May 3, 2004
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Subject: I dreamt I went to a BuzzFlash convention and it was great
Subject: Local FOX station picks up "Nightline"
Our local FOX affiliate, WHNS, in response to WLOS Asheville (Sinclair) preempting "Nightline," is picking up the program so that locals can make up their own mind. Pretty bad when FOX has to show ABC the way
Subject: POW TORTURE
Dear Buzz,Reading the following excerpt from an AP news report made me want to projectile vomit:
WASHINGTON - The six U.S. soldiers facing courts-martial in connection with mistreatment of detainees at an Iraqi prison did not receive in-depth training on the Geneva Conventions, which govern the handling of captives, a military spokeswoman said Friday.
Well, gee whiz, you know I haven't received in-depth training about how to treat prisoners according to the rules of the Geneva Convention, either, but I have the innate awareness that treating other human beings like animals and subjecting them to physical and mental torture goes against every instinct of personal decency, integrity, and honor.One would also assume that with fellow military personnel such as Pfc. Keith M. Maupinstill being detained as a hostage by a group of angry Iraqi dissidents, one wouldn't want to run the risk of putting him or any of the other "coalition" detainees in the life-threatening position of being used as bloody payback.What these six military people did cannot and should not be dismissed as "not knowing any better" by the American press or by anyone with a conscience.There's an old saying that "the fish rots from the head down," so whatever war crimes are being committed by these and other military personnel under the guise of bringing FREEDOM to the Iraqi people is simply a reflection of the cruelty and ignorance and bravado that exists all the way up through this Administration to the Oval Office itself.
Everyone in this country should be outraged and appalled. And no one should write it off to the excuse that "they didn't have the training to know that it's wrong to torture people."
If shrugging it all off and making lame excuses is the new way in which we've decided to conduct ourselves globally, then we may well win the war in time; but in the process we will have lost the primary element that has always madeAmerica great--our humanity.
Subject: British Soldier Photos NOT "New News"
My wife and I were in Japan last late August and early September (2003). We read in, I forget, either "The Japan Times or "Daily Yomiuri," about photos surfacing of British soldiers perpetrating horrific humiliations against Iraqi prisoners in the spring and summer of '03! I remember my wife commenting, "Well, you can bet CNN and the other U.S. networks will never make a peep about this."
Now, we hear about U.S. soldiers, and maybe mercs, abusing prisoner, and we're all shocked, shocked . . . Well, gee, if the U.S. media had reported on the Brit photos that were reported in the British press (and picked up and reported on in Japan ), perhaps Americans would have been a little less "shocked" that such things were going on in Iraq.
And, now, we hear about more photos of Brits abusing Iraqi prisoners, only this round is being reported as if it were all new and everything. Sorry, this is old news . . . Only the U.S. press/media has decided to be all breathless about it now.
Richard R. Newton
Subject: Sinclair Broadcasting
I live in one of the communities (Pensacola, Florida) that Sinclair Broadcasting denied the opportunity to see "Nightline" I believe that it's important for everyone to see the names and faces of those who have been killed. If we, as Americans can hear these names and see these faces and still support the war, then most likely the war was just and appropriate. Similarly, if we can hear these names and see these faces and have doubts about the war, then perhaps the war was not justified. In either case, understanding that those who have died were living, breathing human beings causes every American to search their own soul about the decision to engage in war. This is how it should be.
Subject: Why doesn't WAAY-TV support our troops?
As a Huntsville, Alabama, [resident], I would like to know why WAAY does not support our troops by honoring the fallen?. Please tell me why you are afraid to run "Nightline" tonight. Also send me a list of your advertisers, so that I can let them know that I will not be supporting them as long as they support cowardly WAAY-TV. Thank you for your cooperation.
Subject: Cancellation of NIGHTLINE Broadcast
To the Sinclair Broadcasting Group:
As a veteran, I am insulted by the decision of Sinclair Broadcasting Group to cancel the Friday, April 30, broadcast of "Nightline" on its affiliate stations. Senator John McCain spoke for many of us in a letter in which he stated that Sinclair's "decision to deny your viewers an opportunity to be reminded of war's terrible costs, in all their heartbreaking detail, is a gross disservice to the public, and to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. It is, in short, sir, unpatriotic. I hope it meets with the public opprobrium it most certainly deserves."
