The Middle-Finger News Sticking It To the Poobahsby Sherman H. Skolnick and Lenny Bloomskolnick@ameritech.netwww.skolnicksreport.comwww.cloakanddagger.ca7-16-3White House Deja Vu Thirty years ago, the United States' Vice-President, Spiro Agnew, was forced from office by a belated scandal. Gerald Ford, the JFK murder white-washer, without an election, replaced him as the Vice-President thanks to the 25th Amendment which was pushed into constitutional law by the Rockefeller family.Shortly thereafter, President Richard M. Nixon was coerced to leave office and this time, Vice-President Ford, without an election, became the resident of the Oval Office.President Gerald Ford, in turn, appointed Nelson Rockefeller, without an election, as the new Vice-President. Thus the Nixon/Agnew team was replaced by the Ford/Rockefeller cabal. Rockefeller, a member of one of the world's richest families, testified to the U.S. Senate that he had paid no taxes for the previous eleven years.Shortly thereafter, Ford survived three genuine assassination attempts. Rockefeller almost became the President by a bullet not a ballot.Like his uncle, John D. Rockefeller 4th, who calls himself Jay to be cute, itches to occupy the Oval Office without legal election formality. And the CIA is now attempting to force out U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney.Does George W. Bush study history? Does he see a pattern here? Or is he, according to some cynical commentators, busy pissing on his shoes?[In 1973, Sherman H. Skolnick, head of a citizen's group investigating judicial corruption and political murders and espionage, was traveling the U.S. conducting seminars mostly for students at various colleges and universities. He often commented that there was a plot to remove the Nixon/Agnew team, starting with a bribery scandal implicating Vice-President Agnew. Students and student newspaper editors heckled Skolnick in that, they had read in no publication they and others said, about any such problem with Agnew. Skolnick was often then called a "liar". He was vindicated when six months later, in October, 1973, Agnew resigned as Vice-President, as part of a deal not to be jailed for bribery matters going back to the time he was Governor of Maryland. Agnew later wrote a book stating that a Nixon White House aide had demanded Agnew step aside or be assassinated.In 1975, which was prior to Internet, talk radio, and public access Cable TV, and similar alternative outlets for news, Skolnick circulated his group's findings and comments through thirty phones, hooked up to their own phone message machinery, playing a recorded message updating their work. His group had uncovered the details of three genuine plots to assassinate President Gerald Ford. One such plot was by Sarah Jane Moore, an undercover operative for the U.S. Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Fire-Arms, which had supplied her with a very large caliber gun. When President Ford came to a public gathering, she aimed the weapon at him point blank. Ford was saved from being blown away when a disabled veteran shoved Moore's elbow causing her to miss.The U.S. Secret Service, as confirmed to Skolnick off-the-record by various journalists he knew, was determined to stop Skolnick from raising questions of the possible Nelson Rockefeller-U.S. Secret Service complicity in the aborted attempts to murder President Ford. As a result, Skolnick's group's phone message lines were blocked by the Secret Service without legal formality. When Skolnick, as the head of the group, informed the phone company he, in his wheelchair, intended to picket the phone company's downtown headquarters to stop this arbitrary denial of service, the recorded message phone lines mysteriously began working again.As can be seen from stories on, the website has had stories going back to 1999, about schemes to, by violence and other means, to install John D. Rockefeller 4th as Vice-President and then for him to become President. all without an election. This included, among other things, with attempts to assassinate Vice-President Albert Gore, Jr., such as causing several other planes to crash into his government plane, while over Chicago, in July, 1999, a week before the murder, by airplane bombing, of John F. Kennedy, Jr. See the website series, "What Happened to America's Golden Boy".Through finagling by the Rockefeller Family, in about 1967, the 25th Amendment was enacted to the U.S. Constitution. That this was used in the Agnew-Ford-Rockefeller matters, as mentioned, and could be used to install Jay Rockefeller, tends to prove the Rockefellers have had a long-time dirty scheme to grab the Presidency without an election. Will it happen? Stay tuned.
