“Jingoism On Parade”

Jeremy Scahill was struck by the boasting of the murder of Osama bin Laden by Sen Kerry and others at the Democratic National Convention, and so was I for two primary reasons.

Reason number one is that it is most unlikely that OBL was killed by Navy Seals in 2011. It is widely reported that OBL had terminal kidney disease in 2000-1. I have seen no contrary data or opinions.  There are only two treatments for that condition, dialysis and/or transplant. Dialysis is usually not a permanent solution, since allergic reactions to dialysis chemicals and infections frequently result in kidney failure anyway. Moreover dialysis equipment is bulky, not conducive to furtive ten-year long treks through mountains and in caves in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Did anybody see a dialysis machine in the videos or pictures that were supplied by the government of the murder scene in Pakistan?  Did anybody read about evidence of a transplant on “OBL’s” corpse?  Why did the story of the murder change so much?   Why was the body buried so hastily at sea?  Why, since by all accounts “OBL” offered no resistance to the murderers, was he murdered?  Would he not have been a treasure trove of intelligence about alleged “terrorists?”  Was the death of the murdering Seal team in a helicopter crash just happenstance, or was is a lesson that assassins must be liquidated to protect the shadowy bosses?  In all likelihood, whomever was murdered in Pakistan was not OBL.

Let’s assume that whomever was murdered in Pakistan was OBL to examine reason #2: There was no credible evidence that OBL was guilty of 911.  The FBI did not put OBL on their “Most Wanted” list for 911.  To wit:

…The Muckraker Report spoke with Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI. When asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on Bin Laden’s Most Wanted web page, Tomb said, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”

Surprised by the ease in which this FBI spokesman made such an astonishing statement, I asked, “How this was possible?” Tomb continued, “Bin Laden has not been formally charged in connection to 9/11.” I asked, “How does that work?” Tomb continued, “The FBI gathers evidence. Once evidence is gathered, it is turned over to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice than decides whether it has enough evidence to present to a federal grand jury. In the case of the 1998 United States Embassies being bombed, Bin Laden has been formally indicted and charged by a grand jury. He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connected Bin Laden to 9/11.” …


Even Dick Cheney admitted that there was no evidence linking OBL to 911:

So, if OBL wasn’t killed in 2011 and/or there was insufficient evidence to indict him for 911 in any case, what was Barack Obama talking about when he announced that, “Justice has been done.”?   Why are Americans cheering such jingoism? What could produce such ignorance?

This past weekend I visited the Newseum in Washington D.C., a very elaborate museum of journalism. There is a huge sign proclaiming journalism’s fealty to the principles of “Who, What, Where, Why, When and How.” The Newseum has a very large section on 911. They even show pictures of the alleged 911 hijackers. But nowhere did I see any information on THE FACT that at least seven of the alleged suicide hijackers are alive. Apparently the six journalistic principles died, and ignorance is being nurtured.  Cui bono?



This essay originally appeared on September 21, 2001 in my Daily Iowan column, “Firing Line.” The piece uses George Orwell’s 1984 as a basis to suggest how from the very beginning the corporate media played a central role in setting the stage for the prevalent Osama bin Laden-Al Qaeda myth, the related “blowback” thesis vigorously embraced by the progressive-left community, and the assemblage of rearguard actions defending such perspectives and reflexively labeling all accounts conflicting with government pronouncements as “conspiracy theories.”

An expertly orchestrated barrage of 9/11 propaganda in the weeks and months following the attacks had a devastatingly traumatic effect on a majority of the US population while simultaneously rendering many of the most legitimate and important questions to the sidelines. Together these discursive elements have helped to create an environment where, as Orwell envisaged, essential civil liberties have been forsaken and perpetual war has become the norm…



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