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Posts Tagged ‘Pentagon’

Mitchell has spoken out about this subject several times in the past, but always has been mocked (expected reaction). However, he keeps trying to get people to listen, but I imagine no one will listen until they are faced with or become privy to a situation themselves…

From CNN updated 4:41 p.m. EDT, Mon April 20, 2009

Former astronaut: Man not alone in universe

earth_moonEarth Day may fall later this week, but as far as former NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell and other UFO enthusiasts are concerned, the real story is happening elsewhere.

Mitchell, who was part of the 1971 Apollo 14 moon mission, asserted Monday that extraterrestrial life exists, and that the truth is being concealed by the U.S. and other governments.

He delivered his remarks during an appearance at the National Press Club following the conclusion of the fifth annual X-Conference, a meeting of UFO activists and researchers studying the possibility of alien life forms.

Mankind has long wondered if we’re “alone in the universe. [But] only in our period do we really have evidence. No, we’re not alone,” Mitchell said.

“Our destiny, in my opinion, and we might as well get started with it, is [to] become a part of the planetary community. … We should be ready to reach out beyond our planet and beyond our solar system to find out what is really going on out there.”

Mitchell grew up in Roswell, New Mexico, which some UFO believers maintain was the site of a UFO crash in 1947. He said residents of his hometown “had been hushed and told not to talk about their experience by military authorities.” They had been warned of “dire consequences” if they did so.

roswelldailyrecord

But, he claimed, they “didn’t want to go to the grave with their story. They wanted to tell somebody reliable. And being a local boy and having been to the moon, they considered me reliable enough to whisper in my ear their particular story.”

Roughly 10 years ago, Mitchell claimed, he was finally given an appointment at Pentagon to discuss what he had been told.

An unnamed admiral working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff promised to uncover the truth behind the Roswell story, Mitchell said. The stories of a UFO crash “were confirmed,” but the admiral was then denied access when he “tried to get into the inner workings of that process.”

The same admiral, Mitchell claimed, now denies the story.

“I urge those who are doubtful: Read the books, read the lore, start to understand what has really been going on. Because there really is no doubt we are being visited,” he said.

“The universe that we live in is much more wondrous, exciting, complex and far-reaching than we were ever able to know up to this point in time.”

A NASA spokesman denied any cover-up. “NASA does not track UFOs. NASA is not involved in any sort of cover-up about alien life on this planet or anywhere else — period,” Michael Cabbage said Monday.

Debates have continued about what happened at Roswell. The U.S. Air Force said in 1994 that wreckage recovered there in 1947 was most likely from a balloon-launched classified government project.

Stephen Bassett, head of the Paradigm Research Group (PRG), which hosted the X-Conference, said that the truth about extraterrestrial life is being suppressed because it is politically explosive.

“There is a third rail [in American politics], and that is the UFO question. It is many magnitudes more radioactive than Social Security ever dreamed to be,” Bassett said.

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From The Huffington Post

Posted April 28, 2008 | 09:21 AM (EST)

In the fall of 2002, week after week, I argued vigorously against invading Iraq in debates televised on MSNBC. I used every possible argument that might sway mainstream viewers — no real threat, cost, instability. But as the war neared, my debates were terminated.

In my 2006 book Cable News Confidential, I explained why I lost my airtime:

There was no room for me after MSNBC launched Countdown: Iraq — a daily one-hour show that seemed more keen on glamorizing a potential war than scrutinizing or debating it. Countdown: Iraq featured retired colonels and generals, sometimes resembling boys with war toys as they used props, maps and glitzy graphics to spin invasion scenarios. They reminded me of pumped-up ex-football players doing pre-game analysis and diagramming plays. It was excruciating to be sidelined at MSNBC, watching so many non-debates in which myth and misinformation were served up unchallenged.

It was bad enough to be silenced. Much worse to see that these ex-generals — many working for military corporations — were never in debates, nor asked a tough question by an anchor. (I wasn’t allowed on MSNBC unless balanced by at least one truculent right-winger.)

