Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Media is Controled by Mega-Corporations! (Part 2)


Washington Post, its new owner, and the CIA - joined at the hip
Jon Rappoport
Activist Post
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Norman Solomon, writing at Counterpunch, nails it down: building a version of the online Cloud that will run inside the CIA, for the CIA, has been awarded, as a $600 million contract, to Amazon Web Services.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, now owns the Washington Post.
$600 million creates a major conflict of interest, when it comes to reporting stories on the CIA. Of course, the Washington Post and other major media outlets are already compromised, when it comes to national security issues and the intelligence community. Stories are vetted by CIA, NSA, and other agencies, before they’re published.
But this one is a cherry on the cake. A big fat $600 million cherry.
Reporters at the Post will be extra-cautious about their pieces on the CIA. Ditto for editors.
Independent press? That’s a laugh.
WaPo is long known as an outlet that prints what amounts to CIA spin. So their new owner and his ties to the CIA are just part of “business as usual.”
According to a 2012 Seattle Times article, people who know Bezos describe him as a libertarian. The definition of that term must have undergone a sea-change. Taking $600 million to design online services for the CIA, a clandestine agency whose federal budget expenditures are a secret, an agency known for overthrowing governments abroad…this is an illustration of libertarian philosophy at work?
Maybe we should go back and read Plato’s Republic and Marx’s Das Kapital. They could turn out to be libertarian masterpieces.
Jon Rappoport is the author of two explosive collections,
The Matrix Revealed and Exit From the Matrix, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at

Also See:

