein would coöperate with? (This fact, of course, also somehow eluded the U.S. mainstream media.) And the CIA’s own investigations clearly showed that Iraq had absolutely NO involvement in the 9 /11 attacks on the United States. Yet the U.S. media, though fully aware of this fact, continued for 18 months to promote the myth, if not by direct stat

Of course, after U.S. troops have searched in vain throughout Iraq for any evidence of a uranium enrichment facility, we all now know that President Bush’s argument to Congress in October of 2002 that Saddam Hussein was on the verge of constructing nuclear bombs was another fabrication. Nevertheless, Congress fell for it (they should have been getting their news from the Internet) and granted Bush the authorization to declare war, in violation of the U.S. Constitution which confers this right solely to Congress. Once again, the U.S. mainstream media, in full support of the President’s agenda, have refused to keep the American public informed. Few news organizations in the U.S. are brave enough to stand against the tide and tell it like it is. Democracy Now, with its daily video broadcast on Free Speech TV and audio broadcasts on Pacifica Radio and many public radio broadcasting stations, stands tall among those where untainted news is still broadcast.

Did you know that Israel, with the full economic and political support of the U.S., has been using bulldozers to crush the homes, orchards, gardens and hopes of Palestinian civilians every day, day in and day out throughout this spring? That Israeli soldiers almost daily have been killing innocent Palestinian civilians, including children? Could these actions have anything to do with Arab and Moslem hatred of the U.S. throughout the Middle East, the rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism, and the igniting of terrorist activism throughout the world? Maybe these are things you don’t wish to know about. If so, the pabulum of American mainstream broadcast and print media may be just your thing.

Did you know that the dramatic, televised rescue of Private First Class Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital in Nasiriyah was a staged event? The doctors had transported her to a check-point in an ambulance two days before and were turned back. Then, when the “rescue” did take place, the U.S. Army knew full well that all Iraqi soldiers had left the area and that the only “resistance” they would meet was from the same doctors and nurses who had been treating her injuries. One report claimed they turned down an offer of a key to gain entrance, preferring instead to break the door down. Sylvester Stallone would have been proud. And by the way, Jessica’s injuries were all bone fractures sustained when her vehicle crashed; there were no “knife and bullet wounds”, as reported by the U.S. press. This information was available just days after her “rescue” on April 1, but didn’t appear in the Washington Post until April 15 or the Boston Globe until May 30, two f

Speaking of staged events, what about that great scene from April 9, shown repeatedly on mainstream media, of the giant statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down by a U.S. tank in front of a crowd of cheering people. It certainly was convenient that the statue in Fardus Square was so close to the Palestine Hotel where the majority of international reporters in Baghdad were staying. But wide angle shots of this large square at the time (as seen on foreign broadcasts) show that only about 150 people were present and most of these were U.S. Army troops or reporters. The Iraqis numbered only a couple dozen at most, and the foreign press discovered and revealed that most of those were militia from Ahmed Chalabi’s expatriot Iraqi National Congress who had been shipped in for the event. They weren’t Iraqi citizens at all!

Oh, by the way. Major Charmaine Means? She was the U.S. Army Major who was ordered to move her command into the television station in Mosul, Iraq, and shut down its operation. Apparently, her training in international war crimes and their consequences convinced her that to do so would violate international law, making her and her superiors liable for prosecution as war criminals. At the time, that television station was the only media service, broadcast or otherwise, that was available to the citizens of Mosul. She refused to follow orders, acting precisely as her Army training had taught her to do, knowing that the consequences might include the end of her career or worse. Yet she made the right decision, the courageous decision, the decision of a true American patriot. We might all do well to look at her example, ignoring what others say we “should” do and how we “should” behave and follow our conscience to make decisions based on what is right and just for our fellow human beings and for our home, this planet Earth.

Dan Bishop