NEWS OF: 8/13/2006

al QeadaBusters: Are Terrorist Attacks Staged?

Twenty-three young Muslims, most in their late teens and early 20s from east London, are being questioned about an alleged plot to blow up passenger airliners flying between Britain and the United States. The result? Global chaos. “Liquids” banned at airports. Can “solids” be far behind? You could throw them and hurt someone.

I’m not sure I believe the threat. And while I don’t consider myself a “conspiracy theory” nut, a few things make me uncomfortable:

1. Mid-term elections. It’s amazing how much “thwarting” happens right before an election. It’s almost like terrorists are seasonal. Like Halloween candy, showing up two months before the actual event to whet our appetites.

2. Nothing actually happened at the airport… or any airport. These terrorists were arrested in their own hood. There was no airport event, but the rest of the day’s news was an endless ad for bulk hair gel.

3. No real information. Information came in the two classic flavors: (a.) authorities leaking information on condition of anonymity, and (b.) anchors at the 24:7 cable channels speculating and re-speculating every seven minutes because they got nothing. Panic enablers. The day that the news went to a 24:7 format was the day that research died. We stopped providing actual information and substituted endless video reruns, wild speculation, and “expert” testimony from armchair (read: unemployed) professionals who postulated motive and meaning should the “thing we’re watching prove to be an actual horrible event” and not a guy in a parking garage.

4. None of those arrested has been charged with anything, days later. Several suspected terrorists were, in the words of their neighbors, “football and fish-and-chips” men, devout but not murderous. I found myself thinking, “okay, if you live in rubble you might be persuaded to blow yourself up. But London? How would you keep your hate-filled edge amidst all that fatty food, beer and soccer?

Fox News admits freely that it’s the most biased news in the industry. Reuter’s news photos were doctored maybe with, maybe without their knowledge. The Bush Administration routinely hosts “town meetings” that are as carefully staged as a Broadway musical.

I no longer trust my government to give me accurate information, and I know they stage events. Tony Blair and George Bush share a common hobby: terrorism-busting. The media (we can drop the “news” part) come to work every morning with 24 hours of time to fill - one minute at a time - and ratings to earn.

Who do you trust?

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