Daily Archives: December 30, 2007

Peter Phillips On Civil Liberties Censorship

An excellent article titled “Civil liberties, civil rights more censored in 2007” written by Peter Phillips, a professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and Director of Project Censored for People’s Weekly World Newspaper on 12/27/07 is below. I’ve added links to the laws referenced by Professor Phillips:

Civil Liberties, Civil Rights Most Censored In 2007

The U.S. corporate media like to think of themselves as providing the official most accurate news reporting of the day. The New York Times motto of “all the news that’s fit to print” is a clear example of this perspective. However, with corporate media coverage that increasingly focuses on a narrow range of celebrity updates, news from “official” government sources and sensationalized crimes and disasters, the self-justification of being the most fit is no longer valid.

We need to broaden our understanding of censorship in this country. The dictionary definition of censorship as direct government control of news is no longer adequate. The private corporate media in the U.S. significantly under-covers and/or deliberately censors numerous important news stories every year.

The common theme of the most censored stories over the past year is the systemic erosion of human rights and civil liberties both in the U.S. and the world at large. The corporate media ignored the fact that habeas corpus can now be suspended for anyone by order of the president. With the approval of Congress, the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006, signed by Bush on Oct. 17, 2006, allows for the suspension of habeas corpus for U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike. While media, including a lead editorial in The New York Times on Oct. 19, 2006, have given false comfort that American citizens will not be the victims of the measures legalized by this Act, the law is quite clear that “any person” can be targeted. The text in the MCA allows for the institution of a military alternative to the constitutional justice system for “any person” regardless of American citizenship. The MCA effectively does away with habeas corpus rights for all people living in the U.S. deemed by the president to be enemy combatants.

Continue reading