Archive for the ‘ABC’ Category

India Had Intelligence in Mid September of Hotel Attack, Sea Entry of Terrorists

December 2, 2008

As the investigation into the intelligence failures that preceded the Mumbai attacks proceeds, there is evidence that even quite specific information that was gathered was either not properly analysed or not acted on.
 
The Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India’s external intelligence agency, had provided several intercepts from signals intelligence over the last three months. These suggested that a terror  strike on a Mumbai hotel was imminent. But they were largely ignored.

By Vir Sanghvi
Hindustan Times

On September 18, R&AW computers intercepted a satellite phone conversation between a known Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) asset and an unknown person. The LeT asset said that an operation to target a hotel at the Gateway of India in Mumbai was being planned and that the sea route would be used.

On September 24, R&AW’s computer recorded another satellite phone conversation. This time, the LeT asset identified the hotels that were being considered for the attack by name. They were the Taj, the Marriott, the Land’s End and the Sea Rock. A possible attack on the Juhu airfield (used by a flying club) was also discussed.


All these hotels have one thing in common: they are easily accessible from the sea. The Taj is on the Apollo Bunder waterfront,  the Marriott is on Juhu sea face and the Land’s End and the Sea Rock are both on the sea-facing tip of Bandra. This should have been enough to let police know that: 1) Hotels were the target. 2) The attackers would use the sea route.

On November 19, R&AW listeners picked up another unexplained satellite phone conversation. A voice said, “We will reach Bombay between nine and eleven.” R&AW trackers identified the exact coordinates of the call and discovered that it came from the sea near Mumbai, 40 km west of Jhol.
 
This was clear evidence — at the very least — of an attempt being made to enter Mumbai illegally by people armed with advanced satellite phones.

Read the rest:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/FullcoverageStoryPage.aspx
?id=92057c70-5c4e-4d02-9901-e668997738efMumbaiunderattack_
Special&&Headline=26%2f11+could+have+been+stopped

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U.S. Warned India Twice About Terror From The Sea

United States intelligence agencies had warned India “twice” about a potential maritime attack on Mumbai at least a month before audacious terror strikes that has left about 200 people dead and scores injured, media reports said.

“The United States warned the Indian government about a potential maritime attack against Mumbai at least a month before last week’s massacre in the country’s financial capital,” the CNN quoted a US counter-terrorism official as saying.

The American network quoted the official as saying that the warning was issued not once but “twice”.

A second government source told ABCnews.Com that specific locations, including the Taj Hotel, were listed in the US warning.

“US intelligence indicated that a group might enter the country by water and launch an attack on Mumbai, said the official, who refused to be identified due to the ongoing investigation into the attacks and the sensitivity of the information,” the CNN added.

“Indian security forces have confirmed to CNN that not only did US officials warn them of a water-borne attack in Mumbai — they were told twice. The area entered a higher state of alert for a week, including tightened security measures at hotels, but those efforts were eventually reduced, Indian officials said,” the network, which repeatedly broadcast the story last evening, maintained.

Read the rest:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/FullcoverageS
toryPage.aspx?id=b25c25e5-ae43-45a1-a388-150596a0f259Mumbaiunderattack_Special&&Head
line=’US+warned+India+’twice’+about+sea+attack+on+Mumbai’

American Media, Journalists Stampede to Love Obama; Healthy?

November 18, 2008

Perhaps it was the announcement that NBC News is coming out with a DVD titled “Yes We Can: The Barack Obama Story.” Or that ABC and USA Today are rushing out a book on the election. Or that HBO has snapped up a documentary on Obama’s campaign.

Perhaps it was the Newsweek commemorative issue — “Obama’s American Dream” — filled with so many iconic images and such stirring prose that it could have been campaign literature. Or the Time cover depicting Obama as FDR, complete with jaunty cigarette holder.

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 17, 2008; C01

Are the media capable of merchandizing the moment, packaging a president-elect for profit? Yes, they are.

What’s troubling here goes beyond the clanging of cash registers. Media outlets have always tried to make a few bucks off the next big thing. The endless campaign is over, and there’s nothing wrong with the country pulling together, however briefly, behind its new leader. But we seem to have crossed a cultural line into mythmaking.

