March 19, 2012
By Bruce A. Dixon
“Everyone should know by now that KONY 2012 is pure propaganda.” –KTRN
Thanks to relentless promotion by corporate media, government, celebrities and politicians of both corporate parties, along with right wing church groups and foundations, the Kony 2012 video has “gone viral.” Viewed on YouTube more than a hundred million times by now, it paints a vivid and simple picture, clear enough, its narrator says, for a five year old. But is it real, or is it propaganda, and for what purpose?
Social Media Scam Alert: Top Ten Ways to Tell Kony is Phony
Joseph Kony, the Invisible Children YouTube video tells us, is a bad guy in Uganda. He’s a lawless warlord leading something called the Lord’s Resistance Army, which kidnaps, enslaves and murders innocent children by the tens of thousands. We’re never told exactly why, as corporate media simply paint Africa as a hellish and inexplicable place where things like that just happen. The Ugandan government, the video tells us, would gladly shut Joseph Kony down and bring him to justice if only the US would provide the advanced weapons, sophisticated tracking gear, military training and the boots on the ground to help get it done. To make this happen, all that Kony 2012′s promoters ask of us is to help spread “awareness” of Uganda’s “invisible” child soldiers by facebooking, tweeting and repeating the Kony 2012 video, and by emailing influential politicians and the one-name celebrities like Oprah, Bono, Rhianna, Cosby and Lady Gaga (OK, Lady Gaga is two names) to whom they listen. The Kony 2012 video aims to bring this criminal child-enslaving Ugandan warlord to justice by enlisting tens of millions of us little people in making Kony’s name an odious household word around the planet, after which Washington DC will stretch forth its military arm to bring Joseph Kony, alive if possible, before the International Criminal Court for trial and punishment.
Almost everything is wrong with this simple picture, from the missing histories and the hidden motives of storytellers and players to false statements of processes and problems real and unreal on both sides of the Atlantic. In fact, Kony 2012 is not a search for justice. Kony 2012 is a corporate-style PR and psy-ops campaign, a cynical hoax engineered to justify US and Western military intervention to control the incredibly lucrative oil, mineral, water and strategic resources of the heart of Africa. The kind of social media activism the video promotes is calculated to make Americans feel good about themselves for “spreading awareness” of child soldiering when they’re really spreading racist ignorance and disinformation, building a disinformed public consent for ongoing, open and direct, as opposed to covert and indirect US military intervention in Africa. “Don’t study history” the video’s makers tell us – “make history!” But the history that a lied to and disinformed public makes is bound to not be pretty.
Black Agenda Report is far from the first or the only news source to point that Kony 2012 is a warmongering hoax, and we certainly won’t be the last. As our contribution, we here offer our top ten reasons why Kony is phony.
Reason #10: Invisible Children is funded by a core of notorious right wing donors including the Discovery Institute, which Bruce Wilson fingered in a March 11 Talk 2 Action piece as the leading funder of efforts to promote the replacement of biological sciences in schools with “intelligent design,”along with the Caster Foundation and the National Christian Foundation, all prominent backers of anti-gay referenda, politicians and initiatives in the United States and around the world. The Ugandan regime of Yoweri Museveni is a favorite of theirs for having passed legislation making it a criminal offense to be gay, punishable by a life sentence. Credible African journalists like Keith Harmon Snow have also alleged that Invisible Children’s white and male leaders have direct personal connections to US intelligence agencies.
November 16, 2011
By Michael Corcoran
“The media is obviously spinning the Occupy protesters in favor of the corporations and government. They are being told to use smear tactics to undermine the protesters’ message. It will only make the protests bigger and stronger.” –KTRN
City officials in Burlington, Vermont, recently used the suicide of a 35-year-old man as an excuse to deceptively close down the occupation. In New York City, just this morning, police threatened to arrest anyone who did not clear Zuccotti Park – the birthplace of the Occupy movement. Across the nation the media, right-wing critics and city officials are wrongly blaming Occupy for seemingly any crime or incident that occurs anywhere in their respective cities in an especially sinister smear campaign that aims to discredit and ultimately try to destroy the movement. Other occupations are in jeopardy of being shut down by the police. Organizers and supporters must act bravely and quickly to save – and expand – this movement as we head into the dead of winter.
A new and vicious smear campaign against the Occupy movement is in full swing. The narrative of this campaign is to portray the movement as a hotbed for violent crime and danger. This false narrative, if it sticks, could prompt more city and town officials across the country to shut down occupations, as the City of New York has attempted to do just this morning, and weaken the movement. This cannot be tolerated.
The full picture of the smear campaign became evident to me when I received a message on a social networking site from a right-wing relative of mine. His message linked to a right-wing smear site that, citing the suicide of a 35-year-old homeless man in Vermont among other things, painted the occupations as one of “sexual assault, violence, vandalism, anti-Semitism, extortion, perversion and lawlessness.”
