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 received the knowledge they need to motivate 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 others.
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
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