A journalist is arrested, convicted by a kangaroo court, and imprisoned because he reports stories embarrassing to the government under which he lives. After a great public outcry, the President of the country is preparing to pardon him when he receives a telephone call from the leader of a foreign country. That leader, also shamed by the journalist’s reporting, asks him to keep the man behind bars. The President complies; and an innocent man remains incarcerated for the crime of telling the truth.
A U.S. Army staff sergeant is in military custody following a gruesome shooting spree in rural villages of Afghanistan Sunday that killed at least 16 civilians, nine of them children. The suspect is believed to have carried out the shootings alone before surrendering to military authorities, the New York Times reported. "The initial reporting that we have at this time indicates there was one shooter, and we have one man in custody," said Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, a NATO spokesman.
Syria's civil war and its brutal treatment of dissidents have been prime topics in the mainstream media for months, provoking some U.S. officials to demand a "new policy" with the country. Last week Arizona's Senator John McCain even called for the United States to begin bombing Syria.
According to the official version of events promulgated by the Obama administration, after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden, his body was flown to Afghanistan for identification and then buried in the Arabian Sea about 12 hours after his death, supposedly in keeping with Islamic ritual. However, internal e-mails from intelligence service Stratfor, obtained by the hacker group Anonymous and posted to the Internet by WikiLeaks, cast doubt on that story.
As the conflict over U.S. government-funded interference in Egyptian politics appeared to be easing slightly — travel bans on American “pro-democracy” activists charged with various crimes were just lifted — analysts and officials suggested U.S. taxpayer aid to the dubious regime in Cairo would likely continue to flow.
At the start of his February 22 press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney offered a tribute to deceased reporters Marie Colvin, Remi Ochlik, and Anthony Shadid, all of whom had given their lives, he said, “in order to bring the truth about what’s happening in a country like Syria to those of us at home and in countries around the world.”--
Three of the four remaining candidates for the Republican presidential nomination have spoken out against planned reductions in future defense spending. Both former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have urged President Barack Obama to prevent the sequestering of $600 billion from the defense budget over the next 10 years as required by last summer’s debt ceiling deal. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum stated categorically that he “would absolutely not cut one penny out of military spending.”
Late in 2011, U.S. funding for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was cut off because the agency had conferred legitimacy on Palestine as a nation. Two U.S. laws, one passed in 1990 and another in 1994, mandated that such funding could not be directed to UNESCO or to any UN agency that recognized statehood for the region controlled by the Palestine Liberation Organization. This action delivered a heavy blow to the UN agency that receives 22 percent of its budget from the United States. But the Obama administration has stated its intention to have America's taxpayers again be forced to pay tens of millions each year to the organization.
Once again, a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act is being cited by Washington as justification for a new policy position.