“The Obamas’ New Life!” blares People’s cover, with a shot of the family. “New home, new friends, new puppy!” Us Weekly goes with a Barack quote: “I Think I’m a Pretty Cool Dad.” The Chicago Tribune trumpets that Michelle “is poised to be the new Oprah and the next Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis — combined!” for the fashion world.

Whew! Are journalists fostering the notion that Obama is invincible, the leader of what the New York Times dubbed “Generation O”?

Each writer, each publication, seems to reach for more eye-popping superlatives. “OBAMAISM — It’s a Kind of Religion,” says New York magazine. “Those of us too young to have known JFK’s Camelot are going to have our own giddy Camelot II to enrapture and entertain us,” Kurt Andersen writes. The New York Post has already christened it “BAM-A-LOT.”

“Here we are,” writes Salon’s Rebecca Traister, “oohing and aahing over what they’ll be wearing, and what they’ll be eating, what kind of dog they’ll be getting, what bedrooms they’ll be living in, and what schools they’ll be attending. It feels better than good to sniff and snurfle through the Obamas’ tastes and habits. . . . Who knew we had in us the capacity to fall for this kind of idealized Americana again?”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/16
/AR2008111602374_pf.html

Obama Offers Rahm Emanuel Job of White House Chief of Staff

November 5, 2008

ABC News has learned that President-elect Obama has offered the White House chief of staff job to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill.

Emanuel, a knowledgeable source tells ABC News, has not yet given his answer. The sharp-tongued, sharp-elbowed, keenly intelligent veteran of the Clinton White House is said to have ambitions to some day be Speaker of the House. But he also has a keen sense of “duty.”

In this June 6, 2008, file photo Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., ...
In this June 6, 2008, file photo Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., left, huddles with then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. in Chicago. President-elect Barack Obama chose Emanual to be his White House chief of staff, his first selection for the new administration, Democratic officials said Wednesday.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Today on “Good Morning America” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos reported Obama likes the fact that Emanuel “knows policy, knows politics, knows Capitol Hill” and has told associates that Emanuel would “have his back.”

There is a tentative plan to announce Obama’s chief of staff this week.

By Jake Tapper, ABC News

Obama TV infomercial: Smart or overkill?

October 29, 2008

Barack Obama will go on national television tonight and air a 30-minute infomercial about himself and his presidential campaign.

Several political image makers, both Republicans and Democrats, say it’s a smart move. But is there a risk of excess in it, as well? 

From: Jeanne Cummings; Politico

While Obama hasn’t made many strategic mistakes in his campaign against Republican John McCain, he has, on occasion, shown a weakness for extravagance.

In July, Obama’s visits to Afghanistan and Iraq generated comforting images of the senator with military leaders and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. But his trip ended in Berlin with an image of 200,000 fans, mostly Europeans, chanting Obama’s name.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. ... 
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. greets supporters at a rally in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

In August, his campaign navigated the minefield of the Democratic Party’s feuding families to pull off a convention that began healing the wounds between the Clinton and Obama camps. Then it came to its conclusion between two Greek columns where a triumphant Obama delivered an acceptance speech to a football stadium crowd of more than 80,000.

Today, Obama is dominating the television ad wars. As of Oct. 22, Obama placed 150 percent more ads than McCain in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to the Nielsen Co.
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Despite all that, and despite his lead in national and most battleground polls, the campaign decided to plunk down between $3 and $5 million to buy half-hour blocks of time at 8 p.m. tonight on NBC, CBS, FOX, Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One for delivery of his final argument to the voters.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081029/pl_politico/
15056;_ylt=Ash8CfJ1SGt2oY.MjjB4X5qs0NUE

Big 3 networks still fixated on ‘first love’ Obama

October 14, 2008

By Jennifer Harper
The Washington Times

The “big three” broadcast networks – NBC, ABC and CBS – remain captivated with Sen. Barack Obama, according to a study of campaign coverage released Tuesday by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University.

Numbers tell all: 61 percent of the stories that appeared on the networks between Aug. 23 and Sept. 30 were positive toward the Democratic Party. In contrast, just 39 percent of the stories covering Republicans were favorable.

