How does NATO/OTAN feel about Free Media and Free Speech ?

How does NATO/OTAN feel about Free Media and Free Speech ?

christof-lehmann-20112Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) – A good question; taking into account that NATO lays claim to having brought, or bringing freedom, democracy and not least the much fabled human rights to Serbia and Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, not to mention those cases where its vanguards of freedom and democracy are being deployed in covert operations in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, which we don´t even know about, I thought that I would get the words straight out of the horse’s mouth, so to speak; so NATO/OTAN has a chance to explain its position on the issue, in its own words.

What better place to look than at NATO´s own website, where NATO conveniently, for all of us to see, has published its “Guidelines for the external use of NATO content”. I thought that, they should give us a pretty good idea about, how NATO is thinking about those issues.

So, what is NATO telling us in its “Guidelines for the external use of NATO content” ? 1)

* No material produced by NATO is to be sold, used for outside advertising or promotional purposes of any kind.

And I thought that NATO really could need some advertising and promotion. After all, when their top brass Ivo H. Daalder and James G.  Stavridis published an article in “Foreign Affairs” in the March/April 2012 issue of the renown paper, where they were calling NATO´s intervention in Libya “A teachable moment” and for “A model for future interventions”, it did not exactly go down well among those who are supposed to “buy” NATO´s narratives. A little outside promotion could sure not harm NATO, one might think.

So what ! If I should produce a really cool looking fools hat with a NATO emblem on it and make a few Bucks on selling it to daily readers of mainstream news; do you really think that it could harm NATO ?

All content taken from NATO and republished must be clearly credited and sourced to NATO. 

Well sure, that is fair. I would like to be clearly credited  and sourced too. Beside that, I would not want to miss the chance to document NATO expansion since the end of the cold war anyways.

Photos, videos and articles are released under the legally recognized terms of “Fair Use” to members of the press, academia, non-profits and the general public.

Sure, thank you, that is fine; but… I will get back to this point.

 No material is to be used in programs, articles or online publications of any kind that defame NATO or its member countries.

De…what ?? I think NATO is doing a perfect job at defaming itself already, but honestly, should the vanguards of freedom and democracy, who bomb wedding parties in Afghanistan not be a little bit tolerant if those Afghanis, or someone like me, who has the questionable honor of being a citizen of one of those NATO member countries who are being defamed by NATO´s deplorable acts of violence, use NATO content, paid for by tax money, to criticize or defame NATO for blowing a bride and groom to smithereens ?  That really does not fit my idea of freedom and democracy, freedom of speech, free press, and all the other propaganda which I am supposed to buy about the glorious NATO. Not at all.

* Material is provided, free of charge, for use in objective and balanced content, even if at times the products may be critical of NATO.

Why does this sentence remind me about FOX News,” Fair and Balanced” ? Beside that, I thought that the 42 % tax I pay in  Denmark also cover payment for NATO; even though I really would prefer not to pay for an organization with a history of using its intelligence service for murdering civilians of its members states in false flag terror attacks.

The thought that I have paid for the bomb in Bologna and the murder of Italian Premier Minister Aldo Moro makes me sick to the heart.

So NATO, what are you telling me ? That I can use the material which I already have paid for, free of charge ? I am even allowed to use this material if I wish to criticize NATO, as long as I don´t address some of the really important issues ?

* In instances where a member country is criticized, NATO wishes it to be made known that it does not associate itself with the content of the article, publication or broadcast.

Let us see how we should comply with this. Lets imagine, that we use a photo of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and US Secretary of State Clinton. Then let us imagine that I wanted to write something to the effect that “NATO´s abuse of UNSC Resolution 1973 (2011) on Libya raises grave concerns about NATO´s role as an increased globally active military force, that abuses the UN for enforcing the US-Ambition for global, full-spectrum dominance”.

In this case I would have to add to the article “NATO dissociates itself from reality ?” Right ?

* NATO reserves the right to request the removal of NATO copyrighted material from any externally created content.

The operand word here is “from any“, which practically means, that if you use NATO´s material, NATO can ask you to remove if the reporting is too close for comfort to reality.

The best advise for journalists who want to use “any” NATO content would be to:

a) hide the fact that you are advertising for NATO. That should not be difficult for some of our mainstream media,

b) to credit NATO as source while neglecting to check the veracity of its statements. That, on the other hand, should be pretty easy for most of the “fair and balanced” mainstream media.

c) to be careful not to draw attention to the real issues in order not to “defame” any of NATO´s member states by virtue of reality,

d) to be happy about, that you may use NATO propaganda, free of charge, even though you have paid for it already,

e) to drop truthful investigative reporting so you won´t have to state that NATO does not endorse your point of view or reality,

f) to stick to the official NATO narrative, always, so you avoid that the vanguards of freedom and democracy will ask you to remove the NATO material which you have paid for.

What can I say ? I found NATO´s Guidelines for the use of NATO Content to be a fair and balanced representation of,  how NATO feels about free media, free speech and the freedom and de-mock-racy, that it has brought to the people of Serbia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya …… … …

The Guidelines are from NATO´s website: 1)

1) Guidelines for the use of NATO Content.

Before I forget it ! I should better add  “NATO does not necessarily endorse the content of this article and the opinion represented in it“.

Christof Lehmann


About christoflehmann

Christof Lehmann is the founder and senior editor of nsnbc. Christof Lehmann is a political writer, psychologist, and independent political consultant on a wide range of issues, including conflict and conflict resolution, negotiations, security management, crisis management. His articles are published widely in international print and online media and he is a frequent contributor to radio and TV programs. He is a lifelong advocate for human rights, peace and international justice and the prosecution of war crimes - also those committed by privileged nation. In September 2011 Christof Lehmann started the blog nsnbc in response to what he perceived as an embargo on truth about the conflict in Libya and Syria. In 2013, he plans to transform nsnbc into an independent, daily, international online newspaper.
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