Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,
Insomnia
insomnia

"The basic facts".

Larry Lessig is shifting his focus to fighting political corruption, because he believes that "our government can't understand basic facts when strong interests have an interest in its misunderstanding". And while I think this is a good thing -- and that he could potentially do the IP cause some good by shifting himself to well-meaning, thoughtful, yet primarily losing battles elsewhere -- I can't help but think one thing...

He expects to make things better by addressing corruption that exists *just* within our government?! I would argue that the same problem exists in our media, which has been horribly corrupted by both special interests AND by our government, and until you get the media accurately framing the basic facts without interference from special interests or the government, you don't stand a chance in getting the government itself to behave in a rational, logical manner.

We know from the media's own confessions that their coverage of the human rights abuses of Saddam's Iraq were horribly censored, slanted, and corrupted, because they feared loss of access should they report on such stories, and that they were constantly being contacted and "mindered" by the Iraqi government, which somehow knew most of the time when controversial stories were in the works.

What nobody wants to talk about, however, is how incredibly efficient, pervasive, and commonplace such mindering is at home, and how little pressure it takes on editors or reporters to delay, modify, or outright censor a story, so long as the promise of access to the highest levels of power is dangled as bait.

I mean, you can't even get the N.Y. Times to admit that white phosphorus attacks in Fallujah were anything other than "unsubstantiated", even when our own State Department and military has admitted otherwise. Sure, U.S. military commanders in the military's own "Field Artillery" magazine have said that "we fired 'shake and bake' missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out", and that they wished that they had saved even more of their available WP for "lethal missions" but hey, that's unsubstantiated too, right?

Well, now it appears that the military is getting a chance to learn from their Fallujah experience in Baaqubah... a chance to make sure more of the WP is saved for lethal missions, so as to impose our will over the locals more efficiently. And it's both sad and ironic that the New York Times are the ones on the scene who apparently are now sitting on photographs of civilians wounded by white phosphorus.

Photographs which should arguably be front page news, but which I, for one, would not be surprised to never to see or hear anything about ever again.
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