America’s National Public Radio Lies Rampantly

Eric Zuesse (blogs at

To give an example of how they do this, I cite a typical instance. It’s in their regular show “1a” dated February 19th, titled “The criminal cases against Donald Trump and his latest NATO comments”, the excerpt starting at


ELLIOT WILLIAMS (a CNN legal analyst and Obama administration deputy assistant attorney): If it might affect the national security, then it’s sufficient to be a crime if you mishandle it [a government document].

INTERVIEWER: President Biden was also criticized for his handling of classified documents. [The bipartisanly appointed] Special Counsel Robert Hur isn’t recommending charges. What are the key differences, Eliot, that explain why Trump is facing criminal charges but Biden likely will not?

WILLIAMS: The simple fact is … the Special Counsel …  felt that they could not get this in front of a jury and win based on number one how sympathetic the potential defendant would be in Joe Biden. … Number two, … acts of obstruction of justice, literally turning off video cameras in a manner that simply wasn’t present with Joe Biden or Mike Pence who was also investigated by the same entities for misconduct.  

INTERVIEWER: Well there’s also an ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Biden, starting in September by Speaker of the House Republican Kevin McCarthy. But on Thursday [Biden’s] prosecutors charged an FBI informant [Bobulinski] with falsifying [she meant falsified] claims about Biden and his son [Hunter Biden]. How do those revelations affect the impeachment inquiry?

WILLIAMS: It’s devastating. … When your star witness for impeachment is himself being charged with lying to officers and falsifying the very basis of the impeachment … Now, if they had evidence linking Joe Biden to serious misconduct, by all means bring it, … but literally it was their star witness, and to be clear this individual was the one person who was able to provide testimony to link Joe Biden to serious misconduct — he was lying. [But that testimony wasn’t any smoking-gun evidence; THIS was and is — but will the Republicans in Congress be presenting it to the public after both of the Parties formally have their Presidential nominees, or will even Congress’s Republicans still continue hiding it under a blanket?]

Hillary Clinton had her computer, including all its email, wiped clean before the FBI would see it, though she was using that computer for all of her business — federal-Government business — as the U.S. Secretary of State, but, nonetheless, FBI Director James Comey, as reported by CNN on 5 July 2016, was emphatic that “‘no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,’ Comey said, saying the FBI could not find a single case in which a person was charged with crimes for similar actions.” However, on July 7th the Zero Hedge site documented the cases of both Kristian Saucier and Bryan H. Nishimura, both of whom were successfully prosecuted and convicted, fined and received prison sentences, for what at least appeared to have been weaker cases than the ones against Secretary of State Clinton; and, then, on 15 June 2023, the China Global Television Network headlined “More than a dozen people had the same charges Trump is facing”, and listed and described 13 cases of taking private classified documents, plus 15 cases of both taking them and transmitting some of them to others; and, so, Comey’s having informed CNN that “the FBI could not find a single case in which a parson was charged with crimes for similar actions” was either a lie or an assertion that the FBI was astoundingly incompetent — and, of course, CNN didn’t ask him any questions or request documentation on that falsehood. Furthermore, Comey’s official statement to the press had said “the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery” and left that entirely dangling, without explaining what it meant or whether that might have been done by Clinton’s lawyers, the State Department’s lawyers, or other lawyers, and whether their having done it might have been criminal. And Comey’s next sentence there referred to the FBI’s “attempt to understand how that sorting was done by her attorneys,” and so suggested that it had probably been done by her attorneys, but no one asked him “Did those attorneys tell you who had instructed them to do that?” Obviously, he didn’t want to know, nor did the press. He filled his statement with misleading irrelevancies, such as “we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information” (so as to communicate to fools that any of those laws would be satisfied — they wouldn’t be violated — if any violation of them had been done by someone who didn’t know about the law, was ignorant of the law — which is false). Comey’s formal statement continued on, by saying, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” It also included “we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts,” which didn’t mean the same thing as CNN’s “Comey said, saying the FBI could not find a single case in which a person was charged with crimes for similar actions.” That was actually just CNN’s twisting what he did say (“we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts”) so as to make it appear to have been that vastly stronger (and clearly false) exoneration of what Hillary Clinton had done. So: that falsehood came from CNN, who placed it into Comey’s mouth. It didn’t actually come from Comey. He went on to say that “As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.” Whereas people such as Hillary Clinton are above the law, people such as Donald Trump are not. But Trump has been stupid enough to think that (and behave as-if) he is.

