Bob Parry: Holding Government and Media to Account

A memorial was held on Saturday for Robert Parry, the late founder and editor of this web site.  Among the speakers paying tribute to Bob was Joe Lauria, the new editor of Consortium News.

Joe Lauria addressing Bob Parry Memorial. (Photo: Doug Spiro)

By Joe Lauria

If you watch Bob’s various talks available on YouTube you’ll see that he was often asked why he started Consortium News. Bob says, essentially, that he got fed up with the resistance he faced from editors who put obstacles in the way of his stories, often of great national significance. One editor at Newsweek told him they were suppressing a story for “the good for the country.” The facts he’d unearthed went too far in exposing the dark side of American power. His editor was speaking, of course, about what was for the good of the rulers of the country, not the rest of us. As we just heard from John Pilger, Bob created a consortium for journalists who ran up against similar obstruction from their editors: a place for them to publish what they could not get published in the mainstream.

Sixteen years after Bob launched Consortium News with Sam and Nat I became one of those journalists. I’d had similar experiences. When I covered the diplomacy at the U.N. leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq for a Canadian chain that published the Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen, and other papers, I gave equal weight in my stories to the German, French and Russian opposition on the Security Council to the invasion.  So the chain’s foreign editor called me up one day from Ottawa to berate me for not supporting the war effort in my reporting.
He told me his son was a marine. I told him I was certain he was proud of him, but my job was not to support the war but to report objectively on what was happening at the Security Council.  The Bush administration never got their resolution. But they invaded anyway. It was illegal under international law as Kofi Annan finally said after being pressured by a BBC interviewer. Annan was then hounded to the point of a near nervous breakdown by the likes of then UN Ambassador John Bolton, who, unfortunately. has since gotten a promotion. I, on the other hand, on the day of the invasion was fired.

Later, while covering the U.N. for The Wall Street Journal, I found that several of my stories were suppressed or inconvenient facts were getting edited out. One was a story I twice had rejected on a declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document that predicted the rise of ISIS back in 2012 but was ignored in Washington. It said the U.S. and its allies in Europe, Turkey and the Gulf were supporting a Salafist principality in eastern Syria that could turn into an Islamic State. Such a story would undermine the government’s war on terrorism.

In another instance, my editors repeatedly removed from my stories, on the UN vote on Palestine’s observer status, a line indicating that 130 nations had already recognized Palestine. At that point I realized the Journal had an agenda—not to neutrally report complex international events from multiple sides, but to promote US interests abroad. So I turned to Bob and he accepted a piece from me on that Palestine issue in late 2011, the first of many of my articles that he eventually published.

Bob was without doubt the best editor I’ve ever had. He was the only one who really understood—or accepted–what I was writing about.

Bob was a supreme skeptic, but he never descended to cynicism. His legacy, which I am committed to carry on, was of a principled, non-partisan approach to journalism. He took a neutral stance reporting on international issues, which some wrongly saw as anti-American. Bob knew never to take a government official’s word for it, especially an intelligence official. He knew people in all governments lie. But there are two other parties involved: the press and the public. He understood that the press had to act as a filter, to verify and challenge government assertions, before they are passed on to the public. Bob became distraught, and in his last piece poignantly said so, about the state of American journalism, where careerism and vanity had aligned the profession with those in power, a power through which too many reporters seem to live vicariously.

The press’ power is distinct from the government’s, it is the power to hold government accountable on behalf of the public. Bob understood that the mainstream media’s greatest sin was the sin of omission: leaving out of a story, or marginalizing, points of view at odds with a U.S. agenda, but vital for the reader to comprehend a frighteningly complex world.

The viewpoints of Iranians, Palestinians, Russians, North Koreans, Syrians and others are never fully reported in the Western media, though the supposed mission of journalism is to tell all sides of a story. It’s impossible to understand an international crisis without those voices being heard. Routinely or systematically shutting them out also dehumanizes people in those countries, making it easier to gain popular support in the U.S. to go to war against them.

The omission of such news day after day in newspapers and on television adds up over the decades to what Bob called the Lost History of post-war America. It is a dark side of American history—coups overthrowing democratically-elected leaders, electoral interference, assassinations and invasions. Omitting that history, as it continues to unfold nearly everyday, gives the American people a distorted view of their country, an almost cartoonish sense of America’s supposed morality in international affairs, rather than it just pursuing its interests, too often violently, as all great powers do.

These things aren’t normally mentioned in polite society. But Bob Parry built his extraordinary career telling those truths. And I’m going to do my damnedest to continue, and honor, his legacy.

Thank you.

image_pdfimage_print

67 comments for “Bob Parry: Holding Government and Media to Account

  1. Stefan
    April 18, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I wish you a firm , always upright spine to give the whole picture to the people of your country (and U$’s vassals) whilst maintaining a strong heart in your patriotic a. ethical work to uphold your true classical journalist’s duty .
    From Russia and Oz with love for truth a. decency,
    Stefan Valentinovitsch T

  2. Ludmila
    April 17, 2018 at 8:58 am

    His loss is he greatest loss for all of us. Very sorry for this great author ..

