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Thread: Pilger Film 'The War You Don't See' Banned By Lannan Foundation

  1. #1

    Default Pilger Film 'The War You Don't See' Banned By Lannan Foundation

    'The War You Don't See'
    Pilger Film Banned By Lannan Foundation


    By John Pilger

    June 10 2011 "Information Clearing House" -- An open letter to Noam Chomsky and the general public.

    at http://www.informationclearinghouse....ticle28296.htm

    Dear Noam

    I am writing to you and a number of other friends mostly in the US to alert you to the extraordinary banning of my film on war and media, 'The War You Don't See', and the abrupt cancellation of a major event at the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe in which David Barsamian and I were to discuss free speech, US foreign policy and censorship in the media.

    Lannan invited me and David over a year ago and welcomed my proposal that they also host the US premiere of 'The War You Don't See', in which US and British broadcasters describe the often hidden part played by the media in the promotion of war, notably in Iraq and Afghanistan. The film has been widely acclaimed in the UK and Australia; the trailer and reviews are on my website www.johnpilger.com

    The banning and cancellation, which have shocked David and me, are on the personal orders of Patrick Lannan, whose wealth funds the Lannan Foundation as a liberal centre of discussion of politics and the arts. Some of you will have been there and will know the Lannan Foundation as a valuable supporter of liberal causes. Indeed, I was invited in 2002 to present a Lannan award to the broadcaster Amy Goodman.

    What is deeply disturbing about the ban is that it happened so suddenly and inexplicably: 48 hours before David Barsamian and I were both due to depart for Santa Fe I received a brief email with a 'sorry for the inconvenience' from a Lannan official who had been telling me just a few days earlier what a 'great honour' it was to have the US premiere of my film at Lannan, with myself in attendance.

    I urge you to visit the Lannan website www.lannan.org Good people like Michael Ratner, Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald are shown as participants in discussion about freedom of speech. I am there, too, but my name is the only one with a line through it and the word, 'Cancelled'.

    Neither David Barsamian nor I have been given a word of explanation. All my messages to Lannan have gone unanswered; my calls calls are not returned; my flights were cancelled summarily. At the urging of the New Mexican newspaper, Patrick Lannan has issued a one-sentence statement offering his regrets to the Lannan-supporting 'community' in Santa Fe. Again, he gives no reason for the ban. I have spoken to the manager of the Santa Fe cinema where 'The War You Don't See' was to be screened. He received a late-night call. Again, no reason for the ban was forthcoming, giving him barely time to cancel advertising in The New Mexican, which was forced to drop a major feature.

    There is a compelling symbol of our extraordinary times in all of this. A rich and powerful individual and organisation, espousing freedom of speech, has moved ruthlessly and unaccountably to crush it.

    With warm regards

    John Pilger


    See also: The War You Don't See - Full Movie at this link:
    http://www.informationclearinghouse....ticle27116.htm
    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  2. #2

    Default The Doco itself. The War You Don't See!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ed heres another link for the doco.

    http://documentaries.videosift.com/v...010?loadcomm=1

    There's a whole heap mate but this one was best I had some problems with the others loading I may not have a codex for some of them and I hope theirs no sound delay. So in case anybody has a problem.

    But cheers I pride myself on seeing all of Pilgers stuff this snuck under the radar!!!

    "In the Kennedy assassination we must be careful of running off into the ether of our own imaginations." Carl Ogelsby circa 1992

  3. #3

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    I can imagine Lannan didn't know [or do his homework] and have been informed of Pilger's thinking and style; prior movies and writings, etc. I'd guess that someone BIG and Powerful leaned on him or his foundation and said 'either Pilger's out or your fortune is'. :hitler:

    The very fact that someone[s] fear Pilger, IMHO speaks to how good he is.....Although Ratner and Scahill are no slouchers!
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lemkin View Post
    I can imagine Lannan didn't know [or do his homework] and have been informed of Pilger's thinking and style; prior movies and writings, etc. I'd guess that someone BIG and Powerful leaned on him or his foundation and said 'either Pilger's out or your fortune is'. :hitler:

    The very fact that someone[s] fear Pilger, IMHO speaks to how good he is.....Although Ratner and Scahill are no slouchers!
    Pilger also made some great calls about JFK the film and about Bobby Kennedy in Distant Voices. Okay he used a schill like Dan Rather in this but Pilger himself comes across as pretty darn genuine!
    "In the Kennedy assassination we must be careful of running off into the ether of our own imaginations." Carl Ogelsby circa 1992

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Coogan View Post
    Ed heres another link for the doco.

    http://documentaries.videosift.com/v...010?loadcomm=1

    There's a whole heap mate but this one was best I had some problems with the others loading I may not have a codex for some of them and I hope theirs no sound delay. So in case anybody has a problem.