In my 19 September 2016 “FBI’s Fake ‘Investigation’ of Hillary’s Emails”, I documented:

The FBI’s ‘investigation’ into Hillary Clinton’s State Department email operation was fake in three major ways:

1: The FBI chose to ‘investigate’ the most difficult-to-prove charges, not the easiest-to-prove ones (which are the six laws that she clearly violated, simply by her privatization and destruction of State Department records, and which collectively would entail a maximum prison sentence of 73 years). The famous judge Jed Rakoff has accurately and succinctly said that, in the American criminal ‘justice’ system, since 1980 and especially after 2000, and most especially after 2010, “the prosecutor has all the power. The Supreme Court’s suggestion that a plea bargain is a fair and voluntary contractual arrangement between two relatively equal parties is a total myth. … What really puts the prosecutor in the driver’s seat is the fact that he — because of mandatory minimums, sentencing guidelines (which, though no longer mandatory in the federal system, are still widely followed by most judges), and simply his ability to shape whatever charges are brought — can effectively dictate the sentence by how he publicly describes the offense.” Columnist Debra J. Saunders put it this way: “The mandatory minimum sentencing system effectively has allowed federal prosecutors to choose defendants’ sentences by deciding how to charge them.” If an Administration wants to be merely pretending an ‘investigation’, it’s easy: identify, as the topic for the alleged ‘investigation’, not the criminal laws that indisputably describe what the suspect can clearly be proven to have done, but instead cite criminal laws that don’t. Prosecutorial discretion is now practically unlimited in the United States. This discretion is an essential feature of any dictatorship. It’s the essence of any system that separates people into aristocrats, who are above the law, versus the public, upon whom their ‘law’ is enforced. It’s the essence of “a nation of men, not of laws.” But, different people focus on different aspects of it. Conservatives notice it in Clinton’s case because she was not prosecuted. Progressives notice it in Clinton’s case because other people (ones without the clout) who did what she did (but only less of it), have been prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced for it. The result, either way, is dictatorship, regardless of anyone’s particular ideological perspective on the matter. Calling a nation like that a ‘democracy’ is to strip “democracy” of its basic meaning — it is foolishness. Such a nation is an aristocracy, otherwise called an “oligarchy.” That’s the opposite of a democracy (even if it’s set up so as to pretend to be a democracy).

2: The FBI chose to believe her allegations, instead of to investigate or challenge them. For example: On page 4 of the FBI’s record of their interview with Hillary dated 2 July 2016, they noted: “Clinton did not recall receiving any emails she thought should not be on an unclassified system.” But they already had seen this email. So, they asked her about that specific one: “Clinton stated she did not remember the email specifically. Clinton stated a ‘nonpaper’ was a document with no official heading, or identifying marks of any kind, that can not be attributed to the US Government. Clinton thought a ‘nonpaper’ was a way to convey the unofficial stance of the US Government to a foreign government and believed this practice went back ‘200 years.’ When viewing the displayed email, Clinton believed she was asking Sullivan to remove the State letterhead and provide unclassified talking points. Clinton stated she had no intention to remove classification markings.” Look at the email: is her statement about it — that “issues sending secure fax” had nothing to do with the illegality of sending classified U.S. Government information over a non-secured, even privatized, system — even credible? Is the implication by Clinton’s remark, that changing the letterhead and removing the document’s classified stamp, would solve the problem that Jake Sullivan — a highly skilled attorney himself — had brought to her attention, even credible? Well, if so, then wouldn’t the FBI have asked Sullivan what he was referring to when his email to Clinton said “They say they’ve had issues sending secure fax. They’re working on it.” The FBI provided no indication that there was any such follow-up, at all. They could have plea-bargained with Sullivan, to get him to testify first, so that his testimony could be used in questioning of her, but they seem not to have been interested in doing any such thing. They believed what she said (even though it made no sense as a response to the problem that Sullivan had just brought to her attention: the problem that emailing to her this information would violate several federal criminal statutes. Clinton, in other words, didn’t really care about the legality. And, apparently, neither did the FBI. Her email in response to Sullivan’s said simply: “If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.” So: she knew that it was classified information but wanted to receive it so that she would be able to say, “I didn’t know that it was classified information.” In other words: she was instructing her advisor: hide the fact that it’s classified information, so that when I receive it, there will be no indication on it that what was sent to me is classified information.

