Journalism

Osama and Al-Qaeda V: Pass the Pop-Corn

 ‘It’s one big lie, not one word of it is true’

– Seymour Hersh on the death of Osama bin Laden


Seymour Hersh is one of a dying breed of investigative journalists with genuine integrity and a nose for truth. A five-time winner of the Polk Award in 1969, 1973, 1974, 1981, and 2004; winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for exposing the My Lai Massacre and recipient of the George Orwell Awardafter blowing the whistle on the serious abuse of prisoners by the U.S. Military at Abu Graib prison in 2004. As the above quotation shows, Regarding the bin Laden raid in which the terrorist mastermind was apparently killed, he didn’t believe a word of it, like any one who has cast a careful eye over the story will attest. 

Hersh has very little time for the Obama administration whom he likens to the Bush government in that it “lies systematically”, and where the US media does little in the face of this corruption. In a Guardian interview By Lisa O’Carroll, on September 27, 2013 the veteran journalist claims: “It’s pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama].” And regarding the state of America in general he is unequivocal: “… we lie about everything, lying has become the staple.” But it is more than that. Mainstream media is thoroughly shackled and has been for a long time.

Milking the Osama Bin Laden myth and the promotion of the “hunt for Bin Laden” had to come to end one day and it seems 2011 was the year for a theatrical propaganda exercise to send him off with some fireworks and military whoops and bangs. On May 2, 2011, two helicopters from the 160th Special Ops Air Regiment, serving the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) took off from a base in Afghanistan loaded with around 40 US Navy SEALs. Code named Operation Neptune Spear, they were part of a carefully selected group named SEAL Team 6 which was dissolved and renamed “Naval Special Warfare Development Group” tasked with hunting down Osama Bin Laden who was said to have been be holed up in a private, secure compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. [1]

They flew over the residential area and target location. At 1:00am local time, the team apparently stormed the compound and after a brief but intense fire-fight, four occupants were killed. One of these targets was alleged to have been Osama bin Laden, 54, whose body was then taken into custody by the US team. We were told that 40 minutes was spent on the ground searching the compound for information and clues to ascertain Al-Qaeda’s fiendish plans for the future.

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The Hollywood propganda machine went into overdrive to reinforce total fantasy. Firtly, with “Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden” (2012) and the multi-award-winning and CIA sponsored “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) billed as: “the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man”. In fact it offered the official story of the killing of bin Laden as well as a tacit approval – even glorification – of torture which led to the capture and execution of bin Laden, neither or which took place. The latter film was directed by Kathryn Bigelow of “The Hurt Locker” fame which gave an equally myopic view of the reality of the Iraq war.

President Obama announced bin Laden’s death, with suitably vengeful gravitas: “His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity. Justice has been done.” Jaw-flexing and with eyes moist (perhaps from auto-cue strain) he continued: “We are reminded that we are fortunate to have Americans who dedicate their lives to protecting ours. We may not always know their names, we may not always know their stories, but they are there every day on the front lines of freedom and we are truly blessed.” [2]

The loved ones who are left behind to cope with the fall-out from war and covert operations is always tragic but what cheapens and debases those deaths is when the official stories don’t match reality. The above sentiments then become cynical and hollow. Obama repeated the same weary script, describing the event as “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al-Qaeda”, and seen as a “significant turning point for global security and the War on Terror.” [3] As journalist James Corbett reminds us, when Obama pronounced bin Laden dead this would be: “… at least the ninth major head of state or high-ranking government official to have done so.” [4]

Now why would that be?

Since French intelligence disclosed that Osama bin Laden had been treated at a Dubai hospital in July 2001 for kidney failure, Hepatitis B and other serious ailments, he was thought to have no more than two years to live.[5] It is common knowledge in military and intelligence fields worldwide that he died in December of that year, yet to suggest such a thing in public is to offer peals of incredulous laughter. This is a largely thanks to the MSM and its love affair with the terror industry. Nonetheless, there are many instances of officials, analysts and a wide range of academics speaking out against this propaganda.

In the following year the FBI’s top counter-terrorism official, Dale Watson, said, “I personally think he is probably not with us anymore,” an affirmation of which was also repeated by Afghan President Hamid Karzai in October of 2002.[6]

In July 2002, New York Times journalist Amir Taheri also highlighted the psychology of the situation by observing: “With an ego the size of Mount Everest, Osama bin Laden would not have, could not have, remained silent for so long if he were still alive. He always liked to take credit even for things he had nothing to do with. Would he remain silent for nine months and not trumpet his own survival?”

Originally cited in the Pakistan Observer a report surfaced in December 2001, that bin Laden had “died a peaceful death due to an untreated lung complication.” The statement came from an unlikely but more believable source: that of a Taliban leader who had everything to gain by not revealing the truth. Nonetheless, he states that bin Laden was indeed dead and that he had “… succumbed to the disease in mid-December, in the vicinity of the Tora Bora Mountains,” further claiming that “… bin Laden was laid to rest honourably in his last abode and his grave was made as per his Wahabi belief.” The source further reported: “About 30 close associates of bin Laden in Al-Qaeda, including his most trusted and personal bodyguards, his family members and some ‘Taliban friends,’ attended the funeral rites. A volley of bullets was also fired to pay final tribute to the ‘great leader.’ [7]

The late former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto, confirmed this from her own pronouncements in an interview recorded in 2007 where she stated that Osama bin Laden had been killed by Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a man convicted of kidnapping and killing journalist Daniel Pearl. Bhutto also repeated before her death that bin Laden’s ghost was being used as a pretext to destabilise Pakistan. It has since been proven conclusively that “under cover of a ‘suicide bombing’ she was shot in the neck and head from close range.” Bhutto’s bodyguard Khalid Shahenshah a key witness to her murder was also killed in a drive-by shooting at his home on Karachi. He was expected to be called to give evidence in a United Nations probe into her death. [8]

benazir-bhutto

Still from an interview with Benazir Bhutto by Sir David Frost in 2007 in which the late politician also claimed bin Laden had been dead since 2001; killed by Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh

The death of Bhutto removed the chance for Pakistan to release itself from Pakistani-ISI-CIA led control and the Bush-Cheney administration’s manoeuvring to strengthen their political control of Pakistan by expanding the War on Terror across the region. Of course, the assassinations were predictably blamed on Al-Qaeda, without any mention of the fact that the organisation has long been an American military-intelligence operation.

Bhutto’s statements were echoed in January 2002 in an interview with CNN, by Pakistan’s President General Pervez Musharraf who thought that bin Laden was probably dead because he has been unable to get treatment for his kidney disease. He commented: “I think now, frankly, he is dead for the reason he is a … kidney patient.” [9] Musharraf, a onetime CIA asset was also targeted as he fell out of favour with Anglo-American powers.

