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May 22, 2003
Various lies and misdirections

Remember yesterday's vacuum cleaner story? I'd entirely forgotten this Graham Greene connection. I'm sorry, but now the original story looks weird and fishy.

Well, as an example of government manipulation and media gullibility, the Lynch story is a cautionary tale, but I'm not sure what else it is. Certainly now that most of the mainstream media has decided to ignore the story (so as to avoid pointing out their own contribution to the short-lived hysteria), I doubt that it does much good to keep discussing it.

Still. For those of us who care enough to look beneath the surface, it's just one more layer in the tissue of lies, isn't it?

"We were surprised," Dr. Anmar Uday told the BBC about the supposed rescue. "There was no military, there were no soldiers in the hospital. It was like a Hollywood film. [The U.S. forces] cried 'Go, go, go,' with guns and blanks without bullets, blanks and the sound of explosions," Uday said. "They made a show for the American attack on the hospital – [like] action movies [starring] Sylvester Stallone or Jackie Chan."

The footage from the raid, shot not by journalists but by soldiers with night-vision cameras, was fed in real time to the central command in Qatar. The video was artfully edited by the Pentagon and released as proof that a battle to free Lynch had occurred when it had not.

This fabrication has already been celebrated by an A&E special and will soon be an NBC movie. The Lynch rescue story – a made-for-TV bit of official propaganda – will probably survive as the war's most heroic moment, despite proving as fictitious as the stated rationales for the invasion itself.

The one thing I'd like to see, and the thing we'll never see is this made-for-TV movie turning out to be an exposé of the lies.

I have to admit, though, that I find the idea of average soldiers being a party to this just a little hard to swallow.

Huffington says the government keeps telling transparent lies because they're fanatics. I don't doubt there are fanatics in charge of the country, but I think she's overlooking the obvious.

I say they're doing it because they're getting away with it.

Don't be fooled by the occasional critical story in a mainstream publication, okay? Watch the nightly news and see if any of these lies are being revealed. Listen for anyone comparing what was said against what turned out to be true. Listen for anyone mentioning the funding cuts in social programs because of the tax cuts. Listen for anyone covering the FCC media-monopoly story. Especially see if any of the lies are not only revealed, but followed up on, explaining how the White House repeatedly refuses to answer questions from experts who say their plans won't work or their words aren't true.

Not hearing any of that, are you? Don't be fooled by what people say about "reading newspapers,' either. Most people get most of their news from the television. Especially when you move outside of large, urban cities. Smaller newspapers frequently devote one page to "national and international" news and everything else is local coverage or "color" articles. Even if the NYTimes or the LATimes did decide to do a front-page, side-by-side comparison of the Administration's words against what was later revealed to be the truth, very few people in the country would see it.

Ahem. (Marc Cooper says we're paranoid, and getting hysterical, and that Bush isn't really every demon in the pantheon rolled into one. I'm not sure what Toby Barlow's essay is about. Well, okay, I am, but it's a weird little entry anyhow.)

The tax cuts are all over the place, but is the number $318B or $350B? I see all kinds of estimates, which tells me that whatever the agreement wound up being, it would up being full of tricks, lies, and fuzzy numbers. I'm not mentioning it to link to a specific set of lies article, but because I've been contemplating dividend income and one group I haven't seen many liberals considering recently - the elderly. Lots and lots of senior citizens live on the income from investments, so a tax break for them would be a good idea. I need to do a lot more reading on the subject.

There has to be a blogger somewhere doing a detailed analysis of this kind of thing. What we need is a blog, or a forum people could post in that says which blogs to check for in-depth discussion of which topics.

But House Republicans said they have compromised significantly to bring the cost of the tax cut down from the $550 billion total passed by the House. They had also opposed the state fiscal relief component insisted on by the Senate.

"If we were going to agree to the Senate structure, I was not [going] to then begin to add new programs by raising taxes on someone else to lower them on some favored group," Thomas said.

Democrats, who were frozen out of the negotiations. . . .

What is it with the Republicans that they can't even accept the fact that close to 50 percent of the Congress is Democrat? I can't remember ever seeing such hostile partisanship before. Really, someone needs to explain to the Republicans that they don't own the country, their majority is (as they all are) temporary, and that they need to accept the existence and influence of Democrats. Even more than the big, public fights, it's little hints like this that really scare me about the people currently in power.

(I'm inured to revelations like this one, about the debt ceiling. I hate it, but we all know this happens. I'd prefer that hugely important matters like this were publicly debated, but 'the public' falls asleep when you discuss serious matters, so that's not going to happen.

(For those confused about the scorecard – the previous tax cut and the one just being passed are responsible for the government's abrupt need for an additional $984 billion added to the debt ceiling, okay?)

(And how irresponsible is it that a governor, presented with a balanced budget plan, decides that further whacking state programs is better than closing corporate loopholes?)

Posted by AnneZook at 08:53 AM