Mechanical

A Disturbing News Blackout

No, I'm not talking about the media's voluntary news blackout about Prince Harry serving in Afghanistan. I'm talking about Representative Rohrabacher, a right-wing congressman from California.

Representative Dana Rohrabacher is an extremely powerful man. You don't stay in Congress for almost two decades without amassing influence and favors. From his goverment Web site:

Congressman Rohrabacher is a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He serves as ranking Republican of the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversightand as a member of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment.

In politics since the early 80s, where he served as a senior speech writer for Ronald Reagan, Representative Rohrabacher has long been a solidly right wing Republican in the US House of Representatives since 1989. He was had fund raising help from the infamous Oliver North and has heinous views on illegal immigration, doesn't believe that humans have a hand in global warming and supports extraordinary rendition and torture, even if we occasionally torture innocents. He completely supports the Iraq war, describes himself as "a supporter since day one" and supports sending more of our troops over there to die. In short, he's not exactly a "far left liberal".

And he has my complete sympathy for the apparent news blackout on one of his latest speeches to Congress.

On February 26, 2008, just a few days ago as I write this, on the fifteenth anniversary of the World Trade Center bombing, Representative Rohrabacher delivered a long, vicious speech attacking the Bush administration. He describes very disturbing information in anti-terrorist investigations which the Justice Department's refuses to investigate. He describes how he's not being allowed to talk to certain federal prisoners. He tells us of the Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs Committee finding out about major foreign policy initiatives from newspapers and how the Bush administration routinely refuses to send representatives to discuss these initiatives. We learn about White House staffers lying to said chairman about these initiatives and getting caught. He describes how they had to go to Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State, to attempt to secure cooperation from the Bush administration. He describes the Bush administration's behavior as a "pattern of blatant disregard and outright disdain for Members of Congress" while simultaneously demanding Congress' cooperation.

And that's only halfway through his speech. I urge you to read the full text of his speech. It's absolutely horrifying.

However, what is more horrifying has been the complete lack of media response. One of the most senior members of Congress, a hard-line Republican has come out, guns blasting, against the Bush administration. And it's not just rhetoric, either. Representative Rohrbacher cites considerable evidence, much of which he acquired in his congressional role, he entered letters into the congressional record to back up what he is saying and carefully details the pattern of behavior of the Bush administration.

If the newspapers were the wilderness, you'd be hearing the crickets chirping right now.

I checked Google News and all I saw was a brief article from The Daily Pilot, a Costa Mesa, California newspaper, and Secrecy News, a blog for the Federation of American Scientists.

I can find no mention of this on the Fox News Web site.
I can find no mention of this on the CNN Web site.
I can find no mention of this on the Washington Post Web site.
I can find no mention of this on the New York Times Web site.
I can find no mention of this on any major newspaper's Web site.

Representative Rorbacher's long, detailed speech is available via the Congressional Record, but no one's talking about it.

What is going on here? Representative Rohrabacher described, at length, behavior which is, at best, reprehensible. At worst, it's illegal. A major assault on the administration by one of its standard bearers and all the American People hear is the sound of silence? Is Rohrbacher's speech not newsworthy? Remember that as you form your news of the world, you rely on the media to know what is happening in the world. If you cannot trust the media, you have no ready access to this information and you cannot be expected to make informed opinions. Even if you don't care about "the news", how can you even vote if the media refuses to tell you what's really happening?

The fact that our administration treats the Congress with contempt should come as no surprise. The fact that our media treats the American People with contempt is disgusting.

Please write to your local papers and ask them why they have not covered this important story.
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The Fourth Branch
The Fourth Branch of our government has been systematically brought to its knees by the criminals in office in order to allow secretive, shady dealings to happen. The press was supposed to be the sunlight; the press was supposed to be the dialogue. Deregulation of the protections of the public discourse has allowed this; TV has facilitated a one-way message; people now absorb news instead of create it. The internet[s] is helping, but not organised in the same fashion as the press.

I'm only on page 80 of Democracy in America because it is breaking my heart. Honestly, we took a wrong turn in the Civil War, and everything has been fed to us by the winners: that it was a moral war, that it was about slavery, etc. It's all bollocks. It was about a confederacy, which is what the EU has, and it was about Lincoln and some in those camp taking over. America's been doing it ever since (and even a bit before, Jackson was a total asshole).

I'm hoping the Democratic revolution of the 1960s is rehashed with Obama--he's like JFK and MLK in one person. But evoking those people is also heartbreaking due to their fates. Obama is changing the dialogue, and I certainly hope he succeeds. No one has any dirt on him.

America consistently breaks my heart. I have a bit of faith in her right now, and I hope to Buddha that there's an awakening in this country. It feels like it, but we've been screwed before.