Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This Is What a Double Standard Looks Like

If you've forgotten the great Iranian bogey man of 2007, who could blame you? At the time NPR was acting as a Pentagon-to-radio live feed of completely unsubstantiated claims that Iran was behind every attack on US forces in Iraq (e.g. Feb 2007, April 2007, early May 2007, late May 2007, June 2007, and Dec. 2007). There was never any concern for evidence, no matter how ludicrous the Pentagon's claims were - NPR just dutifully repeated the accusations.

So now Iran has had several dozen people (including high ranking Revolutionary Guard leadership) killed in a suicide bombing carried out by the Baluchistan-Pakistan based group Jundallah and is claiming that the US was involved - and not just Iran is making such claims. On Tuesday's ATC, Melissa Block interviews RAND expert (uh-oh), Christine Fair, looking for answers. Block notes,
"There have been charges in the press and statements made by Pakistani officials that the US is somehow tied to Jundallah - supporting them, in some cases with money, with arms, in other cases what's described as arms-length support. What are those allegations based on and is there any truth to these charges?"
Not a bad question. And here's Fair's answer:
"Well, I have no ability to assess whether or not there's truth to these charges....the Americans, we have a presence in Baluchistan...[on] the Pakistani side...Baluchistan houses the military bases where we launch Predator attacks, so this is where the suspicion enters."
That's kind of funny, because actually suspicions enter due to some pretty weighty indications that it's true - Asia Times, the UK's Telegraph, the New Yorker, and ABC News. But Fair is not done, she continues,
"The allegation is that the Americans would like to poke at Iran in the way in which it has poked at us in Iraq, as well as in Afghanistan...there is an ability and there is certainly a motive. Whether or not there's evidence is another story."
Notice how cleverly the "allegation" about the Americans is now based on the FACT that Iran..."has poked at us in Iraq, as well as Afghanistan..." I must say it's a strange use of the word "poke" - be careful if Christine tries to friend you on Facebook!

Melissa Block, of course, makes no challenge to the allegation that Iran has done similar things to the US. Instead she simply recoils from the very idea that the blameless US could EVER do such things,
"That's quite a hot allegation - the idea that the US would have ties to an extremist group based in Pakistan, that has close ties to al-Qaeda."
Fair uses this naivete to rehash an equally "hot allegation" about Iran being a sanctuary for al-Qaeda (where have I heard this scenario before?), "I think that's a strong argument for why we wouldn't be doing it...Iran has been accused of harboring al-Qaeda leadership so it had the strong incentive to characterize these as al-Qaeda."


Anonymous said...

RAND expert (uh-oh), Christine Fair, looking for answers.

As in (Ayn) Rand (literary) expert?

Would that be Christine Fair of "Fair and Balanced" by any chance?

Ayn Rand wrote endlessly about the incompetents who infuse and run our society. What she did not realize was that she was writing about her own moronic ideology and brain dead nitwits like Fair who embody it .


"Iran being a sanctuary for al-Qaeda"

Yes, we all know that Sunnis (al-Qaeda) and Shiites (Iran) get along famously.

I always view anyone that promotes the al-Qaeda/Iran connection as demonstrating that they don't have a clue about what they're talking about (Hey NPR! Yes! I'm looking at you!).

Good job documenting NPR's pro-pentagon hackery.

Anonymous said...

Oh sure, I guess you all forget that America is in the business of eliminating terrorism. At least those terrorists that we don't support.

Gonna be pretty "funny" when Iran proves (like we "prove" things) that US is linked to al-Queda! Maybe that's why we can't find Osama bin-Forgotten.


Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

I think this means we're gonna hafta start that war with Iran pretty soon, or else they'll intimate some malicious rumor like the USofA--and in particular, the Pentagon--has and had intimate connections with Saudi intelligence whic sponsored and financed the 9/11 attacks...

Anonymous said...


Heck we (America, NPR, rest of MSM) wanted to nuke Iran over alledged irregularities in Iranian election but seem happy to "make a deal" with the Mayor of Kabul when he tried to steal an election he was sure to win anyway.

And let's not forget that valuable ally in the War on Terrorists We Don't Like - Pakistan and its ISI - and the part they played.


larry, dfh said...

Bin laden's been dead for years. He hasn't been mentioned in Obama's speeches, that I am aware of, because Obamam knows he's dead, and if he were mentioned as being still alive, then one day, after it's finally officially disclosed that he is in fact dead, people will ask "Well, why did you keep mentioning him. Were you lying to us?" He's only being kept alive by news people; I haven't noticed that the White House has mentioned him.
See, bin laden was worth more alive than dead, because of his Boogey Man potential. He's of very little value dead; he can't be used as an instrument of fear because of the possibility of backfiring. It would be pretty hard to claim ignorance of bin laden's status after invoking his name as a fear-mongering stunt.

Anonymous said...


I suspect bin-Laden was dead within days of the attacks - the tape where he claimed knowledge of shadow government in US (and he was in the loop for sure) was the reason for his death sentence. I don't think he appreciated being the fall guy.


