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Wednesday, Dec 17th

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How the CIA Handles the US Media

On Jan. 7, the Washington Post published a front-page lead article and an op-ed on the nomination of Leon Panetta as CIA director; both articles exaggerated the extent of opposition to the Panetta appointment and they demonstrated the weakness of mainstream media coverage of the intelligence community, particularly the Central Intelligence Agency.

The front-page article by Karen DeYoung, a seasoned reporter, and Joby Warrick, a newcomer to the intelligence beat, presented a one-sided and inaccurate account of the opposition to the naming of Panetta.

The op-ed by David Ignatius, who has relied heavily on unnamed CIA clandestine operatives as sources for the past 25 years, argues that the CIA “has demonstrated an ability to sabotage bosses it doesn’t like.” Such balderdash!  

It is particularly ironic that such senior writers as DeYoung and Ignatius would rely on the views of clandestine officers who are particularly adept at manipulating people and opinion.  Indeed, that is part of their job description.  The reliance on anonymous CIA sources from the clandestine community does not make for good reporting or good journalism.

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Holocaust Denied

They know that the horror now raining on Gaza has little to do with Hamas or, absurdly, "Israel's right to exist." They know the opposite to be true: that Palestine's right to exist was canceled 61 years ago and the expulsion and, if necessary, extinction of the indigenous people was planned and executed by the founders of Israel. They know, for example, that the infamous "Plan D" resulted in the murderous depopulation of 369 Palestinian towns and villages by the Haganah (Jewish army) and that massacre upon massacre of Palestinian civilians in such places as Deir Yassin, al-Dawayima, Eilaboun, Jish, Ramle and Lydda are referred to in official records as "ethnic cleansing."

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VIDEO: Ron Paul: Israel Created Hamas!

U.N. wants to know if war crimes were committed in Gaza

The U.N. high commissioner for human rights Friday called for an investigation of possible Israeli war crimes in Gaza as local residents told more gruesome tales about Israeli troops neglecting wounded civilians and the killing of unarmed Palestinians.

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UN: One-third of Gaza dead, injured are children

As of Thursday, 257 children were among the approximately 760 reported dead in Gaza. There were another 1,080 children among the 3,100 injured in the conflict, according to statistics from Gaza's health ministry.

The U.N.'s top humanitarian official, John Holmes, described the numbers as "credible" and deeply disturbing. U.N officials say about half of the casualties were civilians.

"It's particularly distressing and horrifying that the current casualties seem to be increasingly civilian casualties, with an increasing incidence of whole families being buried in houses which have been hit," Holmes said.

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Pentagon denies arms shipment to Israel linked to Gaza fighting

The U.S. military has sought to hire a merchant ship to deliver ammunition to Israel this month, tender documents show, but the Pentagon said the shipment was not linked to the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

A Pentagon spokesman said the ammunition was for a U.S. stockpile in Israel. The U.S. military pre-positions stockpiles in some countries in case it needs supplies at short notice.

The shipment originated in the United States, Ryder said. He provided no further details on the intended cargo.

A "hazardous material" designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators but gives no other details.

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FDA scientists complain to Obama of 'corruption'

In an unusually blunt letter, a group of federal scientists is complaining to the Obama transition team of widespread managerial misconduct in a division of the Food and Drug Administration.

"The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the scientific review process for medical devices at the FDA has been corrupted and distorted by current FDA managers, thereby placing the American people at risk," said the letter, dated Wednesday and written on the agency's Center for Devices and Radiological Health letterhead.

"Currently, there is an atmosphere at FDA in which the honest employee fears the dishonest employee, and not the other way around," the scientists wrote.

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Bush ordered ceasefire retreat at UN

Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, was forced to step back from voting in favour of the Gaza ceasefire resolution at the UN Security Council after orders from Washington, diplomatic sources said yesterday.

The US abstention on the resolution vote early yesterday, which clearly weakened its impact, was the final twist in a tumultuous three-day marathon of negotiations in New York.

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IDF troops attack the Press TV studios in Gaza despite GPS co-ordinates being sent to the IDF troops to prevent this happening. Journalists are now targets of Israels latest wave of attacks

Press TV has been one of the few international news networks able to broadcast live feeds of the Israeli attacks in Gaza.

Speaking to Press TV Hamoudi Gharib the Gaza correspondent confirmed that IDF troops targeted the studios of Press TV with repeated attacks.

This would be a clear contravention of international law with the targeting of journalists and civilians.

"No one is safe in Gaza, the UN, civilians or journalists."

"Press TV is prepared to show the horrific attacks by the IDF with graphic images of children being killed" - Press TV Gaza journalist Hamoudi Gharib

The Iranian Government has funded Press TV which has been broadcasting to Europe with many media analysts crediting the coverage of the station as "one of the most comprehensive on television" during the IDF invasion of Gaza.

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