“After a brief flirtation with Sarah Palin, the broadcast networks have returned to their first love: Barack Obama,” said Robert Lichter, the center’s president.

“John McCain has not been so lucky. He’s gotten bad coverage from the beginning. It has never varied from that,” Mr. Lichter added.

Fox News Channel, which was included in the study to provide parity, cut the Republicans some slack. Overall, 44 percent of the Republican coverage included in the half-hour news portion of the nightly “Special Report with Brit Hume” was positive, compared with 25 percent favorable coverage for the Democrats. Mr. Obama was favored in only 28 percent of the stories. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. garnered 18 percent positive coverage. Thirty-eight percent of the stories about Mr. McCain were positive.

And Mrs. Palin, the Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee? Comparatively speaking, she was a Fox favorite, with half the stories about her positive.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/oct/14/
study-big-3-networks-still-fixated-on-first-love-o/

Obama Up by 10 Points as McCain Favorability Ratings Fall

October 13, 2008

By Anne E. Kornblut and Jon Cohen
The Washington Post

With just over three weeks until Election Day, the two presidential nominees appear to be on opposite trajectories, with Sen. Barack Obama gaining momentum and Sen. John McCain stalled or losing ground on a range of issues and personal traits, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Overall, Obama is leading 53 percent to 43 percent among likely voters, and for the first time in the general-election campaign, voters gave the Democrat a clear edge on tax policy and providing strong leadership.

McCain has made little headway in his attempts to convince voters that Obama is too “risky” or too “liberal.” Rather, recent strategic shifts may have hurt the Republican nominee, who now has higher negative ratings than his rival and is seen as mostly attacking his opponent rather than addressing the issues that voters care about. Even McCain’s supporters are now less enthusiastic about his candidacy, returning to levels not seen since before the Republican National Convention.

Conversely, Obama’s pitch to the middle class on taxes is beginning to sink in; nearly as many said they think their taxes would go up under a McCain administration as under an Obama presidency, and more see their burdens easing with the Democrat in the White House.

The poll was conducted after Tuesday night’s debate, which most voters said did not sway their opinions much. Still, voters’ impressions of Obama are up, and views of McCain have slipped.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/10/12
/AR2008101202333.html?hpid=topnews

Dragnet, Freedom of the Press, The Facts, and the Mainstream News Media

July 25, 2007

By James Zumwalt
For Peace and Freedom
July 26, 2007

A popular TV program during the 1950s, “Dragnet,” starred actor Jack Webb portraying a no-nonsense police investigator. His investigative technique made popular a line he often used in the show. Interviewing female witnesses who strayed from just sharing factual observations–offering instead unsolicited opinions–Webb, seeking to refocus the interviewee, admonished, “All we want are the facts, ma’am.”

Jack Webb

Webb’s admonition to provide just the facts is one appropriate to news reporting as well. However, the results of a recent study commissioned by one major international news organization—known for its very liberal bias—show exactly how far it has strayed from this role. And, since the vast majority of those in the media—by their own admission—are cut from the same liberal cloth, it is reasonable to assume what sins the study reveals about this news organization pertain to the majority of those working within the industry.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) hired an external group to evaluate the internal conduct of its organization to assess claims of liberal bias. The findings proved shocking–to the BBC at least. One finding was it had “failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff.” The study warned too of pandering to celebrities, allowing them “to hijack the BBC schedule,” and of a tendency for its staff “‘to group think’ with too many inhabiting a shared space and comfort zone.” In addition to revealing BBC’s imbalanced news reporting, the study makes a revelation which should raise concern as to how such reporting contributes to perpetuating worrisome myths, thus failing to alert the public of dangers to its very existence.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
BBC logo

The study noted, during a BBC staff impartiality seminar held last year, executives expressed willingness, should the storyline arise, to broadcast images of the Bible being thrown away but would not do so if it were the Koran being trashed. Why? They feared offending Muslims, evidenced by the violent reactions prompted by publishing cartoons of Muhammad and Pope Benedict’s innocent reciting of a quote by a 14th-Century Christian emperor critical of Islam.