In April 2002, top US government insider Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik, gave valuable public support to the consensus that Osama bin Laden died in 2001 stating he had been “dead for months” and that the CIA knew the Al-Qaeda leader’s death represented significant, mileage in the propaganda war. Pieczenik, who served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under three different administrations still works as a consultant for the Department of Defence and is not someone easily ignored. Responsible for developing strategies for hostage rescue which were employed around the world, he also formulated: “… the basic tenets for psychological warfare, counter terrorism, strategy and tactics for transcultural negotiations for the US State Department, military and intelligence communities and other agencies of the US Government.”

Having personally met Osama Bin Laden during the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s and worked with Elite brokers James Baker, George Schultz, Cyrus Vance and Kissinger et al, he is one of the most connected military intelligence men ever to go public on the Osama myth. The former intelligence officer believes that Osama died from Marfan syndrome, an incurable degenerative genetic disease which severely shortens the life span of the sufferer. Pieczenik is certain that George W. Bush and the intelligence community knew perfectly well that bin Laden had died shortly after 9/11 in his Tora Bora cave complex and proceeded to build and “doctor up the situation” for geo-political ends. It was not necessary to kill him because he had already died of natural causes. [10]

WH-situation-room-needs-enlarging-post-BHO

“The U.S. national security team gathered in the White House Situation Room to monitor the progress of Operation Neptune Spear.” (Source: wikipedia) Unfortunately, it was all a staged photo-op.

Images released by the White House in May 2011 (see above) show a tension-filled room full of senior US government officials including Joe Biden, Robert Gates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton staring fixedly ahead at the live enactment of the operation to assassinate Osama via video feeds on the Navy SEAL’s helmets.

If the photos looked staged, it’s because they were.

According to Pieczenik:

“This whole scenario where you see a bunch of people sitting there looking at a screen and they look as if they’re intense, that’s nonsense,” … “It’s a total make-up, make believe, we’re in an American theater of the absurd … why does the government repeatedly have to lie to the American people, [?]” […] This is orchestrated, I mean when you have people sitting around and watching a sitcom, basically the operations center of the White House, and you have a president coming out almost zombie-like telling you they just killed Osama Bin Laden who was already dead nine years ago …” [11]

This mini-PSYOPS operation, pre-packaged for the media which had President Obama and his national security team watching events unfold in real time had to be quickly abandoned. Former Reagan Administration economist Dr. Paul Craig Roberts explains why: “If Obama was watching the event as it happened, he would have noticed, one would hope, that there was no firefight and thus, would not have told the public that bin Laden was killed in a firefight. Another reason the story had to be abandoned is that if the event was captured on video, every news service in the world would be asking for the video, but if the event was orchestrated theater, there would be no video.” [12]

zero-dark-thirty

Still from “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) depicting the Navy SEAL team tracking down bin Laden

Indeed, the whole story of the Osama hit became an embarrassing media spectacle because the official narrative changed so many times. First there was a fire-fight. Then there wasn’t. Bin Laden was armed. Then he wasn’t. His wife was there as a human shield, then she wasn’t. She was killed then she wasn’t. His sons were present and killed, then they weren’t. In fact, they weren’t there at all. Oh, and the helicopter that was lost due to mechanical failure? No. Actually, it crashed because it was the wrong kind of temperature in Osama’s compound. Tricky these terrorist micro-climates … [13]

Finally, with so many falsifications, contradictions, inconsistencies and amendments the original story became unrecognisable. As it progressed into the arena of farce with Barack Obama’s feeble reasoning that it was due to the “fog of war” which was enthusiastically taken up by much of the US media, the President and US officials refused to offer more details, explanations or more disturbingly, any photos or other evidence to support the official story. Since there was no “fog” or no “war” and a bullet caused the demise of the most valuable intelligence asset ever to be captured, it is more than confusing as to what the President was referring to.

As Paul Craig Roberts notes:

When such a foundational story as the demise of bin Laden cannot last 48 hours without acknowledged “discrepancies” that require fundamental alternations to the story, there are grounds for suspicion in addition to the suspicions arising from the absence of a dead body, from the absence of any evidence that bin Laden was killed in the raid or that a raid even took place. The entire episode could just be another event like the August 4, 1964, Gulf of Tonkin event that never happened but succeeded in launching open warfare against North Vietnam at a huge cost to Americans and Vietnamese and enormous profits to the military/security complex. [14]

It wouldn’t be the first time, as Craig Roberts reminds us. False flags and government duplicity is standard practice for the state. Rather than an occasional aberration during times of war, in soft totalitarianism brought on by the presence of many psychopaths wielding power, it becomes a way of life. Obama’s photo op was merely a microcosm of far bigger lies; one of many addictions to deceit which has taken America into a irreversible tail-spin.


“Known and documented, Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda is a construct of the US intelligence apparatus. His essential function is to give a face to the “war on terrorism”. The image must be vivid.”

– Michel Chossudovsky, economist, geo-political analyst


More embarrassment followed the Osama bin Laden raid in Pakistan, with the mass publishing of a photo purporting to be a dead bin Laden which was obviously fraudulent having been circulated on the internet since 2009. The New York Times published another fake photo from a separate source and by then the media was awash in obviously phony images. On May 4 2011, Obama wisely decided not to release any photos or anything else connected to the operation. The hole was alredy deep enough. [15]

On May 3, just a day before the announcement, journalist Patrick Henningsen, Editor of 21st Century Wire created a stir when he gave Russia Today TV an interview on the raid and stated conclusively, “There will be no photos or video released at all.” Henningsen explained how he was able to make such a prediction: “If you have been paying attention to this story over the last 8 years, then it’s not very difficult to predict this. If you apply basic common sense, the evidence weighs in favour of Osama bin Laden having died years ago. Or you can choose to believe the Hollywood version of events that we have been fed over the years, one which requires no effort.” [16]

More recently in March 2012, Iranian intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi joined the chorus claiming that Osama had died way before the storming of his alleged Abbottabad compound. Moslehi said that Iran has: “credible information that bin Laden died some time ago of a disease,” furthering pointing out in a Cabinet meeting that: “If the US military and intelligence apparatus have really arrested or killed bin Laden, why don’t they show him [his body]? Why have they thrown his corpse into the sea? [17]

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 Osama bin Laden’s compound (Photo by Sajjad Ali Qureshi, (Wikimedia)

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The USS Carl Vinson which was said to be the vessel which carried the body of bin Laden dumping him at sea. Unfortunately, the US Dpartment of Defence cannot find any record of the event. Oops. I wonder why that would be? (wikipedia)

