U.S. Government Ordered Media not to question 9/11 Official Story

Washington’s Blog
June 14, 2011

It’s big news that the Pentagon Papers have finally been released by the government.

But the statements from Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg about 9/11 have not been covered by the corporate media.

As Fire Dog Lake’s Jeff Kaye writes today:

The entire 9/11 field of inquiry has been vilified, poisoned over the years by ridicule, sometimes fantastic conspiracy mongering, and fearfulness by journalists of approaching the material, lest they be branded as irresponsible or some kind of conspiracy freak. As a result, little work has been done to investigate, except by a small group of people, some of whom have raised some real questions …

Similarly, Air Force Colonel and key Pentagon official Karen Kwiatkowski – who blew the whistle on the Bush administration’s efforts to concoct false intelligence about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction – wrote(page 26):

I have been told by reporters that they will not report their own insights or contrary evaluations of the official 9/11 story, because to question the government story about 9/11 is to question the very foundations of our entire modern belief system regarding our government, our country, and our way of life. To be charged with questioning these foundations is far more serious than being labeled a disgruntled conspiracy nut or anti-government traitor, or even being sidelined or marginalized within an academic, government service, or literary career. To question the official 9/11 story is simply and fundamentally revolutionary. In this way, of course, questioning the official story is also simply and fundamentally American.

Several months after 9/11, famed news anchor Dan Rather toldthe BBC that American reporters were practicing “a form of self-censorship”:

There was a time in South Africa that people would put flaming tires around peoples’ necks if they dissented. And in some ways the fear is that you will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. Now it is that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions…. And again, I am humbled to say, I do not except myself from this criticism.What we are talking about here – whether one wants to recognise it or not, or call it by its proper name or not – is a form of self-censorship.

The head of CNN agreed:

There was ‘almost a patriotism police’ after 9/11 and when the network showed [things critical of the administration’s policies] it would get phone calls from advertisers and the administration and “big people in corporations were calling up and saying, ‘You’re being anti-American here.’

Keith Olbermann said:

You can rock the boat, but you can never say that the entire ocean is in trouble …. You cannot say: By the way, there’s something wrong with our …. system.

Former Washington Post – and now Huffington Post – columnist Dan Froomkin wrotein 2006:

Mainstream-media political journalism is in danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant, but not because of the Internet, or even Comedy Central. The threat comes from inside. It comes from journalists being afraid to do what journalists were put on this green earth to do. . . .

There’s the intense pressure to maintain access to insider sources, even as those sources become ridiculously unrevealing and oversensitive. There’s the fear of being labeled partisan if one’s bullshit-calling isn’t meted out in precisely equal increments along the political spectrum.

If mainstream-media political journalists don’t start calling bullshit more often, then we do risk losing our primacy — if not to the comedians then to the bloggers.

I still believe that no one is fundamentally more capable of first-rate bullshit-calling than a well-informed beat reporter – whatever their beat. We just need to get the editors, or the corporate culture, or the self-censorship – or whatever it is – out of the way.

The Pulitzer prize-winning reporter who uncovered the Iraq prison torture scandal and the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam, Seymour Hersh, said:

“All of the institutions we thought would protect us — particularly the press, but also the military, the bureaucracy, the Congress — they have failed. The courts . . . the jury’s not in yet on the courts. So all the things that we expect would normally carry us through didn’t. The biggest failure, I would argue, is the press, because that’s the most glaring….Q: What can be done to fix the (media) situation?

[Long pause] You’d have to fire or execute ninety percent of the editors and executives. You’d actually have to start promoting people from the newsrooms to be editors who you didn’t think you could control. And they’re not going to do that.”

Veteran reporter Bill Moyers criticized the corporate media for parroting the obviously false link between 9/11 and Iraq (and the false claims that Iraq possessed WMDs) which the administration made in the run up to the Iraq war, and concluded that the false information was not challenged because:

“the [mainstream] media had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked.”

Of course, the corporate media is always pro-war. Since 9/11 provided a justification for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere, the mainstream media doesn’t want to question the government’s version of events.

As Tom Brokaw notes:

All wars are based on propaganda.

What Does Ellsberg Say?

Ellsberg saysthat the government has ordered the media not to cover 9/11:

Ellsberg seemed hardly surprised that today’s American mainstream broadcast media has so far failed to take [former FBI translator and 9/11 whistleblower Sibel] Edmonds up on her offer, despite the blockbuster nature of her allegations [which Ellsberg calls “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers”].As Edmonds has also alluded, Ellsberg pointed to the New York Times, who “sat on the NSA spying story for over a year” when they “could have put it out before the 2004 election, which might have changed the outcome.”

