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New York Times Editors Defend the Indefensible

by Stephen Lendman Saturday, Jun. 08, 2013 at 8:58 PM


New York Times Editors Defend the Indefensible

by Stephen Lendman

It's standard Times practice. It's longstanding. On June 6, Times editors praised Obama's selection of Susan Rice and Samantha Power.

They're deplorable choices. They'll move from current capacities to new national security positions. More on that below.

Times editors endorsed what demands condemnation. What they say matters. Times articles, commentaries and editorials have impact. What's reported attracts global attention.

Longstanding Times policy is consistent. It operates as a quasi-official ministry of managed news misinformation. It masquerades as the real thing.

Doing so violates fundamental journalistic ethics. The Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics Preamble states:

"....public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy."

"The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues."

"Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty."

"Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility."

The Times violates its own "Company Policy on Ethics in Journalism." It does so without apology or explanation.

It states in part:

"In keeping with its solemn responsibilities under the First Amendment, our company strives to maintain the highest standard of journalistic ethics."

"(W)e tell our audiences the complete, unvarnished truth as best we can learn it."

"(I)t is essential that we preserve professional detachment, free from any hint of bias."

The longstanding record of "the newspaper of record" belies its high-minded rhetoric. It's deplorable. Times management and editors support wealth, power and privilege. Populist interests are spurned. Pretense claims otherwise.

When America goes to war or plans one, Times editors march in lockstep. Rule of law principles and other democratic values don't matter. Powerful privileged interests alone are served.

Public trust, credibility, honor, integrity, impartiality, fairness and truth are sacrificed in the process. Doing so is longstanding Times policy.

This writer's open letter challenged Times editors. It asked:

Do imperial wars bother you? Does human suffering matter? Is business as usual OK? Are sham elections? Is democracy for the few alone?

Do corporate interests count more than populist ones? Do wealth, power, privilege, and unchallenged dominance alone matter? What about an unconscionable growing wealth gap?

How about corporate and political lawlessness? What about a private banking cartel controlling America's money? Is looting the federal Treasury OK? What about reckless money printing to serve them?

Do growing poverty, homelessness, hunger and despair concern you? What about deepening social decay symptomatic of national decline?

How about growing millions worldwide calling America a pariah state for good reason? Waging political, economic, social, and hot wars put it in a class by itself.

Are you concerned? Is this the America you support? Dare you call it beautiful?

You have global clout. You could use it responsibly. You could expose what's wrong and help reverse it. You'd be heroic for trying.

Doing the right thing is its own reward. So is good journalism. Try it sometime and see.

Try publishing "All the News That's Fit to Print" for real. Perhaps you'll never look back and go another way.

It's wishful thinking to expect America's establishment broadsheet to change longstanding practices. Serving wealth, power, and privilege are too engrained.

On June 6, Times editors headlined "The New Security Team," saying:

As National Security Advisor, Rice's "task will be to help Mr. Obama go beyond (his) first-term goals explain to Americans and the world how he intends to wield American leadership and fulfill his stalled promises, including reducing nuclear weapons, curbing climate change and using foreign aid and other economic tools to help the nations that were changed by the Arab Spring uprisings achieve economic and political stability."

Fact check

Obama's promises aren't stalled. They're systematically spurned. He broke every major one made. His word falls short of his bond. He's a serial liar. He's a moral coward. He's a war criminal multiple times over. His national security and other key officials share culpability.

His nuclear policy asserts the right to use these weapons preemptively. His 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) reflects old wine in new bottles.

Rhetoric changed, not policy. NPR 2010 said America "reserves the right" to use nuclear weapons "that may be warranted by the evolution and proliferation of the biological weapons threat and US capacities to counter that threat."

No threat whatever exists. New more advanced weapons replace older ones. US nuclear policy prioritizes greater deterrent capability. It unilaterally asserts the right to strike preemptively. It does without cause, justification or consequences of doing so.

So-called foreign aid serves US interests alone. So-called Arab Spring terminology is doublespeak duplicity. It's a Western term, not a Middle East one.

America deplores peace and stability. It prioritizes conflict, violence and destabilization. Doing so serves longstanding imperial interests. Don't expect Times editors to explain.

In choosing Power as UN envoy, Obama named "a strong human rights advocate and former White House aide….," said Times editors.

She and Rice "are seen as liberal interventionists who favor using American power on behalf of humanitarian causes overseas. Both will bring fresh energy to their positions."

Previous articles discussed both nominations. Rice is morally depraved. South African journalist Getahune Bekele was right calling her a "consummate ally of grubby despots."

Banality of evil best describes her. Death and destruction don't bother her. Imperial priorities alone matter. Her style matches Hillary Clinton. She deplores peace, nonviolence, diplomacy and social justice. Her outbursts reflect bullying, bluster and arrogance.

Her support for US lawlessness makes her complicit. She's indifferent to human suffering. She's a monument to wrong over right. She's a disgrace and embarrassment to her country, position and humanity.

She's criminally unqualified to serve. Her rap sheet includes complicity in major crimes. As Clinton's Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, she was involved in proxy genocidal wars on Congo.

She has close ties to Rwanda's Paul Kagame and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni. Both men are two of many African "grubby despot" US allies. As Obama's UN envoy, Rice was instrumental in supporting them. She did so earlier under Clinton.

As National Security Advisor, she'll add to her rap sheet. It's already bloodstained. She's morally unqualified for any public or private office.

Samantha Power has her own cross to bear. Edward Herman once called her a prominent "cruise missile left" adherent.

Her book titled "A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide" gained her prominence. She "never departs from the selectivity dictated by the establishment party line," said Herman.

Genocides are what they do, not us, she believes. America bears full responsibility for centuries of genocidal slaughter. Airbrushing them from history doesn't wash.

Ideologues like Power try reinventing history their way. So-called liberal and more hawkish ones represent two sides of the same coin. Imperial interests alone matter.

Power calls US foreign policy "a toolbox." It includes a whole range of options, she says. "There is always something you can do." Her notion of humanitarian intervention is show no mercy.

She and Rice played leading roles in urging "humanitarian war" on Libya. Genocidal slaughter followed. Africa's most developed country was ravaged and destroyed.

Violence, instability, poverty, unemployment and human misery reflect current conditions. It's true wherever America intervenes. Dark side realpolitik alone matters.

In their new national security capacities, expect Rice and Power to urge more of the same. Don't expect Times editors to explain.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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