Recent events demonstrate increasingly that Public Enemy Number One to our dying republic is none other than the mainstream news media—facilitators of the political crimes that hold our attention on any given day.
This past Monday, January 21, a German news website carried a piece about the world’s growing discomfort with our use of Predator Drones to kill suspected terrorists and anyone standing near them. The following facts are worth everyone’s notice:
- From June 2004 to September 2012, US intelligence launched 344 Drone strikes around the world. Fifty-two of these occurred during the Bush years: the remaining 292 received Barack Obama’s authorization.
- During this time in Pakistan alone, between, 2,562 and 3,325 people have been killed as a result of the strikes. Somewhere between 474 and 881 of these were civilians. (I might add that the German reporter’s figures from the Bureau for Investigative Journalism appear to me to accept at face value a very liberal method of distinguishing between civilians and combatants which labels as the latter anyone within a certain distance of the target. If the terrorist was holding a baby in his arms, the baby would be classed as a combatant.)
- Much of the piece details the work of one Armin Krishman, a security expert who teaches in the US (at UT El Paso) and has authored an essay titled “Targeted Death” that offers specifics. Krishman has concluded that our Drone attacks violate international law in many cases. The faculty of Stanford Law School and the New York School of Law have lately concurred in this opinion.
Such institutions hardly inspire confidence in conservatives—but the relevant point, it seems to me, is precisely that fellow leftists in academe are at last beginning to grow very disturbed about this administration’s “wild west” abuse of weapons technology. To this I would append the point that our domestic mainstream news media continue to brush all such reports and protests under the rug. Even the German story mentions Obama’s name but a single time—and it comes from Krishman’s mouth, not from the reporter’s ruminations. European journalists are every bit as left-biased as their American brethren; yet they also loathe things American even more than our home-grown detractors of the Fourth Estate, and they are apt to cover events embarrassing to the Obama Administration that are entirely ignored on this side of the pond. In fact, a Google search of Armin Krishman brings up the Amazon page of his book Killer Robots and various reviews thereof, but very little else: nothing whatever related to any daily American news outlet.
So while our news media figure out ways to promote the banning of privately owned firearms after Sandy Hook (an endeavor which European journalists vigorously support, by the way—the NRA appears to be known only as the “gun lobby” in Germany), US reporters not only ignore but actively suppress any coverage of hundreds of child-murders ordered by our Drone-crazy commander-in-chief. My same German source carried another story yesterday (Friday) about the spread of concern over this kill-fest to the United Nations. One Ben Emmerson, a UN officer charged with studying the complexities of preempting terrorism while respecting human rights, is quoted as worrying about the real possibility that Drones will soon enter the terrorist arsenal. Some of us would be tempted to say that, in the hands of the current US president, they already have.
Again, conservatives like me and other likely readers of this website lose little love on the UN—an antipathy which makes that dubious organization’s daring to question the American Messiah’s policy decisions all the more meaningful. To be blunt, our president has very arguably committed acts of cold-blooded murder—and he continues to do so at an accelerating rate, glibly and somewhat maniacally. (The January 21 article noted that many past targets have had rather paltry military value, and that some even smack of political payback.) Personally, I do not know whether to be more heartened that certain elements of the international Left retain enough conscience to show dismay at this sort of thing or, instead, to feel further despair that our domestic Left is demonstrating so clearly an absolute vacuity of moral lights—a kind of collective psychopathology.
That a few of our academics, at least, are beginning to raise their weak voices in protest may tip the balance in favor of optimism. Surely some of these embers of conscience beneath the rubble of “progress”, however, owe their tenacious warmth to the relative abundance of non-Americans (like Krishman) in the professoriate. Our stock of journalists does not contain the same international leaven. Indeed, it is the persistent and ruthless complicity of domestic news media in all of Obama’s outrages—Partial-Birth Abortion, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and now the Jovian thunderbolt fixation—that has driven the meltdown of our political and cultural life every since this gray man strayed into the national spotlight. Unless people in major media outlets begin to show some vestige of common humanity, elemental decency, or incipient veracity, the destruction is likely to continue both at home and abroad—both within our national spirit (if any such thing yet survives) and in the badlands of the Hindu Kush.