What is also troubling is Sinclair's own record of partisanship. Since 1997 through the end of 2003, Sinclair and its executives and affiliates have given 100% of their political contributions exclusively to Republicans, more than $165,000 in total. This leads me to believe that the real reason for this act of censorship is Sinclair's fear that a reading of the names of American dead in Iraq will reflect negatively on the Bush administration's conduct of the war. Perhaps. But you do your viewers a gross disservice in not allowing them the opportunity to make that decision for themselves. This decision is reprehensible and unpatriotic. You should be ashamed.
Subject: Re: Impeach Bush book
Thank you. It's way past time for impeaching George, for crimes against the nation and crimes against humanity.
Subject: Saddam Hussein
This is about a court trial for Saddam Hussein. George Bush told us he had to invade Iraq to save us from an attack by Saddam and he told us a lot of lies about evidence he had that proved Saddam was a threat & we must attack him immediately before he attacked us. He then invaded a foreign country, captured and imprisoned their leader, and now we know that this feeble old man had no weapons of mass destruction and was not a threat to us. Now our legal people are preparing to charge him with a crime. What is his crime against the U.S.? What did he do to us? Can he be charged with the crime that he might have had an intent to do something to us? Can he be charged by us for crimes he commited against the Kurds, against Kuwait, against Iran?
In other words, what in hell was this war really about?
CENSORSHIP IS BAD FOR AMERICA
Sinclair Broadcasting Group's decision to prevent
an ABC News program, "Nightline,"
This is another example of why it was a bad idea to allow vast amounts of broadcast and print media to be owned and/or controlled by just a few groups. Diversity of views is what made this country strong and an example for the world. Now we are becoming intellectually weaker, and economically less influential, as a result of a lack of real journalism and the free expression of ideas.
Shame on Sinclair Broadcasting for not demonstrating any professional courage. The sources of information for the citizens of a free society must be maintained and improved. By forcing its misplaced influence on its viewers and stopping them from viewing a news event, Sinclair has done further harm to the already weakened field of journalism.
CENSORSHIP IS NEVER THE ANSWER
Peter S. Vaughan III
Subject: Follow Bush: the "strong leader"
What I don't understand is why Bush's persona as a "firm,decisive, strong leader" should be such a strong selling point to the radical right. I would note that the lead Lemming in a herd of Lemmings heading suicidally for the cliffs overlooking the sea is also a "commited, decisive, strong leader."
Arthur M. Howard
Subject: Bush failed to protect us. The great strong leader is a sham.
On Apr. 26, a writer postulated that even had Bush had a warning in August 2001 of impending al Quaeda attacks ( he did), he couldn't have done anything to prevent them because of the Democratic Senate. Here is what President Bush could have and should have done, instead of "sleeping at the switch" and clearing brush at his ranch.
The President should have been the decisive leader his campaign ads claim. He should have gone on prime time TV and radio from the Oval Office and explained that we were under threat by Arab fundamentalists led by Bin Laden. He could have told us what we now know, [data that] the C.I.A. and F.B.I. had put together about the attacks on America, from Beirut through the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the African Embassy bombings, and the Cole assaults. He could have told us that a current plot exists that would use hijacked airliners and use them as missiles. This warning to the public would probably have caught the Arab flight school students who were already under suspicion. This would have prevented the passengers from allowing an easy take-over of the planes. This would have prevented the delays and chaos of those still in the trade towers after the first attack. How many more people could have escaped?? How many airports would have prevented boarding by foreign Arab males? Forget profiling, we were under attack.
More than this simple sharing of the plot with his public, Bush could have easily done the following by simple executive order. Alert the air defenses to the need for swift action to possibly shoot down a commandeered airplane (Where were those F15s???). Put locks and armor on all cockpit doors.¦..how many days would that take??? Put an armed sky marshal on every flight. The cost would be far less than the cost of one destroyed Boeing 747.
Bush and his government had no clue what to do to prevent such an attack because they didn't take it seriously...and that is what Richard Clarke, his terrorism chief, said under oath.
On 9/11 grounds alone, Bush and his whole incompetent government should be fired in November.
Subject: Bush flip-flops on ransom
Why the flip-flop? In response to the recent kidnappings of U.S. personnel in Iraq, the Bush administration said it was not government policy to pay ransoms for hostages. Why the Bush flip-flop?
In Febuary 2002, President Bush signed a major policy reversal on international hostage-taking. Under that policy, Bush administration officials said the United States might sometimes pay ransom to kidnappers but would be aggressive in recovering the money once a hostage was safely released. Government officials pointed "to the October 2000 kidnapping of four American oil workers in Ecuador as setting the precedent for the policy shift."
