Truth Seeking Amidst Mainstream Media Deception

by William Skink

Extreme skepticism of our corporate media is absolutely necessary to discern what’s true and what’s propaganda. For me, blogs like Moon of Alabama have been crucial in that difficult task. Some recent mainstream news reporting on the 2012 Richard Engel kidnapping story validates what MoA’s host, b, was saying over two years ago. In a new blog post b touts his scoop of the MSM, and rightly so. From the link:

The New York Times had recently started a new investigation about the case and only that has led Engel to “revisit” the issue that is to cover his old lies with new ones.

Two years ago it was clear to the Angry Arab and to me that the Engel account was very wrong from start to end. How is that now, more than two years later, “new information”?

The alleged “Shabiah” show of the “kidnapped” Engel was clearly fake and the “rescue” by the fake journalist pointed to a bigger plot.

Engel’s lies continue. He now admits that the dead “he had seen” were not seen by him at all.

In his Vanity Fair article, Mr. Engel described one of his captors lying dead. In his statement Wednesday, he acknowledged that he did not see bodies during the rescue.

Engel still speaks of dead kidnappers and a firefight during which he was “rescued”. But the NYT found a witness that lets one seriously doubt this:

Thaer al-Sheib, another local man connected with the rebel movement who sought the NBC team, said that on the day of the release “we heard some random shots for less than a minute coming from the direction of the farm.” He said that Abu Ayman, the rebel commander credited with freeing the team, is related by marriage to Mr. Ajouj, and that he staged the rescue.

So Engel still does not say how he was really “rescued” and how he immediately thereafter came to sit down with the video and news faker Khaled Abu Saleh.

This comes on the heels of the Brian Williams fiasco. It seems our corporate media is rife with liars who misrepresent events to manipulate the public. This should come as no surprise to the discerning readers of this blog.

I’m going to shift from Engel’s bunk story to an interesting piece of mainstream reporting on the 9/11 cover-up. Most people who talk about a 9/11 cover-up are quickly dismissed as conspiracy theorists, but ex-Senator Bob Graham is not most people. Graham’s quiet, persistent pursuit of Saudi ties to the 9/11 attacks has garnered him some attention from the New York Times. From the link:

The episode could have been a chapter from the thriller written by former Senator Bob Graham of Florida about a shadowy Saudi role in the Sept. 11 attacks.

A top F.B.I. official unexpectedly arranges a meeting at Dulles International Airport outside Washington with Mr. Graham, the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, after he has pressed for information on a bureau terrorism inquiry. Mr. Graham, a Democrat, is then hustled off to a clandestine location, where he hopes for a breakthrough in his long pursuit of ties between leading Saudis and the Sept. 11 hijackers.

This real-life encounter happened in 2011, Mr. Graham said, and it took a startling twist.

“He basically said, ‘Get a life,’ ” Mr. Graham said of the F.B.I. official, who suggested that the former senator was chasing a dead-end investigation.

Mr. Graham, 78, a two-term governor of Florida and three-term senator who left Capitol Hill in 2005, says he will not relent in his efforts to force the government to make public a secret section of a congressional review he helped write — one that, by many accounts, implicates Saudi citizens in helping the hijackers.

“No. 1, I think the American people deserve to know the truth of what has happened in their name,” said Mr. Graham, who was a co-chairman of the 2002 joint congressional inquiry into the terrorist attacks. “No. 2 is justice for these family members who have suffered such loss and thus far have been frustrated largely by the U.S. government in their efforts to get some compensation.”

He also says national security implications are at stake, suggesting that since Saudi officials were not held accountable for Sept. 11 they have not been restrained in backing a spread of Islamic extremism that threatens United States interests. Saudi leaders have long denied any connection to Sept. 11.

Mr. Graham’s focus on a possible Saudi connection has received renewed attention because of claims made by victims’ families in a federal court in New York that Saudi Arabia was responsible for aiding the Sept. 11 hijackers and because of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against the F.B.I. in Florida.

In sworn statements in the two cases, Mr. Graham has said there was evidence of support from the Saudi government for the terrorists. He also says the F.B.I. withheld from his inquiry, as well as a subsequent one, the fact that the bureau had investigated a Saudi family in Sarasota, Fla., and had found multiple contacts between it and the hijackers training nearby until the family fled just before the attacks.

Despite the F.B.I.’s insistence to the contrary, Mr. Graham said there was no evidence that the bureau had ever disclosed that line of investigation to his panel or the national commission that reviewed the attacks and delivered a report in 2004.

“One thing that irritates me is that the F.B.I. has gone beyond just covering up, trying to avoid disclosure, into what I call aggressive deception,” Mr. Graham said during an interview in a family office in this Miami suburb, which rose on what was a dairy farm operated by Mr. Graham’s father, also a political leader in Florida.

Graham should be commended for keeping up pressure on the agencies still involved with keeping uncomfortable questions from being adequately answered.