The issue of military incompetence is not only believable but expected given the history US military operations, but to suggest that there was a rationale behind the hasty dumping of the mythical terrorist’s body in the sea and dispensing with what would surely have been a primary vindication of intelligence and military prowess, is a much harder tale to swallow. It only makes sense if there was something to hide. The exact same insults to the intelligence are at play here just as they are surrounding the events of 9/11. The proffered reason for doing so in the original storyline was that no country would accept the body in accordance with Islamic traditions and customs – so read Obama’s auto-cue info from which he read so dutifully. However, headaches soon arrived. Prominent Muslim academics and leaders swiftly repudiated this latest offering, explaining that a sea burial of  bin Laden was actually a violation of Islamic tenets which prompted the in-house scriptwriters to carry out more hasty re-writes coming up with the idea that it was actually a “shrine.” As journalist at the New American Alex Newman commented: “That lie fell apart, too, when it was widely reported that bin Laden’s brand of Islam calls for unmarked graves — building any sort of shrine would have been blasphemous. So far, no new excuses have been concocted for allegedly feeding the body to the fish.” [18]

And surprise, surprise, heavily redacted internal military emails obtained by the Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act in 2012, reveal no sailors witnessed the burial at sea nor could the US Department of Defence find any images or videos of bin Laden’s aboard USS Carl Vinson, the vessel which is alleged to have carried the body of the dead bin Laden. [19] Furthermore, it explained why the Pentagon not only failed to produce an autopsy report and death certificate but refused to provide the results of DNA tests. Presumably, this tests were not carried out. How can you do tests on a body that doesn’t exist? Once you do so, it is clear that the whole narrative would be seen for what it is: a total fiction. This didn’t stop more attempts to fill in the gargantuan holes in the official story.

On May 6, 2011, the Obama administration released a short video recording from an original five. It was edited by the Pentagon without sound and what US officials said was footage of Osama watching TV with a remote in his hand, in the Jalalabad compound flat sometime before the raid. Numerous reports immediately cried foul. For example, the real bin Laden was left-handed, the man in the video is holding a remote control in his right hand. The ears, nose – in fact, almost everything about this individual – in these “new videos” screams fakery.

Pakistani residents weren’t having any of it either as a BBC News report revealed just a few days later. A neighbour of Osama bin Laden, a Pakistani man named Shabir told the BBC that the man in the video is actually a friend of his and not the Al-Qaeda founder. “His name is Akhbar Khan (Han), He owns the house that was Osama’s house. I know him very well,” Another Abbottabad resident Mohammed, “who has been selling newspapers in the two for the last 50 years” said: “It’s all a fake, nothing happened.” The report further stated that: “Out of the 50 Abbottabad residents interviewed by the BBC, only one believed that Osama bin Laden was in their town. Others claimed the pictures and video of bin Laden in his home are fakes made with a computer.” [20]

Osama_bin_Laden_watching_TV_at_his_compound_in_Pakistan

“Bin Laden” watches TV in the compound (top)

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“bin Laden” with school-girl ear compared to the more Vulcan-like example from the real bin Laden below:

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The decision to launch a hoax on the back of Osama’s death was taken to boost Obama’s approval ratings which had become dangerously low, or as Dr. Steve Pieczenik claims, to make Obama – as the latest monkey in front of the organ grinder – appear “viable.” It was also entirely in line with the foreign policy objective to isolate and destabilize Pakistan put into motion by banking and Zio-Conservative cartels which ran the Bush-Cheney gang.

Another reason for implanting the dénouement of an 8-year PSYOPS operation was Pakistan’s increasing opposition to the Predator drone program, which had killed hundreds of Pakistanis. Since government departments crowed that the success of the operation was directly sourced from data drawn from enhanced interrogation techniques inflicted on rendition victims in secret CIA prisons, (“torture” to you and I) they wanted the American public to see the value and success in those methods too. By extension, the practice of extrajudicial killings abroad and the intelligence that goes with it could be vindicated in such a grand spectacle of “justice” simultaneously bolstering Obama’s standing as a leader at home and abroad. Sure enough, once the dramatic assassination of bin Laden was aired on all media channels Obama’s ratings shot up. Spontaneous celebrations erupted in the streets of New York and outside the White House in true Pavlovian style.

obama-bin-laden

President Barack Obama showing his auto-cue and acting skills once again when he announced the death of Osama bin Laden on May 1st, 2011. With a reminder about 9/11 and the loss of life telegraphed on a May Day holiday what better way to ensure a tearful catharsis?

Obama’s “historic” announcement according to The Washington Post produced: “… a rare moment of national unity at a time of deep divisions on many domestic and foreign policy issues,” all of which was prime political capital against the record unemployment figures, the continuing descent of the dollar, fracturing infrastructure and trillions in government debt – the Obama administration needed to build on the quintessential American propensity for illusion programmed by 9/11 fear and vengeance, it was bound to work. A heightened security level status was introduced with the media excited at the prospect of possible retaliatory attacks from Al-Qaeda. The US population was primed and on alert, while the Obama Administration and the intelligence community sat back and had a beer.

Playing the patriot card on the back of the September 11th anniversary of the attacks is a potent opportunity for more manipulations. There is also propaganda investment in the death of Osama bin Laden as justification for a future false flag attack on United States soil, should it be deemed necessary. We have been told by US officials that alleged 9/11 ring-leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told Guantanamo Bay interrogators Al-Qaeda would detonate nuclear devices if bin Laden was captured or killed. Mohammed told his jailers they would unleash a “nuclear hellstorm” if Osama bin Laden was ever captured. [21] All this leaves the field open for new enemies to arrive. In the same global theatre with different characters, Iran may yet be ushered onto centre stage for a starring role.

Steve Pieczenik explained in a radio interview that 9/11 was a similar operation on a much grander scale, naming it a “stand down … false flag operation in order to mobilize the American public under false pretenses …” […] “I taught stand down and false flag operations at the national war college, I’ve taught it with all my operatives so I knew exactly what was done to the American public…” [22]

No Easy Day  written under the pseudonym of “Mark Owen”, an apparent Navy SEAL who was part of the alleged team who killed Osama Bin Laden was published in index_thumb.jpgSeptember 2012, with suitable “controversy.” However, rather than addressing the whole suspect nature of the operation itself, a big fuss was made about certain minor contradictions by the media which had the effect of leaving the basic premise of the official story unquestioned and strengthened, by default. If the author claims that “… the raid was being reported like a bad action movie” this, and many other criticisms simply vector the attention away from the whole reasons for such an operation. In this light, Mr. Owen may have even believed he had the body of bin Laden under foot when the reality may have been very different. Whether by default or design, the whole book (and others like it) acts as a PSYOPS operation from start to finish. [23]

Unfortunately, not many members are left alive to comment either way. 