“There will be phone calls going out to the media saying ‘don’t even think of touching it, you will be prosecuted for violating national security,'” he told us.

* * *

“I am confident that there is conversation inside the Government as to ‘How do we deal with Sibel?'” contends Ellsberg. “The first line of defense is to ensure that she doesn’t get into the media. I think any outlet that thought of using her materials would go to to the government and they would be told ‘don’t touch this . . . .'”

He supports a new 9/11 investigation.

He says that the case of a certain 9/11 whistleblower is “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers”. (Here’s some of what that whistleblower says.) He also said that the government is ordering the media to cover up her allegations about 9/11.

And he says that some of the claims concerning government involvement in 9/11 are credible, that “very serious questions have been raised about what they [U.S. government officials] knew beforehand and how much involvement there might have been”, that engineering 9/11 would not be humanly or psychologically beyond the scope of those in office, and that there’s enough evidence to justify a new, “hard-hitting” investigation into 9/11 with subpoenas and testimony taken under oath (see this and this).

Alternative Media Is Not Much Better

It is not just the corporate media.

I have had the owners of highly-regarded alternative media companies confide in me privately that they don’t believe the government’s version of 9/11, but that are scared of discussing it publicly because they don’t want to be tarred-and-feathered for discussing “conspiracy theories”.

Even writers like Glenn Greenwald – who are good on so many issues – won’t touch it.

Of course – as Ellsberg points out – “Secrets … can be kept reliably … for decades … even though they are known to thousands of insiders”. Indeed, the whole label “conspiracy theory” is just an attempt to diffuse criticism of the powerful.

People used to understand this. As the quintessential American writer Mark Twain said in a more rational age:

A conspiracy is nothing but a secret agreement of a number of men for the pursuance of policies which they dare not admit in public.

Of course, as thousands of top American military officers, counter-terrorism officials, intelligence officers, congressmen, structural engineers, and others have publicly said, the government’s story about 9/11 makes absolutely no sense. See this, this, this and this. And family members of people who died on 9/11 – and many New Yorkers – want a new investigation.

But you’ll never hear that in the corporate media.

The Top 10 Worst News Presenters

Luis R. Miranda

Every so often I hear from readers, family members and friends about a problem I have because I only write, talk and worry about serious current events.  So I thought it was a good opportunity to break the tradition and make them all happy by writing something different.  It is still about news, but less important than the usual issues I write and talk about.  This is my first list of  Worst News Presenters.  So let’s get right to it!

Keith Olbermann

Coming at number one is Countdown’s Keith Olbermann.  He has earned his place on this list given his hypocritical double standard.  Mr. Olbermann went from being my favorite news presenter to being the worst in only one year.  Although he rightfully criticized former president George W. Bush and even asked him to resign, he seems to think that Obama can do everything Bush could not do.  Rendition, torture, violation of Habeas Corpus and freedom of speech do not seem to be important anymore.  If Obama does it, it is acceptable.

Rachel Maddow

On number two, I have placed MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.  Ms. Maddow has championed an insatiable appetite for criticizing conservative views regardless of them being right or wrong.  Her show has become another Countdown.  She also strongly criticized Bush’s illegal policies, but now is an avid defender of Obama and the same policies she once strongly criticized.  After Obama got to power, she seems to fill her show up with Democratic National Committee talking points.  Just as Olbermann, she could not keep her stance on the issues and turned ‘the news’ into useless partisan politics.

The number three spot is for Fox’s Sean Hannity.  Mr. Hannity could easily be occupying the number

Sean Hannity

one place, however, given his unchanging positions I reserved this spot for him.  There is no lack of hypocrisy from his part, though.  He has been critical of Mr. Obama’s tenure in the white house when it comes to government spending, socialization of health care as well as of cap-and-trade and the global warming fraud, but there has not been lack of deception from his part.  He still continues to agree with the neocon views of invading countries, murdering millions of people and then rebuilding those countries for the sake of Democracy and Western values.  As many others at Fox, he also agrees with the military helping to take care of the poppy fields in Afghanistan.

Glenn Beck

Coming on number four is Glen Beck; another strong candidate to occupy the number one place.  In fact, the only reason why he is not there, is because there are other 3 worse television presenters.  Beck has managed to deceive most of his audience, which apparently is composed by conservative people.  I say deceive, because although he strongly criticizes the Obama administration for all their lies and crimes while lifting the patriot movement, he also calls tea party members and other unhappy citizens dangerous criminals who may, at any moment, try to assassinate the president or cause terrorist attack in the United States.  He usually interviews and congratulates Ron Paul, but calls his supporters lunatics, dangerous and kooks.

