Category Archives: 4th Estate

Turkish PM Erdogan Bans Twitter – Usage Soars

“The international community will say this and that [about the ban], and it doesn’t concern me one bit. [The world] will see the power of the Turkish Republic.”  Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister, Turkey, March 20

Things didn’t work out as planned for PM Erdogan when he tried to shut down Twitter in Turkey on Thursday, March 20.  However, the world did see the power of the Turkish people who boosted Twitter usage from 4.54 million to 6.04 million messages in the period after the government ordered the service banned according to the Somera Social Media Rating service.  In addition to the 33% increase in message traffic, Somera reported a 17% increase in users.  Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, sent a message to Turkish users offering alternatives to access the service.  (Image:  Twitter)  Continue reading

Inconsistencies and Unanswered Questions: The Risks of Trusting the Snowden Story

By Kevin Ryan
Global Research

Greenwald, Snowden

Last June, Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian revealed that Edward Snowden was the NSA insider behind “one of the most significant leaks in US political history.” Snowden explained his motivations through Greenwald by saying, “There are more important things than money…. harming people isn’t my goal. Transparency is.”

Such altruistic motivations were welcome news at the time but have come into question recently given that only a tiny fraction of the documents have been released nearly a year after Snowden started working with Greenwald. Perhaps more importantly, billionaire Pierre Omidyar is funding Greenwald’s slow release of those documents. It is worth noting that Omidyar’s Paypal Corporation has links to the NSA.

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 150,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Checkbook Journalism & Leaking to the Highest Bidders; BFP Roundtable

snowden on russian tvBy Sibel Edmonds
Podcast by Corbett Report

In this blockbuster no-holds-barred conversation, Sibel Edmonds, Guillermo Jimenez and James Corbett discuss Edmonds’ recent series of articles on Glenn Greenwald and his connection to billionaire Pierre Omidyar. We talk about the NSA/PayPal connection and Greenwald’s refusal to discuss this issue, and Edmonds reveals specific examples of publicly documented cases that Greenwald has been covering up for years: LISTEN HERE: http://www.corbettreport.com/mp4/bfpr02.mp4

Sibel’s Checkbook Journalism article:

The NSA Whistleblowing Case: Something is Awfully Rotten in the State of …?Imagine a major government whistleblower who leaks his evidence and obtained documents to the highest bidders in the mainstream media and mega corporations. Does that sound awful, disgraceful and despicable? Okay. Now, imagine a pseudo journalist who obtains over 50,000 documents from a government whistleblower, and then takes some of this information and puts it out for bid, reserves a certain portion for a lucrative book deal, and saves the rest for a mega corporation that has a record of screwing whistleblowers. How does that sound? This is what I mean by the title of this commentary: Checkbook Journalism & Leaking to the Highest Bidders.

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NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake speaks at National Press Club

Nice that Mr. Drake recognized the alternative media… the last true free press.

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Bradley Manning Trial: Is Our Future an Orwellian Nightmare Or Information Anarchy?

Manning Trial 2013By Drew Mendelson
Policy Mic

At its core, the ongoing military trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the admitted conveyer of three-quarters of a million classified U.S. government documents to Wikileaks, is about the evolution of big data into a relentless and almost certainly unstoppable social force. Pfc. Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst arrested in May 2010 and charged with 22 offenses involving the passing of information to Wikileaks, is seen by many as a whistleblower whose actions revealed mendacious covert actions of the U.S. government in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and elsewhere.

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Measuring Up As Men

SteubenvilleinTutuBy Volaar

“I call on men and boys everywhere to take a stand against the mistreatment of girls and women. It is by standing up for the rights of girls and women that we truly measure up as men.”  — Desmond Tutu, November, 2012

Not three months prior to Tutu’s statement, two teenage boys brutally assaulted, humiliated and traumatized a sixteen year old girl who was inebriated past the point of being able to take care of herself, let alone call for help from others.

To this very day, the victim’s family and the victim continue to receive death threats and threats of bodily harm from the victim’s teenage peers in the Ohio town of Steubenville, population under 19,000. Continue reading

Gary Webb: An American Hero

2012WEBBBy Volaar

Eight years ago, December 10, 2004, respected and award-winning investigative journalist Gary Webb was murdered by a conspiracy of an apathetic citizenry, corporate malfeasance and government corruption.  The Sacramento County coroner, Robert Lyons, publically, if hastily, characterized the gunshot wounds in Gary Webb’s head three times before finally ruling the double-gunshot wound to Webb’s face a “suicide,” noting the use of a .38 caliber revolver, the presence of a suicide note and Webb’s close friend and ex-wife, Sue Bell, claiming that Gary, “had been depressed about being unable to obtain employment from another major newspaper for some time.” The San Jose Mercury News, on orders from “on high,” had terminated Gary Webb’s career progression after they claimed they had discovered errors in trivial matters of fact in his career-capping exposé, “A Dark Alliance” (ADA). Continue reading

Side to Side

By Chris Pratt
COTO Report

We live in a country where corruption and secrecy are so pervasive, so systemic, so evil and so vast that even progressive thinkers are becoming overwhelmed, discouraged and desperate for some positive energy (including me).

