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Tuesday, May 03, 2011


Government lies, media covers for them

You all know the story by now. On day one, Osama bin Laden was killed after using a woman as a human shield, and resisted capture by firing back. On day two, there was no human shield, and he was unarmed (but still "resisted" capture, as if a bunch of heavily armed, well-muscled Navy SEALs couldn't capture an unarmed old man with a bad kidney without killing him and without endangering themselves).

This much is SOP - standard operating procedure. And, unfortunately, the media response is also SOP. Listening to tonight's news, I heard two different media outlets (NBC and BBC) give exactly the same excuse - "this kind of thing always happens, the information gets 'refined' as time goes on." No, media, the information did not get "refined." In reality, it's just like asking your kid who broke the lamp. First answer: "not me." Second answer: "not me." Third answer: "I tripped and fell into it accidentally." Final answer: "I was playing football in the living room and the ball hit the lamp."

With the military, it's virtually the same. The "refining the details" always goes from the initial "we did nothing wrong" (e.g., everyone we killed were terrorists) to "well, maybe we did" (e.g., yes, some civilians were killed in the crossfire) and eventually to "yeah, we did" (e.g., yes, they were all women and small children). The administration could have said "we're still learning details" on the first day, but no, the truth (if indeed the truth on day one was that they really were still learning the details) is not how they roll. No, they start with the spin, and eventually, the truth comes out. The only surprising thing here is how fast it did.

Or, should I say, how fast the initial lie has begun to break down; it's doubtful we still have the truth. The military is still sticking to the story that a helicopter "stalled" and couldn't take off so they blew it up. Really? Is quality control on U.S. military helicopters that bad that one out of four couldn't complete its flight plan? C'mon, it "stalled" because it was damaged by fire from bin Laden's guards. But admitting that would give some kind of "credit" to them and make "our boys" look less than superhuman, and it just isn't acceptable to do that.

Will we eventually learn that some of the attackers were in fact injured or even killed, contrary to the current story? I doubt it, since this was an extremely secretive unit of the types of people who would never let that kind of fact out, and the families of any dead will be given a suitable cover story about how and where their family member died.

As for the death of bin Laden itself, I'm willing to believe he is dead, but honestly, is the Administration trying to maximize the number of people in the world who don't believe it? It sure seems so. And as far as the "proof"? A member of Congress (Finestein I think) was telling the media that the DNA was conclusive. Really? What's the chain of evidence? For all we know, if this test was conducted (and I assume it was), they could have been comparing the DNA of one of bin Laden's siblings with the DNA of another one of his siblings. No, I don't actually think so, but whatever "evidence" the U.S. puts forward, it's hardly likely to be any more credible than the claims that bin Laden was armed or that he used a woman as a human shield. That is to say, lacking all credibility whatsoever.

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