Another case in point: the pure propaganda of Gasland, a 2010 documentary film produced by political zealot Josh Fox. The ghastly overhaul of facts involved in this hit-piece has become the subject of another documentary, FrackNation, which details Fox’s deliberate and repeated distortions and outright falsehoods. One of the film’s producers, Ann McElhinney, was interviewed this week on radio by Glenn Beck. She and co-producer Phelim McAleer are Irish nationals.
In the current debate raging furiously over the Second Amendment, it ought to be of supreme significance that the charge against private ownership of guns is being led by a man who routinely and casually signs off on child-killings and who ignores precedent and due process in so doing. He and his camp claim that they want to stop the slaughter of innocents: his actions contradict the claim. He and his camp insist that the Right’s worry over “thin end of the wedge” government intrusions is paranoid: his actions prove the worry all too justified. Why should we trust a killer to stop murders among us? Why should we trust an antinomian—a Nietzschean wild man—to respect the letter of the law?
Yet “radio silence” is observed on all our media except the relatively unregulated blogosphere—and I use that archaic two-word phrase advisedly, and of other media besides the airwaves. It conjures up visions of earlier days when stalking submarines or squadrons of commandos would switch off their communications gear lest the enemy become aware that they were preparing to pounce. Our media now seem to me more than complicit in the evil enterprises of the current regime: they often seem to have been briefed in advance, and perhaps even to have participated in the planning. As much as universities have been blamed—and continue to be blamed—as the institution primarily responsible for corrupting and dumbing down the American electorate, I think the news media clearly deserve this diabolical honor. Most professors that I have known, even in English and History departments (where the heavy lifting of brainwash is done: several semesters of their courses are usually required of all undergraduates) still preserve a scintilla of respect for honesty. Their vanity, if nothing else, demands it: that moral superiority of which they are so jealous will not allow them to trample free speech and cook up fake evidence in broad daylight. Our journalists strike me, contrarily, as lured into deeper and deeper lies by their distinctive egotism. Is it in the sheer delight—the libido dominandi—of seeing how far they can lead people away from the truth that they manufacture alternate realities? Is their vanity satisfied precisely by making their audience swear that a lie is true, like a magician who makes both volunteer and crowd believe that he has levitated her?
Whatever the psychological reason behind this passion for lying, I believe that these people who jabber on our screens may end up destroying us with their presidential puppet who dances smartly on their strings. We are told that he uses them—and, of course, it is plausible that damned souls like George Soros know how to manipulate the puppeteers into situations where they most like to do their Punch-and-Judy shows. But the day is at hand when they will commit their own kind of atrocity with their own inspiration, quite unbidden by any living corpse in a smoked-filled room or a Leer jet. If a story came out tomorrow that three Tea Partiers had planned to shoot up the school attended by the President’s daughters with AK-47’s but aborted the mission when their scheme was leaked, who would call the fiction’s creators to an accounting for making it all up? Eric Holder? Janet Napoletano? Which rival news outlet (besides FOX) would even pursue the journalistic scam behind the lurid near-massacre? Was Dan Rather chastised for rushing a faked story before the public? Who in his right mind thinks that journalistic standards have become more rigorous in the intervening years?
There are worse things than a cold-blooded killer: for instance, the slick-talking accomplice who covers up his deeds and allows him to kill again.
 “Recht und Ordnung oder Wilder Westen?” DW.DE, 21 January 2013, http://www.dw.de/recht-und-ordnung-oder-wilder-westen/a-16527241.
 “UN untersuchen Angriffe mit Drohnen,” DW.DE (25 January 2013), http://www.dw.de/un-untersuchen-angriffe-mit-drohnen/a-16549114.