  3. April 16, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Responding toall and esp. Susan Lord Biazillion: Yes, I think there IS an answer, and that is the economic philosophy of the once-famous American economist, Henry George. He combined the best of socialism and free market brilliantly, IMO. Re: socialism he said what belongs to us all is the LAND (all natural resources) – humans don’t make that factor, but we all need what the earth provides freely for our whole life. But the fencing off of land divides us into owners and renters, which still continues, and which usually basically defines rich and poor. George’s answer was not to confiscate and then divide up the land, as socialist/communist regimes have tried, often with violence, but rather to say “you can (legally) own as much land as you want, but by fencing off what everyone really has an equal right to use, you give yourself a special privilege, and hence you owe a land rent to all of us, to society. That became known as the Single Tax on Land Values, which would indeed be the only tax! The property tax that already exists would delete the assessment of dwellings and all structures. Renters would pay no direct tax, but owner’s land rental income would be his tax to society. Much better for corruption-free administration because land is outdoors and visible to everyone; and people generally have an idea about “property” values in different parts of their area. Rather than continue this long-winded piece, just read George’s ‘Progress & Poverty,” (1879) one of history’s few economics best-sellers, and translated into virtually every world language. Advocates of George’s system included Albert Einstein, John Dewey, Leo Tolstoy, Sun-Yat-Sen; earlier economists like Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, etc. also said similar things about how land is crucial to our life and our economy. Catherine Orloff, Providence, RI

  4. Charles Browning
    April 16, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    I miss your voice very much, Robert Parry, especially in these times of media coverage of Russia. Carry on, Joe Lauria.

  5. Pablo Diablo
    April 16, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    Whoever controls the media
    Controls the dialogue.
    Whoever controls the dialogue
    Controls the agenda.

  6. notheonly1
    April 16, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Thank You very much for Your dedication to step into the footsteps of one of the greatest journalists a journalist could look up to. In a time, where journalism has thoroughly been converted into ‘consent fabrication’, Robert Parry held up the journalistic sword and torch. Indeed, vanity in journalism has transformed its original meaning into opportunist chatter about important aspects and topics of life. Like in the Queen (Band) song: “Anywhere the wind blows” will the ‘modern’ ‘journalist’ leave the journal behind to replace it with opinion at best and propaganda at worst.

    While hope is a crutch to make it through times of hardship and pain, I gratefully accept the best of crutches in the tradition of Robert Parry’s dedication to report the truth – independently of the ways in which it can be distorted and twisted. Truth is much more than the sum of its facts. At present, the art of deception is reflected in the omission of crucial information, without which one cannot arrive at the truthful recreation of any event.

    Martin Luther once said “And if the World comes to an end tomorrow – I will plant an apple tree today.” I see Your dedication to the truth and the continuation of the great work of Robert Parry as exactly that – planting an apple tree today. Thank You Joe Lauria and everybody else at CN for the apple tree plantation.

  7. April 16, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    blessings and thanks to bob parry for all he has done and to joe lauria for, hopefully, all he will do to further the work of informing the people, contrary to most of what passes for reporting under control of the artificial intelligence of market forces dominated by minority wealth and in total contradiction of democracy in word or deeds. please do not heed calls for censorship of alleged politically incorrect viewpoints which come from possibly sincere but just as possibly narrow minded liberal fascists, and do follow suggestions to at least tell people why any comments are refused or altered in keeping with opposition to rather than compliance with the alleged master race of self chosen people the west in general and the USA and israel specifically have become.

  8. Gregory Kruse
    April 16, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    What a privilege it was for you to have worked with Bob Parry! I’ve been a supporter of Consortium News since the W. administration, but never got to meet him. I have always felt excited whenever he posted a new article. One time a year or so ago, I was coming to DC for my daughter’s graduation from American University, and I wrote to Robert asking if I could perhaps meet him at the office. He wrote back to me saying that he would love to meet me, but it was Mother’s day weekend, and he would most likely to be out of town from Thursday on. I knew the chances were slim to none, but I’m glad I tried anyway. When he died, I felt like I had lost a brother. Now you have another privilege to step into his shoes as editor. I am committed to supporting CN as long as it is possible.

  9. Truth first
    April 16, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Good luck Joe,

    I am always amazed to learn that so many people will contribute to death and destruction just to keep their lying jobs.

  10. Rael Nidess, M.D.
    April 16, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Lovely eulogy Joe, hope you succeed in following Bob’s footsteps… we need it so much!

  11. Sarah Burns
    April 16, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Wonderful comments, thank you, Joe Lauria. It was a great day to honor the life and work of Bob Parry! Keep it up, in his honor and for the truth’s sake, wherever it may lead.

  12. Kim Looi
    April 16, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Please keep up the good work

  13. Antiwar7
    April 16, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Well said, and a great tribute, Mr. Lauria!

    Let me add:

    Robert Parry was a great and influential man, who kept a candle of light burning brightly, giving us hope and exposing the evil done in our names. He gave us knowledge, and knowledge is power. I greatly admire him.

  14. E. Leete
    April 16, 2018 at 11:22 am

    A serious and seriously sincere question: How do you hold accountable a government that has already been devoured by wealthpower giants?

    I can’t see any way that is possible.

  15. Susan Lord Bizaillion
    April 16, 2018 at 11:08 am

    I believe that our govt has many, many flaws, I served 10 years in the A.F., and I am a Gold Star Daughter/Vietnam 1968; Vietnam being one of the most atrocious stains on the world as a whole, but the most pain being felt by sons and daughters, wives, mothers and fathers of too many U.S. service men and women who never came home from this hell hole.
    But, the world would be a much darker, more dangerous, much less FAIR world without our various indiscretions throughout the decades; they’re is never a simple “right or wrong”, “yes or no” decision when it comes to the complexities of democratic vs socialist vs communist vs dictatorship relationships that clear thinking leaders have to contend with.
    If you have the answer, thoroughly thought out, to include cause-effect-real “what’s next” answers, please share them.
    Don’t forget to peel the layers back and reveal the cold hard truth, because you must only start from 1 place, the TRUTH, minus bias, minus lies, and alterations of what actually happened to get us where we are. Much history has been changed, and in some cases destroyed, for this very purpose, so the layers are thick and set, but all this is possible. After all anything is possible, right?