    But cheers I pride myself on seeing all of Pilgers stuff this snuck under the radar!!!

    Gracious thanks, mate. Didn't know the link didn't work until I went back to watch it after I was done posting everything else...
    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  6. #6

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    Bejeezus - these Yanqui "philanthropists" have a highly overblown sense of their own importance, and have displayed a total lack of moral integrity in pulling the "US premiere".

    From the Lannan Foundation website:

    The Foundation recognizes the profound and often unquantifiable value of the creative process and is willing to take risks and make substantial investments in ambitious and experimental thinking. Understanding that globalization threatens all cultures and ecosystems, the Foundation is particularly interested in projects that encourage freedom of inquiry, imagination, and expression.
    :lol::finger:

    I've already seen the documentary because it was shown in the UK on ITV (as MSM as it gets), last year.

    Around the time Pilger wrote this piece:

    John Pilger: Why are wars not being reported honestly?

    The public needs to know the truth about wars. So why have journalists colluded with governments to hoodwink us?


    John Pilger

    The Guardian, Friday 10 December 2010
    Watch a preview of John Pilger's powerful new film, The War You Don't See, including interviews with Rageh Omaar and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange Link to this video[/url]

    In the US Army manual on counterinsurgency, the American commander General David Petraeus describes Afghanistan as a "war of perception . . . conducted continuously using the news media". What really matters is not so much the day-to-day battles against the Taliban as the way the adventure is sold in America where "the media directly influence the attitude of key audiences". Reading this, I was reminded of the Venezuelan general who led a coup against the democratic government in 2002. "We had a secret weapon," he boasted. "We had the media, especially TV. You got to have the media."

    Never has so much official energy been expended in ensuring journalists collude with the makers of rapacious wars which, say the media-friendly generals, are now "perpetual". In echoing the west's more verbose warlords, such as the waterboarding former US vice-president Dick Cheney, who predicated "50 years of war", they plan a state of permanent conflict wholly dependent on keeping at bay an enemy whose name they dare not speak: the public.

    At Chicksands in Bedfordshire, the Ministry of Defence's psychological warfare (Psyops) establishment, media trainers devote themselves to the task, immersed in a jargon world of "information dominance", "asymmetric threats" and "cyberthreats". They share premises with those who teach the interrogation methods that have led to a public inquiry into British military torture in Iraq. Disinformation and the barbarity of colonial war have much in common.

    Of course, only the jargon is new. In the opening sequence of my film, The War You Don't See, there is reference to a pre-WikiLeaks private conversation in December 1917 between David Lloyd George, Britain's prime minister during much of the first world war, and CP Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian. "If people really knew the truth," the prime minister said, "the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course they don't know, and can't know."

    In the wake of this "war to end all wars", Edward Bernays, a confidante of President Woodrow Wilson, coined the term "public relations" as a euphemism for propaganda "which was given a bad name in the war". In his book, Propaganda (1928), Bernays described PR as "an invisible government which is the true ruling power in our country" thanks to "the intelligent manipulation of the masses". This was achieved by "false realities" and their adoption by the media. (One of Bernays's early successes was persuading women to smoke in public. By associating smoking with women's liberation, he achieved headlines that lauded cigarettes as "torches of freedom".)

    I began to understand this as a young reporter during the American war in Vietnam. During my first assignment, I saw the results of the bombing of two villages and the use of Napalm B, which continues to burn beneath the skin; many of the victims were children; trees were festooned with body parts. The lament that "these unavoidable tragedies happen in wars" did not explain why virtually the entire population of South Vietnam was at grave risk from the forces of their declared "ally", the United States. PR terms like "pacification" and "collateral damage" became our currency. Almost no reporter used the word "invasion". "Involvement" and later "quagmire" became staples of a news vocabulary that recognised the killing of civilians merely as tragic mistakes and seldom questioned the good intentions of the invaders.

