Here’s an example: Ron Unz has called this article that he published in his magazine, The American Conservative, in 2010, and which The Nation magazine had briefly published in 2008 in an abbreviated version and quickly removed from its website, and which The Nation also blocked from being stored on any web archive site—he called it ”the biggest story of his [i.e., of Pulitzer-winner Sydney Schanberg’s] career, which has seemingly vanished down the memory hole without trace.” Unz asked, ”Could a news story ever be ‘too big’ for the media to cover?” The “alternative news” site CounterPunch reported on this story in print at the same time as The American Conservative, but also removed it from their site if it ever really was on their site (which site has far more readers than their print magazine ever did). CounterPunch had even earlier quoted excerpts from it but then removed that article also from their site.
However, on 26 May 2010, The American Conservative did actually publish, in its print magazine, which was dated July 2010, Schanberg’s 8,130-word report—the report which The Nation had originally buried (after having ‘published’ briefly in only an abbreviated version). CounterPunch summarized it, honestly, at their site, headlining, on 28 May 2010, “Vietnam MIAs: Ghosts Return to Haunt McCain and the US Press.” They quoted there, from Schanberg’s article about the difficulty he had had, in finding a publisher (two years too late) for his article (which had previously been available only temporarily and only online and only shortened, at the website of The Nation, in 2008), Schanberg’s story about the news media’s resistance to publishing this:
“‘In recent years, I have offered my POW stories to a long list of editors of leading newspapers, magazines, and significant websites that do original reporting. And when they decline my offerings, I have urged them to do their own POW investigation with their own staff under their own supervision. The list of these news organizations includes the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, New York magazine, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Vanity Fair, Salon, Slate, Talking Points Memo, ProPublica, Politico, and others. To my knowledge, none have attempted or produced a piece. Their explanations for avoiding the story have never rung true. . . . Some said they didn’t have enough staff to do the story. Others said the story was ‘old’—even though we have never found out what happened to the missing prisoners . . .
“I asked these editors about the mountain of hard evidence attesting to the existence of abandoned men. In particular, I asked about the witness evidence, the 1,600 firsthand live sightings of American prisoners after the war. Did these journalists believe that every last one of the 1,600 witnesses was lying or mistaken? Many of these Vietnamese witnesses were interrogated by US intelligence officers. Many were given lie-detector tests. They passed. The interrogators’ reports graded the bulk of the witnesses ‘credible.’
“I would run through the long gamut of known intelligence—official radio intercepts of prisoners being moved to and from labor camps in Laos, satellite photos, conversations overheard by Secret Service agents inside the White House, ransom offers from Hanoi through third parties, sworn public testimony by three US defense secretaries who served during the Vietnam era that ‘men were left behind.’ The press wasn’t and isn’t interested.’ In late 2008 The Nation published a shorted version of Schanberg’s investigation, and Hamilton Fish put a much fuller account up on the National Institute’s website.”
That reference to Hamilton Fish and The Nation (which Fish had purchased in 1978) wasn’t actually in Schanberg’s article about his article, but was added, with its confusing word “shorted” instead of the correct “shortened,” and with “the National Institute’s” instead of the correct “The Nation Institute’s,” by CounterPunch’s editor and publisher Alexander Cockburn (but since CounterPunch is “leftist” it has and had no official ”publisher”). This sloppiness wasn’t from Schanberg, but instead from Cockburn, perhaps after an until-then-uninterested Cockburn had listened to Schanberg’s urging him to publish this story and telling him why it was still news, worthy of being published even two years after John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, a campaign throughout which all of the press—both Democratic and Republican—had hidden it from the public.
So, it was now two years after the 2008 presidential campaign, and the story was finally finding a publisher: Ron Unz. During the presidential contest, it had been suppressed not only by Republican Party ‘news’ media, but also by Democratic Party ‘news’ media.
Then CounterPunch summarized, there, in that same article by Cockburn, just thrown-in as an aside, yet another example of America’s rigidly controlled press, an example which indicated that the Israeli government was actually controlling the US government, at least back in 1967—and that all of the US press then and since were hiding that established fact, hiding it from the American public, who still didn’t know about it, almost a decade after the issuance of the blistering 2003 federal report on that 1967 incident. (A summary of the evidence on that still-covered-up matter can be found here. The evidence itself is here.) The media could have had a field day with this matter, but instead have consistently covered it up and alleged that Israel is “a US ally”—the exact opposite of (at least since 2003) the historically proven reality.
How can anyone say, with a straight face, that the US is a democracy? There’s even a serious question as to whether the Israeli government still controls the US government. At the very least, no patriotic American public official should be supporting America’s $3 billion annual payments to what still remains, even today, apartheid Israel—and all US officials who have done so in the past should be voted out of office, because they’re actually foreign agents. (Or, otherwise, the phrase “foreign agent” is meaningless.)
But the problem here obviously goes even deeper than that of whether the Israeli government, or perhaps an alliance between them and the Saud family, or perhaps no alliance at all but simply one family, controls the US government. The entire press that hires ‘reporters’ in America is involved in hiding instead of reporting the really important news, the news that implicates the news media themselves in a selective system-wide operation of news-suppression, alongside their selective system-wide operation of ‘news’-reporting: reported ‘news’ that’s stripped of the real news—stripped of the crucial facts that enable the public to understand public affairs. Unz’s efforts have made public (to the limited extent he can) the uniform complicity of the American press.
