Corporate owned networks and cable TV are private for profit
enterprises driven by MONEY -- not by truth. Network and cable "news"
is private for profit infotainment driven by MONEY -- not by truth.
Delivering truth and educating viewers are not the goals of corporate
media. Increasing viewership, attracting advertisers, and cronyism
are. Even when reporting the invasion of Iraq, corporate media
mitigates or inflames the story to advance its selfish goals.
Were presenting the truth and enlightening the populace the intent of
corporate media, the March 13th through March 16th Winter Soldier
Tribunal would have been televised. Instead, it was ignored. Were
it not for independent media like Free Speech TV and Pacifica Radio
(which broadcast the original Winter Soldier tribunal in 1971), and
internet streaming via the Iraq Veterans Against the War website
(ivaw.org), there would have been a total blackout of the live
testimonials of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. If corporate media
had employed the professionalism and integrity of New Media, it would
have broadcast Winter Soldier, whereby a larger audience would have
witnessed revelatory testimony by over 100 impassioned heroes.
Prior to this weekend's Winter Soldier, local and national media were
informed the tribunal was taking place. However, none supported the
troops enough to be present to broadcast their stories. Had Winter
Soldier been televised, viewers would have seen the anguish of young
Americans who saw and committed acts that torment them every day. The
public would have heard stories of returning veterans abandoned by
their government and by their V.A. (Veterans' Administration). The
public would have seen the agony of parents whose 23 year old son hung
himself in their closet due to untreated PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder) . If Winter Soldier had been televised, The People could no
longer accept the deceptions of those who had altered the facts. The
People would have acquired the knowledge needed to move them to act --
to stop the atrocities -- to end the war -- NOW!
Indeed, had Winter Soldier been televised, the public would have heard
the stories corporate media probably buried. Stories their cozily
embedded reporters have known but couldn't report. Stories of soldiers
and marines torturing and murdering innocent Iraqi men, women and
children. Stories of waving decapitated heads as trophies. Stories
of invading and destroying the wrong homes. Stories of shooting dogs
for fun. Story after story of the horrors of occupation that have long
been denied by the Bush administration and the military, or treated as
aberrations on the rare occasions they were revealed.
For over five years -- even before the March 20, 2003 invasion of Iraq
-- there has been a blight on truth in corporate media. Rather than
being an honest purveyor of the occupation, conglomerate media
manipulates reality to align with the White House, and to increase its
profits from its military subsidiaries. Corporate media's collusion
with the Bush administration to orchestrate this illegal and immoral
invasion has been documented again and again -- through highly praised
books, like Amy and David Goodman's "The Exception To The Rulers," and
in the films "Weapons of Mass Deception" by Danny Schechter and "War
Made Easy" by Norman Solomon, along with several more.
Americans who comprehend corporate media's complicity in cheerleading
the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq lament media's refusal to atone
for its ills. Just like the Bush administration won't admit lying the
nation into Iraq, corporate media downplays its role in manufacturing
consent for the invasion. With the exception of progressive internet
sites and print outlets like Mother Jones and The Nation, broadcasters
Link TV, Free Speech TV, PBS' Bill Moyers, Pacifica Radio, and MSNBC's
pre-invasion hero, Phil Donahue, American media couldn't wait to
broadcast George W. Bush's sadistically dubbed "Shock and Awe."
For months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, to this time five years
later, Americans have been fed a lethal diet of lies. Lies from the
highest levels of the military and the highest levels of government.
Lies from conservative talk radio and from corporate television's
anchors. At every outlet with corporate ties, be it NBC, ABC or CBS,
CNN, MSNBC or Fox, there are corporate sold lies. If the public
doesn't seek alternative outlets for truth, it subsists on
fabrication. Thus the job of New Media as an oracle of truth is to
rescue Americans from delusion. To perform that job, independent
media, was the only source to broadcast Winter Soldier live.
Americans NEED the truth. Americans CAN handle the truth. To re-coin
an old, but appropriate adage, 'In truth there is knowledge. In
knowledge there is power.' A democracy can't survive if its people
have no knowledge! A democracy can't exist if its people have no
power! Americans NEED both!
The Winter Soldier tribunal in 1971 led to an invitation to the
veterans to testify before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in
1973, then chaired by Senator J. William Fulbright. The testimony
before the Fulbright Committee was so powerful that it helped to
expedite the end of the Vietnam War. A similar invitation to testify
before the current Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by
Joe Biden, should be extended to today's Winter Soldiers. Should that
happen, as it should, C-SPAN would hopefully televise the event, which
would increase the audience significantly. Conservatives, centrists
and progressives are all devoted viewers of C-SPAN. One can only hope
Senator Biden exercises his patriotism and "support for the troops" to
extend them this invitation.
What say you, Senator Biden and the members of your committee? Will you invite the Winter Soldiers to be heard?
Below are the members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and
their phone numbers. Please call them. Ask them to hear the Winter
Soldiers. Our veterans deserve to be heard!!
U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-6225
Majority Phone: (Biden) (202) 224-4651
Minority Phone: (Lugar) (202) 224-6797
Senator Biden's Office
Phone: (202) 224-5042
Fax: (202) 224-0139
Christopher J. Dodd (202) 224-2823
John F. Kerry (202) 224-2742
(Especially you, Senator Kerry -- you testified before Senator
Fulbright in 1973. Will you extend the same opportunity to our heroes
Russell D. Feingold (202) 224-5323
Barbara Boxer (202) 224-3553
Bill Nelson (202) 224-5274
Barack Obama (202) 224-2854
Robert Menendez (202) 224-4744
Benjamin L. Cardin (202) 224-4524
Robert P. Casey Jr. (202) 224-6324
Jim Webb (202) 224-4024
Richard Lugar (202) 224-6441
Chuck Hagel (202) 224-4224
Norm Coleman (202) 224-5641
Bob Corker (202) 224-3344
George V. Voinovich (202) 224-3353
Lisa Murkowski (202) 224-6665
Jim DeMint (202) 224-6121
Johnny Isakson (202) 224-3643
David Vitter (202) 224-4623
John Barrasso (202) 224-6441
For those who haven't seen the Winter Soldier testimonials, you can
stream them directly from the Iraq Veterans Against the War website
(ivaw.org). This is much too powerful and important an event for
truth seeking patriots to miss!