    On the walls of the Saigon bureaus of major American news organisations were often displayed horrific photographs that were never published and rarely sent because it was said they were would "sensationalise" the war by upsetting readers and viewers and therefore were not "objective". The My Lai massacre in 1968 was not reported from Vietnam, even though a number of reporters knew about it (and other atrocities like it), but by a freelance in the US, Seymour Hersh. The cover of Newsweek magazine called it an "American tragedy", implying that the invaders were the victims: a purging theme enthusiastically taken up by Hollywood in movies such as The Deer Hunter and Platoon. The war was flawed and tragic, but the cause was essentially noble. Moreover, it was "lost" thanks to the irresponsibility of a hostile, uncensored media.

    Although the opposite of the truth, such false realties became the "lessons" learned by the makers of present-day wars and by much of the media. Following Vietnam, "embedding" journalists became central to war policy on both sides of the Atlantic. With honourable exceptions, this succeeded, especially in the US. In March 2003, some 700 embedded reporters and camera crews accompanied the invading American forces in Iraq. Watch their excited reports, and it is the liberation of Europe all over again. The Iraqi people are distant, fleeting bit players; John Wayne had risen again.

    The apogee was the victorious entry into Baghdad, and the TV pictures of crowds cheering the felling of a statue of Saddam Hussein. Behind this façade, an American Psyops team successfully manipulated what an ignored US army report describes as a "media circus [with] almost as many reporters as Iraqis". Rageh Omaar, who was there for the BBC, reported on the main evening news: "People have come out welcoming [the Americans], holding up V-signs. This is an image taking place across the whole of the Iraqi capital." In fact, across most of Iraq, largely unreported, the bloody conquest and destruction of a whole society was well under way.

    In The War You Don't See, Omaar speaks with admirable frankness. "I didn't really do my job properly," he says. "I'd hold my hand up and say that one didn't press the most uncomfortable buttons hard enough." He describes how British military propaganda successfully manipulated coverage of the fall of Basra, which BBC News 24 reported as having fallen "17 times". This coverage, he says, was "a giant echo chamber".
    The sheer magnitude of Iraqi suffering in the onslaught had little place in the news. Standing outside 10 Downing St, on the night of the invasion, Andrew Marr, then the BBC's political editor, declared, "[Tony Blair] said that they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating, and on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right . . ." I asked Marr for an interview, but received no reply. In studies of the television coverage by the University of Wales, Cardiff, and Media Tenor, the BBC's coverage was found to reflect overwhelmingly the government line and that reports of civilian suffering were relegated. Media Tenor places the BBC and America's CBS at the bottom of a league of western broadcasters in the time they allotted to opposition to the invasion. "I am perfectly open to the accusation that we were hoodwinked," said Jeremy Paxman, talking about Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction to a group of students last year. "Clearly we were." As a highly paid professional broadcaster, he omitted to say why he was hoodwinked.

    Dan Rather, who was the CBS news anchor for 24 years, was less reticent. "There was a fear in every newsroom in America," he told me, "a fear of losing your job . . . the fear of being stuck with some label, unpatriotic or otherwise." Rather says war has made "stenographers out of us" and that had journalists questioned the deceptions that led to the Iraq war, instead of amplifying them, the invasion would not have happened. This is a view now shared by a number of senior journalists I interviewed in the US.

    In Britain, David Rose, whose Observer articles played a major part in falsely linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida and 9/11, gave me a courageous interview in which he said, "I can make no excuses . . . What happened [in Iraq] was a crime, a crime on a very large scale . . ."
    "Does that make journalists accomplices?" I asked him.
    "Yes . . . unwitting perhaps, but yes."

    What is the value of journalists speaking like this? The answer is provided by the great reporter James Cameron, whose brave and revealing filmed report, made with Malcolm Aird, of the bombing of civilians in North Vietnam was banned by the BBC. "If we who are meant to find out what the bastards are up to, if we don't report what we find, if we don't speak up," he told me, "who's going to stop the whole bloody business happening again?"

    Cameron could not have imagined a modern phenomenon such as WikiLeaks but he would have surely approved. In the current avalanche of official documents, especially those that describe the secret machinations that lead to war – such as the American mania over Iran – the failure of journalism is rarely noted. And perhaps the reason Julian Assange seems to excite such hostility among journalists serving a variety of "lobbies", those whom George Bush's press spokesman once called "complicit enablers", is that WikiLeaks and its truth-telling shames them. Why has the public had to wait for WikiLeaks to find out how great power really operates? As a leaked 2,000-page Ministry of Defence document reveals, the most effective journalists are those who are regarded in places of power not as embedded or clubbable, but as a "threat". This is the threat of real democracy, whose "currency", said Thomas Jefferson, is "free flowing information".

