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Old 12-19-2001, 10:03 AM   #1
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Kissinger on FOX News... shockingly, no arrests were made.

Flipping through the morning news shows, I noticed that the FOX News Channel's morning show "FOX and Friends" had an extended interview with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. From what I saw, they did not arrest Kissinger for his apparent war crimes that many here believe he is guilty of.

I missed the first part of the extended interview, but I gather that they didn't even accuse him of war crimes; it seems that the subject never came up.

Now, granted this *was* FOX News, and we all know that network is ultra-conservative (well, ultra-conservative compared to other news agencies, middle-of-the-road compared to the rest of the nation; seriously, would a conservative network hire Geraldo?), but I've never heard ANYONE in the U.S. Government or the mainstream press level the charge of "war criminal" against Kissinger.

I've heard the accusation from LITERALLY no one in the mainstream press, including such slanted and opposing publications as National Review and the New Republic. The former had a lot to say about Clinton, Filegate, Whitewater, etc.; the latter about Reagan and Iran-Contra. The fact that, as far as I know, NEITHER of them revile Kissinger as a war criminal, mass murderer, and serial killer is telling.

(And I'm not counting "mediachannel.org" as mainstream press. Why? Because I've NEVER heard of them.)

Why has the media been so silent?

Are they unaware of the events? It certainly doesn't seem so. They report the events; they just don't go insane with indignation as a result.

Is it some vast conspiracy? Probably not. The press has certainly seemed more than capable of bringing down corruption (see also: Watergate), criticize horrible military decisions (MacNamara), and criticize members of the government for something as minor as divorce (Gingrich).

Hell, Kissinger was NIXON's Secretary of State, and the press still has nothing but respect for the man.

(And I'd like to note that those who believe in a vast conspiracy to explain the press's liberal slant subscribe to a much more plausible theory than one that has a mostly liberal press uniformly protecting a conservative former Secretary of State; and those guys are still laughed off the arena of ideas - and rightly so.)

Oh, and we have among the most free press in the world, one in which alternative news sources (namely, those that have the circulation and credibility of a guy handing out flyers outside the local Starbucks) can accuse a former high-ranking government official of acts similar to the worst acts of the Third Reich. That alone is a great indication that our press' hands aren't tied.

So, why has the press missed this boat?

Well... while there are moments Occam's Razor falls apart (particularly the argument that there is no God because there is no definitive proof of God), I think it can apply as a guideline - as a rule of thumb - when it comes to human behavior.

Occam's Razor says that the simplest explanation is typically the most accurate. By that theory, the most likely explanation for the press' inaction is this:

The press ignores the story because there is no story.

Though I'm still astounded by the fact, there are those who say they believe that Ronald Reagan created the HIV virus to kill inner-city blacks. A serious accusation to be sure, but one that has gotten no traction whatsoever, mostly because it is simply not based in any kind of reality.

I believe that the Kissinger war crimes story is in the same category of "shocking, but bulls**t." At the very least, while we should look at the press and everything else with a critical eye, we also need to temper a tendency some have to believe the worst with an overriding sense of reason.

It's silly to think of this country and its leaders as perfect, but thinking of this country as purely corrupt is at least as misguided. Either way, it may be a bit much to use superlatives of any form, but "greatest" and "worst" isn't as bad as "perfect" and "perfectly corrupt". After all, SOME countries must be in the running for "greatest on Earth" and SOME must be contenders for worst.

And I think any reasonable analysis of the state of the world indicates that the U.S. is either the greatest nation on Earth, or near to it. It takes a deluded mind to count it among the worst.

Seriously, I think some in this forum will believe absolutely ANYTHING if it conforms to their view of the United States, a view that sees the nation as at LEAST as bad as Iraq, Soviet Russia, and Nazi Germany.

I think those who seriously compare the U.S. Government to Hitler's regime are horribly misguided or mentally demaged.
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Old 12-19-2001, 10:59 AM   #2
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I posted this on the other thread, you can find the link there. Sufficient to say, it does find its way to the media, but definitely not pervasively.

And judging by the fact that three separate countries are involved in some type of investigation related to him, I wouldn't exactly call this a "non story."