Except for the brazenness and scope of the Pentagon spin program, I wasn’t shocked by the recent New York Times report exposing how the Pentagon junketed and coached the retired military brass into being “message-force multipliers” and “surrogates” for Donald Rumsfeld’s lethal propaganda.

The biggest villain here is not Rumsfeld or the Pentagon. It’s the TV networks. In the land of the First Amendment, it was their choice to shut down debate and journalism.

No government agency forced MSNBC to repeatedly feature the hawkish generals unopposed. Or fire Phil Donahue. Or smear weapons expert Scott Ritter. Or blacklist former attorney general Ramsey Clark. It was top NBC/MSNBC execs, not the Feds, who imposed a quota system on the Donahue staff requiring two pro-war guests if we booked one anti-war advocate — affirmative action for hawks.

I’m all for a Congressional investigation into the Pentagon’s Iraq propaganda operation — which included an active-duty general exhorting ex-military-turned-paid-pundits that “the strategic target remains our population.”

But I’m also for keeping the focus and onus on CNN, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, even NPR – who were partners in the Pentagon’s mission of “information dominance.” And for us to see that American TV news remains so corrupt today that it has hardly mentioned the Times story on the Pentagon’s pundits, which was based on 8,000 pages of internal Pentagon documents acquired by a successful Times lawsuit.

It’s important to remember that at the same time corporate TV outlets voluntarily abandoned journalistic ethics in the run-up to Iraq, independent media boomed in audience by making totally different journalistic choices. Programs like Democracy Now! featured genuine experts on Iraq who — what a shock! — got the facts right. Independent blogs and websites, propelled by war skepticism, began to soar.

As for the major TV networks, they were not hoodwinked by a Pentagon propaganda scheme. They were willingly complicit, and have been for decades. As FAIR’s director, I began questioning top news executives years ago about their over-reliance on non-debate segments featuring former military brass. After the 1991 Gulf war, CNN and other networks realized that their use of ex-generals had helped the Pentagon dazzle and disinform the public about the conduct of the war.

CNN actually had me debate the issue of ex-military on TV with a retired US Army colonel. Military analysts aren’t used to debates, and this one got heated:

ME: You would never dream of covering the environment by bringing on expert after expert after expert who had all retired from environmental organizations after 20 or 30 years and were still loyal to those groups. You would never discuss the workplace or workers by bringing on expert after expert after expert who’d been in the labor movement and retired in good standing after 30 years. . . . When it comes to war and foreign policy, you bring on all the retired generals, retired secretaries of state.
THE COLONEL (irritably): What do you want, a tax auditor to come in and talk about military strategy?

ME: You hit it on the nail, Colonel. What you need besides the generals and the admirals who can talk about how missiles and bombs are dispatched, you need other experts. You need experts in human rights, you need medical experts, you need relief experts who know what it’s like to talk about bombs falling on people.

Before the debate ended, I expressed my doubts that corporate media would ever quit their addiction to unreliable military sources: “There’s this ritual, it’s a familiar pattern, a routine, where mainstream journalists, after the last war or intervention, say, ‘Boy, we got manipulated. We were taken. But next time, we’re going to be more skeptical.’ And then when the next time comes, it’s the same reporters interviewing the same experts, who buy the distortions from the Pentagon.”

A few years later, during the brutal US-NATO bombing of Serbia, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! interviewed CNN vice-president and anchor Frank Sesno:

GOODMAN: If you support the practice of putting ex-military men, generals, on the payroll to share their opinion during a time of war, would you also support putting peace activists on the payroll to give a different opinion in times of war, to be sitting there with the military generals, talking about why they feel that war is not appropriate?
SESNO: We bring the generals in because of their expertise in a particular area. We call them analysts. We don’t bring them in as advocates.