It is easy to see why. There is not a facet of our lives that has not been touched by one of these organizations or concepts and in a negative way: FDA, EPA, FBI, CIA, NSA, UFOs, DOD, Homeland Security, NASA, the Fed, IMF, World Bank, WTO, BIS, CFR, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, Carlyle Group, Skull and Bones, Free Masons, Illuminati, globalization, 9/11, war, terrorism, military industrial complex, Patriot Act, NDAA, destruction of the constitution, loss of Habeas Corpus, rendition, torture, indefinite detention, loss of civil liberties, “kill lists,” HAARP, chemtrails, predatory capitalism, nuclear, coal, oil, fracking, pollution, global warming, and on.

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Rupert Watch, Tony Blair Lying at the Leveson Inquiry

By Michael Collins

(Washington, 5/28/2012) Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair testified before the Leveson Inquiry today. He retains that familiar fatuous exuberance for failed policies and continues to deny the deadly lies he told in over a decade as Prime Minister. He was, as always, quite literally unbearable.(Image: Niecieden)

President George W. Bush had major problems selling his disastrous invasion plans for Iraq. The public smelled a rat. Strong majorities of both Democrats and Republicans opposed a preemptive invasion without confirmation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by UN inspectors. That was during December 2002 and January 2003. Bush needed something special to push his diabolic plan over the top. Continue reading

Rebekah Brooks, Witness for the Prosecution

By Michael Collins

Criminal charges against Rupert Murdoch insider and favorite Rebekah Brooks may be a prelude to looming charges arising out of Brooaks’ testimony before the Leveson Inquiry last week.

Crown Prosecution Services charged Brooks, her husband, and four others with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice on Tuesday May 15. The alleged conspiracy took place between July 6 and July 19, 2011.

Brooks and the co-conspirators concealed and removed materials sought by police in their investigation of phone hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation subsidiary, News International, according to prosecutors. Brooks resigned as chief executive officer of the subsidiary on July 15, 2011. (Image: SnowViolent)

Brooks’ current legal troubles should not obscure the significance of her testimony before the Leveson Inquiry last week. During her several hours on the witness stand, she was confronted with an explosive email that, if true, implicates Conservative Party Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt in a conspiracy to pervert the British regulatory process in favor of News Corporation’s bid to acquire the ten-million-subscriber pay TV company BSkyB. News Corp owns 39% of the company. It sought the remaining 61%. Continue reading

Murdoch Watch – the Kiss of Death

By Michael Collins

When things don’t work out, doing business with Murdoch can be the kiss of death.

No matter how hard you try, how loyal you are, if something goes wrong, you can be sure it will be your fault.

Reporting has failed to lay the proper foundation for understanding Rupert Murdoch’s remarkable testimony before the Leveson Inquiry in London and his behavior of late.

Rupert Murdoch is a nihilist.

Murdoch’s television outlets in the United States stoked the fires for the 2003 invasion of Iraq based on outrageous misrepresentations like the idea that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The war cost tens of thousands of dead and seriously injured U.S. soldiers, several hundred thousand dead Iraqi civilians, and $3 trillion. (Image: acb) Continue reading

Rupert watch – signaling the end

By Michael Collins

Rupert Murdoch’s reign over the $33 billion News Corporation hinges on events surrounding the company’s ownership share of Britain’s dominant pay TV network, BSkyB (Sky). As Business Insider said, “it’s the only asset that really matters” in the News Corp collection of media properties.

As a result of Murdoch scandals, News Corp lost the chance to buy 100% of Sky’s shares. More troubling for the media monarch, the company may lose the 39% interest it already holds if British regulators determine that Murdoch is not a fit and proper owner. This would fuel the major News Corp shareholder suits in Delaware and New York that seek to remove Murdoch as board chairman and vastly diminish his power and that of his family and cronies.

Sky reaches 25 million viewers in 10 million homes. Revenues are growing at 10% a year with adjusted operating profit growth averaging around 16% of revenues (see 2009 through 2011). Revenues from 2012 through 2016 should top $70 billion total with adjusted operating profits around $11 billion. What happens with Sky really matters. Continue reading

FBI Agents Approach CLG’s Webhoster in Bomb Threat Investigation

By Lori Price
Citizens for Legitimate Government

CLG’s webhoster, MayFirst, was approached by two FBI agents, not CLG itself. MayFirst responded, “We will not cooperate with any investigation into the identities, activities or perspectives of any of our members or any of the users of our systems.” [Well, I guess that eplains the norfolk.gov visit in the CLG logs on Thursday!]

