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Sep-26-2011 03:30printcommentsVideo

The NY Times Shouldn't Cover Mexico Cartel Crime

Being the biggest sure doesn't equate to being the best, or the most accurate.

NY Times is fiction

(SALEM, Ore.) - The first paragraph of a New York Times article, 'U.S. Widens Role in Battle Against Mexican Drug Cartels' is a definitive example of the central problem in western reporting:

"The United States is expanding its role in Mexico’s bloody fight against drug trafficking organizations, sending new C.I.A. operatives and retired military personnel to the country and considering plans to deploy private security contractors in hopes of turning around a multibillion-dollar effort that so far has shown few results."

The words are misleading and focus only on the part of the story that boosts the U.S. government's highly questionable interests. NY Times Writer Ginger Thompson, either does not fully grasp the history that sets the stage for the story, or makes a choice to overlook it. A single paragraph propagates misunderstanding and confusion[1].

The first thing that jumps out is the part about retired military personnel... what exactly did the writer mean by that?

No government agency is in charge of sending retired military off to fight battles in Central America, or anywhere else for that matter. It seems fair to question whether Thompson even knows what 'retired' means with regard to the military. (This is the problem I have written about for the last seven years here; particularly in time of war or conflict, it is mandatory that newsrooms hire Veterans. Of course there are few, unless you visit Salem-News.com where many of our writers are not just former military, but also Combat Vets).

Sure, some people spend a career in the military and then become 'security contractors' as the govt. and its parrots like to refer to them, of course... but the wording selected in this case does not work. It all was perhaps constructed in a way to avoid using the term 'U.S. mercenary', or maybe it is simply naïveté. It takes me back to my years in network affiliate TV news and those lovely reporters who would say things like, "Hey Tim, what is higher again, a corporal or a colonel?"

NY Times' History of Tragic Behavior

I know some reporters at this paper simply make up the news as they go, ala Judith Miller of the New York Times Washington bureau; whose coverage of Iraq's alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) program might have been the straw that broke the back of Iraq. As Wikipedia states, "A number of stories she wrote while working for the New York Times later turned out to be inaccurate or completely false." That is heavy, but par for the course at this money making media madhouse.

Miller is also who disclosed Valerie Plame's role with the C.I.A. She apparently found her calling with who else, but Fox News Channel, where she has served as a contributor. She is also associated with the conservative Manhattan Institute think-tank.

Who will ever forget Jayson Blair? This is the New York Times reporter who, quite famously- just like newspaper reporters of yesterday, showed us that you don't need facts for this business, just a creative mind. (BTW: Since 2007 he has worked as a life coach in the field of mental health - gotta' love that!)

Blair was 2003, in 2009 Guardian UK accused Maureen Dowd, who is still a New York Times columnist, for including a paragraph virtually identical to one written in Talking Points Memo blog.

Last year the New York Times announced that a staff writer/plagiarist Zachery Kouwe had been lifting his stories from the Wall Street Journal and also Reuters. As they reveal in their own article, the Times assembled a panel to review the allegations and they, "were to discuss possible disciplinary action, including dismissal."

"...possible disciplinary action".

Sure sounds like they're on top of it doesn't it? Zachery had the decency to resign at least, but it is clear in their screening of writers for employment, that names with funny spellings will open the door at this place, and the theft of other writer's work might get you in trouble.

Glossing Over C.I.A.'s Bloody History in Central America

Granted, New York is a long way from Mexico, but is that any excuse for the writer's casual regard for the presence of C.I.A. agents of all things?

Maybe the history that the U.S. government represents for Central and South Americans was lost on the NY Times writer, but it wasn't lost on the rest of us who know that in the half century following WWII, the U.S. government disrupted legitimate political developments in that part of the world no less than 45 times.

The horrible deaths in El Salvador tied to U.S. influence and interests are enough needless tragedy to study for a lifetime, but then there are the terrible things that Americans did in Guatemala, and the list goes on and on.

The veteran Australian Journalist, John Pilger, offers a gut wrenching review of the Death squads, 'Contras' - soldiers loyal to right wing warlords; Golpistas, and the other groups and individuals central to the Genocidal cruelty in the documentary, The Wars You Don't See[2].

These horrors of war were the 'gifts' of the U.S. government time and time again and it was not until the election of President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, that the trend began to turn around. Bolivia has followed, achieving total autonomy while cutting ties with the U.S.