The Washington Post and Amazon are “Doing Business with the CIA”
By Norman Solomon
Global Research, December 18, 2013
Url of this article:
News media should illuminate conflicts of interest, not embody them. But the owner of the Washington Post is now doing big business with the Central Intelligence Agency, while readers of the newspaper’s CIA coverage are left in the dark.
The Post’s new owner, Jeff Bezos, is the founder and CEO of Amazon — which recently landed a $600 million contract with the CIA. But the Post’s articles about the CIA are not disclosing that the newspaper’s sole owner is the main owner of CIA business partner Amazon.
Even for a multi-billionaire like Bezos, a $600 million contract is a big deal. That’s more than twice as much as Bezos paid to buy the Post four months ago.
And there’s likely to be plenty more where that CIA largesse came from. Amazon’s offer wasn’t the low bid, but it won the CIA contract anyway by offering advanced high-tech “cloud” infrastructure.
Bezos personally and publicly touts Amazon Web Services, and it’s evident that Amazon will be seeking more CIA contracts. Last month, Amazon issued a statement saying, “We look forward to a successful relationship with the CIA.”
As Amazon’s majority owner and the Post’s only owner, Bezos stands to gain a lot more if his newspaper does less ruffling and more soothing of CIA feathers.
Amazon has a bad history of currying favor with the U.S. government’s “national security” establishment. The media watch group FAIR pointed out what happened after WikiLeaks published State Department cables: “WikiLeaks was booted from Amazon’s webhosting service AWS. So at the height of public interest in what WikiLeaks was publishing, readers were unable to access the WikiLeaks website.”
How’s that for a commitment to the public’s right to know?
Days ago, my colleagues at launched a petition that says: “The Washington Post’s coverage of the CIA should include full disclosure that the sole owner of the Post is also the main owner of Amazon — and Amazon is now gaining huge profits directly from the CIA.” More than 15,000 people have signed the petition so far this week, with many posting comments that underscore widespread belief in journalistic principles.
While the Post functions as a powerhouse media outlet in the Nation’s Capital, it’s also a national and global entity — read every day by millions of people who never hold its newsprint edition in their hands. Hundreds of daily papers reprint the Post’s news articles and opinion pieces, while online readership spans the world.
Propaganda largely depends on patterns of omission and repetition. If, in its coverage of the CIA, the Washington Post were willing to fully disclose the financial ties that bind its owner to the CIA, such candor would shed some light on how top-down power actually works in our society.
“The Post is unquestionably the political paper of record in the United States, and how it covers governance sets the agenda for the balance of the news media,” journalism scholar Robert W. McChesney points out. “Citizens need to know about this conflict of interest in the columns of the Post itself.”
In a statement just released by the Institute for Public Accuracy, McChesney added: “If some official enemy of the United States had a comparable situation — say the owner of the dominant newspaper in Caracas was getting $600 million in secretive contracts from the Maduro government — the Post itself would lead the howling chorus impaling that newspaper and that government for making a mockery of a free press. It is time for the Post to take a dose of its own medicine.”
From the Institute, we also contacted other media and intelligence analysts to ask for assessments; their comments are unlikely to ever appear in the Washington Post.
“What emerges now is what, in intelligence parlance, is called an ‘agent of influence’ owning the Post – with a huge financial interest in playing nice with the CIA,” said former CIA official Ray McGovern. “In other words, two main players nourishing the national security state in undisguised collaboration.”
A former reporter for the Washington Post and many other news organizations, John Hanrahan, said: “It’s all so basic. Readers of the Washington Post, which reports frequently on the CIA, are entitled to know — and to be reminded on a regular basis in stories and editorials in the newspaper and online — that the Post’s new owner Jeff Bezos stands to benefit substantially from Amazon’s $600 million contract with the CIA. Even with such disclosure, the public should not feel assured they are getting tough-minded reporting on the CIA. One thing is certain: Post reporters and editors are aware that Bezos, as majority owner of Amazon, has a financial stake in maintaining good relations with the CIA — and this sends a clear message to even the hardest-nosed journalist that making the CIA look bad might not be a good career move.”
The rich and powerful blow hard against the flame of truly independent journalism. If we want the lantern carried high, we’re going to have to do it ourselves.
Norman Solomon is co-founder of and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” Information about the documentary based on the book is at
Copyright © 2013 Global Research
10 Corporations Control Nearly Everything You Buy – 6 Media Corporations Control Nearly Everything You Read or Watch
November 3, 2013
PolicyMic has a very interesting chart that shows how 10 Corporations Control Almost Everything You Buy.
The chart was posted on Reddit as illusion of choice. I could not locate the original source.
PolicyMic explains …
Ten mega corporations control the output of almost everything you buy; from household products to batteries.
These corporations create the chain of supplies that flow from one another. Each chain begins at one of the 10 super companies.
Here’s just one example: Yum Brands owns KFC and Taco Bell. The company was a spin-off of Pepsi. All Yum Brands restaurants sell only Pepsi products because of a lifetime deal with the soda-maker.
$84 billion company Proctor & Gamble owns companies that produce everything from detergent to toothpaste. Unilever produces everything from Dove soap to Klondike bars.
It’s not just the products you buy and consume, either. In recent decades, the very news and information that you get has bundled together: 90% of the media is now controlled by just six companies, down from 50 in 1983, according to a Frugal Dad infographic from last year.
It gets even more macro, too: 37 banks have merged to become just four — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and CitiGroup in a little over two decades, according to this Federal Reserve map.
The nation’s 10 largest financial institutions hold 54% of our total financial assets; in 1990, they held 20%. As MotherJones reports, the number of banks has dropped from more than 12,500 to about 8,000.

Media Consolidation


Everything You Think, Read, or Say
I always try to find a link to the original source, but none of the links to a Frugal Dad article work.
Regardless anything you read, watch, or buy is in the hands of fewer and fewer companies. The same applies to banks.
This is another reason we need an independent news network. One is actually in the works, started by Jeremy Scahill, National Security Correspondent for The Nation magazine, and Glenn Greenwald who broke the NSA spy story.
Question of the Day
How long will it be, before everything to think read or say is in the pill you took today?


Don't Let Them Censor the Internet
November 29, 2011
The Senate will soon vote on a bill that would let big corporations censor websites at will.

The bill — the Protect IP Act, or PIPA (S. 968) — is intended to stop online copyright piracy (just like SOPA, its cousin in the House). But PIPA’s authority is so broad it would give corporations unprecedented power to abuse our Internet freedoms.

In the last month, more than one million people have told Congress to reject PIPA and SOPA. Because our response has been so strong, Hollywood, the recording industry and other supporters of this legislation are on the ropes.

