Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Most Frightening Name in News

Fear-mongering NY Congressman Peter King has outdone himself. The same paranoid xenophobe who warned the nation about homegrown jihadists and the imminent application of Sharia Law at a Congressional hearing last year is back in the limelight, courtesy of CNN. He starred in the cable network's non-stop Fear Marathon yesterday, warning that hundreds, even thousands, of Mideastern types are in this country working in car dealerships and restaurants. They're not exactly doing anything wrong at the moment, but since they exist, they are susceptible to being convinced to attack New York City in the event that Israel bombs Iran. Some people simply can't graciously accept their relatives and friends overseas getting pulverized. And that should make Der Homeland very fearful.

 "This is a terrifying reason for us all to be very alarmed," intoned vacuous CNN host Wolf Blitzer in his signature monotone.

Blitzer's sonorous voice-over was accompanied by a video montage of goose-stepping and rappelling troops, ostensibly meant to illustrate what an Iranian occupation of the Big Apple would look like. When CNN does propaganda, it goes all in. Subtlety and subliminal imagery are just so 1984.

 There is an "A-Team" scarier than Al Qaeda just waiting to be inspired by an Israeli attack on Iran! The NYPD has caught Iranians taking photos of New York tourist attractions half a dozen times since 9/11!  They may look like innocuous car dealers, but they could be inspired to turn into terrorists any day now, warned King. He offered a lot of conjecture and no evidence. And the cable news stenographers asked not a single probing question. It was the lead story every hour.

King as much as admitted that his fear-mongering is just a PR campaign to defend the NYPD in the wake of the exposure of its draconian spying campaign against Muslims.

"Maybe this (the hearing and TV appearances) will deter the irrational and unbalanced attacks on the NYPD, who are trying to act pre-emptively," he told an unquestioning Soledad O'Brien. That clip is here. And to gin up our righteous patriotism even more, CNN unbelievably opened the King segment with Notre Dame's Fight Song. That was the personal choice of King himself, an ND alumnus.

Accompanying King's Congressional show hearing, which featured the testimony of an NYPD spy yammering about suspicious sightseeing by Iranian U.N. delegates, was a voluminous two-page report. It had obviously been hastily cobbled together in press release fashion. Here are a couple of representative examples of its overall vagueness:
There is general consensus among dozens of experts as well as current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials interviewed by the Majority Investigative Staff that Hezbollah – more than any other terror group – is the most capable of flipping a U.S.-based fundraising cell into a lethal terror force, should Iran decide that is in its interests.

Pinning down a reliable estimate of the number of Hezbollah operatives who now reside inside the U.S. is difficult because of their operational security expertise. But some officials estimate that, based on cases uncovered since 9/11, there are likely several thousand sympathetic donors, while operatives probably number in the hundreds.
This doesn't say a lot about the capability of our Homeland Security State, does it? The theory is that if Mitt Romney can flip-flop, then so can Lebanese car salesmen. Might, maybe, possibly may not constitute credible evidence. But it's better than just saying nothing, because saying nothing makes for a slow news day, and CNN always does its profitable best to act as the mouthpiece of the government/Wall Street complex. 

When Attorney General Eric Holder tried to justify presidential assassinations in a Chicago speech earlier this month and was almost universally lambasted, CNN stepped up and called his defense of the indefensible "expansive"and "unflinching" in a post on its Living With Terror blog

The network even has its very own National Security senior steno producer, named Suzanne Kelly. She inanely wondered how these "strings of Hezbollah in the US are going to play themselves out." (Will they stretch like rubber bands or bounce like yoyos or snap like bubble gum?) She quotes the usual unnamed source: "A federal law enforcement official would not provide CNN with an estimate of how many people affiliated with Hezbollah are believed to be in the U.S. The official would say only that the cases the U.S. has brought involving Hezbollah have involved areas such as fundraising and attempting to procure arms and have not involved plots."

As Glenn Greenwald pointed out last month in writing about Erin Burnett, its "worst of the worst" correspondent, CNN has become a parody of itself. Burnett was on the air again last night to pour gasoline on the flames of Peter King's bonfire. She actually referred to the United States as "The Homeland" as she showed an image of the flag-draped New York Stock Exchange. This illustrates just who she perceives the real potential victims will be. (hint: it's not the 99%). Who besides a government apparatchik talks like Erin Burnett? (I am still trying to locate a clip of her latest mile-a-minute harangue).

Burnett is so frenetically over the top, adds Greenwald, that she even makes psycho Peter King look normal and reasonable.

Blitzer and Burnett: Defenders of Corporate Amerika


The Black Swan said...

I can't be angry at any of these people, just sad. Humanity is dreaming up it's own death. It is hard to sit on the sidelines, staring into the growing darkness. But we must become beacons of light, antibodies to this virulent evil.

Valerie said...

When the NY Stock Exchange is portrayed on a major "news" channel as a beacon of freedom & American-ness and law abiding, innocent Muslims who are going about their daily lives are treated with suspicion and harassed - scapegoated - it is evident that America is turned topsy turvy.

So many Americans, thanks to a totally compromised media, have lost sight of who the REAL enemy is.

James F Traynor said...

Wolf Blitzer. The man's a stale joke.

Denis Neville said...

As former British MP Tony Benn said, “There are two ways in which people are controlled - first of all frighten people and secondly demoralize them.”

And that’s what these idiots are all about social engineering and control. They dumb the people down and divert their attention from reality with circuses and feed them a steady stream of propaganda from the mainstream media. The focus is to keep the people in a state of fear. Repeated often enough, the people will eventually come to believe the big lie.

