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Health Care & Environment
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]
11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
International & Futurism
11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
ACCORDING TO CBS, KILLING CIVILIANS IS OKAY:
CBS Pro-Drone Propaganda
60 Minutes slights critics of controversial weapons
12 May 2009
Missing in the CBS report was expert testimoney these weapons have killed about 700 civilians since 2006--a 50:1 ratio of innocent victims to targeted enemies.On May 10, CBS's 60 Minutes presented a remarkably one-sided report on unmanned Air Force drones firing missiles into Afghanistan and Iraq. Though the drones have been criticized for killing civilians in both countries, CBS viewers heard from no critics of the weapons.
Instead, correspondent Lara Logan seemed awed by the drones from the very start of the broadcast: "Every so often in the history of war, a new weapon comes along that fundamentally rewrites the rules of battle. This is a story about a revolution in unmanned aviation that is doing just that." She described the drones as "hunting down insurgents, every minute of every day," and as "one of the most important planes in the United States Air Force."
Viewers were told that CBS was getting special access: "Many of the details of this weapons program are classified, but our 60 Minutes team was given secret clearance and unprecedented access to bring you this story." The report relied entirely on pilots and the Air Force chief of staff.
The closest the segment came to airing any criticism at all was when Logan asked one pilot, Lt. Col. Chris Gough, about his confidence in the targeting of the missile attacks: "What if you get it wrong?" Logan asked. "We don't," Gough replied, before finally admitting that it's "a tough question.... We have the resources to make sure we're right." Gough stressed the "clarity" of being removed from the battlefield--the drones are piloted from a base in Nevada--which led Logan to say, "In spite of that clarity, unmanned planes and Air Force jets are criticized in Afghanistan for killing innocent civilians, including an incident just this week that is under military investigation." Those comments were accompanied primarily by footage of screaming Afghans protesting in a street, with a brief shot of a hospitalized child.
Logan added that drone attacks in Pakistan are "blamed for even more deaths." She reported that the CIA "wouldn't talk to 60 Minutes about their operations," so she gives the Air Force the last word on the subject, noting that they argue the drones are "more precise than piloted planes." Logan seemed to accept this argument: "We got a sense of that when the Air Force let us sit with Predator pilots in Nevada while they kept a close watch on U.S. soldiers along the Afghan/Pakistan border."
It would not have been difficult to find critics of the reliance on drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq--even among those close to the military. As the Los Angeles Times reported a week before the CBS segment aired (5/3/09), the House Armed Services Committee had recently heard testimony from David Kilcullen--a former adviser to General David Petraeus--who believes the drone attacks take too many civilian lives. Kilcullen testified that while drone attacks are suspected to have killed 14 Al-Qaeda leaders since 2006 in Pakistan, at the same time the weapons have killed about 700 civilians--a 50:1 ratio of innocent victims to targeted enemies.
Such perspectives were missing from the CBS report, leaving 60 Minutes to air what amounted to little more than military propaganda about controversial--and deadly--weapons.
To view the CBS report, go to:
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This story was published on May 13, 2009.