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October 12, 2011

The latest scary terror plot

So I turn on the radio this morning and hear Tom Gjelten of NPR regale me with a sensational story of how the US government had busted a plot by the Iranian government to collude with a hit man associated with the Mexican drug cartels to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador in a restaurant in the US, along with hundreds of bystanders. As always, faithful government stenographer that he is, Gjelten (in his case NPR stands for National Pentagon Radio) excitedly passes on uncritically what he hears from the US government.

But I no longer believe what the US government says (unless it provides credible evidence, which it almost never does) because they have proven themselves to be serial liars. It does not seem to give Gjelten pause that all the other breathless revelations of plots against Americans in the US turned out to be cases in which the perpetrators were lured by US government agents who then unmasked the plots with great fanfare.

Glenn Greenwald (The "very scary" Iranian Terror plot) and Justin Raimondo (Iranian Terror Plot: Fake, Fake, Fake) share my skepticism.

Here's Greenwald:

To begin with, this episode continues the FBI's record-setting undefeated streak of heroically saving us from the plots they enable. From all appearances, this is, at best, yet another spectacular "plot" hatched by some halpess loser with delusions of grandeur but without any means to put it into action except with the able assistance of the FBI, which yet again provided it through its own (paid, criminal) sources posing as Terrorist enablers. The Terrorist Mastermind at the center of the plot is a failed used car salesman in Texas with a history of pedestrian money problems. Dive under your bed. "For the entire operation, the government's confidential sources were monitored and guided by federal law enforcement agents," explained U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, and "no explosives were actually ever placed anywhere and no one was actually in ever in any danger.'"

But no matter. The U.S. Government and its mindless followers in the pundit and think-tank "expert" class have seized on this ludicrous plot with astonishing speed to all but turn it into a hysterical declaration of war against Evil, Hitlerian Iran.

Then there's the War on Terror irony: our Hated Enemy here (Iran) is a country which had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attack. Meanwhile, our close ally, the victim on whose behalf we are so outraged (Saudi Arabia), is not only one of the most tyrannical and aggressive regimes on the planet, but produced 15 of the 19 hijackers and had extensive and still-unknown involvement in that attack. If the U.S. is so deeply offended by the involvement of a foreign government in an attack on U.S. soil, it would be looking first to its close friend Saudi Arabia, where "elements of the government" were likely involved in an actual plot rather than a joke of a plot.

Here's Raimondo:

This story is very scary – not because it's credible, or believable, because it is neither. However, it's the most frightening story I've heard in quite a while because it shows that the US government is bound and determined to go to war with Iran, no matter what the consequences. Throwing caution to the winds, our rulers have decided to go all out against Tehran – all the better to mask our current economic malaise under the damage done by the tripling and quadrupling of oil prices. This way, Obama can blame our crashing economy on Tehran, rather than his own discredited policies – and sideline the Republicans, who have been criticizing him for being "soft" on Iran.

The making of American foreign policy is all about domestic politics. By preparing the country for war with Iran, Obama will not only defang the GOP, but also appease the all-important Israel lobby, which has been beating the war drums for years.

What Obama and his gang are hoping is that the American people are too tired, too beaten down, and too broke to care enough about this latest exercise in war propaganda to question it. Certainly the "mainstream" media, which is Obama's loudest cheering section, isn't about to question it.

Will the public buy this story uncritically? Or have they wised up enough to demand, "Show us the evidence"?

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Comments

Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.

Posted by Steve LaBonne on October 12, 2011 01:12 PM

This alleged "plot" just stinks of propaganda and momentum-building for an invasion of Iran. It sounds exactly like the same sort of crap that preceded the occupation of Iraq.

Considering Israel's history of assassinating people in other countries (not Israel and not the victim's country), the US has some nerve even talking about it. Even if it were true, the US's willingness to turn a blind eye to one murder while crying foul about another reeks of hypocrisy.

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Posted by P Smith on October 12, 2011 02:57 PM

We've all been wondering how the oligarchy would respond to the Wall Street protests. Is another war the answer? There's no better way to distract the country's attention (not that the corporate media need much distracting) and no easier way to marginalize the protesters as unpatriotic.

As P Smith notes, the hypocrisy here is breathtaking. Even if this plot were 100% genuine, it pales in comparison to the viciousness and lawlessness of Uncle Sam himself.

Ulterior motives aside, this episode reeks of the pettiness of medieval monarchs, for whom any petty slight was a casus belli. It also calls to mind the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand that precipitated WWI. One would like to think that a supposedly democratic society would need a more substantial reason to declare war. Alas, if we can be rallied for war with manufactured "intelligence" about weapons of mass destruction, then a manufactured assassination plot would work just as well. The identity of the purported target just needs to be tweaked a little, and Bob's your uncle....

Posted by Richard Frost on October 13, 2011 12:25 PM