By Jason Hirthler and cross-posted from Counterpunch.org
In Christopher Buckley’s book, They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?, an executive of a defense contractor describes his vision of the general population in the Middle East:
“Look here, we’re talking about a part of the world where one-third of the so-called general public are in their kitchens making IEDs to kill American soldiers. Another third are on the Internet recruiting suicide bombers. And the last third are on cell phones planning the next 9/11.”
Buckley’s book is satirical, but the reality we currently inhabit is no less hysterical than the profiteering CEO cranking up his Congressional hype machine. On the strength of assertions, President Obama banished 35 Russian diplomats from the United States, declaring them “personas non grata.” A report generated by the Orwellian Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offers no proof of state-directed hacks, just a bland and tedious recitation of various digital methodologies it presumes to have been initiated by Vladimir Putin, perhaps as he stomped his scythe on the ground, rattling the ghostly Kremlin floorboards. (Even as Michelle pens her outgoing cards to beltway friends, admonishing everyone to take the high road.)
Howard Friel insightfully explores how The New York Times’ response to this coordinated farce is no different from its embrace of the Bush administration’s groundless tale of Iraqi WMDs. Recall Colin Powell wielding nefarious exhaust pipes and banging on about mobile WMD labs racing around Lower Mesopotamia (later found to be high-powered falafel food trucks). In other words, the mainstream media (MSM) has learned nothing from the Iraqi yarn. Still besotted with power. Still insensate to fact. Still asleep at the switch of critical journalism. But let’s not kid ourselves: the media never intended to learn anything from Iraq except how to better peddle fables, and it hasn’t even learned that.
The trouble with this latest fairy tale is that the media has swallowed the state-sponsored story without demanding a scintilla of evidence, and has turned the entire factitious endeavor into a witch hunt aimed at alternative media. The binary constructs of the Bush era are being reanimated for another Halloween of imbecilic fearmongering. So those that apply the withering lens of the scientific method to this latest mythmaking program are quickly labeled as pro-Russian, anti-Democratic, or worse, traitors…