Quote:
Where does one begin with Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, and serial killer extraordinaire? Let's list just a few of the things he did while in charge of U.S. foreign policy:
He ordered the Christmas bombing of Hanoi that killed over 2,000 civilians and flattened Bach Mai hospital.

He organized the secret bombing of Laos and Cambodia that killed almost a million civilians, and resulted in the reign of Pol Pot, who killed another million.

He facilitated the Phoenix program which systematically murdered at least 70,000 civilians from June 1967 through 1970. In 1970, a U.S. Congressional study found that the program "appears to have violated the 1949 Geneva Convention for the protection of civilians."

He aided Operation Condor, where the military dictatorships of Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, and Ecuador assassinated, tortured and murdered political opponents throughout South America. Kissinger was chair of the Interagency Committee on Chile at the time when Condor operatives arrested and murdered American Charles Horman in Chile. State Department documents released in 1999 indicate that the U.S. fingered Horman.

He endorsed Indonesia's 1975 genocidal invasion of East Timor. The day before the attack, Kissinger, then Secretary of State, was in Jakarta telling the press that the "U.S. understands Indonesia's position on the question" of East Timor. The takeover killed 600,000 Timorese.

While a certain numbness creeps into your soul when you start totting up Kissinger's crimes, those abominations should hardly paralyze the wheel of law. Three countries are already after the man. In May, French magistrate Roger Le Loire subpoenaed Kissinger to testify about the murder of five French civilians by Operation Condor. Kissinger fled Paris the next day. Then in June, Argentine judge Rodolf Canacoba Corral issued Kissinger a summons to answer for the disappearance of its citizens. Chilean judge Juan Guzman Tapia is also seeking to question Kissinger concerning the murder of Charles Horman.

[This message has been edited by anitram (edited 12-19-2001).]
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Old 12-19-2001, 12:07 PM   #3
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It is naive to think that just because the mainstream media does not cover a story, it is a non-story. The mainstream media has its own interests which are business interests. Mr. Kissinger is a large part of that. If you want detailed evidence of his crimes read Hitchen's "The Trial of Henry Kissinger."
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Old 12-19-2001, 12:59 PM   #4
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In terms of understanding why some issues are covered extensively by the media and why some aren't, the best source I can think of is "Manufacturing Consent" (1984) by Noam Chomsky.
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Old 12-19-2001, 01:41 PM   #5
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anitram:

I looked at the original thread again to find the source of the story.

First of all, thank you for linking it to the forum.

The article is the work of one Conn Hallinan, a UC Santa Cruz lecturer writing an op-ed piece for the San Francisco Examiner.

A couple criticisms can be made about the source.

In general, college professors, lecturers, etc. do not necessarily make well informed, cohesive opions. Case in point: the infamous Leonard Jeffries of City College of New York, an underqualified former head of the Black Studies Department whose theories ammounted to little more than paranoia and hate speech, including anti-Semitism.

It does go too far to say "one professor is a nut, ergo all professors' opinions are invalid", but it still needed to be said that a university paycheck is not nearly enough evidence that the writer has a grip on reality.

Specifically, Conn Hallinan (who has since become a bi-weekly writer for the SF Examiner) is no Bill Buckley or Andrew Sullivan. From what I gather, he's provost of Krege College, a subdivision of UCSC. Apointed this past http://www.ucsc.edu/currents/00-01/0...ents.html]June , he recieved his Ph.D. in anthropology from UC Berkeley in 1975.

To many of us on the right, attending UC Berkeley is enough to raise an eyebrow, but there's more than enough concrete evidence to convince me that Hallinan is an extreme leftist. In a more recent article, he made the following points:

* Our war on terror is now a "forever war." While many critics suggested early on that the war in Afghanistan would be "another Vietnam", most dropped the idea once it became clear that ours is a military not to be underestimated. (He's holding on to the argument as late as December 14th.) Either way, few have suggested that we are ALREADY in a war we can't escape.

* He agrees with former CIA chief of counterterrorism and National Security Council director of intelligence Vincent Cannistaro that there is no evidence that Iraq is making biological weapons, targeting Americans, or "has collaborated with the terrorist groups that have been killing us."

Cannistaro and Hallinan are niave beyond words if they believe that. Beyond their blindness to the obvious, searches through Yahoo, Mamma.com, and Vivisimo.com generate NO information about Cannistaro (besides Hallinan's article), and if you search the CIA and the Nat'l Security Council's websites for his name, you'll find NOTHING. It begs the question, does this Cannistaro even exist?