    • Antiwar7
      April 16, 2018 at 12:03 pm

      How’s this: stop spending trillions of dollars a year to blow up old people and children around the world, and actively turning whole countries into hellholes.

      As a side effect, use the money to cure cancer and Alzheimer’s, and stop using the poverty draft and patriotic propaganda to force good people into kill-or-be-killed situations. Close all the bases abroad, bring them all home, and stop meddling all over the world.

      Concrete enough for you? I guarantee the outcome would be better for average people like you and me than anything they’re doing now, in our names and with our tax dollars.

    • Ted
      April 16, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      Suppose you were a Gold Star Daughter of a campesino in Nicaragua or El Salvador or Honduras or Guatemala? Or maybe a survivor of the decimation of Iraq or Lybia? Or perhaps a mother or grandmother of the “disappeared” in Chile after the CIA helped overthrow a duly elected president in a sovereign country to be replaced by a dictatorial murderer?

      Teddy Roosevelt summed up his foreign policy with the quote, “speak softly and carry a big stick.” The problem is that we have used that big stick to poke the world in the eye, mostly clandestinely.

      The truth (from my perspective, Susan), is that governments do stuff and then lie about it. Unfortunately, it’s always been so. However, the unnecessary use of power can lead to disastrous results, often for “them,” the “others.” Until we stop see “them” as “them,” we will keep circling the drain in our boats and tin hats.

      Oh, as far as the TRUTH, minus bias, minus lies and alterations…it exists, but in another reality. In the reality of human beings, there is only the truth that we see, the one our minds allow us to see. “We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are.” Anais Nin

    • Nancy
      April 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      Sorry for your loss, Susan, but it seems you are unable to face the ugly truth that your father died for no noble cause, to use the words of courageous Gold Star mother, Cindy Sheehan.
      U.S. “indiscretions” around the planet have done nothing to promote fairness! On the contrary, the world contInues to become darker and far more dangerous as a result of this insanity. Witness the events of the past few days!
      These policies have nothing to do with democracy vs. socialism/communism either. It is capitalism that is being defended. Don’t continue to be fooled by mindless propaganda.
      Thanks for the fine tribute Joe Lauria. With all due respect, I’m surprised it took so long to realize that the Wall Street Journal has an agenda. The very name clued me in when I was about 21.

  16. chucknobomb
    April 16, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Truth is good. Thank you. Keep on and Wage Peace…

  17. Ted
    April 16, 2018 at 9:52 am

    “The omission of such news day after day in newspapers and on television adds up over the decades to what Bob called the Lost History of post-war America.”

    And without “such news,” what are we left with?

    The press is one of the last lines of defense against tyranny – our Founders new this (although, some of them used the yellowest of journalism). When the People are sufficiently misled (I won’t use the term “dumbed down.” I won’t use it. The hell I won’t!) and display a measure of willful ignorance, turning things around becomes very, very hard. And when our Representatives collude with the MIC, who do we turn to? Well, apparently, quite a few are turning to the 2nd Amendment (and, being dumbed down, believe the lie that it supports guns for all and as many as we want).

    Sorry for the “cynical” view, but a historical look at human history also gives a notion of what the future will probably be like. Tyranny does not survive forever, but neither does Democracy (nor its ideals). Things break down. Entropy is a universal law. Then comes something else.

    Civilizations that tend toward ever more complexity (as they all do), eventually break down. It is only the unblinkered eye that can see the arc of history, warts and all, and perhaps, maybe, possibly, bend it to a more enlightened place.

    RIP, Bob Parry. You left us too soon.

  18. April 16, 2018 at 9:50 am

    I would only ask the moderators of Consortium News, and all other forums, to at least have the decency and courage to use the posters required e-mail and let the person know why their post was removed, or worse, why ALL subsequent posts are immediately removed.

    When there is no glaring incidents of profanity, lack of respect, or no signs of glaring bigotry or racism in the so-called OFFENDING post, then I think the moderators, editors, owners, etc., should have the decency and courage to communicate to the poster exactly why they censor the persons thoughts and posts. Otherwise the posters might suspect the moderators were influenced by others.

  19. Bob Van Noy
    April 16, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Thank you so very much for this extension. We exist in historically troubled times and it’s critically important that good substantive information be provided by decent honest people to the general skeptical population, for Democracy to function. None of this dynamic has been present in America for too long. It took the genuine and rather simple honesty of Robert Parry to show us Again, what the Truth looks like, and for the long-time regulars here, we’ve been attracted by the truth for some time now. A light has been reignited, a precious flame burns, let us here, cherish the legacy of Robert Parry Journalist, May it burn forever!

  20. David Smith
    April 16, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Mr. Lauria, you are already doing a great job, the many small changes to the site are noted and appreciated. Consortium News is one of the “original venerables” with plenty of core to preserve, but the coming years are for you to make it your own.

  21. April 16, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Thank you, Joe Lauria, and all your colleagues who are standing by principles in the face of cowardice of far too many lapdog press members, who are more concerned about their paychecks than being watchdogs of truth. I strongly believe that each one of us who supports right actions, must also come up with ways to get this group of controllers under control. I am calling my senators today to register my outrage over this attack on Syria. We need also to vocally push back on media lies as part of our actions in whatever ways we can. I believe we need to get creative!

