Armageddon Gets No Press
What became of the watchdog media
that bayed after President Reagan because some low level
officials sold arms to Iran and diverted the money
anti-communist insurgents in Latin America?
President Clinton was impeached by
the House, though not convicted by the Senate, for lying
about a sexcapade with a White House intern.
Now that we really need them, the
watchdog media has hired out as public relations and
propaganda shills for the Bush administration and the
The entire Bush administration—not
merely the president—is involved in the most
extraordinary lies and fabrication of false intelligence
claims in order to lead America into an unwarranted and
illegal invasion of Iraq, an invasion that has cost the
US taxpayers $300 billion and resulted in the deaths and
maiming of tens of thousands of people.
The sordid affair has been revealed
in leaked top secret Downing Street memos, which were
prepared for UK prime minister Tony Blair and his
cabinet. Unlike the
Nixon episode, there is no need to search for a
"smoking gun." Smoking guns have been printed
all over the pages of the
London Times. Yet hardly a peep from the
The August 1 issue of The
reports that Vice President Cheney has instructed
the US Strategic Command to prepare a plan to spread the
war by attacking Iran with tactical nuclear weapons in
the event of another terrorist attack on the US.
Appalled US Air Force officers have leaked the story,
but you have not learned of it from the tamed media.
A federal prosecutor
seems to be closing in on Karl Rove, President
Bush`s righthand man, and on
Scooter Libby, vice president Cheney`s righthand
man. The two are suspected of leaking the identity of a
covert CIA agent, a felony. Both have had to hire
lawyers. But there is no demand for accountability from
the US media.
American civil liberties have been
trounced by the "Patriot" Act. Torture of
detainees is now a routine practice of the US government
and defended by the
attorney general. Senators and military officers who
try to place constraints on the inhumane treatment of
detainees are stonewalled by the White House.
The mainstream media has been
co-opted as propaganda organ for the Bush
administration. How did this come about?
It came about through media
concentration. There are no longer independent voices in
the mainstream media. American news reporting is a
corporate operation run with a view to advertising
profits and the accommodation of government in order to
protect holdings of valuable federal licenses. For
reporters and editors, knowing what to say and not to
say is the main qualification for job security.
A person who wants to find out
anything must go online and spend time learning the
sites that are trustworthy.
The Internet, thought invaluable
for spreading news, hasn`t the impact on the public of a
story pounded over and over on TV news or newspaper
front pages. Exposure on the Internet doesn`t have the
same embarrassment factor as exposure on TV news and the
New York Times front page.
The public is still socialized into
taking its cue from the old TV and print media. This
media is now heavily controlled, partly through job
fears of editors and reporters.
This raises the question whether
government officials who have broken the law and
betrayed trust will be held accountable.
Consider the implications if the
Bush administration escapes accountability:
The executive branch will have
established itself as above the law.
The executive, armed with a
compliant media, will have war-making power subject only
to successful PR spin. It means the final end of the
people`s right to declare war via elected
representatives in Congress.
The few remaining restraints on the
executive`s ability to detain people indefinitely
without charges will be removed. This power will silence
Spiteful neighbors, employees,
former spouses, whomever will gain the power to report
any disliked person. The anti-terrorist apparatus needs
victims to demonstrate its effectiveness, and as
warrants, hearings, and evidence are no longer required,
Americans will simply disappear like
Soviet citizens in the
"imperial judiciary" will disappear overnight.
No checks and balances will remain.
Gentle reader, you can continue
with this theme in "How the Worst Get on Top," a
chapter in F.A. Hayek`s classic,
The Road to Serfdom. You might as well learn
what it is going to be like as you are already half way
The worst rise rapidly as the
honest depart the corrupt system. Two US Military
prosecutors, Major Robert Preston and Captain John Carr,
resigned after denouncing rigged Guantanamo trials of
detainees as "a severe threat to the reputation of
the military justice system and a fraud on the American
emails claim Guantanamo trials rigged, by Leigh
Sales, Australian Broadcasting Corporation,
August 1, 2005.)
Altogether now, let`s yell, "I`m
mad as hell and I`m not going to take it any longer."
him] a former Associate Editor of the
Wall Street Journal and a
former Contributing Editor of National Review,
was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during the
Reagan administration. He is
the author of
The Supply-Side Revolution
and, with Lawrence M. Stratton, of
here for Peter
Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent
epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.