Schanberg had been researching this news report and historical account, since at least 1994, when Penthouse magazine—which back in those years was publishing some of the real breakthrough investigative journalism, including major history that still is suppressed elsewhere, which none of the ‘serious’ ‘news’ media would touch—issued in September (1994) Schanberg’s “Did America Abandon Vietnam War P.O.W.’s?” Even at that time, Schanberg was reporting that, ”time and again, when these numbers or letters or names have shown up on the satellite digital imagery, the Pentagon, backed by the C.I.A., insisted out of hand that humans had not made these markings,” etc. And that cover-up continues to the present day.
After Unz published Schanberg’s complete article online on 26 May 2010 and then also in the July 2010 issue of his magazine The American Conservative, The Nation restored their abbreviated version of it to the Internet, and web archive captured their first shot of it on August 8th of that year. One could see there that the version The Nation had published had actually been cut down 67%, from Schanberg’s 8,130 words to only a mere 2,686 words. Their version focused only on McCain’s blame in the matter—all the rest was stripped-out—and ignored the blame on the part of John Kerry and of other Democrats, and especially the blame on the part of the press (the press’s guilt in covering up the scandal—the biggest part of the blame in this entire sordid affair). Furthermore, the cover of that issue of the magazine, (the 8 October 2008 issue, just prior to the 2008 presidential election) had included the following as the cover’s tagline to the news-report, the historical account, inside: “MCCAIN’S POW COVER-UP”—only that Democratic-Party propaganda-message, which (like the story inside) was pretending that this was only a scandal about one man, the Republican presidential nominee, not about America’s corrupt ‘news’ media (including, now quite obviously, The Nation itself).
In other words: when The Nation did publish the report, it was only in a drastically stripped-down version designed strictly for Democratic Party propaganda purposes—not as what its author, Schanberg, had intended: an indictment of the US ‘news’ media and of the virtually one-party political rule in this ‘two-party’ fake ‘democracy.’
On 13 July 2016, Unz made another try, at his Unz Review online site, to draw the public’s attention to his 2010 restoration of Schanberg’s 8,130-word article.
Perhaps The Nation will someday remove their 2,686-word propaganda-piece for the 2008 Obama-for-President campaign, and replace it by Schanberg’s decades-long reportorial coup, his 8,130-word exposé of America’s psychopathic aristocracy and of their press.
Clearly, when we have a nation whose press is so rigorously controlled that even a reporter such as Sydney Schanberg can’t find any ’news’ medium for an investigative report (even when the report provides damning information about the Republican Party’s presidential nominee—McCain—and the 2008 presidential contest is the country’s hottest news); when such a reporter as that, can’t find any ‘news’ medium which will pay him to make public and expose to the American people lies—lies about the background of such a presidential nominee, incriminating truths that are kept secret both by that candidate and by his opponent Barack Obama, lies that are put forth as truths by both of America’s political parties, and truths that are rigidly censored-out by both the Democrats and the Republicans—then, in that case, what exists, in this nation, is actually a dictatorship, not a democracy. The ‘democracy’ is then only a front. Not real. But this front is called ‘journalism’ in a ‘free press’ in a ‘democracy.’ It’s actually propaganda in a controlled press in a very modern type of dictatorship. That’s the reality. But it’s one that cannot be published, because the media-owners don’t want the public to know it.
Incidentally, Hamilton Fish now owns both The New Republic magazine and The Washington Spectator magazine. He and his successor Victor Navasky sold The Nation in 2005 to Katrina vanden Heuvel, whose father, the corporate lawyer William J. vanden Heuvel, was a close friend of Navasky as well as of all three Kennedy brothers (JFK, RFK, and EMK), and had started out as the right-hand man to the corporate lawyer Bill Donovan, founder of the OSS, the predecessor of the CIA. The Wikipedia article on William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan refers to ”his protégé Allen Dulles” (another corporate lawyer) whom the Republican Dwight Eisenhower selected in 1953 to run the CIA. Fish descended from Hamilton Fish III, the famous Republican enemy of the anti-fascist Democratic US President FDR, and of FDR’s New Deal, and also famously opposed to FDR’s enmity toward Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito-Tojo. Bill vanden Heuvel went on, after the OSS, to become the top aide to Democrat Averill Harriman, whose Republican partner Prescott Bush founded the Bush dynasty, and then vanden Heuvel became the top aide to Robert F. Kennedy.
But, of course, those were just a few of the people at the very top of America’s ‘liberal’ Establishment. The American aristocracy, like any aristocracy, has both its ‘liberal’ (Democratic) and its conservative (Republican) wings. Both of its wings are far-right, they’re in-service to the owners of America’s international corporations (the controlling owners who are America’s aristocrats); and, so, they don’t hire ‘journalists’ who report about any such phenomenon as this control of the US government by the controllers of America’s mega-corporations. It’s banned; it is America’s “samizdat”—truth that’s prohibited from being published.
Whatever the claimed ideology, the people at the top feel that rich people are superior to poor people; they look down on the destitute. That’s the reality. Virtually nobody at the top wants the public to know the deeper realities, which bond these individuals (the aristocracy and their agents) together as a group, against the public.
Is there any way to stop the rot at the top, if the public has no way to know about it? The public can know about the little things, but not about what really counts to the aristocracy—the people who control the public (via their government and their ‘news’ media). The public has no way to know what they are being controlled to do, no way to know why they are doing it, or to know why what is being done to them is being done. It just ‘happens’—and sometimes they don’t even ever get to know that it has happened to them. It just does, that’s all. That’s the way things are in a dictatorship. Things just ‘happen,’ but don’t really make sense in the way that the ‘news’ media and the scholars are contextualizing events. The beneficiaries are hidden, because the employees, the agents, are paid to do that—they are just doing their jobs.
Next: Part II
This article originally appeared in Strategic Culture Foundation on-line journal.
Investigative writer and historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910–2010, and of “CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.”