On August 6, 2011, 30 US special forces, a civilian interpreter and seven Afghan commandos were killed in the Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan, right around the time that Washington’s official version of the Osama Bin Laden hit was falling apart at the seams. Among the 38 dead were also 25 US Navy Seals. The helicopter went down during a military operation to give support for a US Army unit engaged in battle with Afghan militants in Wardak Province, West of the capital, Kabul. [24] The single largest loss of life in the ten year war in Afghanistan, it was reported that the Taliban shot down the helicopter with a rocket launcher, later admitted by US officials without confirming the source of the attack. What they did reveal, after the fact, was that the dead Navy Seals were part of the Team Six unit allegedly involved in the May 2011 assassination of bin Laden. However, according to an MSNBC report: “None of those killed in the crash is believed to have been part of the SEALs mission that killed bin Laden, but they were from the same unit as the bin Laden team.” [25] No confirmation of this belief has been forthcoming especially since Team 6 identities are officially classified.

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Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan, a type that was apparently shot down by Taliban militants killing all 38 Special Forces aboard.

Quite apart from the fact this is certainly odd that against military protocol, the crème de la crème of Special forces were all crammed into a Chinook and sent out into a hot zone, it brings us back to the alleged helicopter crash which took place during the bin Laden raid. 

As Dr. Paul Craig Roberts stated in his much quoted article:

“In the immediate aftermath of bin Laden’s alleged murder by the SEALs, Pakistani TV interviewed the next door neighbor to bin Laden’s alleged compound. Someone supplied the video with an English translation running at the bottom of the video. According to the translation, the next door neighbor, Mr. Bashir, said that he watched the entire operation from the roof of his house. There were 3 helicopters. Only 1 landed. About a dozen men got out and entered the house. They shortly returned and boarded the helicopter. When the helicopter lifted off it exploded, killing all aboard. Mr. Bashir reports seeing bodies and pieces of bodies all over.

The US government acknowledges that it lost a helicopter, but claims no one was hurt. Obviously, as there were no further landings, if everyone was killed as Mr. Bashir reports, there was no body to be dumped into the ocean. [26]

Assuming of course, there was ever an Osama bin Laden to bring back in the first place.

In July 2013, Navy Vice Admiral William McRaven was given the job of removing secret military files concerning the Navy SEAL raid from the Pentagon’s data banks and placing them in the safe hands of the CIA. Despite President Barack Obama’s now tragically hilarious pledge to make his administration the most transparent in US history, orders were given to ignore rules governing federal records and violate the Freedom of Information Act, such was the urgency to make sure no one knew the truth. Although the Pentagon denied any wrongdoing regarding the removal, these actions simply underscore the continuing attempts by government to keep the public away from any covert activities. The rather lame reasoning given to the MSM was to protect personnel involved in the raid but as most of them have since met their deaths in sometimes suspicious circumstances, it makes little sense. Professor Michel Chossudovsky pointed out the more likely reason: “The files of the bin Laden SEAL operation had to be removed to sustain the Big Lie.”

To round off the Obama Administration’s adherence to the theatre of the unreal and perhaps one of the most blatant pieces of movie propaganda pieces on the scale of Jerry Bruckheimer’s pre-9/11 Pearl Harbour (2001) Seal Team 6: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden graced our screens in 2012. Produced by one of Hollywood’s biggest backers Harvey Weinstein, who rushed the film forward so that it was on TV screens two days before Obama’s election-day, it was universally panned by even the most IQ-challenged entertainment critics. Barack Obama has an “edited-in” role in the film which boasted such one-liners as: “In this world you don’t get to live free without working for it. You gotta earn it every day, and that day we did.”

Obama, pass the pop-corn.pop-corn1


Notes

[1] ‘Spec ops raids into Pakistan halted’ Navy Times, September 2008: “The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), also known as DEVGRU for short, or more commonly by its former name, SEAL Team Six (ST6) is one of the United States’ four secretive counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units (SMUs).” | ‘Osama Bin Laden Operation Ended With Coded Message ‘Geronimo-E KIA’’By Jake Tapper, ABC News, May 2 2011.
[2] ‘Top Government Insider: Bin Laden Died In 2001, 9/11 False Flag Attack’ By Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com 4 May 2011.
[3] ‘Osama bin Laden buried at sea after being killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan’ By Philip Rucker, Scott Wilson and Anne E. Kornblut, The Washington Post, May 2, 2011.
[4] ‘Osama Bin Laden Pronounced Dead…For the Ninth Time’ By James Corbett, The Corbett Report, May 2, 2011.
[5] ‘CIA agent alleged to have met Bin Laden in July’ French report claims terrorist leader stayed in Dubai hospital By Anthony Sampson, The Guardian, November 1st 2001.
[6] ‘Bin Laden ‘probably’ dead’BBC News,18 July, 2002. | ‘Karzai: bin Laden ‘probably’ dead’ CNN.com, October 7, 2002.
[7] ‘Report: Bin Laden Already Dead’ FoxNews.com, December 26, 2001.
[8] ‘Benazir Bhutto – A Warning To Us All’ By Joe Quinn, Sott.net, December 27, 2007.
[9] ‘Pakistan’s Musharraf: Bin Laden probably dead’CNN.com, January 18, 2002.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[12] ‘SKEPTICISM: The Agendas Behind the Bin Laden News Event: When the Lie Becomes the Truth…’ By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Global Research, May 04, 2011.
[13] ‘The killing of Osama bin Laden: how the White House changed its story’- Bin Laden not armed and did not use woman as human shield, US admits; Barack Obama’s spokesman blames ‘fog of war’By Robert Booth, The Guardian, May 4, 2011.
[14] op. cit Craig Roberts.
[15] ‘Fake out: Senators confused over bin Laden photos’ By Kelly O’Donnell and Libby Leist, MSNBC, May 5, 2011.| ‘Web’s bin Laden ‘death photo’ (just the photo) is fake’ By Stokes Young, nbcnews.com May 3, 2011.
[16] ‘The Osama bin Laden Media Scoop: “No photos or videos will be released.” By Patrick Henningsen, 21st Century Wire 5 May 2011.
[17] ‘Military emails show that NO U.S. sailors witnessed Osama bin Laden’s secret burial at sea,’ Daily Mail, .
[18] ‘Iranian Intelligence Minister Claims Bin Laden Was Dead Long Before U.S. Raid’ By Alex Alvarez USA Today, May 11, 2011.
[19] ‘Media Scrambles as Bin Laden Story Crumbles’ By Alex Newman, The New American 6 May 2011.
[20] ‘Osama Bin Laden: Pakistan’s scepticism over videos’ BBC News, (video) 8 May 2011. “The release of video footage seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound in northern Pakistan was part of the continuing effort by the US to convince doubters that the al-Qaeda leader was killed in last Monday’s raid.But people in Abbottabad seem sceptical about the authenticity of the films, as Orla Guerin discovered when she took to the streets of the town where bin Laden was said to have been hiding.”
[21] ‘WikiLeaks: Guantanamo Bay terrorist secrets revealed’ By Christopher Hope, Robert Winnett, Holly Watt and Heidi Blake, The Telegraph, April 25, 2011.
[22] Dr. Steve Pieczenik on Alex Jones Show May 3,2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjtNiTm99e8.
[23] ‘Bin Laden book No Easy Day ‘contradicts official account’ BBC News, August 29 2012.
[24] ‘25 Navy SEALs Killed in Afghanistan Chopper Crash: “Taliban is claiming responsibility for U.S. chopper crash, more than 30 dead.”ABC News, (VIDEO) http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/25-navy-seals-killed-afghanistan-chopper-crash-14245388 |‘30 Americans Killed in Afghanistan Helicopter Crash’ By News Desk, PBS, August 6, 2011.
[25] ‘31 US troops, mostly elite Navy SEALs, killed in Afghanistan’ MSNBC msnbc.com staff and news service reports, August 6, 2011.
[26] op. cit Craig Roberts. The crash incident was further confirmed by May 17 article in Navy Times: “Aboard two Black Hawk helicopters were 23 SEALs, an interpreter and a tracking dog named Cairo. Nineteen SEALs would enter the compound, and three of them would find bin Laden, one official said, providing the exact numbers for the first time. Aboard the Chinooks were two dozen more SEALs, as backup.  […] The plan unraveled as the first helicopter tried to hover over the compound. The Black Hawk skittered around uncontrollably in the heat-thinned air, forcing the pilot to land. As he did, the tail and rotor got caught on one of the compound’s 12-foot walls. The pilot quickly buried the aircraft’s nose in the dirt to keep it from tipping over, and the SEALs clambered out into an outer courtyard.  […] It took approximately 15 minutes to reach bin Laden, one official said. The next 23 or so were spent blowing up the broken chopper, after rounding up nine women and 18 children to get them out of range of the blast.

