United States: John Pilger film and visit banned

June 12, 2011

ZCommunications received the following open letter from indpendent filmmaker and journalist John Pilger reporting very disturbing events in progress. Visit www.johnpilger.com for more of Pilger's work.

* * *

Dear Noam...

I am writing to you and a number of other friends mostly in the US to alert you to the extraordinary banning of my film on war and media, 'The War You Don't See', and the abrupt cancellation of a major event at the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe in which David Barsamian and I were to discuss free speech, US foreign policy and censorship in the media.

Lannan invited me and David over a year ago and welcomed my proposal that they also host the US premiere of 'The War You Don't See', in which US and British broadcasters describe the often hidden part played by the media in the promotion of war, in Iraq and Afghanistan. The film has been widely acclaimed in the UK and Australia; the trailer and reviews are on my website www.johnpilger.com.

The banning and cancellation, which have shocked David and me, are on the personal orders of Patrick Lannan, whose wealth funds the Lannan Foundation as a liberal centre of discussion of politics and the arts. Some of you will have been there and will know the Lannan Foundation as a valuable supporter of liberal causes. Indeed, I was invited in 2002 to present a Lannan award to the broadcaster Amy Goodman.

What is deeply disturbing about the ban is that it happened so suddenly and inexplicably: 48 hours before David Barsamian and I were both due to depart for Santa Fe I received a brief email with a 'sorry for the inconvenience' from a Lannan official who had been telling me just a few days earlier what a 'great honour' it was to have the US premiere of my film at Lannan, with myself in attendance.

I urge you to visit the Lannan website www.lannan.org. Good people like Michael Ratner, Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald are shown as participants in discussion about freedom of speech. I am there, too, but my name is the only one with a line through it and the word, "Cancelled".

Neither David Barsamian nor I have been given a word of explanation. All my messages to Lannan have gone unanswered; my calls are not returned; my flights were cancelled summarily.

At the urging of the New Mexican newspaper, Patrick Lannan has issued a one-sentence statement offering his regrets to the Lannan-supporting "community" in Santa Fe.

Again, he gives no reason for the ban. I have spoken to the manager of the Santa Fe cinema where 'The War You Don't See' was to be screened. He received a late-night call. Again, no reason for the ban was given, giving him barely time to cancel advertising in The New Mexican.

There is a compelling symbol of our extraordinary times in all of this. A rich and powerful individual and organisation, espousing freedom of speech, has moved ruthlessly and unaccountably to crush it.

With warm regards

John Pilger


He got cancelled/banned because the Powers that Be won't tolerate him. They tolerate Chomsky because he's a citizen. What are they gonna do? Deport him for his views?
Your ban is a classic example of the ineptitude that those with liberal views deal with their own kind, for fear of upsetting the powerful business interests that dominate us all. Sorry John Pilger. You get no thanks fortelling the truth these days...not when we are surrounded by superficial liars and vested interests.
Lannan can do whatever he wants with his money. Your film wasn't banned, stop being dramatic. You just can't show it at a Lannan Foundation event.
This is the impending doom of western society sadly. And why people like Alex Jones among others have created an alternative (and effective) media. The truth is suppressed on so many issues to control the majority of "monkey's", who don't ask questions on important issues, just listen and trust the mainstream media, or your a conspiracy theorist, a nutjob or any other derogatory insults, on top of the straight out censorship. Certainly not free speech anymore. Obviously this is owned by the global banking cartel and their vested interests (what 1-2000 people max? if that) and want to obviously start WW3 shortly against a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at every "free countries" expense in lives and taxation, even if it means being 15 trillion in debt and counting in the US. People in the west are getting restless (US/UK, I mean even in Australia, people are becoming aware of who these people are, Ross Garnaut etc and his ties), even Zbigniew Brzinzski at a recent canadian CFR meeting noted "man has awakened, which is unprecedented". People power wont be beaten i'm afraid, and good will prevail. Keep up the good work John.
The best way of convincing the world that America is fighting terrorism is by repeating 'war on terror' a trillion times via the mainstream media. It makes me happy that people are starting to slowly but surely wake up and see the truth for what it is. USA and UK are the real terrorists, but unlike any successful Hollywood movie with twists and turns, the reality is 10 times more disturbing. It sickens me to think about just how many innocent women and children have been ruthlessly killed, raped and tortured at the hands of the U.S.of A....all in the name of freedom and democracy. In the words of Ghandi, evil may sometimes seem inevitable and invincible, but good always triumphs in the end.

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