http://www.thenation.comStop the Presses by Eric Alterman'Lyndon B. Bush'?[from the August 4, 2003 issue]At some point, something had to give. Yes, much of the mainstream media treated George W. Bush with Lewinsky-like devotion, but could it really go on forever? The Bush people seemed to think it could, and in their hubris lies their demise. It was an amazing run. They won the presidency by losing an election. They bankrupted the treasury, trashed the environment, turned the nation's system of justice over to religious fanatics and, finally, deceived the nation into an unprovoked war. They probably would have gotten away with that too, except they forgot to make any sensible plans about how to run the place afterward. ("Dude, where's my 'coalition'?") In the ensuing chaos and guerrilla warfare against the vulnerable and undermanned US forces, well, somebody was bound to start asking questions. Why did we invade Iraq again? Was it because they were "reconstituting" nuclear weapons? Nope, they made that one up. Was it because they were in possession of weapons of mass destruction? Apparently not. Was it because they were in league with the Al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us on 9/11? Sorry, ix-nay on the evidence-nay. Did we do it to further the cause of democracy and human rights? Stop, you're hurting my tummy. Yet every one of these bogus justifications was trumpeted in the mainstream media during the run-up to the war. The Administration exploited its sympathetic interlocutors so effectively that it actually increased people's ignorance. For instance, a January poll found that 44 percent of respondents said they thought "most" or "some" of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi citizens. Only 17 percent of those polled were aware that none of them were. The answer shocked pollsters, as almost nobody had given the answer "Iraqi" in the aftermath of the attack. Moreover, a full 41 percent of those questioned believed that Iraq had already obtained the nuclear weapons the Administration claimed it was pursuing. As Carroll Doherty, editor of the Pew Research Center, told Editor and Publisher's Ari Berman, "There's almost nothing the public doesn't believe about Saddam Hussein." When the Niger nuclear scandal finally began to break, the Administration tried its usual program of stonewalling by a combination of tough talk and incoherent assertion. The phony story, which was not merely included in Bush's State of the Union speech but also, despite carefully worded denials, in Tenet's classified briefing to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, helped convince many fence-sitters to commit to war. But the story was easily identifiable as nonsense by any professional who cared to examine the evidence. Even without Joseph Wilson's now famous mission, Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the IAEA, told the UN Security Council that he knew almost immediately that the documents were phony. Dick Cheney, who was reportedly briefed on Wilson's findings, tried to smear ElBaradei. Sans evidence, he announced on Meet the Press in March, "I think Mr. ElBaradei frankly is wrong." Cheney continued, "I think, if you look at the track record of the International Atomic Energy Agency and this kind of issue, especially where Iraq's concerned, they have consistently underestimated or missed what it was Saddam Hussein was doing. I don't have any reason to believe they're any more valid this time than they've been in the past." In fact, a senior IAEA official told Seymour Hersh, "These documents are so bad that I cannot imagine that they came from a serious intelligence agency." Indeed, one of the letters was signed with the name of a Niger minister of foreign affairs who had been out of office for more than a decade. Another letter, allegedly from Niger's president, was so rife with obvious inaccuracies that the same IAEA official observed that its counterfeit character "could be spotted by someone using Google on the Internet." A White House spokesman admitted in June that "some documents detailing a transaction between Iraq and Niger were forged and we no longer give them credence," but the White House continued to argue that the Niger documents constituted "only one piece of evidence in a larger body of evidence suggesting Iraq attempted to purchase uranium from Africa." Yet no one in the Administration has ever come forward to present this "larger body of evidence" to Congress or the American people. Until George Tenet, the only high-level holdover from the Clinton Administration still working for Bush, was chosen as the fall guy, Donald Rumsfeld actually claimed to be unaware of the entire controversy. (Someone should find some room in the Pentagon's $390 billion budget for a subscription to The New Yorker, so the Defense Secretary can read Sy Hersh.) Even after the scandal broke, Rice and Rumsfeld appeared on the Sunday talk shows to defend Bush's deception as "technically accurate"--given the British misinformation. In fact, it wasn't even that, but so what? This is the standard by which America is taken to war? The Bush team still has its media apologists, of course. Bob Woodward, who serves as the Administration's unofficial autobiographer, took to the Larry King program to pooh-pooh the whole thing as just "one little piece of thousands of pieces that get sifted when they put something like this together." (Now do you wonder why they turn the secret NSC notes over to this guy?) Meanwhile, Ari Fleischer's personal flack, the Washington Post's Howie Kurtz, tried to blame the entire outcry on "the left," as in: "The left is now up in arms about one sentence in George Bush's last State of the Union speech." (Just "one sentence." Just one war. Just how silly can we leftists be?) But the elements of a rapid fall are all in place. Like Lyndon Johnson during the Gulf of Tonkin, Bush may not have known he was lying at the time. Yet his entire Administration's policy was created to give him the answers he wanted, true or not. Now Tenet is under the gun. Next will be Powell. After that, maybe Rummy against Rice. Meanwhile, public approval of the President fell nine points in eighteen days, exactly mirroring the fall in support for his handling of Iraq. The truth will set us free.
