Recently, the Cybercast News Service
reported (July 26, 2002) that a process server, attempting to serve Vice President Dick Cheney with a summons
to appear as a defendant in a lawsuit, was threatened with arrest. The litigous conservative
group Judicial Watch (JW)
initiated the summons. According to JW a security staffer told the server that the
White House would not receive the summons, and if were left it on the grounds they would arrest him.
Now, it is a federal crime to interfere with a process server's delivery of a summons. In
addition, JW served (without incident) President Clinton, Vice President Gore and First Lady
Hillary Clinton multiple times with summonses for lawsuits that they filed against them. This
is an appalling response by the Bush administration, and certainly would have been well
publicized had it been the Clinton White House.
Naturally, the Washington Post made no mention of this story.
A couple of days later, the House voted to give George Bush "fast-track" trade authority. In
their coverage the Post informed us that, "the Bush administration plans to use
[fast-track] to open markets around the world for US crops, machinery and other products
(6/28/02, Washington Post)." So, what's fast-track all about? It means that when
the President brings a trade bill to Congress, they can only vote to approve or deny it. The
effect of this bill is to ensure that there will be far less participation from the public
(and their representatives on Capital Hill) regarding the future of our economy. Thus, the
White House has been granted almost dictatorial control over the future of how business
will function in our society and the Post is assuring us this is a good thing.
To the Washington Post, the more "free trade" there is, the better off we'll all be.
The day after Bush's fast-track triumph the Post editorialized that "trade liberalization is
one of the few policies that just about all economists can agree to favor: It creates wealth;
it reduces poverty; it is a positive-sum game (7/29/02, Washington Post). "[J]ust
about all economists…"? Perhaps the Post has forgotten the catastrophe now taking
place in Argentina, which has been following World Bank prescriptions of free trade to the
brink of their abyss. However, there is no excuse for them to disregard the political
figures from a broad political spectrum (e.g., from Ralph Nader to Patrick Buchanan) that
oppose these free trade agreements.
These two examples, of the Post totally ignoring the story of the White House and
the process server, as well as their denial that critics of our free trade agreements exist,
are indications that this newspaper is not very concerned with informing their readers. The Post's
daily function is to serve the interests of power.
War on Iraq
As most everyone knows, Bush is planning to attack Iraq. What most people don't know is
that this proposed attack will be illegal. It will violate the UN Charter. It will also
violate the governing
UN Resolution (1154)
on Iraq, which stipulates that only the Security
Council, not the US by itself, will ensure the peace there.
It is coming at a time when the Middle East is already in major turmoil. The US-sponsored
fiefdom controlling Saudi Arabia is in danger of falling, and the situation in the
Occupied Territories remains extremely grim for the Palestinians.
The planned invasion of Iraq is anticipated to cause the Iraqi civilian population grave harm.
Already, they're enduring the most severe post-war economic sanctions in human history. (UNICEF
has estimated the sanctions have killed more than a million civilians, about half of
whom were children.) They certainly cannot expect mercy from the Pentagon. For example,
Pentagon documents obtained from Freedom of Information requests confirm that
deliberately kept Iraq's water supply in bad shape in order to facilitate
civilian suffering (Thomas Nagy, the Progressive, September, 2001). This action
allegedly violated the Geneva Conventions, which is of no concern to our media.
Bush's dream of invading Iraq also comes while former UN arms inspector Scott Ritter claims
that in 1998 his team verified a 90-95% level of disarmament from Iraq. And, former UN
Assistant Secretary General, Hans Von Sponeck also says that he saw nothing but
devastation regarding Iraq's alleged weapons sites. These concerns have been given so
little attention by the mainstream media that the Bush administration hasn't had any
real need to offer a challenge to them.
The Washington Post has been actively involved in assisting the Bush administration.
For example, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami recently slammed the US for resorting
to war at the drop of a hat. He also said that despite their recent wars with Iraq,
Iran recognizes Iraq's territorial sovereignty. They do not endorse having the US decide who
rules their neighbor. Khatami's remarks were widely distributed around the world-except in
the US (of course). After the Iranian President spoke, the Washington Post reported that
the Bush administration was giving up hope that it could "work" with Khatami
(July 23, 2002, Washington Post). They began their commentary with the
extraordinary statement that the Bush regime is "turning its attention to appealing
directly to democracy supporters among the Iranian people." Yeah, right. To help
make the sale for the White House, the Washington Post obligingly published a
photograph of a young Iranian radical holding a sign that reads, "Down the USA." Sure,
that's what Khatami said!
In Khatami's speech he admitted to the feeling that US bullying is making him feel
he's "[living] in a very frightening situation today". In truth, the sight of the US
using any pretext to drop bombs against any population that stands in its way is
terrifying much of the world. In addition, our unwavering support for Israel as it
continues it's insanely brutal occupation of the Palestinian people is also causing
enormous anxiety outside the US. Internally, of course, there are the Washington Post and
the New York Times leading the mainstream media in representing the views of
power. So, most Americans do not fathom the frustration and rage that is being manufactured
around the globe in our name. However, that rage exists. That anger is not going away. And,
many of these people have very, very long memories.
On another subject the Washington Post has been ignoring, the Sydney Morning Herald
speculated that the
will suspend the US Constitution and implement martial law (7/27/02, Sydney Morning Herald).
Folks, this is not beyond the realm of possibility. It appears to be where the mainstream
media wants to take our country.