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The Mainstream Media (MSM)

 By M.K. Styllinski

“The republic’s in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple.”

– Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist


Perhaps the most important aspect for a healthy society is an equally healthy press. It is considered to be a defining feature of Western democracy. This would be true if such an ideal had ever been attained. As media commentator and MIT professor of Linguistics Noam Chomsky observed: “What is being reported blandly on the front pages would elicit ridicule and horror in a society with a genuinely free and democratic intellectual culture.” [1]

Media is a profitable business where truth has unfortunately been buried under an avalanche of corporate and political dictates the seeds of which were sown very early on its development. The nature of the “free market” and the forces that drive it are more than enough to make sure that the media and independent journalism would quickly dissolve into something quite different: to line the pockets of big business and to help the ruling class to justify its position in society, rather than help uncover the truth in any given situation. Truth is only relevant if it doesn’t threaten the money machine and social status.

Ever since Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays created the modern field of propaganda and the manipulation of public perception, older European governments and U.S. administrations have been routinely using his techniques. The greatest tool for perception management is through the organ of the global media, most especially in the US and UK. It is not that there is a conspiracy to create specific news stories, although that does happen, but that the very beliefs which underpin the reporting of news conforms to a form of self-censorship by the sin of omission. This, in conjunction with propaganda is highly effective. The now crumbling Murdoch Empire was a case in point. It is hardly likely that Murdoch and his editors would allow impartial reporting of issues that went counter to Murdoch’s own pro-Zionist and conservative beliefs, mostly notably seen via his Fox News network. And if there were such stories, then a suitable “spin” was sure to be provided ensuring a dilution or a twist on the original. [2]

In the long tradition of CIA and MI6 meddling, infiltration of Western media began in the 1940s with Operation Mocking Bird, the aim of which was total control of the American MSM. As the name cynically suggests, the idea was to embed journalists in every media outlet in the US who would then mimic journalism while in reality, they would follow and promote the government line.  As is usually the case in any effective intelligence operation there are well-intentioned dupes working alongside those that would sell their own grandmother for step up the career ladder.  Since then, disinformation and propaganda has characterised much of the global media, with the US-UK-Israel triangle cheer-leading all the way.

old-fashioned-tv© infrakshun

From the 1950s onwards the CIA ran a training school for Intelligence officers who were: ‘taught to make noises like reporters,’ … and then placed in major news organizations with help from top management. A CIA official said that: “These were the guys who went through the ranks and were told ‘You’re going to be a journalist,’” Relatively few of the 400 ‑ some relationships described in Agency files followed that pattern, however; most involved persons were already bona fide journalists when they began undertaking tasks for the Agency.” [3]

These journalists brought into the fold consisted of: legitimate, accredited staff members of news organizations—usually reporters; freelancers; employees of so‑called CIA ‘proprietaries;’ editors, publishers and broadcast network executives; columnists and commentators. News outlets traditionally associated with the CIA in the 1950s, 60s and 70s (and may still be) was The New York Times, Colombia Broadcasting company (CBS), Time and Newsweek magazines, The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Other newspapers included: The New York HeraldTribune, The SaturdayEvening Post, ScrippsHoward Newspapers, Associated Press, United Press International, the Mutual Broadcasting System, Reuters and the Miami Herald. [4]

Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein quoted a former CIA deputy director referring to the Post’s publisher Phil Graham as: “…widely known that [he] was someone you could get help from”. Graham and his CIA colleagues discussed the availability and prices of journalists and according to one CIA agent: “You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month.” [5] As we will see in future posts, “information dominance” requires a level of Psychological Operations that not only co-opts the established media outlets but actively manipulates these assets to plant progressive disinformation which becomes accepted belief.

Thanks in part to a revealing 1974 expose The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence written by two ex-CIA agents, John D. Marks and Victor Marchetti, the agency had to cope with a series of investigations led by Senator Frank Church otherwise known as the Church Committee with assistance from the United States Senate Select Committee. It was to place the the existence of Operation Mocking Bird under intense scrutiny. According to the Congress report published in 1976: “The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets.” However, by the time George Bush became director of the CIA in 1976 the Church Committee’s report was effectively buried with the following statement made in February of that year designed to take the heat away from a program that undoubtedly remained in place: “Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station.” As a footnote to this very public declaration Bush added that the CIA would continue to “welcome” the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists. [6]

And if anyone believes a public statement given by the CIA has a shred of credibility at all then they need to do some research on intelligence agencies. Black is almost always white unless it benefits their objectives to say otherwise. The control and filtering of information is paramount.

One expert on propaganda and disinformation techniques is William Schaap, a practising lawyer and member of the bar of the State of New York and District of Columbia. He practiced military law in Asia and Europe after which he became the editor in chief of the Military Law Reporter in Washington for a number of years. In the 70’s and 80’s he was a staff counsel of the Centre for Constitutional Rights in New York City. In the late 1980’s was an adjunct professor at John J. College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York where he taught courses on propaganda and disinformation. In his spare time he is an author and publisher on intelligence and foreign policy issues as well as squeezing in his managerial directorship of the Institute of Media analysis. In other words, this man is well qualified to speak about matters which have traditionally remained hidden from the public.

