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Commentary :: Media
New York Times Disinformation, Denial and Suppressing Vital Truths
15 Aug 2011
New York Times Disinformation, Denial and Suppressing Vital Truths - by Stephen Lendman

America's "newspaper of record" makes painful reading for alternative media consumers, knowledgeable about what Times correspondents, opinion contributors and editorial writers misreport, conceal, or lie outrageously about.

For example, writer CJ Chivers' August 12 "Notes From the Front Lines" piece practically lionized cutthroat rebels, embedded with them to present their point of view only, saying:

"Just who are the rebels who have taken up arms against (Gaddafi), and how do they fight?" Instead of explaining accurately, Chivers discusses a battle, reading more like bad fiction than reality, pitting recruited NATO killers against a sitting government most Libyans support and will fight to save it.

But don't expect Chivers to explain. Instead, he enlists reader sympathy for a wounded insurgent, saying:

"Rebels fire rifles to suppress (Gaddafi's) soldiers...One of the rebels - his name is Hamid Shwaili - falls. He calls for help. Other rebels at a nearby building fire machine the wounded man's friends drag him back up (an) alley, to what appears to have been a small garage, where doctors try to administer immediate aid."

"Near death, Mr. Shwaili is soon rushed to an ambulance, bound for a hospital, no doubt."

Wringing maximum emotion from his readers, he highlighted his bloodstained clothing and "dark puddle" near where he fell, saying "you will see his blood loss has been extreme."

But there's more, saying Shwaili "was an unemployed mechanic caught up in the turmoil for Libya's future, and met his end holding a rifle in a battle for Misurata's once quiet streets."

It's to arouse maximum support for a lawless insurgency to provide Washington with another imperial trophy, at the expense of all Libyans, including most damn fool paramilitaries fighting for the wrong side. But don't expect Chivers to explain, reporting like others "in bed with" NATO for their livelihoods, instead of telling the truth. Their job description prohibits it.

In his very lengthy piece, Chivers presents a scenario right out of a Pentagon-funded Hollywood sound stage, complete with photos from the firefight video, including Shwaili (or a convenient stand-in) calling for help on the ground.

Completing his account, he also lionized the filmmaker, a man named Liohn, praising his courage for "put(ting) himself into the midst of the fighting to make this record."

Or did he invent it to enlist support for NATO, a destructive missile aimed at the heart of free people everywhere, never for defense and democratic principles.

It wasn't discussed or Liohn's paymaster, ensconced at Pentagon high-command headquarters in Washington or its NATO Brussels office, depriving Americans of vitally needed revenue for homeland needs by spending it for death and destruction.

Not a mention in Chivers' pure propaganda piece, reading like bad fiction.

Neither did Times writers David Kirkpatrick and Chivers again headlining, "Tribal Rifts Threaten to Undermine Libya Uprising," pretending its a nobel cause instead of a lawless Pentagon-backed insurgency, saying:

"(T)he six-month-old rebel uprising against (Gaddafi) is showing signs of sliding from a struggle to overthrow an autocrat into a murkier contest between factions and tribes....The infighting could also erode support for the rebels among members of the NATO alliance."

In fact, rebel forces are in disarray. The corrupted National Transitional Council (NTC) leadership is falling apart. Its head, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, a shameless opportunist, sacked his entire executive committee, and rebel assassins murdered their field commander, Gen. Abdul Fatah Younis and two of his aides for allegedly holding reconciliation talks with Gaddafi officials.

Yet Kirkpatrick and Chivers said rebels "sought to maintain a clean image to portray themselves as fighting to establish a secular democracy," but infighting "could disintegrate into (counterproductive) tribal tensions...."

Moreover, they're harming "the moral clarity of six months ago, when (Gaddafi) forces were bearing down on Benghazi and he was threatening to wipe out anyone who dared oppose him there...."

In fact, Gaddafi didn't incite hostilities. He responded to them, saying repeatedly he wants peace, reconciliation, and a united Libya. Moreover, he said if rebels laid down their arms, they'd be no recriminations.

His offers, however, went unanswered or spurned because NATO wants war, death and destruction, its usual scheme against every country it attacks, intending to rape and pillage them one by one or in multiples.

Kirkpatrick and Chivers were silent, instead quoting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, acknowledging "disturbing" infighting, but saying TNC leaders (themselves in disarray) took swift steps to correct things.

At the same time, an unnamed Obama official expressed doubts, saying: "I think the jury is out on how unified the command will be" after Jalil sacked his entire executive committee, a clear sign of rebel leadership trouble.

Kirkpatrick and Chivers, however, stressed alleged Gaddafi crimes, saying to "re-establish control of the capital" he never lost, his forces "fir(ed) live ammunition into unarmed crowds, as the (in bed with) International Criminal Court attested," based on Western corporate media reports, not non-existant hard evidence.

"The rebel leadership in Benghazi (unconfirmed reports say they fled for their safety) continue to insist that it can reconcile the differences among Libyan factions and tribes. (Moreover, TNC leaders) pledged to form a new broadly representative unity government based in Tripoli if (Gaddafi) leaves power."

In fact, no such plan exists because Washington and its NATO partners intend to carve up the Libyan corpse profitably, at the expense of ordinary Libyans they'll exploit, not help, if gain control.

Excluding that reality, Kirkpatrick and Chivers blame Gaddafi, maligning him more by quoting Professor Diederik Vandewalle, "a Libya expert," saying:

"(T)he real tragedy of (his) system....leaves virtually everyone open to retribution."

Then hammering him more with Cambridge University's George Joffe (another "Libya expert") saying, "(T)he longer this struggle continues, the more likely and bitter that will become."

Reality on the ground is far different than what Times writers, other corporate hacks, and complicit "experts" report - seeing one thing firsthand or through their own analysis, then reporting another for their bosses (or sworn mandates), wanting no part of the truth.

A Final Comment

Another Times article also missed the mark, written by Ravi Somaiya headlined, "After British Riots, Conflicting Answers as to 'Why,' " saying:

National debate "puzzle(s) over what drove even some previously law-abiding people to steal. (It's) divided people into predictable camps."

Prime Minister David Cameron called it "mindless violence and thuggery," despite knowing what's going on but won't say. Others accurately blame a "culture of greed and impunity," as well as festering social injustice, also omiting what's key and unreported anywhere in the mainstream as expected.

Somaiya also quoted so-called experts, providing the usual explanations, stopping short of what's most important. For example, social psychologist Clifford Stott said bystanders often blame police, not rioters, and Pamela Rutledge noted that hammers can be used "to build something or destroy it. It's just a tool."

Somaiya's article left unmentioned what readers most need to know. A previous article explained, accessed through the following link:

Indeed it's about poverty, unemployment, inequality, and social injustice, but much more. It's about:

-- Big Money orchestrating everything;

-- preventing Blacks, Whites, and other deprived groups from uniting powerfully for a common cause;

-- inciting race and class wars to divide and subdue;

-- using provocateurs to ignite them;

-- having complicit media report regime friendly accounts; and

-- destroying things because it's more profitable than building productively.

It's also about testing command and control systems for eventual larger riots as economic conditions grow more intolerable, as well as diverting public attention from conditions harming their welfare.

Moreover, it's about weakening resistance to state repression supporting corporate, not popular, interests and causing serious human consequences in the process. It's about wrong over right and keeping people from knowing what's really going on and why.

It's about a far more sinister type social injustice than most observers realize. It's why exposing and denouncing it is vital, so people harmed can fight back for what government won't address otherwise.

It's their only chance to get out from under the repressive yoke suffocating them. What more important reason to react than that!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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