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U.S. NEWS BLACKOUT

New Zealand cuts diplomatic ties with Israel - $1.2 trillion missing from the Pentagon - Young American girl murdered in cold blood by Israeli soldier - Are we not getting these stories because the U.S. is in a perpetual news blackout?
New Zealand Cuts Diplomatic Relations With Israel

This significant geo-political event is certainly news-worthy. Considering the sensitivity to most news associated with Israel, it should have drawn much attention. Beginning on July 15, 2004, it made the front page of the BBC's Web site for two consecutive days. Yet, of all the many twenty-four hour TV news channels across the United States, not a single one reported it. Not one U.S. newspaper reported it. Of the thousands of radio news programs throughout America, none covered it. Surprisingly, the self-proclaimed news vigilantes such as Truth Out, My News and the Drudge Report did not mention it.

$1.2 Trillion Missing From Pentagon

The United States Inspector General has notified Congress that the Pentagon cannot properly account for $1,200,000,000,000 ($1.2 trillion) in transactions. This catastrophic accounting failure is not another amusing case of the Pentagon paying $50,000 for a toilet lid . . . something we can laugh-off. The amount of $1.2 trillion represents over 10% of the United States Gross National Product (GNP). The GNP is all the money annually made by every worker and organization in the United States or, according to a 2004 report by The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, $11,546,000,000,000 ($11.546 trillion). Please consider that this is just one branch of the federal government. What about the many other branches of the Federal government? Are they threatening the American economy and, indeed, the world economy with similar madness?

Again, no mention of this alarming news was broadcast by any news agency in the United States.

Young American Girl Murdered in Cold Blood by Israeli Soldier

Rachael Cory, a 23 year-old college student from Olympia, Washington went to Palestine with a several fellow students to peacefully protest the Israeli Army's bulldozing of homes in which innocent people lived. While standing in front of a doctor's home, wearing a florescent orange jacket, speaking through a bull horn and accompanied by several other American students, she was run over by an American-made Israeli Army bulldozer. Amidst the American student's cries of emergency, the bulldozer's operator, an Israeli soldier, reportedly smiled as he crushed her, then stopped, placed the giant bulldozer in reverse and ran over her a second time.

Barely a mention, and in most cases nothing, was reported about this story by major U.S. news television, radio or newspaper organizations.
story on WSWS 16.Aug.2004 10:44

olem

New Zealand imposes diplomatic sanctions on Israel over Mossad operation


By John Braddock
10 August 2004


 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/aug2004/moss-a10.shtml


The New Zealand government last month protested to Israel after two Israeli citizens, believed to be acting on behalf of the secret service agency Mossad, were convicted of passport fraud. Elisha Cara, 50, and Uriel Kelman, 31, were jailed for six months—far less than the maximum possible sentence of five years—after an Auckland court found them guilty of seeking to obtain a New Zealand passport through illegal means and participating in an organised crime group for that purpose. The two were also fined $NZ50,000 each. Both men are appealing their convictions.


As soon as the sentences were handed down on July 15, Prime Minister Helen Clark issued a strongly-worded diplomatic rebuke. She said Israel had "demeaned the integrity" of the New Zealand passport system. Further, the incident constituted a serious breach of New Zealand's sovereignty and had severely strained relations between the two countries. Her government had formally sought an explanation and apology from Israel at the time of the arrests three months earlier, but none had been forthcoming.


Following the verdict, Clark suspended all high-level visits between the two countries. She declared that an expected request by Israeli President Moshe Katsav to include New Zealand on his scheduled visit to Australia in August would be declined. Israelis visiting in an official government capacity would now need to apply for visas while foreign ministry consultations planned for later in the year were cancelled. Approval for the appointment of the new Israeli ambassador was to be delayed, and New Zealand officials would observe "strict constraints" on contact with honorary consuls.