The only difference I can see between the 2002 Bush policy to pay ransom in South America and the decision not to pay ransom in Iraq is that the former was driven by concern for oil company employees in Ecuador, and the latter was driven by lack of concern for personnel in Iraq. Is that the moral way for a commander-in-chief to lead his troops?
Subject: Bush's 911 Testimony
So when Clinton and Gore testified, transcripts were made. (Despite White House lies that no transcripts were made.)
However, when Bush and Cheny testified, no transcripts. Ironic because for every other time he speaks out a transcript is made. Even "Meet the Press" and three hours plus interview with Woodward.
Totally spineless and hypocritical.
Subject: Senator John McCain's letter
This letter from a hero from another generation supporting those brave heroes from a new generation is extremely important. They did not die in vain, to be cast aside as though they did nothing important. They must be honored, and attempts to dishonor them through unwillingness to share with the entire nation their ultimate sacrifice is an abridgement of First Amendment rights. The American people deserve more.
Subject: Can we please surround them?Let's just do it - thousands of people - surround the NY Times, the Wash Post, the networks. Hell, there's never anyone on the ABC plaza anyway. Every week on a different day, twenty minutes before air time, or before the trucks roll, surround the damned buildings.
It's the only way to demonstrate that the media will pay attention to.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Article: Retreat from Iraq?
Dear BuzzFlash,A real analysis of our military situation in Iraq...
Subject: UnChristian, Unpatriotic, Soviet-like CensorshipGentlemen of Sinclair Broadcasting/David Smith, 1. You have shamed the Christian soldiers who have given their lives for this country by not allowing their names to be heard and photos to be shown tonight, without any additional comments or political viewpoint other than your own politically paranoid interpretation.
Your decision to protect the President, who started this Iraq quagmire under totally false premises, is tantamount to treachery, valuing your political allegiances over the lives and sacrifices of the soldiers who died for him (like Jesus and Judas?).
That is unpatriotic and unChristian. Mercy upon your soiled soul as it twists in hell for such a vile political act.
2. The airwaves belong to the American people, not Sinclair. We are a big and diverse nation with the blessing of many different points of view - thanks be to God that we have different points of view on view and to be heard (the USSR did not). You have behaved just like a Soviet commissar by spinning your political motivations with patriotic garbage.
The American people can simply change channels and stations if they don't like the content or slant. But when a broadcaster eliminates and silences non-political content in furtherance of its own radical, subversive, and censorious political point of view, then you have invalidated your right to further broadcast over the airwaves - violating the spirit of the First Amendment.
3. It also is a terrible business decision. Now people who had no awareness at all of your corporate name will always associate Sinclair with partisan stupidity, where a business values it radical politics more importantly than any honor for the fallen.
What a debacle!
Subject: This is...why we should see all the flag-draped coffins and hear all the names read...
This is a good example of why we should see all the flag-draped coffins and hear all the names read...even the number two "chicken hawk" in charge of the Defense Department doesn't know how many brave men and women he has ordered to march, fly or sail on their last mission.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was asked [April 29] about the death toll in the Iraqi War at a hearing of a House Appropriations subcommittee. "It's approximately 500, of which... I can get the exact numbers... approximately 350 are combat deaths," he responded.
American deaths Thursday were at 722... since the start of military operations in Iraq last year, according to the Department of Defense. Wolfowitz, an architect and early advocate of the military campaign in Iraq, was responding to questions from Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, on the costs of the war.
Since President Bush declared an end to major combat last May 1, "Mission Accomplished," 582 U.S. soldiers have died. This month, April 2004, has been the deadliest month of the war, with more than 100 killed and more than 900 wounded amid a sharp escalation of the violence.
Have our "leaders" become so desperate for a way out of Iraq that they've lost their collective minds? Don't answer that.
The latest folly in Fallujah has Bush's full backing -- that is, calling up Saddam's Republican Guard to bring order to the city -- and we all know what a great military mind Dubya has, considering his stellar performance in the Air National Guard. The former Iraqi general expects to have 700-900 troops ready to enforce order in Fallujah within mere days, and the force will include members of the new security force that the U.S. supposedly armed and trained and who subsequently refused to fight against their countrymen. Somehow they have reconsidered and will now elect to blow away their fellow countrymen if directed to do so by the general. As Arte Johnson once said, "Verrrrry inter-resstink!"
