Imagine my disgust, therefore, when, listening to NPR that afternoon, I was told Suleiman was not the bad guy his “critics” said he was. Instead, it went something like this, from another NPR story:
“Suleiman brings to these discussions a long history of involvement in delicate Middle East negotiations. He has been Mubarak's principal representative in discussions with the Israelis and the Palestinians, and he has mediated between the rival Fatah and Hamas factions of the Palestinian leadership. He also has close contacts with Saudi and Iraqi leaders, and he has met often with top U.S. military and political officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Army Gen. David Petraeus, formerly the head of the U.S. military's Central Command.
"Omar Suleiman is careful, calculating, shrewd, obviously extremely intelligent," said David Mack, who served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs in the administration of George H.W. Bush. "That comes across when you speak to him."
Suleiman's leadership in crafting a way out of Egypt's dangerous political stalemate is characteristic of his experience, Cohen says.
"He's a strategic thinker," he said. "He is trying to design a strategy that would allow the changes in Egypt to take place peacefully without further bloodshed and would not split the army and the people. They know that if there is a split between the army and the people that would damage the whole structure of the legitimacy of the Egyptian state."
Notice the difference? Nothing about torture. This is what is known as lies by omission, and that is NPR’s journalistic ethic these days—no ethical or moral compunction to tell the whole truth at all. Don’t expect the truth about Egypt’s “Torturer in Chief;” you’re going to be protected from all those pesky little details.
This is, in part, an aspect of what Chris Hedges is talking about, when he refers to the “death of the liberal class.” This is why ordinary Democrats, those who only read the New York Times, or listen to “liberal” NPR —mainstream media— will never rise up in anger against the status quo as did the Egyptians—because the status quo looks so rosy to them, compliments of a mainstream media that is designed to keep them ignorant of reality. Try to tell them about Dish Network’s Free Speech TV, or Link TV, or Democracy Now!, and you’ll get, “Well, those are biased,” as if lies by omission are not reflective of bias.
Really, oppressions against the people by clumsy dictatorships, such as that of Mubarak’s Egypt, can’t compare for effectiveness to America’s more advanced, sophisticated means of oppression. Keep the people fat and happy, and you can do anything you like.
This is the reason it will be a long, long wait, before Americans will rise up in a passionate defense of democratic freedoms—they’ve got their perky local TV personalities, their Oprah, their magical, optimistic will power, and no news station will ever disabuse them of their delusions of living in a democracy. Even conservative "news" stations such as Fox will fail to criticize, for example, the Obama Administration for torturing detainees. But even they, as much as they wish to destroy Obama, must be silent on torture. Call him a "socialist," but torture? Sh-h-h-h...