The evidence strongly points to the men being part of an Israeli spy operation. According to media reports, New Zealand intelligence services obtained concrete evidence that Cara and Kelman were Mossad agents by bugging their phones. Covert surveillance was undertaken after officials became suspicious about the passport application. New Zealand passports attract far less attention than Israeli ones, particularly in the Middle East, where Mossad has extensive covert operations ranging from spying and political intervention to assassinations.


Further suspicions of Mossad's role in the case arose with the discovery that Cara, a former member of the Israeli air force who claimed to be a tourist agent based in Australia, had entered New Zealand 24 times during the past three-and-a-half years. Kelman, who had belonged to the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), was discovered to be working for a firm called YTS Systems, which was established by a former IDF special intelligence unit member and specialises in high tech surveillance services. The Canadian government is currently investigating how Kelman managed to travel to New Zealand on a Canadian passport.


Two others, who fled New Zealand before they could be arrested, are believed to be part of the ring: Ze'ev Barkan, a former Israeli diplomat based in Vienna and Brussels, and Tony Resnick, a New Zealand citizen and former member of the Auckland Jewish Council, who has previously lived in Israel.


The operation followed a well-established Mossad modus operandi. In 1997, Canada expelled the Israeli ambassador until receiving a promise that Mossad would stop using Canada's passports for covert operations. Israeli agents had been caught in an unsuccessful assassination attempt in Jordan while carrying fraudulent Canadian passports. In the present case, the two Israelis were arrested after a New Zealand Interior Ministry official spoke to a man claiming to be a New Zealander who asked in a Canadian accent that his passport request be expedited. The official discovered that the New Zealand citizen in whose name the passport was to be issued was handicapped and had never left the country.


The New Zealand government, however, while maintaining emphatically that it had "very strong grounds" to assert the arrested men and their two accomplices were Israeli intelligence agents, sought to ensure that neither was charged with the more serious crime of espionage and that the most salient details behind the operation were kept from the court.


Clark claimed that in order to lay espionage charges it would have been necessary to make public in court "the kind of evidence which our intelligence agencies don't like coming forward to display". No details pertaining to the men's alleged links with Mossad were presented, nor was anything submitted to the court which could give any clue about Kelman's formal employment status. The entire case was treated as a serious but relatively minor criminal matter, amounting to a legal cover-up of the real situation.


Nevertheless, Clark's outspoken response has drawn criticism from pro-Israeli and Zionist spokesmen in New Zealand. This has been fuelled by subsequent incidents in which orthodox Jewish gravesites were extensively vandalised in two Wellington cemeteries. The critics assert she should have approached the matter as is customary in such diplomatic incidents: quietly get the agents out of the country then protest privately to the Israeli authorities. Instead, she chose to make a major public issue of the affair.


Clark's posturing



The main reason for Clark's stance has to do with the Labour government's need to put on something of a "left" face in the delicate balancing act it is conducting over the US "war on terrorism". New Zealand's foreign policy has, over the past 12 months, involved a considerable amount of tacking in the prevailing political winds. While determined to maintain good relations with the US and Australia—the country's two major trade partners—Clark has faced widespread opposition to the US-led occupation of Iraq.


After initially criticising the Iraq war, and siding with European governments, Clark was pulled into line with high-level US threats of trade retaliation. Clark quickly performed an about-face, committing troops, navy frigates and army engineers to Iraq and Afghanistan. With the occupation becoming more unpopular, the government has declared that its deployment of engineers in Iraq, together with the remaining frigate will not be replaced when their tour of duty concludes in September.


In relation to the Middle East, it has suited the Labour government to adopt a more "independent" posture, prompting the media to suggest it had a "pro-Palestinian" policy. Last year, Foreign Minister Phil Goff made an official visit to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat in Ramallah, in defiance of Israel's open hostility. More recently, he issued a statement welcoming the International Court of Justice ruling against Israel's so-called "security" barrier in the West Bank. Criticising Israel conveniently provides Labour with a means for differentiating itself from Washington's policies in the Middle East without directly confronting the US.