In an interview given on November 30 1999, Schaap gave his testimony on government propaganda and disinformation with special focus on the FBI and CIA. He talked of CIA’s presence in Angola in the mid-1970s during the war between the South Africans. The CIA’s job was to discredit the Cubans who were helping the Angolans. In order to do this, stories were concocted about Cuban soldiers raping Angolan women and Angolan militia tracking down Cuban soldiers and arresting them whereupon they were tried by the women victims and executed with their own weapons. Around twelve newspaper stories were circulated in the US, Europe and most of the prominent media outlets of the day.

When keywords and images are repeated with a fabricated story over and over again this can become truth in the individual’s mind. As in the above example: Angolan women = Rape = Cuban Soldiers. Propaganda result: Cuban soldiers are bad along with Cuban foreign policy. Despite the revelations by CIA officer John Stockwell proving that the atrocities were a pack of lies, people continued to believe that the atrocities occurred because the patterns of belief laid down in the brain over many years could not be shifted simply by exposing the truth. This is why the media serves as an incredible tool for the Establishment classes for maintaining their power base my manipulating belief systems or creating new ones. It also explains what an uphill struggle it is to reveal truth to a population that has been fed a diet of high-octane lies for many decades.  Nor has the fabrication of stories ended. It has in fact increased in intensity under the War on Terror hoax and the Anglo-American invasions in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and most recently in Syria.

Schaap was asked how extensive is the disinformation framework and his response was based on the reports from the 1970s in which: “… a third of the CIA budget went to media propaganda operations … we are talking about 100’s of millions of dollars a year, just for that…on deliberately creating and spreading lies.” [7]

mainstream-media

Nick Davies is another journalist who has exposed the deep levels of propaganda. In his book: Flat Earth News: an award-winning reporter exposes falsehood, distortion and propaganda in the global media (2008) Davies’ research has led him to conclude: “For the first time in human history, there is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it.” [8]  He discovered that intelligence agencies are working with less and less oversight supported by a structure of “strategic communications … originally designed by doves in the Pentagon and NATO who wanted to use subtle and non-violent tactics to deal with Islamist terrorism but whose efforts are poorly regulated and badly supervised with the result that some of its practitioners are breaking loose and engaging in the black arts of propaganda.” [9]

While freelance political agitators offer their services and provide made up stories to intelligence agencies most of the most notorious fiction floating around the newswires comes the Pentagon, care of its “information operations.” Since October 2006, Davies writes:

“… every brigade, division and corps in the US military has had its own ‘PYSOPS’ [Psychological Operations] element producing output for local media. This military activity is linked to the State Department’s campaign of ‘public diplomacy’ which includes funding radio stations and news websites. In Britain, the Directorate of Targeting and Information Operations in the Ministry of Defence works with specialists from 15 UK PSYOPS * based at the Defence Intelligence and Security School at Chicksands in Bedfordshire.” [10]

The Bush administration perhaps represented the most blatant use of PSYOPS. Many journalists have been found to have accepted cash payments for the spreading of disinformation or the spreading of government policy. One example was Armstrong Williams, a commentator and talk-show host who received $240,000 to promote its education initiatives. The Bush Administration’s Office of Cuba Broadcasting also paid 10 journalists to provide anti-Castro commentary on Radio and TV Martí, which transmit to Cuba government broadcasts critical of Fidel Castro. [11]

The final nail in the coffin of a free and independent press arrived after the Reaganomics era of deregulation which allowed banking elites and the rise of corporatism to buy every facet of commercial life and ultimately the very machinery of governments themselves. (The Obama administration is similarly full of ex-corporate CEOs and Goldman Sacs executives) It was inevitable that media would become a casualty of the lowest common denominator of cartel capitalism so that maximum amounts of money kept flowing into the coffers. This has resulted in a rapid consolidation of companies which exert a powerful monopoly on what the public is allowed to digest as “news.”

These corporations are:

  • GE / Comcast – Jeffrey R. Immelt /  Brian Roberts: NBC Universal, E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, G4, The Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network.
  • CBS Corporation – Leslie Moonves: CBS News, CNET.
  • NewsCorp – Rupert Murdoch: Fox News, Wall St. Journal, Twentieth Century Fox.
  • Disney  – Robert Iger: Disney Channel, ABC News, ESPN, A+E Networks.
  • Time Warner – Jeffrey L. Bewkes: New Line Cinema, Time Inc., HBO, Turner Broadcasting System, The CW Television Network, Castle Rock Entertainment.
  • Viacom – Sumner M. Redstone: BET Networks, MTV Networks, and Paramount Pictures

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is a US political think tank which has had an unhealthy influence over US media for many decades. It straddles all of the media outlets and indirectly creates policy by saturating US society with its Elitist propaganda. In October 30, 1993 Washington Post ombudsman Richard Harwood wrote an op-ed piece about the role of the CFR’s media members stating: “Their membership is an acknowledgment of their ascension into the American ruling class [where] they do not merely analyse and interpret foreign policy for the United States; they help make it.” [12] To make a foreign policy consistent and effective control over the US media is a vital part of this process.

Right up to 2011, the American media was pimping itself out to foreign despots eager to cultivate a marketable image in the West. Until she blew the whistle on her bosses, Amber Lyon was a respected, Emmy award winning CNN reporter. She was fired from her job for reporting the truth which didn’t go down too well with her superiors who had been paid by the government of Bahrain to paint them all in a favourable light. Systematic torture of peaceful protesters wasn’t meant to be part of the deal:

Lyon’s special report on Bahrain was scheduled to run on both CNN’s U.S. and international networks, but was pulled after only a limited showing due to pressure from the Bahrainis and their lobbyists. At the same time that Lyon was risking her life to do on-the-ground reporting in Bahrain; another CNN journalist was filming a paid propaganda piece on how the Bahraini leaders are a bunch of friendly pro-democracy reformers. That’s right … the Bahraini government paid CNN to do what was literally an infomercial for that brutal regime and pretend it was real journalism. Lyon says that China and many other foreign, authoritarian regimes also pay CNN and other mainstream networks to run flattering propaganda pieces. [13]

Public Relations is now a huge part of outsourcing for those within the US and European military-intelligence apparatus. Information dominance has never been more important for moulding the minds of the latest culture in the line of fire. SOS International, MPRI, L-3 Communications, CentenaGroup, CorpComm Group, MyMic, Polestar Applied Technology and ICOR Partners are just some of the many firms bidding for contracts from the Pentagon and NATO forces.

The Lincoln Group has excelled as one of the most highly charged propaganda outfits of our times, with “Insight and Influence anywhere, anytime,” as one of its slogans and the lucrative propaganda bonanza of “War on Terror” under its purview. The precocious and mysterious Mr. Christian Bailey is its chief executive director.