PopMatters.comMIXED MESSAGES No Question: The Media Is Right [16 July 2003] by David Sirota PopMatters Columnist It used to be big news when leaders were dishonest. The media forced politicians of both parties to pay a price for even the slightest infraction. Just ask Al Gore, who was tarred and feathered for a few careless comments about the Internet. That has changed. The media now barely flinches when the truth is distorted. In just a few years, the same media that tenaciously attacked the last White House over the tiniest appearance of impropriety now barely reports when the current White House deceives, hides information and knowingly ignores hard facts. Take the White House's explanation of the deficit. On April 24th, President Bush said, "this nation has got a deficit because we have been through a war." Then, a week later, he said, "we've got a deficit because we went through a recession." The White House and the media knows both of these explanations are dishonest - Bush's own budget acknowledges that his tax cuts are the major cause of the deficits (see table S-3 of Bush's budget where the White House acknowledges that without Bush's tax cuts the nation would return to surplus by 2006, but with his tax cuts deficits will continue indefinitely). Nonetheless, despite the doubletalk, the media did not report the story that the President was being dishonest. Or how about the White House's assertion that "92 million Americans would receive an average tax cut of $1,083" under its economic plan? Again, the facts are seriously distorted in order to fool the public. In reality, 80 percent of taxpayers would receive less than $1,083, and half would receive $100 or less. The handful of millionaires who would get about $90,000 artificially inflates the average. The White House and the media know this, yet the misinformation continues unreported. Why are these and countless other distortions swallowed by the media and fed to the American public without question? First, in a post-9/11 world, the White House has effectively equated questioning of the Bush Administration with treason. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer threatened reporters after the attack, saying they "should watch what they say." More recently, Fleischer implied that reporters were being disloyal to the military by questioning why the President felt it necessary to hold a circus stunt photo-op on the deck of an aircraft carrier. "It does a disservice to the men and women of our military to suggest that the president, or the manner in which the president visited the military would be anything other than the exact appropriate thing to do", he said, just after admitting that he had been dishonest in saying the President actually needed to fly a jet to the ship. But these tactics only go so far. What truly allows the White House distortions to go unreported - or reported as fact - is the Republican Party's not-so-secret weapon: a 24-hour television, radio and newspaper advertisement, otherwise known as Fox News, Clear Channel radio and the Washington Times. These national "news organizations" are owned by Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch, longtime GOP benefactors Tom and R. Steven Hicks, and Reverend Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church, respectively. These men are right-wing ideologues who take their radical agenda as seriously as their bottom lines. Their news staffs reflect this disposition (Just look at Fox News, whose CEO and news director is Roger Ailes, who before entering journalism was a major Republican Party political operative, and who informally advised Bush on post-September 11th image polishing). These ideologues understand that, devoid of effective ideas, conservatives can win by playing dirty -- namely, by infiltrating non-partisan journalism with attack machines that use the pretense of objectivity as a cloak for pressing a radical right-wing agenda and diverting critical reporting away from the Bush Administration. As one Fox executive admitted a few months ago in Fortune Magazine: "[Murdoch] hungered for the kind of influence in the United States that he had in England and Australia. Part of our political strategy here was [sic] the creation of Fox News." Thus, legitimate questions about the war become a news hook for Fox to attack questioners as traitors. Inquiries about whether the President is adequately protecting the homeland become a chance to question Democrats' patriotism. Suggestions that the Bush tax cut will expand the deficit are morphed into purported schemes to raise taxes. Republican tax cuts for the wealthy become altruistic efforts to "let people keep more of the money they earn", as one Fox correspondent reported. Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle is hammered by the media for daring to question America's diplomacy, while Newt Gingrich gets favorable coverage when he does the same. In short, the right-wing media promote stories that serve conservative interests and deflect attention from stories that do not. In the process, they make incessant yet baseless claims that other news outlets are "liberal", intimidating them into accepting this conservative viewpoint for fear of being further vilified. And in "pack mentality" news with fierce ratings competition, the result is a media establishment that now forsakes its watchdog role in a tectonic ideological shift to the right. As the next election nears, honest reporters and editors do a disservice to the public by accepting this manipulation. Americans deserve Woodward and Bernstein journalism - not O'Reilly and Hannity propaganda. We need our media to have the guts to tell us when, why, and how our government is misleading us on the nation's most pressing issues. Otherwise, our democracy suffers as Americans go to the polls without the knowledge required to cast an informed vote.