Number five is good old Bill O’reilly; or as Olbermann would call him Bill O’rally.  O’reilly is one of those

Bill O'reilly

Sean Hannity types who supports and believes in neocon policies like war and nation building for the sake of saving face.  He supported all of Bush’s Constitution-murdering policies, but hypocritically dismisses sound economic and financial policies.  He is quick to point out that taxes need to be raised and created to pay for the government’s gargantuan deficits, although he calls himself a conservative.  The no-spin zone is an everlasting spinning capsule that accommodates his ever-changing views according to what is kosher.  ‘Billo’ used to be a real reporter many years ago, but the millions he gets paid together with his cowardice and egotistical personality changed his good work for the crap he calls fair and balanced reporting.  That is why is officially the list’s pin head.

Chris Matthews

Next on the list is Chris Mathews, also from MSNBC.  Mr. Mathews, a sick follower of politics and politicians is the hardest working news presenter when it comes to keeping the audience inside the left-right paradigm.  His show is a never-ending salad of talking points propelled by a bunch of talking heads who, instead of improving the program, simply make it unwatchable.  It is liberal against conservative galore.  Never watch Hardball, as he calls his show, if you are looking for independent, objective views on current events.  Since Hardball is mainly an opinion mouth piece, there is nothing of substance.  Instead, it is plumped with baseless attacks between guests and up to the minute lies on current affairs.  Mr. Mathews’ intoxicating, obnoxious on-air personality makes him a strong candidate to become number one of this list.  On the positive side, Chris Mathews does not label himself fair, balanced or anything of the sort.

There are a number of careers that can be taken on without a college degree.  With other careers, getting a college education may be

From left to right: Mika, Willie and Joe

an option, depending on what the job is.  And then, there are those things you learn on the fly and simply wing them.  All of this is contained in our number 7 title holder: the Mika and Joe morning comedy show.  Also known as Morning Joe, this program is an example of everything that is wrong with news and journalism today.  It is a combination of three egos: Joe’s, Mika’s and the other dude, who wants to be like them.  Oh, yeah, his name appears to be Willie Geist.  It is the typical smart-looking, cute face, funny dude show-biz combination.  As I said, these presenters are all that is wrong with news and journalism.  First, going by their bios, they don’t appear to be journalists, at least not with a diploma.  And believe me, Journalism is one of those professions you cannot wing your way around.  Although there are some people who ‘make it’ without going to school in the current news business, these three fellows are not examples of them.  Take it from me, a 14 year professional journalist.  By the way, is Mika the daughter of Zbiniew Brzezinski?

Kyra Phillips

Towards the end of our list -at least for now- we have CNN’s Kyra Phillips.  Although she is simply impossible to watch and pound for pound worse than the previous seven presenters, I decided to give her a break.  The reason for this is that she is not a lady with an agenda, but simply a news presenter.  She is one of those who seats at the booth or desk and reads the prompter no matter what.  As an example of why she occupies a position in this list is her latest gaffe on live television.  She had the nerve to conduct an interview about whether or not homosexuality was in need of a cure.  Of course, she was just reading the tele-prompter, ‘the news’, doing her job.  Watch the video here.  She then allowed a guest to compare homosexuals with sexual predators.  That guest was a former homosexual as he called himself.  In one sentence, she is just sad to watch.  By the way, she changes looks come and go like seasons.

The last two spots in the count are reserved for two of CNN’s best known faces.  Number nine for Anderson slick Cooper.  Mr. Cooper

Anderson Cooper

is the anchor all the girls fall for.  However, that does not save him from making this list, because just like all other previous presenters, he is a man with an agenda.  Cooper is one of the most prominent heirs of the Vanderbilt Empire.  Yeah, don’t let the Cooper side make you think he is just another “Joe”.  He is on the way to becoming the ‘most trusted’ man in Americas news industry; that is if you trust Pentagon written news or Skull&Bones.  And one little secret that CNN does not want you to know about Mr. Cooper: He trained at the CIA.

Larry King

Lastly we have an old timer at CNN.  Who doesn’t know Larry King?  The veteran show-biz presenter has been fading away through the years not only due to the quality of his show, but also because he refuses to quit.  Part of the refusal may be because CNN has arranged he does not quit until it is physically impossible for him to present his show.  Unbelievably, Larry King Live continues to be one of CNN’s top shows.  No wonder the network is dead last.  The problem with King, or Lawrence Harvey Zeiger, as he was born, is not necessarily himself, but the quality of the content he talks about.  That is why I put him last on my list.

So this is it folks.  I hope you enjoyed my list of worst presenters.  And for all of you who enjoy real news rather than insignificant personality-oriented crap, I promise I won’t do it again!