PETER POWER: At half past 9 this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now.
HOST: To get this quite straight, you were running an exercise to see how you would cope with this and it happened while you were running the exercise?
--Peter Power, managing director of Visor Consultants, on the London bombing, speaking on BBC5
"The bombs were likely crude homemade devices..."
--MSNBC, July 8
"The bombs were made of 'high explosives,' not homemade material."
--CNN, July 9
"Downing Street said the prime minister believed an inquiry ... would be a 'ludicrous diversion.'"(my emphasis)
--James Blitz, political editor, and Jimmy Burns, Financial Times, July 12
"Contrary to original claims that Israel was warned 'minutes before the first attack,' unconfirmed rumours in intelligence circles indicate that the Israeli government actually warned London of the attacks 'a couple of days' previous."
--STRATFOR (an intelligence analysis Web site), July 7
"In an advisory note to leading businesses in recent days, the terrorist threat has been downgraded from its second highest level 'severe general' to a lower category of 'substantial.'
--Financial Times, June 7
"Americans showed no sensitivity to corrections of misinformation, even when they knew that an event had been retracted."
--Memory for Fact, Fiction, and Misinformation: The Iraq War 2003, Stephan Lewandowsky, et al.
"People who used the word 'quagmire' at the beginning were wrong. But it's turned into a quagmire."--Margaret Talev, quoting author Stanley Karnow.
--The News & Observer, July 10.
"That can't be true or I'd be terrified."
"Knowledge is for fools."
Maverick writers deal with all sorts of liabilities not taught at journalism schools. Claims I have made have gotten me laughed at, shouted down, threatened, levied with all sorts of slurs and gained me eternal fame on various lavatory walls. Fun's fun, but this was the last straw.
The day of the London disaster. I dropped by this joint I've been going to for years. "Karl Rove blew up the London tube to get his fat ass off the front page," I said, half in jest, to a tweedy acquaintance. The counterman, not part of the conversation, lunged at me roaring, interjecting editorial content via a hurled two-pound steel napkin dispenser. Luckily for me and my attacker, but mostly for the owner, the goon missed. I fled amid a cloud of napkins, saddled the Sears and split, my nosy, large would-be assailant in hot pursuit.
"Impossible!" others shouted in the following days.
Flat wrong! That the "good guys" could have, would have, killed innocent civilians to affect popular opinion is quite "possible." Can one honestly give a single logical reason for it not to be "possible," considering how many times our guys have done it before? Anyone who doesn't believe it "possible" has had their memory banks emptied. The first London bombing has all the traces of a "false flag" operation called Operation Gladio--a classic false-flag where right-wing Italian and U.S. agents bombed Bologna Stazione Centrale in 1980 to incite public rage about the "commies." Train station. Bogus bad guys. Sound familiar? Anyone ignorant of the true nature of these freaks should Google Operation Northwoods and prepare to have their minds blown.
The minor point is that governments routinely commit acts at first unbelievable. Government ghouls have planned and committed hundreds of monstrous crimes. Northwoods. Watergate. Waco. Ruby Ridge. The MOVE fire. Attica. But even after all the lies, the deaths, the damage has been uncovered, one can get physically attacked for saying something that in the future may be as provable as any of the other corrected information.
The big like-duh here is that government nut-job agencies have lengthy, blood-soaked histories of similar hideous shenanigans. "Impossible" translates into "I don't believe it," or, more accurately, "I don't want to believe it." Excellent. That is, after all, the correct view.
"Don't believe me, don't believe anybody, don't accept anything based on tradition. Don't believe anything based on the fact that your community believes this or your country believes this or the people that you are around believe this."
To automatically trust media outlets about anything is dumb. The New York Times exists to return a profit--period. Truth? Maybe. Remember N&O founder Josephus Daniels' wisdom: "Advertising is the heart and soul of a free press." When an information agency operates primarily for maximizing profit, the entire operation becomes suspect.
There are some very good reasons why certain facts might not make it to you: 1) a conflict with widely held, erroneous beliefs; 2) they contradict a lie the agency got suckered into reporting; 3) concealed agenda; 4) laziness; 5) collusion between the governing body and the media; 5) a fact might be adjudged as too disturbing.
Dig it: As we have seen in the case of Iraq, the press, displaying the ethics of a trailer-park crack-whore, got it all wrong, didn't call Georgie's big ole stinking mountain of whoppers for the utter bullshit they were, and helped get us into the bloody--but for some, highly profitable--quagmire we are in, which Rummy said "could go on for any number of years." They. All. Failed.
Responsible citizenship requires one to take the responsibility, time and trouble to investigate matters oneself. Most folks, lazy, overworked, cede their own precious reality to da nooz, relying like junkies on others to provide prepackaged reality, similar to injecting rotten ranch dressing into one's skull.
Mindlessly believing TV requires no effort. Creating reality for oneself is a pain in the ass, akin to making a cake from scratch. One absorbs all available information and screens it through experience and knowledge. Through time, effort and courage one finds truth. Like riding a bicycle, the more one practices, the better one gets. Soon, you have a bullshit detector that works at 1,000 yards in the dark.
The major point is that skeptical voices are antidotes for the clabbered dressing. Independent thought is soaked like blood into the soil of this land. To attempt to silence one betrays ideals that lie at the heart of this nation. We have seen the damage the beat-down brigade has wreaked before, protestors beaten and killed, people interrogated and imprisoned for questioning and looking and dissenting. The Palmer Raids. The incarceration of Japanese-Americans. Jim Crow. The McCarthy era. Cointelpro. Kent State. The Good American, demanding answers from authorities, has become the Good German, obedient, pliant, silent in the face of authority, and violent in the face of dissent.
One, two, three, what are we fighting for? "Peace. Freedom. Democracy," the bumper stickers scream. Most folks repeat the words like trained magpies, oblivious to the actual meaning of the words. "Congress shall make no law ... prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ... " sounds fine until one runs up against the goon squad. Then, it doesn't mean a hill of beans. Same with the flag thing: We believe in freedom so much that anyone who displays freedom by burning a flag should be deprived of their freedom. To attack someone over an opinion automatically undermines the validity of whatever opinion the attacker has.
Which brings me back to my attacker. Totally Green Eggs and Ham. You know you've really gotten to them when they freak out, not wanting to be exposed to anything that will possibly scuttle their wobbly, top-loaded reality.
Harvard recently released a report saying that the United States is poised to be a global leader, but not in machine tools or shoes--in mental illness. As Stephan Lewandowsky pointed out in another piece, "The original misinformation has already become ... part of the worldview ... [D]isregarding it would leave the worldview in shambles."
After the assault, I called the cops and got the officer to explain Civics 101 to my fascist attacker. Being the nice guy I am I didn't have the thug dragged downtown, something every law enforcement agency I spoke with advised.
Afterward, at this place I have poured money into for decades, nothing changed, no discipline, no change--except uglier graffiti suggesting a dark fate. "Peter, watch your back. You'll never see it coming." Fine. I get it. This is like when you realize that your lover has cheated on you--a bad divorce, anger, sadness, disappointment. How could I have been so blind?
I'll drop by from time to time to visit, but I'm finding a new joint, not out of fear, but because the world is too beautiful to spend a single second of it surrounded with hate and negativity.
Contact Peter Eichenberger at email@example.com.