My relative and many of his right-wing comrades, it seems, really believe that the Occupy movement is in favor of murder, violence, rape and drug dealing. This is rather astounding, but it is also the reality of how far beneath contempt the opponents of Occupy are willing to go to kill this movement. The mention of “sexual assaults” is especially slimy, given that it was a protester from Occupy Wall Street who was the victim, not the perpetrator, of an alleged rape and her fellow protesters assisted her with medical and legal help and reported the alleged rapist to authorities.
It is fascinating – as well as scary – to see the way attacks on Occupy have evolved since it first started in late September. Originally, the media coverage and the right-wing attacks attempted to portray the protesters as aimless, lazy, hippie freeloaders, who were fornicating and defecating on the streets, while banging on drums and rambling about nonsense. This caricature did not work, as the support and diversity that make up the movement and its supporters were just too obviously different from the cartoonish portrayal the movement’s critics tried to paint. As Bill Maher rightly said on his HBO show “Real Time,” “Occupy is not the counterculture. It is the culture.”
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But, now, this new and far more sinister smear campaign is well underway. The corporate media, right-wing critics and city and town officials are trying to blame the protests for virtually any and all crime that has occurred on or near the encampments. The headlines in the media outlets – which are owned by corporations that make up the 1 percent in most instances – continue to amplify these narratives and push for the closing of the occupations. The vast majority of these crimes and incidents have nothing to do with the Occupy movement; in fact, many of them speak more about the major social and economic injustices the protesters are trying to end. But that has not stopped city officials from trying to use these instances to stop the occupations. The occupation in Burlington, Vermont, has already been shut down. Occupy Oakland has been shut down twice. Zuccotti Park, the birthplace of the movement, is being cleared out by police as I write this. And if the false narratives continue, other occupations – and the strength of the movement – could be in jeopardy.
By Paul Joseph Watson
With the resistance to naked body scanners in airports building, the corporate media is now claiming that technology which allows fat TSA thugs sitting in back rooms to ogle your naked daughter actually “enhances privacy”.
In our Orwellian brave new world where down is the new up, University of Ottawa professor Mark Salter gushes over the virtual strip searches with a gusto that makes you wonder whether he’s on the same payroll as people like Michael Chertoff, who have been aggressively promoting the scanners they are invested in as a solution to the underwear bomber threat, no matter that such scanners would not even have stopped Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from boarding Flight 253.
In his Globe and Mail article, Salter doesn’t try to deny that the scanner produces a crisp image of your naked body, indeed, he ends his piece by asking, “Will Canadians be willing to fly naked?”
“Let me be controversial by saying the millimetre-wave scanner actually enhances privacy,” Salter ludicrously claims, arguing that everything is kosher because the government has promised to keep the strip search anonymous and not store the details in a database – and you can really trust them – after all, governments never keep illegal databases of our information do they? They haven’t been caught doing exactly that on almost every front since 9/11.
Salter isn’t really concerned about how a man with no passport who was on a terror watchlist and who was aided by a sharp-dressed man after his own father had warned U.S. intelligence that he was a threat was allowed to board a plane. No, that pales into insignificance, what’s really important is that brow-beaten Americans and Canadians, who are already treated like criminals and ordered around like prisoners by airport gestapo, are forced to undergo yet more humiliation by being routinely strip-searched, just as the Nazis did to the populations that they conquered during world war two.
Body Scanners Increase Privacy, Says Corporate Media 060110scanner7
Salter is also unperturbed by the fact that the body scanners fire ionizing radiation at the body which penetrates a few centimeters into the flesh and unzips DNA, increasing the risk of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
He is similarly unflustered at the fact that the body scanners violate laws against child pornography because they produce indecent images of children, meaning airports will become the primary peddlers of child porn.
Salter couldn’t care less that top civil liberties groups in Canada have publicly attacked the scanners as a violation of human dignity.
Salter thinks that thugs in uniforms who have made getting into America a worse experience than entering East Berlin sitting alone in back rooms enjoying naked images of your children is a good thing, because apparently being alone in a private room while staring at people’s genitals all day is sure to encourage nothing but the utmost professionalism, I’m sure.
Since Salter’s enthusiasm to see the invasion of the body scanners become a reality is so effusively boundless, he’ll doubtless also welcome the next wave of tyranny being prepared for travelers – mandatory taser bracelets that allow officials to electric shock passengers on a whim, passive brain scanners that pick up brain waves in order to sense the behavior of travelers, as well as surveillance cameras on every seat providing a big brother babysitter for every potentially disobedient slave.
People like Salter and others in the establishment press who are pushing naked body scanners certainly know which side their bread is buttered on. Since the corporate media is owned by the very military-industrial complex making a windfall from the orders for thousands of scanners now being made, as well as the shot in the arm for the fraudulent war on terror helpfully provided by the underwear bomber, it’s unsurprising that we’re seeing such ceaseless propaganda in favor of the scanners.
But an outraged hardcore of Americans, Canadians and people from around the world are standing up and saying enough is enough – with boycotts, lawsuits and mass protests in the pipeline as part of a growing resistance against the latest manifestation of the prison planet being constructed around free humanity.