disinfo vs misinfo
Source Doug Vaughan
Date 02/02/27/00:12

[One of the problems with the Kennedy assassination, and with most subsequent attempts to unravel the official story of any public scandal (Kent State, COINTELPRO, Watergate, Iran-contra, October Surprise, etc.), was the flurry of conflicting reports and claims that followed in the wake of the event.

[The resulting confusion and transparent inaccuracy of accounts by some witnesses and even some investigators allowed the government to dismiss any dissent from the self-contradictory official version as the wacky fantasies of confabulators, cranks, crackpots, publicity-mongers and "conspiracists." Anyone who took a serious interest in trying to understand the case could then be dismissed as a conspiracy "buff" and any alternative reconstruction became a "conspiracy theory" and ipso facto not to be taken seriously. But this ad hominem approach conveniently ignores the still-gaping holes in the official version without recourse to actual investigation of alleged facts and analysis of competing hypotheses. Thus does rumor, innuendo and outright lies come to pass as history. It also evades the problem raised by government propaganda, deliberate disinformation, and manipulation of testimony, including the use of informational agents provocateurs and the se! eding of the public record with inaccurate documents and testimony. "Everyone knows" the Warren Report is bullshit, yet no one knows what really happened -- except those who committed the acts. "No one knows for sure" whether there was or was not a Republican attempt to manipulate the 1980 elections by sabotaging President Carter's negotiations for release of the American hostages in Iran. Insufficient evidence. Conflicting testimony. No "smoking gun."

We see our past not only 'through a glass, darkly, but hidden beneath waters muddied by theose who would distort the very effort to see clearly what has happened. Perhaps the first and greatest lie of the Pentagon's proposed Office of Strategic Influence is that such propaganda is an innovation: the biggest lie is that the government does not lie to us, never has, and now, we are assured, never will. So we are back to a fundamental problem of epistemology, salient in all our efforts to apprehend reality, to comprehend th eworld: How do we know what we "know"? Who can be believed? Note how the following article dismisses inconvenient "facts" without ever establishing their relevance, significance, salience or accuracy. The author neglects to add that the Senate has now agreed with the --dare I say, unelected -- President that no congressional inquiry into the 'intelligence failures' of September 11 is necessary, let alone desirable. Whew, I am so relieved: I was scared it m! ight happen again!--DV]

Ian Mulgrew
Vancouver Sun

Saturday, February 23, 2002

The truth is out there ... right?
At first, it all seemed so obvious. It was those Islamic terrorists. Osama bin Laden. Mullah Omar. George W. Bush had nothing to do with it ... did he?

[photo:AP Files /caption:]

President George W. Bush continued speaking to kids after the attack ... hmm.

[Reuter Files / The World Trade Center towers explode and burn after being hit by planes Sept. 11.]

"The right wing benefited so much from September 11 that, if I were still a conspiratorialist, I would believe they'd done it."Norman Mailer

When the paladin of Camelot joined the fray, I knew 9/11 had become the Kennedy Assassination of the 21st century -- a real-life X-Files episode occurring before my eyes. Like those X-Files accounts of aliens living in oil deposits, this was a story with such staggering implications the mainstream media are loath to go near it. The question isn't who killed the president -- it's who piloted the airplanes that slammed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvanian countryside.Just as there remains lingering doubt that Lee Harvey Oswald fired a burst of fatally accurate shots from the Texas Book Depository, so there is skepticism that cells of Islamic terrorists secretly coordinated and simultaneously commandeered four commercial jetliners.The culprit responsible for the Sept. 11 attack is now rumoured to be the same one who lurked behind the grassy knoll: the oil-dependent U.S. military-industrial complex.Not everyone is ready to accept this -- a sub! stitute teacher in North Vancouver's Sherwood Park elementary school has been called on the mat for suggesting to Grade 5 students the Central Intelligence Agency might have been involved in 9/11.And at last count, there were a dozen U.S. Congressional Committees investigating the tragedies and how such an intelligence and security breakdown was allowed to occur. But President George W. Bush and his right-hand man, Vice President Dick Cheney, have taken the unprecedented step of trying to restrict those investigations, pouring fuel on the simmering conspiracy theories being propagated in alternative publications, on wingnut Web sites and among some serious media outlets.In Germany, a former minister of technology, Andreas von Buelow, made headlines when in an interview he dismissed the U.S. government's explanation that Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network is responsible for the attacks. His own explanation implicated the White House."I wonder why many questions are not asked," ! von Buelow said. "For 60 decisive minutes, the military and intelligence agencies let the fighter planes stay on the ground; 48 hours later, however, the FBI presented a list of suicide attackers. Within 10 days, it emerged that seven of them were still alive."In Britain, a flight engineer has published a detailed paper asserting the U.S. took the joysticks out of the pilots' hands using a method of remote control developed by the American military in the 1970s.In the U.S. and Canada, independent publisher and editor Mike Ruppert (a former LAPD cop who hates the CIA) has drawn huge crowds to his two-hour lecture in which he states baldly that the U.S. government was complicit in the attacks and had foreknowledge. He opens his documentary presentation with an offer of $1,000 US to anyone who can prove any of his sources were misrepresented or inauthentic.A former U.S. government agent also has given interviews claiming the CIA has been dealing with Osama bin Laden since 1987.Ac! cording to those who do not believe in The Lone Gunman, the truth is as plain as the nose on your face: Sept. 11's terrorist acts were planned and paid for by the CIA to enable the Bush Administration to "legitimately" bomb Afghanistan into submission on behalf of the oil industry.After all, everyone knows the Bush family has strong and long acknowledged ties to the oil industry, as do other senior members of the administration. Cheney until recently was president of a company servicing the oil patch. National Security adviser Condoleeza Rice was a manager for Chevron. Commerce and Energy Secretaries Donald Evans and Stanley Abraham worked for Tom Brown, another oil giant.Follow the money, as they say, and you'll find the smoking gun.Under this scenario, conspiracy theorists say a pliant Afghan regime was essential because of plans to pipe central Asian oil across Afghanistan. And there is a harvest of coincidence and contradiction to feed such imaginings. Consider first that ! the intelligence breakdown that led to 9/11 appears to have been a consequence of the Bush Administration telling the Federal Bureau of Investigation to back off on its investigation of Middle Eastern terrorism. A senior FBI investigator resigned from the agency, noisily claiming its main obstacle in the investigation was Big Oil's political influence. In an ironic twist of fate, the agent died in the World Trade Center.(Fox Mulder, was that you? Is that why they cancelled the series?)There also are recurring reports the CIA station chief in Dubai met with bin Laden only seven weeks before 9/11 while he was laid up for surgery. (The CIA denies this, but of course you can't believe anything it says.)Now think about this for a second: The Independent in London questions how Bush could claim in two public appearances to have seen the first plane hit the first tower long before any such TV footage was broadcast. The paper also asks why Dubya continued sitting with elementary schoo! l students after the second tower was hit and he'd been told, "America is under attack."Very mysterious, when standard procedure for such a situation is to whisk the president away to safety. Unless -- and here is the nub -- unless he knew something more than we did that morning. As the Independent asked, "What television station was HE watching?"