  22. Sam F
    April 16, 2018 at 6:34 am

    Indeed “what Bob called the Lost History of post-war America… a dark side of American history” is “vital for the reader to comprehend a frighteningly complex world” and to encourage those with a few doubts of MSM narratives to listen to other voices and viewpoints.

    I’m glad that you can carry forward this resource for critical thinkers.

  23. Zachary Smith
    April 15, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    I suppose I ought to repost some vague thoughts I had for Mr. Parry quite a while back. While I’m against altering either articles or comments, showing an author or a commenter to the door is another matter. I’m paranoid enough to believe that the people who appear to be merely annoying trolls might have another agenda altogether – to plant a trail of “evidence” which could be waved around by some rascals in The Government or Corporate Media to prove Consortium News is a nest of hateful vipers.

    Off the top of my head, anyone cheering for the destruction of the US as a nation ought to have that post removed, banned as thoroughly as possible, and everything he had posted in the past be given a quick examination. Deleting is not the same as altering!

    The US coddles Nazis in Ukraine, but that can’t be permitted here. Holocaust denial, calls for the wiping out of any races or religions, demanding the maiming or murder of any Americans in or out of government – that sort of thing ought not go into the archives for future discovery. If trolls can get on record as favoring the violent overthrow of the US government and some of their alternate egos or buddies chime in, the Neocon York Times or Bezos Post might someday have a jolly old time demanding the closure of Mr. Parry’s site.

    • john wilson
      April 16, 2018 at 4:44 am

      Whats wrong with wanting the overthrow of the cabal of criminals that own the American government? The Yanks have been overthrowing governments all over the world and are currently arming terrorists in Syria to destroy Assad and his legitimate state. Don’t imagine for one moment that making polite, but critical comments on this site or others will in any way protect you from the wrath of the satanic swines running most Western governments today. Do you think the likes of such reasonable men like Pilger and Parry will be excused because they didn’t call for drastic action to free the people from the curse of the Neocon state? No, they will be the very first to go to the Gulag or the scaffold just because of the power of their comments and the rabble rousers will be ignored just as they are now on demos etc.

      • Abe
        April 16, 2018 at 3:53 pm

        Trolls who attempt to infiltrate the comments frequently employ extremist rhetoric.

        In any case, those “satanic swine” are going to have quite a difficult time marching Parry “to the Gulag or the scaffold”.

        CN Comment Policy is pretty straightforward and routinely referenced
        https://consortiumnews.com/2012/01/20/comment-policy/

        Trolls and their “friends” appear to be incapable of reading. We can all understand why.

    • April 16, 2018 at 4:57 am

      Zachary,
      As a New Zealander who has lived and worked in the US for my whole working life..
      And has raised two medical doctor daughters in the US
      I would be happier if this posters posts were removed by moderation.
      Like the one he posted yesterday..

      …”Absolutely correct concerning the lack of a Protest movement to rival the folks in the 60’s? Since the protest movements of the 1960’s, the American Deepstate have infiltrated the Educational system & taken control of any dissenting voices & re-educated the masses to be compliant & non- dissenting & obey the status quo! The creation of a “Ministry of Truth”in the US Govt, State Dept & in league with the Intelligence Agencies, & the Mainstream Corporate Media which it completely owns & controls, as George Orwell stated in his novel 1984, they now can control the “official narrative”? The brainwashing & dumbing down of the American people has been stunningly effective, judging by the lack of protest response from the American people? Being purposely made dumb, stupid & ignorant, & distracted by severe economic stress, the adults are only worried about their bottom line & what Stormy Daniels & the Kardashians are up to & their kids are hooked on Internet porn, opiates & Zuckerberg’s timewasting, social media, data mining facebook & also instagram, to the extent that they are incapable & too stupid to protest? With the obsession with self over the collective good, they also waste any other limited time, money, because they’ve to busy taking selfies & watching stupidass YouTube videos of cute kitty cats? Welcome to your Big Brother,1984 future, you’ve got the Govt you voted for & the Govt & President you deserve?

      Apart from the juvenile ranting tone..
      I object to being called brain washed, dumbed down, stupid and ignorant.. and so do my daughters.
      This generalization about 300 million people is not worthy of CN’s.
      And adds nothing to the discussion.
      Respectfully

      • Abe
        April 16, 2018 at 3:24 pm

        Dennis, the post you object to was not made by Zachary Smith

        The ranting generalization was from KiwiAntz (April 15, 2018 at 11:06 pm).

        In any case, while such generalizations clearly do not apply to Consortium News readers, they do apply to trolls who attempt to infiltrate the comments.

        Respectfully,
        Abe

        • April 16, 2018 at 3:59 pm

          Abe,
          please read the comments carefully before posting..
          My post was to Zachary, addressing the rants of another poster, KiwiAntz.

          Your use of the “troll” tactic is also pathetic.
          Most people who brand others as “trolls” are by definition, “trolls”

          And who are you to judge that all CN readers are not in the “dumb, stupid and ignorant” subset?
          By whose definition?

          Many Americans find KiwiAntz’s posts insulting and offensive.
          If it were not for smart inventive Americans he would not be able to sit in his mothers basement in Waipukurau typing this rubbish on the internet. Which would not exist if Americans were dumb, stupid and ignorant.
          I skip over his posts.

        • Abe
          April 16, 2018 at 6:29 pm

          Hey, no offense, Dennis. You did not mention KiwiAntz by name in your complaint. And I certainly did not “brand” you a “troll” for complaining about “this posters [sic] posts”.