Remain skeptical, dear readers. Time shows skepticism is warranted, and sometimes, years later, even validated.


  1. Cover-ups on top of cover-ups, false leads, blind alleys, subterfuge and misdirection. I went down that rabbit hole.

    I conclude now, years later, that there were no “hijackers” so that Graham’s efforts are just more hall-of-mirrors deceit. He does, however, reinforce the original government story that there were 19 hijackers. That is probably his purpose. I suggest he is not brave at all, and should be set aside.

    After 9/11 Norman Minetta’s told us a hokey story about Dick Cheney’s activities that morning, which served only to reinforce the idea that an aircraft was headed for the White House, which was not the case. Lies, lies, lies and the lying liars who tell them. They are very good at lying. It makes it very difficult to know what might be true. Rabbit holes are for rabbits.

    “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    That quote is attributed to Karl Rove, but the “if you will” to me sounds more like Cheney.

  2. I agree with Howard Zinn. “An enormous waste of human energy”.

    • Zinn, Chomsky, Cockburn were (are) insistent that the major crimes of our times were not worth pursuing. They reinforce this attitude that studied indifference and incuriosity equates to intelligence. It does not. Quite the opposite.

      • Quite a revelation.

        You disagreeing with the above mentioned.

      • Hard to grasp? We are always tasked with using our own brains.

        These men enjoyed status as spokespersons for the left, but if they were to go down the inside job route they’d be finished. So either intentionally or by coercion, they fill the role of gatekeeper.

        We do no have a free society. That is an illusion.

    • Steve W

      I’m with Zinn. Wasting time on the propaganda sources posted by Swede goes nowhere. Who would run a new investigation?
      Swede?

      We got a commission and it’s report and addendums demonstrates clearly and definitively that our government was lying to us before 9/11, on 9/11 and after 9/11 about 9/11.

      What do you make of it, Swede?

      • I’m not wasting any more energy.

        • The world is a giant puzzle. You can either try to understand it, which takes great effort, or let others explain it to,you, which takes no effort but places you under their thumb.

          For me, I’ve always wanted to use my own brain, such as it is, rather than be beholden to others.,

          • Impressive. Ever consider in your own brain that Zinn and Co. is throwing the nut jobs under the bus? Hurts the cause, don’t ya think?

            You can bend the truth but if you break it you buy it. Truth benders don’t like to be laughed at.

          • That’s a great comment, though I obviously don’t care for the implications of your remark. Go down to the bottom and I will attempt to answer.

  3. JC

    I guess this is as good of a place as any to remind democrats that their presumptive nominee also plays footloose and fancy free with facts about military incidents:

    Hillary Clinton: “I certainly do remember that trip to Bosnia,” she said last week. “There was a saying around the White House that if a place was too small, too poor, or too dangerous, the president couldn’t go, so send the First Lady.

    “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

    • In my opinion, such comments are for immediate impact only and directed at certain targeted audiences. It makes no difference that we come back later to discover she is lying. It had its intended effect. That’s all that matters.

      • JC

        I only brought it up because it was an issue during her primary with Obama in ’08. Let’s see how the media treats them this time once she becomes the target of the character assassins. My bet is that it’ll get shuffled under the rug along with whatever else lies they uncover.

        Clinton is the neocon’s candidate. Unless republicans put up a bigger badder neocon candidate, the neocon-dominated media will give her a pass.

      • If it comes down to Clinton/Bush, two neocons, does it matter?

        • JC

          Nope. But that won’t keep democrats from concocting reasons.

  4. The Elements & Wernher von Braun by Tom Lehrer – updated by Kylan deGhetaldi – Viva la Lehrer 2015

    Gather round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun,
    A man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience.
    Call him a Nazi; he won’t even frown.
    Nazi-schmazi, says Wernher von Braun

    Don’t say that he’s hypocritical.
    Say rather that he’s apolitical.
    Once the rockets go up, who cares where they come down?
    That’s not my department, says Wernher von Braun.

    Some have harsh words for this man of renown,
    But some think our attitude should be one of gratitude
    Like the widows and cripples in old London town
    Who owe their large pensions to Wernher von Braun.

    You too may be a big hero
    Once you’ve learned to count backwards to zero.
    In German or the English, I know how to count down.
    And I’m learning Chinese, says Wernher von Braun.

    When he first launched Explorer into the great beyond
    He tried to alleviate when it started to deviate.
    We had to catch up to those commies somehow.
    It’s a good thing we had lots of Wernher von Brauns.

    While Paperclip was a depravity,
    What’s worse is they lied about gravity.
    But von Braun didn’t frown and said, this rings a bell.
    Now go fetch me more Germans and do it mach schnell.

    Now, at the end of his days with more time to reflect
    He chose to disclose some notions verboten.
    They plan to deceive us with make-believe threats,
    And the Cold War was nothing compared to what’s next.

    And after the Russians it’s the terrorists,
    And then third-world countries will be scariest.
    And soon asteroids become the new enemy,
    And the best part will be the fake war with ET.

    Now, when the good old OSS took from old Berlin town,
    They fed us with platitudes as they pillaged each latitude.
    And Gehlen told Allen, I’ve got this one down.
    We’ll tell them the commies just won’t come around.

    So they pretend we’re always at war,
    That we’ll be nuked like Sodom and Gomorrah.
    They did it back then and they’ll do it today.
    Why do you think that they killed JFK?

    Now, if you’re found by the CIA, don’t be alarmed.
    Just plan your allegiance as they force you into obedience.
    They’ll boil you a bit and pretend that you’ll drown
    And they’ll still get away with it because you are brown.

    And some might suggest it’s quite comical
    To claim that it’s all just economical.
    Once they get what they want, who care what you say
    Just as long as you say it to the old CIA?

    Now, they tried to kill Castro a few hundred times.
    Their coups were quite sinister. Just ask the Iranian prime minister.
    And poor Guatemala, how dare you decide
    To elect your government? Oh, look, your president, he died.

    And dare I say it’s rather rude
    To stand up for United Fruit?
    They’ll just call you commies. And who care if you’re not?
    And oh, in Cambodia, they helped some dude named Pol Pot.

    In Syria they staged a quick coup d’état.
    They tried to disarm Indonesia’s Sukarno.
    And Congo’s Lumumba they shot in the face
    And they forced out Allende for old Pinochet.

    They even helped the Dalai Lama
    And they ousted Nkrumah in Ghana.
    And Goulart went FUBAR and probably was killed,
    But they won’t share the files from that coup in Brazil.

    They watched Papa Doc and his sweet little babe
    As they plundered their nation, another CIA creation.
    And they coup’ed Vietnam and then still wanted more,
    So they faked the Gulf of Tonkin to get a new war.

    The history books are still murky
    About what happened in Poland and Turkey
    And Oliver North, surely he told the truth.
    But I guess we won’t know ‘cause he shredded the proof.

    They armed the mujahedeen to the teeth,
    Yet they still tried to hide they created al-Qaeda.
    And ISIS is simply just more of the same.
    If you still keep buying it, you’re just insane.

    Does the fact that it’s all still quite classified
    Make you the slightest dissatisfied
    Like poor Chavez so they gave him a cancerous blight,
    And Jack Ruby was screwed even though he was right,
    That they’re infecting us with apathetic delight,
    While the Mockingbird sings sweetly so long goodnight.

  5. The problem with you, as always Swede, is that you make assertions that require some hard reasoning to counter, and that you don’t bother to read counter-assertions, meaning you are always right in your own mind and don’t expose yourself to alternative views. I judge that to be somewhat insane, that is, your mind is out of touch with objective reality because you don’t discipline yourself to allow contrary views to penetrate.

    Anyway, Swede, in considering whether Cockburn, Zinn et al are correct in their outlook regarding major historical events, I have to consider two worlds, that inside that that outside my brain.

    Inside: Am I sane? I am not the best judge, of course, but weighing the evidence, that I am successful in life and high functioning, doing complex work and able to read and process complicated information, possessed of friends who like me and with whom I feel great warmth and comfort, I judge that I am OK. When a rock falls on my foot, it hurts, when it is snowing I put on a jacket. I’ve explored reams of material on thought control in “democratic” societies, and judge that it goes on, and that for a large portion of my life I was a victim (religion, patriotism, false histroy), and so know that it is there, that it is effective and hard to escape and comfortable to accept as normal. So I conclude that I am sane, and that the society I live in is not.

    That’s a tough call to make, but not terribly different than the one you make in judging that climate change is a hoax perpetuated by thousands of scientists. I am not convinced you are wrong, but do not see any rigorous thought behind your opinions, and think perhaps you just stumbled on something that may be true by following selected authority figures.

    Outside: It appears, just looking at 9/11, that the laws of physics were suspended that day, and that things that are physically impossible happened before our eyes (on TV, where CGI tricks can indeed make impossible seem possible). It also appears that the laws of probability were tested, and related events happening that day that are unfathomably improbable (a hijacker’s passport found, unskilled civilians non-pilots performing highly impressive feats in airliners they’ve never flown before) happened, meaning that the explanations we were given are highly unlikley and that most likely something else happened. There was a proveable event, the existence of a massive hurricane off the coast of Long Island that day. Hurricane Erin, which was unreported. (Indeed, you, Swede, and everyone who reads this is learning of it for the first time, which is how effective our information system is at shielding people from important information).

    There’s much more, all evidence which you have not seen, and without which you are unqualified to judge wither my sanity or the events of that day. I judge you, Chimsky, Zinn, Cockburn to be wrong, and me right. I stand by the assertion, but am not immovable. Evidence rules.




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