It’s clear: War experts are neutral analysts; peace experts are advocates. Even when the Pentagon helps select and prep the network’s military analysts. Shortly after the Iraq invasion, CNN’s news chief Eason Jordan acknowledged on-air that he’d run the names of potential analysts by the Pentagon: “We got a big thumbs-up on all of them. That was important.”

Of all the excruciating moments for me — after having been terminated by MSNBC along with Phil Donahue and others — the worst was watching retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, NBC’s top military analyst, repeatedly blustering for war on Iraq. Undisclosed to viewers, the general was a member (along with Lieberman, McCain, Kristol and Perle) of the pro-invasion “Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.”

A leading figure in the Pentagon’s pundit corps, no one spewed more nonsense in such an authoritative voice than McCaffrey — for example, on the top-notch advanced planning for securing Iraq: “I just got an update briefing from Secretary Rumsfeld and his team on what’s the aftermath of the fighting. And I was astonished at the complexity and dedication with which they’ve gone about thinking through this.”

After the invasion began, McCaffrey crowed on MSNBC: “Thank God for the Abrams tank and the Bradley fighting vehicle.”

No federal agency forced NBC and MSNBC to put McCaffrey on the air unopposed. No federal agency prevented those networks from telling viewers that the general sat on the boards of several military contractors, including one that made millions for doing God’s work on the Abrams and Bradley.

Genuine separation of press and state is one reason growing numbers of Americans are choosing independent media over corporate media.

And independent media don’t run embarrassing promos of the kind NBC was proudly airing in 2003:

Showdown Iraq, and only NBC News has the experts. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, allied commander during the Gulf War. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, he was the most decorated four-star general in the Army. Gen. Wayne Downing, former special operations commander and White House advisor. Ambassador Richard Butler and former UN weapons inspector David Kay. Nobody has seen Iraq like they have. The experts. The best information from America’s most watched news organization, NBC News.

* *Jeff Cohen is the founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College. His latest book is Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media. He founded the media watch group FAIR in 1986.

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Fri, 11 Jan 2008 21:01:50

The US Navy withdraws the allegation that Iranian patrol boats had threatened to blow up a three-ship US convoy in the Hormuz Strait.

“It could have been a threat aimed at some other nation or a myriad of other things,” The Washington Post quoted US Navy spokesman Rear Admiral Frank Thorp IV as saying on Friday.

This is while senior US Navy sources have told the BBC that an alleged threat to blow up the US warships ‘may not have come’ from Iranian boats in the Strait of Hormuz.

The Pentagon alleged five Iranian boats belonging to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) had harassed three US Navy warships by threatening to ‘blow them up’ on Sunday.

“No one in the military has said that the transmission emanated from those boats,” said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell.

However, President Bush characterized the incident as ‘provocative’ and ‘dangerous’, warning Iran of serious consequences if it happens again.

Iranian officials have dismissed the allegation saying the incident was a routine maritime identification check, which is common between vessels in the Persian Gulf

Press TV

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On Dec. 15 the Boston Globe revealed that the Bush administration had proposed a regulation requiring that members of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) corps must coordinate promotions through “politically appointed Pentagon lawyers.” This appears to be an effort to take control of the group that has been actively and loudly opposing the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.

The JAG’s are not under civilian control but William “Jim” Haynes, the Pentagon’s General Counsel and a Bush-appointee, has encouraged the idea of civilian control over the military.

Many retired JAG’s were appalled at the notion and and feel the White House policy is illegal.

Today the Boston Globe reports that the Bush administration is no longer pursuing this plan due to the repeated objections and concerns from retired JAG’s.

As some may look upon this as a relief, the chilling reaction of William “Jim” Haynes clearly stands out:

“In light of the feedback that [Haynes] received, he thought that it was wiser to try a different approach,” Geoff Morrell, Pentagon press secretary said.

In these changing times, and they are changing fast, I would not find any comfort in those words. From what I have been reading my bet is that this first approach was the “kinder, gentler” approach and the next will not be so friendly, kind or gentle…

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