On the other side of the terrorist BS are the morons masquerading as the people’s saviors. The Ministry of Truth will protect us. Our government is here to rescue us form these terrorists. Another big lie that has been accepted by so many as truth.

“Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain.” - George Orwell, 1984

I am angry with these jabbering parrots.

Fred Drumlevitch said...

@The Black Swan:

You said: "I can't be angry at any of these people, just sad. ..."

Sorry, but I must disagree. This is a man-made disaster of the worst kind — not a failure to properly design or construct a work of technological engineering, such as with the space shuttle or the levees that led to the flooding of New Orleans, but rather, a man-made demagoguery by the politicians and their mass-media co-conspirators, done for both their own benefit and the plutocracy-corporatocracy that they serve. It's being done to perpetuate and increase their own power and wealth, and the exploitation of the vast majority of the citizenry.

And there is ample historical evidence of the terrible consequences of such actions, so they can't feign ignorance. They know exactly what they are doing, and their actions are intensely deliberate. That isn't just sad — it's immoral, and criminal (even if the political-legal system of this nation has been so perverted by wealth and unbridled corporate capitalism that the written laws of the land no longer retain any concern for political freedom and economic fairness). And those who are further down the political food chain, down even to the level of ordinary citizens, must (unless they are complete morons with organic brain damage) share some of the responsibility when they fail to educate themselves and fail to behave in a fair and moral manner, instead uncritically supporting socially-engineered fear, bigotry, and injustice.

I've gotta agree with Denis Neville's answer to you (comment number 4) on this one.

Karen Garcia said...

Hello guys,
Here's my comment on Paul Krugman. He wrote about (shock) Mitt Romney again. Romney may once have been a moderate, may even still be a moderate, but his lying about is the deal breaker.

Romney is taking the philosophy of "the end justifies the means" to a whole new level, blithely not caring what the public thinks, as long as a paltry 10 or 15% of them drag themselves out to to pull the primary lever for him. Enthusiasm gap doesn't even begin to describe the low turnouts. People are just plain disgusted with the extremism and the fakery -- not to mention the fact that Big Money has taken over the entire process and made average people incidental to .01%-controlled politics.

All the talk of the Etch-a-Sketch brings back fond memories of another classic toy --the Magic 8 Ball. By shaking it, one of 20 different answers pops up at random. Since it was originally called the "Syco Seer" I think it would make the perfect gift for all the fringe dwellers of the GOP.

All Mitt has to do is shake the magic ball (or his own plastic head) whenever he is faced with a tough question. For example, when asked if he invented RomneyCare, he might get "Reply hazy, try again later" or "Better not tell now." Will he privatize Medicare and Social Security? "Outlook good". Cut taxes for his rich friends and corporation people? "You may rely on it." Is he a true severe conservative? "Cannot predict now." Is he a serial pandering prevaricator? "Without a doubt!"

So many weeks and months to go before Election Day, so many lies awaiting. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic. Get the money out of politics, and don't forget to Occupy!

Jay - Ottawa said...

Wait, there's more: The NY Times has just sent out one of its email News Alerts. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. is about to authorize a major expansion of data mining capacity by counterterrorism analysts.

The fear and trembling displayed yesterday by King, Blitzer and the rest of the CNN team was merely prologue to today's diminishment of privacy. The circle keeps tightening around what is yours -- as distinct from the government's -- to include your papers and your communications with others.

"Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him."
-- Cardinal Richelieu

The Black Swan said...

I am a big believer in the interconnectedness of all things. From the microscopic to the macro. I practice meditation, and I have experienced, albeit very briefly, the truth of this belief. All our consciousness are connected, in ways we can't see or imagine. So when a person who practices 'evil' emerges in a society, he is a reflection and creation of that society. Within all of us lies the potential for all the evils mankind has ever known. A strong enough psychic push and these 'evils' will be embodied. The .01% didn't invent greed or murder, they didn't invent evil. They are just our current embodiment of these psychic forces. To be angry at or to hate them, would be to hate myself. Instead I recognize my own capacity for evil and I work to relieve it of its power. But we live in a society that is fully in the grip of its own darkness and so the 'leaders' (rulers) we get are our own subconscious projections. The more we are awakened to the realization that we create the world we live in, the more power we have to create it. If we can free ourselves from hate, from anger, from greed and lust, we can fully embrace the strongest power in the Universe. The power of Love. And with this power we can project a new reality into being. We can't rid ourselves of evil through evil means. We can overcome it with Love. So I cannot be angry, I am only sad. Sad that our world is consumed by madness. Sad that we are ruled by those people who are the most deeply in its thrall. Even sad for them because they are so lost and so separated from Love.

This is a belief I have held for a long time and recently have been discovering more about in readings and lectures. I would recommend reading about Wetiko, or check out this interview:

I hold a great hope for the future. I also have a lot of fear for the present. But I will not be angry. Ever. I will fight with the only power worth fighting for and fighting with, the power of Love.

I also recommend checking out this Jesus guy, or the Buddha, or the I Ching, these guys were crazy about Love.

James F Traynor said...

Love: the lotus blossom of the left.

Zee said...

The only motivation for "reporting" such as this can be to instill yet more groundless fear in the American public, so as to make us ever more amenable to more and more government surveillance and control, e.g.,

It appears that Admiral Poindexter's Total Information Awareness program is back under another guise.