Linking the Occupation of Iraq with the "War on Terrorism"

Reuters is one of the more independent wire services. So, a recent news story from Reuters -- flatly describing American military activities in Iraq as part of "the broader U.S. war on terrorism" -- is a barometer of how powerfully the pressure systems of rhetoric from top U.S. officials have swayed mainstream news coverage.

Such reporting, with the matter-of-fact message that the Pentagon is fighting a "war on terrorism" in Iraq, amounts to a big journalistic gift for the Bush administration, which is determined to spin its way past the obvious downsides of the occupation.

Here are the concluding words from Bush's point man in Iraq, Paul Bremer, during a Nov. 17 interview on NPR's "Morning Edition" program: "The president was absolutely firm both in private and in public that he is not going to let any other issues distract us from achieving our goals here in Iraq, that we will stay here until the job is done and that the force levels will be determined by the conditions on the ground and the war on terrorism."

Within hours, many of Bremer's supervisors were singing from the same political hymnal:

Read More Show less
ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up