CONFESSIONS OF A CONDOR: Sycophants Supreme

By Mark J. Plewecki

"No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of perpetual warfare."

--James Madison

The Wall Street Journal, America's best charmingly neofascist media source, reported February 17 that former Soviet Union Premier Mikhail Gorbachev had recently blasted the current Russian regime for, among other faults, "eroding the free media." He opined that the ongoing Egyptian revolt could likely happen in Russia but "in an even more staggering way."

There is no chance of such erosion by government intervention happening in the United States. Here, the "free" media has eroded itself, by latching onto, in the most subservient manner, the military-industrial-congressional complex. The sycophantic Elite Eight are as follows: Disney/ABC, Comcast-GE/NBC, National Amusements/CBS, Time Warner/CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and our banksters' beloved Newscorp (Fox TV and, for its select literate viewers, the aforementioned WSJ).

The Elite Eight are all part of mammoth corporations; the stated goal of each is to earn as large a profit as possible. The most efficient way to increase profit is, of course, to avoid in any way possible paying one's fair share of taxes. So, like their fellow large corporate brethren, the Elite Eight's owners devise all manner of schemes so that individual Americans (excepting the richest 1 percent) can shoulder ever more of the overall tax burden. Better yet, the extra cash saved by tax avoidance allows them to employ attractive courtiers to explain to the rest of us why we need to accept less while paying more. These courtiers -- nearly everyone you see on TV -- serve the Washington echo chamber extremely well and, by never asking serious questions, are handsomely rewarded with fame, grotesque salaries, and continued access to those in power.

Consider NBC parent General Electric. The New York Times reported that GE had paid 14.3 percent in taxes from 2005 to 2009, far below the 35 percent it is supposed to pay. But it turns out GE actually only paid 3.4 percent over that period. Also, it received a $74 billion guaranty of its debt by lobbying the Feds to broaden a bailout program initially used for banks in the Great Giveaway of 2008-09. The kicker? Chief Welfare Recipient Jeffrey Immelt, GE's CEO, now heads President Obama's economic advisory panel. So recovery (its, not ours) is practically assured.

In the run-up to the Iraq War, when any journalist speaking the truth about Saddam Hussein's non-existent WMDs was frozen from the Elite Eight, the Eighters and abettors championed White House war propaganda, headlined false stories, kept Americans in a state of constant fear and confusion, and led more than 80 percent of our citizens to wrongly believe Iraq had assisted the 9/11 attacks.

Today, no better example of corporatized media's true sympathies can be found than in the Post and the Times (commonly referred to as "liberal" papers in the winningest propaganda of our day) rejecting not one, but five consecutive op-ed pieces submitted by former Army colonel and current professor Andrew Bacevich, the leading anti-imperial voice we currently possess. Conversely, completely discredited neocon apparatchik John "Nuts and" Bolton's columns have appeared during that span no fewer than four times in the Post and thrice more in the Times.

Another Times tidbit concerns the travails of Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor-operative who has been arrested for killing two people in Pakistan. These deaths have merely threatened diplomatic relations between the U.S. and its mutually distrusted ally. The Pakistanis believed (correctly, it turns out) Davis had been working for Xe, the private security firm which changed its name from Blackwater to help people from reflexively thinking "Thugs, Incorporated."

Though the Obama administration initially denied Davis was anything other than a diplomat, it now admits that he is, in fact, a CIA contractor. What's amazing here is that the Times now says that it knew all along about Davis's role, but continued to keep mum at the Administration's request. Only when Britain's The Guardian reported that the Times and other media outlets were "checking" with the U.S. government to learn what it could and what it could not report, did the Obamaites release the truth. As Glenn Greenwald noted in Salon, "That's called being an active enabler of government propaganda."

And on February 22 our unofficial "Newspaper of Record" published an op-ed cheering on the Afghan War with this gem, "It now seems more likely than not that the country can achieve the modest level of stability and self-reliance necessary to allow the U.S. to responsibly draw down its forces from 100,000 to 25,000 troops over the next four years." Let's see, that brings us to 2015, and then we're still there, just with "only" 25,000 troops . . .

But the Times is proud of its distributor role. In its seventy editorials regarding Iraq from 9/11 to the March 2003 invasion the phrases "UN Charter" and "international law" never appeared. Why? Because the Times agreed completely with the Bush/Cheney Junta's War of Choice.

As our democracy slides closer to oblivion, nicely exemplified by the Army's reported illegal use of psychological tactics (psy-ops) to manipulate U.S. senators to continue supporting the Afghan Inferno, let us not forget the magnificent part the Elite Eight have played. The final piece of the MIC MAC puzzle (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Media-?-Complex) shall be revealed next column.

----------------

Mark J. Plawecki is a Wayne County 20th District Court Judge in Dearborn Heights. Confessions of a Condor offers a dissenting opinion on the current American status quo.

Published: Fri, Mar 4, 2011