3: The FBI avoided using the standard means to investigate a suspect higher-up: obtaining plea-deals with subordinates, requiring them to cooperate, answer questions and not to plead the Fifth Amendment (not to refuse to answer). (In Hillary’s case, the Obama Administration actually did plea-deals in which they allowed the person who was supposed to answer all questions, to plea the Fifth Amendment to all questions instead. This is allowed only when the government doesn’t want to prosecute the higher-up — which in this case was Clinton. That alone proves the Obama Administration’s ‘investigation’ of Clinton’s email system to have been a farce.) A plea-deal isn’t a Constitutional process: Jed Rakoff’s article explained why it’s not. The process is informal, but nowadays it’s used in more than 97% of cases in which charges are brought, and in more than 99% of all cases (including the 92% of cases that are simply dropped without any charges being brought). That’s the main reason why nowadays “the prosecutor has all the power.” Well, the prosecutor in Hillary’s case (the Obama Administration) clearly didn’t want her in the big house; they wanted her in the White House. In America, billionaires and their servants — such as Comey, Mueller, Wray, Jake Sullivan, etc., who together constitute America’s Deep State but only as servants of the super-mega-donors who constitute the nation’s aristocracy — are, all of them, above the law. Trump was never in that league — his political donations were tiny by comparison.

But, anyway, the prosecutors in Hillary’s case were deferential though the prosecutors in Trump’s case are out for blood, and they have propagandists such as CNN and Elliot Williams and NPR out to deceive the American people that we live under a democracy instead of under an aristocracy — such as is the scientifically proven reality.

The Debatepedia site included the following very brilliant summary statement, which shows how deeply institutionalized this dictatorship now is, and it relates to that point #3 just above, about the FBI, in Hillary’s case, refusing to even try to get her subordinates such as Jake Sullivan to testify against his boss — to do a plea deal against her so that those subordinates wouldn’t themselves go to prison — everyone (including Comey) was thus protecting her:

Plea bargaining violates 5th and 6th amendments

Plea bargaining in exchange for testimony is a violation of the fifth and sixth amendments. The fifth amendment is an amendment against self incrimination. Criminals have the right not to testify to anything that may prove that they had anything to do with a crime or criminal activity. However when the criminal does get on the witness stand they must answer all questions asked. In many plea bargain cases the pressure from the courts/attorneys to take a plea bargain is so heavy even innocent people give in. Even when they have a chance to go to trial and be found innocent. Plea bargaining for testimony violates the sixth amendment because it states that a person has the right to a “speedy” trial. Yes plea bargains are very speedy but the constitution says “trial” not plea bargain. No it does not say anything against plea bargaining but as previously stated it says “trial”. Therefore plea bargaining in exchange for testimony is a violation of rights.

Plea-bargaining is used almost uniformly against poor people — NOT against rich ones, and virtually never against high Government officials such as Hillary. Plea-bargaining can be justifiable in order to catch a mega-crook, but instead it is used almost exclusively against innocent people and two-bit crooks.

Plea-bargaining became the rule rather than the exception in America on the basis of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1970 decision, Brady v. United States, 397 U.S. 742 (1970). It opened with:


A guilty plea is not unconstitutionally compelled when a defendant pleads guilty because they would prefer a certain or probable lesser penalty to the risk of a greater penalty [that condition constituting practically 100% of plea-bargains]. [I.e.: the Court was saying that a plea agreement is ‘voluntary’ even if the chief witness against you had made a deal with his prosecutor to offer him a reduced sentence in his case if he would testify in court that you had participated in that crime or else had confessed to him that you had perpetrated the crime that your prosecutor is accusing you of.]