    In my film, I asked Assange how WikiLeaks dealt with the draconian secrecy laws for which Britain is famous. "Well," he said, "when we look at the Official Secrets Act labelled documents, we see a statement that it is an offence to retain the information and it is an offence to destroy the information, so the only possible outcome is that we have to publish the information." These are extraordinary times.
    www.johnpilger.com
    "It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
    "Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
    "They are in Love. Fuck the War."

    Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

    "Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
    The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Jewett View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Coogan View Post
    Ed heres another link for the doco.

    http://documentaries.videosift.com/v...010?loadcomm=1

    There's a whole heap mate but this one was best I had some problems with the others loading I may not have a codex for some of them and I hope theirs no sound delay. So in case anybody has a problem.

    But cheers I pride myself on seeing all of Pilgers stuff this snuck under the radar!!!

    Gracious thanks, mate. Didn't know the link didn't work until I went back to watch it after I was done posting everything else...
    No hassles man thanks for telling me this was out there! Why not put my link up in place of your one. Theres a slight sound lag that corrects itself by the 2nd part.
    "In the Kennedy assassination we must be careful of running off into the ether of our own imaginations." Carl Ogelsby circa 1992

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Klimkowski View Post
    Bejeezus - these Yanqui "philanthropists" have a highly overblown sense of their own importance, and have displayed a total lack of moral integrity in pulling the "US premiere".

    From the Lannan Foundation website:

    The Foundation recognizes the profound and often unquantifiable value of the creative process and is willing to take risks and make substantial investments in ambitious and experimental thinking. Understanding that globalization threatens all cultures and ecosystems, the Foundation is particularly interested in projects that encourage freedom of inquiry, imagination, and expression.
    :lol::finger:
    Does sort of put the pie/egg/shit in their face. I still think there are two possible explanations. One, that they are are "displaying a total lack of moral integrity" or they got a call from the IRS or some other three letter agency and told 'pull it...or else...!'...and the or else got them by the gonads [i.e. their money] :kraka: and they got scared and pulled it. In either case, they lack moral integrity....it is only if they did so totally of their own making, or in bowing to the pressures on them - if it matters - I think not.
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  9. #9

    Default The War You Don't See - MUST SEE FILM by John Pilger - Banned in USA!

    I'm putting it here, not in films....move it if you must...but this mind-boggling GREAT film I just had the pleasure to see! You must too! Show it to everyone you know and get it shown in the UK and US - where it is hidden and banned, respectively! I've always been an admired of Pilger, but he outdid himself this time!!!! Fucking GREAT film about the MIIC's propaganda wars and how 'journalists' and the MSM play into their hands and are part of their toolkit. Also, the best interviews of many persons - on the good side and the bad. Again, can't stress enough....the War You Don't See is a film YOU MUST SEE!!!!

    http://www.johnpilger.com/articles/t...llowing-us-ban
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  10. #10

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    http://www.johnpilger.com/articles/t...llowing-us-ban

    On 7 June 2011, the Lannan Foundation in the United States banned the film and cancelled a US visit by John Pilger without explanation but the film is available to watch online......

    'The War You Don't See' was nominated for the 'Documentary Award' at the 2011 One World Media Awards.

    The film is a powerful and timely investigation into the media's role in war, tracing the history of 'embedded' and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and disaster in Iraq. As weapons and propaganda become even more sophisticated, the nature of war is developing into an 'electronic battlefield' in which journalists play a key role, and civilians are the victims. But who is the real enemy?

    John Pilger says in the film: "We journalists... have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else's country... That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is. For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home... In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us... Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power." :mexican:
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Lannan Foundation cancels on controversial speaker
    Outspoken investigative journalist 'perplexed' by vague last-minute email

    Paul Weideman | The New Mexican
    Thursday, June 09, 2011 - 6/10/11

    Patrick Lannan, president of the nonprofit Lannan Foundation, on Wednesday night suddenly canceled a speaking engagement for the veteran U.K.-based investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger scheduled for June 15.

    In an email Thursday morning, Pilger said Lannan had given no reason for his decision. "Just like that. A short e-mail — no explanation whatsoever."

