Friday 7th of October 2022

the new news….

There aren’t a lot of journalists that Americans can look up to these days, especially in the mainstream media. Edward R. Murrow and his “boys” are long gone. Americans don’t have a Walter Cronkite to set their minds at ease. Even the venerable 60 Minutes has had a carousel of unremarkable talking heads since the retirements of Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, and Harry Reasoner.

Instead, many (most, maybe?) Americans get their news from “news” channels that fall under the auspices of their networks’ entertainment divisions. They get their news from the likes of Ken Dilanian, the NBC News and MSNBC intelligence journalist who in 2014 was exposed sending his stories to the C.I.A. for comment and clearance before he sent them to his own editor. (In one email exchange, a new C.I.A. public affairs flack wrote, “I am looking forward to working with you, Ken!” Dilanian replied, “Hooray! Glad to have you guys.”


BY John Kiriakou


That’s what makes a new book by Nat Parry so welcome. American Dispatches: A Robert Parry Reader, is a compendium of the most impactful and important pieces of investigative journalism published by Nat Parry’s father Robert, the eminent reporter from the Associated Press, Newsweek, and PBS, and the founder of Consortium News.

Robert Parry is best known for breaking the news that the C.I.A. had provided the Contra rebels in Nicaragua with a copy of their notorious “assassination manual” and that the C.I.A. was helping the Contras send shipments of cocaine to the United States and then using the profits to buy weapons. Parry was a winner of the George Polk Award for his Contra stories, the I. F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence, and the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. He was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

One of the things that made Bob Parry so successful as an investigative journalist was the fact that he spent so much time and energy cultivating sources. Unlike the Ken Dilanians of the world, he didn’t just write to or call the C.I.A.’s Office of Public Affairs and then get a C.I.A. press release. He sought out sources, established relationships with them, and then reported the truths that they provided him.


American Dispatches reminds us that he was one of the first journalists to report that the C.I.A. was surreptitiously opening the mail of American citizens. That was without a warrant or any legal authority whatsoever, of course. Parry reported the story at the ripe old age of 26.

[Listen to Nat Parry’s interview about the book with The Intercept.]

American Dispatches is like a walk through modern American history with a tour guide who really knows what he’s talking about, who cares about getting the history right, and who knows that his real role is that of a teacher. For nearly 700 pages, the reader gets a fresh, fact-based, unbiased, and apolitical view of what was happening as some of the most important events in modern history unfolded. Divided into four parts, it examines in depth issues as eclectic as busing, organized crime, drugs, politics, and the role of the media.

But for those readers who consider themselves students of the history of the C.I.A., there is a lot here. The book covers virtually the entire history of the C.I.A. from the time of the Church Committee through the September 11 attacks, and the illegal torture, secret prisons, and rendition programs. Parry pulled no punches in his work.

There is coverage of the C.I.A. and Iran, the C.I.A. and the mujahadeen, the C.I.A. and drugs, the C.I.A. and the Contras, and the C.I.A. and Iraq. He writes about every C.I.A. leader over the course of nearly two generations, the mistakes they made, the promises they failed to keep, and the crimes they committed in the name of the Americans they were supposed to be working for.

I sat down to skim this book and I finally put it down two days later having read it in its entirety. Dozens of the people Parry wrote about were former bosses or colleagues of mine at the C.I.A.. Some had been friends. In every single case, Parry got to the core of who they were. For the most part, they were people who considered themselves to be patriots. But they were also sociopaths who couldn’t see the line between serving their country and committing crimes against humanity.

American Dispatches reminds me very much of The Untold History of the United States, a work of truth, even if that truth is uncomfortable and is not the way we’d like to remember it. I hope that in the coming months it finds its way into college political science classrooms across America.

John Kiriakou is a former C.I.A. counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act—a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration’s torture program.





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the news in brief…….







Edith Horsley





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where are the European intellectuals?…...


“What we hear in our media is propaganda, it is not real”

A one-time advocate of the economic “shock strategy” accuses the West of lying in the Ukraine conflict


ts. He is an award-winning US economist. Director of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network, as well as Director of the Earth Institute at the prestigious Columbia University in New York City, and a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences since 2021. Jeffrey David Sachs, born in 1954, also a professor at Harvard University’s economics department from 1983, a consultant to the IMF, World Bank, OECD, WTO, and UNDP, is deeply concerned about the current global situation. He, who had earned a dubious reputation as a radical liberaliser. From 1985 in Bolivia, from 1989 in Poland, from 1991 in Russia. Wikipedia states, “In 1989, Yugoslavia negotiated with the IMF the so-called ‘Marković-Sachs program,’ which came about only at the IMF’s insistence. Within a few months, a radical import liberalisation was undertaken in 1989/90, which caused 2435 companies with a total of 1.3 million employees to go bankrupt by the end of 1990. Yugoslavia’s gross national product fell by 7.5 percent in 1990 and by 15 percent in 1991.” Joseph E Stiglitz concludes that the shock therapy-style policy of rapid privatisation he recommended contributed to the rapid economic collapse of the Eastern bloc.