As a dynamic 30-year-old Oxford graduate with no public relations experience he coincidentally became the lucky recipient of a $100m (£56m) contract from Donald Rumsfeld’s Department of Defence. One of his first tasks was to buy space in Iraqi newspapers and deliberately place biased stories in favour of US interests. [14] In effect, Christian Bailey, (real name: Christian Martin Jozefowicz) is one of the top Psychological Warfare companies operating on behalf of the Pentagon: “In early 2003, just before the invasion, Mr. Bailey formed a Lincoln subsidiary, the Lincoln Alliance Corp, offering ‘tailored intelligence services [for] government clients faced with intelligence challenges.’ He also formed another subsidiary, Iraqex, which won a $6 million Pentagon contract to launch ‘an aggressive advertising and PR campaign that will accurately inform the Iraqi people of the coalition’s goals and gain their support.” [15]

The Lincoln Group website, at lincolngroup.com (now a dead link) painted a romantic picture of boundless innovation and cheery confidence as it strove to keep the wheels of propaganda spinning. Far more invasive black operations are taking place beyond its slick and clinical sounding PR pitch. Christian Bailey would no doubt have been happy with the website blurb which painting a patriotic surge of technicians doing their finger-tapping best for freedom. In fact, in the initial stages of the Iraq invasion and much later they were:

“… working with US and overseas corporations and organizations to develop an in-country capability in Baghdad and Basra. Located both at the center of power and the commercial gateway of the country, Lincoln will act as a central clearinghouse for businesses seeking to do business in Iraq. Lincoln will provide the information, research, and contacts necessary to develop and grow business within the country. Lincoln will also provide a threat and risk assessment service through its ASP service, allowing clients to understand and mitigate the perceived security risk and dangers present in country.” [16]

It all sounds as sharp and incisive as a surgeon’s scalpel, this “in country capability” – No mess, no bodies or blood – just the freshly plucked American patriotism and some substantial pay packets. This changed to a more coy description in August 2007 depicting the Lincoln Group as a “strategic communications firm that provides our clients with access to cultures which have historically been difficult to reach through traditional Western communications.”

Which means very non-traditional methods are used to gain access and extract resources.

One medal that Lincoln can pin on their staff suit and ties includes a significant amount of spin over the mass slaughter of civilians in the attacks on the Iraqi city of Fallujah. An ABC report confirmed Lincoln’s involvement through a strategy document entitled: ‘The Making of Heroes: Lincoln Group and the Fight for Fallujah’ — part of the Pentagon’s multi-million dollar public relations campaign to sell the American war effort to the Iraqis.” This revealed its attempts to promote ‘the strength, integrity and reliability of Iraqi Forces during the fight for Fallujah.’ In fact, it was to promote lies in favour of genocide that city came to represent. Almost 70 per cent of the city was destroyed by US forces, from civilian houses to medical centres and general services facilities. Thousands of innocent men, women and children were killed and almost half million refugee produced in the aftermath. [17]  Let’s also not forget that Fallujah may have been used as a large-scale testing ground for experimental weaponry including chemical, laser, fission and microwave. Many witness reports from both Iraqi civilians and US military speak of injuries consistent with such warfare where persons were bleeding from their eyes and ears or simply melted where they stood. This is the kind of PR which enabled secrecy and media blackouts about such crimes to remain concealed. [18]

The report went on to say: “Under the heading ‘Rumor Control,’ according to the  document, the Lincoln Group strives to dispel the notion that the war is ‘America’s fight’ or that Iraqi forces were defecting…‘It’s a little strange to see because even the Pentagon’s own estimates and the administration’s own estimates of the state of the Iraqi forces in 2004 when these fights for Fallujah occurred were never very glowing,’ said Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution.” [19]

The firm was also responsible for covertly planting wholly fabricated stories in Iraqi news outlets throughout 2005 “…designed to mask any connection with the U.S. military”. The stories were written by U.S. military “information operations” troop with “… the Lincoln Group’s Iraqi staff, or its subcontractors, sometimes [posing] as freelance reporters or advertising executives when they deliver the stories to Baghdad media outlets.” [20]

The Los Angeles Times reported that PSYOPS campaigns were being directed by “‘Information Operations Task Force’ in Baghdad, part of the multinational corps headquarters commanded by Army Lt. Gen. John R. Vines. … As part of a psychological operations campaign that has intensified over the last year, the task force also had purchased an Iraqi newspaper and taken control of a radio station, and was using them to channel pro-American messages to the Iraqi public. Neither is identified as a military mouthpiece.” [21]

Astonishingly, far from the practice being condemned it was summarily encouraged an internal review having “concluded that the US military was not violating U.S. law or Pentagon guidelines.” [22] The US military are thus continuing to pay Iraqi newspapers and other Middle Eastern countries to publish articles favourable to the United States commensurate with the required geo-political expansion within those regions. As we have seen, the practice isn’t restricted to foreign countries – they’ve been doing it in the Establishment media for years.

As all these undemocratic strategies are combined with the new global private armies masquerading as security firms and you have the emergence of a new kind of warfare characterized by PSYOPS and mercenary outsourcing. This was clearly part of Donald Rumsfeld’s new espionage baby the “Strategic Support Branch,” which “deploys small teams of case officers, linguists, interrogators and technical specialists alongside newly empowered special operations forces.” Not only was formed from “reprogrammed” funds but it operated “without explicit congressional authority or appropriation.” It was a far more secretive unit that rivalled the CIA and directly answerable to Donald Rumsfeld which some have said allowed the Defence Secretary far too much power. The Lincoln Group fits comfortably into Rumsfeld’s strategy “…to find new tools to penetrate and destroy the shadowy organizations, such as al Qaeda, that pose global threats to U.S. interests in conflicts with little resemblance to conventional war.” [23]

By 2006, the firm had entered into more than 20 Defence Department contracts one of which amounted to almost $100 million and a variety of commercial and non-military government deals. Iraq remained a major source of capital where research, communications and even direct investing in the newly acquired was carried out.  [24]  By September, the Lincoln Group was the beneficiary of another two-year contract “to handle PR and strategic communications” for the U.S. military in Iraq worth $6 million per year, with increases available for $20 million if necessary. This time the PR strategies wasn’t restricted to Iraq but were part of a strategy to manipulate perception and media throughout the Middle East. [25] In the same year the company was heavily involved on various PR fronts inside Pakistan, having established its office in Islamabad in November of 2005. Under cover of humanitarian research and coordination, market research and demography for companies intending to invest in Pakistan, the Lincoln Group is still a primary PR tool for the Pentagon and its long-term strategy of pre-emptive warfare and colonisation.

