The Luxury of Facts in a World of Lies

by lizard

My default reaction to anything our government says or does is one of suspicion, that I readily admit. When all the mainstream sources of our state media say it’s this, I starting wondering if maybe it’s not that. This default reaction has certainly caused some rifts. In July, after flight MH17 was shot down over Eastern Ukraine, my suspicion that it was the coup government, not Russia, sparked this reaction from James Conner, who had this to say:

4and20blackbirds has become an alternate reality blog, a realm of conspiracy theories and rants by angry leftists driven by hatred of their nation and soured on humanity. Once an oasis of fact and reason, it’s now a well poisoned by fury and anti-Americanism. I can no longer in good conscience keep it on Flathead Memo’s blogroll.

Two things caused me to reflect on that spat over a controversial issue. The first was a piece of self-congratulation James put up at his blog yesterday. Here’s the first paragraph:

An old verity — when the subject is controversial, the speaker should supply the facts and the audience should supply the indignation — governs my approach to reporting and discussing the issues. Too many adjectives usurp the reader’s prerogative to draw his own conclusions. Insults dishonor the human rights of readers and subjects. Profanity — an occasional hell or damn excepted — offends, and gratuitously; and as my grandfather used to say, is the effort of a weak mind to express itself forcefully. I don’t always abide by those principles perfectly, but I try to.

Getting the facts can be difficult. In the case of MH17, the investigation is incredibly secretive and there’s no telling when, if ever, the results will be made known, considering the non-disclosure agreement the countries involved in the investigation apparently signed. There have been facts that emerged (After James supplied the indignation) that calls into serious question the official narrative. Consortium News has been a great source for those of us “angry leftists”.

The second thing, which reinforces my default reaction, is the pathetic government spin of the Sony hack, which is starting to fall apart. From Zerohedge:

First it was, with “absolute certainly”, North Korea. Then, out of the blue, an even more ridiculous theory emerged about the origin of the Sony hackers: Russia. Now, we finally get the truth, and as it turns out it was neither of the abovementioned sovereign actors who had nothing better to do than to hack movie scripts and racist emails: it was Sony’s own disgruntled worker who was the source of the hack. According to Politico, FBI agents investigating the Sony Pictures hack were briefed Monday by a security firm that says its research points to laid-off Sony staff, not North Korea, as the perpetrator.”

Researchers from the cyber intelligence company Norse have said their own investigation into the data on the Sony attack doesn’t point to North Korea at all and instead indicates some combination of a disgruntled employee and hackers for piracy groups is at fault.

I guess it pays to be suspicious. Facts are a luxury we don’t often get in an information landscape littered with spin and propaganda. James Conner should remember that before swallowing more government whoppers, hook, line and sinker.


  1. Don’t stop being suspicion yet! It’s just starting. Media sources ran stories offering solid evidence that NK did the hack. The evidence, of course, was just words of government officials. But they were so ready to run with that story, which was handed them by government sources.

    So “disgruntled employee” does not resonate any better than NK at this time. It reminds me when the government finally admitting\\\ed that Tonkin was a hoax, blaming it on low-level disgruntled officers.

  2. JC

    Speaking of Consortium News, Robert Parry had a great piece a few days ago: The Victory of ‘Perception Management’. He does a great job tracing the development of one particularly insidious form of propaganda arising from the spooks at our “intelligence” agencies.

    “To understand how the American people find themselves trapped in today’s Orwellian dystopia of endless warfare against an ever-shifting collection of “evil” enemies, you have to think back to the Vietnam War and the shock to the ruling elite caused by an unprecedented popular uprising against that war.

    While on the surface Official Washington pretended that the mass protests didn’t change policy, a panicky reality existed behind the scenes, a recognition that a major investment in domestic propaganda would be needed to ensure that future imperial adventures would have the public’s eager support or at least its confused acquiescence.