          Regardless of what you have every right to “object to”, what would make you or I “happier”, and what we may agree “adds nothing to the discussion”, such posts are not violations of the comment policy.

          CN Comment Policy is pretty straightforward
          https://consortiumnews.com/2012/01/20/comment-policy/

          Please note that if you spot violations, you can bring them to the attention of CN using the email address listed in the Comment Policy.

          You do appear to be rather ill-informed on the subject of internet trolls. If the phenomenon of internet trolls has somehow managed to escape your attention, you really must be very distracted. Perhaps it’s only the trolls in their parent’s basement on the North Island that catch your eye.

          Hope this clears matters up for you, Dennis

          Sincerely,
          one smart and inventive American

          • April 16, 2018 at 8:54 pm

            You are correct on all points Abe,
            Thanks for taking the time to respond.

            Despite being a Kiwi, I am also a very proud American.
            Having worked with, and learnt from some very wise ones in my career.
            America has done a helluva lot for the World.
            The Marshall Plan after WWII that everybody seems to forget.

            Sadly, our Foreign Policy sucks.
            I can no longer defend it.
            It’s depressing for an retired guy.

    • Anon
      April 16, 2018 at 7:33 am

      A reasonable concern, but the line of “moderation” can be subtly moved by those seeking “evidence” against CN to demand capitulation to their propaganda.

      Consortium is now using severe moderation. The exact criteria actually used should be posted, and when moderation is used, the commenter should see a note about the criterion used. A commenter’s moderate posts should not be blocked or erased.

      Examples of comments where the moderation may be well intended but potentially improper:

      Suggestions that a US or other attacker of innocents get a dose of its own medicine;
      Suggestions that a disaster to the US may be historically likely or necessary to motivate reform;
      Doubters of the Jewish holocaust, mentioned mainly to support zionist special privileges and wrongs;
      Vague conspiracy theories that may be true or posted by intelligent people with good intentions;
      Changing the subject, which may be either well intended or a troll operation.

      • Abe
        April 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

        Consortium News is obviously not “using severe moderation” since we’ve been seeing the Hasbara trolls hilariously ranting about how they’re being “moderated” to oblivion.

        Clearly not a reasonable concern, but a line of fake “evidence” that is moved by those seeking capitulation to their demand to post propaganda.

        CN Comment Policy is pretty straightforward and routinely referenced
        https://consortiumnews.com/2012/01/20/comment-policy/

        Trolls and their “friends” appear to be incapable of reading. We can all understand why.

  24. Lois Gagnon
    April 15, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    Good to know Consortium News is in such capable hands.

  25. Zachary Smith
    April 15, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    The press’ power is distinct from the government’s, it is the power to hold government accountable on behalf of the public.

    Unfortunately The Government controls the Internet. Rules can be created to target specific sites and penalties provided for Internet Service Providers, authors, and even readers. IMO we’ve already seen a tentative beginning of that with the Bezos Post’s hyping of the PropOrNot baloney.

    The Congress is for sale – period. The proposed law to criminalize BDS in the US by heavy fines and/or years in prison proves that. Getting Israel’s pet poodles to pass one defining what Consortium News, Naked Capitalism, and others does as Treason would be no problem at all for them. Look at what has already happened to the RT folks – they were forced to register as a Foreign Agent. This can and probably will spread to others who irritate The Powers That Be and the criminal gang also known as Israel.

    • WC
      April 16, 2018 at 2:42 am

      What’s to stop them from doing that right now under some national security excuse? I honestly don’t think they care what dissenters say simply because they have the whole thing locked up tight. The population (or, at least, the all important 51%) is apathetic, controlled by TV and political theater, and any complainers are easily side-tracked and marginalized. So, I wouldn’t worry about the Consortium News going anywhere. Leaving it there helps to provide the “illusion of choice” as ol’ George said. Besides, most everyone on this site is talking the same language as the status quo anyway, in terms of helping the world achieve democratic aims and basic human rights. The only disagreement is how they are going about it. And that argument is highly subjective. ;)

      • Antiwar7
        April 16, 2018 at 12:09 pm

        You’d be surprised. Even the most complete autocracy relies on broad consent of the governed. It’s too costly to constantly coerce everyone.

        • WC
          April 16, 2018 at 5:12 pm

          China got lots of “consent of the governed” right after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. The body count is hard to ascertain, but the BBC says upwards of ten thousand.

      • Abe
        April 16, 2018 at 4:56 pm

        Hasbara propaganda troll “WC” has been playing that “they are in control” tune ad nauseum

        See the CN comments at
        https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/26/the-dark-inevitability-of-zionism/

        Back in November, Conventional Hasbara troll “WC” was busy ‘splainin’ Israeli Apartheid with such gems as “Racism is subjective” and “It is NOT racist to want to protect your ethnicity”.

        Since the appointment of John Bolton as Trump’s National Security Advisor (NSA), “WC” has been busy ‘splainin’ that “they have the whole thing locked up”, and kvetching about “most everyone on this site” except fellow Hasbara trolls.

        • WC
          April 16, 2018 at 6:27 pm

          Abe. The longer you look for a motive based on your Hasbara troll fantasy, the less likely it is for you to fully understand what I am saying.

          “they are in control” tune ad nauseum” is somehow incorrect?