In places like U.S.-friendly Colombia, the oppression against the poor continues every day and it can be merciless. In Venezuela new medical facilities are being built all over the country with assistance from Cuba.

Throughout and even after the Cold War period, the C.I.A. was behind coup d'etats, overthrows and right wing uprisings that benefited the wealthy citizens friendly to American causes. That is America's history and legacy in this place, and what agency was it that imported white drugs to the streets of America from Nicaragua in trade for weapons?

That's right, the C.I.A.

A reporter at the NY Times casually tossing that kind of information out is ridiculous, and it is a definitive piece of modern mainstream reporting for the sheeple of this country if there ever was.

The Narcosphere and Borderland Beat are other sources that keep readers up to date with real stories.

The information isn't hidden. The reluctance of reporters to critically research and understand the subjects they are assigned to cover is damaging, and absolute truth is paramount if we ever hope to break bonds with a pattern of bloodshed and violence tied to U.S. aspirations that harm many, and benefit few.

A Deployment of Mercenaries?

Still examining the first paragraph of the NY Times piece from last month, I stare with curiosity at the line, "considering plans to deploy private security contractors".

I didn't know we 'deployed' mercenaries, I thought we only deployed our military. To think of taking groups like Blackwater (Today they are called XE) and literally deploying them is frightening, since these groups are not held to the standards of U.S. military forces. It is enough to make one wonder why we still have military at all.

Blackwater and other similar bands of highly paid mercenaries have been paid well to abuse human beings for the last several years. I saw them in action in Iraq one crazy night when they were transporting detainees (Iraqi citizens) who were hooded and bound. They were kicked and denied water for hours as they moaned and pleaded.

We have already revealed that wealthy Mexicans are hiring mercenaries to defend regions and towns, but this is a step beyond that. It is absolutely not something to take lightly[3].

I sincerely doubt, as much as Mexican people are terrorized by cartels, that it would benefit them to have mercenaries enter the scene as one more set of gun-packing street gangs. Mexican people are keenly aware of what happened to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan and now, Libya.

Former Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North

And when it comes to the C.I.A. and the agency's role in the guns-for-weapons program remembered as the 'Iran-Contra' scandal, it is noteworthy that our Photojournalist, Robert 'Tosh' Plumlee was a longtime asset for the C.I.A. and he is also one of the key operators who blew the whistle on the illegal weapons for drugs program that was pioneered by the Reagan administration with the help of a criminally convicted ex-Marine called 'Ollie' North, who is a shame for all Marines due to his connection to the large increase of illegal street drugs that landed here on Reagan's watch, due to North's criminal engineering[4][5].

The C.I.A. lacks credibility in this part of the world; they have a history of destruction and little else. If any federal agency has a hand in this it should only be the D.E.A. or the forces of the U.S. military and Border Patrol.

Thompson also states in her article:

"In recent weeks, small numbers of C.I.A. operatives and American civilian military employees have been posted at a Mexican military base, where, for the first time, security officials from both countries work side by side in collecting information about drug cartels and helping plan operations."

This borders on embarrassing, as both Salem-News.com and the narcosphere, reported the presence of a joint U.S./Mexican military task force operating in the region over a year ago[6][7].

We have reported that the efforts of this task force were being compromised by one or more entities in the U.S. federal government and that is the story that we brought to our viewers, there isn't any question that the U.S. govt. has been working south of the border[8].

After revealing the existence of the joint U.S./Mexican military task force, Salem-News.com was reprimanded in a letter from the Mexican Embassy, claiming that:

"The flimsy and single sourced assertion that 'heavily armed' 'U.S. Special Forces' (Your article 'U.S. Special Forces are Operating in Mexico', Sept 27, 2010 are 'taking direct action against narco trafficking organizations' is patently false..."[9]

That was almost exactly one year ago.

The next thing that happened was the release of a Wikileaks cable confirming everything we had stated and considerably more[10].

It is important to note that Mr. Plumlee was never critical of the existence of this joint international military group; in fact he was simply trying to help them by communicating the problems they were experiencing, that were originating from the feds, and now perhaps we know exactly which agency may have compromised their dangerous missions.

This story, of our coverage of Mexico compared to that of the largest daily newspaper in the country, is a story of the evolution and devolution of media. At any time these reporters could contact relevant people like Mr. Plumlee and get the real story, one that would absolutely blow their doors off. In searching their list of employees, the NY Times appears to have exactly one (1) news person based in Mexico, and that individual is not in the badlands, but in Mexico City. Maybe I'm mistaken, I found it hard to believe, but that appears to be the case. That may explain a great deal.

References

[1] Aug-06-2011: U.S. Widens Role in Battle Against Mexican Drug Cartels - Ginger Thompson - New York Times

[2] Jun-26-2011: Pilger's Documentary The Wars You Don't See - Arun Shrivastava for Salem-News.com

[3] Sep-14-2011: Mexican Government Denied Information on ATF 'Gun Walker' Operation - Tim King & Robert Plumlee Salem-News.com

[4] Mar-08-2010: Former CIA Pilot Tells of Guns and Drugs Shipments - Robert O'Dowd and Tim King Salem-News.com

[5] Jul-01-2011: Feds Call Meeting with Journalist Who Reported Human Remains... - Tim King Salem-News.com

[6] Jun-12-2010: U.S. Military has Special Ops "Boots on the Ground" in Mexico - Bill Conroy the narcosphere

[7] Sep-26-2010: US Special Forces are Operating in Mexico - Salem-News.com

[8] Jun-23-2011: Salem-News Photojournalist with Army Task Force 7 in Mexico threatened with arrest... - Tosh Plumlee Salem-News.com

[9] Oct-05-2010: Mexico Denies US Special Forces Presence South of the Border - Tim King Salem-News.com

[10] June 5, 2011: U.S. Special Ops Troops Deployed in Mexico, Leaked Briefing Confirms - Bill Conroy the narcosphere

Other related links:

Jul-09-2011: Holder Lied: DOJ News Release Shows Obama Admin Approved ATF Mexico Weapons Smuggling - Tim King Salem-News.com

Jun-20-2011: Raided Mexican Ranch Linked to U.S. Drug War Corruption - Bill Conroy The Narcosphere

Oct-23-2010: US Army Special Forces Trained Mexican Cartel Members - Chris Arsenault Al Jazeera Special to Salem-News.com

__________________________________

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 82 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com

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Daniel Johnson September 26, 2011 7:37 pm (Pacific time)

And Canada is following the U.S. into the pit. A column yesterday was titled: "Marijuana growers to face more jail than child rapists under Harper's new omnibus bill".  The first paragraph reads: "Prime Minister Stephen Harper is getting tougher on pot growers than he is on rapists of children."

Read the whole article here: http://www2.canada.com/story.html?id=5442863


Dexter September 26, 2011 4:26 pm (Pacific time)

Well written article. I am amazed how writers from a very well known heavy weight Newspaper can get away with fabricating so much. Most of us in the Media know that a lot of people do make things up (around about 40 percent is probably the maximum when it comes to filling up the gaps as it were). But to write about something that is so sensitive and misleading is just not acceptable. It puts people lives at danger, as well as producing that notorious Domino effect when it comes escalating that already problematic situation ...which in turn can affect a lot more than just one person when related to a story.

People from all walks of life read that Newspaper, and yes even drug cartels and mad third world dictators as well. It is totally irresponsible for the writers to make up such lies to get there name on the front page, as well as online search engines, just so they can boost up there own exposure, and PAY CHEQUE BONUSES. It is obvious some of these papers (very much like the British Tabloids, who also have a nasty habit of doing this) are not scared about the liable consequences , or the repercussions of making up such mendacious crap. The problem with such large media companies, they have large legal teams (which are not cheap to keep) to cover the News paper and there employees backs, which basically gives them the green light to write about anything, no matter how fictitious or nasty it might be.

The larger the law firm they have backing them up, the more ballsy the Media company is when releasing Photos and Stories ...that is basically the simple truth. The most amazing thing is though, when studying journalism or working for a small to medium size media company, you normally get strict instructions and RULES, about falsifying stories as well as plagiarism . It seems like some large News papers are just immune to all of this, which can be great if you work for them (just think about being bullet proof, then you get my point) , but not so good if you are on the receiving end of it all. The saddest thing is when papers like this do go on the attack, most of those poor on the receiving end have not got a hope in hell in fighting back, with a huge legal battle emanating from both sides ...and the sad thing is, the papers know this.


Gy D Nelso September 26, 2011 5:33 pm (Pacific time)

The NY Times Shouldn't Cover Mexico Cartel Crime???
you do know suppressing the press is right out of the Tactics in Counterinsurgency rule books.... for better or worse we have to live with all OPED's

Tim King: I'm just saying that they are part of the system.

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