Then it presents its


Petitioner was indicted in 1959 for kidnaping and not liberating the victim unharmed in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a), which imposed a maximum penalty of death if the jury’s verdict so recommended. Upon learning that his codefendant, who had confessed, would plead guilty and testify against him, petitioner changed his plea from not guilty to guilty. The trial judge accepted the plea after twice questioning petitioner (who was represented throughout by competent counsel) as to the voluntariness of his plea, and imposed sentence. In 1967, petitioner sought post-conviction relief, in part on the ground that § 1201(a) operated to coerce his plea. The District Court, after hearing, denied relief, concluding that petitioner’s plea was voluntary and had been induced not by that statute, but by the development concerning his confederate. The Court of Appeals affirmed. Petitioner claims that United States v. Jackson, 390 U. S. 570 (1968), requires reversal of that holding.

Held: On the record in this case, there is no basis for disturbing the judgment of the courts below that petitioner’s guilty plea was voluntary. Pp. 397 U. S. 745-758.

It’s the gentleman’s way of what among the lower class version would be holding a gun to your head and saying “If you won’t voluntarily accept this deal, then you will either get a life-sentence or the electric chair. It’s your choice. It must be a voluntary choice. Choose.”

But then in 2005 there was the case:

United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 125 S. Ct. 738, 160 L. Ed. 2d 621, 2005 U.S. LEXIS 628 –

United States v.

Judges: Breyer, Ginsburg, Kennedy, O’Connor, Part III, Scalia, Souter, Stevens, Thomas

Booker v. United States, 543 U.S. 220 (2005)


No. 04-104.

Supreme Court of United States.

Argued October 4, 2004.

Decided January 12, 2005.[*]

JUSTICE BREYER delivered the opinion of the Court in part.[*]

The first question that the Government has presented in these cases is the following:

*245 “Whether the Sixth Amendment is violated by the imposition of an enhanced sentence under the United States Sentencing Guidelines based on the sentencing judge’s determination of a fact (other than a prior conviction) that was not found by the jury or admitted by the defendant.” Pet. for Cert. in No. 04-104, p. (I).

The Court, in an opinion by JUSTICE STEVENS, answers this question in the affirmative. Applying its decisions in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U. S. 466 (2000), and Blakely v. Washington, 542 U. S. 296 (2004), to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Court holds that, in the circumstances mentioned, the Sixth Amendment requires juries, not judges, to find facts relevant to sentencing. See ante, at 226-227, 244 (STEVENS, J., opinion of the Court). …

As these dispositions indicate, we must apply today’s holdings  both the Sixth Amendment holding and our remedial interpretation of the Sentencing Act  to all cases on direct review. See Griffith v. Kentucky, 479 U. S. 314, 328 (1987) (“[A] new rule for the conduct of criminal prosecutions is to be applied retroactively to all cases … pending on direct review or not yet final, with no exception for cases in which the new rule constitutes a `clear break’ with the past”). See also Reynoldsville Casket Co. v. Hyde, 514 U. S. 749, 752 (1995) (civil case); Harper v. Virginia Dept. of Taxation, 509 U. S. 86, 97 (1993) (same). That fact does not mean that we believe that every sentence gives rise to a Sixth Amendment violation. Nor do we believe that every appeal will lead to a new sentencing hearing. That is because we expect reviewing courts to apply ordinary prudential doctrines, determining, for example, whether the issue was raised below and whether it fails the “plain-error” test. It is also because, in cases not involving a Sixth Amendment violation, whether resentencing is warranted or whether it will instead be sufficient to review a sentence for reasonableness may depend upon application of the harmless-error doctrine.

The result of those two decisions shows in America’s incarceration-rates:

US incarceration count, and rate per 100,000 population. Jails, state prisons, federal prisons.[1]

Year Count Rate

1940 264,834 201

1950 264,620 176

1960 346,015 193

1970 503,586 161   Brady v. United States, 397 U.S. 742 (1970)

1980 503,586 220

1985 744,208 311

1990 1,148,702 457

1995 1,585,586 592

2000 1,937,482 683

2002 2,033,022 703

2004 2,135,335 725   Booker v. United States, 543 U.S. 220 (2005)

2006 2,258,792 752

2008 2,307,504 755

2010 2,270,142 731

2012 2,228,424 707

2014 2,217,947 693

2016 2,157,800 666

2018 2,102,400 642

In other words: whereas Brady v. U.S. caused the rate to rise from 161 in 1970 to 642 in 2018, Booker v. U.S., because of its slippery language, had no discernible impact. The Brady decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1970 caused the United States to become the nation that has a higher percentage of its people living behind bars than does any other country in the entire world.

