Niles Niemuth has an important article at WSWS about how the police brutality is being filtered though a very narrow lens. From the article:
In response to the guilty verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, the Biden administration and the media have pushed the narrative that police violence is the product of “systemic racism” and “white supremacy.”
Speaking Tuesday night, shortly after the verdict was announced, Biden declared that Floyd’s death had exposed “the systemic racism that is a stain on our nation’s soul. The knee on the neck of justice for Black Americans… The pain, the exhaustion that Black and brown Americans experience every single day.” He insisted that suppressing police killings requires “acknowledging and confronting head-on systemic racism and the racial disparities” in policing and the justice system.
Without exception, police violence in the United States is presented in the media and political establishment as a racial conflict. The disconnect between this narrative and the reality of police violence is staggering.
According to data collected by the Washington Post, 6,222 people have been killed by police in the US since the beginning of 2015. Nearly three times more people have been killed in encounters with police in just over six years than US soldiers were killed in Afghanistan over the last two decades.
Breaking it down by those victims who have been identified by race, 2,885 are white, 1,499 are black, 1,052 are Hispanic, 104 are Asian, 87 are Native American, and 47 are classified as other. From a standpoint of percentages, 46.4 percent are white, 24 percent black, 17 percent Hispanic, 1.7 percent Asian, 1.4 percent Native American, 0.75 percent other and 8.8 percent unidentified.
Relative to the entire population, there is a disproportionality in the number of African Americans and Native Americans killed by police, while whites, Hispanics and Asians are killed at a rate lower than their share of the population. Native Americans are killed at a rate that is seven times higher than their share of the population, while for blacks it is roughly two times higher.
There is no doubt that racism is a factor in many police killings, but it is not the racism of the entire society. It is racism in a particular segment of society, the police and military forces. The ruling class cultivates within its apparatus of repression all manner of fascistic and reactionary conceptions.
However, once the socioeconomic background of where the victims were killed—typically areas with low median household income and high rates of poverty—is factored in, most of the disparity is accounted for by economic factors.
Given the data about police killings, the exclusive focus on black victims is not only a distortion of reality, but it also vastly underestimates the scale of police brutality in the United States. Explaining this social phenomenon through a single factor, racism, leaves out a majority of the victims. The media’s presentation implies that police killings of whites and others are legitimate.
This is an important point. We need to expand the conversation, not constrict it.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Pro-war SLATE pretends to be interested in how the Iraq War started, Amnesty International issues a report on executions throughout the world while Reporters Without Borders looks at the global threats to journalists, and much more
On SLATE's SLOW BURN podcast today, the question is why did "Americans" believe noted liar and exile Ahmed Chalabi?
What a load of crap. And it just gets worse from the very beginning as you're lied to that Bully Boy Bush didn't want it but "was influenced by people in his administration."
No one's responsible, right? That's the argument the pro-war SLATE made. Makes? Made? I mean, I remember the garbage they offered in real time. I remember the crap they forced down the throats of the American people. So for them to show up all these years later and offer this garbage is not just disgusting, it's unethical.
They don't want answers, they're not pursuing answers.
They are part of the p.r. effort to removes the crimes of War Criminal Bully Boy Bush. It's an ongoing process to try to clean the blood from his hands.
From the rearview window, this looks to many people as another example of the media using anonymous sources to peddle fake news to attack Trump. While that could be considered valid, it’s more important to realize that this is another example of sources within the intelligence community using the media to promote war.
The story broke just as the Trump administration finalized plans to cut the number of troops in Afghanistan by nearly 50 percent, the lowest level since the beginning of that conflict in 2001. Trump’s plan to dial back America’s military footprint around the world was nearly universally opposed by the intelligence community, the military-industrial complex, but most importantly, the media.
While the American public, especially Republicans, view the media as left-wing, they’re more of an institution that supports consensus, including being pro-war.
It was crucial for liberal sectors of the media to invent and disseminate a harrowing lie about how Officer Brian Sicknick died. That is because he is the only one they could claim was killed by pro-Trump protesters at the January 6 riot at the Capitol.
So The New York Times on January 8 published an emotionally gut-wrenching but complete fiction that never had any evidence — that Officer Sicknick's skull was savagely bashed in with a fire extinguisher by a pro-Trump mob until he died — and, just like the now-discredited Russian bounty story also unveiled by that same paper, cable outlets and other media platforms repeated this lie over and over in the most emotionally manipulative way possible. Just watch a part of what they did and how:
As I detailed over and over when examining this story, there were so many reasons to doubt this storyline from the start. Nobody on the record claimed it happened. The autopsy found no blunt trauma to the head. Sicknick's own family kept urging the press to stop spreading this story because he called them the night of January 6 and told them he was fine — obviously inconsistent with the media's claim that he died by having his skull bashed in — and his own mother kept saying that she believed he died of a stroke.