But we need to keep pushing. So Free Press is joining more than a dozen organizations in a national call-in day to stop PIPA — a bill that would introduce widespread online censorship, threaten the very existence of thousands of websites and businesses, and even put people in prison for accessing certain content online.

Our senators must respond to the massive public outcry. The consequences for passing such a bill are too dangerous to comprehend. Please call your senators now and tell them to stop PIPA.

Iran, Meet Kafka: The Web of Internet Censorship Catches All
Hamid Farokhnia writes for Tehran Bureau:
Sunday, May 9, 2010
In 2008, the Iranian government boasted of censoring five million Internet sites deemed potentially improper or immoral. The number of restricted sites has skyrocketed since the birth of the democratic movement in 2009. With more than 24 million Internet users by official count, a figure that grew 49 percent in the past year, Iran is second after Israel in the Middle East, making cyberspace a major target of censorship for the Islamic Republic.

Cyber censorship has been so pervasive and indiscriminate that even the regime's supporters have not been immune. Recently, several well-known hardline weblogs were caught in the censor's dragnet, prompting righteous howls of indignation from contributors and readers alike. In a bizarre twist, Mehdi Sarami, the man nominally in charge of "Internet filtering," admits he is largely powerless to ensure that pro-government sites do not continue to run into censorship trouble.
On April 9, the far right website Raja News broke the news of how several hardline blogs had been mysteriously blocked by orders from the government. The site's bewildered correspondent interviewed some of the affected bloggers, who seemed equally flummoxed. Omid Hosseini, whose weblog
Ahestan was a top winner in the Revolutionary Guards-sponsored extravaganza "Eight Months of Cyber War" last year, speculated that perhaps his unique style of reporting had incurred the displeasure of the censors. "I don't know on what basis the 'filtering committee' is operating every night and day of the week," he complained.
Ahestan wasn't alone in this predicament. According to Raja News, the other victims included such stalwarts of the right as Esmail News, Madreseyema, and Khateratjebhe. The article implied that several less prominent rightist blogs and other sites had also been blocked quietly in recent months.
Raja News tried to get to the bottom of the mystery by interviewing Mehdi Sarami, the official in charge of Internet censorship. Sarami, a 30-year-old electrical engineer from Sharif University, is a full-time representative of the Guidance Ministry on the Cyber Crimes Committee, a sort of high command for Iran's censors. In the interview, Sarami deplored the closure of the rightist blogs and shifted the blame to other agencies. "We don't close down any blogs," he said. "We only sent our findings to the public prosecutor and they are the ones who decide what to do about various sites."
Sarami also revealed that many privately owned ISPs routinely engaged in censorship of their own. "The ISPs must be pressured to remove their parallel filtering. The mechanisms which have been improperly used by them must be eliminated once and for all -- unless of course, they are used on direct orders of the judiciary."
Asked why his office often expressed ignorance of the blocking of certain sites, Sarami explained that a judge can directly order a block in response to private complaints. "That judge is normally obligated to inform our task force of his decision," he said, implying that this communication does not always happen.
The Raja News reporter asked why the opening page that pops up in lieu of a blocked site looks different at times from the official blockpage. Sarami explained that it was likely due to the "parallel filtering" practiced by some of the country's unruly ISPs. He said that the procedure evidenced by such pages was illegal and needed to be addressed by the Internet regulatory agency.
Sarami gave a second interview two days later, this time to the influential Talabeblog, a portal for young clerics and seminarians. He elaborated on the issues he had already addressed and offered new revelations -- while providing further insight into the workings of a censor's mind.
He first differentiated between "filtering" (or "blocking") and "shutting down." The former, we learn, is what has taken place when the official pop-up page of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance appears on your computer screen. When the latter occurs, nothing appears in place of the site -- supposedly a stronger form of punishment. He referred Talabeblog readers to, where the full list of 50 Internet offenses are listed for users' edification.
The interviewer wondered why it was that young, politically correct Muslims should suffer the same punishment supposedly reserved for counterrevolutionaries. Sarami responded with an analogy: sometimes, just one or two burglaries in a neighborhood over an entire year will prompt residents to call for round-the-clock policing. He went so far as to discourage extensive blogging by young hardliners. As an alternative, he pointed out, "There are useful social networks that people can refer to available on the site."
It was important to use the recommended mofidnet sites, Sarami said, because "the U.S. government had arrogated itself the right to pry into other communication systems. The U.S. State Department "disseminates software that enables it to monitor the private data and information of users," he said, adding that "Gmail has a secret agreement with the U.S. government" for this purpose.