This is rich stuff for those who see Them under the bed, especially since the financial miasma melds nicely with the already swirling rumour and insinuation. In the days before the attacks, there was unusually heavy trading in airline and related stocks using a market tactic called a "put option" that essentially bets that a stock will decline in value. If you were Osama, buying puts would be a great way to boost the value of your investment portfolio. And sure enough, unusually high numbers of put options were purchased in early September for the stocks of AMR Corp. and UAL Corp., the parents of American and United -- each of which had two planes hijacked. The U.S. government is now investigating suspicious trading in 38 companies directly affected by the events of Sept. 11.

The initial survey of beneficiaries, however, turns out not to include one tall, dark-haired, olive-skinned, Allah-loving, Saudi-born sheik. Mainly the profiteers were blue-chip, establishment, red-white-and-blue Americans, some of whom were tenants in the collapsed twin towers, such as Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Lehman Brothers and the Bank of America, major airlines, cruise companies, General Motors Corp., Raytheon and others. Several insurance companies are also on the 38-name list U.S. and Canadian financial firms were asked to review and compare with their records for any unusual patterns.(Which may say more about who plays the market than anything else, but why quibble with the quixotic?)

Cynics are also questioning the incredible speed with which evidence in the WTC collapse is being destroyed. Never in the history of fire investigations, they say, has evidence been destroyed before exhaustive investigations are complete.
(Say what? Two skyscrapers' worth of debris should be warehoused?)

And then there were the curious developments swirling around the anthrax public health hysteria triggered shortly after 9/11. Even dullards can appreciate that anthrax sent to a top Democrat and to the U.S. media helped unify the nation behind the war effort while literally shutting down Congress -- a remarkably useful outcome for Dubya and his gang. Indeed, specialists in biological warfare say the anthrax appears to be a U.S. military strain and the culprit a disgruntled American scientist who possesses a rare combination of laboratory skills that make him (they believe it's a man) relatively easy to identify. Hmmm.

And who didn't smell a bad odour two weeks ago when Tennessee driver's licence examiner Katherine Smith died in Memphis under "most unusual and suspicious" circumstances. One day before her arraignment on charges she conspired to provide phoney licences to five Arabs tied by the FBI to the 9/11 attacks, her car crashed into a utility pole. The car was only slightly damaged, the gas tank was full and intact, but the vehicle was immediately engulfed in flames. As one report pointed out, Smith and the car interior apparently were doused with gasoline, which would certainly qualify in my book as at least "suspicious."

And Memphis ... Memphis? Wasn't that the same place a noted Harvard bio-warfare expert "fell" off a bridge in December? Scully! The truth is out there. I know it. You too can help find it.If you would like an activist kit to get involved in urging a full public investigation of 9/11 and its aftermath, reply to findtruth with "Send kit."

But be warned. The Pentagon has just established a new Office of Strategic Influence that calls for the planting of false stories in the foreign press, phoney e-mails from disguised addresses and other covert activities to manipulate public opinion.This could be one of them.

Ian Mulgrew claims to be a Vancouver Sun reporter

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