Upon discovering the U.S. State Department's "Identifying
Misinformation" site, I almost fell out of my chair laughing. "Does
the story claim that vast, powerful, evil forces are secretly manipulating events?
If so, this fits the profile of a conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theories are
rarely true, even though they have great appeal and are often widely believed.
In reality, events usually have much less exciting explanations," the State
Department tells us, and then suggests we do "further research," in
other words get out information from official sources, for instance the New
York Times and the Washington Post, the corporate media that lies to us repeatedly,
as it did in regard to Iraq and weapons of mass destruction (only the most obvious
and egregious example). Like I said, I was laughing so hard I almost had an
Citing what it considers examples, the State Department, run by "aluminum
tubes" Dr. Condoleezza Rice, makes mention of Thierry Meyssan, a French
author and nine eleven investigator who "falsely claimed that no plane
hit the Pentagon." Of course, we have no definitive idea what hit the Pentagon,
precisely because officials removed and seized evidence and declared it a national
security secret. I suppose the conflicting accounts of what happened on that
day are "urban legends" and "conspiracy theories." Or maybe
somebody put LSD in the Washington's drinking water. Check out scads of "urban
legends" posted on French researcher Eric
Bart's web site (he is French too, so it must be a conspiracy theory, or
maybe he simply hates America since he lives in Old Europe).
The State Department scribes muddy the water by mentioning "urban legends"
such as the ludicrous claim somebody "surfed" unharmed to the ground
from the 82nd floor of the WTC, stories about "Americans or others ...
kidnapp[ed] or adopting children in order to use them in organ transplants,"
claims "that U.S. forces in Iraq were harvesting organs from dead or wounded
Iraqis for sale in the United States" (this "urban legend" was
started, according to the State Department, by Saudi Arabia's al-Watan newspaper,
once again demonstrating the neocon assertion Arabs are crazy and malicious),
and (my favorite) "exaggerated fears about depleted uranium because people
associate it with weapons-grade uranium or fuel-grade uranium, which are much
more dangerous substances. When most people hear the word uranium, a number
of strongly held associations spring to mind, including the atomic bomb, Hiroshima,
nuclear reactors, radiation illness, cancer, and birth defects."
The State Department's absurd claim about DU is particularly pernicious. "In
southern Iraq, scientists are reporting five times higher levels of gamma radiation
in the air, which increases the radioactive body burden daily of inhabitants,"
writes Leuren Moret,
an international radiation specialist. "In fact, Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan
are uninhabitable.... Cancer starts with one alpha particle under the right
conditions. One gram of DU is the size of a period in this sentence and releases
12,000 alpha particles per second."
But according to the miscreants at the State Department, we don't have to worry
about DU because "weapons-grade uranium or fuel-grade uranium" is
more dangerous, sort of like it is more dangerous to drink a few ounces of wood
stripper than a fifth of bourbon. "Depleted uranium is what is left over
when natural uranium is enriched to make weapons-grade or fuel-grade uranium.
In the process, the uranium loses, or is depleted, of almost half its radioactivity,
which is how depleted uranium gets its name. But facts like this are less important
in peoplesâ€™ minds than the deeply ingrained associations
they have with the world 'uranium.' For this reason, most people believe that
depleted uranium is much more dangerous than it actually is." Note the
words "natural" and "depleted" here, leading us to believe
the stuff is more or less harmless, an assertion that is criminal and malicious,
to say the least.
And the lies and distortions just keep on coming. "Another highly controversial
issue is that of forbidden weapons, such as chemical or biological weapons.
The United States is regularly, and falsely, accused of using these weapons,"
the State Department declares. Note the State Department neglected to mention
nuclear weapons, for instance the nuclear weapons used on the civilian populations
of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Moreover, I don't know what the State Department
considers Agent Orange, but in my book it is considered a chemical weapon. "Agent
Orange was used from 1961 to 1971 and has disputedly caused serious harm to
the health of exposed Vietnamese, Australians, Canadians and Americans, their
children and grandchildren," notes Wikipedia.
"Agent Orange as a military defoliant was discontinued in 1971, after over
6,000 spraying missions in Vietnam and Cambodia," probably the largest
and most prolonged use of a chemical weapon in history.
"There are many conspiracy theory websites, which contain a great deal
of unreliable information," including Rense, Conspiracy Planet (where my
articles have appeared, thus establishing my credentials as a scurrilous disseminator
of "urban legends" and "conspiracy theories"), and the late
Joe Vialls. I am also proud to be considered part of the urban-legend-conspiracy-theory
clan due to participation in the "the allegation that U.S. soldiers in
Iraq had killed innocent Iraqi boys playing football and then 'planted' rocket-propelled
grenades (RPGs) next to them, to make it appear that they were insurgents,"
as the State Department summarizes. In order to debunk the "urban legend"
(or maybe Iraqi desert legend), the State Department takes the word of the soldiers
involved in the attacks and so should we of course (and that is all the evidence
we need, since the Pentagon never lies; for a taste of this unabashed truth
telling, see Julie Hyland's BBC
complains of Pentagon lies).
Finally, the State Department wants to "help" those of us lead astray
by the blogs and alternative web sites obviously overwhelming the corporate
media in its flailing indoctrination and propaganda efforts, lest this effort
on the part of the State Department would not be necessary. "We can't respond
to all requests for information, but if a request is reasonable and we have
the time, we will do our best to provide accurate, authoritative information,"
the Identifying Misinformation site tells us.
As for the track record of the State Department's own back-to-back lies, consider
Colin Powell's speech delivered to the United Nations on the eve of the Iraqi
invasion, a speech replete with lies (apologists like to call these "misstatements")
concerning aluminum tubes, mobile production facilities for biological agents
(otherwise known as firefighting equipment), illegal rockets (never found),
8,500 liters of anthrax (never found), VX nerve gas (never found), long-range
remote drones specifically designed to carry biological weapons (vastly over-rated
model airplanes), and the sincere and enduring "urban legend" of Osama
in cahoots with Saddam, supposedly evinced by an audio message from Osama (as
it turns out the Bin Laden message "expresses solidarity with the Iraqi
people, advises them to remain steadfast in the coming invasion of their country
and declares that Saddam and his aides are not important," writes Firas
al-Atraqchi. "The audio message goes on to reveal that bin Laden believes
Saddam to be a socialist and declares that 'socialists and communists are unbelievers,'
thereby labeling Saddam an apostate of Islam," in other words demonstrating
that Colin Powell, as Secretary of State, made "misstatements" of
fact, otherwise known as calculated lies designed to facilitate and illegal
and immoral invasion and occupation).
Now let's talk about the color of the kettle.
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