But the gruesome story of Sicknick's “murder” was too valuable to allow any questioning. It was weaponized over and over to depict the pro-Trump mob not as just violent but barbaric and murderous, because if Sicknick weren't murdered by them, then nobody was (without Sicknick, the only ones killed were four pro-Trump supporters: two who died of a heart attack, one from an amphetamine overdose, and the other, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot point blank in the neck by Capitol Police despite being unarmed). So crucial was this fairy tale about Sicknick that it made its way into the official record of President Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate, and they had Joe Biden himself recite from the script, even as clear facts mounted proving it was untrue.
By the way, one person was killed in the DC riot -- Ashli Babbitt. She was unarmed. The police officer who shot her wasn't. If THIRD ever posts this week (I'm too sick -- cold -- to worry about it all that much), Ava and I addressed that reality in "types." Ashli was shot dead. The press didn't glom on that death -- until they wanted to paint her as sleaze because, after all, justice doesn't apply to sleaze, right? We all know that 27th Amendment to the Constitution, right? "Should you hold opinions that are different than the majority of people, we reserve the right to nullify you and to strip you of any expectations of fairness or justice." We are so damn barbaric as a society. That's the reality. And we're encouraged to be by the press which is doing nothing -- day in and day out -- but getting people to root in the Colosseum for the death and destruction of others. It's really sick and goes to just how little civilization has actually progressed.
Let's stay with reality and quote Sam Stanton (SACREMENTO BEE):
In a major blow to federal prosecutors, a federal judge in Sacramento ruled Wednesday that Omar Ameen may not be extradited back to Iraq to face trial in the 2014 murder of an Iraqi police officer.
The decision came in a 30-page order by U.S. Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan, who labeled parts of the government’s arguments “dubious” and said they call for “some degree of skepticism.”
Ameen’s federal defenders had waged a two-year battle to stop their client from being extradited, arguing that he was in Turkey with his family when the officer, Ihsan Abdulhafiz Jasim, was killed in Iraq.
A statement from Khafaji's media office said that the governor discussed the subject with Iraq’s Minister of Oil Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar, along with other issues such as creating job opportunities for graduates holding sit-ins in front of oil companies in the Dhi Qar provincial capital.
"It was approved to allocate a sum of money to send people injured in the protests for treatment outside Iraq," the statement said.
The rate of executions is even more disturbing given that the death penalty in MENA is regularly applied after trials that do not meet international fair trial standards. People in MENA continued to be executed or sentenced to death in 2020 for acts that should not be criminalized and other offences that do not meet the threshold of most serious crimes, meaning intentional killings, as required by international law.
At least 23 of the 107 people executed in Egypt were sentenced to death in cases relating to political violence, after grossly unfair trials marred by forced “confessions” and other serious human rights violations, including torture and enforced disappearances. Executions in Egypt shot up drastically following a security incident involving death row prisoners in the notorious al-Aqrab prison in September.
Lives of journalists in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region are at “risk” in protest coverage and corruption investigations, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in its annual World Press Freedom report, published on Tuesday.
Journalists are at the risk of being “harassed, abducted, physically attacked or even killed by unidentified militias” in Iraq and “the state’s powerlessness increases the dangers and makes it impossible to determine whether what the many militias are doing suits the government, whether the government has given them the go-ahead, or whether it has no control over the situation,” RSF said.
RSF has previously reported that four journalists were killed in Iraq while covering protests in 2020. Three were killed with gunshots to their heads and one trying to flee from clashes between security forces and protesters. RSF in the new report said murdering journalists goes “unpunished” due to lack of, or futile investigations.
The report evaluates press freedom in 180 countries, in which Iraq ranks 163 on the index, with the Middle East generally accused of undermining “the already beleaguered media freedom” which might “leave lasting scars on the media landscape,” says RSF, pointing to an “increased authoritarianism” in response to the situation of public health, economy and politics.
IRAQ (down six at 162nd)
After the protests, authorities are now focusing on coronavirus coverage
The worsening conditions for journalists in Iraq since protests
erupted in 2019 has put the country among those coloured black in the
Index’s world map, which signifies “very serious”.
Five journalists have been killed in just four months. The various
militias at large in the country constantly threaten the lives of
journalists in an effort to prevent them covering the protests,
repeating the allegations and also demonstrating the same ferocity as
the police, who use live ammunition.
The Iraqi government itself plays a full part in obstructing journalists. At least 10 news organizations have been suspended for covering the demonstrations in a manner deemed unfavourable by the authorities. Since the start of the health crisis, the authorities have been focusing on reports about the Covid-19 pandemic. The Communications and Media Commission (CMC) decided to suspend the news agency Reuters for publishing a story that quoted three unidentified doctors as saying they had been ordered not to talk to the media about the crisis. The autonomous region of Kurdistan is also in the firing line. The health ministry ordered the closure of the television channel NRT after it broadcast a report that the authorities had deliberately overestimated the number of people infected in order to discourage people from demonstrating.