Perhaps I'm cynical, but has it occurred to anyone in Washington that if the general can reconstitute the Iraqi forces so easily perhaps the U.S. has more trouble on its hands than it thought possible? It seems to me that if the new force in Fallujah is relatively successful, even barely so, the U.S. will blindly rush forward to assemble more like forces in other parts of the country to make up for the dearth in of U.S. force strength. What a perfect setup! The transition is scheduled for June 30, come hell or high water, and the U.S. will actually pay real money to rebuild the Iraqi military to its pre-war levels. And how do you spell M-I-L-I-T-A-R-Y C-O-U-P?
Subject: A failed president
The Moveon.org. organization is releasing a new powerful commercial. It compares John Kerry's war record with the non-war record of Bush's. It tells how Kerry did not leave any one of his men behind. Kerry believes that we are a great nation, and a great nation does not leave any of its people behind, not only in war but in life. Kerry has been tested under the most extreme situation, showing great leadership in war. Bush chose not to take that test. He failed to show up. It comes down to character. Kerry has courage, strength, and conviction. We need to be united as one nation, not divided. Bush has had his chance, and he has failed. A failure of leadership will be rewarded with Bush's failure at the polls this November.
Subject: Your campaign
Dear Senator Kerry:
Assuming you get the nomination at the Democratic Convention, I will vote for you. Having said that, I believe it's incumbent on you and your campaign strategists to begin to take the pulse of the people by listening to them. Bush can be elected, but not if you give all Americans reasons to vote for you and not him.
Many of us in the party were supporters of Howard Dean, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, and Al Sharpton as our first choice. Many of us want you to beat George W. Bush, but just as important as that victory is to all of us, it is equally important that you define what your issues are. That you define what you will do as president if we give you our vote.
Many of us think that you are allowing the Bush campaign to define who you are by responding to their ridiculous accusations and slanderous allegations. Most of us know that this is a mere political tactic, and it won't sway your serious supporters.
Further, many of also think you give too much credence to the media. Since the media are largely responsible for getting Howard Dean out of the race, if I were you, I wouldn't trust them to support you. They are a fickle bunch, more concerned with their own predictions than providing the voters with clear differences in issues. Bush's environmental policies, his lies about Iraq and 9-11, the extreme secrecy of his administration, his lies about knowing Ken Lay, his willingness to allow everyone except himself to "step up to the plate" and respond to our legitimate concerns about his deceptions, illustrates the kind of "character" he has and he comes up short time after time in that category. Bush has revealed himself as a bullying coward who lets others do his dirty work and take risks while he enjoys the benefits of their efforts.
Dennis Kucinich had some excellent ideas relating to repealing the USA Patriot Act. Howard Dean had some excellent points on why this war is wrong and was at its outset. John Edwards articulated the "two Americas" theme very well and many voters responded to his message.
My point in all of this is that you and your campaign workers need to listen to all of those courageous men who put their hats in the political ring, and to those of us who were their supporters, because we believed they were the best candidates. Your political circumstances have changed, but the voters' choices of issues have not changed.
I receive several e-mail messages from people in your campaign who are asking for money. None of those requests ask for my ideas. Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean can teach you something about the perils of concentrating on money and not listening to those of us who want some input into our government.
If I continue to receive only requests for money but not my ideas, please explain why I should give either to you?
Subject: Sinclair Broadcast Group
To Commissioner Powell and the remaining FCC members:
I wish to file a complaint against the Sinclair Broadcast Group for its decision to censor the April 30, 2004, broadcast of ABC's Nightline during which Ted Koppel will read the names and display the photos of the soliders lost during the Iraqi conflict in a nationwide tribute. Such censorship is reprehensible and politically driven. See SBG's own statement regarding its decision at http://www.sbgi.net/.
The Chairman and CEO of Sinclair Broadcasting Group, Mr. David Smith, has very publicly supported the President, including campaign contributions, during his runs for public office. Be that is it may, it does not give Mr. Smith the right to censor public broadcasts that he perceives as an affront to his personal political convictions. This is not the first instance of this egregious behavior. It has become commonplace, and since the FCC's ill-advised decision to allow further media consolidation, the impact of such censorship is a direct and uncontroverted assault against this nation's First Amendment right of free speech.
I strongly urge you to conduct hearings on this matter at the earliest opportunity to determine whether fines are in order and whether or not the license of Sinclair Media Group should be revoked and to conduct hearings to revisit the Commission's new rule allowing for futher media consolidation.
Subject: Is it happening all over again?
