Wednesday, January 16, 2008



Here's something you won't see in the major mainstream media in this country:

How the Pentagon planted a false story

By Gareth Porter

Asia Times

WASHINGTON - Senior Pentagon officials, evidently reflecting a broader administration policy decision, used an off-the-record Pentagon briefing to turn the January 6 US-Iranian incident in the Strait of Hormuz into a sensational story demonstrating Iran's military aggressiveness, a reconstruction of the events following the incident shows.

The initial press stories on the incident, all of which can be traced to a briefing by deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs in charge of media operations, Bryan Whitman, contained similar information that has since been repudiated by the navy itself.

Then the navy disseminated a short video into which was spliced the audio of a phone call warning that US warships would "explode" in "a few seconds". Although it was ostensibly a navy production, Inter Press Service (IPS) has learned that the ultimate decision on its content was made by top officials of the Defense Department.

The encounter between five small and apparently unarmed speedboats, each carrying a crew of two to four men, and the three US warships occurred very early on Saturday January 6, Washington time. No information was released to the public about the incident for more than 24 hours, indicating that it was not viewed initially as being very urgent.

The reason for that absence of public information on the incident for more than a full day is that it was not that different from many others in the Gulf over more than a decade. A Pentagon consultant who asked not to be identified told IPS he had spoken with officers who had experienced similar encounters with small Iranian boats throughout the 1990s, and that such incidents are "just not a major threat to the US Navy by any stretch of the imagination".

Just two weeks earlier, on December 19, the USS Whidbey Island, an amphibious warship, had fired warning shots after a small Iranian boat allegedly approached it at high speed. That incident had gone without public notice.

With the reports from Fifth Fleet commander Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff in hand early that morning, top Pentagon officials had all day Sunday, January 6, to discuss what to do about the encounter in the Strait of Hormuz. The result was a decision to play it up as a major incident.

And so on.

Of course we've sensed this story is a fraud from day one, and we've listed all the reasons why: unarmed Iranians, doing nothing threatening, bogosity of the verbal "threat", PissyPants in the Gulf showing off, etc., etc. It was obvious from the beginning. And the walkback from the military was an exercise in NewSpeak-DoubleSpeak such as we rarely see even from them. The military that has such a tenuous relationship with the concepts of "fact" and "truth."

Yet when the story was placed in the Major Media, they ALL ran with it (even McClatchy) without an iota of skepticism. The Pentagon says -- we repeat verbatim. Yes, SIR!

Of course the Blogosphere was alive with "Gulf of Tonkin!" allusions from the moment the story broke. Skepticism was fundamental in that realm, while the Major Media had none at all.

And over the course of Emperor SmartAss's Progress through the Gulf, Major Media pounded the drums of belligerence, adding flashes and flourishes even as the story was falling apart.

And, as is so often the case, the Iranian Devil Enemy released their own version of events, which showed nothing particularly untoward, and our military, while continuing to bluster and fulminate, essentially acknowledged that the Iranians had it right, there was no particular worry about the incident as it happened, and everyone went on about their business as usual. BUT the Iranians ARE EVIL and MUST BE destroyed. Yadda, yadda.

And here, Gareth Porter comes up with a highly plausible scenario of what happened, how, and why. Which we will never see detailed in our own media, because that media, of course, was an active partner and participant in the fraud, as they have been throughout the Bushevik era of Misery and Destruction. It is what they do.

My question is two-fold: Why, after all the horrendous lies the Regime and its Pentagon handmaidens have told, do the Major American Media still, uncritically accept and repeat just about everything the propaganda mills churn out, and why do the American People continue to fall for it?

What will it take to completely discredit the White House and Pentagon Propaganda Ministries and the Media Outlets that continue to unquestioningly serve them?

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