....LMB: "Abbott and Costello Meet Al Qaeda"....

August 10, 2004

Juan Cole is all over this story, and it is appalling.

The highlights, as I understand them:

- July 13, Pakistan arrests Muhammed Naeem Noor Khan, an Al Qaeda agent. Khan agrees to become a double agent, passing information to the West and spreading disinformation among Al Qaeda. This makes him (presumably) one of the only people that the US and its allies has inside the terrorist organization.

- it's a bit fuzzy, but it seems that on August 1, a Bush administration official, seeking to dispel skepticism of their latest terror alert, tells the press that they received their intelligence from Khan. The official does not say that Khan is a double agent. The NY Times prints an article naming Khan.

- August 3, British police arrest over a dozen Al Qaeda suspects, fearing that they'll get wind of Khan's blown cover and run for it. The British had not arrested these men before because they felt they didn't have enough evidence to convict them. At this time, two have been released due to lack of evidence. Five more suspects have allegedly gone underground.


Some fuck-up over at the White House has cost us a valuable spy that could have helped capture muderous terrorists, possibly even do severe damage to the Al Qaeda organization. And why? We get the equally savory possibilites of political convenience, or utter incompetence. Someone is either an oily opportunist, or they're Shemp.


Half of what I said up there might be wrong. Juan Cole has continued covering this story, and says that the NY Times reporters who first mentioned Khan now claim that they got their information from a Pakistani official, not a Washington official. But the Pakistani government insists that it was a US official who did the leaking, not one of theirs.

So in addition to my possibilities listed above, there is the additional one that we have a Pakistani Shemp to blame. Honestly, that's where I put my money at the moment, because I trust two NY Times reporters more than I trust the Pakistani government. Not because I put more faith in Americans, but because governments tend to lie a lot.


Posted by Jake at 09:50 PM | TrackBack (0)

It does well to remember that actually shutting down Al Qaeda and reducing the amount of terrorism and therefore the amount of fear in this country would not help the Republican party win more elections, as it would take their primary tool from them. So, while I'm sure they aren't actively trying to stop the CIA from working towards breaking up Al Qaeda, they aren't going to hesistate to make it harder for them.

Posted by: Amanda at August 11, 2004 06:36 AM

Yes, the CIA does their very best in the war on Eurasia, or is it Eastasia? I forget... anyway, time for the 2 Minutes Hate!

Posted by: Emmanuel Goldstein at August 12, 2004 12:47 PM

Personally, I always thought of Shemp as an oily oppurtunist...

Posted by: pipistrelle at August 15, 2004 08:04 PM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

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Media News

December 01, 2004

Media Mambo

The Great Indecency Hoax- last week, we wrote about how the "massive outcry" to the FCC about a racy Fox TV segment amounted to letters from 20 people. This week, we look at the newest media scandal, the infamous "naked back" commercial. On Monday Night Football, last week, ABC aired an ad for it's popular "Desperate Housewives" TV show, in which one of the actresses from the show attempted to seduce a football player by removing the towel she was wearing to bare her body to him. All the audience saw, however, was her back. No tits, no ass, no crotch, just her back.

No one complained.

The next Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh told his shocked viewers how the woman had appeard in the commercial "buck naked".

Then, the FCC received 50,000 complaints. How many of them actually saw this commercial is anyone's guess.

The article also shows the amazing statistics that although the Right is pretending that the "22% of Americans voted based on 'moral values'" statistic shows the return of the Moral Majority, this is actually a huge drop from the 35% who said that in the 2000 election or the 40% who said that in 1996 (when alleged pervert Bill Clinton was re-elected). This fact is so important I'm going to mention it over in the main news section too.

Brian Williams may surprise America- Tom Brokaw's replacement anchor, Brian Williams, dismissed the impact of blogs by saying that bloggers are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem." Which is really funny, coming out of the mouth of a dude who's idea of journalism is to read words out loud off a teleprompter. Seriously, if parrots were literate, Brian Williams would be reporting live from the line outside the soup kitchen.

In related news, Tom Brokaw has quit NBC Nightly News, and it appears that unlike his predecessor, the new guy can speak without slurring words like a drunk.

PR Meets Psy-Ops in War on Terror- in February of 2002, Donald Rumsfeld announced the creation of the Office of Strategic Influence, a new department that would fight the war on terror through misinformation, especially by lying to journalists. Journalists were so up in arms about this that the Pentagon agreed to scrap the program.

Don't you think that an agency designed to lie to the public might lie about being shut down, too?

This article gives some examples about the US military lying to the press for propaganda and disinformation purposes.

Tavis Smiley leaving NPR in December- African-American talk show host Tavis Smiley is opting to not renew his daily talk show on National Public Radio. He criticized his former employers for failing to: "meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans who would benefit from public radio but simply donít know it exists or what it offers ... In the most multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial America ever, I believe that NPR can and must do better in the future." He's 100% correct. NPR is white. Polar bear eating a marshmallow at the mayonaise factory white. And the reason it's so white is that it is trying to maintain an affluent listener base (premoniantly older white folks) who will donate money to their stations. This is a great paradox of American public broadcasting, that they have a mandate to express neglected viewpoints and serve marginalized communities, but those folks can't donate money in the amounts that the stations would like to see.

U.S. Muslim Cable TV Channel Aims to Build Bridges- it sounds more positive than it is "Bridges TV" seems to simultaneously be a cable channel pursuing an affluent American Muslim demographic, and a way of building understanding and tolerance among American non-Muslims who might happen to watch the channel's programming. I was hoping it would be aimed more at Muslim's worldwide, but it ain't. Still, I'd be interested in seeing how their news programs cover the issues.

Every Damned Weblog Post Ever- it's funny cuz it's true.

Wikipedia Creators Move Into News- Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created collectively by thousands of contributors. It's one of those non-profit, decentralized, collective, public projects that show how good the internet can be. Now, the Wikipedia founders are working on a similar project to create a collaborative news portal, with original content. Honestly, it's quite similar to IndyMedia sites (which reminds me, happy 5th birthday, IndyMedia!). I'll admit, I'm a bit skeptical about the Wikinews project, though. IndyMedia sites work because they're local, focused on certain lefty issues, and they're run by activists invested in their beliefs. I'm not sure what would drive Wikinews or how it would hang together.

CBS, NBC ban church ad inviting gays- the United Church of Christ created a TV ad which touts the church's inclusion, even implying that they accept homosexuals into their congregation. Both CBS and NBC are refusing to air the ad. This is not too surprising, as many Americans are uncomfortable about homosexuality, and because TV networks are utter cowards. But CBS' explanation for the ban was odd:

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples...and the fact that the executive branch has recently proposed a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast."

Whoa, what? First of all, the ad does not mention marriage at all. Second, since when do positions opposite of the Executive Branch constitute "unacceptable"? This doesn't sound like "we're not airing this because it's controversial", this sounds like "we're afraid of what the President might say."

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