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Where’s the criminal investigation of the Murdoch Empire? Shareholders to the rescue

By Michael Collins

There was something tawdry and disgusting about the phone hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World. The News Corporation owned tabloid hacked the phone mails of several thousand citizens of Great Britain. Victims included celebrities, politicians, and even a murdered eleven year old kidnap victim.

But that wasn’t enough to generate type of criminal investigation of News Corporation that would topple Rupert Murdoch and his clan from the throne of the $30 billion News Corporation.

The current revelations of cable television hacking, laid out in detail by Australia’s Financial Review and the BBC, provide a more concrete connection between outright criminality and the Murdoch run media giant. This alleged criminal behavior involves hackers on the payroll of a former Murdoch controlled Israel based company, NDS, and the demise of cable television competitors in Great Britain, the United States, and Australia due to that activity.

These allegations are reinvigorating the institutional shareholders revolt that may be the end of the Murdoch clan’s control of News Corporation. Continue reading

Ray Adams is the man in the latest Murdoch scandal

By Michael Collins

Ray Adams is a name you will hear more frequently as the latest and perhaps most fatal Murdoch – News Corp. scandal emerges. Continue reading

9/11 Truth, Inner Consciousness and the Public Mind

By James Tracy
Global Research

With few exceptions, the news that will shape public discourse is subject to a de facto censorial process of powerful government and corporate elites beyond accountability to the public. It is here that Sigmund Freud’s notion of repression is especially helpful for assessing the decrepit state of media and public discourse in the United States. In Freud’s view, one’s collective life experiences are registered in the subconscious, with those particularly disturbing or socially impermissible experiences being involuntarily suppressed, only later to emerge as neuroses. Whereas suppression is conscious and voluntary, repression takes place apart from individual volition.

With opinion polls indicating at least half of the public distrusting the official account of September 11th, the foremost basis for the “war on terror”, no public event has been more repressed in public consciousness via the mass media than 9/11. The enduring usefulness of Freud’s theory is suggested in repeated manifestations of the repressed episode to haunt the public mind for which a surrogate reality has been crafted.

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Article 32 Hearing of Bradley Manning to Begin Dec. 16

By David E. Coombs
Armycourtmartialdefense.info

The Article 32 hearing for PFC Bradley Manning will begin on December 16, 2011 at Fort Meade, Maryland. The hearing is expected to last approximately five days. With the exception of those limited times where classified information is being discussed, the hearing will be open to the public.

The primary purpose of the Article 32 hearing is to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the government’s case as well as to provide the defense with an opportunity to obtain pretrial discovery. The defense is entitled to call witnesses during the hearing and to also cross examine the government’s witnesses. Each witness who testifies is placed under oath; their testimony can therefore be used during the trial for impeachment purposes or as prior testimony should the witness become unavailable.

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The Logical Outcome of the Occupy Movement

By Timothy V. Gatto
LiberalPro

Hopefully many of you are realizing exactly what options remain. If we can’t change American politics through the ballot box, what alternative is left?

When the media asks people in the Occupy Movement what it is they want, the answer given by those that understand what the movement is all about, give their reasons for being there but add that they are not speaking for the movement, only for themselves. This is the purest form of democracy. Claiming to represent anyone else besides you is the correct way to respond. Most of us have many of the same goals, but it would be presumptuous to say that anyone represents the movement.

One thing has become abundantly clear, and this is probably the most important part of the movement; most of the 99%’ers are not asking the United States government to do a thing.

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Assessing 9/11 Evidence: A Reliable Source for a Media Under Pressure

By The 9/11 Consensus Panel

Increasingly the media is having to deal with evidence emerging against the official story of the 9/11 attacks.

For example, on October 10th, the New York Times revised its earlier reports on the source of the anthrax spores used in the frightening attacks on members of the media and the Senate, following 9/11.  The letters carrying the spores seemingly originated from a Muslim hand, and the spores were considered by the FBI to be low-tech.

The longest investigation in the FBI’s history finally traced the spores to a deranged “lone-nut” working in the Fort Dietrick, Maryland, bioweapons laboratory.  The alleged culprit, Dr. Bruce Ivins, apparently committed suicide in 2008 following intensive FBI allegations against him, and the FBI closed the case.

However, it transpired that Dr. Ivins was a respected vaccine researcher with many publications to his credit, and a following of loyal colleagues. An 18-month National Academy of Science investigation into the case has recently found that the weaponized spores were far too high-tech for one person to have made, and is suggesting a new investigation to replace the inadequate FBI account.

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