Nowadays, however, according to Wikipedia, Sachs is “committed to extensive debt relief for extremely poor countries and to fighting diseases, especially HIV/AIDS in developing countries. He criticises the WTO and the IMF because the donors of these organisations are unwilling to provide effective aid to the extremely poor. He accuses the U.S. government of being unwilling to allocate 0.7% of gross national product to development aid.”

As for the war in Ukraine, Sach’s statement is unequivocal. In an interview on May 13th, 2022, titled “Jeffrey Sachs on Ending the Russia-Ukraine War”, he states that he is virtually constantly traveling around the world and talking to leaders everywhere: “What we hear in our media is propaganda, it’s not real. We should be negotiating. Actually, Biden refused to negotiate with Putin.” Sachs who has been involved in this issue since the 1990s, points out that at the time Gorbachev had been promised that NATO would not be expanded eastward. Putin has repeatedly referred to this, he says. Sachs: “We are liars, I’m sorry to put it that way, we cheated.” The Minsk agreements were signed, but “when Putin says

what about the Minsk agreements, he is shouted down or ignored (...) I can only tell you how many emails I’m gonna get from Ukrainian Canadians, from Ukrainian Americans, Sax, are you crazy, what are you saying, but the truth is, diplomacy is crucial if you’re going to avoid wars.”

“At its core it is about exceptionalism”

Sachs had already expressed fundamental views on US foreign policy in 2018. In a lecture titled “The End of American Exceptionalism”, he does not mince words about what current US policy is doing, not only in domestic policy but also in foreign policy: “We are at a cross-roads. In 1941, Henry Luz declared the American century. In 1992, when the Soviet Union collapsed, we were the colossus, the New Rome, the sole superpower of the world. And I’m arguing it was a lot of illusion. The idea that there is a one power that bestrides the world, especially one country with 4.4% of the world’s population presuming to lead the world, to be the superpower, is very naive and very dangerous in my view. It’s in central terms, it is this word exceptionalism which has been repeated throughout American history, that we are the exceptional country. That at this point I think makes us a danger to ourselves. We have ended up so vastly overextended. Military bases in more than 70 countries around the world, more than 700 bases around the world. Wars that are dragging on endlessly. From Afghanistan, violence throughout the Middle East, Libya, all our drone and covert operations in Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere. We are a danger to ourselves now by taking this idea of exceptionalism in such an anachronistic way when it no longer applies.” He states that his criticism is aimed at the established US foreign policy, which has been ongoing for decades. “It has become more and more un- real and out of kilter because the share of the world economy or global finance or technology that America dominates, let’s say, has diminished over time. We once were the economic colossus at the end of World War II. We were the ones standing that had not been attacked on home territory, except for one day, Pearl Harbour, and we were a military, technological, and financial powerhouse, of course. But over time, other countries, other regions, have developed. Of course China is the most remarkable case of economic development the world has ever seen. 1.4 billion people coming out of poverty in a 40-year period. And the reality of where we are today in the in the US and where we term ourselves as still the indispensable country [and the belief in] American primacy in every region of the world.”

What had Kishore Mahbubani, one of the hundred most influential contemporary intellectuals, according to Newsweek, said long ago? Western supremacy has come to an end. It has been an aberration of history. The overwhelming majority of people on this planet are not Western and finally want to be taken seriously. If Jeffrey Sachs’ statement contributes to this, much will already be gained. 


But where are the voices of the European intellectuals?








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pelosi, the wrinkled trouble-maker….


China has reportedly raised the stakes in its row with Washington over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned trip to Taiwan, saying it may respond militarily if the California Democrat goes through with the visit.


The latest warnings were privately issued to members of President Joe Biden’s administration, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing six unidentified people familiar with the matter. The statement was significantly stronger than the warnings that Chinese officials have given in the past over controversial US actions or policy decisions related to Taiwan.


Pelosi is reportedly scheduled to visit Taipei next month, in what would be the first trip by a House speaker to the breakaway republic since 1997. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said last Tuesday that Pelosi’s trip would have a “grave impact” on US-China ties. “If the US were to insist on going down the wrong path, China will take resolute and strong measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. All the ensuing consequences shall be borne by the US side.”