Managed News: Inside The US/NATO Military Industrial Media Empire
by Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff
“There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth.”
— Charles Dickens
We face what appears to be a military industrial media empire so powerful and complex that truth is mostly absent or reported in disconnected segments with little historical context. A case in point: The London Times reported on June 5, 2010, that American troops are now operating in 75 countries. Has President Obama secretly sanctioned a huge increase in the number of US Special Forces carrying out search-and-destroy missions against al-Qaeda around the world? If so, this increase is far in excess of special-forces operations under the Bush administration and reflects how aggressively Obama is pursuing al-Qaeda behind his public rhetoric of global engagement and diplomacy. Somehow this information didn’t make it into the US media.
The US, in cooperation with NATO, is building global occupation forces for the control of international resources in support of Trilaterialist — US, Europe, Japan — corporate profits. A New York Times report on the availability of a trillion dollars in mineral wealth in Afghanistan, on top of the need for an oil/gas pipeline from the Caspian Sea, suggests other reasons for U.S objectives in the region.
Jim Lobe of Inter Press Service writes on June 15, 2010, “The timing of the publication of a major New York Times story on the vast untapped mineral wealth that lies beneath Afghanistan's soil is raising major questions about the intent of the Pentagon…Blake Hounshell, managing editor at Foreign Policy magazine, says that the US Geological Service (USGS) already published a comprehensive inventory of Afghanistan's non-oil mineral resources on the Internet in 2007, as did the British Geological Survey. Much of their work was based on explorations and surveys undertaken by the Soviet Union during its occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980s.”
Given the previous reports, there is nothing new about resources in Afghanistan that the Pentagon and US multinational corporations didn’t already know. On the contrary, the public should consider whether the surfacing of this resource story is a managed-news press release being done at a time of sensitive concerns regarding NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. A deliberate news insertion such as the mineral wealth story is designed to create support for a US/NATO global empire agenda.
Managed news includes both the release of specific stories intended to build public support as well as the deliberate non-coverage of news stories that may undermine US goals. Have you been told about the continuing privatization of this global war? Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill, wrote in The Nation magazine November 23, 2009, how Blackwater (Xe) operatives in the Pakistani port city of Karachi are gathering intelligence and helping to direct a secret US military drone bombing campaign in that country.
There has not been much coverage of the report in Global Research, May 27, 2010, regarding new US capabilities for cyber warfare, announced recently by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates as the activation of the Pentagon's first computer command and the world's first comprehensive, multi-service military cyber operation. CYBERCOM is based at Fort Meade, Maryland, which also is home to the National Security Agency (NSA).
The US’s Israeli partner in the Middle East demonstrated a skilled manipulation of the global media’s coverage of the May 31 attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Israel controlled the news and images that emerged from the attack on the ships, asserting that the invading Israeli paratroopers were viciously attacked by crewmembers — resulting in the killing of several in “self defense.” Israel sought to divert the focus of public discussion away from the illegitimate use of excessive force against a group of humanitarians — of diverse religious and national affiliations — to the blaming of the victims for causing their own deaths.
Managed news creates a Truth Emergency for the public inside the US/NATO Military Industrial Media Empire. Deliberate news management undermines the freedom of information on the doings of the powerful military/corporate entities though overt censorship, mass distractions, and artificial news — including stories timed for release to influence public opinion (i.e., propaganda).
A Truth Emergency is the lack of purity in news brought about by this propaganda and distraction. It is the state in which people, despite potentially being awash in a sea of information, lack the power of discernment resulting in a knowinglessness about what is going on in the world. In short, we are living in a time where people do not know whom to trust for accurate information and yearn for the truth.
One antidote to the ongoing Truth Emergency is the creation of validated independent news by colleges and universities around the globe where students and professors use research skills and databases to fact check and verify information that is reported to the public. For more about this, and what we can all do to counter managed news, see Project Censored International's new website at http://mediafreedominternational.org. Together, we can build accountability in our media and breathe life back into our withering republic.
Peter Phillips is professor of sociology at Sonoma State University, president of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored, former director of Project Censored, and co-editor of Censored 2010. Mickey Huff is associate professor of history at Diablo Valley College, director of Project Censored/Media Freedom Foundation, and co-editor of Censored 2010.