Clark's posturing also comes amid growing rivalries in the South Pacific involving New Zealand, Australia, France and other imperialist powers. She seized on the Israeli spy affair to demonstrate—above all to the ruling elites—that the Labour government would stand up for New Zealand's interests against its larger competitors. The scandal, she insisted, would not result in "another Hao Atoll"— a reference to the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace vessel the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour by the French secret service.


Former Labour Prime Minister David Lange is commonly regarded as having caved in to France—a Pacific rival—over the bombing. With the two agents arrested for the murder of a crew member, a deal with the French government was struck following threats against New Zealand's trade access to Europe. The two were released from prison in New Zealand to serve time on Hao Atoll in French Polynesia. France reneged on the deal shortly after, and released the agents from custody, returning them to France.


The New Zealand Herald indicated its approval for Clark's assertion of national interests in the Mossad case. In an editorial headed "Israel given a message to remember", it commented: "Let other countries draw a cloak over such activities if they wish. This country has shown it will not do so and for that we can be quietly proud."


At the same time, however, Clark has been careful not to alienate the Israelis too much. To do so would risk coming into open conflict with Canberra, and more importantly with Washington. Her government has done everything it can to couch its protest over Mossad's activities in the tone of an unfortunate falling out between "good friends". Clark said the case was a "sorry indictment" of Israel with which New Zealand had long shared "friendly relations". She repeated the comment over several media interviews, stressing that "friendly" countries should not behave toward each other this way.


In not pursuing the matter of espionage through the courts, Clark has let the Israeli government and its spy agency off the hook. Refusing to either confirm or deny the Mossad link, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom simply expressed regret at the decision of the New Zealand government to impose sanctions, saying Israel would "do everything to restore the relations to normalcy".


The Australian government has been able to remain silent on the matter, despite the fact that both Cara and Kelman used Australia as their base of operations, at least since 2001. At that time, Cara moved to Sydney where he established a branch of an organisation called Eastward Bound, purportedly to bring Israeli tourists to Australia and New Zealand. Investigations by the New Zealand Herald revealed that the travel agency Cara claimed to operate either does not exist, or is operating illegally.


The whole affair has highlighted again the hypocrisy that surrounds the US-led "war on terrorism" to which Clark and the Labour government wholeheartedly subscribe.


New Zealand currently has under indefinite detention without trial Ahmed Zaoui, a former Algerian MP, academic and legitimate asylum seeker, on the basis of secret information sourced from that country's military regime that he is a suspected "terrorist". Zaoui too is being held on passport charges, while the New Zealand intelligence authorities, at the behest of the Labour government, are involved in extensive international efforts to construct a case against him. An Auckland court last month rejected an appeal by Zaoui that he be transferred on remand to the Mangere Refugee Centre, after nearly 20 months incarceration, on the grounds of his deteriorating psychological state.


While Zaoui is being imprisoned without trial, two individuals with likely connections to Mossad, an organisation implicated in decades of state-sponsored terrorism, have been treated with kid gloves and charged with relatively minor offences. Foreign Minister Goff even alluded to Mossad's record when he declared that the passport the agents had tried to obtain might well have been intended for an assassination operation in a third country.

Have you gone mad? 16.Aug.2004 13:06

James

Every one of the stories you mentioned were front page news items in major newspapers around the country when they happened. They appeared on network news media broadcasts. The Rachel Corrie story in particular was a huge news item in the U.S.

Your own memory of these events is severely distorted. The Pentagon never spent $500,000 on a toilet seat. It spent a little over $500. But hey, you were close -- only off by a factor of 1000!

Similarly, the $1.2 trillion in unaccounted for funds did not occur over a single year, so it's disingenuous to compare it to U.S. GNP. It occurred over several decades. Further, unaccounted for funds are hardly the same thing as wasted funds. It's also worth noting that the Department of Defense does not constitute a branch of the U.S. Federal Government.

