So back to Amber. Back in March 2011, CNN sent a four person team to Bahrain to cover the Arab Spring. Once there, the crew was the subject of extreme intimidation amongst other things, but they were able to record some fantastic footage. As Glenn Greenwald of the UK’s Guardian writes in his blockbuster article from today:
In the segment, Lyon interviewed activists as they explicitly described their torture at the hands of government forces, while family members recounted their relatives’ abrupt disappearances. She spoke with government officials justifying the imprisonment of activists. And the segment featured harrowing video footage of regime forces shooting unarmed demonstrators, along with the mass arrests of peaceful protesters. In sum, the early 2011 CNN segment on Bahrain presented one of the starkest reports to date of the brutal repression embraced by the US-backed regime.
Despite these accolades, and despite the dangers their own journalists and their sources endured to produce it, CNN International (CNNi) never broadcast the documentary. Even in the face of numerous inquiries and complaints from their own employees inside CNN, it continued to refuse to broadcast the program or even provide any explanation for the decision. To date, this documentary has never aired on CNNi.
Having just returned from Bahrain, Lyon says she “saw first-hand that these regime claims were lies, and I couldn’t believe CNN was making me put what I knew to be government lies into my reporting.”
After Lyon’s crew returned from Bahrain, CNN had no correspondents regularly reporting on the escalating violence. In emails to her producers and executives, Lyon repeatedly asked to return to Bahrain. Her requests were denied, and she was never sent back. She thus resorted to improvising coverage by interviewing activists via Skype in an attempt, she said, “to keep Bahrain in the news”.
In March 2012, Lyon was laid off from CNN as part of an unrelated move by the network to outsource its investigative documentaries.
“At this point,” Lyon said, “I look at those payments as dirty money to stay silent. I got into journalism to expose, not help conceal, wrongdoing, and I’m not willing to keep quiet about this any longer, even if it means I’ll lose those payments.”
It’s a double whammy on the birthday front here at RED11. Happy Birthday also to AMBER LYON, we all think you’re incredible and can’t wait to see how your career takes off over the next few years. We hope your SWEET SIXTEENTH is everything and more. Love from the team xxx
An outspoken investigative journalist and former CNN correspondent has once again stressed that the US-based network is engaged in spreading Western propaganda against Iran and Syria.
Syria’s SANA news agency quoted Amber Lyon as saying that when she was working for the CNN, she received orders to send false news or exclude certain information which the US administration did not approve of with the aim of inciting public opinion in favor of launching an offensive on Iran and Syria.
Lyon added that the mainstream US media outlets intentionally work to create propaganda against Iran to garner public support for a military invasion against it.
She said that the same scenario used before launching the 2003 war on Iraq is being prepared for Iran and Syria.
Amber went on to say that both states are now being subjected to “constant demonization” by American mainstream media.
The former reporter clarified that the CNN receives money from the US government and other states in exchange for aligning news content with their interests.
Last October, Amber complained that “there is constant demonization of Syria, Iran and other countries on the US mainstream media.”
She described the attitude as “dangerous to the American public because they are not being given the accurate story and accurate picture of our foreign policy.”
Lyon also said that CNN was bribed by Bahrain’s regime to censor an early 2011 documentary on its brutal crackdown on popular protests.
The former CNN correspondent produced the documentary on the brutal suppression of nationwide protests in the Persian Gulf kingdom. Although it was aired domestically within the US, its broadcast on CNN International was suspiciously withheld, raising charges that the management of the mainstream TV network had pulled the plug on the news story.
Lyon, who was “laid off” by the CNN in March 2012, also revealed that the network gets paid by despotic regimes to produce and broadcast what she referred to as “infomercials for dictators,” saying that the sponsored content of such pieces aired on CNN International “is actually being paid for by regimes and governments."
I haven’t done anything on Amber Lyon specifically. But that woman is awesome! I’m so glad that there is a journalist outside of any on Fox News that values what it means to be a journalist. The fact that he’s an Emmy winner and ex-employee for CNN just makes it better.
For those who don’t know who I’m talking about, you can visit her website, amberlyonlive.com. She’s been working furiously to expose the corruption of both the mainstream media, and how the US government/President Obama is turning itself into a dictatorship, and how those two collide.
CNN sent Amber Lyon and her crew to Bahrain to do the documentary. CNN paid in excess of $100,000 for this documentary. They aired it once in the U.S. only, and now refuse to air it again and warned Amber not to pursue the matter any further. They never aired it in Europe. Several protestors were grateful for her help, one disappeared, there are reported torture and deaths.
“Having just returned from Bahrain,” Lyon says, “saw firsthand that these regime claims were lies and I couldn’t believe that CNN was making me put what I knew to be government lies into my reporting.”
Internal CNN emails reflect continuous pressure on Lyon and others to include claims from the Bahraini regime about the violence in their country – even when, says Lyon, she knew first-hand that the claims were false. One April 2011 email to Lyon from a CNN producer demands that she include in her documentary a line stating that “Bahrain’s foreign minister says security forces are not firing on unarmed civilians,” and another line describing regime claims accusing “activists like Nabeel Rajab of doctoring photos … fabricating injuries”.
A Federal Appeals Court in New York has thrown out a previous ban on the enforcement of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) statute allowing the president to impose indefinite detention without trial.
A 2012 lawsuit against the NDAA, brought by Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky and others, had sought to preemptively block the federal government from using the NDAA to detain them as dissidents, since the bill was extremely vague about who it could apply to and granted presidents seemingly enormous latitude on the matter.
President Obama fought against the Forrest ruling, claiming it could force him to release some of the people he’s already detaining without trial, and administration officials have defended the idea of leeway on who counts as “aiding the enemy,” saying it was neither “possible nor advisable” to issue specific rules.
But while objecting to the idea of limitations in the abstract, the administration sought to avoid getting into any specifics of who it might detain with the NDAA, and simply argued that none of the listed participants in the case could prove ahead of time that they were liable to be detained. And of course once they’re detained without access to courts, they couldn’t challenge it anyhow.
Indeed, the court openly spurned the question of whether or not it could detain any of the listed people, seemingly conceding the point that Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir could conceivably be accused of “aiding al-Qaeda” for being involved in WikiLeaks, as Bradley Manning has been, and on those grounds might then be detained under the NDAA, but saying that she hadn’t proven her detention was “imminent” and therefore she couldn’t challenge it.