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Why Consortiumnews.com Deserves Your Support

By Robert Parry, Editor
September 16, 2006

If you’re like me, the one thing you hate more than being asked for money is asking other people for money. So, believe me, I’m only doing this because it’s necessary.

The only way for this Web site to survive as an independent-minded, investigative news organization is with the support of our readers.

Whenever we approach institutional funders, they make clear they want their favored issues to be our focus and sometimes they want a specific “take,” which we won’t do. Our commitment has always been to our readers and to journalism. We address important topics, whether they’re trendy or not, and we do so honestly, whether it makes us popular or not.

That is why – in our 11-year existence – we have been way ahead of the curve in defining threats to the American Republic and in describing what key government players are really up to.

We were very early in explaining the dangers of an unchallenged right-wing media machine. We warned about the risks to U.S. national security from “politicized” intelligence. We rejected the fawning “conventional wisdom” about Colin Powell. We challenged the notion of the well-meaning, patrician Bush family.

We stood up to the unfair press treatment of Al Gore. We took on the big newspapers for their shameful treatment of journalist Gary Webb on the contra-cocaine scandal. We explained how Korean theocrat Sun Myung Moon was using criminal money-laundering to help finance America’s right-wing media and political apparatus.

More recently, we stood in the path of the Iraq War stampede. Not only did we contest the bogus WMD arguments, but we foresaw the military disaster that loomed. In late March 2003, as the U.S. invasion was only two weeks old, we published an article entitled “Bay of Pigs Meets Black Hawk Down,” which began:

“Whatever happens in the weeks ahead, George W. Bush has ‘lost’ the war in Iraq. The only question now is how big a price America will pay, both in terms of battlefield casualties and political hatred swelling around the world.

“That is the view slowly dawning on U.S. military analysts, who privately are asking whether the cost of ousting Saddam Hussein has grown so large that ‘victory’ will constitute a strategic defeat of historic proportions. At best, even assuming Saddam’s ouster, the Bush administration may be looking at an indefinite period of governing something akin to a California-size Gaza Strip.

“The chilling realization is spreading in Washington that Bush’s Iraqi debacle may be the mother of all presidential miscalculations – an extraordinary blend of Bay of Pigs-style wishful thinking with a ‘Black Hawk Down’ reliance on special operations to wipe out enemy leaders as a short-cut to victory. But the magnitude of the Iraq disaster could be far worse than either the Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba in 1961 or the bloody miscalculations in Somalia in 1993.”

That story appeared at Consortiumnews.com on March 30, 2003. In many circles, it did not make us popular.

We also led the way in exposing the Bush administration’s razing of the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg principles and other pillars of international law. Beyond that, we described how George W. Bush’s “preemptive” or “predictive” wars had domestic corollaries that were eroding the U.S. Constitution.

Sadly, our Web site didn’t have the impact that I wished it had. I regret that we were too small to prevent or, at least, limit some of these disasters now unfolding. I wish we could have done more to prevent the tragic loss of life in Iraq, among both Americans and Iraqis.

As much as we pride ourselves in delivering an extraordinary “bang for the penny,” we have always been hampered by my inability to raise sufficient funds. Over the past five years – even as we’ve provided cutting-edge information on life-and-death issues to tens of millions of people around the globe – our budget has averaged only $25,000 a year.

This year, our goal has been to raise at least $100,000 – still not a huge amount – but enough so we can begin to give our operation some stability and more professionalism.

In that view, our current end-of-summer fundraiser needs to raise $20,000. That would be enough to keep us operating at least through the pivotal Nov. 7 election. But with only a few days left in the summer, we have managed to raise only about $5,000.

So, though I realize there are plenty of financial demands on all of you – as there are on us – I need to ask again: If you can afford it, please consider a donation to our brave little investigative Web site. We will do our best to stretch every penny.

Or you can consider taking out a modestly priced ad on our site. Or think about buying one of my books through secrecyandprivilege.com, with $5 going to Consortiumnews.com for each sale.

Tax-deductible donations can be made by credit card at Consortiumnews.com or by sending a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Suite 102-231, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22201. Or you can use PayPal at our account, “consortnew@aol.com.”

For readers who already have donated – whatever the size of the amount – please accept my deepest thanks.

Robert Parry, Editor


Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'

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