Are you actually making sweeping statements about the entire American news media based on the editorial decisions of a gossip website like the Drudge Report? Really?

The fact of the matter is that we are getting these stories. And we're discussing them. You're not getting these stories, because you're not paying attention. Subscribe to a newspaper, and you might hear about these things.

 http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/07/16/spy.blunder/
 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/05/18/MN251738.DTL
 http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2003-03-16-american-woman-killed_x.htm

unfortunately james... 16.Aug.2004 15:59

this thing here

>Further, unaccounted for funds are hardly the same thing as wasted funds.<

... the concern is not that the funds were "wasted". and that is EXACTLY what is more than a little scary about this.

$1,200,000,000,000 is an awful awful lot of money that can be used in an awful awful lot of ways. james, "unaccounted for" means "not under congressional oversight".

oh no, you can be sure those funds were most definitely not wasted, and were put to "good use" achieving "worthy" goals we're all not supposed to know about.

a gigantic, unwatched slush fund for god knows what, for whatever evil or joy the mind of man is capable of conceiving...

Dear James 17.Aug.2004 02:49

Edward de Vere

1. Every one of the stories you mentioned were front page news items in major newspapers around the country when they happened. (They did not appear on the front page of any newspaper I could find. Moreover, they did not appear in my newspaper or those I researched with the help of the local library's research staff)

2. They appeared on network news media broadcasts. (I did not see them on any of the 24 hour new channels, CBS, ABC or NBC)

3. The Rachel Corrie story in particular was a huge news item in the U.S. (As I said, this was covered but covered very little. This was clearly not, as you say, a huge news story in the U.S.)

4. Your own memory of these events is severely distorted. The Pentagon never spent $500,000 on a toilet seat. (No, I said $50,000. Of course, the toilet seat is not the subject of my article and I felt the tone of the exagreration was purely for effect)

5. Similarly, the $1.2 trillion in unaccounted for funds did not occur over a single year, so it's disingenuous to compare it to U.S. GNP. It occurred over several decades. Further, unaccounted for funds are hardly the same thing as wasted funds. (My CPA tells me, if it cannot be found, it is indeed wasted)

6. Are you actually making sweeping statements about the entire American news media based on the editorial decisions of a gossip website like the Drudge Report? Really? (No. I making a critical statement about a news blackoutin the U.S. that is freely reported in many other countries. Ask a few people on the street about the New Zealand-Israel development. I doubt you will find anyone who has heard about it)

7. The fact of the matter is that we are getting these stories. And we're discussing them. You're not getting these stories, because you're not paying attention. Subscribe to a newspaper, and you might hear about these things. (Well, yes I did get these stories. That, of course, is how I was able to write about them. What is more, I got them when they occured. Even though I watch 24 hour news television broadcasts, listen to radio broadcasts, read newspapers and magazines, I did not receive the reports from these sources. I do subscribe to a newspaper. Absoultely none of these stories were reported in it. I learned of the New Zealand-Israeli conflict from the BBC Web site in May of this year and followed it until its last report in July. Similarly, I learned of Rachael Corie on an alternative Web site; and, as you recall, I did not say this story was unreported but reported very little. I learned of the missing $1.2 trillion from Congressman Dennis Kucincich)

It's How the news is reported 07.Sep.2004 16:02

oldcoyote

Okay if all these news stories were well reported then average people who follow current events will know of them. Ask around. I did. Most people thought I was making up the story about the girl who was bulldozed in Israel. They never heard of the New Zealand Israel row and very few are aware of how much money the Pentagon and others in our government cant account for. The do watch the news. If they get their news from the Fox News Network they are ignorant beyond belief. The times at which the news is aired and the frequency it is reported and the time spent on the story is carefully calculated. We should all use the internet and keep an open mind.