Media

Rushing to Judge NFL’s Patriots Guilty

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Exclusive: The hottest news in the U.S. this past week wasn’t President Obama’s State of the Union speech but did the New England Patriots deflate footballs to gain a competitive edge, a story that suffered from the same rush to judgment that has afflicted other aspects of U.S. journalism, writes Robert Parry.

Hiding the Political Subtext of Sterling Trial

Courtroom sketch of Sterling trial by Debra Van Poolen (http://www.debvanpoolen.com/)

Whenever lawyers for ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling sought to illuminate the political context for his prosecution as a leaker, prosecutors objected with the support of the federal judge, but politics has always lurked in the case’s background, writes Norman Solomon.

NYT Is Lost in Its Ukraine Propaganda

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on Feb. 7, 2014. (U.S. State Department photo)

Exclusive: One danger of lying is that you must then incorporate the falsehood into the longer narrative, somehow making the lies fit. The same is true of propaganda as the New York Times is learning as it continues to falsify the narrative of the Ukraine crisis, writes Robert Parry.

Flattering the Dead Saudi King

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a greeting from President Barack Obama during a meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on November 4, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Though Saudi King Abdullah was a repressive leader at home who contributed to political and sectarian violence across the Middle East, his death is mourned by Western leaders who were dependent on his vast ocean of oil and his vaults full of money, as Sam Husseini explains.

A Leak Case Based on Fear and Guesses

Courtroom sketch of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling by Debra Van Poolen (http://www.debvanpoolen.com/)

The U.S. government based its leak case against ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling on little more than circumstantial evidence – that he had spoken to reporter James Risen though it was unclear about what – and lots of fear-mongering about Iran and nukes, writes John Hanrahan.

CIA Found No Magic in Operation Merlin

Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling.

The espionage trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling has focused less on evidence that he leaked secrets about “Operation Merlin,” a CIA scheme to slip flawed nuclear designs to Iran, than on the merits of the unsuccessful covert op which never got a response from the Iranians, reports Gareth Porter.

CIA Wants Its Reputation Back

CIA seal in lobby of the spy agency's headquarters. (U.S. government photo)

The CIA doesn’t like to be portrayed as the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, so it has been using the leak trial of ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling to insist that it really can shoot straight and indeed is brilliantly protecting America’s national security, writes Norman Solomon.

The CIA’s Prosecutorial Defense

Jose Rodriguez, former director of operations for the Central Intelligence Agency.

In the trial of alleged CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, the U.S. government appears more intent on burnishing the CIA’s tarnished reputation than proving Sterling’s guilt. The defendant almost looks to be collateral damage in this PR process, as Norman Solomon observes.

How Propaganda Conquers Democracy

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine, on the South Lawn of the White House, July 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

In recent decades, the U.S. propaganda system has grown more and more sophisticated in the art of “perception management,” now enlisting not only government PR specialists but careerist journalists and aspiring bloggers to push deceptions on the public, a crisis in democracy that Nicolas J S Davies explores.

Hypocrisy on Parade in Paris

Singer James Taylor performs "You've Got a Friend" onstage in Paris on Jan. 16, 2015, during a tribute to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. On the left is Secretary of State John Kerry. (U.S. State Department photo)

At the Paris procession honoring the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, world leaders locked arms in defense of free speech – although many of the participants including the French have been busy cracking down on freedom of expression, notes Michael Winship.