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daily archive: 08/14/2004
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
E-mails from Al-Qaeda
By Guest Contributor, KianB

Alan Cullison covered the events in Afghanistan for Wall Street Journal in late 2001. On the day that Kabul fell, Cullison was offered to buy some computers from a local al-Qaeda office.

Cullison purchased an IBM desktop and a Compaq laptop for $1100. Before giving the hard drives to CIA agents in Afghanistan, Cullison copied the contents and shares some of the emails in September's Atlantic Monthly.

Interesting insight on al-Qaeda's financial operations and their merge with Taliban. The letters include e-mail messages from bin Laden himself.



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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A as in Academia
Heather Schmidt, student at Colorado State University and U.S. Army veteran whose husband is currently serving in Iraq, deserves better than sociology professor Steven Helmericks.

Helmericks proceeded to draw an illustration on the chalkboard of a funnel, all the while discussing "false ideologies" like patriotism. He then drew pointy ears and a dumb expression on the face - a rendering of President Bush.

"He's sending boys and girls out to die for no (insert blasphemous expletive here) reason," Helmericks went on, and students should "raise hell" and question authority. Heather did.

"Excuse me, my husband is in Iraq right now, and I don't appreciate you saying that he is out there dying for no reason. These men and women in Iraq chose to serve their country."

Helmericks dismissed her and went on.

After class, Heather confronted her professor: "If you are going to criticize the president, please do it in a more appropriate manner. I feel this to be highly inappropriate for class and offensive."

Helmericks explained that there were a "number of things" she would find offensive in the class, and that she should choose a different class.

Then, he got extraordinarily angry and raised his voice, "No! Sending boys and girls to die is inappropriate! You should go to a different class!"

A man who lectured his students on "raising hell" and criticizing authority wasn't especially keen on having his authority questioned.

Slurring the Troops at Colorado State

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Murderous Propaganda
There are about 14 million Jews left in the world. Each and every one, but the Jews of Israel most of all, are being systematically and perilously endangered by non-stop propaganda.

The Western media has still not caught on to the way in which Arabs and Palestinians are systematically using media technology to brainwash people with simplistic and highly biased versions of reality. Photo opportunity journalism, staged Israeli shootings and massacres, especially of children, are rampant; true depictions of Israeli security fence building, Palestinian home demolitions, and the alleged purposeful killing of political activists (such as Rachel Corrie of the International Solidarity Movement) are systematically presented out of context and in totally one-sided ways. The propagandists never, ever show the numerous acts of kindness and ethical behaviors on the part of the Israeli Defense Forces nor do they show the systematic slaughter of innocent Israeli civilians, nearly half of whom are women and children.

The Great Propagandists focus only on the Palestinian "refugees" who are seen as the innocent victims of Israeli aggression. They never show us the human face of the true refugees of the Middle East who are (persecuted) Jews from Arab countries whom Israel absorbed with no help from the UN, or from UNRWA, nor do they explain that Palestinian suffering is primarily due to corrupt and murderous Palestinian and Arab leadership.

The Race Against Lies

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Seven Violations
Hat tip: HonestReporting

"We expect journalists to maintain independence and objectivity -- and certainly not pledge "cooperation" with one side of an armed struggle. But when in October 2000 a representative of Italian state television issued an apology in Arabic over the filming of a brutal lynching of two Israelis in Ramallah, and promised to cooperate more fully with the Palestinian Authority in the future, Western sensibilities were shaken.

Why is the media biased? It could be they are intimidated by Palestinian strongmen into covering only their 'positive' side, while Israeli democracy permits more open coverage of the Israeli position. Or it could be that it's more exciting to root for the underdog. Or it could be that the world applies a moral double-standard to Israel.

Conrad Black, former CEO of Hollinger International and publisher of The Spectator (London) and The Jerusalem Post writes:

'The British media habitually apply a double standard when judging the Israelis and Palestinians. Behind the spurious defence of merely seeking justice for the Palestinians, most of the relevant sections of the BBC, Independent, Guardian, Evening Standard and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are rabidly anti-Israel.'"

Here are the "7 Violations of Media Objectivity":

Misleading definitions and terminology -- By using terminology and definitions in a way that implies accepted fact, the media injects bias under the guise of objectivity.

Imbalanced reporting -- Media reports frequently skew the picture by presenting only one side of the story.

Opinions disguised as news.

Lack of context -- By failing to provide proper context and full background information, journalists can dramatically distort the true picture.

Selective omission -- By choosing to report certain events over others, the media controls access to information and manipulates public sentiment.

Using true facts to draw false conclusions -- Media reports frequently use true facts to draw erroneous conclusions.

Distortion of facts -- In today's competitive media world, reporters frequently do not have the time, inclination or resources to properly verify information before submitting a story for publication.

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Hezbollah TV
Lebanon criticized French efforts to ban the militant group Hezbollah's television station, Al-Manar, saying the channel may be anti-Israeli but it is not anti-Semitic.

Lebanon's Foreign Ministry defended Al-Manar on Friday, saying the station's programs "condemn the policies of Israeli governments and are not by any means racist or critical of the Jewish faith or people."

At the center of the storm appears to be the Syrian-produced 29-part series "Al-Shatat," which Hezbollah broadcast throughout the region. It is based on "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," an anti-Semitic 19th-century tract commonly used in Nazi propaganda to incite hatred against Jews.

The series, which depicts among other things a rabbi ordering a Christian child killed so the blood can be baked into Passover matzos, has been broadcast throughout the Muslim world and in France, which has an estimated 5 million Muslims, many of Arab origin.

Lebanon claimed French authorities have taken "a political role rather than a judicial" stance in the case against al-Manar.

Lebanon said there should be a distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

"The Zionist ideology and practices are condemned because they are the basis of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the source of the tragedy and injustice the Palestinian people are subjected to," the Foreign Ministry statement said.

U.S. diplomats have protested to the Lebanese and Syrian governments over "Al-Shatat" and Australian authorities have taken Al-Manar off the air.

Lebanon Slams France Over Hezbollah TV

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