September 21, 2021

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The Edge

Journalist Dave Lindorff Tells How He Landed on a Terrorist Watch List

In 2018, the rumor circulated among alternative media that the Pentagon was operating with $21 trillion more than accounted for in its budget. While members of the press speculated that the federal government was printing the money, journalist Dave Lindorff doubted it. He reasoned that if those funds were being pumped into the economy, we’d have had inflation, not recession, over the past years. It seemed this number had no basis in fact.

Lindorff launched an investigation, published at The Nation, that found named sources in the Pentagon and Government Accountability Office who said the Pentagon was making up budget numbers each year. So this $21 trillion claim was incorrect; rather, when the Pentagon would request more money each year, Congress would shirk its duty to check what the previous year’s budget bought, thus allowing defense costs to balloon.

Now the Pentagon is spending more in constant dollars than ever since World War II. Though the U.S. is involved in plenty of military activity, these expenses don’t amount to this magnitude of costs.

With his investigation, Lindorff had exposed massive accounting fraud in the Pentagon from the past 20 years.

Read Lindorff’s full account on The Edge.

9/11, the ‘Day that Changed Everything’

“The sad truth is that the tragedy of 9/11,” writes Dave Lindorff, “has been successfully used by powerful people of both parties in Washington as an excuse and opportunity to destroy civil liberties, concentrate power in the Executive Branch of the government, [and] stifle public debate on the behavior of police and the military.”

Lindorff, winner of the 2019 Izzy Award, tells the story of New York police officer Adam Hernandez on 9/11, 2001, examining the implications of what Hernandez saw during the cleanup and the ruinous responses to the attacks from government and media.

Read the full commentary on The Edge.

For insights into writing this piece and working as an investigative journalist, watch Lindorff speak with PCIM Director Raza Rumi’s independent media class.

Upcoming Events

Who Owns the Story? Documentary in Africa

Join a 90-minute roundtable discussion with filmmakers, producers, researchers, and cultural activists probing the aesthetics, economics, politics, problems, and solutions of documentary across the African continent. Join Monday, Sept. 27 at Noon EDT.

The Global DocMedia Series is part of ongoing research and dialogues for the BFI DocMedia Book currently in development. 

Read panelists’ bios here.

Oct 26: Environmental Justice Scholar Dr. Prakash KashwanJoin Dr. Prakash Kashwan and Dr. Jake Brenner (Environmental Studies and Sciences) at Ithaca College to discuss climate justice. 

A prolific scholar-activist in the fields of climate and environmental justice, Dr. Kashwan is Associate Professor of Political Science and Codirector of the Research Program on Economic and Social Rights, Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut, Storrs.

Dr. Kashwan will be on campus Tuesday, Oct. 26, interacting with students and faculty, and will hold this discussion via Zoom. 

Join Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. EDT.

Plastics: The Other Pandemic 

For System Change Not Climate Change, PCIM intern Alex Hartzog examines the smothering ubiquity of plastic pollution and advice from experts on how to combat it locally, in Ithaca, New York, and elsewhere.

Hartzog and Maura Stephens, independent journalist and former associate director of PCIM, are hosting a webinar concerning further research on plastic waste and how to mitigate it.

Join on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 1 p.m. EDT.

Read Hartzog’s latest piece tackling Plastics and Fossil Fuels, and refer to his recyclability guide for sorting through plastic waste at home—note that not everything with the recycling symbol will be repurposed, and some items can contaminate batches of otherwise recyclable materials.

More from The Edge

National Security Topics That Progressives and Diligent Citizens Should Follow

In a primer on the shadowy dollars funneled into national security, Brandon Smith demonstrates the inextricable link between U.S. defense spending and the general well-being of the citizenry: as President Dwight Eisenhower said, “We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.”

Smith lists national security issues to consider when consuming news and articulates the alarming implications of apparently limitless spending, nuclear arsenals, civilian deaths, and spiraling executive power.

Read the full commentary on The Edge.

20 Years After 9/11, Mainstream Media Still Lies About U.S. Wars

Following the September 11 attacks 20 years ago, and the subsequent U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, the media broadly published pro-war pieces, often lauding U.S. military instigators as saviors amid the nation’s outpouring of furious grief.

The next two decades of news coverage showed major media outlets have strayed shockingly little from this perspective, despite the well-documented history of U.S. war leaders’ ineptitude and deceit.

“As the U.S.’s Afghanistan withdrawal coincides with the horrific act that brought troops there 20 years ago, the media has an opportunity to present the facts from the past decades of deceit and bloodshed.”

Read the full report on The Edge.

In Other News

1. Iran’s president, criticizing US, likens sanctions to ‘war’ (The Independent)

2. Americans Have No Idea What the Supply Chain Really Is (The Atlantic)

3. The FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Caseload Has ‘Exploded,’ Director Chris Wray Tells Congress (HuffPost)

4. President Biden urges unity in first UN speech amid tensions with allies (BBC)

5. Abortion clinics north of Texas flooded with patients after severe state ban (The Guardian

Read previous Briefs and more from independent media on the PCIM website, and follow PCIM on social media: Facebook | Twitter

The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.