    Later in the morning, Pilger wrote, "All I have is an e-mail from Barbara Ventrello (the foundation's Cultural Freedom Special Projects director) saying Patrick Lannan called from California saying cancel all my events. I know Patrick — all very friendly, Lannan has flown me over before. I regarded them as friends. Now they won't even answer their phones ... Am completely perplexed.

    After repeated requests for an explanation, Ventrello emailed this statement from Patrick Lannan: "Lannan Foundation regrets the cancellation of Mr. John Pilger's events next week and any inconvenience this may have caused the Santa Fe community members who support our public programs."

    The Lannan Foundation had the Pilger event on its schedule for months. Part of its Readings and Conversations series, it was to be a conversation between Pilger and David Barsamian, director of Boulder, Colo.-based Alternative Radio.

    Barsamian did not return phone calls Thursday.

    While in Santa Fe, Pilger also was expected to attend the U.S. premiere of his new film, The War You Don't See, on June 16 at The Screen. Lannan paid the rental fee in advance, but canceled that event as well. Peter Grendle, manager of theater on the Santa Fe University of Art & Design campus, said he was informed about the decision in an email from Ventrello. He said Pilger planned to introduce the film and do a question-and-answer session afterward.

    It is not known if the Pilger event was dropped because of topics he might address in his talk, but Lannan is not known for exercising any kind of censorship in the past.

    Pilger, the author of eight books and nearly 60 documentary films, has been a fierce and prolific critic of government and the media for more than 40 years.

    The War You Don't See opens with upsetting footage of an "unreported Apache gunship attack" on people walking on a Baghdad street in 2007. As the pavement erupts in bullet-sprayed dust and the people fall and scramble, the voice of the commander directs, "Keep shootin'. Keep shootin'. Keep shootin'."

    When director Pilger questions Bryan Whitman, the United States' deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, about the attack, Whitman is relatively noncommittal. "These incidences are unfortunate. Every one in which there is a civilian casualty is unfortunate," he says. "But again, it is the enemy who is deliberately trying to inflict civilian casualties and put civilians in harm. It is the NATO forces, it is the U.S. forces that are taking every precaution they can to prosecute the war and prevent civilian casualties."

    On the dearth of probing investigations into the truths behind the Iraq war, Pilger grills journalists including David Mannion, editor in chief of ITV News. He asks Mannion about his decision to report uncritically a warning by then-Vice President Dick Cheney that Iraq would soon have nuclear weapons. Mannion says the network "allowed our viewers to make up their minds as to whether this was a man telling the truth or not."

    "But that's not fair on viewers, is it?" Pilger says. "Because they may not know what we as journalists know or ought to know: that this was an extremely dodgy politician who was making extraordinary claims."

    He gets former CBS correspondent Dan Rather to admit in the film that, "If we had done our job, I do think a strong argument can be made that perhaps we would not have gone to war."

    In an email exchange June 1 for a Pasatiempo story — now also canceled — about the Lannan event, Pilger said, "The point is journalism. Real journalism, not the kind that takes authority at face value, that is bored with the notion of truth-telling and is besotted by 'celebrities,' famous or not. If those of us paid to keep the record straight don't do our job, who will?"

    The War You Don't See was made before the killing of Osama bin Laden. But in an interview with Pasatiempo, Pilger said, "The impression I get is that much of the U.S. media rejoiced at the killing of Osama bin Laden. For the victims of 9/11 that would be understandable. But for Maureen Dowd, liberal columnist of The New York Times, to say words to the effect that it was suddenly great to be American again is absurd.

    "Why wasn't bin Laden brought back to the U.S. and put on trial? Isn't that the way true democracies behave? Perhaps the reason was that he might have thrown light on his earlier employment by the CIA and Britain's MI6. The victims of 9/11 surely had a right to see him tried. His killing will undoubtedly bring reprisals against innocents, media 'unpeople' in those faraway places whose names we never know, whose faces we never see. That's already happened."

    At a little after 9 p.m. London-time Thursday, Pilger sent an email to The New Mexican regarding the cancellation of his Santa Fe appearances that said, "I'm e-mailing Patrick Lannan to ask why. How can he not answer? What's going on? Is the U.S. an open or closed society?" :spy: :shock:
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    The Strange Silencing of Liberal America
    Monday 11 July 2011
    by: John Pilger, Truthout | Op-Ed

    How does political censorship work in liberal societies? When my film, "Year Zero: the Silent Death of Cambodia," was banned in the United States in 1980, the broadcaster PBS cut all contact. Negotiations were ended abruptly; phone calls were not returned. Something had happened. But what? "Year Zero" had already alerted much of the world to the horrors of Pol Pot, but it also investigated the critical role of the Nixon administration in the tyrant's rise to power and the devastation of Cambodia.