Plea-bargaining is unConstitutional, but only ‘the lowest of the low’ are objecting to it, and they are expendable in an aristocracy; so, the ‘Justices’ had written into the Booker decision enough slippery language so as to allow all of the real defense criminal bar, the financially motivated defense attorneys, the corporate defense bar, working on only the profitable cases, for the few upper-class criminal defendants — the ones who will exhaust the financial capabilities of the state’s prosecutions, simply because the entire system now is set up for only the insiders — the really wealthy, who possess the means to complexify and keep their case going until the prosecutors will have to throw in the towel and then offer the defendant a deal that will clear it from the dockets and give the defendant what he wants — NOT what he’s forced to accept.

Plea-bargaining is by now an addiction of the American system, to make it perhaps the world’s most-classist.

On 9 November 2017, Britain’s Economist headlined “The troubling spread of plea-bargaining from America to the world”. It opened:

A PROTEST in Madrid about the cost of the pope’s visit in 2011, when Spain’s economy was moribund, was not the first Flavia Totoro had attended. Marching alongside families, she was unconcerned about her safety. But after an altercation with police she and seven others were arrested. She was charged with assaulting an officer. Just before her trial she was offered the chance to plead guilty, in which case she could avoid a possible 18-month prison sentence and merely pay a fine. If all the defendants pleaded guilty, none would be imprisoned, the prosecutor said. But if she insisted on going to trial, the others would go, too. Unwilling to jeopardise other people’s freedom, she accepted, though she still maintains she was innocent and could have proved it in court.

In plea-bargaining, as the promise of a lesser penalty in return for a guilty plea is commonly known, prosecutors offer to drop some charges, to replace the original charge with a less serious one or to seek a lower sentence. It has long been central to America’s criminal-justice system. But over the past three decades it has spread across the world. A study of 90 countries by Fair Trials International, a campaigning group, found that in 1990 just 19 used some form of plea-bargaining. Now 66 do.

Plea-bargaining took off in America around 1920 with Prohibition, which led to a steep increase in the number of criminal offences. By 1930 the number of federal prosecutions under the Prohibition Act alone was eight times the total figure for all federal prosecutions in 1914. Bargaining with defendants to plead guilty in return for lighter punishment seemed like the only way to cope. Prohibition ended in 1933, but plea bargains did not. Since 1970, when the Supreme Court ruled that they were permissible, they have become ubiquitous. In 1980 some 19% of federal defendants went to trial. In 2010 the share was below 3%, where it remains.

Practice in other countries varies widely. In Australia, England and Russia more than 60% of cases are resolved with plea bargains. In Chile, India and Italy, the share is less than 10%. Some recent converts to plea bargains have adopted them with vim. In Georgia, which has allowed them since 2004, the share of convictions that involved a plea bargain rose from 13% in 2005 to 88% in 2012.

Export deals

The central role of plea-bargaining in America goes some way to explaining its spread elsewhere. America’s criminal-justice system has a big influence globally, with legal training often forming part of its foreign-aid efforts. The Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT), part of the Department of Justice, was established in 1991, after the break-up of the Soviet Union and as the war on drugs in Latin America intensified. Among the countries where America helped new governments with legal reforms are Bolivia, Colombia, Poland and Russia. Plea-bargaining was often among the suggested reforms. …

Wherever justice is for sale, it sells for the price in dollars, not for the price in virtue. And this is how any aristocracy actually functions. Ideologically, it is called “libertarianism” in America, and “neoliberalism” in Europe; but, regardless of its name, it means that the aristocracy should rule, and that everyone else should serve them. America’s National Public Radio is simply doing its job. For the people who matter — but not for the rest of us.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s latest book, AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change, is about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.

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