Friday, 26 March 2004

New York Times Reporter A Government Informant

Imagine: an American journalist using his cover for the most prominent paper in the country to inform on and demonize select political critics of the government! The Godfather had his "newspaper friends" on the payroll, and the IRS has theirs: David Cay Johnston.

David Cay Johnston, a celebrated New York Times reporter, reveals in his recent book, Perfectly Legal, his history of acting as a government informant against political dissenters on behalf of his best government sources. Criticized by many for his lack of journalistic integrity, Johnston's revelations in his book still shock the conscience. Johnston's informing and propaganda at the behest of favored insiders induced audits, secret surveillance, and criminal prosecutions of select political targets...

Johnston details case after case where he used his cover as a New York Times reporter to elicit information from political dissenters, then disclosed that information to others. How many people would know this friendly reporter was really there as a federal agent? Johnston gathered information on the names of the people in protest movements, uncovered the locations of their meetings, elicited the intentions of movement leaders, and even tried to induce some of them to incriminate themselves. Johnston's informing has now allowed the agency to blacklist select political targets.

Johnston's disclosures dovetail with his role as a public relations agent of the government -- propagandizing from the front pages of the Times whenever the hardliners need publicity to prosecute disfavored political groups. (Not surprisingly, Johnston rose to fame during the Jayson Blair "see no evil, hear no evil" editorial leadership at the Times, when the Times licensed all kinds of licentious conduct.) Johnston goes even further in his book than the Times could allow -- invading the privacy of taxpayers and whispering confidential information about politically prominent critics in his book, especially those who raised questions about governmental fraud in the agency, even though this information is illegal for the government to disclose.

The second startling revelation comes from Johnston's open propagandizing. Johnston often cited mysterious "tax experts" in his past articles for legal criticisms of political dissenters. We now know who those mysterious "experts" are -- Johnston himself and the hardliners within the government. Sort of like citing a CIA employee as an "international law expert," without disclosing who he works for, to give an opinion on why it's okay for the government to assassinate foreign leaders.

Masquerading as a muckraking journalist, Johnston masks his true constituency: the hardliners within the tax police state who use him as their personal spokesperson, unbeknownst to his editors at the Times. Never known for his intellectual prowess, Johnston may be a cheap mouth piece, but a mouth piece with a big speakerphone.

Johnston, who rode his coverage of the truth in taxation movement to a Pulitzer Prize, never even mentions the millions of Americans questioning the suspect status of many tax laws and the deliberate shroud of obscurity covering those laws, the IRS banning the selling of books critical of the agency, the IRS prohibiting web sites critical of them, or the Silence Advocacy Project revealed in the recent prosecution of former whistleblower, Joe Banister.

Instead, Johnston offers only one solution to the corrupt, abusive tax police state -- more money and more power to that tax police state. Johnston dips even lower, suggesting those who believe in financial privacy are Al-Queda sympathizers with blood on their hands from 9/11. Those who challenge imprisoning people for tax debts under the 13th Amendment secretly support "white racist" organizations. Finally, anyone who questions the tax police state is likely an anarchist bent on attacking the "commonwealth" of society itself. Even McCarthy made more sense than Johnston.

Full story...

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