15:25 GMT +323 February 2018
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    Why Isn't US Corporate Media Questioning Trump's Attack on Syria?

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    Brad Friedman
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    Today, we follow-up yesterday's interview with Theodore A. Postol, MIT Prof. Emeritus of Science, Technology and National Security Policy, by speaking with independent investigative journalist Robert Parry of Consortium News, who recently asked: "Did Al Qaeda Fool the White House Again?"

    On today's BradCast, Donald Trump may be failing in the courts, in Congress, failing the planet itself, but when it comes to military adventurism in Syria, the US media — left, right and center — all seem to be fully on board. That, despite the lack of independent evidence supporting the White House's justification for its unauthorized, unconstitutional, and likely illegal April 6 cruise missile attack on the sovereign, if war-torn Middle East nation.

    US President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the National Republican Congressional Committee March Dinner in Washington, US, March 21, 2017.
    © REUTERS/ Carlos Barria
    We discuss Postol's analyses, as covered in detail on yesterday's show, charging that the evidence presented by the White House to justify its military attack on Syria — purportedly in response to a deadly April 4 chemical weapons incident allegedly carried out by Bashar al-Assad's government against civilians in the rebel-held Idlib province — does not support the claims being made by the Administration and echoed uncritically by the US media.

    Parry, formerly an Associated Press reporter who helped break the Iran-Contra scandal in the mid-80s, responds to my questions about the remarkable lack of media coverage of Postol's analyses (if only to debunk them), as well as the seemingly complete lack of skepticism by the entirety of the US corporate mainstream media on Syria and other recent US military adventures. That, even after having been fooled before (Iraq, is just one example), and otherwise claiming a newfound interest in fact-checking and skepticism in the Trump Era.

    "We've seen now a recurring situation," says Parry. "We had the case of the Iraq War, where you might've thought 'well, after that, the New York Times and the Washington Post and others will be more skeptical and more self-critical about the need to show skepticism'. But that hasn't happened. In fact, it's gone increasingly in the other direction."

    "For the first two months or so of his Presidency, everything he said was put under a microscope and often laughed at, often rightly so," he tells me. "So there's been this attitude that this guy is not to be trusted on anything he says. Yet, he immediately jumps to a conclusion, way before there could've been any serious intelligence analysis of it, that Assad was responsible for this incident, and the mainstream media completely flipped around and just rallied to his position and then refused to listen to any alternative points of view on this."

    As a former mainstream journalist himself, before founding Consortium News in 1995 as "the first investigative news magazine on the Internet," Parry speaks to the "tremendous downside to your career if you ask too many questions" in the corporate media, whether covering Republican or Democratic administrations.

    Parry describes some of "serious questions" raised by Postol analyses concerning "not only the logic" behind the alleged sarin attack that seems wildly counter-intuitive for Assad to have carried out, "but the evidence that's been presented in connection with the April 4 incident."

    Also today: CNN and CBS fail miserably during their coverage of last weekend's worldwide March for Science by offering platforms to fossil-fueled climate change denialists; Arkansas kills two more prisoners; Federal court blocks Trump's Executive Order concerning "sanctuary cities" and Trump, the self-declared "Great Negotiator", reportedly folds once again like a paper tiger, this time concerning budget threats for his long-promised Mexican border wall.

    You can find Brad's previous editions here. And tune in to radio Sputnik three hours a day, five days a week, at 5 pm GMT.

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    Tags:
    mainstream corporate media, Bush legacy, National Security, Syrian crisis, Climate Change, Immigration, Death penalty, War on Terror, Iraq War, United Nations, CBS News, US Senate, CNN, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Syria, United States, Russia, Arkansas
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