2008, proved to be another busy and lucrative year. A $14.3 million contract from the U.S. Army to promote the Army’s “Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization campaign” which got under way in July. [26] By September, the Lincoln Group had won a three-year, $300 million contract for “information operations” in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Since there are presently more than three times as many PR people in America as there are journalists, it seems the company’s expertise and many others like it, will be used by the Pentagon for many years to come. [27]

Network pic 4

Network (1976) Ned Beatty as the personification of Media Corporatism

Perhaps the most searing indictment on the nature of the modern media was delivered by the 1976 film Network, a biting satire on the nature of broadcasting and media. Written with disturbing clarity and prophetic vision by Paddy Chayefsky, it tells the story of Howard Beale, a newscaster and media celebrity who teeters on the edge of a breakdown while exploring the dynamics of a popular news network that surrounds him. Peter Finch earned a posthumous for his portrayal of Beale second only to a star performance by Ned Beatty who plays the role of a corporate sponsor. An extract from his speech follows in which he berates the newscaster for attempting to wake up the people with his new one-man show. He is biting the hand that feeds him and more importantly, showing the true nature of television and the business world:

You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU… WILL… ATONE! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?

You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.

What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state, Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that… perfect world… in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel. [28]

The above extract is drawn directly from Chayefsky’s own experience in media. As we shall see in the coming chapters, it is a perception of life which exists across all domains of society. Increasing commercialisation, consolidation and monopolisation of media and entertainment networks has produced a dizzying array of “info-tainment” channels where quality is sacrificed for quantity permitting greater conformity to governmental and corporate influence which entice journalists to value their careers and kudos over truth.  The information revolution and alternative media found on the internet is already chipping away at this Establishment edifice and it remains to be seen how long the internet can remain a source of genuine free speech.

The Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham epitomised why distrust of the MSM is at record levels. Terry Hansen quotes her astonishing offering in his Missing Times (p.83) where in 1988, she told a meeting of CIA officials: “… there are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.”

 


* Largely because of political sensitivities, psychological warfare has had several names during the 20th century, including propaganda, political warfare, and psychological operations (PSYOPS). It encompasses activities to weaken the enemy’s will, reinforce loyalty, and gain the military or moral support of the uncommitted, usually through the control and management of news and information. Its rise in importance is directly related to the development of print and other media, particularly in the last 100 years. Put simply, it is perception management. The aggressive needs of psychological warfare in a world war have since given way to the different aims of psychological operations in times of peace. Although the distinction between it and propaganda is often indistinct, the former is based on presenting a version of the truth (or perceived truth) to an enemy, whilst propaganda has come to mean peddling a lie, often to one’s own side. […] (Oxford Companion to British Military history) | As of 2010, the US Army has dropped the Vietnam-era name “psychological operations” in favour of a more neutral moniker of “Military Information Support Operations,” or MISO.


Notes

[1] p.91; Powers and Prospects: Reflections on Human Nature and the Social Order By Noam Chomsky, Published by Pluto Press 1996 |  ISBN-10: 0745311067.
[2] http://www.outfoxed.org/ – “Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism.” (2002).
[3] ‘The CIA the Media’ – How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up. By Carl Berstein. Rolling Stone on October 20, 1977.
[4] Ibid.
[5] ‘How the Washington Post Censors the News’ A Letter to the Washington Post by Julian C. Holmes, April 25, 1992.
[6] Mockingbird: CIA Media Manipulation By Mary Louise, published in 2003 from http://www.rcfp.org/ archived on http://www.apfn.org/apfn/mockingbird.htm
[7] William Schaap: ‘The Media, CIA, FBI & Disinfo.’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4rFXjGJ5os
[8] Flat Earth News: An Award-winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media by Nick Davies Published by Random House UK, 2009 | ISBN-10: 0099512688.
[9] ‘How the spooks took over the news’ by Nick Davies, The Independent, February 11, 2008.
[10] Ibid.
[11] ‘U.S. Paid 10 Journalists for Anti-Castro Reports’By Abby Goodnough, The New York Times, September 9, 2006.
[12] ‘Ruling Class journalists’ by Richard Horwood, Washington Post October 30, 1993.
[13] ‘3 Time Emmy Award Winning CNN Journalist: Mainstream Media Takes Money from FOREIGN Dictators to Run Flattering Propaganda’ September 30, 2012 by Washington’s Blog.
[14] ‘So, just who is Christian Bailey?’ By Andrew Buncombe, The Independent, December 17, 2005.[Note: Christian Bailey is apparently now head of http://curatedinnovation.org/ which is “a Cambridge-based innovation lab which brings together leading university scientists, donors, and investors to create technology that will make an impact on a health issue they care about.”
[15] ‘Godalming geek made millions running the Pentagon’s propaganda war in Iraq’ By Patrick Foster and Tim Reid, Times online, December 24, 2005.
[16] http://www.lincolngroup.com/1068 Inside the Public Relations Blitz to Sell Iraq War Overseas ABC News, Dec. 14, 2005.1069 Ibid.1070 ‘Secret Unit Expands Rumsfeld’s Domain New Espionage Branch Delving Into CIA Territory’ By Barton Gellman, Washington Post, January 23, 2005.
[17] ‘Genocide In Fallujah’ By Brussells Tribunal, 27 March, 2005.| http://www.countercurrents.org/iraq-bt270305.htm
[18] ‘US Forces use WMD in Iraq’ | http://www.brusselstribunal.org/WMD.htm
[19] op. cit. ABC News Report.
[20] ‘U.S. Military Covertly Pays to Run Stories in Iraqi Press: Troops write articles presented as news reports. Some officers object to the practice,’ By Mark Mazzetti and Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times, November 30, 2005.
[21] Ibid.
[22] ‘Military Will Keep Planting Articles in Iraq. The ranking U.S. general there says a Pentagon review found the program does not violate policy. It could be replicated elsewhere,’ By Mark Mazzetti, Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2006.
[23]  op. cit. Gellman.
[24] ‘Secret no more. Inside the Pentagon’s Iraqi PR firm,’ By Justin Fox, Fortune Magazine/Fox News, January 20, 2006.
[25] Lincoln Group Tapped for $6M  Iraq PR Pact ODwyer, Sept. 26, 2006 | http://www.odwyerpr.com/editorial/0926iraq_lincoln_group.htm
‘LG Fights IEDs in Afghanistan,’ O’Dwyer’s PR Daily, August 7, 2008.
[26] ‘Defense Taps PR Firms for Iraq,’ O’Dwyer’s PR Daily, September 25, 2008.
[27] ‘Journalism Vacuum Filled by PR Professionals, or Spin Doctors?’ June 2, 2011 in Online public relations, http://www.intersectionofonlineandoffline.com
[28] Network (1976) Screenwriter: Paddy Chayefsky – “Fear of an Arab Buy-Out.” Ned Beatty as Arthur Jensen.