          In my reply to Zac’s comment above, I tried to calm his on-going concerns that the Consortium News would eventually be banned. One scenario would be the Carlinesque “illusion of choice”. The other is “talking the same language”. The status quo in the US has taken the moral high ground to justify their actions by “helping the world achieve democratic aims and basic human rights”. In short, they are saying everything you and “most everyone on this site” are saying in terms of achieving a moral victory, with just a minor disagreement on how to go about it. This disagreement boils down to what is “realistic” vs what is “idealistic”. And THAT is highly subjective. Therefor, the Consortium News is hardly in peril of being banned because they are the standard bearer of the moral high ground. And (to kinda paraphrase what you are up against) while we are not yet to that level of moral consciousness, it’s nice to always have that goal in mind as we break a few eggs to make an omelette or mow the grass to encourage greener shoots.

          You are also playing a nasty game of taking my past quotes out of context.

          • Abe
            April 16, 2018 at 7:08 pm

            The remarks of Hasbara propaganda troll “WC” are hardly surprising.

            Given Israel’s demonstrated disregard for “democratic aims and basic human rights”, it is understandable that “WC” wants to insist that “we are not yet to that level of moral consciousness”.

            Hasbara trolls alternately deflect attention away or toward the so-called “status quo in the US”, the existing state of affairs regarding the critical political issue of the the US-Israel “special relationship”.

            The main effort of Hasbara troll “WC” is to generalize discussion to some “bigger picture” that de-emphasizes the role of the pro-Israel Lobby, and distracts from the matter of Israeli interference in American foreign policy.

            Note the particularly demented assertion that “they” [the political “status quo” position advanced by the Israel and the pro-Israel Lobby] “are saying everything you and ‘most everyone on this site’ are saying” [fact-based analysis critical of Israel and the pro-Israel Lobby] with “just a minor disagreement on how to go about it”.

            As if it was a merely a “disagreement” between so-called “realistic” Israel and the pro-Israel Lobby and an “idealistic” rest of the world.

            As if the matter was about some mere “moral victory”.

            As if it missile launches and murdering civilians were merely to “break a few eggs to make an omelette or mow the grass” – some of the very genocidal euphemisms Israel employs to justify its actions.

            Hasbara troll “WC” frequently displays this tortured logic at nearly every turn, while complaining about “moderation” while impugning “this site”.

          • WC
            April 16, 2018 at 8:48 pm

            Abe’s obsession with Israel is well documented on this site. He has valid complaints, but this does not warrant excluding the rest of the world. Abe wishes to use the CN comments section as a sounding board for his complaints and will not tolerate any view that even hints of being in disagreement. He sees me as a particularly dangerous threat because he thinks I am trying to distract attention away from what he believes is the be all and end all, single most important aspect of world affairs. Not only is he wrong about my intentions, his view of Geo-politics is narrow-minded, to say the least.

            While the odds of cutting through the universal wishful thinking that permeates western society is slim, it would be nice if we could arrive at some solution that is practical in Real World terms vs what is simply dreaming. If that cannot be achieved we will go into meltdown and history will repeat/rhyme again.

            And NO, I don’t have any “solutions”, but this much I can tell you. Since time immemorial there has been a small, select group of individuals who run this planet. This has been the case since Alexander The Great sat around a campfire with his generals deciding the fate of the known world. For anyone to believe this is not the case today is dreaming in technicolor. To further believe they do not have game plan is living in the twilight zone. So, until ya all figure out WHAT the “bigger objective” is you will never be able to get organized enough to control the narrative on HOW the “bigger objective” should be structured and WHO it will be structured to serve.

            This, of course, runs contrary to everything ol’ Abe wants to hear because it does not focus entirely on Israel and Zionists. In his mind, Zionists ARE the select group who run this planet! Sorry there, Abe, they may be part of the select group but the world money pile is bigger than that and involves more people than just Zionist Jews.

          • Abe
            April 17, 2018 at 12:27 am

            The Hasbara propaganda troll shtick of “WC” is very well documented.

            My detailed response appears in the comment above (after the initial post by “WC”):

            Abe
            April 16, 2018 at 11:54 pm

            In brief summary:

            The immediate issue here with “WC” is not about some personal “squabble” or mere business of “quotes out of context”.

            “WC” demonstrates a clear and consistent pattern of attempts to deflect and divert the discussion whenever any or all of the following three topics are mentioned:

            1) Israel
            2) the pro-Israel Lobby
            2) the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis

            Hasbara propaganda trolls tactics of deflection and diversion are well displayed in “WC”s persistent pattern of posts.

            That’s the signature Hasbara troll “obsession” of comrade “WC”.

    • Al Pinto
      April 16, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      @Zach…

      “The Congress is for sale – period.”

      Let me correct that…

      “The Congress is sold out – period.”

  26. Gregory Herr
    April 15, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    Consortium News is in good hands. Thanks for sharing how you came to know the best editor you ever had and for your dedication to the principles of true journalism.

    • Rob Roy
      April 16, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      Thank you, Gregory, for your comment. I, too, count on the continuation of high journalistic standards Consortium News has met. Robert Parry was the best of journalists. Thank you, Joe Lauria, and the Consortium writers who will continue his work.

  27. Joe Tedesky
    April 15, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    I’m sticking with you Pisan.

  28. Raymond Foley
    April 15, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Thank You. A well lived life

  29. WC
    April 15, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    This is a seriously important article by Joe Lauria that shows the sort of creeping fascism happening to the US over the past many years. This is exactly what happens in any totalitarian regime. The question becomes – can it be stopped?

    • Abe
      April 16, 2018 at 5:28 pm

      Your article is important, Joe, seriously! So please be nice to “WC” while he says that your article “shows” things it didn’t say.

      And please be nice when “WC” delivers the rhetorical answer to that rhetorical question. It’s always the same basic Hasbara propaganda message: “They” are “in control” and “have the whole thing locked up”.