    Six months later, a PBS official told me, "This wasn't censorship. We're into difficult political days in Washington. Your film would have given us problems with the Reagan administration. Sorry."

    In Britain, the long war in Northern Ireland spawned a similar, deniable censorship. The journalist Liz Curtis compiled a list of more than 50 television films in Britain that were never shown or indefinitely delayed. The word "ban" was rarely used and those responsible would invariably insist they believed in free speech.

    The Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, believes in free speech. The foundation's web site says it is "dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity and creativity." Authors, filmmakers, poets make their way to a sanctum of liberalism bankrolled by the billionaire Patrick Lannan in the tradition of Rockefeller and Ford.

    Lannan also awards "grants" to America's liberal media, such as Free Speech TV, the Foundation for National Progress (publisher of the magazine Mother Jones), the Nation Institute and the TV and radio program Democracy Now! In Britain, Lannan has been a supporter of the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, of which I am one of the judges. In 2008, Lannan personally supported the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, he is "devoted" to Obama.

    On 15 June, I was due in Santa Fe, having been invited to share a platform with the distinguished American journalist David Barsamian. The foundation was also to host the US premiere of my new film, "The War You Don't See," which investigates the false image making of war makers, especially Obama.

    I was about to leave for Santa Fe when I received an email from the Lannan official organizing my visit. The tone was incredulous. "Something has come up," she wrote. Lannan had called her and ordered all my events to be canceled. "I have no idea what this is all about," she wrote.

    Baffled, I asked that the premiere of my film be allowed to go ahead as the US distribution largely depended on it. She repeated that "all" my events were canceled, "and this includes the screening of your film." On the Lannan website "canceled" appeared across a picture of me. There was no explanation. None of my phone calls were returned, nor subsequent emails answered. A Kafkaesque world of not knowing descended.

    The silence lasted a week until, under pressure from local media, the foundation put out a brief statement that too few tickets had been sold to make my visit "viable" and that "the Foundation regrets that the reason for the cancellation was not explained to Mr. Pilger or to the public at the time the decision was made." Doubts were cast by a robust editorial in the Santa Fe New Mexican, The paper, which has long played a prominent role in promoting Lannan events, disclosed that my visit had been canceled before the main advertizing and previews were published. A full-page interview with me had to be hurriedly pulled. "Pilger and Barsamian could have expected closer to a packed 820-seat Lensic [arts center]."

    The manager of The Screen, the Santa Fe cinema that had been rented for the premiere, was called late at night and told to kill all his online promotion for my film, but took it upon himself to reschedule the film for 23 June. It was a sell-out, with many people turned away. The idea that there was no public interest was demonstrably not true.

    Theories? There are many, but nothing is proven. For me, it is all reminiscent of the long shadows cast during the cold war. "Something is going to surface," said Barsamian. "They can't keep the lid on this."

    My talk on 15 June was to have been about the collusion of American liberalism in a permanent state of war and the demise of cherished freedoms, such as the right to call government to account. In the United States, as in Britain, serious dissent - free speech - has been substantially criminalized. Obama, the black liberal, the politically correct exemplar, the marketing dream, is as much a warmonger as George W. Bush. His score is six wars. Never in US history has a president prosecuted as many whistleblowers; yet. this truth telling, this exercise of true citizenship, is at the heart of America's constitutional First Amendment. Obama's greatest achievement is having seduced, co-opted and silenced much of liberal opinion in the United States, including the anti-war movement.

    The reaction to the Lannan ban has been illuminating. The brave, like the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, were appalled and said so. Similarly, many ordinary Americans called into radio stations and have written to me, recognizing a symptom of far greater suppression. But some exalted liberal voices have been affronted that I dared whisper the word, censorship, about such a beacon of "cultural freedom." The embarrassment of those who wish to point both ways is palpable. Others have pulled down the shutters and said nothing. Given their patron's ruthless show of power, it is understandable. For them, the Russian dissident poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko once wrote, "When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie."
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

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