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Obama and the 'Terror Plot Thriller'James M. Wall Salem-News.com
The Main Stream Media is an essential co-conspirator to our political leaders in this hyping of “terror” stories.
(CHICAGO) - There are so many doubts and questions surrounding the alleged Iranian-sponsored assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador, that for Barack Obama to take a prominent role in announcing the case may prove to be a serious political and diplomatic mistake.
The American public loves intrigue and simplistic narratives, good versus bad. What they don’t like is to be lied to in the narrative. We were fooled once by the Iraq-WMDs ”mushroom cloud” campaign orchestrated by Bush-Cheney. As a result we are still fighting two seemingly endless wars in the Middle East.
By highlighting a “terror” plot that involved a Mexican drug cartel, the Saudi ambassador to the US, and a highly unstable potential assassin, Obama brought us Bush-Cheney, the Sequel.
As Obama announced the Justice Department action he promised “strong sanctions” against Iran. The Justice case alleges that an Iranian-American, Manssor Arbabsiar, was introduced to a man he thought had a connection to a Mexican drug cartel, very bad guys with assassination skills. Arbabsiar’s “contact” to the cartel was, in fact, an undercover US Drug Enforcement official, who was setting up a standard FBI “sting”.
The indictment also includes Arbabsiar’s cousin Ali Gholam Shakuri, an officer in the Iranian Quds Force. It is that elite army unit that allows the Department of Justice to claim that the plot has ties to the “highest” levels of the Iranian government. Obama said there was evidence that additional connections were made, but they have not been included in the indictment, and may never be, on security grounds.
A “sting” most often targets a major player believed to be a serious threat to American peace and security. Arbabsiar may yet emerge as a serious player, but that is no reason why Barack Obama should be in the White House as the nation’s lawyer, announcing the case. He has an Attorney General to perform those duties. Criminal case announcements should be made in the Justice Department, not in the White House.
Instead of waiting for these criminal charges to make their way through the US judicial system, President Obama used a press event in the White House East Room, to address his domestic audience with tough talk about “sanctions” against Iran, a largely meaningless threat since we already have saddled Iran with “sanctions”.
Who is this dangerous Iranan-American at the center of this “terror plot thriller”?
The Washington Post spoke with an Arbabsiar friend, Tom Hosseini, a store owner in Corpus Christi, Texas. Hosseini has known Arbabsiar since the late 1970s, when both came to the United States as students. The Post profile on Arbabsiar portrays the alleged assassin as someone who did not appear to be capable of carrying out a sophisticated death plot.
Hosseini wonders how anyone, especially an elite military organization such as Iran’s Qods force” the unit the US Department of Justice alleges was running Arbabsiar would be involved with his long time friend.
University of Michigan Middle East scholar and well-informed blogger, Juan Cole, finds the government’s case against Arabsiar, “falling down funny”.
Under a heading that recalls a movie about public gullibility and a TV show about a less than competent secret agent, Wagging the Dog with Iran’s Maxwell Smart, Cole wrote on his Informed Comment blog:
That a monumental screw-up like Arbabsiar could have thought he was a government secret agent is perfectly plausible. I’m sure he thought all kinds of things. But that he was actually one is simply not believable.
This case has what the Guardian calls “the ring of a far-fetched Hollywood thriller”. Even the senior law enforcement official involved in the investigation admitted that “the alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US did not fit with what was known about the methods and practices of the supposed perpetrators, the Al Qods force of the Revolutionary Guards.”
MJ Rosenberg has serious reservations about the narrative the Justice Department has outlined. He writes on his blog, Political Correction:
At this point, it is impossible to say how serious the plot was and, more importantly, if it even had anything at all to do with the Iranian government. Are we ready to believe that the cold and calculating people who govern Iran are contracting out assassination plots with Mexican drug traffickers or that they would pick Washington as the best place to attack the Saudi ambassador (knowing that being found responsible for a major explosion in Washington would mean war with the Saudi Arabia and United States)?
The Main Stream Media is an essential co-conspirator to our political leaders in this hyping of “terror” stories. Andrew Kilgore, publisher of The Washington Report, recalled one story that began in 1981, shortly after the start of Ronald Reagan’s first term.
Breathless articles about Libyan “hit [assassination] squads” began to occupy the front page of The Washington Post. For three weeks, Post readers—and the U.S. government—were obsessed with these squads, which reportedly originated in the Middle East, had reached Europe, and were currently in Canada, where they were poised to cross into the United States like a swarm of northern killer bees.
Five years later, after Reagan was safely reelected to a second term, the truth emerged. As narrative, the ending fizzled. Kilgore explained:
Manucher Ghorbanifar, a small-time Iranian exile working in Washington for Mossad, Israel’s secret intelligence service, confessed in 1986 that he had dreamed up the hit squads. Why? “To hurt Libya, an enemy of Israel.”
Why does the American public keep falling for these thrilling, but questionable, tales? The media likes to peddle them and the public needs its circuses.
On the website, Reader Supported News, John Cook goes inside one media operation to demonstrate how this worked around the tenth anniversary of 911.
ABC News president Ben Sherwood... told his staff in a morning conference call to stop reporting news of a potential terror plot timed to the 9/11 anniversary in such a “measured way” and to “turn this into a thriller.”
As we now know, there were no “terror attacks” on the tenth anniversary of 911. But for much of the days preceding this anniversary, ABC had its “thriller”, and journalism plunged more deeply into the darkness of entertainment posing as news.
Meanwhile, back in the White House East Room, President Obama proudly announced the opening of a new “terror plot thriller”. These are not good days for the Republic.
This story originally published here: http://wallwritings.wordpress.com/2011/10/15/obama-and-the-terror-plot-thriller/
Journalism was Jim Wall’s undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. An ordained United Methodist clergy person; he and his wife, Mary Eleanor, are the parents of three sons, and the grandparents of four grandchildren. They live in Elmhurst, Illinois. Visit Jim's Website: Wall Writings
Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. While serving with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years, starting in 1972. Time magazine wrote about the new editor, who arrived at the Christian Century determined to turn the magazine into a hard-hitting news publication. The inspiration for Wall Writings comes from that mindset and from many other sources that have influenced Jim’s writings over the years, including politics, cinema, media, American culture, and the political struggles in the Middle East. Jim has made more than 20 trips to that region as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region. You can write to Jim Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Jim's Website: Wall Writings
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