First and Largest 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
The Mother of All 9/11 Conspiracy Theories
9/11 conspiracy theories didn't first become popular with Steven Jones. They became popular from September 12, 2001 and were pushed through multiple sources like mainstream media during the period leading up to the Iraq war. A phenomenon like the Architects for 9/11 Truth can only be understood through the environment and culture out of which it originated in which 9/11 conspiracy theories were a deciding factor within U.S.foreign policy.
It is impossible to discuss conspiracy thinking on this issue while ignoring the mainstream 9/11 conspiracy thinking going on from 2001 to, say, 2005. The Richard Gage and Steven Jones phenomenon emerged around 2006. So how can that be understood outside of the events that lead up to it from 2001 to 2005, when 9/11 conspiracy theory thinking was quite mainstream?
The press coverage leading up to the (latest) Iraq war is well documented and can be found on the Bill Moyers website at this link
For anyone who wants to see a very good review of the period leading up to the (latest) Iraq war, I strongly recommend the Moyers documentary at the above link. All the major news clips and quotes and claims leading into the war are included in it so it provides a detailed and concise review of single most pervasive and damaging 9/11 conspiracy theory that has been presented of which I am aware.
It also includes descriptions of 'fringe' vs 'mainstream' with respect to the conspiracy theory, but in this case the word 'fringe' was applied to to people who were more rational, calm, and skeptical, while the word 'mainstream' was applied to those feverishly swept away by the conspiracy theory.
From the linked article:
The story of how high officials misled the country has been told. But they couldn't have done it on their own; they needed a compliant press, to pass on their propaganda as news and cheer them on. How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 go largely unreported? "What the conservative media did was easy to fathom; they had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked. How mainstream journalists suspended skepticism and scrutiny remains an issue of significance that the media has not satisfactorily explored," says Moyers. "How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda?"
"From August 2002 until the war was launched in March of 2003 there were about 140 front page pieces in the Washington Post making the administration's case for war," says Howard Kurtz, the Post's media critic. "But there was only a handful of stories that ran on the front page that made the opposite case. Or, if not making the opposite case, raised questions."
If one stops to reflect on the subjects discussed within forums about 9/11 and 9/11 conspiracies, it is very strange that the single most pervasive 9/11 conspiracy theory of all is rarely mentioned. It was so pervasive that those who believed in it saw themselves as mainstream. Conspiracy thinking dominated both the administrative and legislative branches of the U.S. government. Conspiracy theories dominated the press, television news, radio and the internet. Those who were not swept away in the 9/11 conspiracy theory were seen as ignorant and weak, and were referred to as 'bad Americans' or as those who are 'against America'. This is described well in the Moyers documentary.
So how is it that the most pervasive and damaging 9/11 conspiracy theory that I have ever seen isn't even considered a 9/11 conspiracy theory at all? How did that conspiracy theory fever somehow become separated from discussion about Richard Gage and other 'fringe' groups? I'd say it is because we live in a world of historic revisionism. Revisionism is 'mainstream'.
Looking at the speakers in the clips within the Moyers documentary, they were totally blinded in their advocacy of 9/11 conspiracy theories and they were obsessed in getting as many people to believe those conspiracy theories as possible.
The Nation Magazine:
Eleven Years On: How 'The Washington Post' Helped Give Us the Iraq War
In the months before the war, The Washington Post ran more than 140 stories on its front page promoting the war.
By Greg Mitchell, March 12, 2014, linked here
From the article:
Because of the notoriety surrounding Judith Miller, the Post's almost equally poor coverage and opinion pieces drew too little attention after WMD were not discovered. The Post ran Kurtz's critical August 12, 2004, piece on the front page, something it inevitably failed to do with stories skeptical of the march to war.
By the Post's own admission, in the months before the war, it ran more than 140 stories on its front page promoting the war, while contrary information "got lost," as one Post staffer told Kurtz. So allow me to pursue a few points (see my book for much more on media misconduct in war coverage). First, two quotes (beyond the Woodward gem) from Post staffers that speak for themselves:
• "There was an attitude among editors: Look, we're going to war, why do we even worry about all the contrary stuff?" —Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks.
• "We are inevitably the mouthpiece for whatever administration is in power." —Reporter Karen DeYoung.
"[Bob] Woodward, for his part, said it was risky for journalists to write anything that might look silly if weapons were ultimately found in Iraq."
Next, consider the highly revealing excuses, offered by Post editors:
• Executive Editor Downie said experts who questioned the war wouldn't go on record often enough. But his paper, and others, quoted unnamed pro-war sources willy-nilly.
• Downie also asserted that "voices raising questions about the war were lonely ones." This is simply rewriting history. On the eve of the invasion, polls showed that half the public wanted to delay the invasion to give the United Nations inspectors more time to do their duty, and millions had already marched in the streets. Many of the editorial pages of major US newspapers (though, crucially, not the Post's) were expressing their own doubts about the need for war. Key intelligence experts questioned the administration's evidence but were given little play, on or off the record, at the Post.
• Liz Spayd, assistant managing editor for news, offered another weak defense in explaining why a key article questioning the existence of WMD by thirty-two-year Post veteran Walter Pincus was finally published on Page A17. Pincus's stories are "difficult to edit," as she put it. Matthew Vita, then national security editor and now deputy assistant managing editor, offered another defense for the Pincus miscue: "We were dealing with an awful lot of stories, and that was one of the ones that slipped through the cracks."
• That rationale also applied to another sad case. In the days before the war, Dana Priest and Karen DeYoung finished a piece that said CIA officials had communicated significant doubts to the administration about evidence linking Iraq to an attempted uranium purchase. The story was held until March 22, three days after the war began. "Editors blamed a flood of copy about the impending invasion," Kurtz explained.
• Vita had a different excuse on another missed opportunity. One of the fresh revelations in the Kurtz piece was how, in October 2002, Thomas Ricks (who has covered national security issues for fifteen years) turned in a piece titled "Doubts," indicating that Pentagon officials were worried that the risks of an invasion of Iraq were being underestimated. It was killed by Vita. He told Kurtz that a problem with the piece was that many of the quotes with names attached came from "retired guys." But the Post (and much of the rest of the media) rarely shied away from "retired guys" who promoted the war.
• Other excuses rippled through the Kurtz piece, featuring phrases like "always easy in hindsight," "editing difficulties," "communication problems" and "there is limited space on Page 1." One editor explained, "You couldn't get beyond the veneer and hurdle of what this groupthink had already established," even though the British press somehow managed to overcome that. Amid all the excuses, Post staffers denied that the paper was under any pressure from the White House.
• At the end of the Kurtz piece, Downie offered his ultimate defense. "People who were opposed to the war from the beginning and have been critical of the media's coverage in the period before the war have this belief that somehow the media should have crusaded against the war," Downie said. "They have the mistaken impression that somehow if the media's coverage had been different, there wouldn't have been a war."
Two responses to that final excuse come quickly to mind.
Most of those against the war did not ask for a media "crusade" against invasion, merely that the press stick to the facts and provide a balanced assessment: in other words, that the Post do its minimum journalistic duty. If anything, the Post, and some other major news outlets, came closer to crusading for the war.
And did Downie honestly believe that nothing the media might have done could have possibly stopped the war? Especially when, as noted, public and editorial opinion on the eve of war was divided? Does he take issue with Walter Lippmann's notion that the press plays a vital role in "manufacturing consent"? And does he really believe his must-read newspaper lacks any clout? If so, what does that say about the state of modern newspapering?
Created on 06/05/2007 12:00 AM by admin
Updated on 01/12/2017 12:31 PM by admin