Speaking of Sinclair Broadcasting... From Clark University. The similarities in this article are absolutely scary. Please post this if you have room. Everyone at BuzzFlash should read it.
Subject: Bush-Cheney appearance
I regret that the Commission allowed itself to be compromised by letting Bush and Cheney appear before it without the benefit of "testifying under oath.". This is especially repugnant to me since both of these men swore an oath to protect us when they entered government service as president and vice president. Their actions, or lack of action, could indicate they violated their oaths. All of us, no matter what our party affiliation is, need to know what they knew and when they knew it.
Many people in this country are getting impatient with the double standards applied to the most secretive administration that any of us has ever seen. When Congress doesn't honor its oversight responsibilities to the executive branch, our democratic republic suffers. I just hope the damage isn't permanent.
I believe the families of those who died on September 11, 2001, and the rest of us, deserve to know the true facts of who knew what and when it was known.
After all, before September 11, 2001, there were thousands of people in local, county, state and federal governments who were responsible for the safety of our citizens. They were being paid with our tax dollars to protect us. Are we now to believe that no one in government is responsible? Does anyone really believe that it's reasonable that no one in our government could have seen the attack coming? To allow anyone to escape scrutiny for their actions, which put so many at risk, is to abrogate the Commission's responsibilities and will ensure that our security problems won't be corrected any time soon. And that will put more of us at risk of other attacks. Who could possibly find this a reasonable course of action?
Subject: Aiding and abetting the enemy
Folks, I guarantee you that Americans will die because of the U.S. soldiers who got caught torturing Iraqi POWs. Aside from the fact that it's immoral, illegal, inhumane, and just plain down-right evil, these criminals have just put the period at the end of the sentence of "winning hearts and minds of the Iraqi people." It's finished. We've become what we claim to despise. Will this torture stop, or will they simply make sure that no more cameras are allowed into the prisons? Do these morons not realize that mistreating POWs only ensures the same treatment should Americans become POWs? How can we expect or claim the right of humane treatment for American POWs anywhere in the world if the U.S. is torturing its POWs? This is a national disgrace. Why isn't Bush denouncing this torture from the rooftops? Does he condone it?
A BuzzFlash Reade
Subject: Sinclair VP phone numbers
I found the phone number to Sinclair's VP: cell #443-677-6865 or office at 410-568-1505.
Please let everyone know!
Subject: Sinclair and Nightline
I've sent the following to the LA Times, Nightline, and the CEO of Sinclair Broadcasting:
The refusal of the Sinclair Broadcasting Group to allow their affiliate stations to air ABC's Nightline tonight is one of the best reasons yet to roll back the number of stations one media conglomerate can own. This is, of course, nothing less than censorship of the worst kind.
Yes, the war in Iraq is controversial. It is so controversial that the current administration goes to great lengths to hide from view images of dead and wounded American military personnel as they return home. It is so controversial that the Sinclair Broadcasting Group will censor a program designed to honor those heroic members of our armed forces who have died in this war because it may cause the citizens of this country to pause and reflect on the meaning, the reason, and the conduct of this questionable war.
The Sinclair Broadcasting Group's motivations are very clear: they are a media conglomerate that contributes large sums to the political campaigns of those in the current administration to curry favor regarding their expansionist plans. They proudly describe themselves as "the next Fox," which is considered by most thinking Americans as simply a propaganda outlet for the White House. Like Fox, an honest, unbiased presentation of the news is simply not in their interest.
CEO David Smith has shown the true colors of Sinclair Broadcasting. They are not the red, white, and blue that my father, myself, and millions of other American servicemen fought for in far away lands. Smith and Sinclair's colors are the darker, more malevolent shadows left when a free expression of opinion is no longer allowed. David Smith and the Sinclair Broadcasting Group dishonor the very sacrifice of our service men and women who have given all they could in the name of this nation.
Subject: Declaraton Against Sinclair Broadcast GroupPlease send this to everyone you know and have them flood the inbox of this corp. Mail to: email@example.com
Subject: When will Valarie Plame get justice?
It is time that the news media summoned the courage, in much the way that "60 Minutes II" just did by publishing pictures of sadistic treatment of Iraqi prisoners, of who in the Bush White House "outed" the CIA operative Valerie Plame.
This is a scandal of national, if not international, proportions and should be thoroughly investigated. Hopefully we can find out before we go to the polls in November.If this information does not get to the American people before the election, many of us will conclude that the press is indeed in bed with the White House.
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