      Same as it ever was
      https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/26/the-dark-inevitability-of-zionism/

      And pretty please, don’t be like “most everyone on this site”.

      By the way, Joe, comrade “WC” keeps complaining that his posts are “moderated”.

      So how is it you and I and “everyone on this site” are reading any of this?

      • WC
        April 16, 2018 at 6:39 pm

        You are throwing some nasty, nasty stuff around today, Abe.

        Joe’s article was a great connect-the-dots on what is happening to journalists. If it was shit, I would have told him so. :)

      • Abe
        April 16, 2018 at 7:40 pm

        CN editor Joe Lauria shares insights about the press’ power to hold government accountable on behalf of the public, and reveals how inconvenient facts get removed and news stories are suppressed by mainstream media editors because they would undermine the political status quo.

        By contrast, “WC” throws buckets of nasty stuff about “this site”, fantasizes that posts are somehow unfairly “moderated”, and complains that we’re all not on board for dot-connecting (both pre- and post- “hiatus”) that aims at changing the subject whenever Israel is mentioned.

        Pretty big difference, comrade.

        • WC
          April 16, 2018 at 9:12 pm

          Gee, thanks there, Abe. Without your explanation I never would have known what Joe was talking about.

          The fact that you have mentioned Israel well in excess of a thousand times on this site points to an obsession. You are literally consumed by this subject to the point where you are hard pressed to get through a single sentence with bringing it up in one form or another. Perhaps this is considered normal behavior these days. If so, we are truly screwed.

        • Abe
          April 17, 2018 at 11:24 pm

          Here’s why comrade “WC”, our hapless Hasbara “schmuck”, and troll army buddies are gettin’ so very busy these days – trying to ‘splain’ Israel to those “haters” while ever more desperate to change the subject:

          “The Trump administration is little more than a cheerleader for Israel […]

          “Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian, noted that Israel’s position was severely weakened by its explicit abandonment of any peace process.

          “’While the two-state framework was formally on the table, it was much easier for people to accept the current reality […] But without it, Israel is naked, it is exposed as an apartheid state.’ […]

          “Israel could soon find itself deprived of its traditional supporters abroad to help it counter the intensified international solidarity with Palestinians, such as the boycott (BDS) movement. […]

          “In a sign of the Israeli right’s growing fears, settler leader Naftali Bennett, the Jewish diaspora minister, announced last month plans for Israel to forge ties with tens of millions of people it has classified as ‘potential Jews’ or those with an ‘affinity’ to the Jewish people. […]

          “Pappe said in practice, as liberal Jews abandoned Israel, it would have to climb into bed with US Christian Zionists, religious fundamentalists who backed Trump in large numbers in the last presidential election.”

          “’Jews have needed to believe that Israel embodies moral and universal values. Christian Zionists don’t care. They will support it whatever it does,’ he said.”

          Israel celebrates ‘pyrrhic’ victory as it turns 70
          By Jonathan Cook
          https://www.jonathan-cook.net/2018-04-17/israel-celebrates-phyrrhic-victory/

    • Abe
      April 16, 2018 at 11:54 pm

      The Hasbara propaganda troll shtick of “WC” is very well documented:

      Whenever Israel, the pro-Israel Lobby, or the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis are in news, up pops “WC” out of the Hasbara hole to vomit this “Real World” song and dance in order to change the subject.

      Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Zionist” and fake “anti-Jewish”) propaganda trolls in particular like to post obsessively about a shadowy “select group” of “Jews” and others who “run the planet”.

      Fact-based analysis of global geopolitics reveals a spectrum of interests.

      However, American foreign policy toward the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, where 48.9% of the global oil reserves are located, is influenced by the pro-Israel Lobby, including certain factions with no ideological connection whatsoever to “Zionism”.

      When fact-based analysis and discussion concerns pro-Israel Lobby influence, Israeli government murders of civilians or military threats, or Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis warmongering, Hasbara propaganda troll “WC” gets busy.

      Of course, “WC” and Hasbara pals are obviously not pleased that CN readers like myself have taken note of their nasty li’l visitations.

      A Jewish American with a keen interest in culture, politics, and media, I post on a range of topics at CN: journalism, propaganda, American, British, French and German politics, E.U. and NATO relations, Russia, Ukraine, China, Eurasian integration, as well as the history and politics of Israel, Syria, Iran, Iraq, and the MENA region in general.

      In short, the focus is by no means exclusively on Israel.

      Recently, “WC” and Hasbara “friends” have been making loud shrieking noises about “moderation” and “censorship”. Hasbara trolls attempt a variety of shenanigans when their propaganda efforts are challenged.

      • WC
        April 17, 2018 at 2:58 am

        Relentless and pointless. To spare any readers of this page the effort of having to wade through the extended version of this discussion below, what this all boils down to between troll killer Abe and myself is a difference of opinion between a big world view vs a little world view. You can judge for yourselves who favors which.

      • Abe
        April 17, 2018 at 10:45 am

        Hasbara propaganda trolls like “WC” use logical fallacy to distract and divert from discussion of malicious Israeli interference in American politics and pro-Israel Lobby influence on U.S. foreign policy.

        “WC” wants to “spare any readers” the “effort” of having to wade through information about Israel, the pro-Israel Lobby, and Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis warmongering.

        The main propaganda tactic used by Hasbara propaganda trolls is Informal Logical Fallacy: patterns of reasoning that are obviously incorrect.

        An Informal Fallacy is an attempt to persuade that obviously fails to demonstrate the truth of its conclusion.

