Mainstream Media Fails to Cover CIA Controversy

Recently many bloggers have questioned not only the U.S. government’s controversial drone strikes, but the extent to which the mainstream media has been pulling its punches.

The leaking of a Department of Justice classified document arguing for the legality of drone strikes and John Brennan’s confirmation hearing to be director of the CIA provided an opportunity for serious scrutiny of CIA drone strikes.

Many have pointed out the mainstream media’s hesitance to cover drone strikes and the officials responsible for them. Until recently, major papers like The New York Times did not even disclose the existence drone base in Saudi Arabia. Some have accused the media of doing damage control for the government’s controversial practices. They have accused the press of agreeing to thwart government accountability.

Several prominent news organizations, like the Associated Press, have explained their self-censorship by citing the damage to counter-terror operations that would result from reporting on covert operations.

Yet when U.S. citizens are being targeted for assassination, even at the age of 16, outside of a warzone, and the deaths of civilians are being misreported by government officials, one must ask why our major media organizations would hesitate to report on such actions. Does the possibility of compromising a covert operation justify self-censorship? Has the media failed to examine Brennan and the practices of the CIA? Should the legal justification of drone killings be more publicly examined?

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