    This commitment to what the insiders called “perception management” began in earnest with the Reagan administration in the 1980s but it would come to be the accepted practice of all subsequent administrations, including the present one of President Barack Obama…

    At this advanced stage of America’s quiet surrender to “perception management,” it is even hard to envision how one could retrace the many steps that would lead back to the concept of a democratic Republic based on an informed electorate. Many on the American Right remain entranced by the old propaganda theme about the “liberal media” and still embrace Reagan as their beloved icon. Meanwhile, many liberals can’t break away from their own wistful trust in the New York Times and their empty hope that the media really is “liberal.”

    To confront the hard truth is not easy. Indeed, in this case, it can cause despair because there are so few voices to trust and they are easily drowned out by floods of disinformation that can come from any angle – right, left or center. Yet, for the American democratic Republic to reset its goal toward an informed electorate, there is no option other than to build institutions that are determinedly committed to the truth.”

    • JC

      If I have a criticism of Parry’s article, it is with the notion that that the U.S. needs to “reset its goal toward an informed electorate.” I’d rather that we inform all people, not just those who comprise an “electorate.”

      People can effect change without voting. And even if we have an “informed electorate”, the oligarchs who buy and buy the candidates that participate in elections will still prevail.

      We need to work for an informed populace that is capable of neutering the oligarchs. Then maybe we can have meaningful elections and reform the electoral system.

      • steve kelly

        Great piece by Perry. And thanks for the re-“reset” JC. It needed that.

        Looking ahead: This came in late today from a comment by Damien at MoA.

        “The bonus question is, what sort of anti-America will these parasites set up inside America before they abandon their host and scatter to their fortified compounds in undisclosed locations around the world? Or will they not even bother, and just provoke a war of all against all?

        I would think that they would at least try to leverage their expensively engineered red/blue divide within the United States. This fake cultural/political divide, with all the pseudoliberal/pseudoconservative indoctrination and university- and church-based brainwashing that put it in place, cost them a pretty penny. It was engineered to produce the appearance of choice at election-time while making sure that there isn’t any. But could it not be pressed into service in some more extreme manner? How about leveraging it to organize some sort of rabidly homophobic racist fundamentalist separatist enclave somewhere down south?”

        http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-imperial-collapse-playbook.html

  3. petetalbot

    This post is misdirection. According to the Washington Post:

    “Lizard Squad. That’s the hacker group whose name is suddenly on everyone’s lips after it took credit for ruining Christmas for PlayStation and Xbox gamers everywhere.”

    And also hacked Sony Pictures Entertainment. That name Lizard rings a bell.

    • lizard19

      what are you saying Pete?

      • petetalbot

        Just a lame attempt at humor.

        • Craig Moore

          I thought you were equating Liz to Donna Summer. “You can ring my bell, ring my bell.”

        • lizard19

          ah, ok. any plans to write some posts once the legislative session starts?

  4. “The Luxury of Facts in a World of Lies”.

    Kinda like, “Hands Up Don’t Shoot”?

    • lizard19

      kinda like Benghazi.

      • Referring to the Utube?

        Read this earlier today. “Hollywood’s titans take a break from patting themselves on the back for their commitment to freedom of expression and eagerly rush to work with the censors of the Chinese Communist Party to make their movies acceptable to China.

        Muslim villains can’t appear in movies at all since September 11. The last time a movie had a villain named Mohammed, the filmmaker ended up hauled out of his home and tossed into jail. Hillary Clinton, Hollywood’s choice, had assured grieving Benghazi family members that instead of punishing their son’s killers, she would “have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video.””-Greenfield.

        • Kinda funny, no Muslim villains allowed, since in the real 9/11, there were none. Art imitates life?

          • Art and acting.

            The high jackers were not Muslims but Cuban mercenaries. We know this cause when they enrolled in flight school in Florida, which was close to Little Havana, they spent hours drinking in Cuban themed night clubs and every place they rented had DVDs of I Love Lucy.

          • Understanding events of that nature requires the ability to read and think and process large amounts of information from many sources, an ability you lack, silly man.

            • Yeah, but I get 4 stars.

              You get 1.

            • You’re right. I should alter my opinions to be in the flow with the mainstream. That really matters to me.

              I know this is humor, by the way.

            • They have devised a brilliant system, by the way, of keeping important information out of public view in this country.

              They put it in books.




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