Anonymous said...

On "Morning Edition" Wed. 10/21/09 they mentioned that a public option in the health care bill was favored by a sizable majority of Americans. Not news to those of us who look elsewhere for real journalism, of course. However, it might be me, but I have had the impression that NPR have kept this fact under wraps during their handling of the health care / insurance "reform" / "debate". If my impressions are correct then that's a strange contradiction, since NPR purports to be a "public" entity, wouldn't you say, ladies and gentlemen? The good news is that -- NPR's awful pro-business treatment of the subject notwithstanding -- most people can see through the nonsense.

geoff said...

USA used to have a double standard for news: VOA (propaganda) for overseas and NPR at home. Now it's all VOA everywhere.

WarOnWarOff said...

Oh noes...diplomacy may just be more effective than war mongering and chest beating! Alert the authoritehs!

libhom said...

I certainly won't let Christine Fair friend me on Facebook. I can't be surprised about this rightist propaganda on NPR. NPR has been rightist ever since they started running commercials.

benoit balz said...

Great work so far on this story.

Stay on this one. Maybe less overheated writing and more patience this time (from your end).

This story could crack open some 8- going on 9-year stuff that might finally make peoples' heads spin the way we thought they might, or at least let's hope...

More People are appreciating what's going on this blog, and I'm hearing it.

Anonymous said...

I certainly won't let Christine Fair friend me on Facebook."

I believe she would be what is termed an FFF: Fair(andbalanced) Facebook Friend.

With friends like Fair, who needs neocons?

Anonymous said...

NPR is rife with double standards:

Here's another glaring double standard on economic fraud:

"First-Time Fakes: Frauds Hit Homebuyer Tax Break, by Tamara Keith"

"It's [tax credit] being touted as free money," says Bill Lazor a certified public accountant from Kingston, Pa. "If it's so easy to get, that makes the bad guys devise schemes to help people get the credit who shouldn't have it."
//end quote

Seems that quote applies just as well to the TRILLIONS that have been handed to the banks (as 700 billion in TARP and trillions in zero interest loans) over the past year.

But of course, there is ABSOLUTELY NO fraud involved in that (by NPR's reckoning) -- so no oversight is needed in the latter case, of course. :)

And no reporting to speak of from NPR on the latter, of course.

or from NPR on the massive fraud (by banks and investment houses) -- liars loans and the like -- that was almost certainly at the core of the financial meltdown, according to S&L fraud investigator William Black *(see Bill Moyers interview here.
From Moyers interview:
"William K. Black suspects that it was more than greed and incompetence that brought down the U.S. financial sector and plunged the economy in recession — it was fraud. And he would know. When it comes to financial shenanigans, William K. Black, the former senior regulator who cracked down on banks during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, has seen pretty much everything.

or see the Democracy Now! interview here

From Democracy Now!
WILLIAM BLACK: "What happened then was an epidemic of what we call in criminology “control fraud.” And that means what happens when the fraud is led by the person who controls a seemingly legitimate corporation or government agency. In this case, they were savings and loans. And these frauds were growing at an annual rate of over 50 percent.'

"What does it mean for today? The same thing. We have another epidemic of accounting fraud. In this case, it’s not commercial real estate, which it was in the savings and loan crisis. It started out with, in the United States’ context, with home mortgages."
//end Bill Black quotes

And no reporting from NPR on the massive fraud by the banks that continues to this day -- banks purposely NOT foreclosing on homes not out of the goodness of their banker hearts but because they will have to report huge losses rather than the record profits they have been reporting. Coincidentally, loss reports mean less money for banker bonuses of course.

From Democracy Now!
"WILLIAM BLACK: Well, it means that many of these banks are deeply insolvent and actually losing money, but they have the gimmicked accounting, so they’re able to report that they have lots of profits."

//end Black comment

NPR did mention the Moyers/Black interview in passing on Planet Monkey's recommended reading (Monkey's can read? Who knew?) with just two comments (or a comment and a dig, really):
"Black argues that the current economic crisis is driven by fraud." and "It sounds like Black's not much for retention bonuses."

That's it for the NPR's detailed, ongoing, (if you consider a mention every 6 months ongoing) coverage of fraud.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Bin Laden was assassinated in the Tora Borah caves by an ISI agent, according to what Benazir Bhutto told David Frost on his television show, on her way back to pakistan to be assassinated herself...

Anonymous said...

bin Laden is simply a bogey man.

Whether he is dead or not has zero relevance except in the context of providing a rationale to keep bombing Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Think about it a little.

Even if he is still alive, he has little (if any) power to speak of. he can't have. He's probably quite literally "holed up" (in a cave) somewhere, attended to by a very limited cadre who are allowed to know where he is.

Under those circumstances, how could he ever "direct" a worldwide terrorist network?

He couldn't. It's nothing less than absurd to think he could.

If bin Laden were confirmed dead today, Obama and others would simply make someone else the bogeyman.