* He accuses the administration of being run by a "right-wing cabal" that is essentially a rebirth of a Reagan-era committee that helped increase the military budget (God forbid!) and thus helped cause the "massive budget deficits" (naturally). He then suggested that these people "passionately want to spread the war to Iraq and beyond", implicitly the result of American imperialism, not any efforts to defend American lives.

* He finally suggested that this war is "planting dragon's teeth", the old argument that we will so piss off the locals that they'll become new terrorists - contrary to the evidence of Afghan celebrations and shavings.

He's a deluded man who's stuck in the tired theory that the war will last forever, who ignores the evidence that we're winning the war and the Afghans don't mind, and who slings the same old mud that military spending is bad and causes deficits (and that, apparently, social programs contribute nothing to the national debt). He's a UC Berkeley graduate who thinks the Bush Administration is more dangerous and less trustworthy than the Hussein dictatorship.

Above all that, he writes for the SF Examiner, a newspaper that plays second-fiddle to the much larger, much more respected San Francisco Chronicle.

And even accepting at face value the article you posted, there's still a long way to go to get to "war criminal":

Even assuming the op-ed is factual, you still have three countries wanting to merely question him in someone else's cases. Kissinger has not been indicted on anything, and it's a mile-long stretch to say that Kissinger's avoiding the questions because he's another Goebbels (when he could just as easily be avoiding the questions to keep people who worked with him out of prison or to save political face).

At the very least, there *may* be mainstream writers tackling this subject. The SF Examiner article isn't evidence. And, there *may* be evidence leading to the conclusion that Kissinger is what you say he is, but three nations wanting to question him isn't it.

radiodivision:

I looked up the book on Amazon.com and looked up information about the author, Hitchens. Hitchens is a columnist for The Nation, a leftist magazine much like the New Republic. I applaud you for finding such a writer in the (more-or-less) mainstream press.

I think the fact that a writer of a relatively large magazine can suggest, in both the magazine and a book, that Kissinger is a war criminal shows that "media coverup" may not be the reason FOX and NBC are not covering this.

The press picked up on American Spectator's damning articles about Clinton and the Arkansas State Troopers, a story that they didn't want to do but ultimately couldn't ignore. With the Kissinger story, you have a conservative doing something far worse than the Spectator ever suggested Clinton did. I would think, given how easily the press echoed the Democratic Congress' cries a few years back that the GOP wanted to starve children and kill old folks, given how voraciously they went after Reagan and Iran-Contra, that the press would run with this if they had ANY evidence with which to do so.

But they don't run with it. You're right in that it *could* indicate a conspiracy of interests, but I believe the burden of proof is on demonstrating such a consipracy.

Again, that there is no story is the simpler solution.

sv:

To be completely honest, I put very little creedence in Noam Chomsky, a man who essentially said that America got what it deserved September 11th, a man whose books include such titles as "The New Intifada: Resisting Israel's Apartheid".

I know quite a few people hate when labels are used, but I believe Chomsky is as anti-American as they come.

Evidence from someone a bit less biased would be much more credible.
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Old 12-19-2001, 02:17 PM   #6
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Achtung Bubba,

Well, for every report written by a "leftist" you can find one written by someone from the right. Even though you claim that it may be going to far to say "one professor is a nut, ergo all professors' opinions are invalid", you are basically discrediting people by just labeling them. Have you ever bothered to read any of their books and judge them based on the evidence? Do you depend on "right-thinking" writers only for your information? I hope not. Like Chomsky has always said, you don't have to take his word . He always encourages people to find out for themselves which is the reason why all of his books are full of citations with at least half of them coming from government sources.

Now getting back to Hitchens. Again, he may write for a "leftist" publication but he is actually a big supporter of the current US action. He and Chomsky recently had a big debate over this: http://www.zmag.org/replyhitch.htm
In any case, Hitchens presents declassified documents as evidence, not hearsay and speculation. Like I said, read it if you are truly interested and judge it based on the evidence.
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Old 12-19-2001, 04:04 PM   #7
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AchtungBubba, "Manufacturing Consent" is a very interesting discussion of how the way "news" is produced affects its content and emphasis. Whether or not you agree with Chomsky's political views, it's very worthwhile reading - and it does change one's perspective on the news in general.