        An Informal Fallacy derives its only plausibility from a misuse of ordinary language (what words mean in everyday use), for example: “big” versus “little”.

        “WC” uses a deceptive Informal Fallacy:

        “WC” attempts to depict all this as mere “difference of opinion”

        The trolls tries to claim that “this all boils down to” a “big” vs “little” issue.

        This type of Informal Fallacy used in Hasbara deception and distraction are known as Fallacies of Relevance.

        Fallacies of Relevance are used in attempts to persuade people by non-logical means. The unwary, the predisposed, and the gullible are apt to be fooled by these illegitimate appeals.

        In a Fallacy of Relevance, the premises are logically irrelevant to the conclusion. The conclusion appears or seems to follow from the premises although the premises in fact provide no genuine evidence for the conclusion.

        Here we see Hasbara propaganda troll “WC” using a Fallacy of Relevance (“big” vs “little”) in an obvious attempt to divert attention away from Israel, the pro-Israel Lobby, and the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis of Collusion.

        The propaganda posts of “WC” and Hasbara troll army pals are infested with logical fallacies.

        CN readers are alert to Hasbara propaganda deception distraction and diversion.

        Consortium News readers appreciate fact-based reporting and solid logical analysis. Readers aren’t diverted by Hasbara parlor games about “who favors which” so-called “world view”.

        • WC
          April 17, 2018 at 1:58 pm

          My only sin here, apart from refusing to drink Ol’ Abe’s KoolAid, is that I will not violate the Golden Rule of judging Israelis or Zionists until I have walked in their shoes. I have never lived in Israel and do not know the political and cultural dynamics they are faced with.

        • Abe
          April 17, 2018 at 4:33 pm

          Hasbara troll “WC” keeps on thumbing through the Hasbara propaganda manual, vomiting up one Logical Fallacy after another.

          The Hasbara propaganda contortions of “WC”, all these troll efforts to ‘splain’ away Apartheid Israel, this constant obsessive need to divert discussion away from the pro-Israeli Lobby and the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis, swing wildly from one Informal Fallacy to its opposite.

          “WC” (September 24, 2017 at 4:20 pm):
          “The Jews aren’t doing anything different than the rest have done since the beginning of time. What is good, bad, right and wrong doesn’t play a part in these activities.”
          https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/23/israels-stall-forever-peace-plan/

          “WC” today:
          “I will not violate the Golden Rule of judging Israelis or Zionists until I have walked in their shoes”

          From “good, bad, right and wrong doesn’t play a part” to its opposite, an appeal to a moral principle (“the Golden Rule”), Hasbara troll “WC” is relentless in attempts to distract and divert fro the real world of today’s Apartheid Israel.

          The Golden Rule concept occurs in some form in nearly every religion and ethical tradition. Psychologically, it involves a person empathizing with others. Philosophically, it involves a person perceiving their neighbor also as “I” or “self”.

          The Golden Rule appears as either a positive or negative injunction governing conduct:
          – One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself (positive or directive form)
          – One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (negative or prohibitive form)

          A rational person with a capacity for human empathy need not have lived in Israel or any other country, nor be familiar with particular dynamics of politics and culture, to recognize that Apartheid Israel – its regime of segregation and discrimination, daily violence, torture of Palestinian prisoners, murder of civilians (as we recently witnessed in Gaza), and wars of aggression – violate the implicit moral directive of the Golden Rule principle in every conceivable way.

          Israel’s participation in the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis of Collusion does not minimize its responsibility for these violations.

          Comrade “WC” and fellow trolls who swill various flavor Hasbara KoolAid keep trying to shove it across the bar, but CN readers aren’t buying it.

          • WC
            April 17, 2018 at 5:39 pm

            Now we learn that Ol’ Abe has not lived there either! This is like an academic who has written 100 books on the Battle of Stalingrad who believes he knows exactly what it was like to have been there to smell it, taste it and touch it, let alone experience the raw horror. So, in the end, Ol’ Abe is nothing more than a theorist with idealistic views provided by the comforts of life in America.

            After that revelation, you can have as many last words as your l’il heart desires. :)

          • Abe
            April 17, 2018 at 8:42 pm

            Generously providing a comprehensive catalog of Hasbara logical fallacies, propaganda troll “WC” jumps the shark… again.

            See the escapades of our hilarious Hasbara “schmuck” in the CN comments at
            https://consortiumnews.com/2017/10/10/russia-gate-jumps-the-shark/

            Falsely assuming that nobody here has lived in Israel, “WC” froths that signature line about “idealistic views provided by the comforts of life in America”.

            Soon enough our “poor schmuck” will once again be ranting about “haters”, “liberal idealists”, and those ever despicable “New York Jews”.

            Thanks for the revelations, comrade. We got you.

  30. marianne thonpson
    April 15, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Excellent talk by Joe Lauria!! I have enjoyed reading Consortium news articles for a long time now and will continue doing so. Such genuine professionalism, good reporting and always calling government statements into question is what makes this site extraordinary.

    Thank you!

    • Al Pinto
      April 16, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      @Marianne…

      “Such genuine professionalism, good reporting and always calling government statements into question is what makes this site extraordinary.”

      While the government statements should always be questioned, keep in mind that even a broken clock is right twice a day….

      • Desmond Kahn
        April 16, 2018 at 4:59 pm

        uh, okay. What are you trying to say, Al? That the government can be right sometimes? Not sure.

  31. Realist
    April 15, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    May the light of truth from Consortium News continue to burn brightly no matter how dark the days ahead of us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *