Saturday, September 17, 2016

Penn State Honoring Joe Paterno Is a Reminder of the Dishonor of Everyone Else.

Penn State is going to honor Joe Paterno on Sept 17  commemorating the first game Paterno ever won as Penn State head coach and his career as the winningest coach in the history of college football. He is also scheduled, in October, to be inducted into the Pennsylvania sports Hall of Fame.

But after all the lies told about Paterno, all the media dishonesty,the cowardice and deceit of the Penn State Board of Trustees who fired him because they didn't have the guts or integrity to stand up to a corrupt and dishonest news media, highlighted by Penn State Trustee and former governor of Pennsylvania Tom Corbett who when running for re-election made a too little too late admission that Paterno never should have been fired in the first place, after all the blatant lies and smears designed to appeal to the double digit IQ mob, that Penn State is now going to honor Joe Paterno without first calling a press conference to publicly apologize for all their own cowardice, dishonesty, hypocrisy, incompetence and behavior and act like it never happened is one more disgrace.

They didn't call that press conference or issue a statement apologizing for their crass dishonesty and cowardice at the time because they didn't want to face the cameras or the music. They didn't want to stand there and admit they made a horrendous mistake and discarded every principle of idealism and integrity a university is supposed to stand for,instead caving in to smear merchants like Louis Freeh, hired by certain members of the Board of Trustees to do just what he did --  smear Paterno with a report so absurd, inaccurate and full of intentional untruths only a journalist could believe them.And the remaining idiots in this country who still believe anything journalists write.

The Freeh Report was so corrupt it was anonymously disowned by one of Freeh's own investigators but typically the news media virtually ignored it knowing how badly it would damage their already damaged credibility. Either that or expose their reading comprehension as something on the level of a 3rd grader.

In many ways its as if Penn State is still doing PR wanting to pretend the whole dishonest sordid mud slinging witch hunting smear tactic mess committed by people with no integrity themselves against a man whose integrity was and still is unquestioned, never happened. Except that it did. As was reported here from the beginning.

The NCAA and Mark Emmert have already been exposed as a fraud,some of their internal emails made public as a result of discovery in a law suit filed by the Paterno family that proved it was all about bandwagon jumping PR for the NCAA, as it was for all of the hack journalists trying to pretend they were being noble. The emails showed the NCAA themselves knew  they had no jurisdiction to impose any of the sanctions they did and didn't even believe the allegations against Paterno themselves but saw it as an opportunity to look good and felt they could get away with it.

So before any more of the emails could be made public the NCAA caved in and settled out of court restoring the 111 wins to Paterno's record they tried to steal and made a series of other agreements rescinding almost all their sanctions though there is no undoing the damage they did to the football program, though that is the least of it.

It was also an admission that the NCAA along with most of the mass media were more interested in grandstanding and their own self serving interests at Paterno's expense, than anything resembling the truth.Which is exactly how a mob behaves.

Like Sean Gregory at Time magazine who outright lied in his first article about Paterno and the McQueary suspicions because he was too lazy, too dishonest too lacking in integrity or competence to find out the truth first so instead made things up out of his own head, falsehoods that were so outrageous and blatant that within days of it being written here that he had opened himself and Time Warner up to an open and shut case of libel by Paterno the  blatant falsehoods were scrubbed from the story no doubt at the insistence of Time Warner lawyers because at that point it was about money and millions in an out of court settlement, not a man's reputation. So it was the lawyers who scrubbed it rather than Time editors who allowed the story to be published without vetting or any corroboration.

 Gregory had written that Joe Paterno sat in his office and did nothing while he knew a 10 year old boy was being raped in the Penn State showers by Sandusky only a few feet away. That was Time magazine. Obviously not a word was true. Gregory made it up out of his own head and incompetent surmising without lifting a finger to find out what was true. And neither Sean Gregory nor his editors cared. Only the lawyers did when it became a matter of money. That was the level of journalism being practiced by a major media outlet (and still is by most of them).  But it was enough to get the self righteous bandwagon rolling. And that was just the beginning.

Joining the mindless media mob was almost everyone at ESPN, like Keith Olbermann, Jay Bilas, Jonette Howard and Jemele Hill, and almost every other sports and mainstream media outlet who in their own way were and are no better than Jerry Sandusky himself,  a group of  opportunistic journalistic  predators who without any conscience molested and abused the truth and a man's reputation for their own self serving grandstanding purposes not caring who they hurt in the process as long as they got what they wanted. Just like Sandusky himself.

And of course there was Louis Freeh who as FBI director smeared Richard Jewel as the  1996 Atlanta Olympic bomber without a shred of evidence to get the heat off himself because they had no leads in the highest profile criminal case in the world at the time. The Freeh Report was, to anyone with a high school reading level nothing but trash without a shred of evidence -- not a shred -- to support the conclusions designed to indict Paterno and the idiots in the news media ate it up. Even after former Attorney General Dick Thornberg and a former FBI agent tried to do a "see Dick run" with the media tearing the report to pieces factually, the media ignored it because to admit it would be to admit things about themselves not Paterno, none of them wanted to face. And still don't. 

But it was the throughly and easily discredited Freeh Report,so obviously an intended hatchet job that Freeh refused requests by Paterno himself to be interviewed for the report, that the media used to justify their attacks. 

That Freeh did an "investigation" and refused to interview or even take a statement from those at the center of it all, Paterno, Curly, Schultz and Spanier, should have in the minds of any rational human being, discredited the report before it was even released. But notfor our intrepid, crusading pillars of nobility and truth known as journalists. 

Why did Freeh refuse to interview Paterno for his report? Because every prosecutor or defense lawyer knows you never call a witness who is liable to say things or present facts or evidence you dont want public and that would scuttle your case. And Freeh at the direction of those members of the Board of Trustees who hired him, acted like a corrupt prosecutor (which is what Bloomberg Businessweek accused him of being in 2000 as FBI Director demanding his resignation) not an objective investigator. And that's why Freeh never interviewed Paterno, McQueary, Curly or Schultz. The last thing he wanted was the truth. Just like the news media.

Also ignored by the media to this day is that the much publicized indictments at the time of Gary Schultz, former overseer of Penn State Campus police to whom Paterno first reported McQueary's suspicion which as it turned out, was unfounded,Tim Curley former Penn State AD, and Graham Spanier, Penn State president have all been dropped. The Pennsylvania Attorney General who started the cases which were all PR and no truth to begin with  is long gone and the AG who replaced her has just resigned before she was to be impeached for corruption. There was no trial against Spanier, Curley and Schultz because there was no case to begin with. That fact is being buried by the same media that tried at one time to bury them along with Paterno and Penn State over an abuse that never took place. 

It remains a fact that given  a specious, vague and unproven suspicion of possible child abuse in a Penn State shower which, for all that Jerry Sandusky was eventually convicted of through his charity Second Mile, was the one thing proved to have never happened, Joe Paterno did more within 24 hours of being told about an unfounded vague suspicion of child abuse by reporting it to his superiors including Penn State police than every priest, bishop, cardinal, or Pope in the Catholic church has in the last 1700 years. 

A topic our crusading news media would still rather ignore and do, like the admission by the archbishop of Australia in his recent testimony before their Parliament investigating church abuse, that child sexual abuse at the hands of the church has been going on worldwide for centuries (his word) and the number of children molested and abused by priests and others in the church is in the millions. That testimony never made it to any news outlet in the U.S. though widely reported by the BBC and other outlets in Europe and Australia.

Its called U.S. media cowardice and fear because for them it's about what they think will sell and what won't. Paterno sold. So they sold out.

By contrast, the news media never reported on the documents made public by court order from both the Milwaukee and Los Angeles archdioceses detailing specific (and horrific) incidents of church sexual abuse of children in great details that numbered in the tens of thousands over the last 6 decades and covered up by the church (approximately 8,000 in Milwaukee and 40,000 in Los Angeles). Yet for 3 straight weeks in November of 2011, Joe Paterno (not even Sandusky) was the biggest media story in the country. A media group that tracks these things reported that Paterno's name and picture were used at a ratio of 20-1 compared to Sandusky. And it was Sandusky who was the abuser. 

For the media it was all about self-serving grandstanding and increased revenue in attracting a larger audience and that meant Paterno's name, stature and accomplishment, not Sandusky's.

Joe Paterno deserves his day of recognition. What he didn't deserve was the self serving cash register ringing unfounded attacks by an unprincipled dishonest news media looking to cash in on his accomplishments and reputation and equally dishonest collection of pandering Penn State officials and politicians, some of the pariahs gone and some still with us as is apparent during this election season. 

Honoring Paterno at Penn State and the restoring of his 111 wins dishonestly taken in the first place is the beginning of an attempt to start to return to Paterno some of his due including his reputation smeared by a media mob without a shred of integrity. But while Paterno is starting to get back some of his due,it's still worth remembering there are a lot of devils out there who still need to get theirs.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Why Bush and Rice Were Never Held Accountable for the 911 Attack.

What the 911 Commission hearings revealed was that the September 11, 2001 attacks was nothing less than a result of the worst case of gross,even criminal negligence,ineptitude and incompetence by a president and his national security advisor regarding national security in the history of the United States.

But unless you watched every minute of the 9/11 commission hearings or read the report you'd never know it. You also wouldn't know that the September 11 attacks which changed the course of history could have easily been prevented. You wouldn't know it because to this day neither the mainstream news media nor our politicians have the courage or integrity to admit it and say so,each for their own reasons.

Instead they created the journalistic legacy that exists to this day of burying the truth along with their heads,turning their backs, looking the other way and promoting lies and propaganda to avoid conflict with people in power and  some in the public unless they think it's safe to do otherwise. And so with 911 they constantly repeated as if it were fact the White House myth and cover story that it was an intelligence failure on the part of the intelligence agencies that resulted in 911 and that there was nothing Bush or Rice could've done. 

The intelligence failure took place in the Oval Office not with the intelligence agencies who could not have done more or better. The lie that it was a failure of the intelligence agencies that resulted in the 911 attacks was also used by the NSA and its defenders in congress as an excuse  to justify the illegal collecting of information exposed by Snowden claiming that if they had those capabilities in 2001 it would've prevented the attacks. It was a lie.

George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice had so much actionable intelligence given to them which would have prevented 911 there was not a cabdriver in New York City who, with the same intelligence could not have stopped the 911 attack in its tracks. It wasn't just preventable. It was easily preventable.And Bush and Rice had all the intelligence information they needed. They just ignored it.

For eight months leading up to the attack George W Bush and Condoleezza Rice were told repeatedly by Richard Clarke the White House anti-terrorism czar for four presidents and CIA director George Tenant that intercepts of Al-Qaeda chatter indicated the United States was going to be hit with a "spectacular" terrorist attack within the United States. And in July and August of 2001 were told that the intercepts indicated the attack was "imminent".Bush,Rice and others in his administration as per Bush administration policy,ignored it.

Many months before as president elect George W. Bush, at his intelligence briefings at Blair house before taking office was told by the FBI and CIA that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda were the single biggest threats to US national security in the world. In private meetings during the transition with both Bill Clinton and his national security adviser Sandy Berger, Bush and Rice were told again that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda were the biggest threat to US national security in the world. And to make the point even further Berger told Bush and Rice that the threat of Al Qaeda was so great he predicted the Bush administration would be dealing with Al Qaeda and terrorism more than any other issue throughout his entire presidency.

Bush and Rice dismissed the warnings. They were convinced they were overblown. Al Qaeda specifically and terrorism in general were dismissed as a major threat.

Instead Bush made the number one national security priority getting out of the ABM treaty with Russia and considered the biggest threat to national security to be China. Terrorism was a minor issue. As a result Richard Clarke who had been the anti-terrorism chief for four presidents and held a cabinet level position in the Clinton administration was demoted by Bush to a  subcabinet level position with no direct access to the president. 

Bush also did away with the Meeting of the Principals, a meeting that took place daily during the Clinton administration in which Clark chaired a meeting with the heads of every government agency that had anything to do with terrorism including the Attorney General,CIA director,FBI Director, head of ATF, Immigration and any other government agency related to terrorism. The purpose of the meeting was for the head of each agency to share any intelligence related to terrorism they had recieved within the previous 24 hours with the other  agencies. One of the major failings of the Bush administration according to the 911 Commission was the lack of sharing of terrorist information between agencies.

Unfortunately as the commission uncovered, even if there had been intelligence sharing it wouldn't have mattered. Because that failure was nothing compared to what was going to happen in the summer of 2001 right up to one month before the 911 attacks. 

In July 2001 CIA intercepts of Al-Queda chatter were so alarming that George Tenant felt he had to have an emergency meeting with Condoleezza Rice and showed up at the White House virtually unannounced such was the urgency Tenant felt. The purpose of his visit was to discuss a possible imminent terrorist attack against the United States. Rice refused to see him. She not only refused to see him but took the threat of terrorism so lightly that she testified to the 911 Commission that she didn't even remember Tenant requesting a meeting. The White House logs prove otherwise.

In August 2001 CIA intercepts grew more frequent and more alarming. One of the CIA intercepts of an Al Qaeda message translated to "the match has been lit". Other intercepts indicated that the United States was about to be hit with a massive terrorist attack in the United States that in the words of the CIA translator was going to be "spectacular".

Richard Clark testified that in August of 2001 he and George Tenant were "running around the White House like men with their hair on fire" trying to get Rice to do something. George W. Bush had gone on vacation to Crawford and refused to see them. Rice refused to intercede or do anything on her own. 

This was the result of official Bush administration policy that terrorism was not a major threat overblown and exaggerated by the Clinton administration. This dismissal was so complete that the assistant director of the FBI testified to the 911 Commission that when he went to see attorney general John Ashcroft in July to inform him about intelligence regarding a terrorist attack within the United States Ashcroft told him "don't ever come into my office with anything related to terrorism again".

In the summer of 2001 the suspicious owner of an Arizona flying school called the FBI office in Phoenix. He was suspicious because two Middle Eastern men had shown up at the school wanting to learn how to fly jumbo jets. What made the owner suspicious was that neither one of them wanted to learn how to take off or land. Only to fly. The owner called the Phoenix office of the FBI who forwarded a report to FBI headquarters. Louis Freeh then director of the FBI did nothing. In keeping with Bush administration policy that relegated terrorism to a low priority the information provided by the flight school owner in Arizona was relegated to "routine".One of those men at the Phoenix flying school was Mohammed Atta.

Some months before Minneapolis FBI agent Colleen Rowley had arrested Zaccariah Moussai who would come to be known as the 12th hijacker. Except he never got on a plane because he had been arrested by Rowley and her agents.

Like Phoenix, Rowley had been alerted by the owner of a Minneapolis flight school who called the FBI when Moussaui showed up wanting to learn how to fly jumbo jets but didn't want to learn how to take off or land. Rowley acted on her own, arrested Moussaui and confiscated his computer.

It was information gleaned from Moussaui's computer that was included in the now infamous August 6, 2001 presidential daily briefing given to both president Bush and Condoleezza Rice.

That intelligence briefing had enough information to have stopped 9/11 in its tracks had Bush acted . It told him not only was bin Laden determined to attack within the United States,which re-enforced what Bush and Rice had already been told by Tenant and Clarke, it also told them Al-Qaeda cells were already in the U.S., and that they had been seen putting buildings in New York City under surveillance. But the most stunning revelation was that Bush and Rice were told on Aug 6 2001 that the means of the terrorist attack was going to involve the hijacking of US airliners.

Bush and Rice did nothing.Nothing.

The hijackers who showed up at each airport were all Middle Eastern men in their 20s and 30s, all bought one way tickets to the West Coast, none had reservations so had to pay top dollar for a first class ticket which was $2500, all paid cash and none had any luggage. What do you think would've happened had Bush did nothing more than order the FAA to put out a top priority security bulletin to all US airlines and airports warning of the possibility of hijacking by Middle Eastern men and to report any suspicious activity? None of those hijackers would've ever gotten on those planes. They would've been reported by the ticket agents alone.  Middle eastern men buying one way tickets to LA and San Francisco? No one with reservations? All buying first class tickets that cost $2500 each? All paying in cash? No one with any luggage?  The attack would have been stopped right then and there.

Agent Rowley's scathing 13 page post 911 letter to then new FBI Director Robert Mueller is one of the most devastating indictments of the Bush administration and its policies of lackadaisical disinterest and gross negligence and incompetence regarding terrorism and their gross failures of policy which affected FBI investigations ever written. Agent Rowley also accused Mueller of covering up for Bush for "political reasons" in supporting Bush's false assertions that nothing could have stopped the attack.

When Condoleezza Rice testified before the 9/11 commission and was asked by commission council incredulously how she and Bush could have possibly ignored intelligence reports of an imminent terrorist attack that would specifically involve the hijacking of US airliners and still do nothing her answer was so incredulous that it was in itself an indictment of her, the entire Bush administration,it's gross failures and the cowardice of the news media and politicians,both Democrat and Republican in not demanding the resignations of both Bush and Rice. Or at the very least holding them accountable for the attack.

Rice's explanation for why they didn't act was, "we had no idea they were going to use the planes as missiles". 

Meaning that hijacking US airliners and holding possibly 1000 or more American passengers hostage would've been OK?

Ironically the only news organization that was stunned by the revelation and considered it the bombshell and smoking gun that it was and gave it the significance it deserved was the Rupert Murdoch owned,Republican and conservative leaning NY Post that blasted it on their front page with white type against a black background. 

Rice's bizarre,damning and incriminating testimony ended with her most memorable and what should have been her most damning and incriminating statement: when asked by an even more incredulous commission council how it was possible that with all of the actionable intelligence she and President Bush had been given which would have prevented the 9/11 attacks they didn't act, Rice replied: "we couldn't connect the dots".

No statement could have been more revealing of the gross incompetence and negligence of both Rice and Bush. Which might explain why the news media and politicians adopted it as their own phrase of choice using it to this day but still not comprehending it's meaning 

Rice is an extremely intelligent woman, an ivory tower academic from Stanford with a sophisticated vocabulary. She could have chosen any number of words or ways to answer the question. The words she chose were illustrative, true, telling and definitive. Connecting the dots is a child's game. There are a number of dots on a page each numbered consecutively and all you have to do is draw line from one to the other in consecutive order and you get to see the whole picture. Rice admitted neither she nor Bush were able to do what a child could do.Because they never cared enough or took it seriously.

It is still fitting that one of the most revealing and definitive statements defining ineptitude and incompetence was adopted by journalists and politicians as their own and phrase of choice becoming a media and political cliché to excuse or justify almost any kind of failure without understanding what it really meant: inexcusable negligence and incompetence.

Which is why Bush and Rice to this day have never been held accountable for their gross failures that allowed the 9/11 attack happen. They were never held accountable because of the sheer cowardice of the news media and Democrats who were afraid of Republican attacks on their patriotism for attacking a sitting president in time of war, and Republicans themselves who wanted to duck responsibility for what happened because of a Republican administration and what the consequences could be in the voting booth. They were prepared to attack Democrats for "politicizing" the attacks to defend themselves as if Bush's monumental failure and its consequences wasn't a legitimate target. Had it been a Democratic president there is little doubt that with the same set of facts Republicans would've been screaming "impeachment". At the very least holding Bush accountable would've been used to defeat the president in 2004.

But this isn't just about assigning blame where it belongs or finger pointing. It's about pointing out that the gross failures of the news media and politicians to tell the truth has serious consequences. One of those consequences post 911 was Iraq.

Had Bush and Rice and the Bush administration been held accountable for their massive failures of judgment and negligence with regards to 9/11 instead of blaming it on the intelligence agencies as the facts and Rowley's letter revealed, Bush never would've had the political capitol to invade Iraq. And even if Bush had not been forced to resign in 2002 he surely would have lost the 2004 election instead of the incredulous political incompetence of John Kerry and the Democrats in being afraid to even bring up the failures of Bush and Rice which had been by exposed by then.

Telling the truth would have changed history. But as the axiom goes the first casualty of war is truth and that was just as true for the war on terrorism.

The legacy of that day is not just the war on terror or remembering those who lost their lives. It's also a legacy of  cowardice and lack of integrity by journalists and politicians afraid to tell the truth whatever the truth is instead of the journalistic desire to curry favor with those in power and their fear of backlash in standing up to it or fear of public opinion.Or deciding what people should or should not know.That legacy includes aiding politicians who duck or make excuses rather than be honest depending on what journalists feel safe doing. And as we have seen this election year, and in all previous years since 9/11, like terrorism, that still exists.