Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Propaganda Over London "Airline Plot" Examined

The media eagerly ate up and regurgitated the propaganda that was spoon-fed to them about the "unimaginable proportions" of the pernicious London "airline plot."

Soon after the alleged terror plot to blow up trans-Atlantic flights last week, one of the first things that became apparent was that the so-called independent media were being far from independent in their reporting of this alleged plot foiled by the British police and security services, for long plagued by accusations of being inept and trigger-happy.

Although bias was evident in all media, it was especially prevalent in the round-the-clock coverage of their broadcasting counterparts - and it was almost physically painful to behold. For example, it was clear from the outset that what we were being told was devoid of any analysis; what was being served up was being served up straight from the mouths of the securitariat, verbatim.

For example, we were told that the alleged plot entailed blowing up five US-bound planes from London with liquid explosives. That was on Thursday, the day the alleged plot was foiled. Had the alleged plot been successful, we were told, it would have resulted in the deaths of "hundreds of innocent civilians". This was credible, in the sense that five aircraft would obviously be capable of carrying hundreds of passengers.


However, this figure would clearly not do, given that the very next day a top cop was featured claiming that its success would have resulted in "mass killing of unimaginable proportions". This was on both the BBC and Sky. Since "hundreds of deaths", by any stretch of the imagination, did not qualify for the tag of "unimaginable proportions", the figure for aircraft targeted was swiftly revised upwards the following day to "at least ten".

It was thus not surprising to learn several hours later from the "independent" media that the alleged plot would have resulted in the "mass murder of thousands". Given this slight adjustment of the figures, our friends were now able to say that this mass "mass murder" would have been "unprecedented". If anything, we were witnessing misinformation and propagandising in real time.

Some might say that it is possible that the figures were progressively revised as and when information from the securitariat became available to our friends in the corporate media. However, even if that was the case, why was there no questioning of the figures and the rest of the information being spoon-fed to the media by the authorities? Given the fiascos of the execution of the innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes on the pretext he was a would-be suicide bomber, the bogus "ricin plot" and the Forest Gate Two, this lack of independence and journalistic detachment was glaring. These guys were in bed with the politicians!

An inquisitive person may ask why the basis for these revisions in the figures was not made public. It may be the case that certain information was being withheld until the alleged plotters were formally charged, but something so crucial as the reliability of data emanating from sources which have engaged in misinformation on previous occasions should have been treated with more professionalism.

The media were indeed remiss in their duty to the public and the democratic process. Also, how could the deaths by terrorist bombing of "thousands of innocent civilians" by these alleged plotters be described by any right-thinking person as "unimaginable" or "unprecedented", in a new world order with reference points such as Bush Senior's 1991 Gulf Slaughter of innocent Iraqis (at least 250,000) , Junior's in 2003 (at least 100,000) and 9/11?

The casual observer would be forgiven for drawing two obvious conclusions from this. First, that the lives of Arabs and Muslims, or non-Western or non-white victims of terrorism do not matter. Second, that the whole coverage of the alleged plot was being hyped up for some nefarious purpose. And one did not have to wait long for the latter suspicion to be confirmed, for just a few hours later the BBC informed us that the government was planning to rush through parliament new anti-terror legislation.

That misinformation and propagandising was involved here has other things going for it. Aside from providing ample justification for the introduction of more repressive, fascist-like anti-terror legislation, it very conveniently came at a crucial time in the neocon "war against terror" -- after the "civilised" nations were frantically searching for much-needed cover for the carte blanche accorded Israel to commit war crimes in its attempt to crush the Hizbolla and Hamas resistance to neocon/Zionist ambitions in the Middle East.

The rationale here is that people would be thus persuaded to connect the dots of a spurious equivalence between the alleged plot to "commit mass murder on an unimaginable or unprecedented scale", and the legitimate resistance by Hizbolla and Palestinian freedom fighters. Since both sets of "perpetrators" were labelled as "Islamic terrorists", then their methods and objectives would be seen as an attack on "our way of life" and, to use the refrain of the extra-planetary "war president" Bush, "an attack on freedom and democracy".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The media" have to eagerly swallow and then regurgitate whatever is told to them -- it's their job....

The only independent media these days are the blogs (and thank God for that -- they havn't come a moment too soon)...

This is so much more painfully apparent these days when it is so easly to surf through the major world papers and see the different spin they put on the same stories...

I think the onus is now on the sleep-walking public to become informed -- and if they don't -- then they will suffer the consequences -- it's the Law of Cause and Effect.


8/15/2006 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot -- there are some worthy journalists such as Sy Hersh and Robert Fisk...


8/15/2006 6:46 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


In any zoo, there will always be a few (like Fisk and Hersh) of the inhabitants who stir things up. But it is always a relative few, good order is seen by participants to be threatened by the dissidents.

You are quite right that the public needs to do their part by questioning what they see in the media. It has always been that way, probably since the invention of the printing press.

The cool thing is that as the stakes have grown higher for society, the internet has come along to help disseminate alternative views to the authorized version of the news.

What practical good this will do, I don't know. But it could, at least, make enough of a difference so that some people will decide not to act against their own interests by thoughtlessly following the official line.

8/15/2006 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right, Effy, we live in a zoo. And I feel very positively about the subversive, truthtelling ability of the Internet. I believe that words are WMD too -- and at least as potent as missiles...


8/15/2006 7:00 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


"A handful of soldiers is always better than a mouthful of arguments" is the way some German authoritarian type tried to rebut the point you make about words vs weapons.

But authoritarian types always fear the power of words.

For good reason. If the people can be swayed against their "leaders", it makes the job of the rulers so much more difficult.

8/15/2006 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I've never heard that before -- sounds almost as charming as "spare the rod and spoil the child" ...

You're right, it's so much easier on a ruler to have a cowered populace....

8/15/2006 7:33 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...



8/15/2006 7:38 PM  

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