These BBC executives, however, fail to give consideration to the price paid for submitting to such fears. The decision-making guidelines for broadcasting they support result in dishonest reporting, helping to perpetuate dangerous myths. In opting not to broadcast the Koran story, for example, they perpetuate the myth we have nothing to fear from Islamic extremism. Similarly, in opting to broadcast the Bible story, they perpetuate the myth to the Muslim world that non-believers lack moral guidance, giving extremists a rational basis–in their minds–to impose Islam or death upon us. Thus the result in broadcasting one story but not the other would clearly represent a net loss for Western civilization and a net gain for Islamic extremism.

It is not the first time a news organization, out of fear, has failed to publish a story. America’s BBC equivalent, CNN, hid the truth of Saddam Hussein’s acts of brutality and torture before the 2003 US invasion, only later admitting it had consciously done so. Following the 2003 invasion, senior CNN executive Eason Jordan confessed while his news organization was well aware of numerous atrocities committed by Saddam—justifying the dictator’s removal from power—it opted not to report them. To do so, he argued, would have endangered CNN staffers in Iraq. Thus, CNN helped perpetuate the myth prior to 2003 that insufficient grounds for an invasion might exist. While CNN remained silent about Saddam’s widely practiced torture, executions and mutilations of Iraqi citizens, it later would unhesitatingly report stories critical of US troops for what was either mostly a very limited practice of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib or uncorroborated allegations of it. This result was a net loss for the US prestige and a net gain for Islamic extremism.

While the mainstream news media (MNM) today attempts to portray itself as independent, it is hypocritical in doing so. For example, most of MNM reject the practice of embedding reporters with US units in Iraq today due to concerns the reporters might start to identify with their unit hosts and thus provide biased perspectives. As a result, many reporters in Iraq spend their time inside the highly protected Green Zone in Baghdad, relying on local stringers–with their own biases–to bring them stories to write and file. This they fail to report to the public, while criticizing the US military for paying to have the Iraqi media publish certain stories it has provided. Furthermore, while news organizations historically take no initiative to pressure Islamic extremist groups to release captives, they fail to remain similarly detached when their own journalists are taken captive—as evidenced most recently by BBC’s efforts to win the release of its reporter Alan Johnston in Gaza.

Clearly the majority of news reporters today in the MNM lack the Jack Webb, facts only-approach. Instead, facts are often lost within the opinionated reporting reflected by a news organization’s political slant. It is a journalistic sin to package a story within the wrappings of a news organization’s established bias, but it is an even greater sin to do so by intentionally refusing to report facts to provide news recipients with information necessary for them to make informed decisions about potential dangers to their existence.

At the conclusion of each “Dragnet” program, the announcer said, “The story you have just seen is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.” Unfortunately, with the very liberal slant represented by the MNM today and its failing to relate the true dangers of Islamic extremism, the facts they ignore fail to “protect the innocent.” In doing so, freedom of the press—a right which has played such a significant role in breathing life into democracy—could prove to be a catalyst in causing its death.

Related:
Is All the News Media Going
The Way of NBCs Today Show?

By John E. Carey
June 25, 2007

Today in the world we have these intriguing stories: War in Iraq, Discussions of Genocide in Darfur Being Held in Paris, Iran Trying to Slip Away From U.N. Sanctions, North Korea Preparing to Shut Down its Nuclear Reactor, “Chemical Ali” Sentenced to Death in Iraq, Tony Blair Maybe to Become Catholic and other goodies.

NBCs Today Show started with a California Brush Fire, A Bus Crash, A Murder in Ohio, and Problems with Aspirin. Before the first half hour was completed we had Pretty Blonde Woman (Princess Di and Paris Hilton) and a story on Beaches.

By eight a.m. I’d expect a story on Bar-B-Q, Good Make-Up and Expensive Women’s Shoes.

What is America thinking? Watch the NBC Today Show or anything else in the morning line-up and you’ll know.

The ceaseless, mindless prattle of the “networks” (NBC, ABC, and CBS) created the audience for the “Cable News” phenomena of CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC.

The “Main Stream Media” (The New York Times, The Washington Post, and etc.) created the “Blogger” phenomena.

The bottom line: there is enough news to go around for everyone.

“Now Public” (the liberal leaning, Toronto based “news” web site) is as important to its readers and participants as The Washington Times is to a certain political crowd in America!