He described the Iranian censorship situation in general as comparing favorably with that in the United States and other countries. "We are witness to a more pervasive form of filtering in the United States. Over there, every single Internet user and the way they operate is closely monitored. The moment they use an illegal site or email to that site, there is a criminal investigation opened against that person. It is a sort of eavesdropping.... It is called the Patriot Act." He continued, "Friends who are studying abroad tell me that they can not email certain kinds of information, that there is a reign of fear there."
Finally, Sarami addressed the question of whether there is an unaccountable "shadowy group" behind the filtering system and if anything could be done to rectify the situation. Describing the higher public profile of the committee on which he sits, he replied, "Perhaps until about six months ago that might have been the case, but our lines of communication have grown dramatically since then.... It may interest you to know that much of the filtering was effectively done by the people themselves, through complaints they lodged against these sites which were then directed to our task force for investigation."
Filtering Galore
It is clear that outside the authorized filtering system, there is a good deal of parallel filtering going on by commercial ISPs in Iran. But rather than a sign of rogue behavior by private firms, this activity is the inevitable consequence of draconian laws that hold ISPs accountable for their clients' content.
In December 2001, the inter-agency Committee in Charge of Determining Unauthorized Sites (CCDUS) was set up under directives of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution. It was tasked with drawing up criteria for the official blocking of websites, previously left to the discretion of the individual censors. The new committee was made up of representatives from the ministries of Intelligence, Guidance, and Communications, as well as the judiciary. The Ministry of Communications was assigned to develop or obtain the most advanced filtering devices in the world. Ultimately, SmartFilter, a product developed by the American firm Secure Computer, was
procured. In November 2006, proposed regulations governing censorship and punishment for web content violation were submitted to the Majles. The conservative-controlled parliament quickly voted them into law.Under the regulations, a significant legal burden was placed on Internet data carriers. Commercial ISPs were now subject to fines and dissolution should their clients be caught breaking the newly restrictive censorship laws. And it was clear that the government took the matter seriously. Not long before the new Cyber Crimes Bill was implemented, a group of 21 bloggers had been arrested and charged with national security offenses ranging from undermining of the state to fomenting social strife to criticizing the Supreme Leader.
One of them, Yaghoob Mehrnahad, was executed for alleged ties with the Baluch armed group Jondollah. In November 2005, several IPSs in the city of Karaj were permanently closed down by the local Cyber Crimes Unit involving the public prosecutor, the Communications Ministry, West Tehran Intelligence, the Naja, and the Basij.
A year and a half ago, Enhanced Punishment of the Disrupters of Psychological Security, a bill orchestrated by the Revolutionary Guards and brought to the floor of the Majles by hardline representatives, was approved. It stipulates the death penalty for advocating "corruption, prostitution, and apostasy" on the Internet, placing such activity on a par with smuggling, kidnapping, armed robbery, and the like. This law has made Iran the world's leading violator of cyber rights. Small wonder that commercial ISPs routinely engage in ad hoc censorship.
A few days after Raja News ran the story of the hardline website blockages, it provided the basis for an expose that appeared on
BBC Persian. In a perfectly ironic act of self-censorship, mirroring the tortuousness of Iran's electronic highways, Raja News responded by taking down its own article.
Also See:
The Media is Controled by Mega-Corporations!
(Part 1)
31 July 2013
Manchurian Candidate - Is It for Real?
20 September 2011
Social Engineering - Really?
28 May 2011
Are You a Victim of Mind Control? (Part 1)
21 September 2007
(Part 2)
03 June 2013
What Really Happened at the Boston Marathon?
22 April 2013
Silenced by Execution, FBI Responsible!
31 May 2013
What's Not Being Told About Newtown, Sandy Hook Elementary School?
(Part 1)
19 December 2012
(Part 2)