Question: can one criticize America and not be anti-American? Do you sometimes criticize your loved ones (even harshly) without hating them?

Question: can a person be both correct and anti-American at the same time? Or are they mutually exclusive conditions?

As for Kissinger, we are not depending upon "left-wing" sources for the information that makes him guilty. It is common knowledge (reported all over the media, mainstream and otherwise) that Laos and Cambodia were bombed in the late 1960s, and that the vast majority of the Southeast Asian victims were civilians. And that Kissinger played a very important role in promoting the attacks. And that we were not defending U.S. civilians or territory during that war. What other evidence does one require to call him a criminal?
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Old 12-19-2001, 10:07 PM   #8
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There was an exmination of the charges brought against Kissinger by Chile on the episode of 60 Minutes that aired on September 9th. Quite persuasive.

Even the former U.S ambassador was saying that Kissinger was guilty.

[This message has been edited by DoctorGonzo (edited 12-19-2001).]
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Old 12-20-2001, 12:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by DoctorGonzo:
There was an exmination of the charges brought against Kissinger by Chile on the episode of 60 Minutes that aired on September 9th. Quite persuasive.

Even the former U.S ambassador was saying that Kissinger was guilty.

[This message has been edited by DoctorGonzo (edited 12-19-2001).]

There you go! How mainstream can you go!!!!
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Old 12-20-2001, 01:44 AM   #10
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Bubba, if you're going to disavow the opinions of liberals simply because they're liberals then we're at a stalemate. If you're trying to refute someone's opinion, simply calling them a liberal doesn't cut it. "So-and-so can't be right because he graduated from Berkeley!" is a pathetic argument.
Besides you seem like a pretty intelligent man; surely you concede that Fox News, MSNBC and CNN are more about entertainment than real news. That's why MSNBC hired Geraldo. That's why Fox News lured him away. It's why Fox and CNN got in a bidding war over Paula Zahn!! Paula Zahn for God's sake!

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Old 12-20-2001, 03:11 AM   #11
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Well, I would agree that the media is silent, because, really, there is no story. There has been no active push for his arrest and what he has done did occur decades ago. It is just like the Jon-Benet Ramsey murder. It's at a stalemate. Nothing has been solved. The Ramseys are still the top suspects, but there is no push to accuse them. So the news is silent.

No, I don't blame HIV on Reagan, most certainly. I find that just as revolting as blaming HIV on homosexuals. HIV is the end result of a decade of promiscuity, and everyone involved is responsible for that, not one person or definable group.

Kissinger, most certainly, isn't on the same level as the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany, mostly because his actions lie in that gray area between reprehensible and justifiable for "national interests." The reality, though, is that he is in the same boat as Pinochet, and he is locking himself inside America, as he was subpoenaed regarding Pinochet. He is a fugitive, although I don't think he is, at present, a threat to society. But neither was Slobodan Milosovic, who was, at the time of arrest, a deposed, powerless leader. However, there does come that idea of accountability, and the U.S. is harboring a wanted man. Whether he is guilty or not should be up to the courts, don't you think?

The media is not stupid either. If they pursued this, they would infuriate the government, who might try and retaliate at the legislative level. Plus, it really isn't pressing news. You may, someday, find a story on this on "60 Minutes" or a serious news magazine. Most news, however, seems to really border a supermarket tabloid--only interested in what is "action" news and the latest speculation, and less interested in hard journalism.

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Old 12-20-2001, 03:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
First of all, thank you for linking it to the forum.

The article is the work of one Conn Hallinan, a UC Santa Cruz lecturer writing an op-ed piece for the San Francisco Examiner.
You're welcome.

I'm not American, and therefore am not as familiar as you may be when it comes to which US paper is second fiddle to another and so on.

I don't know much about those publications, but I do know that the BBC is quite respectable, and they have, in fact, covered this story on more than one occasion. One example is this.

Maybe he's a war criminal, and maybe he isn't. But I don't think that you can discount everything that has been written about him in the last few decades simply because you don't see it on CNN. Couldn't it be that there is some truth to it, even if it isn't completely true?

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