by William Skink
Tomorrow makes it 17 years since the attacks on 9/11, enough time to transform the jihadist ideology that allegedly inspired the attacks back into a useful tool of US imperialism.
For Richard Clarke, former member of the National Security Council, it was around 2007 when he realized George Tenet and dozens of others, despite what he had been told (and despite what Tenet told Congress), actually had seen the “cables” that soon-to-be terrorists Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi were in the states. I’ll use Newsweek for the source:
In 2002, Tenet swore to Congress that he wasn’t aware of the imminent threat because it came in a cable that wasn’t marked urgent—and “no one read it.” But his story was shredded five years later when Senators Ron Wyden and Kit Bond forced loose an executive summary of the CIA’s own internal investigation of 9/11, which stated that “some 50 to 60 individuals read one or more of the six Agency cables containing travel information related to these terrorists.”
Clarke went ballistic. Until then, he had trusted Tenet, a close colleague and friend, to tell the truth. In 2009, despairing at the lack of media traction on the astounding disclosure, he wrote a book about the duplicity, Your Government Failed You, which was largely ignored. So when Duffy and Nowosielski came calling, he welcomed them.
“I believed, for the longest time, that this was one or two low-level desk officers who got this [information about Hazmi and Mihdhar] and somehow didn’t realize the significance,” he told them. But “50—five oh—50 CIA officers knew this, and they included [Tenet and] all kinds of people who were regularly talking to me? Saying I’m pissed doesn’t begin to describe it.”
When corporate media laments about their victimhood status under this new Trumpian threat, I think about how brazen liars like Tenet can get away with lying to Congress, leaving someone as firmly establishment as Richard Clarke to “despair” that he can’t get any traction with (I would assume) establishment media platforms.
And it’s not just Tenet. James Clapper lied to Congress, and John Brennan SPIED on Congress. Their punishment? Face-time on cable tv.
It’s important to make the distinction that most of the media workers laboring down the food chain in local branches are by no means the enemy of the people, but at the corporate behemoth level, where plutocratic propaganda is served (and anonymous op-ed soft-coups confirm we are already in a constitutional crisis) the enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend.
Corporate media plays a critical role in misinforming us about the world around us. Without the media arm of the “steady state” resistance, for example, the new McCarthyism could never flourish so feverishly.
17 years ago I was glued to my neighbors television, watching in disbelief. I watched how quickly the narrative began to take shape. I watched the first and now longest war in US history start against Afghanistan, then another war start based on lies and corporate media hype two years later, in Iraq.
The wars got bad, some Democrats were elected in 2006 saying they would do something, but they didn’t. Then Barack Obama was elected in 2008.
I will forever be astounded at how wars suddenly turned humanitarian under Obama, thanks in large part to corporate media. It’s a lesson I will never forget. Because the killing shifted to drones and special-ops, the narrative of a more refined, nuanced foreign policy was an easy sell to partisans.
Now comes President Trump, possibly deranged enough to reverse not just campaign anti-interventionist Trump in places like Syria, but also yesterday Trump. Or ten minutes ago Trump.
In my own fevered vision I see the 25th amendment hanging over the presidency like the sword of Damocles, held in place by the thin thread of justification used by the NYT to allow its pages to be used by some self-serving insider within this administration who wants to use Trump for the conservative agenda while simultaneously distancing himself from the uglier aspects of tyrant enablement.
While this drama plays out over the coming news cycles, a truly miraculous achievement of corporate media is not given the credit it deserves.
So let’s give credit where credit is due:
Without corporate media to smooth over the rough edges of cognitive dissonance, people might be confronted with the realization that on the eve of another anniversary of 9/11 the US military is preparing to potentially help the ideological brethren of the jihadists who supposedly attacked us on 9/11 as they fight to maintain their final Syrian stronghold in Idlib.