Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Not Comforting: New York Times Lies on Behalf of the CIA?

Posted By on Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Glenn Greenwald from Salon puts the pieces together from the increasing strange story of Raymond Davis, imprisoned in Pakistan for shooting two Pakistanis, and how the New York Times apparently agreed to deceive their readers on behalf of the CIA:

Yesterday, as I noted earlier, The Guardian reported that Davis — despite Obama's description of him as "our diplomat in Pakistan" — actually works for the CIA, and further noted that Pakistani officials believe he worked with Blackwater. When reporting that, The Guardian noted that many American media outlets had learned of this fact but deliberately concealed it — because the U.S. Government told them to: "A number of US media outlets learned about Davis's CIA role but have kept it under wraps at the request of the Obama administration."

[...]

In other words, the NYT knew about Davis' work for the CIA (and Blackwater) but concealed it because the U.S. Government told it to. Now that The Guardian and other foreign papers reported it, the U.S. Government gave permission to the NYT to report this, so now that they have government license, they do so — only after it's already been reported by other newspapers which don't take orders from the U.S. Government.

It's one thing for a newspaper to withhold information because they believe its disclosure would endanger lives. But here, the U.S. Government has spent weeks making public statements that were misleading in the extreme — Obama's calling Davis "our diplomat in Pakistan" — while the NYT deliberately concealed facts undermining those government claims because government officials told them to do so. That's called being an active enabler of government propaganda. While working for the CIA doesn't preclude holding "diplomatic immunity," it's certainly relevant to the dispute between the two countries and the picture being painted by Obama officials. Moreover, since there is no declared war in Pakistan, this incident — as the NYT puts it today — "inadvertently pulled back the curtain on a web of covert American operations inside Pakistan, part of a secret war run by the C.I.A. " That alone makes Davis' work not just newsworthy, but crucial.

[Salon]

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